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BS British Student, RS Russian Student, T Teacher.


1. T: Good morning dear friends! We have an unusual lesson today because here in our class we can see Russian students and the students from Great Britain. Today we are going to speak about the traditions and customs of these countries ( ). Britain is the country of traditions and Russia has a lot of National holidays as well. Do you agree with me?

RS1: Yes, I do. My name is Im from Russia. But at first Id like to say Hello our foreign friends.

BS1: Hello. My name is Im from And this is the emblem of my country ( ).

BS2: Hello. My name is Im from

BS3: ( )

RS1: And our students are: ( )

2. T: They say that traditions make a nation special. Some of them are old-fashioned and few people remember them, others are part of peoples life. What things come to your mind when you think of traditions and celebrations?

Students: I think of (activities, special food and drinks, things we give and receive, special occasions, birthdays, fireworks, flowers, dancing, picnics etc).

3. T: Now Ill show you some pictures. What do you think these traditions and traditional celebrations are connected with?

( , : Christmas, Christmas-tide, Halloween, St.Valentines Day, Easter)

: Maybe its

Probably its

I can be mistaken but I think its

4. T: I think Russian students know something about traditions and customs on the British Isles.

RS1: Its true. But I know that in Britain the New Year is not as widely celebrated as Christmas. Am I right?

BS1: Yes, right you are. Some people ignore it completely and go to bed at usual time. Others, however, do celebrate it in one way or another. There is a funny tradition connected with the New Year: the First Foot. This is the first visitor to enter a house on New Years morning. The First Foot must be a man.

RS2: He is a person of great importance, isnt he?

BS1: Oh, yes, he is. But he may be a chance caller or a person who comes on purpose to let the New Year into the house and bring good luck to the family.

RS3: Excuse me for interrupting you but its very interesting that the tradition of meeting the first visitor on the 1st of January or on Christmas Day is observed in some regions of Russia. People believe that the first visitor can bring good or bad luck. It doesnt matter if the visitor is a man or a woman. It should be a respected person.

BS2: I know that in Russia winter is rich in festivals. It is a time to celebrate though its cold, frosty and snowy. There are a lot of poems about Russian winter.

RS4: Right you are. I can recite my favourite poem to you.

BS2: Pease, do it.

RS4: Neath lucid skies of cleanest azure.

The winters rich and dazzling treasure,
Her gorgeous rugs of snow are spread.
The wood is etched against them darkly,
The firs, rime-starred, are green and sparkling,
In shiny mail the stream is clad.

BS2: Thank you. By the way, when do you celebrate Christmas in this country?

RS5: In Russia Christmas is celebrated on the 7th of January. The days from Christmas to the Epiphany are called Christmas-tide when people have carnivals, wear fancy costumes, sing carols and tell fortunes. But Im sure that the New Year holiday is more popular, especially with children.

5. BS3: I agree with you here. Children are fond of holidays.

RS6: What holidays do children like most of all in Great Britain?

BS3: Towards the end of autumn there is a special holiday in Great Britain. Its traditionally a night of magic, when all the ghosts, witches, devils and warlocks come out. Children dress up in scary costumes and have parties.

Have a good look at some very popular Halloween costumes ( 8 , .. , .. ).

Try to match the costume with the proper word.

, , .

ghost (the 1st and the 2nd stereotypes)

6. RS1: Thank you very much. Its an interesting holiday. But as for me I like spring holidays best of all. There are many of them in spring. For example Yumorina is April Fools Day and takes place on the 1st of April.

On this day you can meet someone who will try to pull your leg. Even if he fools you, you arent showing signs of bad temper. Otherwise, people will suspect you of the worst possible sin a lack of humour.

Its my favourite holiday.

BS4: Its very funny indeed, but Id like to know more about Russian Festivals. I know that one of them is Shrovetide.

RS2: Yes, this holiday has deep roots. But nowdays people hardly remember about them, they just have fun, say goodbye to winter or welcome spring.

BS4: What do people do during this festival?

BS5: What it the highlight of the festival?

RS2: Well, Shrovetide is the holiday, witch lasts for a week to say goodbye to winter. People celebrate it at the end of February or at the beginning of March. In old times people usually cooked pancakes, had fires, burnt straw scarecrows of winter (it was the highlight of the festival), they sang songs and danced. Now during Shrovetide week people always cook pancakes. They invite their friends, their nearest and dearest to see each other and eat pancakes with sour cream, fish, caviar or butter, sugar, honey.

T: What else do people do at this Farewell-to-winter Festival?

RS3: People ride a troika, play snowballs, build townlets, climb a pole for a gift.

7. T: Oh, wait a minute. We have a letter from one of the British students. Lets listen to it.

BS6 ( ):

Dear Russian friends,

My name is Richard Benson. Im 14 and Im from London. Im sorry that I cant visit your country, but Im glad that I can write you a letter. Id like to tell you about my favourite holiday. Its Easter. Its a time when certain traditions are observed. In England presents traditionally take the form of an Easter egg. Easter eggs are usually made of chocolate. In England parents usually hide chocolate eggs and children have to find them about the house. There are some Easter games like egg-rolling and egg-shackling. Every year London greets the spring with Easter Parade in Battersea Park on Easter Sunday.

Do you like Easter? How do you celebrate Easter in Russia?

Yours sincerely,

RS4: To tell you the truth, Easter is my favourite holiday too. People greet each other on the Easter day by the words Christ is risen! and the expected answer is He is risen indeed! In Russia people also dye eggs and present their relatives and friends with them as a symbol of eternal life.

8. BS1: I can see a lot of beautiful pictures on the blackboard. Tell us about them, please.

RS3: ( ) There are many villages in Russia famous for their specific crafts: painted boxes in Palekh, wooden tableware in Knokhloma, and toys in Dymkovo. Log houses, usually decorated with wood carving are typical for Russian villages.

Not long ago people in Russian villages performed traditional khorovods (a kind of round dance) and chastushki (folk chanted rhymes) and rode in troikas (carriages drawn by teams of three horses abreast). Now young people prefer modern dances, motocycles and motor cars. However, village residents still prefer tea from samovars. Traditional Russian cooking includes porridges, pancakes, various aspics, cabbage, chicken and fish soup, pirozhki (turnovers), and kvass (a beverage made from fermented rye bread).

Siberian cuisine has such dishes as stroganina (frozen fish) and pelmeni (meat-filled dumplings).

9. T: Thank you.

Traditions may be old or new but still they are observed. There are some customs in Great Britain that dont have deep roots, but they are loved by the British. Can you tell us about them?

BS1:Of course, with great pleasure. One of the customs is that each British person gets a telegram from the Queen on his or her hundredth birthday.

BS2: The Queens Christmas speech is a modern custom. The Queen makes a speech on radio or TV. The BBC broadcasts it to every Commonwealth country. The speech is connected with the events of the past year. Traditionally in speeches, kings and queens say we not I. But Queen Elizabeth II doesnt follow this tradition actually. She says My husband and I or just I.

10. RS5: Excuse me, I think we have forgotten about one of the brightest holidays of the year Mothers Day, the day which is celebrated all over the word, the day when we honour women, giving them flowers and presents. What do you usually give your mothers on this holiday?

BS3: In our country gifts are not supposed to be expensive. As a rule we give chocolate or small presents.

RS5: I know that when the British receive presents they have to open them at once. Its a rule.

BS3: Right you are.

RS5: Then I hope youll like these Russian postcards.

BS3: They are perfect! Thanks a lot. And we have some postcards for you too.

RS5: Oh, they are lovely! Thank you very much. You couldnt find a better gift.

11. T: Well, you have already learnt a lot about the language and the people who speak it. Lets make the conclusions of what we know about the British ways of life and the life on the continent.

BS1: In England many things are the other way round. On the continent people seldom speak about weather. If they do, it usually means they have no other topics to discuss. In England, if you dont repeat the phrase Its a nice day today, isnt it? two hundred times a day people are surprised and think that you are very dull.

RS1: On the continent Sunday papers appear on Monday; in England (the country is really hard to understand) they appear on Sunday.

BS2: On the continent some people like cats, others dont, but in England cats are very special animals. Everyone loves them and takes care of them.

RS2: On the continent people are proud of the things they know. They try to show off their knowledge and often quote Greek and Latin writers. In England only those who dont know them or who havent read them do it.

BS3: You can offend people on the continent in many ways, for example, if you laugh at them or make jokes about their life and jobs. But the English take everything with a sense of humour. You can easily offend them only if you tell them they have no sense of humour.

RS3: People on the continent either tell you the truth or lie, in England they hardly ever lie, but they dont tell you the truth either.

BS4: On Sundays on the continent even the poorest person puts his best suit and tries to look nice and respectable. In England even the richest man dresses in some old clothes and doesnt shave.

RS4: Many continentals think life is a game; the English think cricket is a game.

BS5: On the continent people have good food. In England people have good table manners.

12. T: Our meeting is coming to an end. Its a pity, but its impossible to mention all the traditions and customs during one lesson. We know that there are a lot of them. But Id like to say that all of you were wonderful today!