Aims If you watch this presentation you will be able to discuss these questions: Geographical position of the UK Countries and capitals The political system London’s places of interest British traditions and holidays
Geographical position The UK is the official name of the state which is situated in the British Isles. Thus, “Great Britain”, the main island, is often the same as the UK. It consists of four countries which are England, Scotland and Wales (in Great Britain) and Northern Ireland ( in Ireland). The UK is separated from the continent by the English Channel and the Strait of Dover.
Countries and capitals England is the largest part. London is its capital. Scotland takes up one third of the territory of Great Britain. Edinburgh has been the capital since the 15th century. Wales became part of England in 1536. The capital of Wales ( or Cymry as they call themselves) is Cardiff. Northern Ireland is the smallest part. It occupies the northeast of the island of Ireland, only one-sixth of its territory. Its capital city is Belfast.
Political system The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy. This means that it has a monarch (a king or a queen) as its Head of State. The monarch reigns with the support of Parliament. Parliament consists of two chambers known as the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Parliament and the monarch have different roles in the government of the country, and they only meet together on symbolic occasions such as the coronation or the opening of Parliament. In reality, the House of Commons is only one of the three which has true power.
ELIZABETH II Born in Windsor on 21 April1926 Came to the throne in 1952 Was crowned in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953 Has four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward
British Parliament The House of Commons is made up of 650 elected members (MPs) It is here that new bills are introduced and debated. It is presided by the Speaker. The House of Lords has more than 1,ooo members (only 250 take an active part in the work. Members are not elected. They debate a bill after it has been passed by the House of Commons. Ganges may be recommended and agreement is reached by negotiations.
London London is the capital of England and the UK and it is one of the largest cities in the world. It is situated upon both banks of the River Thames. The City extends over an area of about 2.6 square kilometres is the heart of London. It is the financial centre of the UK with many banks, offices and the Stock Exchange. The West End with its historical palaces and parks and the East End with a famous port are the other parts of London.
CITY OF LONDON
British traditions and holidays
Christmas The 25th of December is Christmas Day Most families decorate Christmas Tree Children leave long socks or stockings for presents, fruit and nuts The Queen delivers her traditional Christmas speech to the IK and the Commonwealth 26th December is also a public holiday, Boxing Day, and this is the time to visit friends.
Easter Although the Christian religion gave the world Easter as we know today, the celebration owes its name and many of its customs and symbols to a pagan festival called Eostre. Eoster, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of springtime and sunrise.
Halloween Halloween means “holy evening”, and takes place on 31th October. At parties people dress up in strange costumes and pretend they are witches. They cut horrible faces in vegetables and put a candle inside Children dressed in white sheets knock on doors and ask if you would like a “trick” or a “treat”. If you give them something nice they go away, but if you don’t…
Guy Fawkes’ night This day the English traditionally celebrated 5th November by burning a dummy, made of straw and old clothes, on a bonfire, at the same time letting off fireworks.
Eisteddfods The annual National Eisteddfod is certainly the most picturesque and most moving ceremony in Wales. Here the love of song and poetry of the Welsh is organized to make a spectacle unique in the world.