10 questions to test your knowledge
St. Patrick’s Day, 17th March 2016
May your blessings outnumber
The Shamrocks that grow.
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
Everybody seems to be Irish, wear green and drink a lot on St. Patrick’s Day, the national holiday of Ireland.
The day is a national holiday that is celebrated by more people worldwide than in the country itself. After the terrible famines in Ireland in the late 1840s, for example, very many people from Ireland emigrated to the USA, took their traditions with them, and obviously cherished them more than at home.
Apart from green being the colour of “the emerald island”, St. Patrick, who brought the Christian faith to Ireland, is said to have explained the holy trinity by the leaves of the shamrock. Therefore, you wear at least some shamrock on his day. In our days, everybody and everything turns Irish green all over the world. The roads of parades are painted green, you can have green beer (yuk!), and Chicago even coloured the river green.
Drinking was traditionally forbidden on St. Patrick’s Day, as it falls in the fasting time before Easter. For St. Patrick’s Day, the prohibition was lifted, people were allowed to drink alcohol only on this day.
(blessing taken from http://www.theemeraldisle.org/irish-symbols/shamrock.htm; a famine = when people die from hunger)
Martin Luther King Day, USA, 18th January 2016
I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., acceptance speech on the occasion of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize, Oslo, December 10, 1964.
Martin Luther King Day, in some places also Civil Rights Day is celebrated on MLK’s birthday. Many schools do so with projects on civil rights and equality.
In his famous “I have a dream” speech, King spoke about the promise of “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” in the US Constitution as well as the Declaration of Independence. MLK studied sociology and theology, was a Baptist minister, and was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. He became the leader of the non-violent Civil Rights Movement in the USA. MLK was charismatic in his elaborate speeches.
Find the two speeches mentioned here and read them with our present conflicts in mind.
We’re all going on a summer holiday…..
St Andrew’s Day, 30 November 2015
Scotland’s national day
St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. Together with his brother , St Peter, he was one of the first disciples of Jesus.
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is on the fourth Thursday in November - November 26 this year -, and it is big holiday in the USA. Thanksgiving has its origins in harvest festivals, but today it is more generally about gratitude (being thankful) for all the good things we have.
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