viernes, 4 de noviembre de 2011

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Hi everybody!! The students from 3rd Course of Compulsory Secondary Education are reading one of the best books this term. It is hard to believe that there is anyone on the planet who is not familiar with the story of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. What is it about?

Ebenezer Scrooge isn't celebrating Christmas Eve, he thinks that Christmas is "a waste of time and money". On Christmas Eve, four ghosts teach Scrooge, an elderly miser, that love and friendship are much more important than amassing a fortune. The first ghost is that of Marley, his former business partner, who warns him about the suffering awaiting him if he does not change. The three other ghosts reveal to Scrooge scenes from his past, present and future. After witnessing these scenes, Scrooge is a changed man.

Christmas is just around the corner and I´m sure you will enjoy this story. We must highlight the true Christmas time value such as friendship, love, honesty... all of them are the crux of the matter for our society. Next day, we´ll continue reading chapter 2.

Charles Dickens is the author of this breathtaking novel: he was an English novelist, considered the greatest of the Victorian period. 

jueves, 3 de noviembre de 2011


Guess what? Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated on 5th November.It commemorates a failed  attempt by a group of thirteen Catholics to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill the King, James I. The group rented a cellar under the Houses of Parliament and stored 36  barrels of gunpowder. Guy Fawkes was in charge of the gunpowder. An anonymous letter  warning of the plot reached the authorities. They searched the building, found Guy Fawkes  and arrested him. He was tortured and later executed. That very same night, bonfires were lit 
to celebrate that the King was safe and the tradition has continued ever since. Traditionally,  English children used to make Guys to burn on the bonfire. A Guy was a life-sized model of  Guy Fawkes made from paper, straw, old clothes… Before they burnt it, the children would ask passers-by for ‘A penny for the Guy’. With the money, they bought sweets or fireworks. 
Now children under 18 are not allowed to buy fireworks so the custom is dying out, though  some people still make Guys for charity. 

Here you can have a look at rhymes and chants during the celebration of Bonfire Nights

Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, guy, t'was his intent
To blow up king and parliament.
Three score barrels were laid below
To prove old England's overthrow.

By God's mercy he was catch'd
With a darkened lantern and burning match.
So, holler boys, holler boys, Let the bells ring.
Holler boys, holler boys, God save the king.

And what shall we do with him?
Burn him!

Guy Fawkes, Guy  
Stick him up on high,  
Hang him on a lamp post  
And there let him die.  
Poke Him in the eye,  
Put him on the fire  
And there let him die  
Burn his body from his head  
Then you'll say  
Guy Fawkes is dead  
Hip, Hip, Hooray!  

Rumour, rumour, pump and derry,
Prick his heart and burn his body,
And send his soul to Purgatory.

lunes, 31 de octubre de 2011

"Trick or Treat"

The American tradition of "trick-or-treating" probably dates back to the early All Souls' Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called "soul cakes" in return for their promise to pray for the family's dead relatives.

The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for the returning spirits on Halloween night. The practice, which was referred to as "going a-souling" was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money.

The tradition of dressing in costumes and masks on Halloween finds its roots in both European and Celtic history. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly realm, people thought they would encounter the ghosts if they left their homes. Therefore, to avoid being seen by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits.

domingo, 30 de octubre de 2011

Carving amazing pumpkins for Halloween!!

Students from 3rd Course Secondary Education carved pumpkins for Halloween. As a result, they got awesome Jack O´Lanterns.  The use of Jack O´Lanterns is a custom which hails from the Irish. On Halloween, these lights represented the souls of the dead. Have a look at this Halloweek project:  


sábado, 29 de octubre de 2011

Do you know the origin of Halloween?

As we already know, Halloween is a very well-known festivity all around the world. It is a time of both celebration and superstition. However, the real origin of Halloween is the following one:

History traces Halloween back to the ancient religion of the Celtics in Ireland. Celtic people were very conscious of the spiritual world and had their own ideas: they used to help their over 300 gods to defeat their enemies in battle, or to imitate the gods in showing cleverness.