This course aims at giving the student an understanding of the divisions of the year from a cultural perspective. Religious and national festivals will be studied from a point of view of linguistic relativism, stressing vocabulary and etymologies.
Short quizzes every second week as well as a final examination.
V. Green: Festivals and Saints Days. C.T. Onions: The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology.
1. General introduction and the calendar. 2. Romance and Germanic etymologies: the seasons, the months and the days of the week. 3. The Christian calendar and its interaction with paganism. 4. Religious holidays: from Christmas to Epiphany. 5. Lent, Good Friday, Easter and Trinity: etymologies and substitutions. 6. The year seen in saints' days. 7. Pagan festivals still celebrated: Hallowe'en and Midsummer's night. 8. National holidays of Britain, the Commonwealth and the U.S.A. 9. Other religious holidays: Jewish, Islamic, Chinese, Japanese. 10. The Zodiac in the West. 11. The Zodiac in the East. 12. General revision, discussion and questions.
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