lunes, 15 de enero de 2018

Blue Monday

Just a few days we have probably been in the sales to shop some bargains. Undoubtedly, marketing is always fighting for people to buy, buy and buy and it seems Anglo-Saxon concepts where a colour name plus a noun are far contributing to this all-out 'war'.  So to speak, we have just to go back to only some months ago, where the store windows or websites percolated in our eyes and credit cards... Do you remember Black Friday? Well, today is Blue Monday.

It is widely known that the concept of 'blue' has a nostalgic hint in English. Thus, for instance, we have some concepts like 'feeling blue' denoting 'feeling sad'. Evidently, this concept is also found in some other expressions where this meaning is not depicted like 'blue ribbon' (the king-standing award in a competition) or 'blue blood' (belonging to the monarchy), among others.

However, the topic under study today is Blue Monday and its meaning is, as I pointed just a few lines before, the concept of melancholy. What is the reason for choosing such a name? It's simple: after a long vacation period, after the copious Christmas gifts, we are precisely in the middle of January, the cold weather of these days coupled with the frustration of not having fulfilled our New Year Resolutions, the outcome is simple: Blue Monday.

And again, many online enterprises take advantage of this fact to promote their sales by giving the customers the chance to buy items on their webs by avoiding the shipping costs... The essence of this, after all, is that any opportunity is valid to sell.


Pic credit: http://www.borax.es/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/monday1.jpg



viernes, 5 de enero de 2018

EPIPHANY OR TWELFTH NIGHT

Today is a magic night. Today, for those who really believe in magic, the miracle of the Chosen's birth and the visit of the Three Wise Men, today is a big night. I still remember how anxious my beloved twin sister and I felt the night before the Three Wise Men came into our house, drank the water inside the plastic buckets my parents had filled with and, why not? (we were children!) our desperation and impatience to open our gifts (a couple of white rollerblades, if possible!). Nowadays when they say 'Twelfth Night', my mind thinks about a completely different thing: Shakespeare and his play Twelfth Night, where pirates and a shipwreck are the main plot.

But, far from these personal reflections, what the sixth of January really commemorates is precisely this: the visit of these three men on top of three camels, to Jesus Christ. Curiously, though, it is not celebrated in all parts of the world since Anglo-Saxon countries substitute them for the figure of Dear Santa on December, 25th. Other countries like Spain or Latin America do enjoy this celebration. And you, what do you prefer? 

Once children receive presents from their parents and relatives alike on January 6th, one can say that Christmas is over, but no shopping since on January 7th, sale time is just about to start. Now we have ahead 2 months of discounts in all kinds of items. And, of course, ready for the next festivities: Carnival.

Pic credit: http://www.buzznet.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2013/12/msg-13872281842.jpg


lunes, 1 de enero de 2018

JANUARY 1ST



The first day of the year announces a new start. After a ‘crazy’ night out with friends and family, people spend January, 1 sometimes sleeping, others having a walk and some others eating the extra food of the New Year’s Eve supper, with the family again!

However, the New Year’s Day is not the same in all corners of the world.

Thus, for example, while in the Western world, people celebrate it on the first of January (Times Square in New York, Trafalgar Square in London or Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, where they call it ‘HOGMANAY’ and practise the famous print-footing); in other places, it is hold in other periods of the year, like in March (Muslim countries and India) or September (Jewish culture). By the way, a Scottish celebrity, Robert Burns, made up an old song ‘Auld Long Syne’ which people sing along while standing in a circle and holding their hands.

Some particular ways of celebrating the New Year occur in the Fast East, in China. There, they usually carry it out in January or February and, surprisingly, every year has a different sign, which is repeated every 12 years. The animal symbol of the year is taken by people in the street processions and they are so sacred that no animal can be killed on that day. In Río de Janeiro, people go to the beach and welcome the New Year with fireworks, fires and candles. 

Curious though, especially if we contrast it to Spain, they do not eat 12 grapes before the coming of the midnight, but they rather count the last ten seconds before the New Year arrives.

Yvonne de Carlo




domingo, 31 de diciembre de 2017

NEW RESOLUTIONS

As any year around this time, it is common to reflect upon all we have left behind the previous 364 days. In my case, I just can say that 2017 has been the year of real learning, not only professional but more importantly, personal. 

Furthermore, the beginning of a new year also brings new expectations, or as they are widely known, 'New Resolutions'. Mine is simple, but tough as well: I want to pen several posts about socio-cultural and linguistic Anglo-Saxon topics every month so that, at the end of the year, I had not just written a myriad of posts, but also you and I had had the chance to learn together.

 Esther Williams

My conclusion, then? Well, this year I have learnt that, in order to go ahead with one's life, ATTITUDE is farther relevant for progress to be carried out. That is why I would like to finish this post with a picture, in Spanish by the way, but that summarises my present life philosophy:

HAPPY 2018!