Monthly Archives: July 2019

Maidens' Fair on Mount Gaina

The Maidens’ Fair is a major folk festival held at Mount Gaina in Transylvania, Romania. It was originally a marriage fair, where young men came to choose their future wives, but is now an opportunity for people to display their talents in handicrafts, costume making, singing, and dancing. Thousands of people gather for the events of the fair, which include dance competitions and concerts by folk bands and singers. Other aspects of the festival are feasts and bonfires, and the chanting of satirical verses during certain folk dances. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Maximilian Kolbe

Kolbe was a Polish priest who in 1941 was starved and killed by the Nazis in Auschwitz after volunteering to take the place of a condemned stranger. Ordained in 1918, he founded the City of Mary Immaculate religious center and was the director of Poland’s chief Catholic publishing complex. He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1939 and again in 1941 on charges of aiding Jews and the Polish underground. He was canonized in 1982 and declared a martyr of charity. Who was the man whose life Kolbe saved? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Dubrovnik Summer Festival

Centuries of artistic legacy come to life each year in Croatia at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, an international festival of music, dance, and theater. Approximately 80 performances, including opera, ballet, drama, art exhibitions, and poetry readings, are offered during the course of the festival, bringing to life the beautiful Renaissance and Baroque architecture of Dubrovnik. In the early years of the festival, the material was almost exclusively Croatian, but as the years passed, the festival expanded to include classics from the wider European tradition. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Tupac Amaru II

Born José Gabriel Condorcanqui, Tupac Amaru II was a leader of the indigenous people of Peru who adopted name of the last Inca leader, a man executed by the Spaniards for leading a rebellion in 1572. After failing to persuade officials to improve living and working conditions for indigenous Peruvians, Amaru II led a rebellion against Spain in 1780. He was soon captured and brutally executed. His entire family was also killed, with the exception of his 12-year-old son. What became of him? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Yarmouth Clam Festival

Held in a small town in southern Maine, the Yarmouth Clam Festival has been a New England tradition since 1965. Festival goers have their choice of steamed clams, whole fried clams, clam strips, clam cakes, clam chowder, and fried clams in batter. Along with celebrating Yarmouth‘s seafood, the festival is also a fundraiser, with proceeds helping to support local nonprofit organizations. Beyond sampling clams and other seafood, attendees can choose from a number of other activities including rides, games, live music, an antique show, a parade on Friday night, and a fireworks show on Saturday. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Naming Taboo

In China, the naming taboo is a cultural taboo against speaking or writing the given names of exalted persons. In the past, the taboo especially discouraged the use of the emperor’s given name and those of his ancestors. For example, during the Qin dynasty, Qin Shi Huang’s given name Zheng was avoided, and the first month of the year, “Zheng Yue,” was renamed “Duan Yue.” In 1777, lexicographer Wang Xihou wrote the full name of the Qianlong emperor in his dictionary. What was his punishment? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Old Believers

The Old Believers were Russian dissenters who were excommunicated in 1667, after refusing to accept liturgical reforms imposed on the Russian Orthodox Church by Patriarch Nikon. Numbering in the millions in the 17th century, they endured persecution until 1905, when Czar Nicholas II signed an act of religious freedom. In 1971, the council of the Russian Orthodox Church revoked the anathemas imposed upon the Old Believers. What were some of the changes included in Nikon’s reforms? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary