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Every country in the world has its
own national festivals. However,
there are also festivals which are
common almost for all countries, for
example, the New Year, the first day
of every year. In Russia it is the most
popular festivals, but in the West
Christmas is more important.
New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day
The New Year is a family party. It
starts already in the eve, on the 31st
December. People prepare a festive
dinner, with unusual dishes and a lot
of sweets. Some years ago a tradition
appeared to put dishes on the festival
board liking by the animal which will
rule the next year according to the
Chinese calendar. For example, for the
little monkey one must put bananas.
Well, the New Year Party begins with
the festival banquet. Lights are
burning in the decorated fir-tree. At
midnight people congratulate each
other to the New Year and drink
champagne. Then people watch TV or
go for a walk.
Easter
The moral lessons given us by Jesus
Celebrating Easter, seeing the happy faces of people around,
hearing the joyful announcements “Christ is risen”, and, on the
whole, enjoining these God-blessed sunny spring days, let us
pause for a moment and ponder on some of the moral lessons
given us by Jesus. We well know that Christianity is ethical
through and through, but strange as it may seem, the moral
teaching of Christ himself is not very circumstantial. On the
contrary, He appears rather terse on these matters, and it is in
His deeds, not words, that the larger part of His mission found its
expression. As a person, with all His inclinations and intentions,
He does not seem to be a determined moral reformer, not to
speak of a revolutionary; and he was not in the least a scholar
or a man of letters. He wrote nothing. He mowed quietly and
slowly along the highways and among the villages of Galilee and
Judea and spoke to people not about any intricate problems of
human existence, or theology, or the mysteries of life and death,
but about things which belonged to the realm of daily life; and
the words he chose for that were the words of common men, not
those of a professor of ethics. He summed up His “theology” in
an amazingly short and simple phrase “God is love” ; and meeting
people He very often did not teach them, as He actually did
from time to time, but offered them a ready sympathy and
understanding, even to the degraded and the outcast. To them He
spoke in the language of tolerance and benevolence, forgiveness
and mercy. That was His love – and that was the beginning of
the moral revolution that transformed the world.
When is the Easter?
The greatest Christian festival of the year is
Easter. It is either in March or in April, and
millions of people joyously observe Christ's
resurrection. This holy day never comes
before March 22 or after April 25. When is
an Easter? That, of course, is celebrated on
the first Sunday after the paschal moon,
which is the first full moon that occurs on or
next after the vernal equinox, March, 21st. So
all you need to do is look at the sky? Afraid
not. For the moon in question is not the real
moon, but a hypothetical moon. This one goes
round the earth one month in 29 days, the
next in 30 days, though with certain
modifications to make the date of both the
real and fictional full moons coincide as nearly
as possible. It yields a date for Easter that can
Easter Eggs
Wherever Easter is celebrated, there Easter eggs
are usually to be found. In their modern form, they
are frequently artificial, mere imitations of the real
thing, made of chocolate or marzipan or sugar, or of
two pieces of coloured and decorated cardboard
fitted together to make an eggs-shaped case
containing some small gift. These are the Easter
eggs of commerce, which now appear in shopwindows almost as soon as, and sometimes even
before, Ash Wednesday is past, and by so doing lose
much of their original festival significance. This is
a real egg, hard-boiled, died in bright colors, and
sometimes elaborately decorated. In still appears
upon countless breakfast-tables on Eater Day, or is
hidden about the house and garden for the children
to find.
The birthday of Jesus is the most joyous holiday in the Christian
calendar. We remember the angels' songs of peace on earth, good will
toward men - a message that was to bring new hope and set a new goal
for much of mankind. Christmas was not always observed at the same
time, since there was no record of the actual date of Jesus' birth. In
Russia Christmas is celebrated on the 7th December. Each year in the
Christian calendar dates from the year in which Jesus was then believed
to have been born. In Russian Christmas is not only a religious festival
but a time for fun - a time for attending parties, for acting in plays, for
singing carols and gay Christmas songs. Christians exchange gifts, in
memory of the ones the Wise Men brought the Baby Jesus, though in
some countries children must wait until the New Year for their presents.
Christmas is a festive season, when both children and adults are filled
with anticipation and excitement. Families are busy putting up
decorations. Wreaths of holly and evergreen reassembled and placed
about the houses. Fur-trees are chosen and decorated with sparkling
garlands and wood ornaments. Christmas trees are a heritage from
Germany. One story tells how Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant
Reformation, looked up on his way home from church one starlit
Christmas Eve, saw the stars gleaming through the branches of an
evergreen tree, and was inspired to light such a tree indoors with candles
for his children. Whether or not that is the true explanation, it is certain
that Christmas trees have long been a part of the German celebration - a
custom that gradually spread to other countries.
8th March
There are in Russia other family parties,
for example, 8th March, or the day of
Women. Historically
seen, that was a political festival in
honor of the German women's
communists Clara Zetkin and
Rosa Luxembourg. Then, however, the
festival changed into a marvelous day
when all men
congratulate their dear women and give
them presents and flowers.
23rd of February
There is also the day of Men, or the day of
the Defenders of the Fatherland, if we call it
officially. It is celebrated on the 23rd of
February. The President made recently this
day work-free.
Some holidays in Russia are dedicated to
different historical events, for example,
Day of Victory (9th May), Day of
Independence Russia (12th June), Day of
Constitution (12th December). In addition,
different professional festivals are
celebrated in Russia , like day of the
Doctors or day of Paratroopers.
My favourite holiday is
New Year’s Day

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