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Halloween is celebrated on 31 October. It is thought to be connected with the ancient Druids, who believed that on that evening Saman, the lord of the dead, called forth hosts of

evil spirits (Encarta 96). Many people don't think about the origin. There is really no significance for most people in the US associated with Halloween, other than it is fun to dress in costumes, go to parties, play spooky music, and collect candies. In the United States you will find many children dressed in costumes on Halloween. They walk from door to door collecting

candies. The chant "trick or treat" is heard throughout the neighbourhood.

The flag of the United States of Americaconsists of

13 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom)

alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the

canton bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars

arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top

and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars. The

creator of the U.S. Flag is popularly considered to be

Betsy Ross. The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50

U.S. states and the 13 stripes represent the original

Thirteen Colonies that rebelled against the British crown

and became the first states in the Union. Nicknames for

the flag include the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, and the

Star-Spangled Banner (also the name of the country's

official national anthem). The 13-star version was

adopted on June 14th, 1777, and the 50-star version on

July 4th, 1960. On August 3rd, 1949 President Truman

signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each

year as National Flag Day.

The Great Seal of the United Statesis used to

authenticate certain documents issued by the United

States government. The phrase is used both for the

physical seal itself (which is kept by the U.S. Secretary

of State), and more generally for the design impressed

upon it. The Great Seal was publicly first used in 1782.

The design on the obverse of the great seal is the

national coat of arms of the United States and is

officially used on documents such as passports as well

as for military insignia, embassy placards, and various

flags. As a coat of arms, the design has official colors;

the physical Great Seal itself, as affixed to paper, is

monochrome. Since 1935, both sides of the Great Seal appear on the reverse of the One-Dollar Bill of the United States.

"The Star Spangled Banner"is the national anthem

of the United States. The lyrics come from a poem

written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, a 35-year-old

amateur poet who wrote "Defence of Fort McHenry"

after seeing the bombardment of Fort McHenry at

Baltimore, Maryland by British ships in Chesapeake Bay

during the War of 1812.

The poem was set to the tune of a popular British

drinking song, written by John Stafford Smith for the

Anacreontic Society, a London social club. "The

Anacreontic Song" (or "To Anacreon in Heaven") was

already popular in the United States and set to various

lyrics. Set to Key's poem and renamed, "The Star

Spangled Banner" would soon become a well-known

American patriotic song. With a range of one and a half

octaves, it is known for being difficult to sing. Although

the song has four stanzas, only the first is commonly

sung today, with the fourth ("O thus be it ever when

free men shall stand ...") added on more formal


"The Star Spangled Banner" was recognized for official

use by the Navy in 1889 and the President in 1916, and

was made the national anthem by a congressional

resolution on March 3,1931, which was signed by

President Herbert Hoover.


Most people in the world have some superstitions — they still live on in the age of science. Here are some British superstitions with long traditions. Some of them are similar to Russian ones, others are different.

☻ It's extremely unlucky to walk under a ladder propped against a wall or building. But if you must pass under a ladder, you can avoid bad luck by crossing your fingers and keeping them crossed until you see a clog. Another remedy is to spit on your shoe and leave the spittle to dry.

☻ It's unlucky to spill salt. If you do, you must take a pinch and throw it over your left shoulder.

☻ It's very bad luck to open an umbrella in the house — it will either bring misfortune to the person who has opened it or to those who live in the house.

☻ It's unlucky to meet or pass someone on the stairs. If it's unavoidable, cross your fingers.

☻ It's unlucky to take the last piece of bread on the plate.

☻ It's bad luck to see one magpie. However, it's lucky to see two, etc.

☻ It's unlucky to put new shoes on the table.

☻ It's bad luck to pick up scissors that you've dropped.

☻ It's extremely unlucky to break a mirror. It means 7 years of bad luck.

☻ The number thirteen is very unlucky and Friday the 13th is a very unlucky date.
☺ Burning cheeks or ears mean someone is talking about you. It's a friend if your left

cheek is burning. It's an enemy if your right cheek is burning.


☺A black cat crossing your path will bring you good luck.

☺ A horseshoe over the door of a new house brings good luck. But it must be the right way up. The luck runs out of a horseshoe if it's upside down.

☺ Clover usually has three leaves, but a few have four. A clover with four leaves is supposed to bring good luck.

It's lucky to touch wood. If you feel you've said something that is tempting fate, touch

some item of wood with the right hand.



ladder propped against a wallлестница, приставленная к стене

to avoidизбегать

remedyлекарство, средство

to spit (spat)плевать

spittleслюна, плевок


misfortuneбеда, несчастье





cloverлист клевера

to tempt fateискушать судьбу


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