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THE NATIONAL DAYS OF U.S.A., ENGLAND, IRELAND, SCOTLAND

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THE NATIONAL DAYS OF

U.S.A.



ENGLAND

IRELAND

SCOTLAND

 

INTRODUCTION

This paper work of the National Days of U.S.A. and England,Ireland,Scotland represents a summary of the symbols, traditions, festivals and the relationship among  these countries.

National Days are national holidays marked by patriotic displays.

They celebrate democratic principles such as liberty,freedom,equality under the law.

U.S.A. and United Kingdom are both very powerful countries,rich and beautiful ,they are visited by tourists all over the world and this represents one of the reasons that I have choosen this theme for my Project.

I have always been fascinated by the National parades that take place in each country on such special days dedicated to them.

As we celebrate Christmas and Easter,because we are Christians ,also the celebration of the nationals Days  represent a reason of joy,of opening our hearts when people are coming together and leave behind bad feelings and  negative thinking,they try to forget about the daily problems,they just live the moment without thinking of the future,they are all optimistic and they celebrate in their traditional ways.

An interesting fact that I have noticed and you will see in the section called Scotland folk is that people believe in old saying and they still care about their tradition:a girl who wants to find out if she is going to marry or not.

Traditions represent originality,individuality and without them a country would not be considered a true country.

 Nature is another place where people gather to spend time for a barbeque and to relax breathing fresh air.

What can be nicer than seeing people together enjoying their off time,celebrating the day dedicated to their country.

The National Day of America

Facts & History 

America's Independence Day Parade takes place late morning every July 4th, right on Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Street before a street audience of over 300,000 spectators. The Parade consists of invited bands, military and specialty units, floats and VIP's, and is a patriotic, flag waving, red white and blue celebration of America's birthday. The Parade is co-hosted by the National Park Service and produced by Diversified Events, which is under contract to the National Park Service.

Bands are invited based on recommendations from each state's Governor's office. Other times these recommendations come from a state's music educators office or the state tourism board at the governor's request.

Representation from all parts of the United States is the goal of the parade National Selection Committee. Bands must submit a video recording, photos, and biographical information detailing experience, honors, past adjudication results, festival ratings, etc. The deadline for band applications is January 15th of the year of the parade the band is applying to participate in, and bands are notified of their acceptance no later than February 15th of the same year. Marching bands are selected on the basis of overall quality, as well as geographical, ethnic and stylistic diversity.

The Nation's Capital offers unlimited excitement on July 4th in addition to the parade. A National Folklife Festival on the Mall features different cultures in the Americas and a variety of ethnic groups. That evening, parade participants are all part of the audience of the PBS Concert at the Capitol Building featuring the National Symphony Orchestra and one of the country's largest fireworks displays. There is no greater location displaying greater excitement on America's birthday than in our nation's capital!

Units in the parade consist of approximately 20 - 25 marching bands (including fife and drum corps), 15 floats, 20 specialty units (military, giant balloons, equestrian, municipal entries, drill teams), 15 celebrity participants (movie/television and recording artists, as well as local and national dignitaries and officials).

 

             PHOTO GALLERY:

 

The National Achieves Building- starting point

Clinton H.S. Band


 

                                                                                             AUDIENCE

   THE PARADE

  BAND

In the United States, Independence Day (commonly known as 'the Fourth of July' or 'July Fourth') is a federal holiday celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Independence Day is commonly associated with parades, barbecues, beer, picnics, baseball games, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Fireworks have been associated with the Fourth of July since 1777.

 DRUM UNIT


                 

                                          FLAG LINE

  • In 1777, British officers fired 13 guns, once at morning and again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, Rhode Island. Philadelphia celebrated the first anniversary in a manner a modern American would find quite familiar: an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews and fireworks. Ships were decked with red, white and blue bunting.

·         In 1778, General George Washington marked the Fourth of July with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute. Across the Atlantic Ocean, ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin held a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, France.

·         In 1779, July 4 fell on a Sunday. The holiday was celebrated on Monday July 5.

·         In 1781, Massachusetts was the first legislature to recognize the Fourth of July.

·         In 1783, Moravians in Salem, North Carolina held the first celebration of the Fourth of July in the country with a challenging music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. This work was titled the Psalm of Joy.

·         In 1791, First recorded under 'Independence Day' name.[1]

·         In 1870, the U.S. Congress made Independence Day a holiday, albeit unpaid, for federal employees.

CUSTOMS

Originally entitled Yankee Doodle, this is one of several versions of a scene painted by A. M. Willard that came to be known as The Spirit of '76. Often imitated (or parodied), it is a familiar symbol of American patriotism.Originally entitled Yankee Doodle, this is one of several versions of a scene painted by A. M. Willard that came to be known as The Spirit of '76. Often imitated (or parodied), it is a familiar symbol of American patriotism.

Independence Day, as the only holiday celebrating the United States as a whole, is a national holiday marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Fourth of July celebrations often occur in the outdoors. Independence Day is considered a federal holiday, which usually means that all non-essential federal institutions (like the U.S. Postal Service, court systems, etc) are closed on the Independence Day. Many politicians make it a point on this day to appear at a public event to praise the nation's heritage, society and people. Speeches and editorials may invoke Revolutionary War themes such as United States founding fathers (such as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, George Washington and others), the Constitution, the Liberty Bell, and democratic principles such as liberty, freedom, equality under the law, inalienable rights, and representative government.

Families often mark the Fourth of July with a picnic or barbecue, and often gather with family relatives, taking advantage of the long weekend or day off from work. Decorations (e.g., streamers, balloons, and clothing) generally are colored red, white, and blue due to the colors of the American Flag. Parades are often held Independence Day morning, baseball games are usually held (July 4th being nearly halfway into the baseball season), and the evening is usually marked by displays of fireworks at public parks. Some other Independence Day traditions concurrent with these events include face painting for the children and tossing of a football or frisbee.

Fireworks

Independence Day fireworks are often accompanied by a pops orchestra playing patriotic songs such as 'The Star-Spangled Banner', 'God Bless America', 'America the Beautiful', 'My Country, Tis of Thee', 'This Land Is Your Land', and 'Stars and Stripes Forever'. Some of these songs include lyrics that recall images of the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812. While the '1812 Overture' refers to Russia's defeat of Napoleon, it has been traditionally used by the Boston Pops which was broadcast nationwide on PBS so many Americans also associate this musical work with July 4th fireworks today.

'The Star-Spangled Banner', also the USA's national anthem, commemorates the United States flag that was visible by the light of the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air. This view of the flag throughout the night of bomb bursts was inspiring to the captive Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812 and it provided hope concerning the ability of the United States to competently defend Fort McHenry.

WASHINGTON

Image:Fourth of July fireworks behind the Washington Monument, 1986.jpgFirework shows are often held in many states, and many fireworks are sold for personal use or as an alternative to a public show. Concerns about safety have led some states to ban fireworks or limit the sizes and types allowed, but illicit traffic brings plenty of firecrackers in from less restrictive states, showing that the American people have nevertheless found a way to celebrate 'with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations.'

FireworksMost fireworks shows in the United States end in a finale, where an intense volley of fireworks is rapidly launched almost simultaneously. Major displays are held in New York and Boston harbors and on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario also hosts one of the largest fireworks displays in the world over the Detroit River each year in celebration of both American Independence Day and Canada Day during the Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival.

PICNICS AND BARBECUES

Fourth of July barbecues and picnics are outdoor meals that are easy to prepare for the large quantities of people that often gather on the holiday.

Barbecues generally involve hamburgers and hot dogs.A typical 4th of July barbecue might involve hamburgers and grilled corn on the cob.

Fourth of July picnics are generally held in parks while waiting for fireworks or are held at the beach. They do not involve heated meats and instead include sandwiches such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and tuna salad sandwiches. Picnics were traditionally transported in a picnic basket although they are more commonly carried in coolers.

Beverages for a picnic or barbecue generally include 2-liters of soda. Soda is chilled with ice and served in cups. If alcoholic beverages are present, the host may provide beer or a keg or may ask participants to bring their own beer .If beverages are drunk directly from the can, a coozie may be used. Traditional side dishes for a picnic or barbecue include potato salad, potato chips, vegetable tray, jello salad, and perhaps baked beans or corn on the cob.

Guests at barbecues and picnics may sit at a picnic table or some other form of outdoor furniture. If the picnic is in a park (especially where fireworks are held), a blanket or towel may be set on the ground and participants eat the food sitting down on the blanket.

America's Freedom Festival at Provo is one of the largest freedom festivals. Its events include one of the largest Fourth of July parades, and the Stadium of Fire.

  • James River Assembly in Ozark, Missouri, hosts the annual 'I Love America' Celebration at the Springfield Underground. In 1997, 13,000 people showed up for the first event. Now over 100,000 people attend the day's activities. Highlights include the choir's 'Living Flag', the 'Concert in the Sky', nearly 100 games and activities, and a four-hour air show. In 2006, 120,000 people attended the celebration.
  • One colorful annual Independence Day event is the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City, which supposedly started on July 4, 1916, as a way to settle a dispute among four immigrants as to who was the most patriotic. On July 4, 2006, alone, it was estimated that Americans would consume about 150 million hot dogs, an amount totaling about half the United States population.[2]
  • The town of Bristol, Rhode Island is noted for having the oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States.
  • Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball games are also played on Independence Day. Since 1959, NASCAR has held the Pepsi 400 on July 4 or the Saturday of Independence Day weekend.
  • Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two founding fathers of the U.S., and the only two men to sign the Declaration of Independence to become President died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the United States' 50th anniversary.
  • In 2006, the first Space Shuttle launch on Independence Day occurred at 2:37:55 EDT for mission STS-121 using the Space Shuttle Discovery.
  • Lititz, Pennsylvania has the longest continuous-running celebration of Independence Day, which has been a town tradition since 1813. This celebration routinely shuts down most of the town to traffic, due to the large volume of tourists and former Lititz residents who return for the Queen of Candles pageant and the yearly fireworks gala.

Image 1 of 1, Unanimous Declaration of Independence, passed in t



 

JULY FOURTH,1776 GENERAL CONGRESS

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE OF AMERICA

THE UNION FLAG

The Union Flag (more commonly known as the Union Jack) is the national flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Historically, the flag has been used throughout the former British Empire

Image:Flags of the Union Jack.png

The issue of whether it is acceptable to use the term 'Union Jack' is one that causes considerable controversy. Although it is often asserted that 'Union Jack' should only be used for the flag when it is flown as a jack (a small flag flown at the bow of a ship), it is not universally accepted that the 'Jack' of 'Union Jack' is a reference to such a jack flag; other explanations have been put forward. The term possibly dates from the early 1700s, but its origin is uncertain. The word Jack may have come from the name of James VI, King of Scots who inherited the English crown, causing the flag to be designed, that is Jac from Jacobus, Latin for James. The size and power of the Royal Navy internationally at the time could also explain why the flag was nicknamed the 'Union Jack'; considering the navy was so widely utilised and renowned by the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries, it is possible that the term 'Jack' did occur due to its regular usage on all British ships using the 'Jack Staff' (a flag pole attached to the bow of a ship), indeed the term 'Jack' is used for sailors, hence the phrase 'Jack of all trades'. Even if the term 'Union Jack' does derive from the jack flag (as perhaps seems most likely), after three centuries, it is now sanctioned by usage, has appeared in official usage, and remains the popular term. The BBC website disregards the term 'union flag' because of its 'great potential for confusion', preferring union jack (in lower case). The term 'Union Flag', on the other hand, is the term preferred in official documents by vexillologists. The Merchant Shipping Act 1995 refers to the national colours of the United Kingdom as 'the Union flag (commonly known as the Union Jack)…'.

The Patron Saint of England - Saint George

                                   

Flag of England
St George's Emblem
The Flag of England
A symbol of England

St. George's Day is on April 23rd, so, in a sense, this is England's national day.

St. George is the patron saint of England. His emblem, a red cross on a white background, is the flag of England, and part of the British flag. St George's emblem was adopted by Richard The Lion Heart and brought to England in the 12th century. The king's soldiers wore it on their tunics to avoid confusion in battle.

Like England, every country in the UK has its own patron saint who in times of great peril is called upon to help save the country from its enemies.

St George was a brave Roman soldier who protested against the Romans' torture of Christians and died for his beliefs. The popularity of St George in England stems from the time of the early Crusades when it is said that the Normans saw him in a vision and were victorious.

One of the best-known stories about Saint George is his fight with a dragon. But it is highly unlikely that he ever fought a dragon, and even more unlikely that he ever actually visited England. Despite this, St George is known throughout the world as the dragon-slaying patron saint of England.
St George is always depicted as a knight carrying a shield with a red cross (or a banner with a red cross), generally sitting upon a horse and always killing a dragon.

By tradition, April 23rd is the day for a red rose in the button hole, the national flower. However, unlike other countries, England does not celebrate it like Americans celebrate 4 July with fireworks. In fact, you are more likely to see big St Patrick parades in England celebrating Ireland's National Day, more than you would see any sign of St Georges Day being celebrated. This was certainly true in Manchester in 2003, when St George's Day was virtually ignored soon after the biggest St Patrick's Day Celebrations in the city's history.

Special parades and celebrations of St George's Day are gradually becoming more frequent in England, but is it politically correct to celebrate England's National Day?

St. George frequently appears in Mummers' Plays during Easter and Christmas celebrations. Mummers' Plays have been performed in Britain for hundreds of years. They are folk dramas based on the legend of St. George and the Seven Champions of Christendom

THE LEGEND OF ST. GEORGE AND THE DRAGON

The most famous legend of Saint George is of him slaying a dragon. In the Middle Ages the dragon was commonly used to represent the Devil. The slaying of the dragon by St George was first credited to him in the twelfth century, long after his death. It is therefore likely that the many stories connected with St George's name are fictitious.

There are many versions of story of St George slaying the dragon, but most agree on the following:

A town was terrorised by a dragon A young princess was offered to the dragon and when George heard about this he rode into the village, slayed the dragon and rescued the princess.

St. George journeyed for many months by land and sea until he came to Libya. Here he met a poor hermit who told him that everyone in that land was in great distress, for a dragon had long ravaged the country.

'Every day,' said the old man, 'he demands the sacrifice of a beautiful maiden and now all the young girls have been killed. The King's daughter alone remains, and unless we can find a knight who can slay the dragon she will be sacrificed tomorrow. The king of Egypt will give his daughter in marriage to the champion who overcomes this terrible monster.'

When St. George heard this story, he was determined to try and save the princess, so he rested that night in the hermit's hut, and at daybreak set out to the valley where the dragon lived. When he drew near he saw a little procession of women, headed by a beautiful girl dressed in pure Arabian silk. The princess Sabra was being led by her attendants to the place of death. The knight spurred his horse and overtook the ladies. He comforted them with brave words and persuaded the princess to return to the palace. Then he entered the valley.

As soon as the dragon saw him it rushed from its cave, roaring with a sound louder than thunder. Its head was immense and its tail fifty feet long. But St. George was not afraid. He struck the monster with his spear, hoping he would wound it. The dragon's scales were so hard that the spear broke into a thousand pieces. and St. George fell from his horse. Fortunately he rolled under and enchanted orange tree against which not poison could prevail, so that the venomous dragon was unable to hurt him. Within a few minutes he had recovered his strength and was able to fight again.

He smote the beast with his sword but the dragon poured poison on him and his armour split in two. Once more he refreshed himself from the orange tree and then, with his sword in his hand, he rushed at the dragon and pierced it under the wing where there were no scales.

The Real St George

Saint George is popularly identified with England and English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry, but actually he wasnt English at all. Very little is known about the man who became St George.

Quick Facts about St George

  • Born in Turkey (in Cappadocia)
  • Lived in 3rd century
  • His parents were Christian
  • Became a Roman soldier
  • Protested against Rome's persecution of Christians
  • Imprisoned and tortured, but stayed true to his faith
  • Beheaded at Lydda in Palestine

      St. George is believed to have been born in Cappadocia (now Eastern Turkey) in the year A.D. 270. He was a Christian. At the age of seventeen he joined the Roman army and soon became renowned for his bravery. He served under a pagan Emperor but never forgot his Christian faith.

    The Emperor Diocletian gave him many important missions, and it is thought that on one of these he came to England. It was while he was in England that he heard the Emperor was putting all Christians to death and so he returned to Rome to help his brother Christians. He pleaded with the Emperor to spare their lives. Diocletian did all he could to persuade St. George to give up his faith, but he refused and was finally beheaded on 23 April, 303.

In 1222, the Council of Oxford declared April 23 to be St George’s Day and he replaced Edward the Confessor as England’s patron saint in the 14th century. In 1415, April 23 was made a national feast day .

     Patron Saint
St George is patron saint not only of England but also of Aragon, Catalonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Palestine and Portugal amongst others, although he is celebrated on different days.

St George is also patron saint of soldiers, archers, cavalry and chivalry, farmers and field workers, riders and saddlers, and he helps those suffering from leprosy, plague and syphilis.

Saint George

In paintings St George is always shown as a knight carrying a shield with a red cross (or a banner with a red cross). It is also very common to see him sitting upon a horse and killing a dragon.

The images below are suitable to show children during a St Georges Day Assembly.

                                

    

                   


St George and the Dragon


St George and the Dragon

The Irish State - Name, Symbols and National Day


  • Name of State

The Constitution provides (Article 4) that the name of the State is Éire, or in the English language, Ireland. Normal practice is to restrict the use of the name Éire to texts in the Irish language and to use Ireland in all English-language texts, with corresponding translations for texts in other languages. The Republic of Ireland Act of 1948 provides for the description of the State as the Republic of Ireland but this provision has not changed the usage Ireland as the name of the State in the english language.

The etymology of the name Éire is uncertain and various theories have been advanced. There is no doubt but that it is a name of considerable antiquity. It first appears as Ierne in Greek geographical writings which may be based on sources as early as the 5th century BC. In Ptolemy’s map (c AD 150) the name appears as Iouernia; some such form was transliterated into Latin as Iuverna. The standard Latin form, Hibernia, first appears in the works of Caesar, who seems to have confused it with the Latin word hibernus (wintry). Ériu, the Old Irish form of Éire, was current in the earliest Irish literature. The modern English word Ireland derives from the Irish word Éire with the addition of the Germanic word land.

In mythology, Ériu was one of three divine eponyms for Ireland, together with Banba and Fodla. The idea of Ireland as a heroine reappears as a common motif in later literature in both Irish and English.

  • FLAG               Flag of Ireland

The national flag is a tricolour of green, white and orange. The tricolour is rectangular in shape, the width being twice the depth. The three colours are of equal size, vertically disposed, and the green is displayed next to the staff. The flag was first introduced by Thomas Francis Meagher during the revolutionary year of 1848 as an emblem of the Young Ireland movement, and it was often seen displayed at meetings alongside the French tricolour.

The green represents the older Gaelic and Anglo-Norman element in the population, while the orange represents the Protestant planter stock, supporters of William of Orange. The meaning of the white was well expressed by Meagher when he introduced the flag. 'The white in the centre', he said, 'signifies a lasting truce between the ‘Orange’ and the ‘Green’ and I trust that beneath its folds the hands of the Irish Protestant and the Irish Catholic may be clasped in heroic brotherhood.'

It was not until the Rising of 1916, when it was raised above the General Post Office in Dublin, that the tricolour came to be regarded as the national flag. It rapidly gained precedence over any flag which had existed before, and its use as a national flag is enshrined in the Constitution.

  • Emblem

The harp has been regarded as the official symbol or coat of arms of Ireland since medieval times. As such it is depicted alongside the coats of arms of a dozen or more medieval European kingdoms on a single folio of the Wijnbergen roll of arms compiled about 1270. The harp is found on the banners of the Irish brigades, which were formed in the armies of continental European countries during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The heraldic harp is invariably used by the Government, its agencies and its representatives at home and abroad. It is engraved on the seal matrix of the office of President as well as on the reverse of the coinage of the state. It is also emblazoned on the distinctive flag of the President - a gold harp with silver strings on an azure field.

The model for the artistic representation of the heraldic harp is the 14th century harp now preserved in the Museum of Trinity College Dublin, popularly known as the Brian Boru harp.

  • Anthem

The text of The Soldier’s Song (Amhrán na bhFíann), consisting of three stanzas and a chorus, was written in 1907 by Peadar Kearney, who also composed the music together with Patrick Heeney. It was first published in the newspaper, Irish Freedom, in 1912. The chorus, of which the words and music are given above, was formally adoptedas the National Anthem in 1926, displacing the earlier Fenian anthem, God Save Ireland. A section of the National Anthem (consisting of the first four bars followed by the last five) is also the Presidential Salute.

  • National Day

The national day is St Patrick’s Day, the 17th of March.

St Patrick's Day

St Patrick’s Day is the feast day which celebrates St Patrick (386-493), the Patron Saint of the island of Ireland. It is held annually on 17th March. St Patrick is regarded by people in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland as their Patron Saint, although some sections of the protestant community in Northern Ireland shun or ignore any recognition or celebrations.

St Patrick’s Day is celebrated globally wherever there are Irish communities or people whose ancestors came from Ireland. It is a National Holiday in the Republic, a Bank Holiday in Northern Ireland and a holiday in Montserrat and the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Such is the popularity of St Patrick’s Day (for reasons stated below) it is increasingly celebrated by those without Irish connections and in places where there are no substantial Irish communities.

Celebrations are generally themed around the colour Green and all things associated with Ireland. Both Christians and non-Christians celebrate the secular holiday and take part in activities which include wearing green, eating Irish food, attending parades and consuming Irish drinks such as Guinness, Murphys, Smithwicks, Harp and Magners cider. Irish Whiskey, Irish Coffee and Bailey's Irish Cream have also become popular around the world.

The fact that the breweries actively promote St Patrick’s Day as a way of selling their beers results in the fact that you can find celebrations in such places as Malaysia (a Muslim country) in the bars which sell products produced by Guinness Anchor, the country’s largest brewer. Breweries often supply green coloured paper hats etc free to customers and green decorations for bars and restaurants.

The long established St Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin is now part of a five day festival of celebrations, with over half a million people attending in 2006. This is a relatively modern feature as it was only in 1996 that the first St Patrick’s Day Festival was established to promote Irish Culture, and the country as a tourist attraction.

New York (US) has the largest St Patrick’s Day Parade in the world, and it is watched by more than 2 million people. This dates back to 1756, when Irish Soldiers marched through the streets. Parades and marches also take place across the United States in such places as Chicago, where a huge Irish immigrant population settled.

Although not an official holiday in the United States, St Patrick’s Day is celebrated widely throughout the country. Cities such as Boston, Chicago, and New York have very large parades. As part of the celebration, the city of Chicago turns the Chicago River green! For many Irish Americans, a meal of corned beef and cabbage is part of observing this holiday.

Across Ireland, and increasingly in other parts of the UK, there are also parades and street celebrations, which are replicated in countries around the world.

As a Christian festival, St Patrick’s Day is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Ireland, some other Anglican churches and some other denominations. It always falls during the period of Lent. When St Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday it is moved in Church calendars to the following day (a Monday) and when it falls on a Friday, it is traditional for those observing the Lenten fast to break it to celebrate. In some places in rural Ireland the religious significance of St Patrick’s Day remains more important than the secular celebrations. Where there are concentrations of Irish people or their descendents around the world, there are often Irish Clubs and St Patrick’s Societies established.

Irish people still wear shamrock and green, white and orange (the colours of the flag of the Republic of Ireland) and these form the theme of many street and building decorations. However, it must be noted that traditionally the colour associated with St Patrick’s Day was blue.

St Patrick was an English or Scottish missionary who converted many pagans to Christianity and his existence has been established in history. However, many of the legends associated with St Patrick have been dismissed. This includes ridding Ireland of snakes. It is highly unlikely there  were snakes in Ireland, as it was an isolated island before the end of the Ice Age.

    St. Patrick's Day Crafts and Activities

St. Patrick's Day is also celebrated by children in kindergartens and schools.




    These crafts projects are for preschool, kindergarten and elementary school children. The crafts use materials found around the house, like egg cartons, cardboard, paper, boxes, string, crayons, paint, glue, etc.

BLARNEY STONE

You can make a kissable Blarney stone for St. Patrick's Day.

POTATO FACE

Make a silly potato face from a brown paper bag and construction paper for St. Patrick's Day.

RAINBOW STREAMER

Make a handheld rainbow that you can use while putting on your own St. Patrick's Day parade or while dancing a jig.

RAINBOW MOBILE


Make a rainbow mobile with a pot of gold and a shamrock for St. Patrick's Day.

HANDPRINT RAINBOW

The handprints of many children form a beautiful rainbow, making a great classroom decoration or bulletin board. This project is good for a group of children.

LEPRECHAUN MARIONETTE

Make a paper leprechaun marionette for St. Patrick's Day.

LEPRECHAUN HAT


Make a tiny Leprechaun's top hat from paper.

RAINBOW IN A CUP

Make rainbow Jello for St. Patrick's Day or other festive occasions. This cute snack is simple to make, but each layer has to set before you add the next layer, so start days before you want to eat it.

PHOTOS FROM ST. PATRIK FESTIVAL 2006

St Patrick's Day Parade 2006 - viewed from New Antrim Street

St Patrick's Day Parade 2006 - viewed from New Antrim Street

ST. PATRIK’S DAY CELEBRATED IN IRELAND

St. Patrick's Day is a very special day around the world, but nowhere is it more special than in Ireland, where it all started. St. Patrick, Ireland's patron saint, brought Christianity to the pagan Celts almost 1500 years ago. Whether you are Irish, or just wish that you were, his feast day on 17 March is the time to celebrate, and Ireland is THE place to be!

A truly carnival atmosphere provides the backdrop in Dublin, the capital city, when Ireland's greatest annual party takes over. For five days and nights from 15 - 19 March 2006, Dublin city comes alive with a host of exciting events, including street theatre, music, dance, comedy, film, exhibitions, symposiums, fun fairs and even a treasure hunt. Visitors can enjoy the spectacular St. Patrick's Day Festival parade - under the motto 'Wishful Thinking', join in the dancing at the largest outdoor Céilí, or choose from a selection of Irish music concerts. Streets are closed to traffic and the city centre becomes a playground as revelers enjoy the entertainment, most of which is free. The 'craic' (an Irish word for fun) is guaranteed!

All around the island of Ireland, in our cities, towns and villages, festivities will take place to mark Ireland's national holiday. In Cork, the St. Patrick's Festival 2006 promises to be a fiesta of loud colours and flights of fancy, with marching bands from Ireland and America, samba bands, dancers, street theatre performers, pageants and hundreds of community carnival groups from all over the country.

St Patrick's Day also provides a focal point for celebrations in many other towns in Ireland. Some of these festivals include Armagh, Belfast, Downpatrick Galway, Kerry, Ever wondered how the little green Shamrock came to be the popular symbol of Ireland? According to legend, St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity when converting a pagan Irish king to Christianity. In the village of Downpatrick, Co. Down, where St. Patrick is buried, an award-winning visitor centre tells the full story . From March 13-17th, the centre will present the Real Saint Patrick, which explores the truth behind Saint Patrick's Story and his amazing legacy.

The whole island of Ireland is buzzing with excitement as special celebrations take place in the lead up to the big day, March 17th. Why not join us in Ireland and be showered with friendship and unforgettable memories as you celebrate with the Irish people who are famous for their parties!

                                                             

Scotland

National Symbol and flag

Flag of Scotland

Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland

Scotland is about the size of South Carolina.
 Scotland is about twice as large as Holland

Scotland is in north-west Europe and is part of Great Britain, an island country Scotland is a mountainous country in the north of the island of Great Britain and shares a land border to the south with England and is bounded by the North Sea on the east and the Atlantic Ocean on the west. Its capital city is Edinburgh.

Scotland has some 790 islands - 130 inhabited.

Scotland is Famous for.

Its fresh water lochs (lakes) – there are over 600 square miles of them. One of the most famous is Loch Ness where a mysterious monster is said to lurk in the depths of the water.

It is also famous for its clans, kilts, medieval castles, as well as poetry and songs of Robert Burns.

Theatre lovers from around the world come to Edinburgh for its famous theatres festival.

Famous People of Scotland

Famous Scots include: Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, David Hume and the actor Sean Connery.

Famous musicians of Scotland include Annie Lennox, Wet Wet Wet, Travis and Simple Minds.

Interesting Facts

Edinburgh was the first city in the world which had its own fire-brigade.

Edinburgh , the capital of Scotland, like Rome, was built on seven hills.

Until 1603, Scotland had its own King.

St Andrew - Patron Saint of Scotland

The Scottish flag is the cross of St. Andrew, also known as the Saltire. It is said to be one of the oldest national flags of any country, dating back at least to the 12th century.

St. Andrew was one of the Twelve Apostles (disciples of Jesus) and brother of Simon Peter (Saint Peter).HE was a fisherman by trade, who lived in Galilee (in present-day Israel.)

Why is St Andrew's symbol a white cross on a blue background?

St. Andrew is believed to have died on a diagonally transversed cross which the Romans sometimes used for executions and which, therefore, came to be called St. Andrew's cross. The blue stands for the sky.

St. Andrew's Day is connected with Advent, which begins on the nearest Sunday to 30 November.

St. Andrew's Day marks the opening of Christmas Markets.

FACTS,CUSTOMS AND TRADITION:

Many Midwinter customs and folk superstitions are also connected to St. Andrew's day.

Around midnight on Nov. 29, the day before St Andrew's Day, it was traditional for girls to pray to St. Andrew for a husband. They would make a wish and look for a sign that they had been heard.

Saint Andrew

Icon of the Apostle Andrew

Crucifixion of St. Andrew

Crucifixion of St. Andrew Apostle

Born

 in Bethsaida

Died

 in Patras

Venerated in

All Christianity

Major shrine

Church of St. Andreas at Patras

Feast

November 30

Attributes

Old man with long (in the East often untidy) white hair and beard, holding the Gospel in right hand, sometimes leaning on a saltire cross

Patronage

Scotland, Russia, Sicily, Greece, Romania, Amalfi and Luqa - Malta and Prussia, Army Rangers, mariners, fishermen, fishmongers, rope-makers, singers, performers,



Biography

In Christian tradition, Andrew was born at Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee (John 1:44). Since it is a Greek name, Andreas was almost certainly not his given name, but no Hebrew or Aramaic name is recorded for him.

He lived at Capernaum. In the gospels he is referred to as being present on some important occasions as one of the disciples more closely attached to Jesus ; in Acts there is only a bare mention of him. Both he and his brother Peter were fishermen by trade, hence the tradition that Jesus called them to be his disciples by saying that He will make them 'fishers of men'

Eusebius quotes Origen as saying Andrew preached in Asia Minor and in Scythia, along the Black Sea as far as the Volga and Kyiv. Hence he became a patron saint of Romania and Russia. According to tradition, he founded the See of Byzantium in 38, installing Stachys as bishop (the only bishopric in that neighbourhood before that time had been established at Heraclea). This Sea would later develop into the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Andrew is its Patron Saint.

St. Andrew Basilica at Patras, where the saint's relics are kept, said to be erected over the place of his martyrdomHe is said to have been martyred by crucifixion at Patras (Patrae) in Achaea, on a cross of the form called Crux decussata (X-shaped cross) and commonly known as 'St. Andrew's cross', at his own request, as he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross on which Christ was crucified. Saint Andrew is the patron of Patras. According to tradition his relics were removed from Patras to Constantinople, and thence to St. Andrews (see below). Local legends say that the relics were sold to the Romans by the local priests in exchange for the Romans constructing a water reservoir for the city. The head of the saint, considered as one of the treasures of St. Peter's Basilica, was given by the Byzantine despot Thomas Palaeologus to Pope Pius II in 1461. In recent years, the relics were kept in the Vatican City, but were sent back to Patras by decision of the Pope Paul VI in 1964. The relics, which consist of the small finger and part of the top of the cranium of Saint Andrew, have since that time been kept in the Church of St. Andrew at Patras in a special tomb, and are reverenced in a special ceremony every November 30.

St. Andrew Basilica at Patras, where the saint's relics are kept, said to be erected over the place of his martyrdom

The apocryphal Acts of Andrew, mentioned by Eusebius, Epiphanius and others, is among a disparate group of Acts of the Apostles that were traditionally attributed to Leucius Charinus. 'These Acts may be the latest of the five leading apostolic romances. They belong to the third century: ca. A.D. 260,' was the opinion of C.R. James, who edited them in 1924. The Acts, as well as a Gospel of St. Andrew, appear among rejected books in the Decretum Gelasianum connected with the name of  Pope Gelasius I. The Acts of Andrew was edited and published by Constantin von Tischendorf in the Acta Apostolorum apocrypha (Leipzig, 1821), putting it for the first time into the hands of a critical professional readership. Another version of the Andrew legend is found in the Passio Andreae, published by Max Bonnet (Supplementum II Codicis apocryphi, Paris, 1895).

Scottish legends

About the middle of the tenth century, Andrew became the patron saint of Scotland. Several legends state that the relics of Andrew were brought under supernatural guidance from Constantinople to the place where the modern town of St. Andrews stands (Pictish, Muckross; Gaelic, Cill Rìmhinn).

The Saltire (or 'St. Andrew's Cross') is the national flag of Scotland

The Saltire (or 'St. Andrew's Cross') is the national flag of Scotland

The oldest surviving manuscripts are two: one is among the manuscripts collected by Jean-Baptiste Colbert and willed to Louis XIV, now in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, the other in the Harleian Mss in the British Library, London. They state that the relics of Andrew were brought by one Regulus to the Pictish king Óengus mac Fergusa (729–761). The only historical Regulus (Riagail or Rule) — the name is preserved by the tower of St. Rule — was an Irish monk expelled from Ireland with Saint Columba; his date, however, is c. 573–600. There are good reasons for supposing that the relics were originally in the collection of Acca, bishop of Hexham, who took them into Pictish country when he was driven from Hexham (c. 732), and founded a see, not, according to tradition, in Galloway, but on the site of St. Andrews. The connection made with Regulus is, therefore, due in all probability to the desire to date the foundation of the church at St. Andrews as early as possible.

Another legend says that in the late eighth century, during a joint battle with the English, King Ungus (either the Óengus mac Fergusa mentioned previously or Óengus II of the Picts (820–834)) saw a cloud shaped like a saltire, and declared Andrew was watching over them, and if they won by his grace, then he would be their patron saint. However, there is evidence Andrew was venerated in Scotland before this.

Andrew's connection with Scotland may have been reinforced following the Synod of Whitby, when the Celtic Church felt that Columba had been 'outranked' by Peter and that Peter's older brother would make a higher ranking patron. The 1320 Declaration of Arbroath cites Scotland's conversion to Christianity by Saint Andrew, 'the first to be an Apostle'.

Numerous parish churches in the Church of Scotland and congregations of other Christian churches in Scotland are named after Saint Andrew.

A statue of Saint Andrew is an important element in the story of the 1956 Hollywood wartime romance, Miracle In The Rain starring Van Johnson and Jane Wyman. When Ruth, played by Wyman realizes she has lost Art, the statue inside St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York becomes a focus of devotion for her.

The feast of Saint Andrew is observed on November 30 in both the Eastern and Western churches, and is the national day of Scotland.

 

PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE FESTIVAL


        


 



St Andrew’s Day 2km Charity Fun Run

Glasgow Caledonian University is also organising a fun run to raise funds to support the St Andrew’s Hospice. People are coming dressed up for a 2km run around the campus .They will also get a goodie bag and a free Scottish lunch.

£3 entrance fee (all monies raised will be donated to St Andrew’s Hospice).

THE MESSAGE OF THE FIRST MINISTER ON ST. ANDREW’S DAY

30/11/2006

First Minister Jack McConnell celebrates Scotland in a St Andrew's Day message recorded at Portrait of a Saint, an exhibition of paintings by Peter Howson, one of the country's leading contemporary artists, in the City Arts Centre, Edinburgh.

'St Andrew's Day gives all of us a chance to celebrate Scotland, to celebrate Scottish traditions and history and culture.

'Every year Scotland's recognition of our national patron saint becomes greater and I am delighted to see so many Scots, and friends of Scotland, participating in events in Scotland and abroad and making sure that this will be a St Andrew's Day to remember.

'St Andrew's Day is more than just a chance to pay tribute to ourselves and to our national saint - it's a chance to remind the world that Scotland is a great country and a great place to visit study or live. It is important that, while we celebrate the past, we also look to the future with confidence.

'Scotland has been transformed for the best by devolution. In education, in public health, in reducing poverty and in promoting equality, tolerance and respect, we are making a difference for future generations.

'Our country has become more enterprising too. The Scottish economy is growing and our economic success is picking up pace.

'We have the best employment rate of any of the nations in the UK. Last year, we attracted 25 per cent of inward investment jobs coming to the UK and Scotland was the top region for research and development.

'Scotland is a vibrant, modern nation, and this year we will be celebrating St Andrew's Day under the banner of One Scotland . Many Cultures. We are staging events for everyone - from major ceilidh celebrations to events in schools - and our Parliament will vote to encourage Scots to take a national holiday.

'St Andrew's Day will also be celebrated in countries in every corner of the globe - from the United States to Uganda; from Slovenia to Papua New Guinea; from China to Argentina.

'This celebration of Scotland beyond our borders reflects the way we have always looked to the rest of the world to share values and cultures, exchange ideas and develop trade.

'Scots around the world are our ambassadors and today they can spread the message about modern 21st century Scotland, the country we are building.

'As Scots in the past went out into the world, our population is now growing as we attract more and more people to Scotland. Modern, diverse Scotland welcomes people from across the world and embraces their enterprise, culture and ambition.

'Today, we should all celebrate not just shared Scottish traditions, but our shared future.

'So, take a moment to reflect on your home country. Take pride in our history, be pleased with out progress, but most of all look forward to our future in a modern Scotland with greater opportunities for everyone who lives there.

'I wish you a very happy St Andrew's Day.

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