T.R.A.C.S at Timothy Plaza on River Island
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Friday, April 29, 2016
Walpurgis Night is the English translation of Walpurgisnacht, one of the Dutch and German names for the night of 30 April, so called because it is the eve of the feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century abbess in Francia. In Germanic folklore Walpurgisnacht, also called Hexennacht (Dutch: heksennacht; literally "Witches' Night"), is believed to be the night of a witches' meeting on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains, a range of wooded hills in central Germany between the rivers Weser and Elbe. The first known written occurrence of the English translation "Walpurgis Night" is from the 19th century. Local variants of Walpurgis Night are observed across Europe in the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland and Estonia.
The current festival is, in most countries that celebrate it, named after the English missionary Saint Walpurga (c. 710–777/9). As Walpurga's feast was held on 1 May (c. 870), she became associated with May Day, especially in the Finnish and Swedish calendars. The eve of May Day, traditionally celebrated with dancing, came to be known as Walpurgisnacht ("Walpurga's night"). The name of the holiday is Walpurgisnacht or Hexennacht ("Witches' Night") in German, Heksennacht in Dutch Valborgsmässoafton in Swedish, Vappen in Finland Swedish, Vappu in Finnish, Volbriöö, (Walpurgi night) in Estonian, Valpurgijos naktis in Lithuanian, Valpurģu nakts or Valpurģi in Latvian, čarodějnice and Valpuržina noc in Czech.
The Germanic term Walpurgisnacht is recorded in 1668 by Johannes Praetorius as S. Walpurgis Nacht or S. Walpurgis Abend. An earlier mention of Walpurgis and S. Walpurgis Abend is in the 1603 edition of the Calendarium perpetuum of Johann Coler, who also refers to the following day, 1 May, as Jacobi Philippi, feast day of the apostles James the Less and Philip in the Catholic calendar.
The 17th-century German tradition of a meeting of sorcerers and witches on May Day eve (Hexennacht, "Witches' Night") is influenced by the descriptions of Witches' Sabbaths in 15th- and 16th-century literature
As in all Germanic countries, Walpurgisnacht was celebrated in areas of what is now the Netherlands. It is not celebrated today due to the national Koninginnedag falling on the same date, though the new koningsdag (king's day) is on 27 April. The island of Texel celebrates a festival known as the 'Meierblis (nl)' (roughly translated as 'May-Blaze') on that same day, where bonfires are lit near nightfall, just as on Walpurgis. But with the meaning to drive away the remaining cold of winter and welcome spring. Occasional mentions to the ritual occur, and at least once a feminist group co-opted the name to call for attention to the position of women (following the example of German women's organizations), a variety of the Take Back the Night phenomenon.
Still, in recent years a renewed interest in pre-Christian religion and culture has led to renewed interest in Walpurgis Night as well. In 1999, suspicions were raised among local Reformed party members in Putten, Gelderland of a Walpurgis festival celebrated by Satanists. The party called for a ban. Whether such a festival even existed, however, and whether it was 'Satanic', was doubted by others.Rumors that Satanic sects celebrate Walpurgis Night come from other towns as well, with the local churches in Dokkum, Friesland organizing a service in 2003 to pray to the Holy Spirit to counter such Satanic action.
Saint Walpurga or Walburga (Old English: Wealdburg, Latin: Valpurga, Walpurga, Walpurgis; c. AD 710 – 25 February 777 or 779), also spelled Valderburg or Guibor, was an English missionary to the Frankish Empire. She was canonized on 1 May ca. 870 by Pope Adrian II. Walpurgis Night (or "Walpurgisnacht") is the name for the eve of her day, which coincides with May Day.
Walpurga was born in the county of Devonshire, England, into a local aristocratic family. She was the daughter of St. Richard the Pilgrim, one of the underkings of the West Saxons, and of Winna, sister of St. Boniface, Apostle of Germany, and had two brothers, St. Willibald and St. Winibald. Saint Richard is buried in the Basilica of San Frediano, Lucca, where he died on pilgrimage in 722. Saint Richard is also known as Richard the Saxon Pilgrim, of Droitwich.
St. Richard, when starting with his two sons on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, entrusted Walburga, then 11 years old, to the abbess of Wimborne. Walpurga was educated by the nuns of Wimborne Abbey, Dorset, where she spent 26 years as a member of the community. She then travelled with her brothers, Willibald and Winebald, to Francia (now Württemberg and Franconia) to assist Saint Boniface, her mother's brother, in evangelizing among the still-pagan Germans. Because of her rigorous training, she was able to write her brother Winibald's vita and an account in Latin of his travels in Palestine. As a result, she is often called the first female author of both England and Germany.
Walpurga became a nun in the double monastery of Heidenheim am Hahnenkamm, which was founded by her other brother, Willibald, who appointed her as his successor. Following his death in 751, she became the abbess.
Walpurga died on 25 February 777 or 779 (the records are unclear) and was buried at Heidenheim; the day carries her name in the Catholic church calendar. In the 870s, Walpurga's remains were transferred to Eichstätt. In Finland, Sweden, and Bavaria, her feast day commemorates the transfer of her relics on 1 May.
Friday, April 22, 2016
The Reinheitsgebot literally "purity order"), sometimes called the "German Beer Purity Law" in English, is the collective name for a series of regulations limiting the ingredients in beer in Germany and its predecessor states. The most well-known version of the law was adopted in Bavaria in 1516, but similar regulations predate the Bavarian order, and modern regulations also significantly differ from the 1516 Bavarian version.
The most influential predecessor of the modern Reinheitsgebot was a law first adopted in the duchy of Munich in 1487. After Bavaria was reunited, the Munich law was adopted across the entirety of Bavaria on April 23, 1516. As Germany unified, Bavaria pushed for adoption of this law on a national basis (see Broader adoption).
German beer: 500 years of 'Reinheitsgebot' rules
This weekend marks 500 years since the Duke of Bavaria introduced the "Reinheitsgebot" or purity law - strict rules controlling what can go into beer.
And beer lovers across Germany will be celebrating at events (read: subsidised drinking opportunities) to mark the anniversary of the famous food law.
As Chancellor Angela Merkel partakes of an obligatory Pils with German brewers in the Bavarian town of Ingolstadt, the BBC's Claudia Allen takes a look at the Reinheitsgebot, and what it means for German beer today.
Why was the purity law introduced?
The decree known as the Reinheitsgebot, issued in Ingolstadt in 1516, had three aims: to protect drinkers from high prices; to ban the use of wheat in beer so more bread could be made; and to stop unscrupulous brewers from adding dubious toxic and even hallucinogenic ingredients as preservatives or flavourings.
They included herbs and spices such as rosemary and caraway, henbane, thorn-apple, wood shavings, roots, soot or even pitch, according to the German Brewers' Association (DBB).
Duke Wilhelm IV's beer purity regulation of 1516, which was preceded by earlier rules on beer production, was gradually implemented in other parts of southern Germany. It eventually became law in the north and thus the whole country in 1906.
The DBB claims that the Reinheitsgebot is the oldest currently valid consumer protection law in the world.
What can go into German beer?
The original law limited ingredients to just barley, hops and water.
The exact role of yeast in alcoholic fermentation was not understood at the time and it was only later that brewers were able to add the micro-organism as a specific ingredient.
The production of wheat beers remained limited in Bavaria for centuries but is now allowed.
So the law now states that malted grains, hops, water and yeast may be used - but nothing else.
What about EU regulations?
Beers brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot have special status under European Union laws as a protected traditional foodstuff.
However European law means that the German brewing industry has had to accept that beers brewed elsewhere not in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot can be sold in the country.
Beer is the world's most widely consumed and probably the oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. The production of beer is called brewing, which involves the fermentation of starches, mainly derived from cereal grains—most commonly malted barley, although wheat, maize (corn), and rice are widely used. Most beer is flavoured with hops, which add bitterness and act as a natural preservative, though other flavourings such as herbs or fruit may occasionally be included. The fermentation process causes a natural carbonation effect, although this is often removed during processing, and replaced with forced carbonation. Some of humanity's earliest known writings refer to the production and distribution of beer: the Code of Hammurabi included laws regulating beer and beer parlours, and "The Hymn to Ninkasi", a prayer to the Mesopotamian goddess of beer, served as both a prayer and as a method of remembering the recipe for beer in a culture with few literate people.
Beer is sold in bottles and cans; it may also be available on draught, particularly in pubs and bars. The brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational companies and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries. The strength of beer is usually around 4% to 6% alcohol by volume (abv), although it may vary between 0.5% and 20%, with some breweries creating examples of 40% abv and above. Beer forms part of the culture of beer-drinking nations and is associated with social traditions such as beer festivals, as well as a rich pub culture involving activities like pub crawling, and pub games such as bar billiards.
The word beer comes from old Germanic languages, and is with variations used in continental Germanic languages, bier in German and Dutch, but not in Nordic languages. The word was imported into the British Isles by tribes such as the Saxons. It is disputed where the word originally comes from.
Many other languages have borrowed the Dutch/German word, such as French bière, Italian birra, Romanian "bere" and Turkish bira. The Nordic languages have öl or øl, related to the English word ale. Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan have words that evolved from Latin cervisia, originally of Celtic origin. Slavic languages use pivo with small variations, based on a pre-Slavic word meaning "beverage" and derived from the verb meaning "to drink".
History of Beer
Beer is one of the oldest beverages humans have produced, dating back to at least the fifth millennium BC and recorded in the written history of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. As almost any cereal containing certain sugars can undergo spontaneous fermentation due to wild yeasts in the air, it is possible that beer-like beverages were independently developed throughout the world soon after a tribe or culture had domesticated cereal. Chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was produced as far back as about 7,000 years ago in what is today Iran. This discovery reveals one of the earliest known uses of fermentation and is the earliest evidence of brewing to date. In Mesopotamia, the oldest evidence of beer is believed to be a 6,000-year-old Sumerian tablet depicting people drinking a beverage through reed straws from a communal bowl. A 3900-year-old Sumerian poem honouring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, contains the oldest surviving beer recipe, describing the production of beer from barley via bread.
The invention of bread and beer has been argued to be responsible for humanity's ability to develop technology and build civilization. The earliest chemically confirmed barley beer to date was discovered at Godin Tepe in the central Zagros Mountains of Iran, where fragments of a jug, at least 5,000 years old was found to be coated with beerstone, a by-product of the brewing process.
Beer may have been known in Neolithic Europe as far back as 5,000 years ago, and was mainly brewed on a domestic scale.
Beer produced before the Industrial Revolution continued to be made and sold on a domestic scale, although by the 7th century AD beer was also being produced and sold by European monasteries. During the Industrial Revolution, the production of beer moved from artisanal manufacture to industrial manufacture, and domestic manufacture ceased to be significant by the end of the 19th century. The development of hydrometers and thermometers changed brewing by allowing the brewer more control of the process, and greater knowledge of the results.
Today, the brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational companies and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries. More than 133 billion liters (35 billion gallons) are sold per year—producing total global revenues of $294.5 billion (£147.7 billion) in 2006