Happy Birthday, MLK!

Posted by Speakeasy News > Friday 13 January 2017 > Celebrate

The third Monday of January is a federal holiday in the U.S.A., in honour of Martin Luther King. In keeping with King’s philosophy, citizens are encouraged to treat it as a day of service to others by volunteering in their communities. As the slogan says, it is “a day on, not a day off”. Starting … Continue reading “Happy Birthday, MLK!”

Shetland Viking Fire Festival

Posted by Speakeasy News > Thursday 19 January 2017 > Celebrate

The Shetland Islands are the northernmost part of the U.K., and belonged to Norway until 1468. So it’s no surprise that the highpoint in the Shetland cultural calendar is a spectacular Viking fire festival in January: Up Helly Aa. On the last Tuesday of January, a thousand costumed men pull a Viking longship through Lerwick … Continue reading “Shetland Viking Fire Festival”

Brontë Anniversaries

Posted by Speakeasy News > Friday 09 December 2016 > Celebrate

Two hundred years on, the three Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, are still some of the best-loved novelists Britain has produced. Their enduring classics Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall conquer new readers in each generation and have inspired many other writers and artists. The bicentenary of their births, from … Continue reading “Brontë Anniversaries”

The Queen at 90

Posted by Speakeasy News > Tuesday 16 August 2016 > Celebrate

Britain broke out the bunting and the Union Jacks to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday. There are not many 90-year-olds who are still doing a full-time job, even in the Queen now relies more on her children and grandchildren to represent the Royal Family abroad. After becoming Britain’s longest-reigning monarch on 9 September 2015, … Continue reading “The Queen at 90”

Merry Christmas Jumper Day!

Posted by Speakeasy News > Tuesday 13 December 2016 > Celebrate

Like Red Nose Day, Christmas Jumper Day is becoming a tradition for British people to do something silly – wear a kitschy Christmas jumper — to do some serious good, for the charity Save the Children. Christmas is of course a special time for children, which is why the charity wants people to donate to … Continue reading “Merry Christmas Jumper Day!”

Montgomery Bus Boycott: A Victory for Civil Rights

Posted by Speakeasy News > Monday 28 November 2016 > Celebrate

Sixty years ago, on 20 December, 1956, Martin Luther King and his fellow campaigners won a first victory in the long battle for African-American civil rights. The Montgomery Bus Boycott, which had begun when Rosa Parks famously refused to move to the back of the bus, finally ended after 381 days, when the Supreme Court … Continue reading “Montgomery Bus Boycott: A Victory for Civil Rights”

Australia Day

Posted by Speakeasy News > Thursday 15 December 2016 > Celebrate

Australians celebrate their national day on 26 January, the anniversary of the first British colonisation of the continent in 1788. On 26 January, 1788, the British flag was first flown over the penal colony that was to be established at Sydney Cove. It marked the end of a nine-month journey for the 1,500 people, half … Continue reading “Australia Day”

Go Scottish for St Andrews

Posted by Speakeasy News > Friday 25 November 2016 > Celebrate

St Andrew’s Day, 30 November, is the Scottish national day. It’s a time to wear some tartan, listen to some bagpipes playing “Oh Flower of Scotland”, dance a Highland fling and eat some haggis and shortbread with a wee glass of malt whisky! A typical Scottish expression at this time of year is, “The nights … Continue reading “Go Scottish for St Andrews”

Poppy Day

Posted by Speakeasy News > Friday 28 October 2016 > Celebrate

Any image of people in the UK, Canada and Australia in November is likely to include some who are wearing a red paper poppy in their lapel. The Poppy Appeal for war veterans in the run-up to Remembrance Day began in the aftermath of World War I. Today, as the British and Commonwealth armies commemorate … Continue reading “Poppy Day”

Thanksgiving

Posted by Speakeasy News > Monday 14 November 2016 > Celebrate

Many in the U.S. consider Thanksgiving the most American of holidays. The feast appeals to every religious and ethnic group, honours a turning point in American history, and encourages a spirit of good will. Plus, Thanksgiving offers one of the best meals of the year! In 1620, a group of 102 British people men, women … Continue reading “Thanksgiving”