THE ENGLISH CLUB

THE ENGLISH CLUB

6 de diciembre de 2013

NELSON MANDELA DEATH



Nelson Mandela, who guided South Africa from the shackles of apartheid to multi-racial democracy and became an international icon of peace and reconciliation, died Thursday at age 95.

Nelson Mandela in 2003
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-nelson-mandela-dead-20131205,0,6266118.story

Nelson Mandela death: World reaction

People around the world have been reacting to the news that South Africa's first black president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has died, aged 95.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25250082

14 de abril de 2013

ABU ABDALLAH MUHAMMAD XII ( BOABDIL)

A forensic for Boabdil
  • A group of researchers believe they have found in Fez the tomb of the last king of Granada
  • The expert Basque Etxeberria and filmmaker Francisco Javier Balaguer lead inspections.

Abu `Abdallah Muhammad XII (Arabic: أبو عبد الله محمد الثاني عشر‎ Abū ‘Abd Allāh Muḥammad al-thānī ‘ashar) (c. 1460 – c. 1533), known as Boabdil (a Spanish rendering of the name Abu Abdullah), was the twenty-second and last Nasrid ruler of Granada in Iberia. He was also called el chico, the little, or el zogoybi, the unfortunate. Son of Abu l-Hasan Ali, sultan of the Emirate of Granada, he was proclaimed sultan in 1482 in place of his father, who was driven from the land.
Muhammad XII soon after sought to gain prestige by invading Castile. He was taken prisoner at Lucena in 1484. Between 1484 and 1487, he was held prisoner. Power returned to his father and then in 1485 to his uncle Muhammed XIII, also known as Abdullah el Zagal.

He only obtained his freedom and support to recover his throne in 1487 by consenting to hold Granada as a tributary kingdom under Ferdinand and Isabella, king and queen of Castile and Aragon, and not to intervene in the Siege of Málaga (1487), in which Málaga was taken.

1487 saw the fall of Baeza, Málaga and Almería. 1489 saw the fall of Almuñécar and Salobreña. By the beginning of 1491, Granada was the only Muslim-governed city in Spain.

In 1491, Muhammad XII was summoned by Ferdinand and Isabella to surrender the city of Granada, and on his refusal it was besieged by the Castilians. Eventually, on 2 January 1492, Granada was surrendered. In most sumptuous attire the royal procession moved from Santa Fe to a place a little more than a mile from Granada, where Ferdinand took up his position by the banks of the Genil.

Boabdil surrenders the keys of Granada to the Catholic Monarchs. 
La Rendición de Granada de Francisco Pradilla (1882).

Legend has it that as the royal party moved south toward exile, they reached a rocky prominence which gave a last view of the city. Muhammad XII reined in his horse and, surveying for the last time the Alhambra and the green valley that spread below, burst into tears. When his mother approached him she said :"Thou dost weep like a woman for what thou couldst not defend as a man."ابك اليوم بكاء النساء على ملك لم تحفظه حفظ الرجال Ibki l-yawma bukā'a n-nisā'i ʿalā mulkin lam taḥfuẓhu ḥifẓa r-rijāl

The farewells of King Boabdil at Granada
Alfred Dehodencq

The spot from which Muhammad XII looked for the last time on Granada is known as "the Moor's last sigh" (el último suspiro del Moro).

Muhammad XII was given an estate in Laujar de Andarax, Las Alpujarras, a mountainous area between the Sierra Nevada and the Mediterranean Sea, but he soon crossed the Mediterranean to Fes, Morocco.

9 de abril de 2013

MARGARET THATCHER DIES

Margaret Thatcher's death 
evokes polarized reaction

British politician had strong admirers, equally vocal opponents.

Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher has died "peacefully" at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke while staying at the Ritz hotel in central London.


David Cameron called her a "great Briton" and the Queen spoke of her sadness at the death. Lady Thatcher was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990. She was the first woman to hold the role.

She will not have a state funeral but will be accorded the same status as Princess Diana and the Queen Mother.The ceremony, with full military honours, will take place at London's St Paul's Cathedral.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22067155
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Thatcher

23 de febrero de 2013

ATTEMPTED COUP D'ETAT 1981

23-F was an attempted coup d'état in Spain that began on 23 February 1981 and ended on the following day. It is also known as El Tejerazo from the name of its most visible figure, Antonio Tejero, who led the failed coup's most notable event: the bursting into the Spanish Congress of Deputies by a group of 200 armed officers of the Guardia Civil during the process of electing Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo to be the country's new Prime Minister. King Juan Carlos I gave a nationally televised address denouncing the coup and urging the maintenance of law and the continuance of the democratically elected government. The coup soon collapsed. After holding the Parliament and cabinet hostage for 18 hours the hostage-takers surrendered the next morning without having harmed anyone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/23-F
http://www.antropologiavisual.net/2006/spanish-contemporany-history-on-tv-the-tejero%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Ccoup-d%E2%80%99etat%E2%80%9D-feb-1981/

10 de febrero de 2013

VALENTINE`S DAY


Valentine's Day is celebrated on 14th February, the feast day of St. Valentine. It is a traditional celebration in which lovers, partners and married couples express their love and affection for each other. In some countries it is known asThe Day of Lovers or The Day of Love and Friendship.

Saint Valentine





29 de diciembre de 2012

DAY OF INNOCENT SAINTS

The Day of the Innocent Saints falls on the 28th of December. It is a festivity of religious origin. It is celebrated today as a fun and lighthearted day in which jokes are played on family and friends .It is the Spanish equivalent of April fools' day! 

The Day of the Innocents is a commemoration of Christianity: the killing of all children under two years born in Bethlehem (Judea), ordered by King Herod to get rid of the newborn Jesus of Nazareth .

Massacre of the Innocents is the biblical narrative of infanticide and gendercide by Herod the Great, the Roman appointed King of the Jews. The historicity of the incident is "an open question that probably can never be definitively decided", but according to the Gospel of Matthew. Herod ordered the execution of all young male children in the village of Bethlehem, so as to avoid the loss of his throne to a newborn King of the Jews whose birth had been announced to him by the Magi. 

Massacre of the Innocents - by Pieter Pauwel RUBENS

The number of infants killed is not stated, however the Holy Innocents have been claimed as the first Christian martyrs.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_of_the_Innocents

26 de diciembre de 2012

BOXING DAY




Boxing Day is the 26th December and is a national holiday in the UK and Ireland.

The exact etymology of the term "boxing" is unclear. There are several competing theories, none of which is definitive.The European tradition, which has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions, has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown. It may come from a custom in the late Roman/early Christian era, wherein metal boxes placed outside churches were used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen, which in the Western Church falls on the same day as Boxing Day.

In Britain, it was a custom for tradesmen to collect "Christmas boxes" of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year.This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys' diary entry for 19 December 1663. This custom is linked to an older English tradition: Since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts and bonuses, and sometimes leftover food


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_Day
http://britishfood.about.com/od/christmas/p/boxingday.htm
http://gouk.about.com/od/whatsonindecember/qt/boxing_day.htm

19 de noviembre de 2012

HUMPTY DUMPTY


Humpty Dumpty is a character in an English language nursery rhyme, probably originally a riddle and one of the best known in the English-speaking world. Though not explicitly described, he is typically portrayed as an egg. The first recorded versions of the rhyme date from the early nineteenth century and the tune from 1870 in James William Elliott's National Nursery Rhymes and Nursery Songs. Its origins are obscure and several theories have been advanced to suggest original meanings.

Humpty Dumpty was a colloquial term used in fifteenth century England describing someone who was obese. This has given rise to various, but inaccurate, theories surrounding the identity of Humpty Dumpty. The image of Humpty Dumpty was made famous by the illustrations included in the 'Alice through the looking glass' novel by Lewis Carroll. However, Humpty Dumpty was not a person pilloried in the famous rhyme!

The character of Humpty Dumpty was popularised in the United States by actor George L. Fox (1825–77).
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humpty_Dumpty
http://www.rhymes.org.uk/humpty_dumpty.htm


Lyrics

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.


2 de noviembre de 2012

THE 14 EIGHT THOUSANDERS

All 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks are located in the Himalaya or the Karakoram ranges in Asia. According to Everestnews.com, only 14 climbers have reached the summits of all 14: Reinhold Messner (Italy) was first, followed by Jerzy Kukuczka (Poland), Ehardt Loretan (Switzerland), Carlos Carsolio (Mexico), Krzysztof Wielicki (Poland), Juan Oiarzabal (Spain), Sergio Martini (Italy), Park Young Seok (Korea), Hang-Gil Um (Korea), Alberto Inurrategui (Spain), Han Wang Yong (Korea), Ed Viesturs (U.S.), Alan Hinkes (British), and Silvio Mondinelli (Italy). I’ve always admired how some of the tallest mountains on Earth stitch even the most beautiful clouds, but I never had the curiosity to research and see which are the biggest mountain peaks, how people call them or exactly how tall they are. For those that don’t know, here is a list with world’s top 14 highest and a few details on each one. 

They’re all eight-thousanders.

Watch the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wD6i8ExkIDc

1 de noviembre de 2012

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ENGLISH

  • The most common letter in English is "e".
  • The most common vowel in English is "e", followed by "a".
  • The most common consonant in English is "r", followed by "t".
  • Every syllable in English must have a vowel (sound). Not all syllables have consonants. 
  • Only two English words in current use end in "-gry". They are "angry" and "hungry".
  • The word "bookkeeper" (along with its associate "bookkeeping") is the only unhyphenated English word with three consecutive double letters. Other such words, like "sweet-toothed", require a hyphen to be readily readable.
  • The word "triskaidekaphobia" means "fear of Friday the 13th". It also means "superstition about the number thirteen" in general.
  • More English words begin with the letter "s" than with any other letter.
  • A preposition is always followed by a noun (ie noun, proper noun, pronoun, noun group, gerund).
  • The word "uncopyrightable" is the longest English word in normal use that contains no letter more than once.
  • A sentence that contains all 26 letters of the alphabet is called a "pangram".The following sentence contains all 26 letters of the alphabet: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." This sentence is often used to test typewriters or keyboards.
  • The only word in English that ends with the letters "-mt" is "dreamt" (which is a variant spelling of "dreamed") - as well of course as "undreamt" :)
  • A word formed by joining together parts of existing words is called a "blend" (or, less commonly, a "portmanteau word"). Many new words enter the English language in this way. Examples are "brunch" (breakfast + lunch); "motel" (motorcar + hotel); and "guesstimate" (guess + estimate). Note that blends are not the same as compounds or compound nouns, which form when two whole words join together, for example: website, blackboard, darkroom.
  • The word "alphabet" comes from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet: alpha, bēta.
  • The dot over the letter "i" and the letter "j" is called a "superscript dot".
  • In normal usage, the # symbol has several names, for example: hash, pound sign, number sign.
  • In English, the @ symbol is usually called "the at sign" or "the at symbol".
  • Some words exist only in plural form, for example: glasses (spectacles), binoculars, scissors, shears, tongs, gallows, trousers, jeans, pants, pyjamas (but note that clothing words often become singular when we use them as modifiers, as in "trouser pocket").
  • The shortest complete sentence in English is the following. "I am."
  • The word "Checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat" meaning "the king is helpless". 
  • We pronounce the combination "ough" in 9 different ways, as in the following sentence which contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."
         http://www.englishclub.com/audio/ough.mp3

  • The longest English word without a true vowel (a, e, i, o or u) is "rhythm".
  • The only planet not named after a god is our own, Earth. The others are, in order from the Sun, Mercury, Venus, [Earth,] Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune.
  • There are only 4 English words in common use ending in "-dous": hazardous, horrendous, stupendous, and tremendous.
  • We can find 10 words in the 7-letter word "therein" without rearranging any of its letters: the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, ere, therein, herein.
                                                 ----------------------------------------------
  • There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple
  • English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. 
  • Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.
  • Quicksand works slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. 
  • And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham
  • If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth
  • One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese
  • If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? 
  • In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? 
  • Have noses that run and feet that smell
  • English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. 

28 de octubre de 2012

HALLOWEEN


Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of its original title "All Hallows' Evening") also known as All Hallows' Eve is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows. Most scholars believe that All Hallows' Eve was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain.Others maintain that it originated independently of Samhain.



Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (also known as "guising"), attending costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.

How did Halloween come about in Spain?



Halloween is more popular in the north of Spain due to ancestral links with celtic ancestors who arrived in this region around 3,000 years ago. Despite mixing with the indigenous Iberian culture, a great interest came about in holidays and celebrations imported from the Celtic world.

How do they celebrate Halloween in Spain?


Although Halloween is still a relatively new phenomenon in Spain, the Spanish people go all out for celebrating it to the maximum as with any kind of fancy dress festival. You will see many more people dressed up in outrageous costumes and parading the streets in larger groups than you would ever see in England. It is more popular in the north of Spain and celebrated much more in larger cities where you are bound to be invited to a costume party or see posters advertising them everywhere. Most shops and cafes have baskets of treats outside for trick or treaters.
Along Galicia’s northern coast it is traditional to carve pumpkins, light bonfires and consume “quemadas” fire water infused with herbs – claimed to be an ancient drink originating from the Celtic people a symbolic act to burn off bad luck and the negative energy associated with Halloween.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween

Activities for halloween

26 de octubre de 2012

2012 PRINCE OF ASTURIAS AWARDS


The Prince of Asturias Awards (Spanish: Premios Príncipe de Asturias) are a series of annual prizes awarded in Spain by the Prince of Asturias Foundation to individuals, entities or organizations from around the world who make notable achievements in the sciences, humanities, and public affairs. The prize was established on 24 September 1980 by the twelve year-old Felipe, Prince of Asturias, heir to the throne of Spain, "to consolidate links between the Principality and the Prince of Asturias, and to contribute to encouraging and promoting scientific, cultural and humanistic values that form part of mankind's universal heritage." The awards are presented in Oviedo, the capital of the Principality of Asturias, at a ceremony presided by Felipe, Prince of Asturias.


A sculpture, expressly created for the prize by Spanish sculptor Joan Miró, is presented yearly to the recipients of the prize.

http://www.fpa.es/en/2012-special

12 de agosto de 2012

THE OLYMPIC GAMES


The modern Olympic Summer Games are among the world's largest and most-watched sporting events. Every four years athletes from across the globe gather for weeks of intense competition for the glory of a prestigious Olympic gold medal, resulting in exciting triumphs and gut-wrenching failures that live on for years in the hearts and minds of both die-hard sports fans and casual observers. While the Games came under increasingly heavy criticism in the late 20th century for their turn away from pure amateurism and toward the growth of corporate sponsorships, the underlying drama of athletic competition at the highest level continues to captivate billions of people every Olympiad.

6 de junio de 2012

GARCÍA LORCA: "THE FITH AT FIVE"



Lorca is reborn  in Fuente Vaqueros each June 5.

A few metres from the room where his mother gave him birth, Federico is "reborn" on Tuesday in Fuente Vaqueros, where 114 years later unpublished documents retrieved a sample of the magazine "Gallo" and pays tribute to former first voice of the "5 at 5" which paid tribute to Lorca in 1976.





18 de mayo de 2012

DONNA SUMMER DEAD: Queen Of Disco Dies At 63


Donna Summer died Thursday morning after a battle with lung cancer.
Lovingly named the "Queen of Disco," the 63-year-old was in Florida at the time of her death, according to TMZ. Born LaDonna Adrian Gaines, the 5-time Grammy award winner rose to fame in the '70s with hits like "Hot Stuff," "Bad Girls" and "Love to Love You Baby."



Find more details:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/17/donna-summer-dead-queen-of-disco-dies_n_1524410.html



22 de abril de 2012

SAINT GEORGE'S DAY

Saint George is the patron saint of England. He's popularly identified with England and English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry - but actually he wasn't English at all. Very little, if anything, is known about the real Saint George. He is patron saint not only of England but also of Aragon, Catalonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, Germany and Greece; and of Moscow, Istanbul, Genoa and Venice (second to Saint Mark). He's also patron saint of soldiers, archers, cavalry and chivalry, farmers and field workers, riders and saddlers, and he helps those suffering from leprosy, plague and syphilis. In recent years he has been adopted as patron saint of Scouts.

Everything about Saint George is dubious, so the information below should be taken as mythical rather than real.

  • Born in Cappadocia, an area which is now in Turkey
  • Lived in 3rd century AD
  • His parents were Christian
  • Later lived in Palestine
  • Became a Roman soldier
  • Protested against Rome's persecution of Christians
  • Imprisoned and tortured, but stayed true to his faith
  • Beheaded at Lydda in Palestine
  • 23rd April was named as Saint George's day in 1222

In the ninth century there is a popular story: St. George on horseback as the winner of a dragon. This story, which is part of the Golden Legend, also known as "St. George and the Dragon" and is the likely origin of all fairy tales about princesses and dragons in ancient Occidente. A Christian interpretation of the myth: Jorge would be a believer, the white horse the Church and the dragon would represent paganism, idolatry, temptation and Satan.


England

"St George's Day" is celebrated by the several nations, kingdoms, countries, and cities of which Saint George is the patron saint. St George's Day is celebrated on 23rd April, the traditionally accepted date of Saint George's death in AD 303. For Eastern Orthodox Churches who use the Julian calendar, 23rd April corresponds to 6th May on the Gregorian calendar. 


St George's Day was a major feast and national holiday in England on a par with Christmas from the early 15th century. The Cross of St George was flown in 1497 by John Cabot on his voyage to discover Newfoundland and later by Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh.In 1620 it was the flag that was flown by the Mayflower when the Pilgrim Fathers arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

A traditional custom on St George's day is to wear a red rose in one's lapel, though this is no longer widely practised. Another custom is to fly or adorn the St George's Cross flag in some way: pubs in particular can be seen on 23rd April festooned with garlands of St George's crosses. It is customary for the hymn "Jerusalem" to be sung in cathedrals, churches and chapels on St George's Day, or on the Sunday closest to it. Traditional English foods and drink (e.g. afternoon tea) may be consumed.


Spain

It is also celebrated in the old Crown of Aragon in Spain—Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, and Majorca. It is the second most important National Feast in Catalonia, where the day is known in Catalan as La Diada de Sant Jordi and it is traditional to give a rose and a book to a loved one.  La Diada de Sant Jordi (Saint George's Day), also known as El dia de la Rosa (The Day of the Rose) or El dia del Llibre (The Day of the Book) is a Catalan holiday held on 23rd April, with similarities to Valentine's Day. The main event is the exchange of gifts between sweethearts, loved ones and colleagues. Historically, men gave women roses, and women gave men a book to celebrate the occasion—"a rose for love and a book forever." In modern times, the mutual exchange of books is also customary.

As in the rest of the ancient Crown of Aragon, the Feast of St George is celebrated enthusiastically in the Community of Aragon, being the country's patron saint and its national day.  As in Catalonia, roses and books are exchanged among individuals, often bearing ribbons with the colors of Aragon's flag. Valencia celebrates St George's Day with a different intensity, though in several zones it has similarities to Valentine's Day, like in Catalonia. 

World Book Day 
April 23rd was chosen as World Book Day and Copyright Day, because it corresponds to the demise of the writers Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega on the same date in 1616 (although it really is not : Cervantes died on 22nd and was buried on 23rd, while Shakespeare died on April 23rd ... in the Julian calendar, which corresponds to 6th May in the Gregorian calendar). On this date also died  William Wordsworth (in 1850) and Josep Pla (in 1981). 


The International Publishers Association proposed this date to Unesco, with the aim of promoting culture and the protection ofintellectual property through copyright.


8 de abril de 2012

EASTER

Easter has been called a moveable feast because it doesn't fall on a set date every year, as most holidays do. Instead, Christian churches in the West celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21. Therefore, Easter is observed anywhere between March 22 and April 25 every year


Easter Sunday is the culmination of Holy Week. Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the most important Christian festival, and the one celebrated with the

greatest joy. The date of Easter changes each year, and several other Christian festivals fix their dates by reference to Easter. Churches are filled with flowers, and there are special hymns and songs. But not all Easter customs are Christian; some, such as the Easter Bunny, are pagan in origin.


The exact origins of this religious feast day's name are unknown. Some sources claim the word Easter is derived from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Other accounts trace Easter to the Latin term "hebdomada alba", or white week, an ancient reference to Easter week and the white clothing donned by people who were baptized during that time. Through a translation error, the term later appeared as "esostarum" in Old High German, which eventually became Easter in English. 


In Spanish, Easter is known as Pascua; in French, Paques. These words are derived from the Greek and Latin Pascha or Pasch, for Passover. Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection occurred after he went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover (or Pesach in Hebrew), the Jewish festival commemorating the ancient Israelites' exodus from slavery in Egypt. Pascha eventually came to mean Easter.

Easter Bunny

The Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated eggs to well-behaved children on Easter Sunday; nevertheless, the Easter bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity's most important holiday. The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. 

According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called "Osterhase" or "Oschter Haws." Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit's Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.

Easter Eggs

Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus' emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century. Easter egg hunts and egg rolling are two popular egg-related traditions. In the U.S., the White House Easter Egg Roll, a race in which children push decorated, hard-boiled eggs across the White House lawn, is an annual event held the Monday after Easter. 

Easter Candy

Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America, after Halloween. Among the most popular sweet treats associated with this day are chocolate eggs, which date back to early 19th century Europe. Eggs have long been associated with Easter as a symbol of new life and Jesus' resurrection. 


2 de abril de 2012

HOLY WEEK IN SPAIN

Seville, Málaga, Zamora and León hold elaborate processions for Holy Week. A tradition that dates from medieval times which has spread to other cities in Andalusia.

The "Semana Santa en Sevilla" is notable for featuring the procession of "pasos", lifelike wood or plaster sculptures of individual scenes of the events that happened between Jesus' arrest and his burial, or images of the Virgin Mary showing grief for the torture and killing of her son. In Málaga the lifelike wooden or plaster sculptures are called "tronos" and they are carried through the streets by penitents dressed in long purple robes, often with pointed hats, followed by women in black carrying candles for up to 11 hours. 

These pasos and tronos are physically carried on the necks of costaleros (literally "sack men", because of the costal, a sack-like cloth that they wear over their neck, to soften the burden) or "braceros" (this name is popular in Leon), and can weigh up to five metric tonnes. The pasos are set up and maintained by hermandades and cofradías, religious brotherhoods that are common to a specific area of the city, whose precede the paso dressed in Roman military costumes or penitential robes. 

Those members who wish to do so wear these penitential robes with conical hats, or capirotes, used to conceal the face of the wearer. These "Nazarenos" or "Papones" (this word it´s typical from Leon) carry processional candles, may walk the city streets barefoot, and may carry shackles and chains in their feet as penance. 



A brass band, marching band, a drum and bugle band, or in Málaga's case a military band (such as that of the Spanish Legion or other military units) may accompany the group, playing funeral marches, religious hymns or "marchas" written for the occasion.





Processions in Granada.

The Granadinos take their Holy Week very seriously, and the Granada processions are quite spectacular. If you've never seen a Holy Week procession before, it can be quite breath-taking. Each hermandad (literally "brotherhood") has their own procession and is understandably extremely proud of their figures of Christ and the Virgin Mary. Everyone is involved and a lot of time and effort is spent making the figures as beautiful as possible.

It is hard to choose between the different processions, but perhaps the favourite two are the "Silent Procession" on Thursday (when the street lights along the route are turned off and the procession takes place in absolute silence) and the "Gypsy Procession" on Wednesday (which goes through the Albaicín/Sacromonte quarter). During the Gypsy Procession, bonfires are lit along the route and stops are made every so often for "saetas" (traditional songs to Jesus or the Virgin) to be sung.

16 de marzo de 2012

1812-2012. ¡VIVA LA PEPA! BICENTENNIAL OF THE SPANISH CONSTITUTION

The promulgation of the Constitution of 1812, oil painting by Salvador Viniegra (Museo de las Cortes de Cádiz).
The Spanish Constitution of 1812 was promulgated 19 March 1812 by the Cádiz Cortes, the national legislative assembly (Cortes Generales "General Courts") of Spain, while in refuge from the Peninsular War. This constitution, one of the most liberal of its time, was effectively Spain's first (see Constitutions of Spain), given that the Bayonne Statute issued in 1808 under Joseph Bonaparte never went into effect. The 1812 Constitution established the principles of universal male suffrage, national sovereignty, constitutional monarchy and freedom of the press, and supported land reform and free enterprise.

Viva la Pepa! is the cry with which from the March 19, 1812 (Feast of St. Joseph) Spanish liberals proclaimed their adherence to the Constitution of Cadiz (proclaimed that day, and popularly known as La Pepa).


The great popularity that was the cry, its roundness and its ease of dissemination even in circumstances of political repression as those who arrived between 1814 and 1820 (absolute restoration of Ferdinand VII), and between 1823 and 1833 (reestablishment) made it perhaps the first political slogan of the contemporary age. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Constitution_of_1812

4 de marzo de 2012

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