Traditions across Europe-an eTwinning project

“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, TRADITION and myth frame our response.” (Arthur Schlesinger Jr.)

23 April in Romania: Sfantul Gheorghe-St. George Day April 26, 2008

Filed under: St. George — LL @ 1:34 pm
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Every year, on the 23rd of April, Romanian people celebrate Sfantul Gheorghe or St. George Day. He is one of the most important saints in the Orthodox calendar.

In our region—Bucovina—people who live in villages cut small square pieces of fresh ground, stick willow branches into it and put them at the entrance. They are thought to be a spring symbol.

Few people know the meaning of this tradition. Not even the old ones can say why they do that, but they think it is the right thing to do on St. George Day. Some say that this tradition is not a Christian one and it would not be surprising because lots of pagan elements here have been incorporated into the Christian faith.

According to the Christian tradition, St. George was born in nowadays Turkey, in Cappadocia, to a Christian family. When Emperor Diocletian began his persecution of the Church, he was arrested and suffered great torture for boldly confessing belief in Jesus Christ. He was beheaded in 303 A.D.

Popular tradition associates St. George with the killing of the dragon. That is why in many Orthodox icons he is pictured on a horse cutting off the head of a dragon.

Lots of men in Romania bear the name Gheorghe as a sign of respect for this saint. Also lots of churches in Romania are named after this saint. He is also the patron saint of the church in Comanesti, our village.

Mia, Adriana, Daniela, Teodor, Stefan and Tavi- Comanesti School

 

BICINCITTA’in Alessandria April 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Piera Ferranti @ 9:04 pm
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BICINCITTà means bicycles in town.

This is a funny , important and useful event that takes place every year in Alessandria in April or May.

All the people that like riding their bike meet together on a Sunday morning and ride together through our town.

There are no age limits and sometimes whole families take part.

It’s an important, funny and very useful event. Riding a bike is useful for our health and it’s great fun.

And, at least for one day a week , cars are far from the town centre and the air is less polluted

Francesca class 2A Scuola media “Vivaldi ” Alessandria

 

The first day of summer in Iceland “Sumardagurinn fyrsti” April 15, 2008

Here comes the first prodject from Fludaskoli in Iceland.

It’s a slideshow that kids in 8th grade made about the first day of summer which is next week. The summer is arriving on Thursday the 24th of April even though there is snow all over the country. But oh well 🙂

 

A traditional Polish duck blood soup April 10, 2008

Filed under: Traditional recipes — ligregni @ 7:07 pm
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Czernina (from wikipedia) with our comment

czernina, duck blood soup......in Dutch cup


“czernina, duck blood soup…
…in Dutch cup

Czernina (from the Polish word czarny – black; sometimes also Czarnina or Czarna polewka) is a Polish soup made of duck blood and clear poultry broth. In English it is referred to as Duck Blood Soup.

Generally the sweet and sour taste of the soup comes from the addition of sugar and vinegar. However, there are hundreds of recipes popular in different parts of Poland and Lithuania. Among the ingredients used are plum or pear syrup, dried pears, plums or cherries, apple vinegar and honey. Like most Polish soups, czernina is usually served with fine noodles, macaroni or boiled potatoes.

Until the 19th century czernina was also a symbol in Polish culture. It was served to young men applying for the hand of their beloved ones after the parents rejected their proposal. It is a plot element in Pan Tadeusz, a famous Polish epic poem by Adam Mickiewicz.

It is also a regional dish in Kaszuby and Poznań.”

OUR COMMENT

We live near Kaszuby so a lot of us knows the soup, but some people do not want even want to try it when they hear what its special ingredient is. A lot of people love it, it is said to be healthy and tasty. Most of us haven’t tried it.

Everybody in Poland knows Pan Tadeusz so the soup is a symbol of rejection for us (czarna polewka mentioned before), all Polish people.

Gimnazjum nr 18, Poland

 

About April fools Day origin in Italy April 5, 2008

Filed under: 1 April — Gina @ 9:19 pm
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Surfing on internet I found some information about the April fools day origin in Italy:

http://www.placidasignora.com/2007/04/01/storia-del-pesce-daprile/

In Italy the costume to celebrate the April fools Day or Pesce d’Aprile playing jokes is relatively recent; we find the first brief outline around 1840 in the diaries and documents of maritime naval Genoese merchants, who in turn reported French documents.

One of the oldest jokes was played in Florence in 1878, the “Giornale d’Italia” published the news about the death in the city of an Indian mahrajà and announced that, according to the Hindu tradition, this would have been cremated on the 1st April on a pyre built in the Cascine park. Obviously a great crowd arrived at the specified place, and has been waiting for hours until the groups of youngsters dressed by fishermen came out from bushes and began to turn among the crowd shouting “Arno fried fish.”

1961. The newspaper “La Notte” in Milan announced the Commune imposed side lights for horses circulating on the streets of the city or neighbouring countries. Many people brought their animals to the car electrician to equip them with lights.
1993.
In the streets of Milan and Turin appear posters announcing a new “road tax” imposed by the Communes to be paid according to the body weight of citizens.
2001. The portal sportal.it announced that Senator Umberto Bossi was the new president of the Avellino Football team; the padania green shirt had convinced him.

( My translation)

 

‘Pryma Aprylis’ in Poland April 4, 2008

Filed under: 1 April — ligregni @ 10:11 pm
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April Fools’ Day, known as ‘Pryma Aprylis’ in Poland is really a special day with a long tradition. Even mass media have played pranks on Polish people since the television was made available here. The day is especially loved by children.

The tradition of the day in Poland dates back to at least 13th century but it got really popular only in the 17th century. Back then in Poland people would have very strange ideas about how to celebrate the day e.g. they would offer to their guests dumplings stuffed with sawdusts or coffee made with clay. Letters were sent with news which were 100% invention, strange presents were given or just a card with ”Prima aprilis” written on it was sent.

Two years ago, for example, Poles were informed by the media some scenes of the famous film Star Wars were going to be shot in Poland.

The day is popular with children in Poland . They love to dress up on the day and many schools allow their pupils to come to school in costumes and fancy dresses. It seems like a carnaval. Students love it when they can say to their teachers their clothes are dirty or have some tear in them.

Apart from 1st April there was another date associated with playing practical jokes in Poland, in some Polish regions it was 12th March when the custom of Gregorians ( st Gregory the Great was a pope and the patron of elementary schools) was celebrated. The custom started in the 15th century and was taken from Alsace. Once the school year started on that day and it was time for students to enjoy themselves, have a big feast together with their teachers. After a school mass they would participate in a parade all dressed up and they would collect money, eggs, dry fruit , pieces of chocolate or sausage. On the day they played jokes on their teachers, too.

 

 

prima.jpg
Polish students, Gimnazjum nr 18 in Gdańsk
 

“Ziua pacalelilor” (1 April) in Romania April 1, 2008

Filed under: 1 April — LL @ 7:34 pm
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Pacala “Ziua pacalelilor” is April Fools’ Day in Romanian. We started celebrating it in the 19th century, so it is not a very old tradition here, but people like playing jokes on one another.

There is a superstition here saying that a joke has to be played before noon, otherwise it will bring bad luck. They also say that if you do not play a joke on somebody on 1 April, you will be the one who is going to be fooled the whole year. Another superstition says that it is not a good thing for a couple to get married on the 1 April because the marriage will not last or the woman will be the boss in the house.

Our Romanian character who is famous for his pranks is called Pacala.

Both teachers and pupils played jokes on one another at school today. Our French teacher entered the classroom and asked the pupils to prepare a sheet of paper because she was going to test them from the last five lessons. A 5th form pupil told our History teacher that someone had stolen things from their classroom.

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Liliana&the kids