My sister was officially in labour. It was a little surreal since I just rolled over and continued to snooze, conscious of the pain she was about to endure and the chaotic hub of emotion about to let fly, but geographically and mentally I couldn't have felt further away. Winnipeg, CA - 3,630 miles away from Dublin city.
How do Japanese celebrate holidays? New Year is the biggest holiday of the year in Japan．Since 1873 Japanese have been celebrating New Year according to the Gregorian calendar on January 1 of each year, although some parts of Japan, such as Okinawa, still celebrate it according to the Chinese calendar.
Politicians do a disservice to the public to pretend otherwise. It is possible to celebrate difference while encouraging cohesion, but that is not by - out of fear or misplaced respect - ignoring the symbols that divide. It is possible to laud tolerance while criticizing those (flag-wavers?) who undermine it.
When it comes to cocktails the Cubans have been doing it right for years; The Mojito, The Daiquiri and The Cuba Libre each originated here, the hailed home of rum. Cuban bartenders were once hands-down the most celebrated in the world and their influence stretched far and wide. Feeling nostalgic? No need, Cuba's drinking culture lives on and it's just a cool as when it began.
The word "tradition" is so often misunderstood to mean the dragging heels of a conservative past, whereas modern traditions actually include our calendar customs such as Halloween and April Fools, our music and dance, our games and sports, almost all the foods we eat, the stories we tell, and so much more.
Our society is built around expectations. Expectations as to how we look, how we behave, the type of job we should have, the type of person we should marry, the trajectory our life should take. Often these aren't even conscience thoughts about a person, just things we naturally assume to be the case. But why?
As Christmas 2013 draws to a close, it must be said that I have plenty to be thankful for: my family are in fine health, I am generally happy, plus I got One Direction's calendar for the upcoming year. However, as the inevitable Christmas Day argument ensued, I began to ponder other annual occurrences that most families experience specifically during the festive season...
In the 17th Century, the Christmas Mince Pies (yes, more meat...) were famous for having a little baby Jesus on the crust, which sounds rather nice, but was a horrifying act of blasphemous cannibalism in the eyes of Oliver Cromwell. It should be said, Olly was not a miserabilist most of the time, but he did feel Christmas was meant to be a period of holy reverence. Accordingly, he did away with it all, and even ordered the confiscation of Christmas dinners from people's tables. Strangely, attending church was also prohibited on Jesus' birthday, which seems a bit weird, even by his standards.
This month, Europe remembers its fallen soldiers lost during a century and a half of terrible conflict. Not long ago, the millions who watched the remembrance ceremony at the Cenotaph in London saw for the last time veterans of the First World War, their numbers dwindling and faces receding into history
Hi, my name's Greg, and I'm embarrassed to be English... Now, before you say anything, it's not just because of Piers Morgan. Alas, Britain is a union under threat, and if Scotland withdraws in 2014 then that union will likely collapse. Under such circumstances, I will be forced to call myself English. This will cause me acute concern, partially because Americans will confuse me Hugh Grant, but mostly because of this... I am ashamed of the St George's Cross flag. I'll pause there, so you can fetch the kindling for my pyre...