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HOLIDAYS IN GREAT BRITAIN
There are fewer public holidays in Great Britain than in other European countries. They are: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday and Summer Bank Holiday. Public holidays in Britain are called bank holidays, because the banks as well as most of the offices and shops are closed.
The most popular holiday is Christmas. Every year the people of Norway give the city of London a present. It's a big Christmas tree and it stands in Trafalgar Square. Central streets are beautifully decorated.
Before Christmas, groups of singers go from house to house. They collect money for charity and sing carols, traditional Christmas songs. Many churches hold a carol service on the Sunday before Christmas.
The fun starts the night before, on the 24th of December. Traditionally this is the day when people decorate their trees. Children hang stockings at the end of their beds, hoping that Father Christmas will come down the chimney during the night and fill them with toys and sweets.
Christmas is a family holiday. Relatives usually meet for the big Christmas dinner of turkey and Christinas pudding. And everyone gives and receives presents. The 26th of December, Boxing Day, is an extra holiday after Christinas Day. This is the time to visit friends and relatives or perhaps sit at home and watch football.
New Year's Day is less popular in Britain than Christmas. But in Scotland, Hogmanay is the biggest festival of the year.
Besides public holidays there are some special festivals in Great Britain. One of them takes place on the 5th of November. On that day, in 1605, Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I. He didn't succeed. The King's men found the bomb, took Guy Fawkes to the Tower and cut off his head.
Since that day the British celebrate the 5th of November. They burn a dummy, made of straw and old clothes, on a bonfire and let off fireworks. This dummy is called a "guy" (like Guy Fawkes) and children can often be seen in the streets before the 5th of November saying, "Penny for the guy." If they collect enough money they can buy some fireworks.
There are also smaller, local festivals in Britain.
Christmas ['krismas] Day — Рождество (25 де- Boxing ['boksio] Day — второй день Рождества,
New Year's Day — Новый год принято дарить подарки)
SPORTS IN GREAT BRITAIN
he British are known to be great sports-lovers, so when they are neither playing, nor watching games, they like to talk about them. Many of the games we play now have come from Britain.
One of the most British games is cricket. It is often played in schools, colleges, univer-sities and by club teams all over the country. Summer isn't summer without cricket. To many Englishmen cricket is both a game and a standard of behaviour. When they con-sider anything unfair, they sometimes say "That isn't cricket".
But as almost everywhere else in the world, the game which attracts the greatest attention is Association football, or soccer. Every Saturday from late August till the beginning of May, large crowds of people support their favourite sides in football grounds True fans will travel from one end of the country to the other to see their team play. There are plenty of professional and amateur soccer clubs all over Britain. International football matches and the Cup Finals take place at Wembley.
Rugby football is also very popular, but it is played mainly by amateurs.
Next to football, the chief spectator sport in British life is horse-racing. A lot of people are interested in the races and risk money on the horse which they think will win. The Derby is perhaps the most famous single sporting event in the whole world.
Britain is also famous for motor-car racing, dog-racing, boat-racing, and even races for donkeys. The famous boat-race between the teams of Oxford and Cambridge attracts large crowds of people.
A great number of people play and watch tennis. Tennis tournaments at Wimbledon are known all over the world. The innumerable tennis courts of Britain are occupied by people between the ages of 16 and 60 who show every degree of skill — from practically helpless to the extremely able.
The British also like to play golf, baseball, hockey, grass-hockey. Various forms.of-, athletics, such as running, jumping, swimming, boxing are also popular. You can sometimes hear that there are no winter sports in England. Of course the English weather is not always cold enough to ski, skate, or toboggan, but winter is a good season for hunting and fishing.
Indeed sport in one fonn or another is an essential part of daily life in Britain.
Wembley [wembli] — знаменитый стадион Downs близ Лондона; по имени графа Дерби
Уэмбли в Лондоне Wimbledon [wimbldan] — Уимблдон (прсдместье
лошадей-трехлеток па ипподроме Epsom ский теннисный и крикетный клуб)
THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
he Russian Federation is the largest country in the world. It occupies
about one-seventh of the earth's surface. It covers the eastern part of Europe
and the northern part of Asia. Its total area is about 17 million square
kilometres. The country is washed by 12 seas of 3
oceans: the Pacific, the Arctic and the Atlantic. In the south
There is hardly a country in the world where such a variety of scenery and vegetation can be found. We have steppes in the south, plains and forests in the midland, tundra and taiga in the north, highlands and deserts in the east.
There are two great plains in
There are over two million rivers in Russia. Europe's biggest river, the Volga, flows into the Caspian Sea. The main Siberian rivers — the Ob, the Yenisei and the Lena — flow from the south to the north. The Amur in the Far East flows into the Pacific Ocean.
Russia is rich in beautiful lakes. The world's deepest lake (1,600 metres) is Lake Baikal. It is much smaller than the Baltic Sea, but there is much more water in it than in the Baltic Sea. The water in the lake is so clear that if you look down you can count the stones on the bottom.
Russia has one-sixth of the
world's forests. They are concentrated in the European
On the vast territory of the country there are various types of climate, from arctic in the north to subtropical in the south. In the middle of the country the climate is temperate and continental.
Russia is very rich in oil, coal, iron ore, natural gas, copper, nickel and other, mineral resources.
Russia is a parliamentary republic. The Head of State is the President. The legislative powers are exercised by the Duma.
The capital of Russia is Moscow. It is its largest political, scientific, cultural and industrial centre. It is one of the oldest Russian cities.
At present, the political and economic situation in the country is rather complicated. There are a lot of problems in the national economy of the Russian Federation. The industrial production is decreasing. The prices are constantly rising, the rate of inflation is very high. People are losing their jobs because many factories and plants are going bankrupt.
his year we are celebrating the hundredth anniversary of cinematography. A century ago the Lumiere brothers made their first three-minute films which were demonstrated to the public on the 28th of December, 1895.
Since then a new era has begun — the era of cinematography. It rapidly spread all over the world and very soon turned into one of the most popular arts and entertainments. The twentieth century may rightfully be called the century of cinematography.
For a long time there have been disputes whether the cinema is an art or just an enter-tainment. Nowadays the cinema is considered one of the main contemporary arts.
The cinema combines such arts as painting, literature, theatre, architecture, music. That's why a lot of people of different professions are involved in film production: scriptwriters, directors, cameramen, costume designers, composers, actors and actresses and many others.
Pioneers of the Russian cinema are Protazanov, Gardin, Bauer and later Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Dovzhenko. The first films in the West were mainly melodramas or comedies, in Russia they very often were historical films or screen versions of the best novels.
At the time when films were silent and black-and-white
the world was crazy about
The cinema was of great importance during the two World Wars. The best cameramen went to the fronts to make documentary films about heroism of the soldiers. Feature films of that time helped people to survive the hardships of war.
Films are demonstrated in cinemas. There are a lot of them in Moscow. Each district has at least one cinema. In the programme there is a feature film preceded by cither a newsreel, a documentary or an animated cartoon. There are intervals between programmes and each programme begins at a definite time. In most cinemas in Western countries there are no intervals between programmes and people can stay in the cinema as long as they like.
Not so long ago people went to cinemas frequently but now we prefer to stay at home and watch video films and TV.
Maybe cinemas are no longer as popular as they used to be but films will always be one of the best entertainments for people all over the world.
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