A little over a year ago, I went to live in Paris for a few months, to learn French and teach English.
During my time there, I went on a mission to discover medieval Paris. I had just graduated from my MA in Medieval Studies, and I had an idea to set up a walking tour, so that others could discover the hidden medieval treasures of Paris.
I knew that this famous city came from humbler beginnings, which I wished for the world to be more aware of. For it was not always the ‘City of Love’…
Back in the Middle Ages, Paris was the hub of the academics. Students from all over Europe came to Paris, to converse together, exchange ideas, and study the Classics. Continue reading Walking Through Medieval Paris: Introduction
I have been thinking about the reasons why we celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Night since I posted last night*…
Perhaps we are celebrating because it was lucky in some way that no-one died on that night, so it’s a celebration for the freedom of people? (Except for the poor plotters, who received the death penalty two months later.) Or perhaps we don’t really know the real reasons, since the ways of marking the occasion, changed over the years?
Not much is known about how they celebrated in the early days, although it was apparently very anti-Catholic, with sermons preached by the church. Continue reading Journey into Fireworks Night
Here in the UK, Guy Fawkes’ Night (aka Bonfire Night/Fireworks Night) is celebrated annually on the 5 November.
It’s a long-standing tradition that has been publicly acknowledged since the Stuart times, where bonfires are lit, fireworks are displayed, and sparklers are waved around in the air. All because a man, called Guy Fawkes from York, tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in on 5 November 1605. Continue reading Remember, Remember the 5th of November…
Yesterday, I went on day trip to London to do some shopping, and spend some time, at Selfridge & Co., with my family.
It was quite the treat. So beautiful inside and out, and they were already decorated for Christmas (and we haven’t even had Bonfire Night yet)! Continue reading The Origins of Selfridge & Co.
This morning, I woke up with When the Saints Go Marching In going round, and round, my head. I had an vision of all the saints, marching together in unison like a marching band, including my name saint – St Andrew – banging in time with the cross he was martyred on.
Today, it is the 1st November, the day after Halloween; a Christian observation that is still going today, named All Saints’ Day. Continue reading All Saints’ Day and All Soul’s Day
The other day, on the way to work, I drove past a house that was actually decorated for Halloween. Since I drove past fast, I only caught a banner, which probably said something like: Enter If You Dare! I was amused that a house actually went into Halloween effort, because while the UK talks about Halloween, but it isn’t a big holiday like it is in the USA. But it never was how it is now…
The origins of Halloween actually date back to Celtic times, and back then, it was the New Year’s Eve for pagans, with November 1 being the start of the New Year.They believed that on New Year’s Eve, named Samhain¹, Continue reading The History of Halloween