Culture Articles

May's Culture Article


May Day - May 1st

by Lynne Hand

The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian Europe, although the pagan-oriented celebrations faded as Europe became Christianised, a more secular version of the holiday continued to be observed in the schools and churches of Europe well into the 20th century. In this form, In the UK May Day is best known for its traditions of dancing the Maypole and crowning of the Queen of the May.

April's Culture Article

Valentines Day

April Fool's Day - April 1st

by Lynne Hand

April 1st is the day people try to trick their friends, to make them behave like fools. Ranging from the elaborate practical joke to the obvious Your zip's undone the joker gloats April Fool when the unsuspecting victim falls for it. No one is exempt until noon but after that the joking must cease or the prank rebounds on the joker with the rhyme "April Fool is gone and past, You're the bigger fool at last." A favourite joke is to send someone on a fool's errand, a search for something that does not exist, a friend of mine was sent to buy tartan paint once.

March's Culture Article

Valentines Day

Assyrian Chaldean Syrian Wedding Traditions

by Rafi Michael (edited by Lynne Hand)

The wedding really starts the night before (usually Friday) in the groom’s house where a small party is held known as (khyapta d khitna) or a shower party for the groom (literally). Usually the party is small and only the closest relatives and friends are invited to the shower.

February's Culture Article

Valentines Day

Be My Valentine

Before there was a Saint Valentine to bring romance into the equation, mid-February was an important date for lovers. From 400 years BC, the Romans held an annual lottery in the name of their god Lupercus. The names of teenage women were put into a box and drawn at random by adolescent men. The 'winners' were legally paired for a year.

January's Culture Article

New Year

The History of New Year's Resolutions

The tradition of the New Year's Resolutions goes all the way back to 153 B.C. Janus, a mythical king of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar.

With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to the future. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year