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At about this time, children are already excited about Halloween which is celebrated on October 31.   It was supposed to have originated from All Hallows’ Eve which was said to be influenced by European festivals of the dead and also harvest festivals.  Halloween is also being associated with Samhain, a Celtic festival which was said to include rituals that hinted at human sacrifice.

Christian influence also played a part in it when All Saints’ Day was transferred to November 1 which was the same date as Samhain and November 2 was designated as All Souls’ Day.  This move by the church was seen as a way to eliminate pagan rituals. These holy days of obligation were met by certain traditional practices such as “souling” wherein people would go from house to house to collect soul cakes as a form of prayer for the souls in purgatory.  In fact, the jack-o-lanterns which are commonly seen  as Halloween decorations today used to represent these souls.

The popularity of Halloween waned in Britain during the Reformation and among the members of the United Kingdom, the practice was only retained in Scotland and Ireland.  The practice of guising or disguising one’s self in costumes while collecting food or coins persists  to this day.  Guising was not seen in North America until about 1911.

The lighting of turnip lanterns on gatepost was common in some parts of England which is said to be protection from spirits.  This is closely related to lating which is said to ensure protection of people from spirits by carrying lighted candles from eleven up to midnight.  It is believed that if the light on these candles are blown away, witches are responsible for it and a bad omen or omens will follow.

Regardless of the origins of Halloween, it is not as popular in the UK as it is in the US.  For the relatively few who don costumes, the theme is usually limited to ghoulish outfits.  Halloween decorations are minimal and trick-or-treating is highly discouraged.

English: A common sports air horn used for spo...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you love sport and are you travelling to England on your next holiday? There are plenty for a sporting events on throughout the year that a sports enthusiast tourist can and should take advantage of. All you need to do is plan your trip in such a way that you will catch the action during your time in England. Here are some of the sporting events that you will definitely want to witness:

 

Perhaps the most known sporting competition around the world, the EPL is help every year with matches played throughout the year in different parts of England.  Get ready to meet real football enthusiasts, fans who eat, live and sleep football the level of passion at English football matches really cannot be described by words, you have to witness it for yourself. Continue reading »

Caravan as a form of transportation cum housing has been known to exist as early as the 1850′s in England.  Although many modern designs exist at present, caravans are fairly common in the English scene.  From its earliest use by Gypsies as their homes, caravans have been serving modern vacationing needs  of families through fully equipped mobile homes that can be outfitted to be as comfortable as immovable homes.

Vardos

Image: gypsywaggons

Vardos are also often called gypsy wagons in reference to living accommodations used by British Romani people (Gypsies) that were traditionally drawn by horses.  Its much earlier use in France is specifically attributed to traveling circus troupes.  They were characterized by much adornment inside and out that each vardo is said to be a picture of aesthetic beauty and functionality.

Historical records show that early vardos were carpeted on the inside for at least half of the interior space, serving as sleeping quarters.  The remaining space housed the kitchen.  It became an iconic Romani symbol that would eventually produce an industry in building traveling wagons.  There are at least six known styles of the vardo including the Burton, Open Lot, Bow Top, Ledge, Reading, and Brush Wagon.  The names were derived from either the name of owner, the builder, or its style.

Static Caravans

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The modern version of caravans are now more commonly known as mobile homes.  They are either pulled as a trailer by a motorized vehicle or come as a vehicle in itself.  The present day caravans are characterized by as much convenience that can possibly be achieved in a home away from home.

The sale of static caravans experienced a sharp increase in the UK in 2009 when overseas vacationing became quite expensive.  Families opted to stay within the country when taking their vacations and settled for holiday parks with their caravans in tow.  This also addressed the increasing cost of hotel accommodation.

Staycation

Withe the renewed consciousness in cost-effective living, static caravans became the preferred second home since it does not only ensure a place to stay but also a way to bring the passengers to their desired destination.  Staycation, which is the combined word produced by  ”stay” and “vacation”, became the in-thing and enlivened the domestic tourist industry.  Though it can mean staying at home for vacation, staying within the home country to take a vacation using the  caravan proved to be a better option since staying at home traps the vacationers to domestic concerns because work is not so far away.

About the Guest Blogger:

Leandro of Caravan Insurance Experts highly recommends shopping for the best insurance package for your static caravans to avail of maximum protection.

 


River cruise holidays are an amazing holiday tradition that allow visitors to tour England in style. With a variety of riverboat hotels available, there’s a reason why these are among the most popular holiday options. Some options in English Holiday Cruises include self-drive narrow boat holidays, hire barge holidays, and cruiser boat holidays. However, river tours will usually be the best due to the fact that they include a full array of services and beautiful accommodations. Enjoy the wonderful views of the English countryside, soak in the unique culture and history of these areas, and take a river cruise for your next holiday! Continue reading »

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Roller garage doors are probably one of the household structures that will not be usually associated with English cottage houses.  The reason for this is obvious.  An English cottage denotes some distant time while garage doors are fairly modern additions to home structures.

English cottage houses seem to leap out from story books, postcards, and paintings.  In common terms, they are deemed picture-perfect.  It is therefore somewhat of a challenge not to deface such a perfect picture with items of modernity.  Any which way we look at it, roller garage doors are not readily identified with an image associated with serenity especially with the materials , designs, and contraptions  associated with it.

To say that roller garage doors will not fit into the English cottage house picture is not exactly true.  It can be done with a little imagination and ingenuity by choosing colors and designs that will not make the roller doors stand out but actually allow them to blend with the rest of the house.   Reliable suppliers such as Quokka doors can design, assemble , and deliver the required garage doors with the least inconvenience to customers.  It is important however to make the design requirements clear to suppliers to ensure that the desired finished product will be provided.

Image: albihomes

Materials with wood-like design and texture is probably the best way to go so as not to totally deviate from the English cottage look.  Accessories can be in metal to provide just the right contrast.  The choice of paint color is important in achieving the perfect look.

Aside from the garage door itself,  homeowners can look into possibilities of creating an atmosphere that will lessen the contrast provided by roller garage doors.  This can be provided by building an arch surrounded by trees and plants just before the garage doors to provide a fitting introduction to the garage area without destroying the over-all design.  The arch can be made from wrought iron, wooden trellis, or stone posts.  The final choice will depend on the materials used in the main house so that again, blending is possible without major visual disturbance when viewed as a whole.

The mechanics of the roller door can be as modern as can be and yet it will not destroy the time element being presented by the house itself.  It  is like getting the best of both worlds as traditional combines with the contemporary.  Living in an “old-fashioned” way does not have to mean giving up on the modern conveniences.