All posts by Ian Grieve

Marian Days

In 1975, the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix, a Vietnamese religious order, established a new campus in Carthage, Missouri. Marian Days, which the small town of Carthage has hosted since 1977, is a time for Vietnamese Catholics to honor the Mother of Jesus and recognize the protection she offered to refugees. The weekend’s events, which include daily Masses, penance ceremonies, benedictions, and religious lectures, lead up to the Saturday celebration, which consists of a parade for the Virgin Mary as well as a fireworks and balloon ceremony. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Three Gorges Dam

The largest hydroelectric dam in the world, China’s Three Gorges Dam stretches 1.4 miles (2.3 km) across the Yangtze River. Begun in 1993 and largely completed by 2006, the controversial project displaced more than a million people and inundated huge tracts of land. However, it increased the river’s shipping capacity, reduced the threat of flooding, and will eventually generate nearly 85 billion kilowatts a year. How much electricity will the dam have to generate to recoup building costs? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Qigong

Considered by some to be an important form of alternative medicine, qigong is an ancient Chinese system of postures, exercises, breathing techniques, and meditations. Its central idea is the control and manipulation of qi—also known as chi—believed by practitioners to be the fundamental life energy responsible for health and vitality. In China, qigong is used in conjunction with other medical therapies for many chronic conditions. How is qigong related to the practice of martial arts?

Source: The Free Dictionary

Busan Sea Festival

Every August since 1999, the municipal government of the seaside town of Busan in South Korea has sponsored a nine-day Sea Festival on its main beaches. The festival kicks off with an opening ceremony featuring performances by popular singers and other entertainers and culminates that night in a spectacular fireworks display. Over the course of the festival, a variety of water sports are offered, as well as the Hanbada Festival for the Disabled and championship competitions in windsurfing and beach volleyball. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Maison du Roi

The Maison du Roi was the entourage that attended to the needs of the French royal family from the 14th to the 19th century. It was administered by the chief steward of France until the 1700s, when a ministry was organized to oversee the thousands of employees tasked with duties such as managing the king’s stables, hunting for the king’s meat, providing the king’s food and entertainment, and attending to the king’s spiritual needs. What was the Grand Panetier charged with overseeing?

Source: The Free Dictionary

Hanagasa Odori Matsuri

One of the largest festivals in the Tohoku region of Japan, Hanagasa Odori Matsuri is held in Yamagata on August 5-7. Thousands of dancers holding hanagasa, which are hats made out of bamboo or rush and decorated with flowers, dance through the city while spectators cheer them on. The rhythmic pulse of the hanagasa songs keeps the dancers moving together as they march down the city streets yelling “Yassho! Makasho!” and twirling their hats to the left, right, up, and down.

Source: The Free Dictionary

Antigua Carnival

In Antigua and Barbuda, to coincide with the already established celebration of the slaves’ emancipation, Carnival is celebrated in late July and continues until the first Tuesday in August. Music, competitions, and pageantry dominate the proceedings. Calypso music can be heard throughout the celebration, and the annual calypso competition produces a Calypso Monarch. Other contests include two beauty pageants, which crown Caribbean Queen and Miss Antigua. Every Carnival also features street parades that are famous for their elaborate glittering costumes.

Source: The Free Dictionary