It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

"Still lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;
And reigns the winter's pregnant silence still;
No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,
And willow stems grow daily red and bright.
These are days when ancients held a rite
Of expiation for the old year's ill,
And prayer to purify the new year's will."
Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnet's: February
Don't forget to check the calendar(s) for session times. Sessions are held on different platforms, so be sure to find out where the session will take place:-

Speaking Practice

LEN English sessions:-

Listening Practice 24/7

English radio playlists:-


FrankFrank ModeratorPosts: 6,308 mod

On February 14th this year (this year it coincidentally starts on Valentine's day indeed) the festivities of Carnival begin in many countries. These festivities go on until forthcoming Wednesday 12PM. The origin of Carnival has to do with the Roman Catholic fasting, that begins 40 days before Easter and ends with Easter. In this period Roman Catholics are not allowed to drink alcohol, eat sweets and even eat meat. That's where the word Carnival originally comes from: In Roman language Carne Vale means: The Time Without Meat. This fasting time starts on the ash Wednesday. Until that time the believers think they'd better feast until the fasting begins and they can't party anymore. Nowadays many people just celebrate Carnival without thinking about fasting anymore.

Carnival typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party. People often dress up as masked persons during the celebrations, which is an overturning of the normal things of every day life. Do you celebrate Carnaval or something that equals it in your country? Read more...


  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 29,747 mod
    In Nice the Carnival this year started 13 February and will continue until March 1st. Nice claims it is one of the grandest in the world. There promise to be giant, colourful parades every day and evening and apparently there will be over 1,000 musicians and dancers coming from across the world. Obviously it's a big draw for tourists who flock to soak up a bit of sun and forget the dullness of winter on the French Riviera.
  • LynneLynne Teach HomePosts: 9,747 mod
    I'll be honest @lichaamstaal, carnival (Fasching) in Germany leaves me cold, metaphorically and literally. It's so cold in February that standing around watching the parades doesn't appeal because of the number of people. In fact the whole concept of "organised" fun is alien to me, we just don't celebrate carnival in the UK.

    I wouldn't mind going to New Orleans for Fat Tuesday, we visited a sim in Second Life last year, or even better a trip to Brazil for a nice warm carnival.

    Carnival 2014 - Second Life

    Carnival 2014 - Second Life

    @Hermine often gives up chocolate for Lent.

    I haven't decided what I will give up this year.
  • FrankFrank Moderator Posts: 6,308 mod
    Carnival doesn't have to be cold @Lynne. You don't have to stay outside to watch the parades. You can also go inside into an pub and inundate yourself with alcoholic beverages whilst singing and dancing in a polonaise. You will get warm of that.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 29,747 mod
    I'm with you @Lynne. I went to the Nice carnival one year, because friends came and wanted to see it (we all got sun burnt - February in Nice can be quite hot). Been there, done that! I'm afraid one carnival looks pretty much the same.

    Now a food carnival might be something else. It seems we have just missed the Dubai Food Carnival.

  • LynneLynne Teach HomePosts: 9,747 mod
    I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for crazy people in crazy costumes again. It can be quite disconcerting if you forget what time of year it is.
  • LynneLynne Teach HomePosts: 9,747 mod
    edited February 2017
    It's Rosen Montag in Germany today. It's very similar to Mardi Gras, but the day before. The biggest parades get thousands of visitors.

    Wagen- Angela Merkel und Alexis Tsipras (24627728639).jpg
    By Marco Verch - Wagen: Angela Merkel und Alexis Tsipras, CC BY 2.0, Link

    I wonder if you could travel the world and celebrate a carnival for 365 days.
  • FrankFrank Moderator Posts: 6,308 mod
    edited February 2017
    This week a carnival float makers in the Dutch town of Leende, had to stop their activities because a huge drugs lab was found in a shed nearby. The carnival float makers that had been working on their float for months were not allowed to acces the terrain anymore because it could be to dangerous for them.

    Read more at DutchNews.nl: ‘Breaking Bad in Leende’: massive drugs laboratory busted http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/02/breaking-bad-in-leende-drugs-bust/
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 828 Teacher
    Carnival here in Brazil this year has had some big accidents involving floats in Rio de Janeiro, the most famous parade. On Sunday, more than 20 people were hurt when a float lost direction and squashed people against the barrier - 5 people are still in hospital, one with very serious injuries. Then last night, the third level on another float collapsed, hurting 12 people - 7 were sent to hospital, but I haven´t been able to find information on how serious the injuries are.

    It´s heartbreaking to see the happiness and excitement of these schools turn to sadness and despair when they hear about the accidents. In both cases, the people in front and behind these floats didn´t know about the accidents until everything was over.
Sign In or Register to comment.