Easter traditions in the UK

Mancano oramai pochissimi giorni a Pasqua, la più antica e la più solenne delle feste cristiane. E a proposito di Easter, tra le varie usanze e tradizioni che nel Regno Unito accompagnano le celebrazioni pasquali ce ne sono diverse che potremmo definire decisamente singolari. Scopriamone insieme alcune, anche grazie a questo video  della Oxford University Press.

Easter is a very important religious feast in the UK.
Schools close for two weeks, so children get school holidays, and people don’t go to work on Good Friday, the Friday before Easter Sunday, or on Easter Monday, the day after Easter Sunday.
Many British Easter traditions are related to eggs, a symbol of new life.
At Easter children love painting and decorating chicken eggs and people usually buy Easter eggs as presents for their family and friends.
But the most popular egg-related traditions are Easter egg hunts and egg rolling.
Egg hunts involve hiding eggs in the house or the garden for children to find on Easter morning. Bigger egg hunts are organised in public places, like parks and schools. The eggs can be real hard-boiled and painted eggs, plastic eggs with sweets and chocolate inside or small chocolate eggs.
Egg rolling competitions are usually organised on Easter Monday. People roll hard-boiled eggs down a hill and the first egg to get to the bottom of the hill without breaking wins.
But Easter is not only about chocolate and eggs. Hot cross buns are an Easter speciality. Traditionally eaten on Good Friday, they are sweet spiced rolls made with dried fruit and topped with a cross. They are served hot and with a lot of butter. Yummy!
There is a very popular old nursery rhyme referring to hot cross buns which was originally a street cry, a short lyrical call of merchants trying to sell their buns in open-air markets:

“Hot cross buns,  hot cross buns!
One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons.
One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns!”

Oltre a presentarci alcune delle tradizioni pasquali nel Regno Unito, questo video ci dà l’opportunità di vedere insieme il comparativo di maggioranza degli aggettivi. Sentiamo, infatti, cosa dicono Sarah e i suoi amici a proposito delle loro uova per la egg rolling race:

  • my egg is better than your egg = il mio uovo è migliore del tuo
  • my egg is faster = il mio uovo è più veloce
  • your egg is slower than my egg = il tuo uovo è più lento del mio

Ecco, in breve, come si forma il comparativo di maggioranza degli aggettivi:

1.Per gli aggettivi di una sillaba, il comparativo si forma aggiungendo il suffisso -ER all’aggettivo:
Es. fast (veloce) – faster (più veloce)
Es. slow (lento) – slower (più lento)

2.Per gli aggettivi di due o più sillabe, il comparativo si forma aggiungendo MORE davanti all’aggettivo:
Es. interesting (interessante) – more interesting (più interessante)
Es. difficult (difficile) – more difficult (più difficile)

3.Per gli aggettivi che terminano in y, il comparativo si forma aggiungendo il suffisso -ER all’aggettivo, ma prima la Y diventa I:
Es. happy (felice) – happier (più felice)
Es. busy (indaffarato) – busier (più indaffarato)

4.Poi, però, ci sono alcuni aggettivi che hanno forme irregolari di comparativo:
Es. good (buono) – better (migliore)
Es. bad (cattivo) – worse (peggiore)

E per finire, quando è presente, il secondo termine di paragone è introdotto dalla congiunzione THAN:
Es. my egg is better than your egg
Es. your egg is slower than my egg

Se volete fare pratica con il comparativo di maggioranza, qui potete trovare alcuni esercizi da fare online che ho scelto per voi:
EXERCISE 1
EXERCISE 2

Qui, invece, potete trovare la trascrizione del video:

“Hi, I’m Sarah. I’m 12 years old and this is how we celebrate Easter in my family.
I buy Easter presents for my friends.

Mum: “Did you go shopping?”
Dad: “Yes, we did.”
Mum: “What did you buy?”
Sarah: “I bought an Easter egg and a chocolate Easter Bunny.”
Mum: “Oh, let’s see. Mmm, that looks good!”
Dad: “Mmm, yes. Can I have the egg?”
Sarah: “No, Dad!”

We’ve got school holidays at Easter. We give Easter presents to our friends.

Sarah: “Thanks for my chocolate Easter Bunny!”
Ellie: “That’s OK.”
Naomi: “I’m really happy we finished school today. It’s the Easter holidays!”
Sarah: “Here you are, Naomi. Happy Easter!”
Naomi: “Thanks, Sarah!”
Ellie: “Oh, thank you! I love Easter eggs!”
Sarah: “What are you going to do for the Easter holidays?”
Ellie: “I’m going to eat Easter eggs!”

People don’t go to work on Good Friday, it’s a holiday. We decorate eggs for Easter.

Mum: “Hello. Oh, I like your eggs! I bought some Hot Cross Buns. Do you want one?”
Tom: “Yes, please. Can we have them hot with a lot of butter, please?”
Mum: “Yes, of course. You finish decorating your eggs.”

Hot cross buns, hot cross buns
One a penny, two a penny
Hot cross buns

Sarah: “Look at my Easter egg!”
Tom: “That’s great, Sarah!”
Sarah: “Thanks! Yellow and red are my favourite colours.”
Mum: “Here you are. Hot Cross Buns with a lot of butter!”
Tom: “Yum! Thanks, Mum.”
Sarah: “Thanks!”

We go to church in the morning on Easter Sunday. After church my Granny and Grandpa come to our house. We have an Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday. Mum and Dad hide chocolate eggs in the garden and we try to find them.

Tom: “Here’s one!”
Grandpa: “How many eggs have you got now?”
Tom: “Three!”
Sarah: “Did you put the eggs in the garden, Mum?”
Mum: “No, I didn’t. It was the Easter Bunny!”
Sarah: “No, it wasn’t! I’ve got another one!”
Grandpa: “Tom! Sarah! Look! This is for you, Sarah. Happy Easter! And this is for you, Tom.”
Sarah: “Thank you! Easter eggs!
Tom: “Thanks!”
Grandma: “Happy Easter!”
Dad: “Don’t eat the chocolate, Tom! Lunch is ready. Come on everyone!”

People don’t go to work or school on Easter Monday. It’s another holiday. We sometimes go egg-rolling.

Dad: “Here we are. The top of the hill!”
Mum: “Have you got your eggs?”
Sarah: “Of course!”
Boy: “Your egg is big, Tom. My egg is small.”
Tom: “My egg is better than your egg, Sarah!”
Sarah: “No, it isn’t! My egg is faster!”
Dad: “OK. OK. Are you ready?”
Sarah, Tom and friends: “Yes!”
Dad: “Let’s go egg-rolling! After three. One, two, three, go!”
Boy: “Your egg is slower than my egg, Tom!”
Tom: “Let’s go!”
Sarah: “The winner is the pink one!”
Ellie: “My egg is pink! I’m the winner!”
Mum: “Well done, Ellie! Who wants a chocolate egg?”
Everybody: “Oh, yes, please!”

E ora scusatemi, ma devo cominciare a pensare a dove nascondere le uova per i nipotini! Happy Easter everyone! j


Janet L. Dubbini

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