You are currently browsing the monthly Archive for November, 2011.

Girls should kick a straw mattress to attract a future husband, and pour molten wax into water to see what the future holds (or download an App from iTunes).

When: November 30th.
Where: Scotland, Greece, Romania, Russia, Poland, France, Germany and Austria.

Saint Andrew was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples and is most famously the patron saint of Scotland. His feast day November 30th is also Scotland’s official national day.

After Andrew’s death his remains were preserved by the faithful and have had a somewhat eventful history with various body parts now being in different locations around the world. One story goes that St Rule was ordered to take the Saint’s bones to Constantinople but in fact brought them to Scotland, having been warned by an angel in a dream that he must take the Saint’s bones to “the ends of the Earth”. However they arrived, it is known that some of St Andrew’s relics, including a tooth and one of his kneecaps, were being venerated by pilgrims at the town of St Andrews around the 11th century, although no one knows exactly what happened to them. Pope Paul VI presented a portion of St Andrew’s relics to Scotland in 1969 with the words “Saint Peter gives you his brother”, and they now reside at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh.

Although most commonly associated with Scotland, Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Romania, Russia and Constantinople. In Germany and Austria, the Saint’s feast day is celebrated as Andreasnacht (St. Andrew’s Night) with the custom of Andreasgebet (St. Andrew’s Prayer). Among his many responsibilities, St Andrew is the patron Saint of unmarried women and so Andreasnacht is regarded as a time when young girls and unmarried women perform the various folkloric rituals to reveal the identity of their future husband. Pouring molten wax into water is meant to reveal the shape of a girls future in the shape off the wax. Alternatively kicking a straw bed, while reciting the Andreasgebet (St Andrew’s Prayer) is supposed to magically attract the future husband. Another custom is to throw a clog over the shoulder – if it lands pointing to the door, the girl will get married in the same year.

St Andrew’s Day app

St Andrew's Day app

Celebrate St Andrew’s Day with this free iPhone and Android app from Search for events in Scotland and find out what is happening across the rest of the world to celebrate Scotland’s national day.

Get ideas to host your own celebration – including recipes, a whisky tasting guide and a special St Andrew’s Day music playlist. Or why not gen up on your Scottish knowledge with our animated history of St Andrew.

Download it for FREE from the iTunes app store

Download it for FREE from the Android Market

more ideas:

Try this St.Andrew’s Day Quiz

Design your own tartan

Plant a tree – it is National Tree Week

Bake some shortbread

Explore Scotland’s history online

Make your own Lewis Chessmen

What do you serve at a buffet for monkeys?

When: Last Sunday of November.
Where: Lopburi, Thailand.

Twenty chefs from from some of Bangkok’s top hotels prepare two tonnes of grilled sausage, fresh fruit, vegetables, ice cream, milk and jelly for over 1,000 very hairy and somewhat ill mannered guests. The town of Lopburi in Thailand celebrates its Monkey Festival every year laying out a lavish banquet for its local population of Macaque monkeys.

Buffet tables at the impressive San Pra Kan shrine literally groan with the weight of all the food as the hungry monkeys tuck in with great gusto, leaping from table to table snatching food and gulping down drinks like there’s no tomorrow!

The cheeky monkeys have the freedom of the town and often grab bags and food from unsuspecting passers-by, leaping out from buildings, scaling walls and generally wreaking havoc wherever they go. But nobody seems to mind. The locals say they bring good fortune and prosperity to the town (probably mostly in the form of the tourists who come to see their antics!). The feast is therefore a sort of “thank you” to the monkeys.

The annual feast is also in honor of Rama, the hero of the epic legend Ramayana (Rama’s Journey), who rewarded his good friend and ally, Hanuman the Monkey King, with the fiefdom of the town of Lopburi.

(via Somewhere in the world today)

First mounted in 1975, National Tree Week is UK’s largest tree celebration annually launching the start of the winter tree planting season.

National Tree Week is a great chance for communities to do something positive for their local treescape. Each year, Tree Council member organisations such as voluntary bodies and local authorities, up to 200 schools and community groups, our 8,000 Tree Wardens and many others, support the initiative by setting up fun, worthwhile and accessible events, inspiring upward of a quarter of a million people to get their hands dirty and together plant around million trees.

Do you want to be part of this great collective achievement? All events can be found on this events map.


Buy Nothihng Day poster 2011Lock up your wallets and purses, cut up your credit cards and dump the love of your life – shopping.

Saturday November 26th is Buy Nothing Day (UK). It’s a day where you challenge yourself, your family and friends to switch off from shopping and tune into life. The rules are simple, for 24 hours you will detox from shopping and anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending!

Everything we buy has an impact on the environment, Buy Nothing Day highlights the environmental and ethical consequences of consumerism. The developed countries – only 20% of the world population are consuming over 80% of the earth’s natural resources, causing a disproportionate level of environmental damage, and an unfair distribution of wealth.

More info:

Edinburgh Castle

At a loose end this St Strike Day?!  Check out these great ideas:

Free Entry – St Andrews Day 2011

Edinburgh Castle will be FREE to enter on 30th November 2011
in celebration of St Andrews Day.  Expect long queues though!

Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry Exhibition

Bonnie Prince Charlie’s victory told through embroidery in Prestonpans Town Hall.  Well worth a visit.

12 – 4

Borders Scrap Store

If you feel inspired to do something creative after visiting the tapestry, you could always call into Borders Scrap Store at Fisherrow Centre, South Street, Musselburgh.  The Scrap Store is packed to the rafters with bargain priced yarns and fabrics, cardstock and paper – and all sorts of crafty items.  It is open Wednesdays 9.30 – 4 p.m.


In ancient Peking, in the little known Scottish enclave of Musselburgh, only one boy can help the evil Abanazar find the magic lamp that will make him the most powerful warlock in the world. That boy is Aladdin. However, Aladdin couldn’t care less about such things; he only has eyes for the beautiful Thistle Blossom, the bonniest lass in the land.

Will Aladdin realise the danger that Abanazar poses? And will he be able to save the family steamie? Well, with the help of his silly brother Wishee Washee, a magical flying carpet and the Genie of the Lamp, he might just.

Written and directed by Liam Rudden and produced by Brunton Theatre, the team responsible the highly entertaining productions of Dick McWhittington, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Sinbad And The Little Mermaid and Mother Goose this is a brand new pantomime for 2011.

2 p.m. Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh

Magic Carpet

Museum of Flight
 10:30 (30 mins)
Cost: Free
Booking: Limited places – sign up on the day at the Information Desk in the Entrance Hall and then meet at the Inckkeith Lighthouse Lens in the Grand Gallery.

The magic carpet introduces little ones to some of the fantastic things in the museum through stories, songs and activities.

Edinburgh’s Christmas

East Princes Street Gardens – a Highland Village-style market selling top of the range food, drink, clothing and jewellery from all over Scotland plus rides and fun for all the family, including the big wheel, carousels and helter skelter, plus gentler rides especially for wee ones.

Mound Square – a range of traditional German crafts, toys, sausages and gluehwein to get you in the festive spirit.

Darren Whitehead Exhibition

Award-winning wildlife artist Darren Woodhead, is back at SOC HQ, Waterston House, Aberlady, with a brand new exhibition “From Tyne to Coast” which runs until Wednesday 25th January 2012 (daily 10am to 4pm).

Flag Heritage Centre

The Athelstaneford site is a 4-star visitor attraction, comprising the Flag Heritage Centre, the Saltire Memorial and the historic Parish Church and graveyard. The Heritage Centre is open daily between 09:00 and 18:00 from April to October – and on St. Andrew’s Day. Admission is free. You can download the Information Leaflet .

St Andrew’s Day app

St Andrew's Day app

Celebrate St Andrew’s Day with this free iPhone and Android app from Search for events in Scotland and find out what is happening across the rest of the world to celebrate Scotland’s national day.

Get ideas to host your own celebration – including recipes, a whisky tasting guide and a special St Andrew’s Day music playlist. Or why not gen up on your Scottish knowledge with our animated history of St Andrew.

Download it for FREE from the iTunes app store

Download it for FREE from the Android Market

Need more ideas:

Try this St.Andrew’s Day Quiz

Design your own tartan

Plant a tree – it is National Tree Week

Bake some shortbread

Explore Scotland’s history online

Make your own Lewis Chessmen


When: November 21st every year.
Where: Bulgaria.

This is the day of the most terrible lame wolf, who ate people. On this day you must not comb your hair, wear a new shirt or wash your clothes. Don’t sew, don’t knit and do not cut bread with a knife.

Wolves have played a mystical part in the history of Bulgaria right as far back as the Thracians who paid homage to the wolf as a great warrior king of rascals. The wolf is both revered and feared and many people, places and villages take their name from the wolf.

Bulgarians believe that the nights between the 14th and 21st November are evil nights in which a man can catch all sorts of diseases after dark, and so late at night people don’t leave their houses. It is said an old and ugly woman writes down the sinners in her book and strikes them down with her stick.

The last night (21st November) is Koutzoulan – the most Terrible Wolf day and this day is steeped in superstitions to avoid bad luck and illness befalling a person.

via Somewhere in the world today

More info at

Your free downloadable posters

Print and display Brake’s posters to promote road safety in your community and tell the world you’re getting involved in Road Safety Week! Just click on the thumbnail images below to download posters as PDFs, then right-click on the poster and select print.

Generic Road Safety Week Poster:


Posters aimed at drivers:



Posters aimed at children and teenagers:


Posters aimed at parents:


“We were all children once. And we all share the desire for the well-being of our children, which has always been and will continue to be the most universally cherished aspiration of humankind.”

We the Children: End-decade review of the follow-up
to the World Summit for Children
Report of the Secretary-General (2001)

children at school

Primary school children in class, in Harar, Ethiopia. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

By resolution 836(IX) of 14 December 1954, the General Assembly recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. It recommended that the Day was to be observed also as a day of activity devoted to promoting the ideals and objectives of the Charter and the welfare of the children of the world. The Assembly suggested to governments that the Day be observed on the date and in the way which each considers appropriate. The date 20 November, marks the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.

In 2000 world leaders outlined the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015. Though the Goals are for all humankind, they are primarily about children. UNICEF notes that six of the eight goals relate directly to children and meeting the last two will also make critical improvements in their lives.

Facts about diabetes

You can be a diabetes expert with our diabetes facts. Don’t forget to share them with your friends and family so they know about diabetes too!

Diabetes in the UK

  • Diabetes is really called Diabetes Mellitus
  • 2.6 million (2,600,000) people in the UK have diabetes
  • More than 180 million people (180,000,000) worldwide have diabetes
  • In the UK, most people get diabetes treatment on the National Health Service

General diabetes facts

  • Type 1 diabetes is sometimes called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes
  • Type 1 diabetes is managed using insulin injections or an insulin pump
  • 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes used to be called non-insulin dependent diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes is managed by diet, exercise and sometimes medication and insulin

Diabetes history

  • World Diabetes Day is on November 14th every year
  • Diabetes may date back to ancient Egypt!
  • There is a lot to learn about diabetes, but don’t get put off!

Random diabetes facts

  • Diabetes doesn’t have to stand in the way of your dreams
  • Many celebrities and sportspeople have diabetes

The theme for anti-bullying week 2011 is “Stop and think – words can hurt“.

Over at, there is a free to enter competition, open to all young people under the age of 18-years. There are hundreds of £££s worth of prizes for winners and their schools. More details and entry form here.

Also, check out the downloadable Anti-Bullying posters.

Free Anti Bullying Poster 1
Free Anti Bullying Poster 2
Free Anti Bullying Poster 3

The goal of Kindness Day is that everybody in the UK performs at least one act of kindness or good deed the same day.

Cool to be Kind Day – 13th November 2011 and Every Year!

Act Against Bulling, a registered charity, has announced that the ‘Cool to be Kind Day’, part of the ‘Cool to be Kind’ campaign will be held on 13th November from now on! The campaign offers an upbeat approach to the unsavoury subject of bullying and is perfect for schools.  The slogan is ‘Don’t be Rude, Don’t Exclude, Don’t Push In and Don’t Hurt to Win’. Visit Act Against Bullying’s homepage to find out more about and download resources to have your own successful ‘Cool to be Kind Day’.

Kind Kid Awards – 13th November 2011, Kindness Scotland

Kindness Scotland, a member of the World Kindness Movement, are holding their annual ‘Kind Kids Awards’. To find out more about this, please visit

“Every act of kindness is potent and lingers long in the heart of the recipient.”
Gary Lineker (October 2011)
“Kindness is a universal language regardless of age, nationality or religion.”
Sir Alex Ferguson CBE (October 2011)
“Kindness is at the heart of the work that hundreds of thousands of local charities throughout the UK do everyday. Kindness Day UK is our opportunity to return that kindness back to them. Be it an hour of your time, a skill or £10 donation, let’s work together on 13th November to show local charities how much we appreciate the kindness they show to our communities all year round.”
Marcelle Speller OBE(October 2011)
“The eminent medieval Rabbi Hillel said “If I am not for myself who, will be for me? If I am for myself alone, what am I?” That’s my idea of the very essence of kindness. Love, Vanessa xx”
Vanessa Feltz (October 2011)
“We have many choices to make in life, some more challenging than others, making a choice to be kind is easy! We can choose to smile at people we meet, it’s free and it’s a great way to show kindness and bring more happiness to everyone! Smile and you will see! x”
Camilla Dallerup (September 2011)
“Kindness costs nothing and it can give immense pleasure”
Peter Snow (September 2011)
“Nature enriches and sustains our lives – Love Nature and be kind to the planet.”
Dr Mike Clarke – Chief Executive, RSPB (September 2011)
“Not many of us are in a position like Henry Wellcome to leave a large sum of money for research or to make scientific discoveries and medical breakthrough ourselves. Acts of kindness, however, do not have to be on this scale and I hope that “Kindness Day” encourages us all to help others in any way we can.”
Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust (August 2011)
“I think it’s really important to be kind, especially to people whose lives are grim – I try hard to cheer people up in as many ways as I can – if all else fails – I tell ’em a joke!”
Jo Brand (August 2011)
“Kindness Day? Kindness Day? Do you suppose if we were kind and enthusiastic for centuries uninterruptedly, that someone would create ‘Nasty, Indifferent Day’?”
Dr. Patch Adams (August 2011)
“Kindness is a value central to everyone at WaterAid and something we see demonstrated daily in our work overseas. It is the kindness and compassion of communities that ensures the long term success of water and sanitation projects.”
Barbara Frost CE WaterAid (July 2011)
“It’s kindness that helps people cope with a crisis”
Sir Nicholas Young – CEO, British Red Cross (July 2011)
“As families across the country struggle to make ends meet, a little kindness can go a long way in these difficult times.”
Kay Boycott – Director of CPC, Shelter (July 2011)
“Kindness literally makes a world of difference to people with a learning disability. If we built our systems and institutions – and even society – around offering kindness first and everything else second, this would benefit not just people with a learning disability but all of us.”
Mark Goldring – Chief Executive, Mencap (July 2011)
“Kindness is to selflessly reach out to others from our own vulnerabilities.”
Dr John Low CBE – Chief Executive, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) (July 2011)
“Through my work at the Katie Piper Foundation, I’ve seen how the smallest of kindness can make a difference to someone’s life. Even a simple smile instead of a start can lift someone’s heart.”
Katie Piper – Katie Piper Foundation (July 2011)
“Kindness Day is a wonderful initiative. Its aim is to make the world a better place for mankind, animals and the environment. Get involved – do something special and help make a difference.”
Caroline Barker – World Animal Day (July 2011)
“Be kind. It doesn’t cost anything.”
Billy Murray (January 2011)
“Kindness Day should be everyday of your life.”
Patsy Kensit (October 2010)
“I love the quotation from Charles Kingsley The Waterbabies – “Do unto others as you would be done by,” it could so easily read “Be as kind to others as you would like them to be to you.””
Vincent and Flavia (October 2010)
“Be kind to your garden and be gentle on your back!”
Alan Titchmarch (October 2010)
“Wishing kindness and compassion to all living creatures.”
Brian Blessed (October 2010)
“I think we ought to have a kindness year, or a kindness century.”
Jilly Cooper OBE (September 2010)
“Being kind costs nothing. Be kind to someone and that kindness will always return to you.”
Kavita Oberoi – Managing Director, Oberoi Consulting (September 2010)
“Just imagine a city known for it’s kind people. Thats a city where I’d want to live.”
Emma Harrison CBE – Chairman, A4e (September 2010)
“Kindness is a highly underrated quality.”
Pam Ferris (September 2010)
“Every act of kindness is a little bit of love we leave behind.”
Noel Edmonds (September 2010)
“There can be no greater act of kindness than to help others when your own world has been destroyed.”
Dame Barbara Stocking DBE – Chief Executive, Oxfam GB (September 2010)
“A simple kindness can light up a miserable day and is, in itself, a reward.”
Prof The Rt HON Sir John Major KG CH (September 2010)
“Kindness is like mercy: it blesses him that gives and him that takes”
Prof Lord Richard Layard (September 2010)
“The joy of giving far outweighs the pleasure of receiving.”
Peter Cullum, Executive Chairman – Towergate Partnership (September 2010)
“Kindness should be at the centre of everything.”
Charles Kennedy MP (September 2010)
“People never forget an act of kindness.”
Adrian Barritt, (September 2010)
“Kindness is the essence of being a good human being. It transcends race, religion, nationality or culture. And it costs nothing!”
Dilwar Hussain, Policy Research Centre (September 2010)
“Every day should be kindness day.”
The Rt Hon David Blunkett (September 2010)
“It doesn’t cost a penny to be kind and the reward is priceless.”
Arlene Phillips (August 2010)
“Be kind. Do good. Change the world for better.”
Louise Burfitt-Dons (May 2010)
“No one good deed is better than another.”
David Jamilly (June 2010)

National School Meals Week (NSMW) is run by the Local Authority Caterers Association (LACA) and promotes healthy school meals. A school lunch helps young people recharge their batteries to be at their best for afternoon lessons. This year NSMW takes place from 7th to 11th November.


Sponsored by Dolmio Pasta Sauces part of Mars Foodservice
Today is all about inviting people to have a school meal. This could be a local politician or celebrity, someone from the media or a sports person. Who will you invite? Or will you leave it up to the pupils? They could have a vote to see who they would like to have lunch with. And you could use a delicious Dolmio sauce to add to pasta to make a healthy main course to serve to your guests

Get eating for local authorities
Get eating for schools


Sponsored by Bernard Matthews Foodservice
NSMW is going global as we want pupils to learn about food from around the world. We’re focusing on five countries so you can organise a school lunch promotion around India, Mexico, China, Italy and the UK. Theme days are a great way to increase school lunch take-up. Serve a themed menu with some delicious dishes for the pupils to try.

Get travelling for local authorities
Get travelling for schools


It is time to have some fun with food as everyone is encouraged to get creative. This could be cooking and tasting new dishes or designing funny faces on a pizza base or as part of a salad.These ideas could be included in a cookery lesson or even an art class.
They will fit in perfectly with a whole school approach to learning more about healthy food, what it tastes like and where it comes from.

Get creating for local authorities
Get creating for schools


Supported by Change 4 Life
School meals play an important part in having your 5-a-day and they often contribute two to three portions each day. On this day we want to put across how lucky young people are to have hot, tasty food available at lunchtime in school. Especially when compared to poorer countries in the world. This is why we are linking up with the charity Mary’s Meals who provide a fortified porridge at lunchtime so that children go to school to have their only meal of the day and then learn while they are there.

Get 5-a-day for local authorities
Get 5-a-day for schools


Today Simon Weston, the Falklands War hero gives an interview about the importance of the 11th day of the 11th month and what it stands for. This can be used as part of a school assembly and it also links to the National Curriculum and World War 2. This has an important link with school meals as the current system was set up under the Education Act 1944. You can use the National School Meals Week tools to create awareness of Remembrance Day and there is a fundraising guide if you wanted to raise money, which is optional.

Get remembering for local authorities
Get remembering for schools