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Celebrate St. David’s Day 28 February 2015

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Film, Great Britain, Holidays, Lessons, Symbols, UK, Video.
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March 1 is St. David’s Day
Wales celebrates it’s national day

Watch the film made to celebrate St. David’s Day, the National Day of Wales.

On Think English YouTube channel you’ll find credits to the authors for their video clips used and edited in this film. Enjoy!

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Australia Day 2013 – konkurs na prezentację 23 January 2013

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Australia, Holidays, Lessons, Symbols.
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Co wiesz o
AUSTRALII?
Think English ogłasza konkurs na prezentację przygotowaną w aplikacji
PREZI.

Kliknij, żeby powiększyć!

Przygotuj
prezentację na temat Australii.
Aby to zrobić:

(1) wejdź na stronę http://prezi.com i załóż swoje konto (możesz to zrobić jednym kliknięciem, przez Facebook).

(2) obejrzyj filmy pokazujące możliwości aplikacji PREZI
i uczące jej wykorzystania
(KLIKNIJ TUTAJ => FILM INSTRUKTAŻOWY),
(LUB TUTAJ => PRZYKŁADOWE PREZENTACJE),


(3) wykorzystaj swoją wiedzę o Australii oraz pomysłowość i kreatywność, aby stworzyć ciekawą i inspirującą prezentację.

A NASTĘPNIE:

(4) wyślij link do swojego projektu na adres: think.english[at]op.pl wraz ze swoim imieniem, nazwiskiem i klasą,

(5) pamiętaj: termin upływa 1 lutego 2013,

(6) możesz wygrać nagrodę i dostać ocenę cząstkową!

Powodzenia!

Halloween Winners! 31 October 2010

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Contests, Holidays, UK, USA.
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The proud winner of the Think Halloween contest is Ewa (IVb T). The second prize goes to Kasia (IIb LO) and the third prize is for Adrian (IIa LO) and Ania (IId LO). All four excellent Halloween wallpapers you can see and download from here, by clicking on the pictures:

Think Halloween Wallpapers:

by Ewa

by Kasia

by Adrian

by Ania

The winners were rewarded with scary DVD films and a book by Graham Masterton (Blind Panic a.k.a. Armageddon).

Congratulations!

Happy Halloween! 19 October 2010

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Great Britain, History, Holidays, UK, USA.
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3 comments

DID YOU KNOW?

Halloween is celebrated each year on October 31 and the day is full of scary and creepy Halloween characters: witches on brooms, swooping bats, skeletons, jack-o-lanterns, haunted houses and more.

The History
The history of Halloween is not clear, but it most probably dates back to 700 B.C. to the Celts from northern England, Ireland and Scotland. November 1 was the first day of their new year and the end of the harvest season. It was also thought to be a day of the dead.

The Colours
Orange and black are two Halloween colors because the former is associated with harvests and the latter with death.

The Costumes
To drive away the spirits and to tame the dead, on October 31 the Celts dressed in costumes, lit bonfires, and offered food and drink to masked celebrants.

The Name
Christians made November 1 All Saints’ Day (or All Hallow Day) and the night before was called “All Hallow Eve” which was later shortened to Halloween.

The Holiday
Halloween is a mix of ancient Celtic practices, Catholic and Roman religious rituals and European folk traditions. In the 19th century, Halloween gradually became less religious and more secular community-based children’s holiday.

The Traditions
The two best known Halloween traditions are trick-or-treating and jack-o-lanterns. They were brought to America in the 1840s by the Irish escaping the Great Potato Famine.

Trick-or-treat
On Halloween, Irish peasants begged the rich for food and they were given cookies, candies, and fruit. Those who refused were “tricked” somehow by the poor peasants.

Jack-o-lantern
Jack-o-lanterns go back to an old Irish story about a man called Stingy Jack. He wasn’t allowed to enter Heaven so he wandered the world and lit his way with a burning coal in a hollowed out turnip. In fact, the first jack-o-lanterns were carved out of turnips but when the Irish came to America pumpkin carving became much more popular.

See how to make your own
Jack-o-lantern!

Interested in more fascinating Halloween facts? Check out the History.com website:

HALLOWEEN at History.com

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Your Turn!

1. Go to the History.com website where you will learn lots of facts about pumpkins. Then decide which of the following 7 statements are true and which are false and paste your answers here: CLICK AND PASTE YOUR ANSWERS! Don’t forget to correct the false answers! Only one person will get the points for the task!

1. Pumpkins originated in South America.
2. Pumpkin has no fat.
3. Each pumpkin has lots of protein.
4. In 19th century people believed that pumpkins could cure freckles.
5. There is the World “Punkin Chunkin” Championship every year in Delaware.
6. Connecticut field pumpkin can’t be used to make jack-o-lanterns.
7. Someone may steal your pumpkin from your porch on October 31.

2. Go to the History.com website where you will listen about vampires. Then decide which of the following 6 statements are true and which are false and paste your answers here: CLICK AND PASTE YOUR ANSWERS! Don’t forget to correct the false answers! Only one person will get the points for the task!

1. Belief in vampires comes from bats.
2. Vampires were first linked to bats in 16th century.
3. The explorers in Central America said they had been bitten by vampires.
4. Europeans believed that some dead people could come back as vampires.
5. Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula” was first published in February 1896.
6. Dracula’s victims were innocent women.

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

St. David’s Day 27 February 2010

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

DID YOU KNOW?

Saint David’s Day
Saint David is the patron saint of Wales and each year the Welsh celebrate their national day on 1 March. The date was chosen to commemorate the death of Saint David on that day around 589. daffodil and leekIt has been celebrated as a national day within Wales since the 18th century.

Celebrations
On this day, many Welsh people wear one or both of the national emblems of Wales to celebrate St. David: the daffodil or the leek. Children take part in eisteddfodau (school concerts) during which they recite and sing.

In many towns, on St. David’s Day a parade through the centre of town is held and in pubs or clubs concerts are played. The 2010 St David’s Day celebrations in Cardiff will include concerts, a parade and a food festival.

Traditions
The flag of Saint David (a gold cross on a black field) is often a very important part of the celebrations throughout Wales. The traditional food prepared and consumed on St. David’s Day is cawl. It is a kind of stew consisting of meat and vegetables. It usually includes Welsh lamb and leeks.

Saint David
Saint David (or Dewi Sant) was born towards the end of the fifth century. In the Celtic world he was famous as a teacher and ascetic. There are many traditions and legends associated with him. For example, when he rose to speak at a synod at the village of Llanddewi Brefi, the ground under his feet rose and from that little hill he could be heard by the whole great crowd. Also, it is said that a golden-beaked dove landed on his shoulder which was considered a symbol of his holiness.

The date of Saint David’s death is recorded as March 1st, but the year is uncertain – possibly 588. He became a symbol of the independence of Wales and has been the patron saint of this country since the 12th century. Nowadays, there are over fifty churches dedicated to St. David in south Wales.

Saint David’s Day Anthem
Saint David’s Day also has its own anthem apart from Welsh National Anthem ‘Hen Wlad fy Nhadau’ (Land of my Fathers).

This song has now been sung on five consecutive annual National Saint David’s Day Parades in Cardiff since 2006 and Gwenno Dafydd is the person who came up with the idea and who wrote the words in both English and Welsh. The music was written by Heulwen Thomas.

The song was launched in the National Assembly of Wales (i.e. Welsh Parliament) by the Presiding Officer, Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas in the year 2008.

If you also Google Pembrokeshire Banner you will also find some very interesting information about how the words and images of the song: ‘Cenwch y Clychau i Dewi’ (Ring out the bells for Saint David) were used as the basis for this beautiful banner which now is permanently housed in the East Cloister of Saint David’s Cathedral, North Pembrokeshire, very close to where the bones of Saint David himself are kept.

THINK ENGLISH recommends the following websites:

Saint David’s Day Anthem
CENWCH Y CLYCHAU I DEWI
(Ring out the bells for Saint David)

ABOUT SAINT DAVID IN A NUTSHELL

WELSH ANTHEM “LAND OF MY FATHERS”

THE BEAUTY OF WALES

Your Turn!

Answer 6 questions to check what you know about St. David’s Day:
CLICK HERE:
QUIZ ON ST. DAVID’S DAY

There are plenty of beautiful sights and places in Wales, but do you know any famous Welsh 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.

Do you know what Wales is famous for? Label the pictures with the appropriate names and then add some information about these symbols:

The River Taff, Dragon, Love Spoons, Coal, Harp, Welsh Feathers, Druids, Plaid, Welsh National Costume, Sheep

1.
2. 3. 4.

5. 6. 7.

8. 9. 10.

Post your comment HERE

Cael Hwyl!
(Have Fun!)

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

If Colours Could Speak… 13 December 2009

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Essays, Symbols.
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8 comments

Colours surround you: you see them, wear them and even eat and drink them. Most probably, you like some of them better than others. Have you ever thought about the possible reasons why you love wearing your green sweater or black jeans but hate the very idea of putting on that dreadful pink blouse or grey T-shirt? Well, perhaps it’s because of the messages that different colours convey – in other words, you may or may not like what particular colours say to you or… about you. Your most loved and most hated colours may be a key to understanding your personality, so why don’t you learn the language of colours and check what they say about you?

Think about different colours now and choose those you like best and perhaps one that you simply can’t stand. If you find it difficult to decide, look around your room and see what colours your walls, furniture and gadgets are. Then open your wardrobe and see what colours your clothes are and finally, check your fridge to see if you prefer any colour in your food. Aren’t these reliable indicators of which colours you like and which you don’t? Or else, you might want to use the simple quiz which you can find here or when clicking on the link underneath this post.

After you have chosen your best and worst colours – check what they mean. The ones you like will tell you what kind of person you are or would like to become. While you might expect that the colours you don’t like mean that you lack the qualities they symbolize, it is not necessarily the case. Instead, they will tell you about the qualities that you don’t want to see in yourself whether they’re positive or negative. I recommend to think twice before you reject such possibility – sometimes you need to look deeper to see what lies beneath and remember that none of us know ourselves ultimately. Why not reveal at least one or two secrets about ourselves, then?

Below you will find a few names of colours enlisted, so if you have already chosen yours, check the website I recommend (care2.com), where you will find these colours explained in detail. And after that you may share your results with us all, so post a comment here! You might say (1) what colours are your most loved and most hated ones, (2) what they told you about yourself and (3) if you agree with what you learnt or not. After all, not only colours can speak, but so can you!

Your Turn!

CLICK HERE
Use the quiz to help you decide:
What Colour Are You?

colour circle

CLICK and PASTE the html code here

Now that you have chosen your best and worst colours, click on the colourful link below and check what the colours say about you:

White, Red, Maroon, Pink, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Blue-Green, Turquoise, Lavender, Purple, Brown, Grey, Black

Do you agree with what the colours say about you?
Have your say – CLICK HERE

St. Andrew’s Day 28 November 2009

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

WHO IS THE PATRON SAINT OF SCOTLAND?

St. Andrew’s Day is the feast day of Saint Andrew. It is celebrated on 30 November.

Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew’s Day is Scotland’s official national day . In 2006, the Scottish Parliament designated St. Andrew’s Day as an official bank holiday. Although most commonly associated with Scotland, Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Romania, and Russia.
(…)
In parts of Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Romania, superstitious belief exists that the night before St. Andrew’s Day is specially suitable for magic that reveals a young woman’s future husband or that binds a future husband to her. Many such customs exist, for example the pouring of hot lead into water (in Poland, one usually pours hot wax from a candle through a key hole into cold water), divining the future husband’s profession from the shape of the resulting piece

In Germany, the feast day is celebrated as Andreasnacht (“St. Andrew’s Night”), in Austria with the custom of Andreasgebet (“St. Andrew’s Prayer”), and in Poland as Andrzejki (“Andrews”).

From Wikipedia

One of the most popular Polish traditions performed by young girls during the St. Andrew’s Night is pouring hot melted wax through a key into a bowl of cold water. After the wax has hardened, it is held up to the light and its shadow cast on the wall must be observed to guess the future. Usually the only light comes from a candle, which not only helps to read from the shadow but also to keep a mysterious atmosphere of this evening. While guessing the girl’s future for the upcoming year, it’s best to observe the shape of the shadow from different angles.

Your Turn!

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

CLICK on me and find out about your future!

What shape did YOU get?
What does it say about YOUR future?

Check what others said
and write about your own results! – CLICK HERE

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