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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

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