Posted in The UK on 23. Apr, 2010
Each year on April 23, the United Kingdom observes St. George’s Day, which marks the day England’s patron saint, St. George, passed away. This holiday isn’t as notable as other celebratory holidays, though. You may not even realize the day is different than any other day at all. Schools, post offices and businesses are still business-as-usual.
Traditions that do occur include flags with St. George’s cross (seen to the right) being flown from pubs, and few people donning a red rose on their lapel. Also, the hymn “Jerusalem” will be sung Sunday during some church services as a tradition to the closest Sunday to St. George’s Day.
So just who was St. George? According to folklore, St. George killed a dragon, rescued a princess and restored access to an entire village’s water. The village then converted to Christianity after the dragon was slayed. Other countries also celebrate St. Georges day on different days of the year, based on different calendars such as the Gregorian calendar.
Whether you observe the holiday or not, it’s always fun to raise a pint and enjoy time spent with friends and family. If you are looking for events specifically designed around today’s holiday, visit here. Also, check out this list of pubs and bars. If not, go out and have a great time with friends. I’m sure there’s a drink special or two out there!
How long does it take you to shuck, or open, an oyster? 20 seconds? 45 seconds? A few minutes?
What about opening 30 oysters in 2 minutes, 39 seconds?
Michael Moran, the overall winner of the Galway International Oyster Festival Committee, holds the 2009 fastest time at the annual Guinness World Oyster Opening Championships in Galway, Ireland.
Sounds impossible, I know… especially after reading the rules to the competition.
This is just one of the many events at the Galway Oyster Festival. Since 1954, this festival has attracted thousands of vistors young and old from all over the world.
Don’t be misled, though, this festival is jam packed with many events other than just seeing how many oysters can be opened and/or consumed. Events include a Magnificant “Mardi Gras” Party, Oyster Tasting, Oyster Pearl pageant, Oyster Festival Gala Ball and Farewell Party. Plus, the Galway Music & Oyster Trail has many restaurants, pubs and hotels along the way to help absorb the culture of Galway.
Don’t be upset if you can’t open up oysters as fast as Michael. Keep working on your technique and remember, practice makes perfect! You could be a winner at the Festival some day!
Posted in Berlin on 16. Dec, 2009
From beatnik to tribal, and traditional to just plain eccentric, thousands of people march to the beat of their own drums in the Carnival of Cultures in Berlin each year. The idea behind the Carnival stems from Berlin’s extremely diverse population. (More than 450,000 of Berlin’s 3.4 million residents have a non-German citizenship, resulting in a plethora of mixed cultural and social backgrounds in Berlin!)
What a better way to learn and appreciate these cultures than a four-day street festival?
More than 1.47 million people celebrated at the parade in 2009, and it is expected to grow even more in 2010. With large numbers of young people celebrating the Carnival too, it is a perfect event for all ages.
If you will be in the Berlin area from May 21-24, it would be worth your while to check out the Carnival. Find a great hotel in your budget and proximity, and let the good times march on at the Carnival in 2010!