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Advent

Advent  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
(Lat. Adventus, ‘coming’, i.e. of Christ). The ecclesiastical season immediately before Christmas. In the W. it begins on the Sunday nearest St Andrew's Day (30 Nov.); in the E. in the middle of Nov. ...
All Souls' Day

All Souls' Day  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
The commemoration of the souls of the faithful departed on 2 Nov., the day after All Saints' Day. Its observance became universal through the influence of Odilo of Cluny (d. 1049). In the C of E it ...
amusements and recreation

amusements and recreation  

Dickens had a profound interest in popular recreation, and reference to it suffuses his early fiction and his journalism throughout his life. His basic philosophy can be found in the ...
Anastasia

Anastasia  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
(d. c.304),martyr. She has been venerated at Rome since the 5th century and is mentioned in the Roman Canon. She died at Sirmium (Yugoslavia), notwithstanding her later Acta which make her a Roman ...
Annunciation

Annunciation  

The announcement of the Incarnation, made by Gabriel to Mary; the Feast of the Annunciation is celebrated on 25 March, otherwise called Lady Day. In art, representations often show Mary sitting with ...
Arabian Nights

Arabian Nights  

Also referred to as The Thousand and One Nights, or Alf layla wa layla, The Arabian Nights is a collection of highly entertaining tales that have traveled easily from one ...
Armenian Church

Armenian Church  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
An independent Christian Church established in Armenia since c.300 and influenced by Roman and Byzantine as well as Syrian traditions. A small Armenian Catholic Church also exists (see Uniate).
baby

baby  

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Overview Page
A very young child. In figurative use, one's baby is one's particular responsibility or concern.baby boomer a person born during the temporary marked increase in the birth rate following the Second ...
bank Holiday

bank Holiday  

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Overview Page
Days, other than weekends, when banks are closed for business, and by implication settlement of transactions is not possible (cf. business day; clearing).
Basil, Liturgy of St

Basil, Liturgy of St  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
This liturgy exists in two forms, of which the earlier and shorter is the ordinary liturgy of the Coptic Church. This form has served as a model for modern Eucharistic Prayers, notably the Third ...
Battle of Hastings

Battle of Hastings  

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Overview Page
(14 October 1066)A battle fought at Senlac, inland from Hastings (south-east England) between the English under Harold II and an invading army under Duke William of Normandy (William I). Harold heard ...
Battle of Life

Battle of Life  

Dickens's fourth Christmas book, written in Switzerland in 1846 while he was also at work on Dombey. He found great difficulty in writing it, and the result was, of all ...
bination

bination  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
The celebration of two Masses on the same day by the same priest. In the RC Church no priest may normally celebrate (or concelebrate) Mass more than once a day except on the few occasions, such as ...
Blind Man's Buff

Blind Man's Buff  

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Overview Page
One of the oldest and most consistently popular of traditional games, played in the past by adults (especially at Christmas family gatherings) as well as children. In basic form, one player is ...
boar's head

boar's head  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Bringing in the boar's head, on a huge plate, was a potent symbol of old Christmas on a grand scale, popular with Victorian illustrators to evoke a Merrie England tradition. It survives at Queen's ...
calendar

calendar  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
History
Any system for fixing the beginning, length, order, and subdivisions of the year. Calendrical systems have been used by societies since the earliest times, nearly all of them based on one of two ...
calendar

calendar  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
The liturgy for every day of the year was governed by a cycle of seasons (temporale) and a cycle of saints (sanctorale). The temporale commemorated episodes in the life of ...
calendar custom

calendar custom  

The celebration of an annual cycle of festivals, was an important part of rural sociability. In Catholic popular culture the four main festivals of the Celtic year continued to be ...
Candlemas

Candlemas  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
[Ge]A traditional calendar festival in northern Europe celebrated in recent times on 2 February, the Christian feast of the purification of the Virgin Mary.
Candy Bars and Candy

Candy Bars and Candy  

Early CandySweetmeats—comfits, candied nuts, and preserved fruits—came to America in the eighteenth century, imported from Britain and France. A few colonists skilled in the European arts of “sugar ...

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