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Happy Easter! 3 April 2010

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Holidays, Symbols.
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DID YOU KNOW?

The Name
The name Easter comes from Eastre, Happy Easter! an ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn. Some of the Easter customs observed today have come from annual spring festivals held in her honour.

The Origins
Other customs have originated from the Passover feast of the Jews which is to celebrate their deliverance from Egypt. The resurrection of Jesus took place during the Passover.

The Date
Since A.D. 325 Easter has been celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox (first day of Spring). In that year emperor Constantine issued the Easter Rule according to which Easter must be celebrated on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25.

Symbols
There are plenty of Easter symbols and customs which have pagan beginnings:

Easter Lilly
Lillies have long been a holy symbol of reproduction in many pagan societies. Christians consider the white lilly a symbol of the Resurrection.

The Easter Bunny
The rabbit was the earthly symbol of the goddess Eastre worshipped by the Anglo-Saxons. The symbol of the Easter rabbit was brought to America by the Germans but it was only after the Civil War when other American Christians began to celebrate Easter and recognize the symbol.

The Easter Egg
The egg had long been a symbol of rebirth in many cultures before Easter was first celebrated by Christians. They were boiled with the leaves or petals of flowers to give them different colours.

Nowadays, children have lots of fun trying to find Easter eggs hidden by their parents around the house or in the garden.

Your Turn!

More about Easter you can read here: Easter at care2.com and here: Easter at Wikipedia.

Send an Easter e-card for free!

THINK ENGLISH has prepared a special treat for you – click on the card:

Happy Easter!

And don’t forget to send your own card to all your friends – and spread holiday joy and cheer to your friends and family! We recommed to choose and send one of these e-cards, because every time a FREE Care2 eCard is sent, a donation is made to help important organizations!

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Send an e-card and help Care2 help our world!

YOU can also send YOUR OWN e-card
to all THINK ENGLISH users to
think.english[at]op.pl
and we will paste the link here
so that everyone could enjoy
your Easter card!


See other users’ e-cards – CLICK HERE

St. Patrick’s Day 17 March 2010

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Great Britain, Holidays, Symbols, UK.
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12 comments

DID YOU KNOW?

The Patron Saint
St. Patrick is one of the most popular saints and every year on March 17 people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all over the world, even though he is Ireland’s patron saint. St Patrick's HatBorn around A.D. 387, he was the missionary who is said to have converted the Irish to Christianity. His real name was Maewyn Succat and he was the son of a rich landowner in Britain.

The Slave
When Maewyn was 16 years old, a group of pirates raided his village. They captured him and then sold as a slave. For six years he had to herd sheep and when he finally escaped, he went to France. He became a priest and adopted the name Patrick.

The Missionary
Patrick decided that his life mission would be to convert Irish pagans to Christianity. When he returned to Ireland, he set up monasteries, schools and churches all over the country and successfully converted lots of people to the new religion. He continued his mission for thirty years and died on March 17, 493 A.D. This date was later chosen as Saint Patrick’s Day.

Saint Patrick’s Day
At first, St. Patrick’s Day was a Catholic holiday but gradually it has become popular with more and more non-Catholic people. Nowadays, it is celebrated all over the world as the day of Ireland’s culture, when everyone becomes Irish, wears green and goes out to party.

Pick up the St. Patrick’s Day e-card!
CLICK the picture below:

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit!
(Happy St Patrick’s Day)

A BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF IRELAND

10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DUBLIN

THE NATIONAL ANTHEM OF IRELAND

TRADITIONAL IRISH BLESSING

Your Turn!

1) St. Patrick’s Day Vocabulary Lesson:
Watch the lesson and write 3 sentences of your own with the following expressions:

  • as luck would have it
  • rain on your parade
  • just around the corner

2) Ireland is full of interesting sights and places – choose up to 3 of them and describe shortly in your comment.

3) Do you know any famous Irish people? Search the Internet, find some of them and share their names here along with short notes about them and/or their achievements e.g. in literature, music, film, art, sports, science, politics, history, etc.

4) And don’t forget to send your own St. Patrick’s Day card to your friends all over the world! We recommed to choose and send one of these e-cards, because every time a FREE Care2 eCard is sent, a donation is made to help important organizations!

YOU can also send YOUR OWN e-card
to all THINK ENGLISH users to
think.english[at]op.pl
and we will paste the link here
so that everyone could enjoy
your St. Patrick’s Day card!

Post your comment HERE

Valentine’s Day 13 February 2010

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Holidays.
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2 comments

DID YOU KNOW?

The history of Valentine’s Day goes back to ancient Rome and the Lupercalia festival. It was celebrated on February 15 in honour of gods Lupercus and Faunus as well as Romulus and Remus – the legendary founders of Rome.

One of the Lupercalia celebrations was an abundant feast and another – performed on February 14 – a name drawing ceremony. During this ceremony each young man would draw the name of a young woman and they became partners for the time of the festival.

At that time, the festival wasn’t called “Valentine’s Day”. When Emperor Claudius II passed a decree according to which soldiers couldn’t get married, a priest named Valentine disobeyed the new law and secretly performed marriage ceremonies. In consequence, he was sentenced to prison until his death on February 14 around AD 270.

Before his execution, Valentine is said to have written a farewell letter to his sweetheart girl which he signed “from your Valentine”. That letter was the first Valentine card ever and an inspiration to all of us who ever since have been sending “Valentines” to our beloved ones.

After his death, Valentine was named a saint and when Christian priests moved Lupercalia form the 15 to the 14 of February, they also changed the name of the festival. Since then it is called St. Valentine’s Day to honor the romantic and brave Saint Valentine.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Your Turn!

Here’s a special treat THINK ENGLISH has found on the Internet for you:
CLICK on the heart
and find out about your sweetheart:

CLICK on me and find out about your sweetheart!

And don’t forget to send your own Valentine card to your sweetheart! We recommed to choose and send one of these e-cards, because every time a FREE Care2 eCard is sent, a donation is made to help important organizations!

YOU can also send YOUR OWN e-card
to all THINK ENGLISH users to
think.english[at]op.pl
and we will paste the link here
so that everyone could enjoy
your Valentine card!


See other users’ e-cards – CLICK HERE

Happy New Year! 30 December 2009

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Holidays.
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1 comment so far

DID YOU KNOW?

The New Year’s Day
New year’s day wasn’t always celebrated on January 1. The Gregorian calendar reform restored the day as the new year’s day in 1582. Most Catholic countries adopted the new calendar almost immediately, but Protestant countries did it gradually. For example, it wasn’t adopted by the British until 1752 and before then the British Empire and their American colonies celebrated the new year in March.

The New Year’s Resolutions
Nevertheless, people have always been looking back to the past on the New Year’s Eve and – even more importantly – forward to the future. The coming year is a time to think of the changes we want to make in our lives to make them better.

The Top Ten Resolutions
Have you ever thought about what people want to improve in their lives most? See what the top ten New Year resolutions are and check if yours are on the list. On New Year’s Eve people resolve to:

1. Spend more time with family & friends
2. Exercise more
3. Lose weight
4. Quit smoking
5. Enjoy life more
6. Quit drinking
7. Get out of debt
8. Learn something new
9. Help others
10. Get organized

What do YOU resolve?
And what are your New Year resolutions? You can now choose and vote for one of the top 10 resolutions or add your own to the poll! How about “Think English more”…?

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010!

Your Turn!

Take part in the poll on top New Year resolutionCLICK HERE
(you can choose and vote for more than one resolution!)

See others’ resolutions and write down your own – CLICK HERE
Run out of ideas? Use Care2.com New Year resolution machine and make
good resolutions for you body, mind, soul and the world!CLICK HERE

More about top 10 New Year resolutions you can read here:
TOP 10 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS.

Send a New Year e-card for free!

THINK ENGLISH has prepared a special treat for you – click on the card:

Happy New Year 2010!

And don’t forget to send your own card to all your near and dear – and spread New Year joy and cheer to your friends and family! We recommed to choose and send one of these e-cards, because every time a FREE Care2 eCard is sent, a donation is made to help important organizations!

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Send an e-card and help Care2 help our world!

YOU can also send YOUR OWN e-card
to all THINK ENGLISH users to
think.english[at]op.pl
and we will paste the link here
so that everyone could enjoy
your NEW YEAR e-card!


See other users’ e-cards – CLICK HERE

Merry Christmas! 23 December 2009

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Holidays.
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4 comments

DID YOU KNOW?

A note on the history of Christmas
We celebrate Christmas on December 25 each year, but do you know when this holiday was celebrated for the first time? Well, this tradition wasn’t known until 336 A.D. which means that this year it’s going to be celebrated for the 1673rd time! Its original main idea was to honour the birth of Jesus which later gradually changed into a family tradition celebrated around the world rather than solely religious holiday.

Christmas tree
The spirit of holiday joy and cheer includes a lot of traditions observed by many, such as Christmas trees, Santa Claus, singing Christmas carols, kissing under the mistletoe or sending Christmas cards to those near and dear to you. Do you know when and where the tradition of decorating Christmas trees started? It was in 16th century Germany (BTW it was the Tudor times in England) and the person responsible for the first Christmas tree was supposedly Martin Luther. While on his way home on a Christmas Eve he admired the bright, starry sky and wanted to bring some of the beauty home for his children. He decorated a large evergreen with glowing candles which happened to be such a wonderful idea that we still do the same even today.

Santa Claus
The figure of Santa Claus originated from St. Nicholas (living in the 4th century A.D.) and the concept of giving Christmas gifts was inspired by his generosity. He used to throw gifts through windows to make children and the poor happy. Soon after Dutch immigrants brought the tradition to America in the 1600s (they called the Saint “Sinter Klaas”), Americans adopted it, calling the Saint “Santa Claus”. Later the image of Santa evolved into the fat, jolly man dressed all in red, travelling around the world with a team of flying reindeer.

Christmas Cards
If you like sending and receiving Christmas cards, you might be curious to know when and where this tradition began. It started in England in 1843, but the first Christmas card was printed in the United States in 1875, in Massachusetts. Nowadays so many people around the world send Christmas cards that the industry has become a multibillion dollar business.

Your Turn!

More about Christmas you can read here: Christmas at care2.com and here: Christmas at Wikipedia.

Send a Christmas e-card for free!

THINK ENGLISH has prepared a special treat for you – click on the card:

Merry Christmas!

And don’t forget to send your own card to all your friends – and spread holiday joy and cheer to your friends and family! We recommed to choose and send one of these e-cards, because every time a FREE Care2 eCard is sent, a donation is made to help important organizations!

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Send an e-card and help Care2 help our world!

YOU can also send YOUR OWN e-card
to all THINK ENGLISH users to
think.english[at]op.pl
and we will paste the link here
so that everyone could enjoy
your Christmas card!


See other users’ e-cards – CLICK HERE

Happy Thanksgiving! 25 November 2009

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Holidays, USA.
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8 comments

DID YOU KNOW?

Hardly is it possible to imagine Thanksgiving Day today without a big fat turkey on the table, and everyone knows – or at least they think, they do – that it was the Pilgrims who first started the tradition. And yet, surprisingly perhaps, the first Thanksgiving was not celebrated by the Pilgrims.

In fact, Thanksgiving Day has been celebrated in one way or another throughout history by cultures around the world. In today’s America people take the fourth Thursday of November to appreciate all that we have to be thankful for.

As care2.com says (in their e-card newsletter):

Animist tribes believed that plants and animals had spirits which were angered by the harvest. To appease these spirits, tribes would make offerings which often included elaborate festivals. These ceremonies provided the foundation for today’s Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Your Turn!

More about Thanksgiving Day you can read here: Thanksgiving Day

THINK ENGLISH has prepared a special treat for you – click on the card:

Happy Thanksgiving!

And don’t forget to send your own card to all your friends – after all we all have something to be thankful for! We recommed to choose and send one of these e-cards, because every time a FREE Care2 eCard is sent, Care2 saves one square foot of rainforest!

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Send an e-card and help Care2 save the rainforest!

What are YOU thankful for – in just FOUR words?

Check what others said
and write your own 4 words! – CLICK HERE

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