Irish Castles

Tully Castle in Northern Ireland, and Donegal Castle in the Republic of Ireland.

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Dunluce Castle

I visited Dunluce Castle yesterday afternoon (and it was free because of a European heritage weekend!). That’s me in the last picture, rushing back to the car when it started pouring rain!

I’ve been to the castle before, but forgot how enormous it is, on the edge of a windy cliff. A few centuries ago some of the castle actually fell into the sea.

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Ukrainian Christmas

The Adoration of the Shepherds, (Поклоніння пастухів). A Ukrainian religious painting taken from an iconostasis, and dated between 1650 and 1700.

The 6th of January is Christmas Eve for Ukrainians of all Christian denominations.

The main Christmas celebrations take place at this time.

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The banning of Christmas

The celebration of Christmas was banned by Puritans in Boston, Colonial America in 1659. The ban was revoked by an English governor in 1681, however Christmas celebrations did not gain popularity in the area until the middle of the nineteenth century.

Through these years the holiday continued to be observed in other parts of America. It fell out of favour after the American Revolution, but returned to favour some years afterwards.

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Guy Fawkes

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This is a confession by Guy Fawkes, a member of the failed Gunpowder Plot, to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London, on the 5th of November, 1605.

Fawkes was tortured for some time before his confession, and the damage done to him can be seen in his shaky signatures below. The first is under torture, and the second is eight days after torture:

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On the 31st of January, 1606 Fawkes either fell or jumped from the platform where he was supposed to hang, and broke his neck before he could be executed as intended.

Today the 5th is celebrated in Britain with bonfires and fireworks as Guy Fawkes Night.

On this day: the wedding of Pocahontas and John Rolfe

Pocahontas and John Rolfe portrait 1850s

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Famous Native American woman Pocahontas married English tobacco planter John Rolfe on the 5th of April, 1614.

Pocahontas by Simon van de Passe 1616

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After having their son, Thomas, Pocahontas travelled to England, where she became something of a celebrity.

However, the marriage was a short one, as Pocahontas died of an unknown illness in March 1617, shortly after boarding a ship to return home. Her exact gravesite is unknown, as the church where she was buried was destroyed in 1727.