Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Monthly topic: THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is an annual one-day holiday to give thanks, traditionally to God, for the things one has at the close of the harvest season. In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, and in Canada it is celebrated on the second Monday in October. In the United Kingdom, Thanksgiving is another name for the Harvest festival, held in churches across the country on a relevant Sunday to mark the end of the local harvest, though it is not thought of as a major event (compared to Christmas or Easter) as it is in North America, where this tradition taken by early settlers became much more important. Other European countries, such as Germany, also have harvest-thanks (Erntedank) celebrations which are perceived to be rather minor and mostly rural holidays.[1]

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Halloween history Choosing a pumpkin Halloween is derived from an ancient Celtic festival, Samhain. This was one of the Celts four 'Grand Sabbats' along with Candlemas, Beltane and Lammas. Samhain, on October 31st, marked the end of the pagan year and the beginning of winter.
Pre-Christian Europeans held four major pagan festivals each year, including one on 31st October - Samhain. In a world dominated by the seasons it marked the end of the agricultural year and the onset of winter.
It was believed that on that night the barriers between our world and the spirit world were at their weakest. Weak enough, in fact, to allow the souls of the dead to return to earth in search of the warmth and light of their former lives.

Samhain is a fire festivalBonfires were lit at Samhain to impart heat and strength to the sun for the coming winter, whilst keeping away any mischevious spirits who might otherwise have delighted in causing fright! Of course it was also an excuse for a big party.
In England, turnips were hollowed out and made into lanterns with faces - intended to scare away any troublemakers from the spirit world.This tradition crossed the Atlantic to North America, where Pumpkins were used as lanterns, intended to guide the spirits to a place where a portion of the festival meal would be left for them.
The early Christian church soon realised that since the pagan festivals were enjoyed so much by the majority they would not be abolished easily.Instead, they were adopted into the Christian calendar, usually with some adaptation. Samhain was officially recognised by Pope John 14th in 1006, as All Hallows Eve, the night before All Souls Day (November 1st - already a Christian festival).
The pagan elements of the festival received bad press from the Church, who believed Samhain to be nothing more than an excuse for witches to make trouble. It was 'played down' and eventually reduced to an evening of pranks when children would dress up and play games. Over time the name was shortened to Halloween.

Poor Guy, burning againIn 1604 Guy Fawkes may have failed in his plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament, but he unwittingly provided an excuse to move the bonfire festival from 31st October to 5th November, at the same time disguising the pagan connection.
Pagan religions have enjoyed a revival in recent years and the old fire festival of Samhain is still practiced in its pre-Halloween form by pagan groups around the world, many of whom see it as their New Year's Eve. Halloween has become very popular in America, where children dress in ghoulish costumes and go out to 'trick or treat', playing tricks on their neighbours unless they are given a treat, usually of sweets.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Prince of Wales is the eldest son of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. He was born on 14 November, 1948 and christened Charles Philip Arthur George on 15 December that year in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace.
The Prince of Wales married Mrs Camilla Parker Bowles on 9 April 2005 at a civil ceremony at the Guildhall in Windsor, followed by a service of prayer and dedication in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
After the wedding, Mrs Parker Bowles became known as HRH ( His Royal Higness ) The Duchess of Cornwall. When The Prince of Wales accedes to the throne, she will be known as HRH The Princess Consort.

El Príncipe de Gales es el hijo de la Reina y del Duque de Edimburgo. Nació el 14 de Noviembre y fue bautizado con el nombre de Carlos Felipe Arturo Jorge el 15 de diciembre de 1948 en la Sala de Música del Palacio deBuckingham.
El Príncipe de Gales se casó con Camila Parker Bowles el 9 de abril en una ceremonia civil en Guildhall en Windsor, seguida de un oficio de oración y entrega en la capilla de San Jorge, en el castillo de Windsor.
Después de la ceremonia, Camila Parker Bowles se convertiría en la ahora conocida como la duquesa de Cornwall. Cuando el Príncipe de Gales suba al trono, ella será conocida como S.A.R ( Su Real Majestad) la Princesa Consorte.
posted by Noelia @
Monday, October 09, 2006 0 comments
Sunday, October 08, 2006