Archive for the ‘World festivities’ Category

Earth Day

April 22, 2010 17 comments

Communities, businesses, and neighbourhoods are all honouring Earth Day with events that highlight eco awareness and our planet. Earth Day started as a way to recognize that the Earth needed help and many use the annual celebration to kick off new environmental goals and commitments.

Fortunately, many businesses and individuals now look to Earth Day to celebrate success milestones and, more importantly, build on that success for the future. In fact, were you aware that Earth Day is now observed in 175 countries and is the largest secular modern day holiday in the world?

A little history lesson to start: Earth Day was first conceived by Sen. Gaylord Nelson in the early 1960s. Nelson worried that environmental issues were not being addressed in the political arena. In his conservation efforts, Nelson organized a nationwide grassroots demonstration in the spring of 1970, to further promote conservation involvement and awareness. Support for and interest in the activity was immense and the 1970 demonstration became the first official Earth Day.

How do you plan to celebrate Earth day? Leave a green tip in the comments section.

Remember we must help protect the environment Earth Day and every day. Check this website to pick your choice among these 100ways to reduce your impact. Just place your mouse gently on each of the tips and an explanation will come up.


Easter Homework

March 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Easter owes its name to a pagan deity Eostre also known as Holy week, most  Easter traditions and vocabulary come from the Christian customs as you can see in this Powerpoint.

Even if chocolate has won the popularity battle, there are some traditional foods related to this time of year.

Good Friday

Hot Cross Buns are traditionally served on Good Friday. A Hot Cross Bun is rich, spiced tea cake.

Easter Day

Boiled eggs are traditionally served at breakfast.

Roast lamb, which is the main dish at Jewish Passover, is the traditional meat for the main meal on Easter Day.

Simmel cake is baked for tea.

The Simnel cake is a fruit cake with a flat layer of marzipan (sugar almond paste) on top and decorated with 11 marzipan balls representing the 12 apostles minus Judas, who betrayed Christ.
Click here for a recipe

Easter Biscuits

Easter Biscuits are sometimes called “Cakes”, and are eaten on Easter Sunday. They contain spices, currants and sometimes grated lemon rind.

After that brief introduction to the typical Easter food here is your Easter homework:

Write a letter (200 words approx) to a foreign friend inviting her/him to spend Easter with you  in Spain. You have to convince your friend this is the best time to visit you not only for the Easter celebrations but also for the nice special food that can be tasted at this time. Describe some of this special food using the vocabulary learnt in this unit.

Food Glorious Food

March 21, 2010 Leave a comment


The school gastronomic festival starts this week so I hope you are getting your top recipes ready to join in.

As Easter is approaching I will give you our family favourite recipe for this time of year. It is simple, it is tasty and there is something really therapeutic about getting your hands all dirty with chocolate while you are crunching the Weetabix. A sure winner with the whole family and it looks great too!  Click here for a step by step recipe of these great Easter nests.

St Patrick´s Day Across the World

March 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Even though St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, this day is celebrated across the world. Many Irish people emigrated to the USA in the early c XX  and while they were outcasts at the beginning they become part of the establishment soon after the first president of Irish background was elected, John F Kennedy.  Not surprisingly the biggest St Patrick parade takes place in the streets of New York and it is bigger than the one in Dublin.

Many other American cities mark the day, watch this video and see how they do it  Chicago style After you watch it please answer the following questions:

  • When and why did this tradition started?
  • What type of dye do they use?
  • How many of the interviewees know why they turn the river green?
  • How many years has this tradition been going on?
  • What colour is the dye powder?

The Irish are renown for the love of music and a drink down the pub, perhaps the one song everyone could sing along to  is Molly Malone, performed here by The Dubliners

The Irish have a reputation for their sense of humour. The TV series Father Ted reflects this, here is a clip from one the most popular episode when several Catholic priests find their way into a big store´s lingerie department while Christmas shopping  Enjoy their lovely accent too.

Answers to the Chicago river questions: In the early  1960s, while they were trying to track and trace illegal discharges of sewage, vegetable dye, 2 don´t know vs 3 who know, 46 years, orange

Irish blessing

May the best day of your past
Be the worst day of your future.

St Patrick´s Day

March 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Happy St Patrick's Day

St. Patrick St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17 to honor Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. Almost 1500 years ago the patron saint and national hero of Ireland was born to a Gaelic family who had migrated to Britain. For 16 years, Patrick lived a normal life as the son of a prosperous landowner and magistrate until he was captured and forced into slavery. Patrick spent 6 years herding sheep. He escaped and returned to Ireland to do missionary work.
History reports that he used shamrock leaves to explain the meaning of the Trinity. It is also stated that he drove snakes from Ireland, banishing the venomous serpents by beating his drum. St. Patrick died on March 17, 493 after bringing the Christian faith to Ireland. Clover
As the Irish emigrated around the world, they took the St. Pat’s celebration with them. The Irish heritage has had a profound influence on our nation. The St. Patrick’s Day custom came to America in 1737. That was the first year St. Patrick’s Day was publicly celebrated in this country, in Boston.


4 Leaf Clover SHAMROCK, a member of the clover family, was used by Patrick to explain the mystery of the Trinity, the three leaves of the shamrock representing the Trinity (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit). According to Irish legend, Ireland’s patron saint chose the shamrock as a symbol of the Trinity of the Christian church. To this day the shamrock remains the national emblem of Ireland and is worn proudly by Irish people the world over on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17).No one can agree on which plant is the shamrock picked by St. Patrick.
4 Leaf Clover


Irish Blessing


What’s good luck on Saint Patrick’s Day?4 Leaf CloverFinding a four-leaf clover (that’s double the good luck it usually is). 4 Leaf CloverWearing green.
(School children have started a little tradition of their own — they pinch classmates who don’t wear green on this holiday).

4 Leaf CloverKissing the blarney stone.


Blarney Stone The Blarney Stone is a stone set in the wall of the Blarney Castle tower in the Irish village of Blarney. Kissing the stone is supposed to bring the kisser the gift of persuasive eloquence (blarney). The castle was built in 1446 by Cormac Laidhiv McCarthy (Lord of Muskerry) — its walls are 18 feet thick (necessary to thwart attacks by Cromwellians and William III’s troops). Thousands of tourists a year still visit the castle. The origins of the Blarney Stone’s magical properties aren’t clear, but one legend says that an old woman cast a spell on the stone to reward a king who had saved her from drowning. Kissing the stone while under the spell gave the king the ability to speak sweetly and convincingly.

It’s tough to reach the stone — it’s between the main castle wall and the parapet. Kissers have to lie on their back and bend backward (and downward), holding iron bars for support. Can you imagine kissing something that has had people’s lips all over it for 500 years? Yuck!


Irish Blessing


Leprechaun Irish fairy. Looks like a small, old man (about 2 feet tall), often dressed like a shoemaker, with a cocked hat and a leather apron. According to legend, leprechauns are aloof and unfriendly, live alone, and pass the time making shoes…they also possess a hidden pot of gold. Treasure hunters can often track down a leprechaun by the sound of his shoemaker’s hammer. If caught, he can be forced (with the threat of bodily violence) to reveal the whereabouts of his treasure, but the captor must keep their eyes on him every second. If the captor’s eyes leave the leprechaun (and he often tricks them into looking away), he vanishes and all hopes of finding the treasure are lost. Laprechaun


Hat The color green is associated with St. Patrick’s Day because it is the color of spring, Ireland, and the shamrock.


Irish Blessing


Australia Day

January 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Today, 26th January we celebrate Australia Day (previously known as Anniversary Day, Foundation Day and ANA Day), and also referred to as Invasion Day by several groups within Australian society, is the official national day of Australia. Celebrated annually on 26 January, the day commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788, the hoisting of the British flag there, and the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia.

Australia Day is an official public holiday in every state and territory of Australia, although it is seen as controversial by some Australians, who see it as a celebration of the destruction of Indigenous Culture by British colonialism. There have been significant protests from and on behalf of the Indigenous Australian community, including, since 1988, “Invasion Day” protests. In light of these concerns, proposals to change the date of Australia Day have been made. As the date also marks the anniversary of the Rum Rebellion in 1808, Australia Day may be viewed as a commemoration of the only military coup in Australian history. This last view parallels a sort of Independence Day.

Have a look at this Australian woman explaining something about her place…

If you want to know more about Australia, click on the Autralia Day official website

Categories: Australia Day

New Year’s Resolutions the musical version and surprise wedding

January 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Some people sing about their new year resolutions. Jamie Cullum does so in this song who urges us not to delay and tell our loved ones how we feel. He has just done so as he got married last weekend to his partner Sophie Dahl

Listen and fill in the gaps but above all follow Jamie’s advice!

Next year by Jamie Cullum

Next Year,
Things are gonna change,
Gonna _____________beer
And start ____________ again
Gonna _____________ books
Gonna ­­­­­­­­______________news
Gonna learn ­­­­_______________
And spend ­­_________on shoes
­­­_______________on time
File ­­­__________away, everyday
Only drink ­__________wine
And __________every Sunday
Well Baby they come and go
Will I do any of these things?
The answer is probably ­______
But if there’s one thing, I must do,
Despite my _____________
I’m gonna say to you
How I’ve felt all of these years
Next Year, Next Year, Next Year(bis)

According to the British press Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum married over the weekend 10/01/10

The 30-year-old singer and his glamorous partner – who is two years his senior and stands eight inches taller – wed on Saturday in a civil ceremony with a winter wonderland theme at Lime Wood, a Regency country house in the New Forest, Hampshire.

Dahl – the great granddaughter of children’s author Roald Dahl, who had her in mind when he wrote his famous book the BFG – first caused a storm when she posed naked for Opium in her modelling heyday, shortly after losing weight following working as a plus size model for many years.

Dahl and Cullum were engaged last March and last night the jazz singer serenaded his bride with a song written especially for her.

They decided against a lucrative magazine deal to celebrate the nuptials in private with a group of their closest friends.

However they had some strict rules:

‘Guests were banned from bringing their own cameras as they had their own photographer for the day.

‘Children were banned from the event so that guests could enjoy the food, wine and entertainment without any hassles.’

Roal Dalh would turn in his grave!

If you would like to read more gossip about this story click here

Categories: New Year