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Valentine's Day(情人节)(February 14)

   St. Valentine's Day is an informal observance (非正式的庆祝) of a lover's holiday. Today, the observance has no connection with the many legendary (传说的) St. Valentines, and holds no religious significance. The day is observed with exchanges of love notes and cards, and other tokens(标志) of affection(感情), called valentines. The symbols of the heart and Cupid(丘比特) are common in cards, decorations of store windows,candies and other paraphernalia(随身物品). Traditional valentines were frilly(装饰的) sweet, and tender(温情的) affairs made of red and white paper and lace(花边) with cutouts(剪下的图样) and cupids. The custom of sending cards, giving candy, and other such tokens has caught a great deal of commercial enthusiasm(积极性). Many stores, for instance, decorate(装饰) seasonally, or a according to calendar holidays(日历). Valentine's Day is the first excuse for splashy(显眼的) valentine theme(主题) dominates stationery(文具) stores, candy stores, confectioneries(甜食制造业), and quite often drug stores where cards and candy are sold. (来源:专业英语学习网站 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

Easter(复活节)
(The first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox(春分))

   Easter is important for several reasons. Primarily(主要) it is a time for families to get together much like Christmas or Thanksgiving. They usually have a large meal and serve traditional(传统的) dishes such as baked ham(火腿). In addition, there is a commercial aspect(商业特征) of Easter. It is a time when manufacturers(制造商) of candy and chocolate can sell their products. They make chocolates in the shape of eggs and rabbits since those things are associated with(与……联系) spring and Easter. Finally, Easter is a religious holiday. Many Americans go to church on that day if they are Christians to celebrate the resurrection(耶酥复活) of Christ. Symbols(象征) which we see at Easter are chicks, flowers, eggs, baskets for children to dye Easter eggs and then to hide them. Other children look for the eggs and collect them in baskets. People often get new clothes for spring for around Easter time.

 Doll's Day 女儿节(初)

   The third of March is an exciting day for little Japanese girls. They know it as Doll's Day. On that day, any household which has a daughter aged between three and seven decorates the house with traditional dolls. They represent the royal family and members of the court. They are extremely delicate and finely dressed. The dolls may have been in the family for several generations, or they may have been newly presented to the daughter of the house, usually by the grandparents. The little girls do not merely look at the dolls displayed in the house. They themselves are dressed in elaborate kimonos, again of traditional design. Then their parents accompany them to the sacred shrines. After they come back home, special rice cakes are eaten. Doll's Day in Japan is for the girls, but the boys have their own turn later. Their festival occurs on May 5th, and this time the house are decorated with armour, emphasizing a traditional male role

April Fool's Day 愚人节 (初)

   April Fool's Day is the first day of April. The sport of the holiday is to play silly but harmless jokes on family members, co-workers, and friends. A victim of one of these pranks is called an April fool. If one succeeds in tricking someone, one laughs and says, `April Fool`, and then the person who has been tricked usually laughs, too. This holiday originated in France. When the French first adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1564, some people continued to use the old calendar to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1.These people were called April Fools. The custom of playing tricks on this day became popular in France and then spread to many other countries. April Fool's jokes are as ingenious, humorous, or cruel as the people who perform them. Here are some typical pranks: __Telling somebody to call the zoo and ask to speak to Mr Fox. __Putting salt in the sugar bowl. __Setting the clock back an hour. __Saying to friends, 'Oh my! You have four holes in your coat-buttonholes! __Trying a string to a wallet and leaving the wallet in the middle of the sidewalk. When someone stops to pick it up, the pranker yanks it out of reach. In the United States today, April Fool's jokes are mostly played by children, who enjoy the holiday immensely.

Notes: April Fool:在愚人节受骗的人. prank:玩笑;恶作剧. Trick:计谋;欺诈. Originate:开始;源自. cruel:残忍的. ingenious:坦率的. Popular:受欢迎的. Immensely:极大的;无限的. Humorous:幽默的. .

 Halloween(万圣日)

(October 31)

This is a holiday widely celebrated with different name in many countries .Although it originated(发源) as a religious holiday, it has lost its religious connections in the United States. It is now celebrated largely as a children's day, and many American children look forward to it for days and weeks beforehand. The orange pumpkin is harvested(收获) at this time of year and is hollowed(挖空) out, a funny face cut into it, and a candle placed inside as a decoration(装饰) in the window. City folks, nowadays, sometimes use paper pumpkins for decorations. Some years ago, the holiday was celebrated by dressing up in strange and frightening costumes(戏服) and playing tricks(戏弄) on one's neighbors and friends, such as ringing door bells, throwing bits of corn(谷物) on the window panes(窗格玻璃), and in other ways making minor disturbances(小骚扰).

 
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