Spring is finally here! For some it does not seem like it has arrived with rain, sleet or snow still coming down as we head outside. It has arrived and it marks the transition between winter and summer. Temperatures start rising, flowers come into bloom, and the cold of winter starts fading into the background.
Not everyone celebrates spring at the same time. The southern hemisphere is now beginning autumn and the transition to winter. And while spring equinox marks it on the calendar, nature has its own calendar owing to local climate and sometimes specific weather. Sports that primarily play in the summer begin their first real games in the spring. Fashion too changes as people begin to put away heavy winter clothing and replace it with lighter clothes. However often it is wise to keep the jacket and umbrella handy. Sometimes spring weather can be a bit unpredictable!
The Feast of St. Patrick is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church, the U.S.Episcopal Church, as a commemoration by the Evangelical Lutherans, and venerated in Orthodox Church. It is a public holiday in Ireland. The shamrock was used by St.Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity. In Ireland it is celebrated by families getting together for a meal. If the day falls on a Friday during Lent, observant Catholics receive dispensation to eat meat. If the feast day falls during Holy Week (and it does occasionally), the feast day is moved to avoid conflicting with the Holy Week calendar. A more recent occurrence are public festivals in Ireland and use of the day to promote Irish culture.
Here is an old tune from the Emerald Isle, known as The Minstrel Boy. The full lyrics can be found here.The tune was quite popular (and still is) and the opening is often heard more than the full song:
The minstrel boy to the war is gone, In the ranks of death you’ll find him; His father’s sword he has girded on, And his wild harp slung behind him; “Land of Song!” said the warrior bard, “Though all the world betrays thee, One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard, One faithful harp shall praise thee!”
The first is a wonderful rendition using Irish traditional musical instruments. And the second is from a more modern source (and set in the future) from Star Trek:The Next Generation episode The Wounded where the song has an important role. Chief O’Brien uses the tune to remind his old captain of his duty and what he has done.
The construction of a full-size replica of the Titanic in China is nearing completion as investors continue to plough millions into the project. New aerial images reveal that the replica of the sunken ocean liner is taking shape after the project began in 2016. The copy of the luxurious passenger ship, which sank in 1912 killing 1,500 people, will be a part of a grand theme park in Sichuan, south-west China, and is being painstakingly reproduced.
Lynch described seeing the huge British passenger liner up close with robotic cameras that fit inside the Titanic as “amazing.” Thoughts of the ship’s lights blazing and band playing before its slow descent into the calm sea surfaced during the dives, he said. “It was greater than anything you see on film,” he said. “The colors are much more brilliant to me in person than on film. I kept thinking about the people who survived.
Cookson Adventures has offered a trip that includes a dive to the wreck of the Titanic plus a recreation of the wine-paired dinner served to those in first class on the ship’s fateful maiden voyage. Available for nine people and taking place in July 2019, Cookson said that the trip was a rare opportunity to take part in a manned dive to the wreck of the Titanic, which lies 3,800 metres below sea level on the bed of the Atlantic.
While the dramatic and tragic scenes played out on the Atlantic Ocean, thousands of miles away a one-legged radio enthusiast in Blackwood was sat at his desk listening in. Artie Moore was one of the first people in the world to hear the terrifying message and although the story of the Titanic is known the world over, his role has been mostly lost to history. After the messages stopped Artie ran to the local police station to relay the news. With the Titanic being widely regarded as unsinkable and one of the most advanced ships ever built, the police laughed in his face.
Maury Yeston and Peter Stone’s musical, told from the perspective of several characters aboard the fated vessel, won five Tony Awards when it premiered on Broadway in 1997, including Best Musical. “After such a wonderful UK and Ireland tour last year, I am delighted that the great ship is sailing again both in the UK and across Europe,” Yeston said. Titanic will make stops in Woking, Munich, Mannheim, Cologne and Moscow. Tickets are available at TitanicTheMusical.co.uk.
“I’d look out my bedroom window and I could envision the Titanic out there,” said Scully. So to honor the ships legacy, Aidan has cut replica crystal goblets to the exact White Star Line design.And with any $40 or more purchase, customers are entered into a drawing to win two of these White Star Line goblets to take home. He has also just finished recreating a crystal bowl design served from on the Titanic as well.
A newly surfaced personal artifact of a Titanic survivor is on display at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge before it goes to auction. Titanic survivor Helen Candee had two personal items on board the famed ship when it sank. She met another passenger and, believing he would survive before she would, she gave them to him. His body was recovered later, and her items were returned to her family.
“We are thrilled to host this, first of its kind, auction preview collaboration with Henry Aldridge & Son Auction House in England,” says Kellogg-Joslyn with the museum. “That means, for a brief and special period, our guests will be given an up-close look at a rare, Titanic artifact before it is ‘going, going, gone,’ possibly never to be seen again in a public setting.”
Transport through time back to a cold night in April 1912, become a passenger of that ill-fated voyage and experience an evening that you will never forget. The Queen Mary presents Aiden Sinclair’s A Night to Remember, a black tie evening in honor of the RMS Titanic on Saturday, April 13, 2019. Enjoy a seven-course gourmet meal, inspired by the final first class dinner served aboard, view artifacts from the ship and hear the bone-chilling tales of the passengers who both lived and died on that cold April night.
Originally, the food was taken from a combination of the different menus which was served to the first class, second class and third class passengers. Kathryn said: “The menu has changed over the years, so, this year, Shaun decided to do his own ten-course meal which he thought would go down well on the night.
People are seeking meaningful adventure experiences and they want to make a difference,” shared Stockton Rush, CEO, OceanGate. “It’s a travesty to just go, look and come back up. Our expedition allows Mission Specialists to explore as part of a team that is doing something incredibly rare and valuable, and also play an active role on the sub and ship throughout the mission.
Sorry folks for not posting for quite a while. I got distracted due to a very bad cold that lingered far too long! At any rate I have culled through my news feeds and found the following topical stories. I suppose the big news (sort of) is that Clive Palmer has resurrected Titanic II and seems intent to actually see it through. Doubts linger though on that one.
Titanic BOMBSHELL: Was Ship’s Captain DRUNK Before Iceberg Collision? (Sunday Express, 23 Jan 2019)
Deltamarin’s Further Involvement In Titanic II Project Confirmed (Hellenic Ship News, 18 Jan 2019)
Why The Titanic Is Disappearing (AOL, 13 Jan 2019)
Antiques Roadshow: ‘Oh my God!’ Shock as STAGGERING Valuation For Titanic Jewel Revealed (Express, 13 Jan 2019)
Richmond Businessman Steers New Course For Titanic Exhibitions (Richmond News, 9 Jan 2019)
Submarine Trip To The Titanic Booking Soon — For Those With Deep Pockets (dw.com, 9 Jan 2019)
There’s Going To Be A Titanic-Themed Murder Mystery Event In Edinburgh On Valentine’s Day Weekend (edinburghlive, 7 Jan 2019)
‘Titanic’ Exhibit Closing Successful Waco Run At Mayborn Museum On Sunday (Waco Tribune Herald, 4 Jan 2019)
Oxford Hotel Completes ‘Titanic’ Redesign Of Ballroom (citimagazine.com, 2 Jan 2019)
Epiphany or Three Kings Day is January 6 and as the Twelfth Night officially ends the Christmas season. It is a day to celebrate the baptism of Jesus and the arrival of The Magi (Three Kings or Wise Men). In the Middle Ages Christmas was celebrated from Christmas Eve to January 6. And Epiphany Day was a major celebration well into the mid 19th century when its importance diminished. The Catholic Church no longer requires January 6 to be celebrated as a solemnity on that exact day and celebrates it on the Sunday that follows it. Some Protestant churches celebrate the Epiphany season from January 6 till Ash Wednesday. Orthodox Christians celebrate it on January 19 as they follow the Julian calendar.
In many Spanish speaking countries, Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings’ Day)is celebrated with special foods and gatherings. Many European countries have their own unique observances as well. Children often gets treats or presents on this day. In Italy, La Befana flies through the night on January 5 on a broomstick to deliver gifts to good kids and give coal to the bad ones.
So who were the Three Kings? There is a lot of debate on this. Some doubt they existed and some consider it a pious fantasy. Much of what is called the Three Kings today are embellishments that have been added over time. The Gospel of Matthew, the earliest source of the story, is quite simple and only refers to them as Magi from the east. Nor does it say there were only three but three gifts were given. And it is possible they were actually Nabataeans, a trading people that lived in northern Arabia to the Southern Levant whose capital is known as Petra today. Dwight Longnecker in his book Mystery of the Magi examines this evidence. Worth reading if you want to learn more about who these Magi might really have been.
Traditionally there are 12 days of Christmas beginning on Christmas Day (December 25) and ending on Epiphany Day (Little Christmas/Three Kings or Wise Men Day) on January 6. Customs vary by country but almost always there are special activities, foods, and in opening of presents as well.
The celebration of Twelfth Night came about in medieval and Tudor England when Candlemas originally ended the Christmas season. A special cake was prepared with a bean and pea hidden inside. The man who found the pea in his slice of cake became king for the night while the woman who found a pea became Queen for the night. Christmas carols and feasting would also take place. A special punch for Christmas, wassail, was often drunk on that night but also during the entire season as well.
Since Twelfth Night is about the impending arrival of the Three Kings, the statues of them would appear in the crib or the following day in countries such as Ireland. Christmas decorations would start to be taken down as well and certainly by the end of Epiphany Day. Edible portions of wreaths (fruits or nuts) would be consumed as part of a feast as well. The famous Shakespeare play Twelfth Night was written as entertainment for the holiday.
Twelfth Night is considered secular by Christian denominations and not a required day of observance. The following day, Epiphany Day, is a solemnity and observed by attendance in church.