“Happy Longest Day of The Year” Day

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June 21st 2013 celebrates the Summer Solstice or the longest day of the year. It also marks the beginning of summer for those in the northern hemisphere. Here’s some information on the event and a few fun things that you can do to honour the occasion!

Firstly, it is important to note that there are two solstices per year- the Summer Solstice and the Winter Solstice. A solstice is an astronomical phenomenon, whereby the sun reaches either its highest or lowest point in the sky relative to the celestial equator. The term comes from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).

The Summer Solstice takes place during a hemisphere’s summer, which means that Europe, North America, Asia and parts of Africa celebrate the occasion between the 20th and 22nd of June, while those in Australia, South America and Antarctica mark their Summer Solstice between the 20th and 23rd of December each year.

It is also referred to as the longest day of the year (for those in the northern hemisphere), as the event occurs on the day which has the longest period of daylight. For those south of the equator it is simultaneously the shortest day of the year with the least sunlight.

For those of us who thought that winter would never end, June 21st marks a special day: the start of summer! So, as a way to celebrate the date, we’ve compiled a short list of some fun things to do this Summer Solstice. See how many you will do and remember to enjoy the extra daylight (and sunshine!)

1. Cook outside / BBQ

2. Plant a tree

3. Go camping

4. Make a birdfeeder

5. Go swimming

6. Sit outside and read a book

7. Fly a kite

8. Eat some ice-cream

9. Take a trek up a hill / mountain

10. Watch the sun set

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Ireland (sham) rocks

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As the Irish representative in Germany I wanted to write briefly about St Patrick’s Day, which is celebrated this Sunday, March 17th. Although currently residing in Nuremberg, I will be sporting green this weekend in honour of my country’s patron Saint. Some of the festivities associated with St Patrick’s Day include:
– Wearing green, white and orange clothing and hats
– Painting shamrocks on your face
– St Patrick’s Day parades, including colourful floats, music and dancing from all over the world
– Dying the rivers green (Chicago is famous for doing this every year)
– And of course, having a pint of Guinness!
St Patrick’s Day is celebrated not just in Ireland, but also in countries such as America, Argentina, Canada, Great Britain, Japan, Russia, New Zealand and Australia. It has become a worldwide event, with people who have never even been to Ireland dressing head to toe in green. It is a day to celebrate all things Irish and I’m looking forward to seeing what Germany has to offer come this Sunday. As they say in Ireland, “Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit!” (Happy St Patrick’s Day!)

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Als die irische Vertreterin in Deutschland wollte ich kurz über dem St. Patricks Tag, der diesen Sonntag am 17. März gefeiert wird, berichten. Obwohl ich im Moment in Nürnberg wohne, trage ich dieses Wochenende wohl grün, um den Namenspatron Irlands zu ehren. Einige der Feierlichkeiten, die mit dem St. Patricks Tag verbunden werden, sind:
-grüne, weiße und orange Kleidung und Hüte tragen
-sich Kleeblätter auf das Gesicht malen
-St. Patricks Tag Umzüge, bunte Festwägen mit Musik und Tänzen aus aller Welt
-Flüsse grün einfärben (Chicago macht das jedes Jahr und ist dafür bekannt)
-und selbstverständlich, ein Bier (z.B. Guinness) trinken!
Der St. Patricks Tag wird nicht nur in Irland gefeiert, sondern auch in Ländern wie Amerika, Argentinien, Kanada, Großbritannien, Japan, Russland, Neuseeland und Australien. Er ist mittlerweile zu einem weltweiten Ereignis geworden, an dem sogar Leute, die noch nie in Irland waren, von Kopf bis Fuß grün tragen. Es ist einen Tag um alles Irische zu feiern und ich freue mich schon zu sehen, was Deutschland in dieser Hinsicht zu bieten hat.
Wie man in Irland so schön sagt, “Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit!“ (Einen schönen St. Patricks Tag!)