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EnglishSpecial Education

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Holiday and Celebrations
We celebrate birthdays, namedays, wedding anniversaries, Mother's Day, Christmas and Easter. I like birthdays the most because the whole family comes together for these occasions. In my family we always celebrate birthdays at weekend so that those relatives of ours can come who live a bit far from us. On my birthday, my mother always cooks my favourite dishes, mushroom soup and stuffed chicken with mashed potatoes and parsley. She also orders a cake from the most popular confectionery in town. I have to blow the candles on the cake before I get my presents. I like surprises very much, so nobody tells me what I will get. When I have opened my presents, we sit down to chat a little bit and then play my favourite board games. 

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When a baby is about five months, the family organises the christening. The whole family goes to a church where a priest christens the baby. If the parents are not religious, they organise a name-giving ceremony in the town hall. After the ceremony the family members either in the home of the parents or in a restaurant and has lunch or dinner.

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Wedding in Hungary
In Hungary most people get married on a Saturday afternoon. All couples have to get married in a registry office, and those who are religious have a church wedding, too. In the registry office, the ceremony is led by a registrar, and the couple and their two witnesses sign the register. The two ceremonies might be on different days, and in this case the couple dress up differently for the two occasions. In the church, the bride wears a long white wedding dress with a veil and a trail, and the bridegroom an elegant dark suit with a white shirt and a tie.

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The bride holds a bouquet, and the
bridegroom has a buttonniere. After the ceremony there is a reception, which in villages is often held in a big tent. At the reception several kinds of dishes are served and the new couple cuts the wedding cake. At midnight the couple change their clothes and the so-called bride's dance starts. All the guests dance with the bride and give some money to the couple to contribute to their new life together.

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The new couple usually gets cutlery and crockery, pots and pans, all kinds of kitchen equipment, things for decorating their flat, bed and table linen, and gift vouchers.
The friends of the fiancé organise a stag night for him. It can be house party or they can book a room in a restaurant or pub. They drink and eat and enjoy themselves all night. A similar party, called a hen party, is organised by the friends of the fiancée where only women are present.

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At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The most important day is Christmas Eve, December 24, when the family comes together for the Christmas dinner. The traditional dishes are fish soup, stuffed cabbage and poppy seed and nut rolls. The Christmas tree is decorated before the dinner with sweets, brightly coloured lights and glass ornaments, and Christmas presents are placed under it. The beautifully wrapped presents are opened in the evening. At midnight a lot of families go to church for the midnight service. On Christmas Day and Boxing Day relatives visit each other and have lunch together.

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In England Christmas Eve is the time for the annual office party and many English people go to a midnight mass, while others go to church on the morning of Christmas Day. When they go to bed, children hang up an old stocking at the head of their bed for Father Christmas, also called Santa Claus, to put presents in. The presents are found either in the stockings or under the Christmas tree, which has been decorated with brightly coloured lights and glass ornaments. According to old Celtic traditions, the houses are also decorated with evergreen plants like holly and ivy; and mistletoe, the holy plant of the druids, is pinned up. 

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Unlike many other European
countries, it is Christmas Day, not Christmas Eve, that is the most important day of the Christmas holidays. This is the day when families come together, presents are opened and Christmas dinner is eaten. At the start of the meal, most people pull Christmas crackers, which are decorated paper tubes that make a noise when pulled apart. They contain a small toy, joke and a paper hat, which is worn during the dinner. Christmas dinner usually consists of roast turkey and roast potatoes and vegetables, followed by a plum pudding. 

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Other traditional foods of the Christmas season are mince pies, pastry filled with spiced raisins and currants, and Christmas cake, a heavy rich fruit-cake, often laced with brandy. On 26 December, Boxing Day, fewer and fewer people give gifts or 'boxes' for regular callers, such as dustmen and postmen, but the day is still called Boxing Day because of this old tradition. Since Boxing day is a public holiday, most people can go and watch the colourful Boxing Day 'hunt' in town squares and other places, but shop assistants have to work, since this is also the first day of the winter sales.

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In Hungary, Easter is a joyous and widely celebrated holiday. It is a time when families come together to observe both religious and cultural traditions. One important Easter tradition in Hungary is the decoration of eggs. These eggs are typically painted in vibrant colors and intricate patterns. Some people use traditional techniques, such as wax-resist dyeing, to create beautiful designs on the eggs. These decorated eggs are often given as gifts or used to adorn Easter baskets.

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Another popular tradition is the "sprinkling" or "watering" custom. On Easter Monday, which is known as "Watering Monday" or "Dousing Monday," boys and men playfully sprinkle or pour water on girls and women. It is believed that this act brings luck, health, and beauty for the upcoming year. In return, girls and women give a small gift or painted egg to express their appreciation.
Another popular tradition is the "sprinkling" or "watering" custom. On Easter Monday, which is known as "Watering Monday" or "Dousing Monday," boys and men playfully sprinkle or pour water on girls and women. It is believed that this act brings luck, health, and beauty for the upcoming year. In return, girls and women give a small gift or painted egg to express their appreciation.

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Overall, Easter in Hungary is a special time filled with family, traditions, and joy. It is a time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, enjoy delicious food, decorate eggs, and participate in playful customs like sprinkling and egg hunts.

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Discuss the following:
  1. What are the red letter days in your family?
  2. What is the greatest family celebration for you?
  3. How do you celebrate your birthday?
  4. How is the birth of a baby celebrated in Hungary?
  5. What is a Hungarian wedding like?
  6. What sorts of presents does the new couple get?
  7. What parties are organised for the couple before the wedding?
  8. What do we celebrate at Christmas?
  9. How do the Hungarians celebrate Christmas?

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Discuss the following:
  1. How do we celebrate Easter? 
  2. What is Valentine's Day? 
  3. How is Halloween celebrated?
  4. How do we spend 1st of May in Hungary? 
  5. How do we celebrate the 20th of August?
  6. What do we celebrate on 23, October?
  7. What do average people do at New Years Eve? And you?
  8. What do you know about 15th of March?

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