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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 01/24/17

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

BURN'S NIGHT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM!!!

Robert Burns





   Burns Night is annually, celebrated in Scotland on or around January 25th.  It commemorates the life of the bard (poet) Robert Burns, who was born on January 25, 1759.  The day also celebrates Burns' contribution to Scottish culture.  Burns' best known work is "Auld Lang Syne".





reading some poetry for Burns' night




What People Do?

   Many people and organizations hold a Burns' supper on or around Burns' Night.  These may be informal, only for men, only for women, or for both genders.  Formal events include toasts and readings of pieces written by Robert Burns.  Ceremonies during a Burns' Night supper vary according to the group organizing the event and the location.










    The evening centers on the entrance of the haggis (a type of sausage made from a sheep's stomach) on a large platter to the sound of a piper playing bagpipes.  When the haggis is on the table, the host reads the "Address to Haggis".  This is an ode that Robert Burns wrote to the Scottish dish.  At the end of the reading, the haggis is ceremonially sliced into two pieces and the meal begins.






Some whiskey and Haggis




Public Life

   Burns' Night is an observance but it is not a bank holiday in the United Kingdom.

Background

   Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Scotland , on January 25, 1759.  He died in Dumfries, Scotland, on July 21, 1796.  He was a poet and wrote many poems, lyrics and other pieces that addressed political and civil issues.  Perhaps his best known work is "Auld Lang Syne", which is sung at New year's Eve celebrations in Scotland, parts of the U.K., and other places around the world.  Burns is one of Scotland's important cultural icons and is well known among Scottish expats or descendants around the world.  he is also known as "Rabbie Burns", the fa"Bard of Ayrshire", "Scotland's favorite son"; and in Scotland as "The Bard".





Men in their kilts




    Robert Burns' acquaintances held the first Burns' supper on July 21st, the anniversary of his death, in Ayshire, Scotland, in the late 1700's.  The date was later changed to January 25th, which marks his birthday.  Burns' suppers are now held by people and organizations with Scottish origins worldwide, particularly in Australia, Canada, England, and the United States.

Symbols

   The Scottish flag is often displayed at Burns' Night celebrations.  It is known as the Saltire and consists of a rectangular blue background with thick white bars on the diagonals.  The diagonals form a cross that represents Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland.
   At Burns' Night events, many men wear kilts and women may wear shawls, skirts or dresses made from their family tartan.  A tartan was originally a woolen cloth with a distinctive pattern made by using colors of weft and warp when weaving.  Particular patterns and combinations of colors were associated with different areas, clans and families.  Tartan patterns are now printed on various materials.



 

A plate of some Scottish delicacies


 

   Many types of food are associated with Burns' Night.  These include: socock-a-leekie soup (chicken and leek soup); haggis; neeps (mashed turnips or swedes) and tatties (mashed potatoes); cranachan (whipped cream mixed with raspberries and served wit sweet oat wafers); bannocks (a kind of bread cooked on a griddle).  Whiskey is the traditional drink.

INTERNATIONAL CIRCUS FESTIVAL OF MONTE-CARLO!!




Image result for international circus festival 2017






    The Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo (International Circus Festival de Monte-Carlo) was created in 1974 by Prince Rainier III of Monaco to promote circus arts....for which he had a lifelong passion.  The first festival was held from December 26th to the 30th, 1974 under the big top of the French circus Bouglione, installed on what was then the Esplande de Fontvielle.  In the forward he wrote for the program, Prince Rainiers said, "This International Circus Festival was created thinking of the circus community, of this family of underestimated people, so that you, attentive spectators of their efforts and of their work, could know them better, and celebrate them better".  It was the first true circus festival ever presented in the Western world.










   During the Festival, a selection of some of the best circus acts in the business are presented twice to a paying audience and a Jury of circus professionals, journalists, and specialists...presided until 2005 by the late Prince Rainier III, and since 2006, by his daughter, Princess Stephanie of Monaco.  The Jury awards Gold and Silver Clowns, and since 2002 a Bronze Clown, in the form of statuettes sculpted by Paule Male'.  Other prizes and trophies are awarded by the City of Monaco, and various
corporations, press organizations, associations, and individuals.  The Festival presents about 25 acts each yer, in two different set of performances.  The awards are presented during a closing Gala performance attended by the Prince of Monaco, and his family and guests.  Traditionally, the Prince also attends every selection performance.  The first Gold Clowns, which in time became the equivalent of an Oscar, to the circus world, were award to Alfred Court, in tribute to his exceptional career, and to Charlie Rivel.








 

   In 1975, the Festival was presented under the big top of the Italian circus, Nando, Liana e Rinaldo Orfei, and from 1975 to 1994, under the big top of another Italian Circus, Circo American-Togni.  Since 1995, it has been held under a large, sedentary circus structure, permanently installed in what is now the Quartier Fontvielle, in Monaco.



 
Under the big top tent in Monte Carlo


 


   In 2006, the Festival staged an extraordinary tribute to Prince Rainier III of Monaco (who had passed away the previous year), with a five hour show that gathered the greatest assemblage of Gold and Silver Medalists ever seen (some of them performing at the same time, like the amazing juggling duet formed by Kris Kremo and Anthony Gatto, or Oleg Izossimov sharing the ring with The Rodions and Wei Baohua &Wu Zheng).  It was probably the greatest circus performance ever produced.










   The International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo is now held each year in mid January.  Presided by S.A.S. Princess Stephanie of Monaco, it remains today, without a doubt, the most important circus manifestation in the world, and it has become the annual rendezvous of the international circus community and of a large international audience of circus enthusiasts.

"CARNAVAL DE QUEBEC", THE WINTER FESTIVAL IN QUEBEC, CANADA! WAY COOOOLLL!








 


    Visitors from all over the world will be playing in the snow and enjoying the winter festivities at one of the biggest winter celebrations that Canada has to offer. Quebec, Canada has been host to the winter wonderland known to locals as "Carnaval de Quebec", for more than 50 years and shows no signs of slowing down anytime in the near future as this year's carnival will see more than 400 unique activities. It has been dubbed as the "The coolest Part in the World", and why not? It has all of the offerings that you would expect form traditions Nordic culture, only they have went all out and included events for people of all generations, tastes, and backgrounds.












    The Winter Carnival got its start in 1894 and has grown each consecutive year by updating events and festivities to fit every lifestyle. Starting at the end of January and lasting up until the middle of February. Quebec opens its doors for a winter celebration that includes snow baths, glittering night parades, slide runs, ice fishing, concerts, snow rafting, snow sculpture competitions, a canoe race over the frozen St. Lawrence River, horse-drawn sleigh rides, husky powered dogsled rides, and skating.










    Music, dancing, live entertainment, deliciously prepared cuisine, rides and activities are also part of the Winter Carnival. The activities are non-stop throughout the week, but the special events are typically held during the weekend. If this isn't enough to tantalize your taste buds, then the city of Quebec itself might be what you are hungering for. The medieval setting is something straight out of a book as you will delight in seeing everything from the French architecturally designed homes nestled along narrow, winding streets to the colorful and inviting restaurants and shops that demand your attention. It is truly one of the most beautiful destinations that you will ever have the pleasure of laying your eyes on.


 




 

    The heart of the carnival is set up at the Plains of Abraham where the French and British once battled, but is now home to grazing cattle and the Winter Carnival. A particular favorite is the St. Hubert Derby that easily draws crowds of people waiting to see the single and double championship drivers of the horse team competition. While other visitors can't wait to chill out in the Ice Palace and see the one of a kind structure made up entirely of ice. Children gather in large crowds awaiting the arrival of Bonhomme the snowman who  plays as Master of Ceremonies during the snow bath event where daring adventurists play in the snow the Eskimo way, in bathing suits.










    The city of Quebec not only offers fun winter festivities, but it also holds the allure of being the only walled city in North America. More than 1.5 million visitors find their way to the Carnival de Quebec, and most of them will eventually find their way to the ancient part of the walled city that houses French neighborhoods that closely resemble a European village of sorts. Brightly lit shops and local cuisine can be found along the heart of the city as well as scenic views of the lake and mountains.