Tag Archives: England

“Remember remember the 5th of November”

 

Guy Fawkes Night (also known as Bonfire Night) is a firework festival in Britain. It remembers the Gunpowder Plot of 5 November 1605. On that night some people plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliament with the King inside. In the evening people light large fires called ‘bonfires’, burn figures called ‘Guys’, eat food like baked potatoes and watch fireworks displays.

The CCL team will be at Midsummer Common in Cambridge tonight to watch the fireworks. Come along if you’re in the city! If you aren’t, then here are some useful resources for finding out more about the festival.

https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/bonfire-night

https://www.tes.com/articles/bonfire-night-resources

http://www.michellehenry.fr/bonfire.htm

…and here is a fun video explainer

George and the English

 

One of the many things that make England slightly unusual is that we don’t have a ‘National Day’ or an  ‘Independence Day’. The closest thing we have is the day of our patron saint, St George, though it isn’t a national holiday, and many people may not even be aware of it.

The real Saint George was a Greek Roman soldier who lived in what is now Turkey about 1700 years ago. The Saint George more familiar to English people is a mythological version – a brave knight who killed an evil child-eating dragon. The national flag of England is the St George’s Cross, shown above. It is one of the three flags that make up the British flag, commonly known as the Union Jack.

Read more about Saint George and watch an animated video at the British Council website here.

Today is also United Nations English Language Day. The 23rd of April was chosen because it is the date “traditionally observed as both the birthday and date of death of William Shakespeare”. Other dates were selected for the celebration of the UN’s other five official languages.