March 25 Happy New Year!
For over six centuries, England celebrated March 25 as the first day of the new year, up until the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar in 1752.
Being stapled to one solar calendar for so long, it’s hard for us to understand how this is possible. I mean, March 25 isn’t even the first day of the month, let alone the first month of the year.
But remember, for much of antiquity, …Read more
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.
The Annunciation, da Vinci, c. 1475
Happy New Year!
Up until 1752, March 25th was the first day of the New Year in much of the English-speaking world. It was also known as Lady …Read more
Second Monday in March March 12, 2012
Here’s a geography quiz:
1. What is the official language of Belize?
2. Whose portrait adorns the Canadian loonie?
3. What comprises 53 countries, covers over a fifth of the world’s land area, and accounts for 2 …Read more
Today the UK and Germany remember the Holocaust of World War II when 6 million Jews were killed in concentration camps across Europe, along with untold numbers of Roma, communists, homosexuals, the mentally and physically handicapped, and political prisoners.
January 27th marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. It is estimated that as many Jews were slaughtered at this one camp than remain on the entire European Continent today.
To this day …Read more
“In London and other places, St. Stephen’s Day, or the 26th of December, is familiarly known as Boxing-day, from its being the occasion on which those annual guerdons known as Christmas-boxes are solicited and collected…
The Book of Days
As a child I thought it odd that the British, so seemingly refined (compared to us their American cousins), would dedicate the day after Christmas to such a brutal and …Read more
Remember, remember, the fifth of November, Gunpowder treason and plot. I see no reason, why gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot!
We think of terrorism as something new, but 400 years ago, before the first permanent settlement in North America, English authorities uncovered a terrorist plot that came one spark from away from blowing London to bits.
Guy “Guido” Fawkes was an Englishman who fought on the side of …Read more
Summer Bank Holiday Weekend August 28-29, 2011
The word “carnival” comes from the Latin carne vale meaning “farewell to the flesh”. It originally referred to festivals that fell just before Lent, when eating meat was forbidden. Famous pre-lenten carnivals include Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, Nice, and Trinidad.
Inspired by the world-famous Trinidad Carnival, Notting Hill takes place in August, because you’d have to be nuts to wear a thong in England in February.
The ‘Mother of Notting …Read more
The Game Act of 1773 established what has come to be known as “the Glorious 12th” in England. Not to be confused with Northern Ireland’s Glorious Twelfth in July, August’s Glorious 12th is the first day of hunting season of red grouse in England. Apparently this is a big deal.
The foregoing observations relative to partridges may be nearly as well applied to grouse shooting, when we recollect that Lord Strathmore’s keeper, in killing forty-three brace of …Read more