New Year in Great Britain

New Year! So many emotions and so much atmosphere in this phrase! Surprising as it may seem, this holiday doesn't mean as much to the British as it does to you and me. A holiday, beloved and long-awaited since childhood. The most important winter holiday in the UK is Christmas. However, despite this, the British have their own traditions for celebrating the New Year, although some of them are similar to European traditions. One of them, for example, is the tradition of having parties all night and meeting the dawn.

Celebrating the New Year in Great Britain is inextricably linked with Big Ben - the main clock of the country, since it is the clock that symbolizes the beginning of a new time, the transition to the New Year. The place that unites people on this solemn day is Trafalgar Square, where the British come to celebrate the New Year in a friendly atmosphere. Shortly after the clock strikes twelve, people gathered in central London join hands and sing the song Auld Lang Syne. It is an ancient Scottish friendship ballad that was adapted and translated into poetic form by Robert Burns.

Despite all the love for the New Year and a desire to meet it as soon as possible, the British have no less respect for the old year. As soon as the clock strikes twelve, people open the back door of the house to release the previous year.

All decorations in the house remain from the celebration of Christmas, where a luxuriously decorated Christmas tree stands in the center of the living room. The main Christmas tree of Great Britain, according to a long-term tradition, was installed on Trafalgar Square in London. Its uniqueness is characterized by the fact that it is transported directly from the city of Oslo, the capital of Norway. Thus, the country still expresses its gratitude to the United Kingdom for helping during World War II and saving the Royal family of Norway.

Throughout the year, it is impossible not to notice what is missing and not to make your list of desires and goals for the next year. That is why, on New Year's Eve, the British love to make a list of what they want to do next year, what they want to achieve, and also make resolutions, for example, to get rid of a bad habit in the new year.

In most cases, on the British New Year's table you can see traditional English dishes: baked turkey with chestnuts, goose with apples, fried potatoes, steaks, meat pies, stewed Brussels sprouts, oat cakes. When it comes to desserts, puddings, apple pies and fresh fruit are preferred in the United Kingdom.

Meeting the first guest at home is another British New Year's tradition. Usually, guests are received already in the new year, after they celebrate its coming in a narrow family circle. It is believed that depending on who will be the first guest entering the house in the new year happiness and well-being, or troubles will come to the family. The most anticipated first guest is a young and handsome man with dark hair. According to legend, if a woman or a person with blond or red hair enters first, it will bring misfortune to the house. This sign has come from ancient times, when the Viking tribes made predatory raids on the sea cities and villages. The dark-haired were countrymen, and the blondes and redheads were foreign enemies. The first guest should bring a token gift. Coins and salt symbolize wealth, and a piece of cake or bread symbolizes satiety and abundance, a coal symbolizes warmth and comfort.

What about gifts? It would seem that such an important element that brings bright colors to this joyful holiday, however, the British prefer not to give expensive gifts to each other for the new year, since the main sign of attention was expressed in gifts for Christmas, so gifts for the new year are more symbolic. It can be souvenirs, Christmas decorations, sweets and, by tradition, teaspoons for the well-known British tea ceremony.

Author: German Goryaynov

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