The Snowdrop Legend & Tradition

Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are one of the first bulbs to flower and signal the start of spring. The flower is a symbol of hope according to the following legend:snowdrop

The snowdrop became the symbol of hope when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. When Eve was about to give up hope that the cold winters would never end, an angel appeared. She transformed some of the snowflakes into snowdrop flowers, proving that the winters do eventually give way to the spring.

Another legend says: Long ago, on March 1st, a beautiful snowdrop, white and sweet, went out from under the snow in the forest. The winter wind saw him, flew into a rage and unleashed a storm of snow on the flower. The nice snowdrop bitten by the cold cried. The good fairy called Zana Primavara heard the flower sobbing and asked it : „Why are you crying? „I’m covered with snow and I’m dying of cold” said the snowdrop.  The fairy Primavara removed the snow on the flower.While she did that she hurt her finger against a small sharp stone hidden side of snowdrops. Her blood fell on the root of the flower, warmed, and the snowdrop came back to life. Another drop of blood fell on the petals became red .Immediately another snowdrops, white, uttered near her. „Thus the two inseparable bells, the red and white, became both the symbol of spring, love and hope Martisor called. snowdrop

Tradition:

Because of its flowering date, the snowdrop is the messenger of spring. The snowdrop is closely linked to Martisor/Martenitsa (March). This is the spring festival when the Martenitsa is celebrated on March 1st in countries such as Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria. Traditionally, men offer women a „Martenitsa”, a kind of talisman shaped brooch or pendant made of two twisted son, one red and one white. In Romania  everyone offer a” Martenitsa/ Martisor” on March,1st to their friends and family. Traditionally, you have to wear the Martenitsa on you (bracelet or necklace) until you see a stork then you can take it off and hang it up on a tree. This tradition  should bring luck into your life all along the year.

Interesting Facts

The name snowdrop does not mean ‘drop’ of snow, it means drop as in eardrop – the old word for earring.

Snowdrops are also known as known as ‘Candlemas bells‘.

The Latin name for the snow drop is Galanthus, which means „milk flower„.

Reclame

Easter Symbols!

Easter falls in the spring, the yearly time of renewal, when the earth renews itself after a long, cold winter. The word „Easter” is named after Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. A festival was held in her honor every year at the vernal equinox. The meaning of the many different customs observed during Easter Sunday have been buried with time. Nowadays, people celebrate Easter according to their beliefs and their religious denominations.

Easter Symbols: One of the oldest spring symbols in the world is the Egg. The oval shape of the egg is the same shape for a raindrop and a seed, these two were important life-giving elements. The egg itself promises new life as in spring, birds and many other animals are hatched from eggs.  Originally Easter eggs were painted with bright colours representing the sunlight of spring. InEngland, members of the royal families gave each other gold-covered eggs as Easter gifts in the Middle Ages. Nowadays the eggs are given to children as Easter presents along with other gifts. They are usually eaten after an egg-tapping competition.

Easter Bunny. On Easter Sunday, many children wake up to find that the Easter Bunny has left them baskets of candy. He has also hidden the eggs that they decorated earlier that week. Children hunt for the eggs all around the house. Neighborhoods and organizations hold Easter egg hunts, and the child who finds the most eggs wins a prize. The Easter Bunny is a rabbit-spirit. Long ago, he was called the „Easter Hare„, hares and rabbits have frequent multiple births so they became a symbol of fertility. The custom of an Easter egg hunt began because children believed that hares laid eggs in the grass. The Romans believed that „All life comes from an egg” ,Christians consider eggs to be „the seed of life” etc. Other Easter symbols: (The Lamb, the lily, the cross, the candle)

Easter in Romania. In Romania, Easter is celebrated according to the rituals of the Orthodox Church. At the Easter Resurrection Mass, just before midnight, the priest comes out of the church to give blessings; he also gives people holy bread and provide the flame from which everyone will light their candles. Everyone tries to keep the flame alive until they arrive home. After the Lent, tables, are full with all sorts of good dishes and brightened up with beautiful coloured eggs, all these contribute to a festive atmosphere in Romanian homes. On Easter, Romanians eat roast lamb and broth, spiced minced lamb and fresh cottage cheese. Our wishes for you:

„May the gifts of Easter/Cause you much delight,

And the Sun of Easter/Make your pathway bright!”

Englezadenota10  Team 🙂

Cambridge Club Tea Party!

You’re invited to our “Cambridge Club Tea Party” on 25th February, at 11:00 o’clock! Children aged (3 to 12 years) & parents too are invited to our party!

A child tea party is a truly magical experience that can create sparkling childhood memories. A tea party is an elegant way to spend an afternoon and learn a little about a different era in history. In Victorian England, “tea” was not only a drink – it was a whole meal! Invented as an afternoon snack between “dinner” (what we now call lunch) and “supper” (what we now call dinner), tea provided a break from work, a social event, and a chance to show off your elegant manners and superior hospitality. Back then, tea was imported from India and China in speedy sailing ships called “clippers.” Because of the high price, drinking tea was a sign of class, and the lady of the house was often the only one to hold the key to the “tea box” for fear that servants might steal some of the precious leaves.

Cambridge Club Tea Party includes:

  • * Tea & Treats
  • * Short and Easy “Etiquette Instructions”
  • * Cambridge Club Kids Show (Songs & a funny Play)
  •  * Funny Games
  •  * Music & Dance
  • * Tea Party “Thank-You notes”

Topics covered:

  • * Meeting & Greeting people
  • * Magic Words
  •  * Giving, Receiving & Sharing
  •  * The 3 C’s: customs, courtesy & common sense

N.B. This is Children’s Event! Parents will sit at separated tables, watching the party. Parents with small children can sit together in the Kids Corner (children’s tea table).

Dress Code: For girls: dress, hat, scarf, gloves etc

                       For boys: suit or just a shirt, bow tie, hat etc.

Rezervations: 0757 525 372 office@englezadenota10.ro  (Free entrance!)

Location: La Follie – cafenea & ceainarie Str. Emil Racovita, Pipera

Be our guest and don’t be late! At 11 o’clock Tea is served! 🙂

‘Tis the season to be Jolly!

„See the holidays through the eyes of a child. Remember your time as a child. Are we really that different? Wonder is not exclusive to children. The holidays are full of wonderment.” ~ Mark Toomey

 

May Joy and Happiness snow on You,

May the bells jingle for You

And may Santa be extra good to You!

Cambridge Club wishes you all these and more. Happy Holidays!

 

The Legend of the Christmas Stocking

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there„. There was a kindly nobleman whose wife had died of an illness leaving the nobleman and his three daughters in despair. After losing all his money in useless and bad inventions the family had to move into a peasant’s cottage, where the daughters did their own cooking, sewing and cleaning. When it came time for the daughters to marry, the father became even more depressed as his daughters could not marry without dowries, money and property given to the new husband’s family. One night after the daughters had washed out their clothing they hung their stockings over the fireplace to dry. That night Saint Nicholas, knowing the despair of the father, stopped by the nobleman’s house. Looking in the window Saint Nicholas saw that the family had gone to bed. He also noticed the daughters’ stockings. He secretly tossed three bags filled with gold coins down the chimney. The bags fell into the stockings that were hanging by the fire. His kindhearted gift made it possible for all three daughters to marry and have a happy life. From this was born the legend of Santa coming down the chimney and placing gifts in children’s Christmas Stockings.

May you find your Christmas stockings filled with delight, fun, health and happiness! 🙂

 

Santa’s Workshop!

 Atelier dedicat micilor spiridusi!

Cambridge Club are placerea de a va invita, Sambata 10 decembrie, ora 11:00 la atelierul nostru de creatie. In cadrul acestui workshop dedicat sarbatorilor de iarna, copiii vor participa gratuit la activitati educative desfasurate in limba engleza.

Ce vom face? Iata cateva exemple:

• Coloram! • Lipim! • Decupam!

• Facem colaje, proiecte de grup:“Winter – a magic season”

 • Ascultam/Vizionam/Cantam colinde de iarna

Vizionam povesti de sezon: “Santa’s workshop” & “Santa’s Surprise”

Art & Craft“My funny snowman”( creatie individuala “Simpaticul Om de zapada”)

N.B.

– nu se percepe taxa

– confirmati participarea intrucat locurile sunt limitate!

Joi (08.12.2011)este ultima zi in care se mai pot face inscrieri!

Inscrieri: 0757 525 372    office@englezadenota10.ro

Halloween Party for Kids!

 Halloween is just around the corner in just 4 short days, we’ll be celebrating the very things that we fear in our every day lives. Things like ghosts, monsters, witches and other frightening creatures are to be paraded around because we are preparing a Halloween Party for Kids!

Children aged (3 to 10 years) are invited to our Party, on Monday 31.10.2011 at our location in Pipera. We are going to organize funny (not scary) activities, games and of course a special “Halloween Costume Contest”. Children will also enjoy our special snacks and treats and more other surprises. Be our guest!

For details:  0757 525 372  office@englezadenota10.ro

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s day at the United Kingdom

Mother’s Day is more popularly known as Mothering Sunday, the origins of the holiday date back to centuries when it was considered important for churchgoers to visit their home or „mother” church once a year. During Lent, the practice became quiet popular, and in a society where children were often sent off to work in other villages at a very young age, it quickly became a time for family reunions and celebrations that were fondly cherished. A special cake, might also be brought along to provide a festive touch. Later, Mothering Sunday became a day when children and domestic servants were allowed a day off to see their families. Celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, Mothering Sunday remains a time to pay mothers their due rewards for all their love and encouragement with flowers, candies, cards, and other tokens of appreciation.

 

Surprise your mother with an: Easy Pie for Mother ‘s Day
Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 stick butter, melted
1 can peaches (or any favorite fruit), drained

Preparation:
In a bowl, combine sugar, flour and milk. Pour mixture over butter, stir and press into pie pan. Add peaches. Cook in bottom of oven at 450 degrees until brown.

Enjoy this special day! Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Happy Spring!

THE ROMANIAN TRADITION OF THE “MARTISOR

Martisor” was a present that Romanians sent to each other on the first day of March, traditionally a gold coin suspended on a white-and-red braided thread with a silk tassel. The recipient used to wear it around his neck until he would see a blooming rose and the present was then placed on its branch; in this way Spring was poetically welcomed. The coin symbolized prosperity, the white-and-red thread, a metaphor of a person’s face white as a lily and rosy as a rose.

In Dobrogea, the Martisor was worn until the arrival of the white storks when it was thrown high up in the sky for bringing „great and winged fortune ” to its bearer.

In the villages of Transilvania, the red-and-white wool yarn Martisor was pinned on gates, windows, sheepfolds, tied around the horns of cattle to protect from the evil eye and malefic spirits; it was believed that the red „color of life” represents vitality and regeneration.

In the folk tradition of the Carpathian mountain villages the Martisor was known as Drogobete, that time of the year when young women used to wash their face in „snow water” for getting „clean, pretty and white as the snow”.

In Bihor folk people believed that the rain water collected on March 1, and during the nine days of the Babe would make one handsome and healthy, while in Banat it was customary for young women to gather snow or water from wild berry leaves and wash their face with it spelling the magic words of the Drogobete for love:

Wild berry flower of March/ make me dear to everyone/ send away from me any harm„.

THE LEGEND OF THE MARTISOR Another legend connects Martisor and “baba Dochia”, another belief of the beginning of spring. Legend says that Baba Dochia had a step daughter he hated  so much and was submitted to all sorts of labor. Once “Baba Dochia” sent her to wash an old waistcoat to the river, in the dead of winter. She was supposed to wash the waistcoat until it became white.  But as she washed it, the waistcoat became more black. Her saving came from a man named Martisor, who gave her a white and red  flower to put on her hair. Immediately, the waistcoat became white, to astonishment and anger of “baba Dochia”, the old woman.
Seeing the flower, “baba Dochia” thought spring came and went with the sheep on the mountain. Because it was warm, Dochia has started to take off the waistcoats (9 in number). Finally the weather broke and it started to snow again. On the top of the mountain was shown Martisor, who said, „do you see how bad it is to sit in cold and wet? do you see how hard it was for your daughter to wash the waistcoat in the dead of winter?

Old goes, New comes! Happy New Year!!!

I wish you Health...
So you may enjoy each day in comfort.
I wish you the Love of friends and family…
And Peace within your heart.
I wish you the Beauty of nature…
That you may enjoy the work of God.
I wish you Wisdom to choose priorities…
For those things that really matter in life.
I wish you Generosity so you may share…
All good things that come to you.
I wish you Happiness and Joy
And Blessings for the New Year.
I wish you the best of everything…
That you so well deserve.

HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!

May all your wishes come true!!!

Are you on Santa’s List?

Let Everyday Be Christmas
Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.The good you do for
others is good you do yourself.

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way! A long year of waiting and Christmas is back again. Christmas imparts magical touch to the whole earth with glittering light, food, love, gifts, and joy. Everyone seems to be happier and kinder. Christmas celebration is the most special celebration for kids. One thing, which everyone likes about Christmas, is to see kids with twinkling eyes and smile waiting for their gifts and cards. Christmas is special for kids because there is plenty of chocolates, cakes, candies and because of Santa Claus and his gifts for them. It is always a delight to watch the kids as they open their boxes of gift. No matter how young or old you are, definitely it’s a pleasure of receiving gifts from others that makes you happy. The reason for Christmas is one but the meanings for Christmas are many.

Christmas Symbols

  • –         Christmas toys that became popular gifts for kids & Christmas ornaments that graced Christmas trees;
  • –         Christmas stockings became a part of the celebrations due to the story of kindly Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus, who is believed to bring toys for children who wash and hang their stockings near the fireplace.
  • –         Stars of all sizes symbolize the divine Christmas Star that made its appearance when the Christ was born.
  • –          Christmas angel ornaments are symbolic of divine angels while Santa Claus is symbolic of not only the kind patrons that delighted in giving gifts to the poor and the children to bring happiness to them during the Christmas season but also of the kindness and charity that are integral part of Christmas spirit;
  • –         Christmas cakes and puddings were part of the Christmas festive meals;
  • –          Christmas trees such as firs and pines and other evergreens such as holly and ivy were symbolic of long life and hope;
  • –          Wreaths and garlands are used to decorate the house. Tinsel, Christmas ornaments and toys were added to Christmas trees to make it look sparkling and livelier;
  • –         Hanging mistletoe and kissing under it is considered to bring good luck to the household and spread the message of love all over the world.

Christmas is near, be merry, be happy. Have a wonderful Christmas in advance! 🙂

Have a happy Thanksgiving Day!

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanksgiving Day Around the World

Thanksgiving is essentially a harvest related festival. It celebrates communal harmony marked as a sense of gratitude people feel for all the good things in life. This is done by offering prayers, gifting your near and dear ones. The fourth Thursday in the month of November is marked for the yearly celebration Though it is said to have been originated in America, a number of other countries celebrate harvest related festivals. They are observed with different names and in different seasons.
Harvest related festivals, all the over the world are characterized with lot of fun and merrymaking. Each region has its unique customs and traditions to jubilate the occasion. The celebration of Thanksgiving will be incomplete without the legendary Turkey. It derives its name from the ‘turk turk’ sounds it makes when scared. Turkey was at one time being considered as the national symbol of America. Benjamin Franklin felt that turkey was the right choice because it was a good runner and had a sharp sight. A bald eagle later became the national symbol of America.
This is the time for relatives living in different places to come together and celebrate.

The first Thanksgiving Story

A long, long time ago the Pilgrims made an ocean trip

From England to America in just one little ship.

That ship was called the „Mayflower,” and it was snug and warm

And kept the Pilgrims safe and sound through every wind and storm.

But after lots and lots of weeks of sailing on the sea,

The sight of land made all of them as happy as could be.

The land they saw was Plymouth Rock on Massachusetts Bay,

And they decided then and there that’s where they all would stay.

Of course, there was a lot of work to get all settled in,

But each and every Pilgrim was quite eager to begin.

And they were lucky, for it wasn’t long until they met

A very friendly Indian whose name was Samoset.

Now Samoset and all his Indian friends were kind and good

And tried to help the Pilgrims out in every way they could.

That spring they even helped in clearing land and planting seed.

So the Pilgrims would be sure of having food to fill their needs.

All summer long the Pilgrims kept as busy as could be

Tending to their growing crops so very carefully.

And then when it was finally time for harvesting that fall,

They found to their delight that they had lots and lots for all.

Of course, they were excited that they’d had such great success,

And they planned a celebration just to show their thankfulness.

They thought they’d fix a dinner that would really be delicious

Where there’d be huge amounts of everybody’s favorite dishes.

But they didn’t really feel as though the food was all their own,

For they knew without the Indians it never would of grown.

And so they asked their special friends if they would join the fun,

And Samoset and all the others said they’d gladly come.

For days ahead the Pilgrims started getting things all set

To make sure there was nothing they could possibly forget.

Then when the big day came, they set the tables up just so,

Then spread out all the food, and it was really quite a show.

At long last it was time to eat, and they all said a prayer

To offer thanks for that God had given them to share.

Happy Halloween!

Who’s that knocking on my door
I must admit I’m little scared,
I open it and what do I see,
A scary old witch and she’s laughing at me
Hee hee hee

Who’s that knocking at my door
I must admit I’m a little scared
I open it and what do I see
A green monster and he’s growling at me.
GRRRR

Now I’m walking out that door,
I’m not gonna be scared no more,
I’m in my costume and I’m ready to be
The one who’s scaring you
BOO!

The Origins of Halloween

Halloween is one of the oldest holidays with origins going back thousands of years. The holiday we know as Halloween has had many influences from many cultures over the centuries. The holiday originally comes from the Celts, who celebrated New Year on November the 1st and they had to store all the crops for a cold winter. For the Celts, winter was a dark time of year with fewer daylight hours. It was also a season associated with death. They believed that on the night of October 31, ghosts were able to come back to earth. The ghosts were not the friendly variety; instead, they came back to damage crops and torment the living. Since the barrier between the world of the living and that of the dead was thinner on October 31, this was the day when Celtic priests made predictions for the future.

Samhain” was the name of this autumn harvest festival.  Samhain means roughly in Old Irish “summer’s end,” and recognizes the fall harvest, and the separation of the end of the “lighter half” of the year from the beginning of the “darker half” of the year. November is the beginning of the “dark half” and is thus the beginning of half of the year, considered to be New Year’s Day for the Celts.

The Celtic priests were also known as the Druids, and they made Samhain a big event by lighting large bonfires. The Druids also dressed up in costumes that were made from animal heads and skins. When they were finished with the Samhain celebrations, the Celts re-lit the fires in their homes from the flames of those sacred bonfires. They thought it would help to keep them safe and warm all winter.

The Use of Costumes on Halloween

The use of masks and costumes was a practice of the Gaels who were mimicking the spirits in an attempt to quiet them. In Scotland young men wore masks, veils, or black painted faces while wearing white clothing. In the 19th and 20th centuries, children dressed in guises or costumes would go door to door seeking coins or treats.

Halloween Nowadays

Every late November, people in every house hang a least one ornament on their doors, to get in the spirit of the holiday. There are more than one ornamentation options and everybody decorates his house just as he pleases. The most “notorious” ornaments is the candle-pumpkin. It’s practically a pumpkin emptied on the inside and two eyes and a mouth are cut on its shell, and a candle is placed inside. Another way of decoration is the ghost and crown on the door. It’s a ghost standing in the middle of the crown made out of synthetic grass and small Halloween Pumpkins.

Trick or Treat

Another Halloween habit is trick-or-treating. It’s a game for the kids, they put on masks of ghosts, witches, zombies or scary monsters and go from door to door yelling out: Trick or Treat. It means that either you give them a treat or they play a trick on you. The most preferred treats are candy, chocolate or any other kinds of sweets and sometimes pumpkin pie and fruit salad.But no matter what they do, people always find a way to get into the spirit of the holiday, like everyone else should!

 

English Values

From the early English times we can find a value system and culture based on the 9 English values.  English ancestors were a people we can learn much from.

1. Courage and selflessness
2. Truth
3. Honour
4. Fidelity
5. Discipline and duty
6. Hospitality
7. Industriousness
8. Self-reliance
9. Perseverance

These 9 Values can mean a variety of things to a variety of people. Here is one set of interpretations:

1. Be Brave, stand up for yourself and what you believe. Do not turn the other cheek.
2. Be honest with yourself. You only kid yourself if you lie be truthful to others.
3. Believe in your self. Stand by what you believe.
4. Stay true to yourself, your family, faith (in England,) and folk.
5. Develop self discipline and inner strength rather than relying on other stimulus. Follow these values. Teach others.
6. Your hearth should be welcoming to family and folk and help those in need.
7. Work hard to achieve your goals and make strong your inner Self.
8. Try not to rely on others, do what you can yourself.
9. Life is a hard path at times, but push yourself on till you reach your goal.

Learn these values yourselves and teach others to do the same!

Essential Life Rules

 

 Sing in the shower.
Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
Watch a sunrise at least once a year.
Strive for excellence, not perfection.
Compliment 3 people every day.
Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
Keep it simple.
Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.
Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
Say, „Thank you” a lot.
Say, „Please” a lot.
Remember other people’s birthdays.
Commit yourself to constant improvement.
Have a firm handshake.
Look people in the eye.
Be the first to say hello.
Return all things you borrow.
Make new friends, but cherish the old ones.
Keep a few secrets.
Plant flowers every spring.
Stop blaming others.
Take responsibility for every area of your life.
Be there when people need you.
Never underestimate the power of love.
Drink champagne for no reason at all.
Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation.
Don’t be afraid to say, „I made a mistake.”
Don’t be afraid to say, „I don’t know.”
Keep your promises no matter what.

 

 

Five o’clock Tea

“Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company

In the past whether you took „afternoon tea” or „high tea” was a peek into your social standing.  Afternoon Tea was a light elegant meal served between a light lunch and late dinner, usually between 3 o’clock and 5 o’clock, and was mainly confined to the aristocracy with their leisurely lifestyle.  High Tea was a more substantial meal, including meat and/or fish, and was really an early dinner which well suited the middle and lower classes after a long day at work. 

Afternoon Tea’ did not exist before the 19th century.  At that time lunch was eaten quite early in the day and dinner wasn’t served until 8 or 9 o’clock at night.  But it wasn’t until Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, asked for tea and light refreshments in her room one afternoon, around 1830, that the ritual began. 

The Duchess enjoyed her ‘taking of tea’ so much that she started inviting her friends to join her.  Before, long having elegant tea parties was very fashionable.  Demand for tea wares grew and soon there were tea services in silver and fine bone china, trays, cake stands, servers, tea caddies, tea strainers, teapots, and tea tables.

 So, the institution of tea connected with afternoon snack at four P.M. became widely known, this was postponed to five o’ clock in the 20th century.

Traditional five o’ clock tea is still held in the Buckingham Palace, as in countless English homes.

Have a tea! Have a cup of life!:)

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