Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Some italian festivals in the autumn

In autumn in our country we celebrate various occasions, some linked to the past of our history other religious or folkloristic.
A folklore festival, which in a sense represents the autumn , is dedicated to a typical product of this season in our area: the chestnut.
The video belove shows the feast of chestnuts in Rionero in Vulture

At the chestnut are also devoted many proverbs and riddles. One of these is as follows

A typical cake made with chestnuts is the castagnaccio

The night between October 31 and the first November we celebrate Halloween. Although the festival of Halloween historically belongs to the Anglo-Saxon countries, from some years is spreading in Italy the custom of celebrating tonight embraces. Festivals and masked balls are organized a bit everywhere to evoke the atmosphere of macabre spirits of the dead who wander the earth.In our school teachers and students decorated classrooms with the symbols of Halloween.


All Saint day is celebrated in honor of all the Catholic Saints and Martyrs. It is also a time to reflect on those who have passed in general, a Memorial Day of sorts.
The day of the dead is the holidays that the Catholic Church dedicated to the commemoration of the dead.
It is a time to remember the deceases,a day of religious significance, which fuse with ancient rites and folk beliefs. The festival has ancient origins Ancient civilizations already celebrated the feast of the ancestors or the dead in a period that fell just between the end of October and beginning of November. This date seems to relate to the period of the Great Flood described in Genesis, the Flood that Noah built the ark that, as the story of Moses, fell in the seventeenth day of the second month ", which correspond to our November. The Day of the Dead thus was born in "honor" of people that God had destroyed, to exorcise fear of new events.
A pattern recurs in the folk traditions of the feast of the dead: the belief that in this day missing loved ones come back to visit us on earth. For this reason, the rites of commemoration took throughout Italy meanings and purposes like: welcome, comfort, soothe the souls of dead ancestors.
In many countries of Basilicata there are still traditions and beliefs regarding the dead during the day on 2 November. According to an ancient custom in my country, the night before on 2 November, was used in homes prepare a table for lunch, with all the dishes, bread and the cup of water.It is believed that on this night brought the dead from their graves to visit their homes and their relatives, and want eat at the banquet that they are prepared. On the same night, also was preparing a custom tray full of water on a table, sit in the family and watch the procession of their dead loved ones reflected in that water. Also we were preparing the dishes as cooked chestnuts or the "grain of the dead," a cake made with cooked wheat and pomegranate Vinçotte. The grain is the symbol of death and rebirth cycle. The pomegranate is an ancient tradition of tree mentioned in the Bible and was sacred to Juno and Venus. The painters of the Renaissance put the pomegranate in the hand of Jesus On bring the candles on the window sill and are held until they are consumed. Candles light up in the church cemetery in memory of all the dead, even those who do not know. The cult of the dead in my country, begins a week before the feast of All Saints: it goes to the cemetery to clean the graves and to Ognissanti the day you go to Mass and the cemetery in the afternoon: we bring flowers to all the dead, then Afternoon you go to the cemetery in procession with the pastor and pray at the tombs of the dead . The next day, they celebrate Mass at the cemetery in memory of all the dead.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Our presentation

Who are we
Hello, we are the pupils of Primary School of Rionero in Vulture, Italy. This is a postcard of our school.
As you can see is a very big school. There are about 1,000 pupils and 100 teachers. Some class are orgenized at full-time (40 hours per week) other at modular-time (30 hours per week). The prevalent organization is modular, that is, two classes are assigned to three teachers who are divided the teaching of different disciplines. One teaches Italian and art, the other mathematics, science and technology, the other still history, geography, music, computer science, gymnastics. The English language is taught by a specialized teacher for two hours per weeks. We are very happy to take part at this project, to know the pupils of school partners, their festivals and to show them ours.
The place where we live

Our country is Rionero in Vulture, in the south of Italy. Rionero is situated on a hilly territory rich in natural beauty. Nearby you can admire the Mount Vulture, the Lakes of Monticchio, on whose shores lies the Abbey of St. Michele. Its landscape is diverse and welcoming with a rich vegetation of olive groves, vineyards and dense forests. The fertility of the land and their favorable exposure, have allowed the development of viticulture, oliveculture and chestnut fruit. The city of Rionero in Vulture is known in Italy for its wealth of water Minerals. Here operate companies so-called “Sources of Vulture” as “Water Lilia”, “Gaudianello", " Cutolo", " Sveva". Its history is linked to the names of Giustino Fortunato who actively took up the issue Southern.
Rionero is a modern town with all services: public and private kindergartens, elementary schools, high schools, high schools classic, scientific and educational institutes of art and professional ; sports facilities, swimming pool, hotels, restaurants, discos, center social, regional cancer hospital (agreement with the institute, Oncology in Milan headed by Prof.. Umberto Veronesi). The city is structured in rioni and some of them, the oldest, have not lost in their typical time (as the Rioni “Coast”, “Dead” and “Plan Cellars”, rich in history ). The monuments are mostly dedicated to celebrities and religious as Justin Fortunato, Michele Granata, Jan. Pennella are scattered a little ‘anywhere in the country.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

What we do in England on 5th November

Bonfire Night
Bonfire Night is held in Britain on the 5th November. It celebrates the defeat of a conspiracy to blow up the Houses of Parliament and King James I. Bonfire Night is celebrated with bonfires and fireworks.

Throughout England villages and towns:
  • light huge bonfires,
  • let of magnificent fireworks,
  • burn an effigy (a home made model man like a scarecrow),
  • celebrate the fact that Parliment and King James I were not blown sky high by Guy Fawkes!

Why do we have Guys (effigy) and Fireworks on bonfire night?

The effigy (Guy) is made out of old clothes stuffed with paper or straw. It is a reminder of Guy Fawkes. Fireworks are a reminder of the gunpowder that Guy Fawkes had hidden in Parliment.

Tradtional Bonfire Food

As well as burning the Guy, the bonfires are used to cook potatoes wrapped in foil and to heat up soup for the crowds that come to watch the bonfire.

The tradtional cake eaten on Bonfire Night is parkin. This is a sticky cake containing a mix of oatmeal, ginger, treacle an syrup.

The Story of the Gunpowder Plot
On 5th November 1605, two years after the death of Queen Elizabeth I, soldiers discovered a man called Guido (Guy) Fawkes in a cellar under the Houses of Parliament. He had with him numerous barrels of gunpowder. Guy Fawkes was arrested and tortured. He told his torturers about a plot to blow up Parliament together with the king, James I, his ministers and Members of Parliament.
Guy Fawkes was a Roman Catholic who was angry with King James, the son of the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots, because he wanted more religious toleration towards Catholics. He had joined with a group of four other Catholics led by Robert Catesby in the plot to kill the king. Catesby had made the mistake of inviting other Catholics to join the plot. One of these was called Francis Tresham. Tresham wrote a letter to his brother-in-law Lord Monteagle warning him not to go to Parliament and Monteagle told the government. Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators were executed as traitors.
In 1606 Parliament agreed to make 5th November a day of public thanksgiving and ever since then the day has been celebrated with fireworks and bonfires.