November 2012. INFORM DIGEST. Pages. 1 . Land of traditions 2. Unusual customs calendar anniversaries 3. Interesting to know Famous people. Land of Traditions.
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1. Land of traditions
2. Unusual customs calendar anniversaries
3. Interesting to know
November is the time of the year when the British wear a red poppy in memory of those who sacrificed their lives for us during wars.
The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month marks the signing of the Armistice, on 11th November 1918, to signal the end of World War One.
At 11 am on 11 November 1918 the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years continuous warfare.
Remembrance Day is a special day set aside to remember all those men and women who were killed during the two World Wars and other conflicts. At one time the day was known as Armistice Day and was renamed Remembrance Day after the Second World War.
Remembrance Sunday is held on the second Sunday in November, which is usually the Sunday nearest to 11 November. Special services are held at war memorials and churches all over Britain.
A national ceremony takes place at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London. The Queen lays the first wreath at the Cenotaph.
Wreaths are layed beside war memorials by companies, clubs and societies. People also leave small wooden crosses by the memorials in remembrance of a family member who died in war.
Two minute silence
At 11am on each Remembrance Sunday a two minute silence is observed at war memorials and other public spaces across the UK.
Unusual customs calendar anniversaries
November 1969 First colour TV advert aired in the UK for Birds Eye.
4th Thursday in Nov. Thanksgiving – USA, commemorates the Pilgrim Father’s first harvest.
1st November All Saints' Day.
2nd November All Souls' Day.
2nd November 1785 First non-submersible lifeboat was patented.
2nd November 1896 First motor insurance policies were issued in Britain.
3rd November 1957 The first living creature was sent into space. It was a Russian dog named Laika and the ship was called Sputnik 2. Laika could not be brought home.
3rd November 1843 Nelson's statue was hauled to the top of the column in Trafalgar Square.
4th November 1922 English explorers Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter discover the Tomb of King Tutankhamen in Egypt.
5th November 1605 'Guy Fawkes Night' ( Bonfire Night.)
6th November 1942 The Church of England relaxes its rule that women must wear hats in church.
7th November 1783 Last public hanging in England - forger John Austin is hanged at Tyburn, near where Marble Arch now stands .
7th November Marie Curie, a Polish-French Chemist and Physicist, who discovered radium, was born.
8th November 1920 The newspaper 'The Daily Express' publishes the first 'Rupert Bear' strip cartoon.
9th November 1885 The first motorbike was ridden
11th November Martinmas / Martins Mass / Martins Goose
13th November 1850 Robert Louis Stevenson, author of "Treasure Island" was born.
13th November 1907 First helicopter took off.
20th November 1992 Windsor Castle is badly damaged by fire.
21st November 1783 First flight by man in a hot air balloon.
22nd November Feast Day of St. Cecilia, patron saint of musicians and organ builders.
23rd November St. Clement’s Day.
25th November Catterntide / St. Catherine’s Day.
27 th November 1914 Britain's first policewoman goes on duty at Gratham in Lincolnshire.
30th November 1874 Winston Churchill, Prime Minister, born.
30th November St. Andrew’s Day. Patronsaint of Scotland.
Facts about November
The name comes from the Roman word 'novem' meaning nine, because it was the ninth month in their Roman calendar.
Few people find November pleasant. The Anglo-Saxons called November 'Wind monath', because it was the time when the cold winds began to blow. They also called it 'Blodmonath', because it was the time when cattle were slaughtered for winter food. The poet T.S. Elliot called it 'Sombre November'. Sir Walter Scott, in his long poem Marmion, wrote in 1808:
November's sky is chill and drear,
November's leaf is red and sear (withered)'
The first week of November has always been a time of
festivals and celebrations marking the end of the harvest and
beginning of Winter.
In the year 835 AD the Roman Catholic Church made 1st November a church holiday to honour all the saints. This feast day is called All Saints' Day.
All Saints' Day used to be known as All Hallows (Hallow being an old word meaning Saint or Holy Person). The feast day actually started the previous evening, the Eve of All Hallows or Hallowe'en.
On Saints' Day, Christians remember all 'men of good will' (saints), great ones and forgotten ones, who have died through the ages.
Saints are men and women from all ages and all walks of life, who were outstanding Christians. Some - the martyrs - died for their faith. All of them are honoured by the church.
All Saints' Day, together with All Souls' Day are known collectively as Hallowtide.
All Souls' Day - 2 November
On All Souls' Day the Roman Catholic Church remembers all those who have died - not just the great and the good, but ordinary man-in-the-street. Families visit graves with bunches of flowers and in church the names of the dead may be read out on request. In some parts of the country, All Souls' Day ends with a play or some songs.
All Souls Day Tradition
According to tradition, a pilgrim returning from the Holy Land took refuge on a rocky island during a storm. There he met a hermit, who told him that among the cliffs was an opening to the infernal regions through which flames ascended, and where the groans of the tormented were distinctly audible. The pilgrim told Odilo, Abbot of Cluny, who appointed the following day (2 November 998) to be set apart for 'all the dead who have existed from the beginning of the world to the end of time'. The day purposely follows All Saints' Day in order to shift the focus from those in heaven to those in purgatory.
All Souls' Day Superstition
It was believed that All Souls' night when the dead revisited their homes, so lit candles were left out to guide them and meals and wine were left as refreshment.
Bonfire Night is the most widespread and flourishing of all British customs. The day was declared a holiday by decree of Parliament after Parliament was saved from being blown up by Guy Fawkes in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Until 1859, all parish churches were required to hold services this day. Unlike today, celebrations were heard throughout the day, with bells ringing, cannons firing and beer flowing.
Today, as in for the last 400 years, effigies of the pope and now more often Guy Fawkes or other 'hated' figures, are burned on top of large bonfires. As the bonfires burn fireworks are let off in wonderful and spectacular displays.
Just as in 1605, a new session of Parliament in London is still opened by the reigning monarch at the beginning of November. If there has been a general election in the same year, the opening of Parliament is in May.
The Gunpowder Plot of 1605 - A secret plan to overthrow the king.
In November 1605, the infamous Gunpowder Plot took place in which some Catholics plotted to blow up the English Parliament and King James l, on the day set for the king to open Parliament. The men were angry because the king had treated them badly and they didn't like it.
The story is remembered each 5th November when 'Guys' are burned in a celebration known as "Bonfire Night".
the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
We see no reason why
Should ever be forgot!"
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson
(13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894)
Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. His most famous works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
A literary celebrity during his lifetime, Stevenson now ranks among the 26 most translated authors in the world. His works have been admired by many other writers, including Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, Marcel Schwob, Vladimir Nabokov, J. M. Barrie, and G. K. Chesterton, who said of him that he "seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen, like a man playing spillikins."
Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson was born in Edinburgh. He was the only son of Thomas Stevenson, a prosperous joint-engineer to the Board of Northern Lighthouses, and Margaret Balfour, daughter of a Scottish clergyman. Thomas Stevenson invented, among others, the marine dynamometer, which measures the force of waves. Thomas's grandfather was Britain's greatest builder of lighthouses.
Wealth I ask not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I ask, the heaven above
And the road below me.
(from Songs of Travel)
'Requiem' inscribed on his tomb:
Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.