A happy ending

Hi there! Today I’m writing my last post. That’s why I’m going through the ones I have been writing in this two months. We will remember some of the traditional events I wrote about and moreover I will explain a little more about my experiences.

In my first post I told you about my personal connection with this topic. I have been in six different states and every single place I visited is more impressive. The population of the U.S is made up by the diversity of different cultures, there is people of everywhere around the world. Freedom and respect are some important quality’s that this country defends. I remember being surprise because of this when I was there. People don’t care where are you from, they find it amazing and they used to ask me questions about my country and Europe. The language was not a problem, almost everywhere you could find someone able to speak in Spanish due to the amount of Spaniards from Centre and South America.

In my second post I wrote about two really interesting webpages. The first one was the holiday spot and the other the time and day calendar. Both of them contain a lot of information about important celebrations in United States: what they use to do, the history of the event… etc.

In the third post you can find information about the fourth of July, also known as the Independence Day, a really important date for the country. It meant the freedom of Americans. This independence from Great Britain occurred in 1776 and has been celebrated every year since then. They use to do different activities that are explained in the post.

The fourth one is about George Washington and his connection with thanksgiving I wrote about common meals and activities to do in this date and also the background of the celebration, its origins… etc.

In post number five I wrote about an organization that has a lot of presence in social media. It’s known as Austin friends of traditional music and appeared in 1974 with the purpose of encouraging performance and appreciation of traditional music.

Finally, in the last one, there is a description of Halloween in the US, his back ground and the main differences that it has with this event in Spain.

I hope you have enjoyed my posts; I did them the best I could. Thanks for reading and being by my side in this weeks of hard work.

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Halloween in the USA

 Property of blogs.timesofisrael.com

Property of blogs.timesofisrael.com

It is a difficult job to think about the best of my  topic in this year. There are lots of traditional events and I don’t think that anyone is better; all of them have their history and tradition. They represent a whole nation: United States. Because of this, instead of deciding which one is more important for the country I’m going to write about the one that  is important for me.

This important event didn’t occur this year jet. It is coming for the 31th of October. Yes, I’m talking about Halloween. This day is important for me because in Spain we don’t celebrate it as much as they do in United States. Here a few child can trick or treat or maybe some night clubs use the event as an excuse to bring people, but the truth is that people doesn’t celebrate it at all. Anyways they do honor their deceased in the following day.

In the U.S there is a real tradition. For children, dressing up and trick-or-treating door-to-door is the main event. Most households in the United States and Canada participate, and those who don’t run the risk of petty vandalism. Many adults dress up themselves, to go out with their children or to attend costume parties and contests. Million of candies are sell for that day. In the United States, Halloween lags just behind New Year’s Eve and the Super Bowl in total number of parties, and it’s second only to Christmas in total consumer dollars spent. But what is Halloween? How does everything started?

Evolving from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhai Halloween appeared. The Celts used the day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, and also believed that this transition between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead.  Over the millennia the holiday transitioned from a somber pagan ritual to a day of merriment, costumes, parades and sweet treats for children and adults.

Enjoy traditional music in Texas

Hi there! Today I am writing about the presence of my topic in social media. First of all I have found an incredible webpage that was made with the purpose of encouraging performance and appreciation of traditional music. I choose it because I have never talk about that particular area and it could be a great opportunity to start.

AFTM-logo

property of autin friends of traditional music

They webpage is named Austin Friends of traditional music. This organization has its origins in the autumn of 1974 when a group of musicians joined to produce a traditional music convention with competition for pickers and singers.  Since then they organize different festivals and events with the main objective of passing along traditional music to the next generation of enthusiastic musicians. One of the things that I like the most is how easy you can become a membership. They are open to everyone, it doesn’t matter you country, culture or your age. The only thing they ask for is a small contribution and to give of your time and energy. They are always looking for volunteer so if you have time go and help!About their presence in social media. They are on Facebook and on twitter. In their Facebook they have a lot of pictures and videos so everybody can see how their festivals look like and how much fun they have.  They also inform about upcoming events and what they do in the latest ones. It’s not necessary to be a musician to go there; they also organize other activities such as dancing nights in which no experience is required. A part from dancing and playing music they also make meals with all type of food in which vegetarians and allergic are welcome. In their twitter account they post about their most recent news, they also inform about their musicians and concrete time and date of their event. They refresh information almost every day so anyone would lose the opportunity to go. There are also pictures and videos of their musicians. If you have time, you live on Texas or are just interested in music you must check their website. Their camps and meals are a great opportunity to spend the day with the smallest ones in a place in which fun I guaranteed. This weekend they are having the 2014 string band festival. Here I include the details of the performers and also you can check pictures of last year’s one.

Friday – Dance ’til You Drop

  • 7:00PM – Forked Deer with Rich MacMath, caller (Old-time square dance)
  • 8:15PM – JWW & The Prospectors (Western Swing)
  • 9:30PM –  Paul Brown & The Mostly Mountain Boys with Marshall Wilborn, John Schwab ,  Phil Jamison caller. (Music from the Appalachian Piedmont)

Saturday

  •   Workshops  11AM – 2PM
  •   2PM – Bottom Dollar String Band (Bluegrass)
  •   3PM – Son Armado (South of the Border)
  •   4PM-  Silas Lowe (Bluegrass)
  •   5PM – The  Jankies (Surpirses)
  •   6PM – Alfalfa Brothers Reunion (Texas Bluegrass Legends)
  •   7PM – Gumbo Ce Soir (Cajun dance music)
  •   8PM – Barn Owls with Sharon Isaac, caller (Old time square dance)
  •   9PM – James Hand with Beth Chrisman and Melissa Carper (Serious Country Music)
  • 10PM – Paul Brown & The Mostly Mountain Boys (Music from the Appalachian Piedmont)

George Washington: Father of Thanksgiving

Even if the first thanksgiving was celebrated by the pilgrims in 1621, it became a national holiday in 1789 when George Washington issued a proclamation on the Constitution. He named November 26 as an official holiday of “sincere and humble thanks”.

This holiday was first celebrated by the pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World. The colonist held a celebration of food and feasting that took three days. After that it was a common practice for The New England colonists to celebrate it by thanking God for blessings such as military victory. It was a day set aside for prayer and fasting.

The First Thanksgiving 1621, oil on canvas by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1899). Property of wikipedia.

The First Thanksgiving 1621, oil on canvas by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1899).

George Washington was the first president of United States, he was born on colonial virginia in 1732. His wealty family owned tobacco plantations and slaves, that he inherited. He desired to free them and abolish slavery. Washington was elected president  in the elections of both 1788-1789 and 1792. He create a strong, well-financed national government, suppressed rebellion, and won acceptance among Americans of all types.

When George Washington proclaimed this day as a national date until now, each of the states periodically designated a day of thanksgiving in honor of a military victory. Nowadays it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November and it has become a day of feasting, football and family.  Its aim is to give thanks to God for those military victories and for what they have in general. It is with Christmas and New Year part of the broader season. A great excuse for Americans to come together around the table and share his love for the nation.

Families and friends usually get together in this day for a special meal. The meal often includes a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie, and vegetables.  Some people have a four-day weekend so it is a popular time for visiting their relatives. Before the meal people usually find different activities to do. Some families play football games while other could play charades, tell stories, share photos around or just go to a walk as a family. Another important thing to do in thanksgiving is to help the less fortunate people on that day. People might make donations to the homeless. They give money or just cloths, food or any useful thing. There are also people that volunteer time before or during Thanksgiving to help at a homeless shelter.

tg

Property of getty images.

Fourth of July

Property of quoteko.com

Hi everyone!! This week im posting about a really important day on United States. As most of the people around the world know, the citizens of the USA are very patriotic. They love their country and that’s the reason why they make a huge party on July the 4th. Every single year in this date they celebrate their independence from Great Britain, the freedom of the whole nation. Because of that this day is also known as the Independence Day, when Americans commemorate the declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

Property of wikipedia

I remember been in this federal holiday twice. The first time was in California, on a big city called Lancaster, an hour far from Los Angeles. The host family I was with woke me up in the morning. We made a cake with the colors of the flag and we went with it to a neighbor’s house to have lunch. We spent the day in their pool, there was plenty of food. Each member of the party was supposed to bring something. We made a barbeque and ate lots of burgers and hot dogs. At 20:00 we leaved the house, the best part of the day was coming. They took me to a rodeo. We watch de show and the fireworks, something really common in this day. The second time was on the state of Texas. I was doing an exchange with a really good friend. In the morning we went to a concert in which everyone sang the hymn of United States. After that we went to a barbeque with her family and then she took me with her friends to a lake in The Woodlands, a beautiful neighborhood with a lot of vegetation. We watch the fireworks from a boat and we spend the night driving it. These are just two examples of a common 4th of July for a citizen of United States. There is a great variety of plans for this day. Some people could go to baseball games or to grillingparks but what they all do is to sing and raise their flag proudly.

Property of mothersdayimages2014.com

useful webpages

 This week I have found some interesting webpages and thought it would be a good idea to post about them. They contain a lot of information about important dates in United States. What they use to do, eat, sing even poems to print and suggestions for presents.

  1. The holidays spot:

        It is a guide for events and holidays where you can find everything. There is a calendar with all holidays round year and it notifies upcoming events. Nowadays united states is going through the Oktoberfest’s, a festival that won’t finish until October the 5th.Drinking beer is the principal activity of this celebration that started two centuries ago in Germany and now is celebrated by some people on this location.

        In the section of favorites there are the most popular events. I liked specially the explanation of Christmas that contains some videos of the celebration in New York City. It also includes some delicious recipes that will surprise your family in these lovely days and a lot of ideas for personalized gifts, parties, decorations… etc.

        For the most romantic people you can easily find something sweet to say to your lovers by clicking on the word valentine’s day. One example is the 100 reasons why I love you. For the friendship day you can plan out a wonderful day or send an email greeting card. These and a lot more is available on the webpage which I absolutely recommend.

  1. Time and date calendar

        For the most organized people this webpage offers the opportunity of creating a personal calendar.  It is a webpage in which you can get information about the weather, local time and other many interesting things in any country around the world. It contains this calendar that I have mention and that I think will be really useful for people interested in special events. You can select your country, in this case united states and personalized the whole calendar. There will appear the different events and the explanations of them, what they usually do depending of the country you selected.

For more information about this topic see major hollidays and festivals in America.

Ana Jordán Sanz

UNITED STATES

After a long time trying to find a topic, my group and I decided to make the blog about different celebrations that offer countries around the world. We thought that it could be a great idea because most of us have different nationalities. Then came the most difficult part for me.

I’m from Spain but I didn’t want to be the one in charge of the country because one of my friends could say more than I about it. I thought about Italy because I have been there this summer and I loved it. I visited Venice, Florence, Roma and Pisa. These cities full of romanticism would give me a lot to write about. Their culture is something special and at the same time similar to the one of Spain, even the language is understandable for me. The problem was that I have never been in any of their celebrations or traditional events, so writing about them was not such a good idea.

I choose United States, the country in which I have spent the best holidays of my life. I have visited six states and been living there with two different host families. I know how they usually celebrate important events such as 4th of July, Christmas, Easter..etc.

I find Americans way of life really interesting. They are so patriotic, always singing their hymn and hanging flags on their houses. It makes you love their country too. The people there is so open-minded, when they have a guest always make him feel as if he were part of the family, even the neighbors are really nice. The food is not very elaborate but is really good, they have a huge variety of things that we have never seen in Europe. It’s great to taste new flavors.

I have a lot of reasons for choosing United States, I like it but more over I have been living there so I can write about my own experiences

Ana Jordán Sanz