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ID number:155393
Published: 16.02.2007.
Language: English
Level: College/University
Literature: 10 units
References: Not used
Table of contents
Nr. Chapter  Page.
  Introduction    3
1.  The United Kingdom    4
1.1.  Facts about the United Kingdom    4
1.2.  Public holidays in the United Kingdom    5
1.2.1.  Holidays in England and Wales    5
1.2.2.  Holidays in Scotland    6
1.2.3.  Holidays in Northern Ireland    6
1.3.  Description of public holidays in the United Kingdom    6
2.  Latvia    10
2.1.  Facts about Latvia    10
2.2.  Public Holidays in Latvia    11
2.3.  Description of public holidays in Latvia    11
  Conclusion    13
  List of literature    14
  Appendix    15


Nowadays it is becoming more and more popular to be interested in the culture of other countries. Although many people think that they do not need to know things about different cultures, most of the population are interested in it.
The word ‘holiday’ has related different meanings in English-speaking countries. Based on the words holy and day, holidays originally represented special religious days. The word has evolved in general usage to mean any special day of rest (as opposed to regular days of rest such as the weekend). In most of the English-speaking countries a holiday is also a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation. In all of the English-speaking world, a holiday is a day set aside by a nation or culture (in some cases, multiple nations and cultures) typically for celebration but sometimes for some other kind of special culture-wide (or national) observance or activity. A holiday can also be a special day on which school and/or offices are closed.
So we can say that a holiday is definitely a part of a country’s culture that represents the special features that each country has.
I chose to write about the public holidays in the United Kingdom and Latvia because it is interesting for me to find some information about holidays in the UK. Although I have already been in the United Kingdom, it is important for me to know something more about UK’s holidays when I will go and visit this country again.
The aim of this paper is to describe the public holidays in the United Kingdom and Latvia, to compare them and to find out which holidays are common and which are unique and specific only to the particular context comparing these two countries.
This term paper contains lists of public holidays both in the UK and Latvia, and a brief description of each holiday. First chapter includes some information about the United Kingdom and its public holidays. Second chapter includes the same information but about Latvia. After these two chapters there is a conclusion that introduces my observations about similarities and dissimilarities of the public holidays in the UK and Latvia.
At the end of this term paper there are 3 appendixes in the form of tables that include systematic information about the public holidays in both countries.

1. The United Kingdom

1.1. Facts about the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (usually shortened to the United Kingdom, the UK, or Britain) is a country and sovereign state that is situated to the north west of mainland Europe. Its territory and population are primarily situated on the island of Great Britain and in Northern Ireland on the island of Ireland. The United Kingdom is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, and its ancillary bodies of water, including the North Sea, the English Channel, the Celtic Sea, and the Irish Sea. The mainland is linked to France by the Channel Tunnel, with Northern Ireland sharing a land border with the Republic of Ireland.
Whilst the UK does not have an official language, the predominant spoken language is English. This is a West Germanic language, descended from Old English, featuring a large number of borrowings from Old Norse and Norman French. The other indigenous languages are Scots (which is closely related to English) and the Insular Celtic languages (which are not).
The English language has spread to all corners of the world (essentially due to the British Empire in the 19th and early 20th century, and now, due to the United States of America's cultural and economic influence) and has thus become the business language of the world. Worldwide, it is taught as a second language more than any other.
Recent immigrants, especially from the Commonwealth, speak many other languages, including Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Cantonese, Turkish and Polish. The United Kingdom has the largest number of Hindi and Punjabi speakers outside of Asia.
The arts section of United Kingdom has a long drawn rich history of excellence. For centuries, arts and music were considered to be a part of nobility. The country has also made significant contributions to the world in terms of literature and as it is the birthplace of English Language, it has produced great literary masterpieces from great authors over a period of time.
If I now had to tell something about the culture of the United Kingdom, it would take up too much room in this term paper and it also would not suit the title of the paper so I will mention only some branches of culture of the UK: literature, theatre, music, broadcasting, visual art, architecture, sports, national costumes, etc.

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