Hallowe’en 3

Hallowe’en is a big festival in the United States, but its origin is from the ancient Celtic people of Britain and northern France.If you are a football supporter you may know that the star Japanese footballer, Shunsuke Nakamura, plays for the champions of Scotland, Celtic.

More than 2,000 years ago the Celtic people celebrated Samhain on October 31st. At that time this was the last day of the year and the Celtic people believed that the spirits of the dead could visit their house on this day. But evil spirits, often appearing as animals (especially cats), could also visit. To frighten the evil spirits people dressed in scary costumes and carried lanterns made from turnips which were painted with scary faces.

Over the centuries the Christian religion spread through Europe and, in the year 835, November 1st was made an important Christian holy day (holiday) to honour all the Christian saints. This day was (and still is) called All Saints Day, or All Hallows (to hallow means to make holy).

On the day before All Hallows people continued to celebrate Samhain, which gradually changed its name to the ‘Evening before Hallows’ to ‘Hallows’ Eve’ to ‘Hallowe’en’. In the United States the first big Hallowe’en festival was in 1921. The idea of Trick or Treat was started in the US, as did the use of pumpkins for lanterns instead of turnips.

These days Hallowe’en is a fun-day for many people, but there are some who still follow the traditions of Samhain.

pumpkin2.jpg

Udinese 2-0 Spurs

My favourite team Spurs is in deep trouble.

A few days ago they lost in the UEFA Cup to Udinese of Italy, and they played very poorly. Spurs still have a chance to qualify for the next round, but they must really improve their performance.

Goodbye Juande
Goodbye Juande

This is a photo of the team manager (coach), Juande Ramos, after the game. He was sacked yesterday. I think he was a good manager who tried his very best, but things have been going very badly at Spurs this season, so it is normal that he must leave. I am sure he will get a lot of money as compensation.

At the same time a new manager was appointed, Harry Redknapp. He is a little older than Ramos, and has a lot more experience in English football, but not so much in European football. I think it is quite a good choice, let’s hope that results improve.

Umbria

In one of my classes today we came across the region of Umbria in Italy, a little north of Rome. The countryside around here is really beautiful.

Perugia, Umbria, Italy
Perugia, Umbria, Italy

Fast asleep

This is a real photo taken in Mumbai, India, and this man is fast asleep in a tree, and he is standing, weird.

(If you want to see a larger picture just place your cursor over the photo and click)

Can't stand to sleep at home
Can't stand to sleep at home

Cricket match

On Monday afternoon I went to the Shizuoka cricket ground next to the Abe River, near Kano Bridge. It was a national holiday, sports day, and when I got to the ground I saw a cricket match being played.

What a beautiful ground
What a beautiful ground

It seemed like everyone understood the game, but later I found that for most players it was their first time to play cricket. Cricket is not easy at first, but these players looked really good, and very enthusiastic.

Enthusiastic players
Enthusiastic players

The players were all university students (some of them are in my class) and it was part of a day of cricket practice and enjoyment, followed by a barbecue. What a fantastic day. I was so sorry that I couldn’t stay for so long, the cricket was so exciting and the barbecue looked so tasty.

Nice pants
Nice pants

He's played baseball I think
He's played baseball I think

Good luck and thanks to Kosuke and Dipak (Deepak?) for organising such a great day.

Fuji

Fuji was in the news today, not because of its beautiful mountain, but because of the Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Fuji racetrack, which was won by Fernando Alonso (Spain).

But I still like the mountain better, so here it is.

Mt Fujiyama!
Mt Fujiyama!

Tornado plus

Someone requested a photo of a tornado, well this is for jyankee.

Wichita, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas

And it’s not just a photo of a tornado, there is a rainbow too, plus a very nice horse-racing course that is just about to be demolished.

A correction: two commenters have informed me that this picture was taken in Mulvane, not Wichita, apologies for the error.

This map shows the incorporated and unincorpor...