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jueves, 23 de junio de 2016

SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST DAY AND EVE

The evening of 23 JuneSt John's Eve, is the eve of celebration before the Feast Day of St John the Baptist. The Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:36, 56–57) states that John was born about six months before Jesus, therefore the feast of John the Baptist was fixed on 24 June six months before Christmas. This feast day is one of the very few saints' days to mark the supposed anniversary of the birth, rather than the death, of the saint commemorated.
The Feast of St John coincides with the June solstice also referred to as Midsummer. The Christian holy day is fixed at 24 June but in some countries, festivities are celebrated the night before on St John's Eve.




What do people do?
Saint John the Baptist Day is celebrated in many villages and towns. Many events take place on the evening of June 23. People celebrate Saint John the Baptist Day by:
  • Lighting bonfires, jumping over small fires (correfocs) and setting off fireworks.
  • Writing wishes or sins on a piece of paper and burning the paper.
  • Diving or bathing in dew, a stream, a river or the sea.
  • Staying awake all night near a small fire.
  • Watching the sun rise on the morning of June 24.
  • Collecting and cooking with the herbs thyme, rosemary and verbena.
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MIDSUMMER'S EVE

Midsummer Eve is fast approaching. Midsummer may simply refer to the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, but more often refers to specific European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice, or that take place around the 24th of June and the preceding evening. The exact dates vary between cultures.
European midsummer-related holidays, traditions, and celebrations are pre-Christian in origin.

When is Midsummer's Day?
Midsummer's Day, the middle of summer, falls on on 24 June, after the longest day (Summer Solstice). Before the change of calendars, Midsummer's day fell on 5 July.
Why are Midsummer's Day and the Summer Solstice not on the same day?
The longest day in the northern hemisphere is today either the 20th or 21st of June, whilst Midsummer's Day in Europe is traditionally on 24 June.This discrepancy is said to have been caused by the variants of the Julian Calendar and the Tropical Year further confused by the Gregorian Calendar.
What used to happen on Midsummer's Eve?
Midsummer's Eve is a time associated with witches, magic, fairies and dancing.On the eve of Midsummer's Day, many bonfires were lit all over the country. This was in praise of the sun, for the days were getting shorter and the sun appeared to be getting weaker, so people would light fires to try and strengthen the sun.
Midsummer's Eve today
Practice of this ancient ritual, which also includes a Summer Solstice Circle Dance, is now mainly confined to Cornwall, the West Country, and London's Hampstead Heath.
Midsummer's Superstitions
Roses are of special importance on Midsummer's Eve. It is said that any rose picked on Midsummer's Eve, or Midsummer's Day will keep fresh until Christmas.
At midnight on Midsummer's Eve, young girls should scatter rose petals before them and say:

Rose leaves, rose leaves,
Rose leaves I strew.
He that will love me
Come after me now.

Then the next day, Midsummer's Day, their true love will visit them.

MIDSUMMER'S EVE IN SPAIN

The traditional midsummer party in Spain is the celebration in honour of San Juan (St. John the Baptist) and takes place in the evening of June 23. It is common in many areas of the country. Parties are organised usually at beaches, where bonfires are lit and a set of firework displays usually take place. On the Mediterranean coast, especially in Catalonia and València, special meals like Coca de Sant Joan are also served on this occasion. In Alicante, since 1928, the bonfires of Saint John were developed into elaborate constructions inspired by the Fallas of Valencia.

Midsummer tradition is also especially strong in northern areas of the country, such as Galicia, where one can easily identify the rituals that reveal the pagan beliefs widespread throughout Europe in Neolithic times. These beliefs pivot on three basic ideas: the importance of medicinal plants, especially in relation to health, youth and beauty; the protective character of fire to ward men off evil spirits and witches and, finally, the purifying, miraculous effects of water.
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lunes, 20 de junio de 2016

FIRST DAY OF SUMMER 2016: THE SUMMER SOLSTICE



This June, 2016, the solstice and full Moon coincide—a rare event, indeed.

WHEN IS THE SUMMER SOLSTICE?





In 2016, the solstice falls on June 20 at 6:34 p.m. EDT. This is the “summer” solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.
The timing of the solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its northernmost point of the equator.

WHAT IS THE SUMMER SOLSTICE?

The word solstice is from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop at this time (and again at the winter solstice).
In temperate regions, we notice that the Sun is higher in the sky throughout the day, and its rays strike Earth at a more direct angle, causing the efficient warming we call summer. 
This summer solstice is the day with the most hours of sunlight during the whole year. See our handy sunrise and sunset calculator for how many hours of sunlight you get in your location.
At the winter solstice, just the opposite occurs: The Sun is at its southernmost point and is low in the sky. Its rays hit the Northern Hemisphere at an oblique angle, creating the feeble winter sunlight.

jueves, 16 de junio de 2016

HAPPY BLOOMSDAY




June the 16th is Bloomsday when Ireland celebrates the life of James Joyce. Bloomsday is a commemoration observed annually in Dublin and elsewhere in the world to celebrate the life of Irish writer James Joyce and recall the events in his novel Ulysses, all of which took place on the same day in Dublin in 1904. Joyce chose the date because his first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle happened on that day. The name derives from Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Ulysses.

James Joyce lived for a time in Martello Tower situated beside the Forty Foot bathing place at Sandycove, a small village 7 miles south of Dublin. The opening scene of Joyce's Ulysses is set in this tower, which now hosts a small Joycean museum. Its people celebrate it with readings, music, songs, walking tours, and of course eating and drinking.


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martes, 14 de junio de 2016

ROYAL ASCOT : 14th - 18tht JUNE_2016


The centrepiece of Ascot’s year, Royal Ascot is one of Europe's most famous race meetings, and dates back to 1711 when it was founded by Queen Anne. Every year Royal Ascot is attended by HM Elizabeth II and various members of the British Royal Family such as The Prince of Wales, arriving each day in a horse-drawn carriage with the Royal procession taking place at the start of each race day and the raising of the Queens royal Standard. It is a major event in the British social calendar, and press coverage of the attendees and what they are wearing often exceeds coverage of the actual racing. There are 3 enclosures attended by guests on Royal Ascot week.
 The Dress is strictly enforced, for Ladies only a day dress with a hat or fascinator is acceptable with rules applying to the length of the dress and ladies must not show bare midriffs or shoulders. For gentlemen a black or grey morning dress with top hat.
Over 300,000 people make the annual visit to Berkshire during Royal Ascot week, making this Europe’s best-attended race meeting. This leads to a split among racing fans, some of whom are glad to see racing in the spotlight, and getting more attention, while others do not like the meeting despite the quality of racing.
There are 16 Group races on offer, with at least one Group One event on each of the five days. The Ascot Gold Cup is on Ladies' Day on the Thursday. There is over £3,000,000 of prize money on offer.

WEB INFORMATION



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FLAG DAY 14th JUNE - USA

On 14 June 1777, the Continental Congress approved the design of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the U.S. The first Flag Act was passed on this day stating that "the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."
Between 1777 and 1960, US Congress passed several acts that changed the shape, design and arrangement of the flag and allowed for additional stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state.
Today the flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with 6 white. The stripes represent the original 13 colonies, the stars represent the 50 states of the Union.

What do the colours red, white and blue represent?

The colours of the flag are symbolic as well: Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valour, White symbolizes Purity and Innocence and Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.

What do the fifty stars represent today?
Today the number of stars on the US flag has grown to 50 from the original 13. Since 1818, the stars have represented every state in the Union.

What do the thirteen stripes represent?
They represented the thirteen American colonies which rallied around the new flag in their fight against the British for self-governance.

The thirteen colonies included Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia. 

sábado, 11 de junio de 2016

TROPPING THE COLOUR 2016


Queen's Birtday Parade, Horse Guards Parade

Trooping the Colour / Queen's Birthday Parade

In June each year the highlight of the ceremonial calendar, Trooping the Colour, also known as 'The Queen's Birthday Parade' takes place on Horse Guards Parade in London.





Trooping the Colour 2016
The dates for Trooping the Colour and the two reviews in 2016 are:

Major General’s Review - Saturday 28th May.
The Colonel’s Review - Saturday 4th June
Queen’s Birthday Parade - Saturday 11th June

The Coldstream Guards Colour will be Trooped at the Queen’s Birthday Parade this year.
Although The Queen was born on 21 April, it has long been the tradition to celebrate the Sovereign's Birthday in the summer.
More than 1,400 officers and men and approximately 400 musicians from the Massed Bands of the Household Division take part in Trooping the Colour and the Reviews which are full dress rehearsals for the Queen's Birthday Parade.

The Ceremony

The Queen travels down The Mall from Buckingham Palace, by carriage, with a Sovereign's escort from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.
As the clock on Horse Guards chimes eleven Her Majesty The Queen arrives to take the Royal Salute from the officers and men of the Household Division on parade.
After the salute The Queen rides up and down the ranks, in her carriage, inspecting the troops on parade.
After the massed bands have performed a musical 'troop', the Regimental Colour being trooped is escorted down the ranks of Guards.

The Foot Guards and the Household Cavalry then march past Her Majesty, and The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, rank past with their Guns.
The Queen, in a carriage, rides back to Buckingham Palace at the head of her Guards, before taking the salute at the Palace from a dais in front of the palace railings as the troops march past on the way to their barracks.
Her Majesty The Queen joins other members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past by the Royal Air Force at 1 'o' clock.

About The Colour

Trooping the Colour originated from traditional preparations for battle when a Regiment's Colour was carried, or "trooped", down the ranks so that they could be seen and recognised by the soldiers who would use them as a rallying point in the confusion of battle.

miércoles, 18 de mayo de 2016

INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM DAY_ 18th MAY 2016

Every year since 1977 International Museum Day is organised worldwide around May 18.

This day is an occasion to raise awareness on how important museums are in the development of society.
Each year’s International Museum Day theme is proposed by ICOM’s network and aims to promote museum issues within society.
In 2016, the event will celebrate the theme:Museums and Cultural Landscapes.
The theme Museums and Cultural Landscapes makes museums responsible for their landscapes, asking them to contribute knowledge and expertise and take an active role in their management and upkeep. The primary mission of museums is to oversee heritage, whether it be inside or outside their walls. Their natural vocation is to expand their mission and implement their own activities in the open field of cultural landscape and heritage that surrounds them and for which they can assume varying degrees of responsibility.  

Download the Poster


Highlighting the link between museums and cultural heritage enhances the idea of museums as territorial centres involved in actively protecting the cultural landscape.

Would you like to know more? Check the International Museum Day websitehttp://imd.icom.museum 


viernes, 13 de mayo de 2016

REPORTED SPEECH

Reported Speech

REPORTED SPEECH - ONLINE EXERCISES

Try these exercises online to revise Reported Speech.

Reported Speech exercises
Reported Speech 2 exercises
Reported Speech 3 exercises
Reported1
Reportedspeech/statements
Change to Reported Speech
Reported Speech/commands
Reported Speech Questions
Reported Speech sentences
Reported Speech sentences 2
Reported Speech sentences 3
She said.... He said....
Reported Speech Quiz

REPORTED SPEECH






Reported Speech Exercises
1 / 2 / 3 / 4




THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SAY AND TELL




Reporting Verbs "Say / tell / ask" Exercises


REPORTED SPEECH EXERCISES

Here you have several exercises to practise Reported Speech:


REPORTED SPEECH 2

REPORTED SPEECH LISTENING




SAY, TELL, ASK

lunes, 9 de mayo de 2016

EUROPE DAY - 9th MAY


Cartoon of a man and woman running pulling along items such as a plaster and a graduate cap suspended above them like balloons
On 9 May 1950, Robert Schuman, the first President of the European Parliamentary Assembly, presented his proposal on the creation of an organised Europe, indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations.

This proposal, known as the 'Schuman declaration', is considered to be the beginning of the creation of what is now the European Union. Today, 9 May has become Europe Day, which is the occasion for activities and festivities that bring Europe closer to its citizens and the peoples of the Union closer to one another.
                 

EUROPEAN FLAG



EUROPEAN ANTHEM

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martes, 3 de mayo de 2016

THE MAY CROSS FESTIVAL


During the month of May, the people of Spain create thousands of crosses, decorated with flowers. These floral works of art are displayed in gardens, churches, patios and in the streets. These are made to celebrate the Festival de la Cruz de Mayo (The May Cross Festival).


This festival takes place all over Spain and each province has its own styles and characteristics. They are usually richly ornamented and often consist of more than 300 carnations.

ORIGINS 
Religiously, the festival is rooted in the search by the Byzantine Empress Saint Helena for the cross on which Jesus died, but the popular traditions connected to the festival certainly originate from pagan traditions brought to Spain by the Roman Empire.
The legend is that Emperor Constantine I, in the sixth year of his reign, confronted the barbarians on the banks of the Danube, in a battle where victory was believed to be impossible because of the great size of the enemy army. One night, Constantine had a vision of a cross in the sky, and by it the words "In hoc signo vincis" (With this sign, you shall be victorious). The emperor had a cross made and put it at the front of his army, which won an easy victory over the enemy multitude. On returning to the city and learning the significance of the cross, Constantine was baptized as a Christian and gave orders to construct Christian churches. He sent his mother, Saint Helena, to Jerusalem in search of the True Cross, the cross on which Jesus died. Once there, Helena summoned the wisest priests to aid in her attempt to find the cross. On Calvary Hill, traditionally considered the site of Jesus's crucifixion, she found three bloody logs hidden. In order to discover which was the True Cross, she placed the logs one by one over sick people, and even dead people, who were cured or resuscitated at the touch of the True Cross. The veneration of the True Cross, and the use of pieces of the True Cross as relics, begins at this time. Santa Helena died praying for all believers in Christ to celebrate the commemoration of the day the Cross was found.


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domingo, 1 de mayo de 2016

THE MAY CROSSES FESTIVAL

May Crosses

WITH LOVE ON MOTHER'S DAY






Sometimes children do learn the lessons they get from mothers and these lessons stay with them all their lives:



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INTERNATIONAL WORKERS' DAY - 1ST MAY


Around the world, on May 1st, millions of men, women, and children will flood the streets of towns and cities, waving flags and joyously hurling songs to the sky. Laughing, marching, chanting, cheering. All over the globe masses of people will join for one day across national, racial, religious, and linguistic boundaries to celebrate the greatest of supranational secular holidays: International Workers.


May Day was created as a celebration of the struggle of American Workers. International Workers Day is the commemoration of the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago in 1886, when Chicago police fired on and killed workers during a general strike for the Eight Hour Day.

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MAY DAY

The first day of the month of May is known as May Day. It is the time of year when warmer weather begins and flowers and trees start to blossom. It is said to be a time of love and romance. It is when people celebrate the coming of summer with lots of different customs that are expressions of joy and hope after a long winter.
Traditional English May Day celebrations include Morris dancing, crowning a May Queen and dancing around a Maypole.

The beginning of Summer
Although summer does not officially begin until June, May Day marks its beginning. May Day celebrations have their origins in the Roman festival of Flora, goddess of fruit and flowers, which marked the beginning of summer. It was held annually from April 28th to May 3rd.


viernes, 29 de abril de 2016

THE BOOK FAIR IN MÁLAGA 29th APRIL - 8th MAY

Another year is being celebrated the Book Fair in many Spanish cities, the annual meeting with news of the publishing world and bookselling in general. 



In Malaga the Book fair is celebrating from the 20th  April to 8th of May its 45 edition in the Palmeral de las Sorpresas. The Book Fair is also a good opportunity to enjoy the beautiful PORT and  of the best view in Malaga during an excellent season. 

If you want to find rarities, old books, comics, encyclopedias, and lots more, just wander to  along the port. If you like reading, this is your opportunity to roam about and buy whatever you want. 

Around fifty posts turn the Palmeral de las Sorpresas in a great celebration of the written with the presence many local and national authors. 

sábado, 23 de abril de 2016

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE





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MACBETH


The play opens with Macbeth and Banquo, two of the Scottish King Duncan's generals returning from battle when they encounter three witches in the woods. The witches tell Macbeth of how he will become the Thane of Cawdor and then the King of Scotland. For Banquo, they prophesize that he will beget the line of Scottish Kings, though he will never become king himself. The two are sufficiently skeptical and continue their journey home. The play opens with Macbeth and Banquo, two of the Scottish King Duncan's generals returning from battle when they encounter three witches in the woods. The witches tell Macbeth of how he will become the Thane of Cawdor and then the King of Scotland. For Banquo, they prophesize that he will beget the line of Scottish Kings, though he will never become king himself. The two are sufficiently skeptical and continue their journey home.


However, when the two come closer to the encampment, they are presented with a messenger from King Duncan who announces that Macbeth has been made the Thane of Cawdor, immediately putting the prophecy into perspective, making Macbeth wonder how he might become king. He invites Duncan to dine at his castle that evening and goes ahead to tell his wife of the day's events.



Unlike Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is very sure of her husband's future, desiring the throne and telling him that they must murder Duncan to ensure his ascension. Immediately upon returning to his castle, Lady Macbeth is able to convince her husband to take initiative and murder Duncan that very night.



The two plan to get Duncan's chamberlains drunk enough that they will not remember the evening and blame them for the murder. When the body of Duncan is discovered in the morning, Macbeth quickly kills the "culprits" and assumes the kingship. All the while, Duncan's sons flee the country, afraid for their own lives.



Immediately, Macbeth's misgivings and trust in the prophecies force his hand in the murder of Banquo and his son Fleance as well, afraid that his heirs will seize the throne. Successfully killing Banquo, the murderers fail to kill Fleance.


The night of his murder, Banquo's ghost appears to Macbeth and sends him into hysteria, scaring his guests and angering his wife. His very presence as the king of Scotland has angered the other nobles and further incites Macbeth's misgivings and paranoia.


To ease his fears, he visits the witches again and they offer to him more prophecies. He must beware ofMacduff, a chief opponent to Macbeth taking the throne. He cannot be harmed by any man born of woman and he is safe until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane Castle. He returns home and finds that Macduff has fled to England to join Malcolm. In fear, Macbeth seizes Macduff's castle and orders the murder of his wife and children, inciting Macduff to further rage. With Malcolm, the two raise an army and ride to Scotland to take on Macbeth with the support of the Scottish nobles who fear Macbeth's tyranny and murderous ways.



While Macbeth awaits his opponents, Lady Macbeth is in the process of going mad, unable to wash the blood from her hands. The news of her suicide reaches Macbeth directly before the arrival of the English forces and sends him into an even deeper despair. He awaits confidently as the prophecy foretold his invulnerability. However, Macduff's forces arrive under the cover of boughs cut from Birnam wood. When Macbeth is finally confronted by Macduff after his forces have been overwhelmed, Macduff announces that he was "ripped from his mother's womb" not born and ultimately defeats and beheads Macbeth, handing the crown back to Malcolm, the rightful heir.

SHAKESPEARE AND MACBETH

60-SECOND SHAKESPEARE60-On this page, a summary of the play in tabloid style from the BBC.



MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRA'S LIFE

No name is more associated with Spanish literature — and perhaps with classic literature in general — than that of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. He was the author of El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha, which is sometimes referred to as the first European novel and which has been translated into nearly every major language, making it one of the most widely distributed books after the Bible.



WORLD BOOK DAY

World Book and Copyright Day - April 23
By celebrating this Day throughout the world, UNESCO seeks to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright.
23 April: a symbolic date for world literature for on this date and in the same year of 1616, Cervantes and Shakespeare all died. It was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity.

The idea for this celebration originated in Catalonia where on 23 April, Saint George's Day, a rose is traditionally given as a gift for each book sold. St. George's day is celebrated in and around Catalonia and has been celebrated since 1436. He is the patron Saint of Catalonia.
In Catalonia St. George's day coincides with the Fair of the Book and the Rose. On this day every man offers a rose to his loved one (wife or fiancée), and in return she gives him a book. The book is in memory of Cervantes. This custom was started in 1926, to commemorate Cervantes death (author of "Don Quixote").

Get information about Shakespeare and Cervantes and do the test.
Good luck!



THE LEGEND OF SAINT GEORGE



St. GEORGE'S DAY 23rd APRIL

ST. GEORGE'S DAY (Patron Saint of England)


It is the church festival of St. George, regarded as England’s national day . On this day English people wear a rose pinned to their jackets.

St George's Day History

St George's Flag

St George's Day Celebration

The Legend of St George and the Dragon

Only in Britain

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