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domingo, 8 de diciembre de 2013

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

On 8 December, Spain celebrates the ‘Feast of the Immaculate Conception’. It is a public holiday and, for many this is when Christmas officially starts. The feast was originally called the Conception of Mary and arose in the Eastern Catholic Church in the seventh century It spread to the West in the eighth century, and in the 11th century received its present name, the Immaculate Conception. In the 18th century it became a feast of the Roman Catholic Church.


It was proclaimed an official feast day in 1854 by Pope Pius IX. It honours the Virgin Mary and the fact that, out of all the women in history, God chose her to be the mother of His own Son, Jesus.

In 1854, Pope Pius IX's solemn declaration, Ineffabilis Deus, clarified with finality the long-held belief of the Church that Mary was conceived free from original sin. In proclaiming the Immaculate Conception of Mary as a dogma of the Church, the pope expressed precisely and clearly that Mary was conceived free from the stain of original sin. This privilege of Mary derives from God's having chosen her as Mother of the Savior; thus she received the benefits of salvation in Christ from the very moment of her conception. (The picture above shows her mother, Anna, with the infant Mary within her womb.) This great gift to Mary, an ordinary human being just like us, was fitting because she was destined to be Mother of God. The purity and holiness of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a model for all Christians.






viernes, 6 de diciembre de 2013

NELSON MANDELA HAS DIED_ 5TH DECEMBER

Nelson Mandela, whose victory against apartheid united his native South Africa and changed the course of modern history, has died following a long illness.
The Nobel Peace laureate, who spent nearly three decades as a political prisoner before going on to lead his country, passed away at his Johannesburg home surrounded by his family.
South African President Jacob Zuma said "the nation has lost its greatest son", adding: "He is now resting. He is now at peace."


 NATIONAL ANTHEM OF SOUTH ANFRICA


MANDELA: A LONG WAY TO FREEDOM



Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is based on South African President Nelson Mandela's autobiography of the same name, which chronicles his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country’s once segregated society.


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martes, 26 de noviembre de 2013

viernes, 15 de noviembre de 2013

IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH WITH DAILY ACTIVITIES



 At the airport, taking a taxi, ordering a pizza, greeting people or saying goodbye, you can listen, practice and learn English with these videos about daily activities.
As they say:" Welcome to twominuteenglish.com Teaching you English in two minutes or less"
15 videos and growing 
Click here to go to twominuteenglish.com


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sábado, 5 de octubre de 2013

WORLD TEACHERS' DAY - 5th OCTOBER

On October 5, 1994, the first World Teachers' Day was held. This event has been organized on the same date each year since then. However, local events may be on some other date close to October 5, so that they do not fall during fall (northern hemisphere) or spring (southern hemisphere) school vacations. In 2002, Canada Post issued a postage stamp to commemorate World Teachers' Day.
"A Call for Teachers" is the slogan for World Teachers' day.


This year's celebrations will focus on UNESCO's work on quality teachers for global citizenship and cultural diversity.

Teachers develop learners' abilities to build a sustainable future with citizens who are able to take action in their own communities and contribute to global challenges. 



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miércoles, 25 de septiembre de 2013

MATER DEI IN MALAGA (SPAIN)

On the occasion of the feast of Mater Dei and in the Year of Faith, seven images of Virgin Mary, each standing on Her float, will be taken out on a procession to meet at Plaza del Obispo on Saturday, 28 September in the afternoon, in praise of the Marian dogmas and the theological virtues.


Devotees will be able to visit the city’s Patroness at Her shrine on Friday and Saturday.
At the Church of La Victoria, they will be able to kiss the hand of Our Lady of La Merced.
María Auxiliadora, whose blessing will have its 75th anniversary this year, will be part of the Mater Dei celebrations.

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lunes, 23 de septiembre de 2013

SONG: LET HER GO _ PASSENGER

"Let Her Go" is a song written and recorded by British singer-songwriter Passenger. "Let Her Go" was released in July 2012 as the second single from Passenger's third album All the Little Lights. In early 2013, the song broke through in Europe and Oceania, reaching number-one in several countries, making it his first international success.




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sábado, 31 de agosto de 2013

DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES 1 JULY 1961 – 31 AUGUST 1997

image: DianaDiana, Princess of Wales was killed in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997. The vehicle in which the Princess was travelling was involved in a high-speed accident in the Place de l'Alma underpass in central Paris shortly before midnight on Saturday, 30 August.

Princess Diana was a popular international media icon of the late 20th century as the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981.


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viernes, 30 de agosto de 2013

POET SEAMUS HEANEY DIES AGED 74

Late poet Seamus Heaney as he appeared in 1970. Photograph: PA Wire Seamus Heaney, acclaimed by many as the best Irish poet since WB Yeats, has died aged 74.
Heaney was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 "for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past".
Over his long career he was awarded numerous prizes and received many honours for his work.
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jueves, 29 de agosto de 2013

7 UNUSUAL MYTHS AND THEORIES ABOUT THE MOON

Created by a fiery planetary explosion about 400 billion years ago, the moon has comforted man for thousands of years. It's been everything from a god to a compass, and the only cosmic body human beings have ever visited. Explore some of the fascinating, surprising or simply bizarre theories that earthlings have entertained about the moon throughout history.
moon1. Full moons make you crazy.
Since ancient times, full moons have been associated with odd or insane behavior, including sleepwalking, suicide, illegal activity, fits of violence and, of course, transforming into werewolves. Indeed, the words “lunacy” and “lunatic” come from the Roman goddess of the moon, Luna, who was said to ride her silver chariot across the dark sky each night. For thousands of years, doctors and mental health professionals believed in a strong connection between mania and the moon. Hippocrates, considered the father of modern medicine, wrote in the fifth century B.C. that “one who is seized with terror, fright and madness during the night is being visited by the goddess of the moon.” In 18th-century England, people on trial for murder could campaign for a lighter sentence on grounds of lunacy if the crime occurred under a full moon; meanwhile, psychiatric patients at London’s Bethlehem Hospital were shackled and flogged as a preventive measure during certain lunar phases. Even today, despite studies discrediting the hypothesis, some people think full moons make everyone a little loony.


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miércoles, 28 de agosto de 2013

I HAVE A DREAM - MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered this speech on August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Washington, D.C., Lincoln Memorial.

More than 200,000 Americans gathered in Washington, D.C., for a political rally known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Organized by a number of civil rights and religious groups, the event was designed to shed light on the political and social challenges African Americans continued to face across the country. The march, which became a key moment in the growing struggle for civil rights in the United States, culminated in Martin Luther King Jr.’s "I Have a Dream" speech, a spirited call for racial justice and equality.



You can practice the speech with the following karaoke.


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lunes, 26 de agosto de 2013

MOTHER TERESA 26 AUGUST 1910 - 5 SEPTEMBER 1997

Mother Teresa of Calcutta was born on 27 August 1910. She always wrote her birthday as the 27 August because that was the day of her baptism, which was always more important to her than her birth.

Who was Mother Teresa?

Mother Teresa birth name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. At the age of 18 she became a nun in Ireland and chose the name of Sister Teresa, in memory of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.

What is Mother Teresa famous for?

Mother Teresa is famous all over the world for her work with the poor in India. For over 45 years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying.
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domingo, 25 de agosto de 2013

THE NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL SUNDAY 25 & MONDAY 26

Every year the streets of West London come alive, with the sounds and smells of Europe’s biggest street festival. Twenty miles of vibrant colourful costumes surround over 40 static sound systems, hundreds of Caribbean food stalls,(make sure you visit Mama’s Jerk Station, on the corner of Portobello Rd and Oxford Gardens) over 40,000 volunteers and over 1 million Notting Hill carnival
revellers.
Starting its life as a local festival set up by the West Indian community of the Notting Hill area, it has now become a full-blooded Caribbean carnival, attracting millions of visitors from all over the globe. With many astonishing floats and the sounds of the traditional steel drum bands, scores of massive sound systems plus not forgetting the hundreds of stalls that line the streets of Notting Hill. The Notting Hill Carnival is arguably London’s most exciting annual event.
The Notting Hill Carnival used to get under way on the Saturday with the steel band competition. Sunday is Kids’ Day, when the costume prizes are awarded. On Bank Holiday Monday, the main parade takes place. It generally begins on Great Western Road, then winds its way along Chepstow Road, on to Westbourne Grove, and then Ladbroke Grove. In the evening, the floats leave the streets in procession, and people carry continue partying at the many Notting Hill Carnival after parties.


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sábado, 17 de agosto de 2013

MALAGA FAIR 2013: THE BIGGEST IN ITS HISTORY

cartel-feria-de-malaga-2013
The Fair in Malaga in August is the biggest festival in our city. This year will be the longest yet, it will last for 11 days from the 17th until the 24th of August. The Malaga Fair 2013 will surprise you in many ways: from the decorated streets through the historic centre and fairground rides, the horseriders that pass by, with the verdial and Sevillian dancers, to the bull fighters or simply the excitement from the malagueños and tourists.

200 free shows

The Malaga Fair programme lists 200 free shows in 2013, that range from street performances from the verdiales dance group, traditional Malgueño dancing concerts with famous Spanish singers and groups, such as Andy and Lucas, Chambao and El Sueño de Morfeo; child rides, without forgetting the 15 expositions that you can visit in 9 museums and enabled spaces in the Birthplace of Picasso, el CAC (Centro de Arte Contemporáneo) or the Carmen Thyssen Museum, amongst others. There will be also other events which you can pay to see, such as the bullfighting in “La Plaza de La Malagueta”.  

History

The origin of the Malaga Fair came from the commemoration of the conquest of the city from the Moors by the Catholic Kings on the 19th August 1487. This year it will take place on a working day and the festivities will take place the day before, in other words, the 18th August, the day of the patron saints in Malaga, “San Ciriaco” and “Santa Paula”. 

Fair by day

The Malagueño festivals in August can be enjoyed in many ways in 2 different areas. During the morning and afternoon you can find “los feriantes” in the city centre. The historic streets are decorated with coloured lanterns, the bars serve drinks and tapas, folk groups sing and dance and the youths enjoy the more recent music in discos and pubs. 

Fair by night 

A little further away from the centre, next to the Palacio de Congresos, in the area known as“Cortijo de Torres”, an artificial enclosure is built for the festivities in Malaga. Although there is lots of life throughout the day, there is much more at night-time, where many of the “fiesteros” move to the centre. Here there are numerous stalls to eat drink and dance in; attractions for teens and children, and, above all, something which draws the most attention to foreign visitors, the horse drawn carriages with riders and passengers wearing traditional Andalusia clothes.
Come to MalagaCome to the fair! In 11 days of festivities you will find every type of entertainment adapted to your likes and preferences in one of the most loved cities in Spain
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MALAGA FAIR 2013: 9 Activities and Events You Won’t Want to Miss

Once again, anyone who visits the city during this week long festivity will be treated to a whole host of fun and entertaining activities and events. We’ve gone through the 26 page official programme for the ‘Feria’ and picked out – what we feel to be – some of the more interesting events on the calendar. Live music, bullfighting, museum exhibitions, Kids activities, Flamenco Shows are just some of the treats awaiting you!
Here’s the list:
1)      The official opening of the Fair on the Malagueta Beach (next to the port). You’ll witness a fabulous firework display with music and a free live concert with local singer Vanesa Martin. (Friday 16th August at midnight)
2)      ‘Ciudad de Malaga’ Horse and Carriage competition in the Malagueta bullring. (Sunday 18th August at 10.00pm)
3)      Magical Pirate Fair with games, workshops, storytelling, theatre, magic show and lots more. Located in Calle Alcazabilla this activity is available from 12.00pm to 3.30pm on the 19th, 20th,21st,22nd, 23rd and 24th August.
4)      Various free concerts in the ‘Auditorio Municipal’ located in the main fair ground. Highly popular Spanish artists such as Chambao, Merche and Andy y Lucas will be delighting crowds from 11pm most evenings. (See full guide for exact dates).
5)      Bullfighting: Throughout the week, those of you interested in watching a traditional bull fight will be spoilt for choice with some of the greatest matadors visiting the Malagueta bullring throughout the week.
6)      Flamenco Festival in the ‘Auditorio Municipal’ at the main fair ground. (11.00pm on the 21st August)
7)      The day fair in Malaga’s historic centre. Lots of great food, drink and lots of flamenco dancing!
8)      Museum exhibitions: Throughout the week, many of the city’s museums will be putting on special exhibitions; if you’re an art lover, you won’t want to miss this!
9)      Historical Parade to commemorate the conquering of the city by the Catholic Kings in 1487. (25thAugust at 7.00pm)
For a full copy of the Official Programme for the fair, please CLICK HERE.
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domingo, 4 de agosto de 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY OBAMA!

Barack Obama was born 4 August 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Why is Barack Obama famous?
Barack Obama is the present President of the United States and the first African-American ever to hold the office of U.S. Commander-in-Chief.  
Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States on 4 November 2008, and sworn in on 20 January 2009.

Quick Facts about Barack Obama
Born: August 4, 1961 (Hawaii)
Lives in: Chicago, Illinois
Zodiac Sign: Leo
Height: 6′ 1″ (1.87m)
Family: Married wife Michelle in 1992, 2 daughters Malia and Sasha
Parents: Barack Obama, Sr. (from Kenya) and Ann Dunham (from Kansas)


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jueves, 25 de julio de 2013

FEAST OF ST JAMES THE APOSTLE IN SPAIN - 25TH JULY




Many people in Spain celebrate the life and deeds of James, son of Zebedee, on Saint James' Day (Santiago Apostol), which is on July 25. Saint James was one of Jesus' first disciples. Some Christians believe that his remains are buried in Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Many events are organized on and before Saint James' Day in the Basque Country and Galicia.

These include:

•Special church services to honor the life and work of Saint James.

•Exhibitions of art work by artists born or living in or near Santiago de Compostela.

•Theatre productions and street shows.

•Concerts of modern and traditional music, including bagpipe performances.

•Traditional dance events held outside.


Special services are held in the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela on July 25. Church officials swing a large incense burner at full speed during this service. They fill the whole church with incense smoke.






St James, son of Zebedee, was an apostles and a brother of John the Apostle, according to Christian belief. He lived at the same time as Jesus. He may have traveled to the area that is now Santiago de Compostela.

St James was beheaded in Judea in the year 44 CE. Some Christians believe that his disciples carried his body by sea to Padrón on the Galician coast. They then buried his body under what is now the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

St James' relics were discovered sometime between 791 CE and 842 CE. Santiago de Compostela then became a place of pilgrimage. Pope Leo XIII asserted that the relics of St James at Compostela were authentic in a papal bull. This papal bull was published on November 1, 1884.
Common symbols of St James include a traveler's hat and a scallop shell. The scallop shell is used to mark a network of pilgrimage routes. These routes lead to the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela from many European countries, including:
Thousands of people walk, cycle or ride a horse along the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela each year. Many people hope to arrive just before Saint James' Day.

miércoles, 24 de julio de 2013

ROYAL BABY PRINCE NAMED GEORGE

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have named their son - George Alexander Louis.



Prince William and his new son, Prince George

The first child of Prince William and Catherine, who is third in line to the throne, will be known as Prince George of Cambridge.

George was the bookmakers' favourite for the first name of the prince.

There have been six King Georges up to now, most recently the Queen's father, although his first name was Albert and he was known to his family as Bertie.

The name Louis is Prince William's fourth name and is likely to be a tribute to Lord Louis Mountbatten, the Duke of Edinburgh's uncle and the last British Viceroy of India before independence in 1947.

Alexander is said to be a favourite of Catherine's.

As well as being an established regal name, George is also a saint's name. St George was an early Christian martyr and is the patron saint of England.


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lunes, 22 de julio de 2013

DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE GIVES BIRTH TO BOY_ 22nd JULY





The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a boy. The child was born at 4.24pm on Monday afternoon and weighed 8lb 6oz. The duchess arrived at the Lindo wing of St Mary's hospital, Paddington, in the early stages of labour at about 5.45am accompanied by the Duke of Cambridge. He is on two weeks' paternity leave from his job as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot

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martes, 16 de julio de 2013

VIRGIN OF CARMEN - 16 th JULY

The Virgin of Carmen is the patron saint and protector of fishermen and sailors. Religious Virgins are hugely popular in Andalucia (Spain); they are normally handcrafted from wood and porcelain and spend 99.9 per cent of the year at the local church. Most are dusted down and placed on flower-decked thrones at Easter-time when they are lovingly and solemnly borne through the streets. The Virgen del Carmen, however, has her own special day.

On the evening of July 16, in the fishing villages and towns up and down the Coast, her much-loved effigy is not only paraded through the streets but also taken for a spin round the bay on a flower-adorned boat, accompanied by a flotilla of "jábegas" (fishing boats). Brass bands play, crowds cheer, rockets shoot off and fireworks fill the late dusk sky.




Celebrations vary slightly from town to town. In Málaga, for example, the procession takes place not only on July 16, but on the following Sunday. A recent Malagueñan tradition, started in 1981, shows the Virgen del Carmen embracing all lovers of the sea - including scuba divers. That year, the City scuba diving club placed an image of their patron at the bottom of the sea and since then divers have paid their underwater homage annually.

The festival is especially important in the fishing villages of neighbouring Rincon de la Victoria and La Cala, both of which have the Virgen del Carmen as their town patron.

To understand why the Virgen del Carmen should be held so dear to the inhabitants of towns such as Estepona, Velez Malaga, Torremolinos and Rincon de la Victoria, we need to go back to the Old Testament. Downshifting in his old age, the prophet Elias retreated to a cave in Mount Carmelo near Haife (Israel). Many centuries later, hermits following in Elijah's footsteps asked for the protection of the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmelo - the Virgin of Carmen. Stella Maris, as she was also known, was soon adopted by mariners and fishermen everywhere as their patron.

Although long overtaken by tourism, many Costa towns still retain fishing communities and a strong attachment to "la Reina de los Mares" (the Queen of the Seas). It was once believed - perhaps in the days before water-purifying plants! - that the Virgin cleared up the waters with her presence and that only after July 16 would the sea be fit for swimming in.










CELEBRATIONS IN MALAGA, VELEZ MALAGA AND NERJA

domingo, 23 de junio de 2013

MIDSUMMER'S EVE IN SPAIN

The traditional midsummer party in Spain is the celebration in honour of San Juan (St. John the Baptist) and takes place in the evening of June 23. It is common in many areas of the country. Parties are organised usually at beaches, where bonfires are lit and a set of firework displays usually take place. On the Mediterranean coast, especially in Catalonia and València, special meals like Coca de Sant Joan are also served on this occasion. In Alicante, since 1928, the bonfires of Saint John were developed into elaborate constructions inspired by the Fallas of Valencia.

Midsummer tradition is also especially strong in northern areas of the country, such as Galicia, where one can easily identify the rituals that reveal the pagan beliefs widespread throughout Europe in Neolithic times. These beliefs pivot on three basic ideas: the importance of medicinal plants, especially in relation to health, youth and beauty; the protective character of fire to ward men off evil spirits and witches and, finally, the purifying, miraculous effects of water.




sábado, 22 de junio de 2013

LONDON UNDERGROUND

The Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway (CCE&HR) platforms were opened on 22 June 1907, by David Lloyd George, President to the Board of Trade, and later Prime Minister.

The London Underground (the Tube) is the oldest metro system in the world, upon which nearly 1 billion journeys are made each year. If you want to travel fast around London, taking the tube will get you to your destination quicker than bus or taxi. Tube trains generally depart every 3 or 4 minutes, less frequently at weekends and late at night.

There are currently 275 stations on 12 lines, and 253 miles of route, mainly double tracked, of which 20 miles are in shallow tunnels and 93 miles in deep tunnels. To travel between the surface and the underground stations there are 408 escalators and 112 lifts.

Each line on the underground has a name and is colour coded to make it easier to plan a route. There is a total of 12 different coloured lines in the London Underground system.


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