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VIII. Translate into English.
1. С празднованием Рождества связано много языческих и христианских традиций.
2. Одним из символов Рождества является малиновка, которую часто изображают на открытках.
3. Рождественский пудинг – традиционное блюдо, в приготовлении которого участвует вся семья.
4. Хлопушки – любимая детская забава.
5. Считается, что Санта Клаус живет на Северном полюсе вместе со своей женой. На Рождество он развозит подарки, попадая в дом через дымоход. В благодарность дети оставляют для него молоко и печенье.
DID YOU KNOW?
1. The first Christmas card, as the term is now understood, is believed to have been designed in England in 1843 by John Callcott Horsley. An edition of 1,000 hand-coloured copies was placed on sale in London. A triptych, the card depicted a family party in the centre, beneath which were the words “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.” In the United States the owner of a variety store in Albany, New York, in the mid 19th century produced a card carrying Christmas greetings from “Pease's Great Variety Store in the Temple of Fancy.” Boston lithographer Louis Prang is credited with producing the first commercial Christmas cards in the United States; by the 1880s he was producing more than five million a year, using the chromolithography process, which allows subtle and realistic coloration and detail.
2. In most European countries gifts are exchanged on Christmas Eve, December 24, in keeping with the notion that the baby Jesus was born on the night of the 24th. The morning of December 25, however, has become the time for the exchange of gifts in North America. In 17th- and 18th-century Europe the modest exchange of gifts took place in the early hours of the 25th when the family returned home from the Christmas mass. When the evening of the 24th became the time for the exchange of gifts, the Christmas mass was set into the late afternoon of that day. In North America, the centrality of the morning of the 25th of December as the time for the family to open presents has led, with the exception of Catholic and some Lutheran and Episcopal churches, to the virtual end of holding church services on that day, a striking illustration of the way societal customs influence liturgical practices.
3. The Russian Orthodox church and the Ethiopian Orthodox church also recognize January, 7 as Christmas day, and the Armenian church honours January, 6.
4. Christmas tree is an evergreen tree, often a pine, balsam, or fir, decorated with lights and ornaments as a part of Christmas festivities. The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmastime; it survived further in the custom, also observed in Germany, of placing a Yule tree at an entrance or inside the house during the midwinter holidays. The modern Christmas tree, though, originated in western Germany. The main prop of a popular medieval play about Adam and Eve was a “paradise tree,” a fir tree hung with apples, that represented the Garden of Eden. The Germans set up a paradise tree in their homes on December 24, the religious feast day of Adam and Eve. They hung wafers on it (symbolizing the host, the Christian sign of redemption); in a later tradition the wafers were replaced by cookies of various shapes. Candles, symbolic of Christ, were often added. In the same room was the “Christmas pyramid,” a triangular construction of wood that had shelves to hold Christmas figurines and was decorated with evergreens, candles, and a star. By the 16th century the Christmas pyramid and the paradise tree had merged. Introduced into England in the early 19th century, the Christmas tree was popularized in the mid 19th century by the German Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. The Victorian tree was decorated with toys and small gifts, candles, candies, and fancy cakes hung from the branches by ribbon and by paper chains.
5. Blown-glass ornaments were offered for sale in Britain and the United States as early as the 1870s, many produced in small workshops in Germany and Bohemia, which also created decorations made from tinsel, cast lead, beads, pressed paper, and cotton batting. In the United States, F.W. Woolworth was selling $25 million in ornaments annually by 1890, by which time strings of electric tree lights were also available.
6. In South and Central America, unique religious and secular traditions mark the Christmas celebration. In Mexico, on days leading up to Christmas, the search of Mary and Joseph for a place to stay is reenacted and children try to break a piñata filled with toys and candy. Christmas is a great summer festival in Brazil, including picnics, fireworks, and other festivities as well as a solemn procession of priests to the church to celebrate midnight mass. In India, the fir as Christmas tree is replaced by the mango tree or the bamboo tree, and houses are decorated with mango leaves. Japan serves as illustration of a different sort. There, in a predominantly Shintō country, the secular aspects of the holiday – Christmas trees and decorations, even the singing of Christmas songs such as "Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer" or "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" – instead of the religious aspects are widely observed.
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