The general characteristic of Wales……………………………………..4-8
Wales history in brief…………………………………………………..4
National Symbols, official and unofficial…………………………….4-5
Geographical position. The capital. Population………………………5-6
Economy. Key industries……………………………………………..6-7
The official language…………………………………………………....7
The national spirit……………………………………………………..7-8
Folklore and mythology……………………………………………....8-9
Music and musical festivals………………………………………….9-10
Sports and activities……………………………………………………10
Food. Food festivals………………………………………………...10-11
Traditions and customs……………………………………………..11-12
3. Practical part…………………………………………………………………..12-16
3.1. The students’ results of the quiz………………………………………………13
3.2. Sociological survey………………………………………………………..13-14
3.3. Some more interesting facts about Wales……………………………...….14-16
The subject of the research is Wales. The reasons for taking up this topic are the following: firstly, the personal interest of the author to Wales, little knowledge of its peculiarities by the author and her schoolmates. Secondly, the study of countries is always interesting giving us an opportunity to travel all over the world and learn about different cultures and ways of life. The third reason is the great desire to find out something very interesting and little known about Wales and to get a general idea of this wonderful country.
So, the goals of the research are
to learn what is known about Wales at my school;
to find out the most interesting and little known information about Wales;
to attract more attention of the schoolmates to the topic of Wales;
Then, the tasks of the research are
to give a quiz about Wales to the pupils of Voznesenovka secondary school;
to analyze the results of the quiz;
to study the facts about Wales turning to different sources of information: students’ books, encyclopedias, authentic travel articles, the Internet resources;
to analyze and compare the facts found and present to the audience the most interesting and little known information about Wales;
to get a general idea of Wales
The hypothesis is WALES IS MUCH MORE INTERESTING AND UNIQUETHAN JUST BEING A PART OF THE UNITED KINGDOM.
The methods of the research are quizzes, studying the sources of information, comparison and analysis.
2. The body
2.2. The general characteristic of Wales
2.2.1. Wales history in brief
1000 BC The story of Wales begins with the Celts. The Celts began migrating from their central European homeland around 1000 BC.
48AD The recorded history of Wales begins with the arrival of the Romans on Welsh borders. At that time people spoke a Celtic language – Brythonic, the language that would eventually evolve into Welsh.
1284 After 200 years of bitter fighting Wales loses independence. Edward of England defeated Prince of Wales and annexed Wales to England. 
1301 After defeating the native princes of Wales, King Edward I of England named his son Prince of Wales. Since then the eldest son of the king or queen of England has traditionally been given this title. 
1536 The first Act of Union was passed between England and Wales. Wales becomes united politically with England and is governed by the English law.
1850 In the 19th century the industrial revolution completely changed the face of South Wales. Workers came in large numbers from England and Ireland. 
1916 David Lloyd George becomes the first Welsh Prime Minister of the UK. He was also the only Prime Minister to speak English as a second language, Welsh being his first.
2006 The Senedd building is opened to house the National Assembly for Wales. The Senedd has won an award for its sustainability and green credentials. 
2.2.2. National Symbols (official and unofficial)
The Leek. According to the legend, St David advised the Britons on the eve of a battle with the Saxons, to wear leeks in their caps so as to easily distinguish friend from foe. This helped to secure a great victory. Today Welsh people around the world wear leeks on St David's Day. It is also a surviving tradition that soldiers in the Welsh regiments eat a raw leek on St David's Day. The Daffodil. The Welsh for leek (the original national emblem) is Cenhinen, while the Welsh for daffodil is Cenhinen Pedr. Over the years they became confused until the daffodil was adopted as a second emblem of Wales.
The Harp. The harp is regarded as the national instrument of Wales. By the end of the 18th century, the triple harp - so called because it had three rows of strings - was widely known as the Welsh harp on account of its popularity in Wales. HRH Prince Charles appoints a Welsh Royal Harpist on a scholarship programme annually. Past Royal harpists include Catrin Finch.
The Welsh Flag. The national flag - The Red Dragon (or in Welsh Y Ddraig Goch) - was granted official status in 1959, but the dragon itself has been associated with Wales for centuries. Some say it’s the oldest national flag still in use, and that it was used by King Arthur and other ancient Celtic leaders. 
Welsh National Anthem. Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (in English as ‘Land of my Fathers’) is Wales’ National anthem. It was written in 1856 by Evan James and his son, James James, from Pontypridd in Glamorgan.
The Flag of St David. St David is the patron saint of Wales.His flag is a gold cross on a black background. Saint David (in Wales “Dewi Sant”) was a Welsh Bishop during the 6th century.
2.2.3. Geographical position. The capital. Population
Wales lies off the English lowlands. This part of the UK is rather small, its territory being 20,779 sq. km and approximately 242 km from north to south. The whole area of Wales may be subdivided into three regions: the Welsh Mountainous area, Industrial South Wales and the Welsh Borderland. Wales is divided into 8 counties, but 70 per cent of population reside in the 4 industrial counties of the South-west, Mid and South Glamorgan, and Givent. The main areas of the settlement are in the southern valleys and coastal areas where 2/3 of the population live. Wales borders on England to the east and by sea in all other directions: the Irish Sea to the north and west, St George's Channel and the Celtic Sea to the southwest and the Bristol Channel to the south. Over 50 islands lie off the Welsh mainland; the largest being Anglesey, in the northwest. 
The capital of Wales is Cardiff. It is situated near the mouth of the Taff River. The population of Wales is over 3 million people. About 75% of the people of Wales live in town and urban districts. The chief urban centres are Cardiff, Swansea and Newport. 
Relief. Wales is a highland country of old, hard rocks. North Wales is a country of mountains and deep valleys. South Wales is a land of high hills and wide valleys. The Cumbrians is the mountain range running along the Western Coast. Its highest point at the centre of the range is Snowdon – 3560 ft (1085 m) above sea-level. Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales. The pride of Wales is scenery in Snowdonia. It is a land of mountains with soft green slopes, of moist deep dales, streams and waterfalls, of deep bays and high cliffs, of coal-mining valleys. The first men to conquer Everest trained in Snowdonia (Sir Edmund Hillary with his team). The greater part of the country consists of a plateau of old rocks surrounded by narrow plains. The plateau is deeply dissected by rivers – the Dee, the Clwyd, the Conway, the Teifi, the Towy, the Tawe, the Usk, the Wye and the Severn. There are loads of waterfalls in Wales. Pistyll Rhaeadr is 73 metres (240 feet) high which is 22 metres (73 feet) higher than Niagra Falls. The Brecon Beacons is a great place to see many waterfalls. 
2.2.4. Economy. Key industries
Wales produces 9 % of the British coal and 9 % of the electricity. Besides coal-mining light industry has developed (the manufacturing of plastics, textiles, chemicals). Agriculture occupies 72 % of the land area. Sheep and cattle breeding are developed in the mountainous and dairy farming in the lowlands. Wales has 8 million sheep. A large proportion of wool is used for making carpets. The biggest of the above mentioned 4 industrial counties in the south is Glamorgan. Its main industries are coal-mining, iron and steel, engineering. About 2/3 of the population live in the South Wales coastal area, where the 3 biggest towns are located: Swansea, Cardiff and Newport.
The main port of Wales today is Milford Hayen situated in the very south-west, with a splendid harbour 20 miles long.
Swansea is an important container port after Cardiff with 6 miles of quays. It is an industrial centre and the home of the University College of Swansea. Caerphilly has one of the biggest castles in Europe, including a famous leaning tower. Anglesey is flat, but the rest of the region is very mountainous. From 150 BC it has been a centre of Celtic culture and religion and even today it has a high proportion of Welsh speaking people. 
Tourism is mainly concentrated in the northern coastal strip. Surrounded on three sides by an attractive coastline, Wales has become a popular holiday resort.
The south-western suburbs of Swansea extend into the Gower Peninsula which offers fine coastal scenery and sandy beaches. The county of Gwynedd is famous for its seaside resorts, Barmouth being one of the most popular. Many people like to visit the territory of Snowdonia – a national park famous for its mountain scenery. The Welsh call Snowdonia the “Eagles’ Nestling place”. 
Some modern attractions. Mid Wales – the Centre for Alternative Technology and theNational Library. South West – The National Botanic Garden of Wales and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park are both located here.Many people head to Cardiff Bay for one of the world’s iconic art and cultural destinations. The Wales Millennium Centre is one of the most lively performing arts centres in Europe. It is contemporary and Welsh. The WMC is home to the Welsh National Opera (WNO), the National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW) and Tŷ Cerdd - Music Centre Wales.
2.2.5. The official language
Welsh is spoken by half a million people, 20 % of the population of Wales. The western counties of Wales are at least 50 % Welsh-speaking. Welsh and English are both official languages in Wales. 
2.2.6. The national spirit
There is no other part of the British Isles where national spirit is stronger, national pride more intense or national traditions more cherished than in Wales. The Welsh still proudly wear their national dress on festive occasions. A Welsh woman wears a red cloak, a long black skirt, an apron and a high black hat on her head. The men do not have a national costume. They smile: “We have no money after we have bought clothes for our wives!”. The Welsh language is still very much a living force and is taught side by side with English in schools. The Welsh people are the remnants of those pugnacious Celtic people who were subjected to centuries of Roman rule, who underwent the invasions of the Saxons, who endured the Norman conquerors without ceding iota of their cultural independence. 
Wales has a distinctive culture including its own language, customs, holidays and music.
2.3.1. Folklore and mythology
King Arthur and his knights regularly appear in Welsh mythology and folklore. Sites throughout Wales are connected with this mighty king and his magician Merlin. The County Library at Mold is home to the world’s largest collection of books on Arthur, comprising nearly 2,000 volumes. In Wales Arthur’s fame lives on in everyday place names. Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen) is believed to be Merlin’s birthplace, and is named after him. On the Gower peninsula stands Arthur’s Stone which is said to be the ‘pebble’ that he removed from his boot on his way to the battle of Camlann in AD 539. He threw the stone over his shoulder and it landed seven miles away on Cefn Bryn Common near Reynoldston.
The Gododdin is one of the earliest surviving poems written in Welsh. It was written by the bard Aneirin around the year 594, and contains the earliest known reference to Arthur.
In circa 830, the Welsh monk Nennius completed his Historia Britonum, a compilation of historical events adapted from various sources. The text refers to Arthur as a "leader of battles" rather than a king. Indeed, Nennius' work became the source of a number of Arthurian tales which were built upon by successive authors, notably that of 12 battles won by Arthur, including his slaying of 940 men at the battle of Badon.
The Mabinogion is a collection of medieval tales dating back a thousand years which still have the ability to fascinate and appeal to all. They are regarded by many as a masterpiece of medieval literature and Wales' greatest contribution to European literature. Two tales in the collection, The Dream of Rhonabwy and Culhwch and Olwen, are notable for featuring Arthurian legends. Of these, the story of Culhwch and Olwen is of particular interest, since it is considered to be the first Arthurian romance.
Geoffrey of Monmouth. Writing in Latin, Geoffrey adapted the Welsh legend of Myrddin Wyllt, altered his name to Merlin and made the character a central figure in his three books: Prophetiae Merlini, Historiae Regum Britanniae and Vita Merlini.Historiae Regum Britanniae brought together tales of Merlin and Arthur. Much of the romanticism of the Arthurian legend, including the tales of Camelot, Avalon, the Holy Grail, and Lancelot, Gawain and Galahad, came later, expanded upon by folklore and successive writers.His writing helped give British consciousness a heroic figure to be proud of, and gave them hope in times of struggle against the Saxons.It is fair to say that, were it not for Geoffrey of Monmouth, the tales of Arthur and his knights may not have endured as it has; his tales greatly influenced the later well-known works by Sir Thomas Malory and Alfred Lord Tennyson. 
2.3.2. Music and musical festivals
Wales has produced an impressive list of influential and internationally successful music figures. The ‘60s and ‘70s saw the success of Welsh artists, such as Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey. Bonnie Tyler had hits in both the ‘80s and ‘90s. Wales has what is thought to be the world’s oldest record business. Spillers Records in Cardiff has been in business since 1894.
National Eisteddfod of Wales. The Welsh eisteddfodau are popular festivals of culture, song and dance. The biggest of these eisteddfodau is the National Eisteddfod of Wales – a mix of pageantry and poetry, dance, theatre, choral singing and rock music that attracts more than 150,000 visitors annually.
The International Musical Eisteddfod at Llangollen attracts musicians and dancers from around the world. Luciano Pavarotti made his first international appearance at Llangollen, when as a young adult he performed with his choir from Modena.
The Cardiff Singer of the World Competition is considered one of the most prestigious competitions in the opera world. There are also such festivals as Brecon Jazz (one of the biggest jazz festivals in Europe), The Wakestock Festival (Europe’s largest wakeboard music festival), Merthyr Rock (a new music festival, launched in September 2011) It had great success in its first year and hosted acts such as Ocean Colour Scene, Skindred, The Blackout and Funeral For A Friend. 
2.3.3. Sports and activities
The most favourite sport in Wales is rugby. Activities that are popular among the Welsh and tourists are wakeboarding, coasteering, golf, diving, caving, horse riding, fishing, cycling, mountain biking, walking, exploring marvelous landscapes.
2.3.4. Food. Food festivals.
The Welsh are still rightly fond of their traditional favourite food. Laverbread, not actually bread at all but seaweed, is often fried into crisp patties with eggs, bacon and fresh cockles for a traditional Welsh breakfast, a Welsh afternoon tea with Bara Brith (which translates as speckled bread), a wonderful sticky fruitcake smothered in butter, Welsh Cakes, a type of scone cooked on a stove-top griddle.
The Welsh pride themselves on supplying some of the finest products in the world – lamb and cheese.
Nearly every weekend, there's a food festival somewhere in Wales. There are small local festivals as well as large international ones. The Welsh like the Cardiff International Food & Drink Festival that attracts food producers and suppliers from Cardiff’s twin towns of Nantes, Stuttgart and Hordland alongside Welsh produce. There are lots of food festivals in Cardiff throughout the year. The most well-known festival is The Abergavenny Food Festival. 
2.3.5. Traditions and customs
These are some of Welsh traditions, some of which date back many centuries, while others are a little more recent. They include Calennig, Mari Lwyd and Noson Gyflaith (Toffee Evening). Calennig means New Year celebration/gift. These days children still carry out the tradition of calling door to door in some parts of Wales and money is given to them.
Noson Gyflaith (Toffee Evening)/Taffy. On Christmas Eve families made Toffee or ‘Taffy’. The National Museum of Wales has a great recipe and more information on the custom of taffy making.
The Mari Lwyd (the Grey Mare) is a pre-Christian tradition said to bring good luck. People made a horse figure from a horse’s skull, with decorative ears and eyes attached. The Mari Lwyd and its party would go door-to-door, singing and challenging the families inside to a battle of rhyming insults in Welsh. At the end of the battle of wits (known as pwnco) the group would be invited into the house for refreshments. This old tradition died out in many parts of Wales, but some parts still act it out and every December you can see it at the St Fagans: National History Museum.
An old tradition in Wales was Plygain - singing from 3-6am on Christmas Day.
There are lots of fun runs taking place in winter, including theNos Galan Races. The races commemorate the Welsh runner Guto Nyth Bran. The 5 km race is held every new year’s eve in Mountain Ash, in the Cynon Valley, South Wales, the Races follow a 5km route around the town. There are many legends about Guto Nyth Bran. He is said to know how he could catch a bird in flight and that he once ran seven miles (to Pontypridd, South Wales and back) before the kettle boiled.
The giving and receiving of lovespoons between lovers, friends and family is a Welsh custom that dates back to the 17th century. The earliest surviving Welsh lovespoon is dated 1667 and can be found at St Fagans Museum of Welsh life, but the custom was widespread before that date. Today lovespoons are very popular and used to mark and celebrate many occasions such as births, christenings, weddings, anniversaries and retirement.
Symbols and meanings
Bell – weddings, anniversariesBall(s) in cage – number of childrenCross – faithDiamond – wealth, good fortuneHeart – LoveHorseshoe – good luckKey/Keyhole – security, homeDragon – Protection, symbol of Wales
Every year on 25 January the Welsh celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day, the Welsh patron saint of lovers. The story of Dwynwen dates back to the 5th century, when Dwynwen fell in love with a Prince called Maelon Dafodrill. Her father, Brychan Brycheiniog, was determined that she would marry another man. Dwynwen was devastated that she couldn’t marry her true love and begged God to make her forget Maelon. An angel visited Dwynwen and gave her a potion. The potion was supposed to make her have no memory of Maelon and turned him into a block of ice. Dwynwen was then granted three wishes. Firstly she wished for Maelon to be thawed, secondly that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers and thirdly she wished that she would never marry. Dwynwen devoted the rest of life to God’s service, founding a convent on the island of Llanddwyn, north west Wales. You can still see the remains of the church on the island today. On the island there is a well where, according to legend, a sacred fish swims. It is said that the fish can predict the happiness of relationships. Visitors still go to the well today, hoping that the water will boil, meaning that love and good luck will follow them.
Hen Galan. Most of us in the UK and western world celebrate New Year on 1 January, following the Gregorian calendar.However in the Gwaun Valley, Pembrokeshire people celebrate the New Year on 13 January, following the older Julian calendar.
3. Practical part
Taking up the research we started with choosing the subject of the research, then defining the topic. Having chosen the subject we defined the goals of the research. The main goals are to find out the knowledge of Wales topic at the secondary school of Voznesenovka and the most rare and interesting information about Wales.
3.1. The students’ results of the quiz
We made up a quiz of 10 questions (with multiple choice) and tested the students of Voznesenovka secondary school. The amount of students studying in the 6th-11th forms is 51. The results of the answers can be seen in the following diagram:
Questions 1,2,4,9 concern some general information about Wales. These facts are usually taught at the English lessons. That is why most of the students of our school managed to answer them correctly. Questions 3,5,6,7,8,10 deal with some more peculiar information. The students’ results of the quiz on Wales pointed out that Wales is well-known as a part of the UK. The students know quiet well some very general facts about Wales. But as it has been awaited, they do not know some peculiarities and historic background of some events.
3.2. Sociological survey
We’ve made a sociological survey asking ordinary people 3 questions about Wales: grown-ups, our students’ parents, teachers of different subjects, grandparents, relatives, neighbours, passers-by. The goal was to find out what is known about Wales at all. The questions were “What is Wales”, “Where is Wales situated?”, “Could you say what Wales is famous for?”
You can look at the diagram showing the results of the survey:
So, it’s clear that Wales is just known in general or as a part of the UK, few people know its special national characteristics or something making Wales different from other countries.
Taking all the results into account we decided to find out the peculiarities and most interesting information about Wales and prove that Wales is a very unique and interesting country. We managed to find out a lot of very interesting information about Wales which is presented in the body of this research paper. So, the research made has proved that Wales is not just a smaller brother of the UK, but it has a great deal of its own. Wales is worth studying and visiting because of its unique history, mythology and legends, culture and traditions, its marvelous landscapes and nature, medieval castles.
3.3. Some more interesting facts about Wales
Studying an amount of different information about Wales we have pointed out some facts that are not known to everyone and can be quite impressive:
There are 398 natural lakes in Wales.
Robert Recorde of Pembrokeshire invented the “equal to” sign.
The letters K, Q, V and Z do not appear in the Welsh alphabet at all.
The population sheep in Wales is four times greater than the Welsh population of humans.
Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) in Gwynedd is according to legend, inhabited by a friendly monster known as Teggie. However it's over 4 miles long so there's still lots of room for canoeing, kayaking and wind surfing.
Snowdonia's Lake Vyrnwy has a deep past. The dam that created the lake, completed in 1888, submerged the whole village of Llanwddyn. At times when the water level drops far enough, during dry summers, the ruins of the old village reappear.
The Smithfield Livestock Market in Welshpool, Montgomeryshire, is the largest one-day sheep market in Europe.
Wales has one of the UK's oldest multi-ethnic communities in Cardiff, in the area of Tiger Bay. 
The Lower Swansea Valley was the largest copper processing area in the world at the end of the 19th century. Hafod Works were at the time the largest copper works on Earth. By 1873, the Landore district of Swansea boasted the world's largest steelworks, founded by German-born engineer William Siemens.
Cardiff used to be the world's biggest exporter of coal and iron. When it opened in 1839, the West Bute Dock was the largest masonry dock on the planet. The city's Coal Exchange, established in 1886, used to determine the price of the world's coal.
Founded in 1832, the Festiniog Railway is the oldest independent railway company in the world. In 1863, Ffestiniog became the first narrow-gauge railway in the world to carry passengers. One of its original steam engines, the Prince, is still running, making it the world's oldest steam locomotive in service.
In 1951, the Talyllyn Railway became part of the world's first railway preservation society.
The village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is famous for having the longest place name in Europe (58 letters). The name of its railway station is the longest in the world. It is more commonly known as Llanfair PG or Llanfairpwll. In Russian it sounds like «Церковь Святой Марии в ложбине поросшей белым орешником рядом со стремительным водоворотом Святого Тесильo около красной пещеры». The village's official website holds the Guinness Book record of the world's longest valid Internet domain name. Now you can test your memory and try to re-type it all without mistake.
Notable Americans of (at least partial) Welsh descent include presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge, but also William Penn (who founded Pennsilvania), J. P. Morgan (bank & securities), architect Frank Lloyd Wright, aviator and film producer Howard Hughes (whose life was immortalised in the Academy Award-winning movie "The Aviator"), senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Hollywood actor Tom Cruise. 
Wales is the only part of the UK not to be represented on the Union Flag (Union Jack) 
1/5 of the whole territory of Wales is a national park. 
We can come to conclusion that Wales is little known and spoken about at our school. But our research and a great amount of the found interesting information have proved that Wales is much more interesting country for studying and visiting than we may think. Wales deserves to be spoken about as a unique country with its immense historical background, its culture, its traditions, its nature and people.
An old Welsh proverb says “The Celt always fights and always loses”. Military and politically this has been true of the Welsh but out of the centuries of ceaseless struggle the Welshman emerged victorious spiritually – they preserved their artistic sense, their indefinable passion for music and poetry. With extraordinary tenacity Welsh people cling to their traditions, customs, their language and their own way of life.
Нестерова Н. М. Страноведение: Великобритания/ Н. М. Нестерова. – Ростов н/Д.: Феникс, 2005. – 368 с.
Мабиногион. Волшебные легенды Уэльса. Научно-издательский центр "Ладомир", Москва, 1995
A quiz about Wales (for the pupils of the 6th – 11th grades)
Wales is …
a country in South America
a part of the UK
The capital of Wales is …
3. Wales has more … per square mile than any country in the world.
The patron saint of Wales is …
Which actor came from the same town as Richard Burton?
Catherine Zeta Jones
Dylan Thomas is a Welsh …
The large number of the Welsh towns start with “Llan” which means…
The first line of the Welsh national anthem translates as ...
God bless the prince
Land of the brave
Land of my fathers
My country, my country
The official emblem of Wales is …
the red rose
the white rose
Which of these politicians became the Prime Minister of UK ?
David Lloyd George
The keys: 1. d); 2. a); 3. c); 4. b); 5. b); 6. d); 7. b); 8. c); 9. a); 10. a).