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Christmas is one of the world’s biggest religious and commercial festivities. Traditionally, Christmas season is a period that includes Christmas Day (25th December) and the days close to it, i.e. Christmas Eve (24th December), Boxing Day/ St Stephen’s Day/ The Second Christmas Day (26th December), New Year's Eve (31st December), New Year's Day (1st January) and Epiphany (in most countries 6th January). In recent times, this definition has begun to expand to include for example Hanukkah (eight days in November/ December), US Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November) and Black Friday (day following Thanksgiving Day).
Origins of Christmas
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The word Christmas originated as a 3) ...................................meaning "Christ's Mass". It is derived from the Middle English Christemasse and Old English Cristes mæsse, a 4)............................ first recorded in 1038. In Greek, the letter Χ is the first letter of Christ, and it, or the similar Roman letter X, has been used as an 5)..................................for Christ since the mid-16th century. 6)............................, Xmas is sometimes used to talk about Christmas.
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Although mainly a Christian holiday, Christmas is also widely celebrated by many non-Christians, and many of its popular customs have pre-Christian or secular origins. Popular modern customs include (fill in the gaps):
Christmas in Great Britain
In Great Britain, the night of the 24th December is just a quiet time which is usually spent with the family and very close friends, talking, drinking mulled wine and eating sweets.
The most important day is the 25th December. This is when the presents are opened because Santa Claus (or Father Christmas) delivers them at night when everyone is asleep.
A typical Christmas dinner is composed of a roasted turkey served with vegetables (potatoes, turnips, cauliflower and broccoli) and gravy, or mint or cranberry sauce. The dessert is, of course, the Christmas pudding.
Christmas dinners in England come with Christmas crackers – tubes of cardboard that look like sweets. To open them you need to pull the two ends apart and that's when they should open with a little bang! Inside there is a crown-shaped hat, a little souvenir, and a silly joke.
Boxing Day is celebrated on the day following the Christmas day. However, strictly speaking, it is the first weekday after Christmas. The traditional celebration of Boxing Day has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were poor or in service positions (in return for good and reliable service throughout the year). Nowadays, Boxing Day is known as a shopping holiday as many shops have sales on their goods.
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Jazyková agentura Skřivánek
Skřivánek je největší jazykovou agenturou ve střední a východní Evropě. Na trhu jazykových služeb působí již od roku 1994. Kanceláře a učebny agentury Skřivánek najdete v 22 městech ČR a v dalších 13 zemích světa.