3. Ireland

 

Irish Country Road

The island of Ireland is divided into two countries; the southern and northwestern regions constitute the Republic of Ireland, an independent, democratic country. The northeast is Northern Ireland and presently is a part of the United Kingdom. Historically, Ireland is divided into four ancient provinces, LEINSTER, MUNSTER, CONNACHT and ULSTER. There are thirty-two counties within those provinces. For tourism the country is divided into regions which may cross over provinces. The following information will give you a short description of the regions and the cities within those regions. Heritage towns are noted under the cities.

Throughout the entire island of Ireland are thousands of lakes and rivers that are natural wonders. In addition, Ireland’s ancient past makes it an archeological paradise, with many sites dating back thousands of years. There is so much to explore and experience, that no matter where you travel in Ireland, it will be a fantastic exploration, Irish Lakewith unsurpassed hospitality. The scenery is ever changing, simply spectacular, and literally unfolds before your eyes. All over Ireland you can enjoy the outdoors from fishing to golf, horse riding to water sports. Local eateries offer a wide range of food from simple to fine dining. However, whether plain or fancy, the fare is usually fresh, often home grown, and absolutely fantastic. A wide variety of accommodations await you and there are many modes of transportation throughout, including rental cars, chauffeur drive, motor coach, boats, trains, and even planes from one part of the country to another.

The universal language of music is performed in local pubs, large concert halls, on the street with buskers, or in the parlor with your hosts. Anywhere and everywhere there is music, from traditional to contemporary, and rock. Listen to the songs of Ireland and you can learn much of her history!

(from visitireland.com)

Look at some photos!

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Traditional Irish dancing

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The famous Guinness

 

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The shamrock

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The Irish flag

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One of the beautiful landscapes

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A typical cottage

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Xmas cakes

Do you like cakes? eating or making them? I like making them!
Here are some pictures and recipes.

Recipe for the Yule log

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Do you like Cupcakes? Here   and here you can find some inspiration

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And if you prefer cookies this is the link for you!

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Are you hungry???                I Am !!!!!

Xmas is coming!

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The Date of Christmas

The idea to celebrate Christmas on December 25 originated in the 4th century. The Catholic Church wanted to eclipse the festivities of a rival pagan religion that threatened Christianity’s existence. The Romans celebrated the birthday of their sun god. Church leaders decided that in order to compete with the pagan celebration they would themselves order a festival in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The date of December 25 was chosen as the official birthday celebration as Christ’s Mass so that it would compete head on with the rival pagan celebration.

Mistletoe and Holly
Two hundred years before the birth of Christ, the Druids used mistletoe to celebrate the coming of winter. They believed the plant had special healing powers for everything from female infertility to poison ingestion. Scandinavians also thought of mistletoe as a plant of peace and harmony. They associated mistletoe with their goddess of love, Frigga. The custom of kissing under the mistletoe probably derived from this belief.

Poinsettias
Poinsettias are native to Mexico. They were named after America’s first ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett. He brought the plants to America in 1828.

The Christmas Tree
The Christmas Tree originated in Germany in the 16th century. It was common for the Germanic people to decorate fir trees, both inside and out, with roses, apples, and colored paper. It is believed that Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, was the first to light a Christmas tree with candles. While coming home one dark winter’s night near Christmas, he was struck with the beauty of the starlight shining through the branches of a small fir tree outside his home. He duplicated the starlight by using candles attached to the branches of his indoor Christmas tree.

Xmas
This abbreviation for Christmas is of Greek origin. The word for Christ in Greek is Xristos. During the 16th century, Europeans began using the first initial of Christ’s name, “X” in place of the word Christ in Christmas as a shorthand form of the word. Although the early Christians understood that X stood for Christ’s name, later Christians who did not understand the Greek language mistook “Xmas” as a sign of disrespect.

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Vocabulary (click here ChristmasVocabulary and print this document. It contains useful words!)

 

Click on the image to get a nice surprise! imageslistening        find the differences game                    crossword game      Father Christmas (fill  in the gaps)            matching exercise    more exercises

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 and now it is music time!!!

 

 

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Have you ever watched this film?

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Thanksgiving Day

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Celebrated on: Fourth Thursday in November

Thanksgiving Day is the fourth Thursday in November, but many Americans take a day of vacation on the following Friday to make a four-day weekend, during which they may travel long distances to visit family and friends.

The holiday dates back to 1621, the year after the Puritans arrived in Massachusetts, determined to practice their dissenting religion without interference. After a rough winter, in which about half of them died, they turned for help to neighboring Indians, who taught them how to plant corn and other crops. The next fall’s bountiful harvest inspired the Pilgrims to give thanks by holding a feast.

The Thanksgiving feast became a national tradition — not only because so many other Americans have found prosperity but also because the Pilgrims’ sacrifices for their freedom still captivate the imagination.

To this day, Thanksgiving dinner almost always includes some of the foods served at the first feast: roast turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, pumpkin pie. Before the meal begins, families or friends usually pause to give thanks for their blessings, including the joy of being united for the occasion.

Here are colouring pages

 

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This is an interactive book http://www.animatedthanksgiving.com/book/2368-f2-the-original-thanksgiving?s=24efe1784ceaf2d89968b

Vocabulary game   crossword 2

If you want to learn more, visit this website http://www.scholastic.com/scholastic_thanksgiving/webcast.htm

 

USA National Anthem

This is the American national anthem.. “The Star-Spangled Banner” was recognized for official use by the Navy in 1889, and by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931

Halloween

October 31 is Halloween!

The history of Halloween is not entirely a clear one. Many hundreds of years ago, a people called theCelts lived in Europe and on the British Isles. The Celts believed that the souls of the dead visited Earth on the last day of October. They had a festival in honor of these souls of the dead, and they called it Samhain.

In time, the Roman Empire conquered the Celts and took over some of their beliefs as well. This included Samhain. The Romans combined it with their own festivals. And since the Roman Empire spread across a great part of the known world, the idea that the souls of the dead visited Earth on the last day of October spread far and wide.

Many ideas from the Roman days still survive in the United States and in other Western countries. Halloween is one of them.

But how did we get the name Halloween?

In the 8th Century, the Catholic Church declared November 1 to be All Saints’ Day. The church calendar had a number of days honoring saints already. November 1 was picked to be the day to honor all saints who didn’t already have a day named in their honor.

And the mass that the Catholic Church celebrated on November 1 was called Allhallowmas. This meant “mass of all the hallowed [saintly people.]” It was commonly called “All Hallows’ Day.”

And somewhere along the line, the night before became known as Allhallowe’en, which was short for “evening before All Hallows’ Day.” It was then shortened to what we now call it, Halloween.

One last question: Why do people dress up as ghosts, goblins, vampires, and other scary creatures? The people who started all this Halloween business many years ago believed that if they appeared scary, they would scare away the spirits of the dead who were roaming the earth on All Hallows’ Eve. These people also carried food to the edge of town and left it there, hoping the spirits would eat that food and not come raid the village.

 

The Story of the Jack-o-Lantern

Jack, it seems, was a bad man. He kept all his money to himself. He wouldn’t help people for all of his life. When Jack died, he wasn’t allowed into Heaven because he was such a miser: a person who wouldn’t share his money.

It seems that Jack also had played tricks on the Devil, who wouldn’t let him into hell, either.

Jack was stuck. He had to walk the earth, holding a lantern, until Judgment Day.

You can download this super fonts!

http://www.dafont.com/it/search.php?q=halloween

or you can play some games

game1  game2 game3 (the witch)  game4 (matching)  crosswords

Learn some words connected to Halloween

Very important

Hi Everybody! I want to inform you that I will remove posts and comments which are not written in English. Don’t worry if you make mistakes!

Use these sentences:

I don’t understand (non capisco)…

How do you…(come si fa a…)

Can you tell me… (Mi può dire…)