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Showing posts from July 13, 2014


The pumpkin has been around in the U.S. long before the pilgrims first landed on the shores of Cape Cod Bay.  Most scientists seem to think that the tasty squash (pumpkins are part of the squash family) was first cultivated in southern Mexico over a thousand years ago, and gradually the large vegetable spread north along with maize, squash and beans.  These newly developed crops greatly changed the way the Indians lived.  Native populations increased and cultures flourished as many parts of North America saw a change in Native life that went from hunter and gatherer towards farmer.    Every yer the Thanksgiving holiday gives us a chance to have a big feast, reconnect with long lost relatives and watch football.  Most Americans have some inkling of the vast array of modern foods that originated in the Americas, and also of the importance of corn in the aboriginal diet, but the story is much more fascinating and complex that.

   Sometime between a thousand and two thousand years ago, …


The festival of San Fermín (or Sanfermines, in basque languageSanferminak) in the city of Pamplona (Navarre, Spain), is a deeply rooted celebration held annually from 12:00, 6 July, when the opening of the fiesta is marked by setting off the pyrotechnic chupinazo,to midnight 14 July, with the singing of the Pobre de Mí. While its most famous event is the encierro, or the running of the bulls, the week-long celebration involves many other traditional and folkloric events. It is known locally as Sanfermines and is held in honor of Saint Fermin, the co-patron of Navarre. Its events were central to the plot of The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway, which brought it to the general attention of English-speaking people. It has become probably the most internationally renowned fiesta in Spain. Over 1,000,000 people come to watch this festival.

Saint Fermin

Fermin is said to have been the son of a Roman of senatorial rank in Pamplona in the 3rd century, who was converted to Christianity by…