For Students: Celebrating
When was the last time you celebrated something? Do you like to celebrate your birthday and HAVE a party and enjoy it when someone GIVES you a present? Do you always MAKE a wish after you BLOW OUT the candles on the cake? In the UK we give cards on celebrations, and we have card shops, these are shops that sell decorations and cards. Lots of cards, in fact a card for any occasion for celebration. Just PASSED your driving test? There’s a card. Just GIVEN birth and HAD a child, there’s a card. How about your last day at work before retirement? yep they have that too. They even have a card for when you MOVE INTO a new house or flat.
Usually whenever someone MOVES INTO a new house or flat, they HAVE a celebration called a housewarming party. This usually involves inviting friends around to your new dwelling and HAVING a drink and a dance. Depending on the culture you might have to bring a gift, something homely, this could be an ornament, cutlery, or something useful like a frying pan… If it’s not in your culture to bring a gift to a housewarming, then you can just come and enjoy the free alcohol and finger food.
Talking of alcohol, before a man or woman gets married, they usually have a celebration called a stag party – for the man – and a hen party – for the woman. These celebrations can be wild, the best example of a wild stag party is the film The Hangover. In the UK they usually involve dressing up in fancy dress or at least the stag or hen does, flying to another country using a budget airline and drinking endless amounts of cheap beer. The Brits are known for being very rowdy when it comes to stag parties, and you can often find them at the weekend in Krakow, Prague, and Riga. A much more civilised celebration is a baby-shower. Usually, a small get-together of friends who GIVE presents and talk about the all-things baby-like and girly. The experienced mothers there are ready to pass on their advice and experience and the childless ones, listen in fear…
As I write this, Halloween is tomorrow and I have already seen pictures of people’s homes and offices where they have PUT UP decorations, including some very cool pumpkin BUNTING. Halloween is a time when not only kids DRESS UP IN FANCY DRESS, but adults too don COSTUMES, some even HIRE really good COSTUMES that might make you SHIT YOURSELF when you answer the door because they look so gruesome. These types of themed parties allow our inner child to come out to play which is always good if you have to wear a suit to work or you work in finance. I mean, when was the last time you BLEW UP a BALLOON? Exactly!
Without doubt, the wedding and more so the wedding reception is the biggest celebration, two people coming together to spend the rest of their days as one…. But, this also is probably the most stressful celebration to organise. You need to FIND a VENUE, then HIRE a VENUE, design the invitations and then SEND OUT THE INVITATIONS. If you’re the best man, you have some added pressure because you need to WRITE a SPEECH and then GIVE A SPEECH at the wedding reception and then finish it off by MAKING A TOAST before everyone gets drunk and heads to the dancefloor…. Good luck if that’s you reading this now.
Celebrations are good and we need them. We need to escape reality every now and then, so, the next time you are BLOWING UP balloons, PUTTING UP decorations, or SETTING OFF fireworks, just think of all the joy you’re about to bring to your guests and how you’re going to help them escape reality.
CELTA qualified English language teacher from England with over 10 years classroom experience based in Lviv, Ukraine.
Retirement – when you no-longer need to work and get a pension
Housewarming – a celebration of moving into a new house or flat
Dwelling – where you live – not so frequently used
Homely – something good for your house
Ornament – an object you can put in the house. Usually, it’s a figurine
Cutlery – knives, folks, and spoons
Finger-Food – food you can easily eat with your hands. Think crisps, sandwiches, small sausages on sticks etc
Stag party/Hen party – the celebration before a man or woman gets married
Fancy dress – dressing up as a cowboy, Batman, a banana or something
The stag/hen – the man/woman who is getting married
Budget airport – a low-cost airline like Ryanair and Wizzair
Rowdy – noisy and badly behaved
Baby-shower – a small party before a woman gives birth to her new child
Get-together – a meeting of friends coming to one place
Girly – the kind of things a princess would like… think pink
Bunting – a row of colourful flags or designs you hang up
Don – to wear
Costume – think Batman, Superman, etc. A combination of clothes is called an OUTFIT
Shit yourself – to be scared. The informal phrase is ‘I shit myself’
Gruesome – something that looks like it’s from a horror movie
Themed party – a celebration with a theme like ‘1960s” “Superheroes’ “Gangsters” etc
Wedding reception – the party after the church
Venue – a place where you can host a celebration
Best-man – usually the best friend of the man who is getting married
A toast – to say something positive before everyone takes a drink
Dancefloor – the area where people dance
Fireworks – the things people use at midnight on New Year’s EVE/DAY
Guests – people who attend a celebration