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Friday, 25 November 2011

IF YESTERDAY WAS THANKSGIVING DAY IN THE U.S.A., TODAY'S BLACK FRIDAY









Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, which is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season. The term dates back to at least 1966, although its usage was primarily on the East coast. The term has become more common in other parts of the country since 2000. Because Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, Black Friday occurs between the 23rd and the 29th of November. According to Reuters, in 2007, 135 million people participated in the Black Friday shopping rush, more than turned out to vote in the 2008 United States presidential election, which recorded the largest voter turn out in history.
Black Friday is not an official holiday, but many employees have the day off as part of the Thanksgiving holiday (with the exceptions of those employed in retailing, health care, and banking), which increases the number of potential shoppers. Retailers often decorate for the Christmas and holiday season weeks beforehand. Many retailers open extremely early, with most of the retailers typically opening at 5AM or even earlier. Some of the larger retailers such as Sears, Best Buy, Macy's, Toys "R" Us, and Walmart have been reported to open as early as midnight on the start of Black Friday in localized areas and remain open for 24 hours throughout the day until midnight the following Saturday. Upon opening, retailers offer doorbuster deals and loss leaders to draw people to their stores. Although Black Friday, as the first shopping day after Thanksgiving, has served as the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season at least since the start of the modern Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the term "Black Friday" has been traced back only to the 1960s.
The term "Black Friday" originated in Philadelphia in reference to the heavy traffic on that day.
More recently, merchants and the media have used it instead to refer to the beginning of the period in which retailers go from being in the red (i.e., posting a loss on the books) to being in the black (i.e., turning a profit).





Video on BLACK FRIDAY:



Thursday, 24 November 2011

4th THURSDAY IN NOVEMBER: THANKSGIVING DAY IN THE USA, TODAY



The origin of Thanksgiving Day: the Mayflower Pilgrims
A typical Thanksgiving Dinner
Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York

Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. It is a holiday celebrated primarily in Canada and the United States. It has a religious origin,but Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday.
The date and location of the first Thanksgiving celebration is a topic of modest contention. The traditional "first Thanksgiving" is the celebration that occurred at the site of Plymouth Plantation, in 1621. The Plymouth celebration occurred early in the history of what would become one of the original thirteen colonies that became the United States. The celebration became an important part of the American myth by the 1800s. This Thanksgiving, modeled after celebrations that were commonplace in contemporary Europe, is generally regarded as America's first. Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Thanksgiving dinner is held on this day, usually as a gathering of family members and friends.

In the United States, certain kinds of food are traditionally served at Thanksgiving meals. Firstly, baked or roasted turkey is usually the featured item on any Thanksgiving feast table (so much so that Thanksgiving is sometimes referred to as "Turkey Day"). Stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, other fall vegetables, and pumpkin pie are commonly associated with Thanksgiving dinner. All of these are actually native to the Americas or were introduced as a new food source to the Europeans when they arrived.

During Thanksgiving Day families and friends usually gather for a large meal or dinner. Consequently the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the year. Thanksgiving is a four-day or five-day weekend vacation for schools and colleges. Most business and government workers (78% in 2007) are given Thanksgiving and the day after as paid holidays. Thanksgiving Eve, the night before Thanksgiving, is one of the busiest nights of the year for bars and clubs, as many college students and others return to their hometowns to reunite with friends and family.

In New York City, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is held annually every Thanksgiving Day from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to Macy's flagship store in Herald Square, and televised nationally by NBC. The parade features parade floats with specific themes, scenes from Broadway plays, large balloons of cartoon characters and TV personalities, and high school marching bands. The float that traditionally ends the Macy's Parade is the Santa Claus float, the arrival of which is an unofficial sign of the beginning of the Christmas season.


Video the HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING:
To sum up:
What is Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. In Canada it is celebrated on the second Monday in October.
The First Thanksgiving
When we think of Thanksgiving today, images of football, pumpkin pie, parades, and turkey dinner complete with cranberry sauce come to mind, as well as plans for a Black Friday shopping spree the following day.
Of course none of these items were present back in 1621, when the Wampanoag people and the Pilgrims sat down together to give thanks to nature. Although the celebrants at this particular meal didn’t even call it “Thanksgiving”, this particular harvest feast is the one after which we model our modern-day Thanksgiving celebrations.
People of both cultures had been giving thanks for the fall harvest and other gifts of nature for many centuries. It is interesting to note that the religious element, giving thanks to God, was not present at this particular celebration in 1621, even though the Pilgrims were devoutly religious.
However, the Native Americans had their own religious customs and beliefs. As a result, during this "first" Thanksgiving, Pilgrims and Native Americans did not focus on what was different between them, but instead concentrated on what they all shared. The two groups of people worked side by side to hunt and prepare food as equals and friends. Their friendship and cooperation was yet another thing for which to be thankful.
When Americans sit down to our Thanksgiving dinner, they honor a piece of early American history. The story of the Pilgrims and Native Americans serve as a good reminder for all to be thankful for what they have.
How Thanksgiving Became a Holiday
After 1621, future Thanksgiving celebrations occurred at various times throughout the year. George Washington declared a feast of Thanksgiving in 1789, and presidents issued similar yearly proclamations after that. During the Civil War, poet Sarah Hale started a campaign to celebrate the holiday on the same day throughout the country.
President Abraham Lincoln saw it as a way to unite the country, and he in 1863 he proclaimed a national Thanksgiving celebration on the last Thursday in November. It was changed from the last Thursday to the third Thursday by Franklin Roosevelt in 1939 as a way to lengthen the Christmas shopping holiday. In 1941, Roosevelt finally changed the date to the fourth Thursday in November, proclaiming it a Federal holiday in 1941.

QUEEN'S LEADER FREDDIE MERCURY DIED 20 YEARS AGO TODAY



Freddie Mercury (5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British Indian musician, best known as the frontman of the rock band Queen. As a performer, he was known for his powerful vocals and flamboyant performances. As a songwriter, he composed many international hits, including "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Killer Queen", "Somebody to Love", "Don't Stop Me Now", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "We Are the Champions" and "Barcelona". Fronted by Mercury, Queen went on to sell more than 300 million albums internationally as of 2009. In addition to his work with Queen, he also led a solo career and was occasionally a producer and guest musician (piano or vocals) for other artists. Mercury, who was a Parsi and grew up in India, has been referred to as "Britain's first Asian rock star". He died of bronchopneumonia induced by HIV (AIDS) on 24 November 1991, only one day after publicly acknowledging he had the disease.
"I Want to Break Free" is a song performed by Queen, which was written by bassist John Deacon. It featured on their 1984 album The Works. In the UK Chart, it peaked at number 3, and remained in the chart for fifteen consecutive weeks from its release in late April 1984.
The music video, directed by David Mallet, was a parody of the northern British soap opera Coronation Street. During part of the video, the band members dressed in drag, as mildly similar characters found in the soap at the time. According to Brian May in an interview about Queen's Greatest Hits, the video ruined the band in America, where many people - unlike the case in the UK - failed to see the soap-opera connection & interpreted the video as an open declaration of transvestitism and Mercury’s homosexuality.
Video Queen "I WANT TO BREAK FREE" with lyrics:

Thursday, 10 November 2011

WHAT'S SPECIAL ABOUT 11/11/11?

Some on the internet say it's the end of the world; but for others, it looks like the perfect day for a wedding
At 11.11.11 on 11.11.11, the time and date will be a perfect same-numbered palindrome, reading the same backwards as forwards, an event which can only happen on one day every 100 years.
And even the most hardened sceptic will surely pause for a moment to reflect on the unique moment, which will not come around again in the lifetime of most of us.

Among other things, 11.11.11 will be:
- Armistice Day, celebrated around the world.
- A day of spiritual significance for those who believe the number 11 has a mystical power.
- A very special day to get married or have a birthday (especially if it's your 11th).
- Perhaps even the end of the world, according to some 'prophecy' web forums.

The reason the date is so unusual is that 11.11.11 is the only double-figure palindromic date, since there is no 22nd month.
And the last time it happened, on November 11 1911, an almost supernatural event saw temperatures drop by more than 60F in a single day. This was the Great Blue Norther, a cold snap which hit the U.S. causing blizzards and tornadoes as well as record falls in temperature. In Kansas City, it was as as warm as 76F (24C) in the morning - but this had dropped to 11F (-12C) by the end of the day.

A new film being released on Friday, entitled simply 11-11-11, predicts that the day will see the opening of a portal in to Hell, and says: 'On this day, innocent blood will spill.'

However, most of those who have chosen this Friday as a day to get married are more attracted by the pleasing coincidence than by any deeper significance.
The small town of Gretna Green, a traditional wedding venue near the border between Scotland and England, will host at least 50 weddings on 11.11.11, compared to fewer than a dozen on a typical November Friday.

Most famously, the 11th of November is Armistice Day in the UK - Veterans Day in the U.S. - when we celebrate the end of World War I and commemorate the victims of that war and subsequent ones.

Of course, there is no real significance to the date 11.11.11 - not even at the time of 11.11.11 - but it is a classic example of apophenia, the human urge to see patterns in essentially random events.

It remains to be seen whether 11.11.11 will produce any surprises this time around, but people should be sure to keep a careful eye on the weather - and on any local Hellmouths - at 11 seconds past 11 minutes past 11 o'clock. www.dailymail.co.uk/news/

Friday, 4 November 2011

CHARO & TIM ARE BACK TO TELL STORIES IN GALICIAN & ENGLISH


Charo Pita (Galician) and Tim Bowley (British) will be back at IES Rafael Dieste for the fourth time to continue telling stories in a double version Galician/English on Tuesday, 8th November at our assembly hall. At 10:30 for 1st ESO students and at 11:20 for 2nd ESO students.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

5th NOVEMBER: GUY FAWKES' OR BONFIRE NIGHT IN THE UK




Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day and Bonfire Night, is an annual commemoration on 5 November, primarily in Great Britain. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a Catholic angry by religious prosecution, led the Gunpowder Plot to blow down the Houses of Parliament and bring down England's Protestant monarchy. He was arrested while guarding the explosives. Celebrating the fact that James I of England had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act 1605 enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot's failure.
Within a few decades Gunpowder Treason Day, as it was known, became the predominant English state commemoration, but as it carried strong religious overtones it also became a focus for anti-Catholic sentiment.
Bonfire Night is a yearly event dedicated to bonfires, fireworks and celebrations. Different traditions celebrate Bonfire Night on different days. Some of the better known Bonfire Nights are: 5 November in the United Kingdom, Canada & Australia; 23 June in Ireland and some parts of Spain as Galicia and Valencia, sometimes known as St John's Eve/Night, a bonfire tradition which also survives in parts of Scandinavia.


Video "THE HISTORY OF GUY FAWKES' DAY":


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