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Everyday life in Great Britain

Talking about the weather
Queueing
Shaking hands
Cards
Parties
Wrong side of the bed
Blowing out the candles

Talking about the weather

 The British talk about the weather a lot. For example, "Isn't it a beautiful morning?" or, "Very cold today, isn't it?" They talk about the weather because it changes so often. Wind, rain, sun, cloud, snow - they can all happen in a British winter - or a British summer.

Queueing

At British banks, shops, cinemas, theatres or bus stops you can always see people in queues. They stand in a line and wait quietly, often for a long time. Each new person stands at the end of the queue - sometimes in rain, wind or snow.

Shaking hands

Hundreds of years ago, soldiers began this custom. They shook hands to show that they didn't have a sword. Now, shaking hands is a custom in most countries. In Britain you don't shake hands with your friends and family. But you do shake hands when you meet a person for the first time. You also say "How do you do?" This is not really a question, it's a tradition. The correct answer is exactly the same, "How do you do?"

Cards

The British sen'd birthday cards and often give birthday presents. There are cards for other days, too: Christmas cards, Valentine's Day cards, Mother's Day cards, Father's Day cards, Easter cards, Wedding Anniversary cards, Good Luck cards, "Congratulations On Your New Baby" cards, and "Get Well Soon" cards.

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Parties

It's the custom to have a party to celebrate:

- A person's birthday

- A new house

- Christmas (at home, and often in offices, too)

- An engagement (a promise to marry)

- A wedding (marriage)

- New Year's Eve

Wrong side of the bed

When people are bad tempered we say that they must have got out of bed on the wrong side. Originally, it was meant quiet literally. People believe that the way they rose in the morning affected their behavior throughout the day. The wrong side of the bed was the left side. The left always having been linked with evil.

Blowing out the candles

The custom of having candles on birthday cakes goes back to the ancient Greeks. Worshippers of Artemis, goddess of the moon and hunting, used to place honey cakes on the altars of her temples on her birthday. The cakes were round like the full moon and lit with tapers. This custom was next recorded in the middle ages when German peasants lit tapers on birthday cakes, the number lit indicating the person's age, plus an extra one to represent the light of life. From earliest days burning tapers had been endued with mystical significance and it was believed that when blown out they had the power to grant a secret wish and ensure a happy year ahead.

Holidays

Royal traditions

Everyday life

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