Monthly Archives: July 2019

Chincoteague Pony Swim and Auction

The Chincoteague Pony Swim is an annual saltwater roundup of the famous wild ponies of Assateague Island off the Delmarva Peninsula. The volunteer firemen of Chincoteague Island, Virginia, ride to Assateague, round up as many as 300 ponies, and then guide them into the water to swim across the channel to Chincoteague. The next day some foals are sold at auction and the rest of the herd swims back to Assateague. A week of festivities surrounds the roundup, and tens of thousands come to watch the excitement from land and small boats. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Book of Enoch

The Book of Enoch is an ancient religious text attributed to Enoch, the Biblical figure said to have been the great-grandfather of Noah. Although it is not considered part of the canon of scripture for Jews or Christians, apart from a few sects, it is quoted in the New Testament, indicating that its authors were familiar with the text. Aramaic fragments of the Book of Enoch were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran, but the only known complete version is written in what ancient language? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

National Balloon Classic

The National Balloon Classic takes place from a launch field just outside Indianola, Iowa. When the event was first held in 1970, only 11 balloonists participated, but by 2001 there were close to 100 pilots and as many as 250,000 spectators. There are several flights or “tasks” involved in each race, designed to test the pilot’s skill in handling their balloon. New tasks are added regularly to make the sport more demanding. As a result of the races, Indianola has come to be known as the Balloon Capital of the nation. The city is also the home of the National Balloon Museum. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The He Shi Bi

The He Shi Bi is a piece of jade that features prominently in Chinese history. According to legend, a man named Bian He found a large stone that he believed contained jade in the hills of Chu. He presented it to the king and later to his successor, but they disbelieved the man’s claims and had his legs cut off as punishment. Finally, he presented it to a third king, who recognized the stone’s potential and had it sculpted into an incomparable disk of jade. What was the disk made into in 221 BCE? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Fête des Vignerons

Held only five times during each of the 19th and 20th centuries in Vevey, Switzerland, the Fête des Vignerons is a pageant of music, dance, and song depicting the passage of the seasons in winegrowing country and honoring the most talented workers in the vineyards. It lasts more than two weeks and has a cast of thousands, drawn from the local population. The pageant takes place in an open-air theater, specially constructed each time the festival is held, with Lake Geneva and the mountains beyond as a backdrop. The festival was last held in 1999. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Josephus

Josephus was a Jewish historian and soldier whose historical works are among the most valuable sources for the study of early Judaism and early Christianity. At the beginning of the war between the Romans and Jews, he was made commander of Galilee. After surrendering to the Romans, he won the favor of the Roman general Vespasian and lived in Rome under imperial patronage, where he wrote his Greek-language historical works. Why is his surrender to the Romans still controversial? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Crom Dubh Sunday

Crom Dubh was an ancient Celtic god believed to live near the town of Cloghane in County Kerry. During the festival of Lughnasadh, people would go up to nearby Mount Brandon to pick berries, then join the festivities in Cloghane at the foot of the mountain. Thereafter Mount Brandon became a Christian pilgrimage site. Today Cloghane hosts a revived Lughnasadh festival over the last weekend in July. In addition to the pilgrimage up Mount Brandon, there are traditional musical and dance performances, poetry readings, sheep-shearing events, boat races, and many other events. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary