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When do the May bank holidays fall in 2021?

Children dancing around a May pool

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Spring will officially come to an end next month which means summer is just around the corner.

But you don’t need to wait until then to whip out the BBQ and start enjoying the sunshine.PUBLICITÉ

In May we will be treated to two bank holidays – one at the start of the month and the other at the end.

That means there are two long weekends to look forward to.

The first holiday will fall on Monday, May 1 and is officially known as May bank holiday.

It stems from ancient celebrations of spring. It was also a Roman festival which honoured the beginning of the summer in the northern hemisphere.

The day is celebrated throughout the country with dances, singing and feasts. Morris Dancing and the crowning of the May Queen are also typical May Day celebrations.

Monday, May 29 is the second bank holiday we will be treated to. It marks the Monday after Pentecost – otherwise know as Whit Sunday or Whitsun.

The Pentecost is a holy festival celebrated by Christians to mark the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples after the death of Jesus.

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Il Palio di Siena

Non è solo una gara, è una passione
Cos’è il Palio?

Il Palio è l’evento più importante di Siena, che si svolge il 2 luglio e il 16 agosto di ogni anno.

Nel Palio, le varie “contrade” senesi, o zone in cui è suddivisa la città, si sfidano in un’appassionata corsa di cavalli nel cuore della città in Piazza del Campo.

In origine c’erano circa cinquantanove “Contrade”; ora ne restano solo diciassette, di cui dieci prendono parte alla rievocazione storica e alla corsa di ogni Palio (sette di destra e tre a sorteggio).

Le 17 Contrade che esistono ancora oggi sono: Aquila, Chiocciola, Onda, Pantera, Foresta, Tartaruga, Gufo, Unicorno, Conchiglia, Torre, Montone, Bruco, Drago, Giraffa, Istrice, Lupa e Oca.

Ogni Contrada ha il proprio stemma e colori unici e rappresenta una zona della città. Camminando per le vie di Siena è facile sapere in quale Contrada ti trovi attualmente osservando le bandiere e gli stemmi esposti lungo la via. Proprio come i segnali stradali, gli angoli spesso designano l’ingresso in una Contrada diversa con segni come quelli nella foto sotto.

Contrada emblems in Siena

Il Palio ha le sue origini in un lontano passato, con documenti storici che indicano corse di cavalli a Siena già in corso nel VI secolo.

Il Palio è molto più di un semplice evento per i senesi, in realtà è una parte importante della loro vita sin dal momento della loro nascita. Ogni persona appartiene ad una Contrada, partecipa alla vita della Contrada e all’organizzazione del Palio durante tutto l’anno. I senesi vivono il Palio con grande passione e di certo lo potrete vedere se avrete la possibilità di assistere a una delle gare.

L’evento
Il Palio è una manifestazione piuttosto complessa che si è guadagnata nei secoli regole aggiuntive, tradizioni e costumi, molti dei quali solo i membri della contrada conoscono. Di seguito è riportato un punto saliente di alcune delle principali regole e tradizioni del Palio, che dovrebbero essere utili per comprendere meglio l’evento.

La corsa dei cavalli del Palio si svolge due volte l’anno, l’una il 2 luglio (Palio di Provenzano, in onore della Madonna di Provenzano) e il 16 agosto (Palio dell’Assunta, in onore della Vergine Maria Assunta).

In questa occasione speciale, la piazza principale di Siena, Piazza del Campo, viene preparata per la gara poiché l’anello intorno alla piazza è ricoperto di argilla di tufo.

NOTA SPECIALE: Non esiste un botteghino ufficiale per i biglietti per il palio. I biglietti si acquistano direttamente da chi organizza gli stand, i terrazzi privati o le agenzie di viaggio che organizzano pacchetti. L’ingresso al centro di Piazza del Campi è gratuito ma si riempie !!

Ad ogni corsa prendono parte dieci delle diciassette contrade: sette sono quelle che non hanno partecipato alla corsa precedente in quel giorno, mentre le altre tre sono sorteggiate.

Il Palio si svolge in realtà su 4 giorni, la corsa si svolge il quarto giorno. Il primo giorno è per la “Tratta”, ovvero il sorteggio e l’assegnazione dei cavalli a ciascuna delle Contrade. Pertanto, ciascuna delle Contrade sceglie il proprio fantino ma non il cavallo; i cavalli vengono estratti e conosciuti solo in questo momento, solo 4 giorni prima della corsa!

Prima della gara ufficiale sono previste 6 prove o manche, una al mattino e una al pomeriggio. La quinta prova, quella che si corre la sera prima del Palio ufficiale, si chiama “prova generale” o prova generale, mentre l’ultima che si svolge la mattina della gara principale, si chiama “provaccia” o prova brutta vista la piccola sforzo che i fantini ci mettono per evitare di stancare troppo i cavalli. I fantini montano sempre i loro cavalli senza sella.

Il palio si chiama “Drappellone” o grande drappo, una grande tela dipinta ogni anno disegnata e realizzata da un artista diverso e che la contrada vincitrice espone nel proprio museo di contrada.

Il giorno del Palio
Il giorno del Palio la città è in pieno fermento e l’intera giornata è dedicata all’evento.

Verso le 8 del mattino, nella cappella adiacente al Palazzo Comunale, il Vescovo celebra la “Messa del fantino” o messa per i fantini. Poco dopo la messa si svolge in Piazza del Campo l’ultimo processo, quello denominato “provaccia”.

Alle 10.30 all’interno del Palazzo Comunale e alla presenza del sindaco si svolge la “segnatura dei fantini”. I nomi dei fantini vengono confermati e da quel momento non possono essere sostituiti.

Verso le 15:00 ogni Contrada esegue una cerimonia di benedizione del proprio cavallo e successivamente si unisce al grande corteo in costume storico, con oltre 600 partecipanti, che si snoda per la città. La sfilata arriva intorno alle 17:00. in Piazza del Campo, e termina intorno alle 18.30-19. Poco dopo l’esplosione di un petardo segnala l’ingresso dei cavalli in piazza. Quando i fantini escono, ognuno riceve una frusta fatta di tendini di bue che può usare per pungolare il proprio cavallo o per irritare gli altri avversari in corsa.

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The Story Behind Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend

June Long Weekend | Queens Birthday @ The Duck Inn

Queen Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states and the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. She was born on 21 April 1926 but her birthday is celebrated on a separate date. She has been Queen since 1952 and is now the longest reigning British monarch in history, the second-longest being Queen Victoria who reigned for 63 years.

In Britain, the monarch’s birthday has been celebrated since 1748 and, in Australia, every year since the First Fleet arrived in 1788. The birthday was always celebrated on the actual date of the monarch’s birthday until 1936, the year of the death of King George V, Elizabeth’s grandfather. His birthday was 3 June and the date has since stayed around early June.

Honour’s Lists are proclaimed twice a year in Australia. The Australia Day list is on 26 January. The Queen’s Birthday Honors List is proclaimed on the June date each year.

Queen's Birthday in Australia

The Honor’s List includes people who have received the Order of Australia and other special honors including the Conspicuous Service Cross, Conspicuous Service Medal, the Public Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Medal for Gallantry and, amongst others, commendations for Gallantry and Distinguished Service.

The Royal Military Academy at Duntroon holds the Queen’s Birthday Parade each year – one of its most important public events – which includes the Trooping of the Queen’s Color. The Queen’s Color was trooped for the first time in 1956 and has been every year since at the Birthday Parade. The Trooping of Color in Australia has its ’origins in the same ceremony held in the United Kingdom.

Football also features on the Queen’s Birthday. Since its first season in 1897, the Victorian Football League (now the Australian Football League – AFL) has always played football on the holiday. Since 2001, the AFL has scheduled its fixtures to only allow Collingwood to play Melbourne at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the Monday. It is a big event that can trace the two teams playing on this date back to 1958 when just under 100,000 people attended the game.

The Queen’s Birthday long weekend is also the official start of the snow season in the high country regions of New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania.

The Queen’s Birthday public holiday is a national public holiday in Australia for all states excluding WA & QLD, who have it on the 25th Sept & 2nd Oct respectively.

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Día de la Batalla de Angamos (Día de la Marina) en Perú

El Día del Día de Angamos, también conocido como Día de la Marina, es un día festivo en el Perú que se celebra el 8 de octubre. Conmemora el aniversario de la creación de la Armada del Perú (1821) y de la Batalla naval de Angamos librada en 1879 durante la Guerra de el Pacífico.
La Armada del Perú fue establecida oficialmente por el general José de San Martín el 8 de octubre de 1821. Estuvo involucrada en la Guerra de Independencia del Perú y en varias guerras entre Perú y los estados vecinos. En 1879, Perú entró en guerra contra Chile y se alió con Bolivia. Esta guerra se conoce como la Guerra del Pacífico.

La batalla de Agnamos fue la batalla decisiva de la campaña naval de la guerra. La Armada del Perú sufrió una aplastante derrota y no pudo evitar la invasión del territorio del Perú. Uno de los motivos de la derrota fue la muerte del almirante Miguel Grau Seminario, quien fue abatido en un duelo a cuatro contra uno.

El Día de la Batalla de Angamos se estableció para conmemorar al Almirante Grau y a todos los que murieron durante la batalla. Como es un día festivo, se celebra ampliamente en todo el país. La festividad está marcada con desfiles militares y civiles, ceremonias oficiales y otros eventos y actividades que se enfocan en honrar a la Armada del Perú y al Almirante Miguel Grau.

Peru marks Navy founding, Battle of Angamos in Callao - People's Daily  Online
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Notting Hill Carnival History: How Race Riots Inspired London’s Caribbean Carnival

London comes together during Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival is London’s biggest street party, with costumed revellers and steel bands bringing the city to life in a colourful celebration of West Indian culture. In sharp contrast to its euphoric atmosphere, Carnival’s origins lie in race riots that saw the newly arrived immigrant population attacked by white nationalists.

The Notting Hill race riots

As Majbritt Morrison argued with her husband Raymond Morrison outside Latimer Road tube station on 29 August 1958, neither could have anticipated what would happen next. The mixed-race couple’s argument – Majbritt was Swedish and Raymond, Jamaican – became the catalyst for racially motivated attacks carried out by a white nationalists, particularly a subset youth movement called the Teddy Boys.

This subgroup had long been critical of West Indian immigration to the North Kensington area, especially when it came to interracial relationships. When Morrison rebuffed a group of Teddy Boys who later approached her, they resorted to flinging insults and objects at her, calling her a “black man’s trollop”.

The Notting Hill race riots took place in 1958 | © Daily Sketch / REX

The following night, Notting Hill erupted in violence as hundreds of young white men took to the streets, throwing home-made firebombs at the houses of black residents. As one resident described the experience to the BBC, “They’re marking the outside of the houses for the [Teddy] Boys to know where to bomb and where not to bomb.” The attacks continued until 5 September.

The end of the Notting Hill riots was far from the end of racism against Britain’s West Indian population. Some, like the disgraced politician Oswald Mosley, used the political climate to incite more racial tension. In 1959, Mosley ran for the North Kensington parliamentary seat on a platform that called for forced repatriation of West Indian people and a ban on interracial marriages. Mosley was defeated, and instead community activists focussed on a way to show white Britons what the West Indian population had to offer in terms of cultural wealth.

Notting Hill Carnival was founded by community activist Rhaune Laslett, who aimed to highlight the cultural richness of the area | © Mike Hollist / Daily Mail / Shutterstock

The London Caribbean Carnival

The very first London Caribbean Carnival, a precursor to the Notting Hill Carnival, was held indoors at St Pancras Town Hall in January 1959. The event, televised by the BBC, was organised by Claudia Jones, who has gone down in history as the Mother of Caribbean Carnival in Britain.

Jones, born in Trinidad, moved to the USA as a child, from where she was later exiled for her Communist beliefs. Jones moved to the UK in 1955 and was a part of a larger movement of black writers and artists who aimed to empower black diaspora through cultural education and representation.

In 1958, Jones started the UK’s first weekly black newspaper, the West Indian Gazette, later the West Indian Gazette and Afro-Asian Caribbean News, which gave the community a chance to connect in their new home. Jones used the network she created through newspaper subscriptions to rally the victims together after the violence. One of her writers, Donald Hinds, remembers that Jones sought to “wash the taste of Notting Hill out of our mouths” following the riots. Carnival, as a vibrant celebration of black freedom in the Caribbean, was a perfect way to heal.

Jones’s Carnival was mainly celebrated by West Indians and became a yearly festivity until her death in 1964.

The Notting Hill Carnival

Though undoubtedly influenced by Jones’s event, Notting Hill Carnival really began as a traditional British fete going by the moniker Notting Hill Fayre and launched in 1966. The event was put on by community activist and one of the founders of the London Free School, Rhaune Laslett, who aimed to highlight the cultural richness of the area.

Laslett, born to a Native American mother and a Russian father, saw Notting Hill’s diversity as something to be celebrated. The week-long festival included pageants, food stalls and music, and the celebrations ended with a parade.

Notably, Laslett invited the musician Russell Henderson and his Trinidadian Steel Band to perform for the crowd. Henderson also performed at Jones’s Carnival and was well loved in the West Indian community. In conjunction with the London Free School, the Notting Hill Fayre intended to give Londoners exposure to the cultures around them in the hopes that they would find common ground.

Henderson initially played on a stage, but the atmosphere didn’t feel dynamic enough. As Henderson recalled to The Guardian before his death in 2015, “I said, ‘We got to do something to make this thing come alive.’” That meant an impromptu procession through the streets, led by the distinctive beat of his band’s calypso music.

“There was no route, really – if you saw a bus coming, you just went another way,” said Henderson. The spectacle was captivating and revolutionary. It became a symbol of the endurance of West Indian culture and identity in North Kensington.

As the area’s West Indian population established itself, their presence became more dominant. Most came to the event after hearing of Henderson’s march through Notting Hill, and after Laslett relinquished control of the festivities to the residents of the city, the Fayre was transformed into Notting Hill Carnival.

Where is the Notting Hill Carnival held?

Today, the event is a signature of London’s summer. Notting Hill Carnival is a delightful celebration of the resilience of the city’s West Indian community. Held over the August bank holiday weekend, the route is regularly tweaked to allow for road closures and growing numbers. The parade circuit is 5.6 kilometres (3.5 miles) long and loops around from Ladbroke Grove. The procession can be slow, but will end up taking you to Westbourne Park and the streets north of Notting Hill Gate station.

Despite the gross racial violence and discrimination they faced, including subsequent riots in 1976 and 1981, Carnival has become a way for West Indian people to assert their belonging to the motherland.

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ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΗΜΕΡΑ ΑΝΕΞΑΡΤΗΣΙΑΣ

Greek Independence Day Flag Raising in New Bedford MA

Η 25η Μαρτίου γιορτάζει την Ελλάδα που ανακτά την ελευθερία της μετά από αιώνες κατοχής.
Καθώς όμως πέφτει στη μέση της Σαρακοστής, που παρατηρείται στην Ελληνική Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία, τα ειδικά τρόφιμα διακοπών που μπορούν να χρησιμοποιηθούν πρέπει να φιλτράρονται μέσω θρησκευτικών περιορισμών. Δεν επιτρέπεται το κρέας – αλλά τότε η ελληνική διατροφή δεν είναι τόσο επικεντρωμένη στο κρέας, ούτως ή άλλως, όπως και οι βόρειες δίαιτες. Επιτρέπεται το ψάρι, καθώς η Ημέρα της Ανεξαρτησίας πέφτει την Ημέρα της Ευτηρίας, η οποία είναι η Ημέρα της Γιορτής στο ημερολόγιο της Εκκλησίας. Άλλα τρόφιμα που επιτρέπονται είναι φρούτα, τυριά, ξηροί καρποί, αλκοόλ, φασόλια, ελιές και όλα τα λαχανικά.

Η Τουρκία ήταν γνωστή ως Οθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία. Η οθωμανική κυριαρχία στην Ελλάδα είχε ξεκινήσει το 1453, όταν οι Μουσουλμάνοι κατέλαβαν και κατέλαβαν την Κωνσταντινούπολη.
Η επανάσταση για την ανεξαρτησία ξεκίνησε το 1821 στο μοναστήρι της Αγίας Λαύρας (γνωστή και ως Αγία Λαύρα) στα Καλάβρυτα. Ο επίσκοπος Γερμανός της Πάτρας σήκωσε την ελληνική σημαία (η ίδια χρησιμοποιείται σήμερα, 2007), και ευλόγησε τους επαναστάτες. Αυτό ήταν κάποτε στα τέλη Μαρτίου – κάποιοι πιστεύουν ότι είναι 28 – αλλά η ημέρα συγχωνεύτηκε με τους μεγάλους εορτασμούς του Ευαγγελισμού στις 25. Αυτή η εξέγερση του πρώτου Μαρτίου του 1821 ηττήθηκε, αλλά η ανεξαρτησία επιτεύχθηκε τελικά το 1829 με τη Συνθήκη της Ανδριανούπολης, και αναγνωρίστηκε επίσημα από την Τουρκία στη Συνθήκη της Κωνσταντινούπολης, που υπογράφηκε τον Ιούλιο του 1832.

Η Ελληνική Ημέρα Ανεξαρτησίας συνήθως ανακηρύσσεται κάθε χρόνο στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες από τον Πρόεδρο της εποχής. Το 1940, 10.000 άτομα παρακολούθησαν την πρώτη παρέλαση της Ημέρας Ανεξαρτησίας στην Ελλάδα. ένα από αυτά πραγματοποιείται κάθε χρόνο από τότε.

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ABOUT HERITAGE DAY (24 SEPTEMBER 2021)

Heritage Day is one of South Africa’s newly created public holidays and its significance rests in recognizing aspects of South African culture which are both tangible and difficult to pin down: creative expression, our historical inheritance, language, the food we eat as well as the land in which we live.

Within a broader social and political context, the day’s events are a powerful agent for promulgating a South African identity, fostering reconciliation and promoting the notion that variety is a national asset as opposed to igniting conflict.

Heritage is defined as “that which we inherit: the sum total of wild life and scenic parks, sites of scientific or historical importance, national monuments, historic buildings, works of art, literature and music, oral traditions and museum collections together with their documentation.”

Government determines a theme for each year’s celebrations.

Getaways over public holidays and during nationwide events are in high demand, so accommodation often books up quickly for these periods, and often long in advance.

Heritage Day in South Africa - What does it Mean? | Crush Magazine
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Cyklistické dovolenky na Slovensku

S rozlohou necelých 50 000 km², ktorá je len o niečo väčšia ako Švajčiarsko alebo Holandsko, patrí Slovensko medzi menšie národy v Európe. Rovnako ako iné krajiny, aj Slovensko nedávno investovalo značné prostriedky do rozvoja infraštruktúry a za posledných desať rokov si okrem iného vytvorilo rozsiahlu sieť cyklotrás. To prospelo miestnej mobilite aj cestovnému ruchu. Pre cyklistov sa Slovensko javí ako vrchovina s kopcovitou scenériou. Mierne stúpania a klesania sú pomerne časté. Strmé úseky na trase sú však veľmi zriedkavé a sú rozhodne výnimkou a pravidlom. Výsledkom je, že krajina našťastie ponúka na dlhších úsekoch veľmi vyváženú kombináciu náboja a úľavy, ktorá nevyčerpá ani netrénovaných cyklistov. Predhorie Karpát sa rozprestiera pozdĺž väčšiny východnej časti a na západe sa rozprestiera Viedenská kotlina a Panónska nížina. Na tomto mieste nájdete aj hlavné mesto Bratislavu.

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Interesting facts about books …

Interestingly, the topic of Prissus papyrus is very relevant today. Since the end of the X century, woodcutting in China has become widespread. Then, for many months, scribes and bookbinders worked on the book. Their pages were 32x x32 centimeters in format and 2.5 centimeters thick – a real flat brick. The old text was washed off with milk or scraped off with a knife. Calf or sheep skin was soaked in a mortar, dried, stretched on a frame, smoothed out with pumice, and finally honey was rubbed into this skin. Parchment for one thick book had to slaughter a whole herd of calves. In Korea, China, Japan, this method was already used in VII! century AD. So many old, sometimes priceless books were ruined. There were dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of such pages in the book.

Continue reading Interesting facts about books …