Showing posts with label London. Show all posts
Showing posts with label London. Show all posts

Summer birthday of Paddington Bear- 25 June

June 25 is the summer birthday of Paddington Bear. Paddington, the cute little bear is a fictitious character in a series of books for children created by the British author Michael Bond.

In the first story the little bear was found by the Brown family, lost at the Paddington railway station with a note attached to his collar that read "Please look after this bear. Thank you." When the Browns asked him for his name he said his original Peruvian name was too complicated for them to pronounce, so they decided to call him Paddington. Also, since he was unsure of his age and since he was such a special bear they decided that he deserved two birthdays, just like the queen of England – his summer birthday on June 25 and his winter birthday on December 25.
Here are some interesting facts about Paddington Bear:

1.       The home address of the Brown family does not exist. Don't try to find it.
Many tourists who try to locate 32 Windsor Gardens, the address of Paddington's adoptive family, find out to their disappointment that there is no house with such a number in that street. Michael Bond invented that address as a combination of his and his parents' addresses.


2.       Had Michael Bond gone Christmas shopping earlier, Paddington Bear would not have been born.On Christmas Eve, 1956, Michael Bond entered a toy store looking for a present for his wife Brenda. On one of the shelves he noticed a small toy bear that had been left all by itself. Feeling sorry for it, Bond bought the bear, took it to his home near Paddington station, and sat down to write a few amusing tales about it just for fun. After ten days he realized that he had a book on his hands, not primarily intended to be specifically for children.

3.       Paddington Bear is a spectacled bear.
Bond wanted Paddington to be a bear that had "travelled all the way from darkest Africa", but his agent recommended that he change the original habitat as darkest Africa had no bears. So, Peru was selected, being the natural home of the spectacled bear. Paddington later reveals that his Peruvian name was Pastuso and that he was reluctant to disclose it fearing that no one would be able to pronounce it.

4.       Paddington Bear raised a political scandal.Mick Young, Australian Special Minister of State in Bob Hawk's government, was compelled to step resign in 1984 after failing to declare at customs a large Paddington bear and other goods carried by his wife in her luggage. The event became known as the Paddington Bear affair.

5.       Google loves Paddington Bear. On October 13, 2008, Google dedicated a doodle to Paddington Bear to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary since the publication of the first book in the Paddington Bear series.

6.       The Wellington boot manufacturers could hardly meet the massive demand for boots for Paddington Bear dolls.
The early Paddington Bear dolls were fitted with kiddy boots made by the Dunlop Corporation, in order to ensure that they stood up firmly. However, as demand stretched Dunlop's manufacturing capability to the limit, the doll makers Gabrielle Designs were forced to manufacture the boots by their own means. In the year 1978 the demand for Paddington Bears reached a peak of 87,000 dolls.

7.       Up to 2014 twenty four books were published in the Paddington Bear series.
Over thirty five million copies, translated into forty languages, were sold worldwide.

8.       Paddington appeared in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The phenomenon that is often called the "Paddington effect" shows no sign of waning. Paddington Races Ahead was published in April 2012 as a salute to the London Olympic Games that took place in the summer of that year. In the book, Paddington, who repeatedly says that his legs "are a bit short for the pole vault", is mistakenly identified as a Peruvian hurdler by a film crew. Naturally, Paddington actually participated in the opening ceremony parade along the athletic track in the Olympic Stadium.

  Paddington Races Ahead - Free

June 25 is also Global Beatles Day

Dracula Day- 26th May

On 26 May 1897 Dracula was first published by the Irish writer Bars Stoker, in London. 

The book was very popular and Count Dracula became an inspiration for the genre of horror that remains popular to this day.   

Count Dracula, whose first name was not written, is a centuries-old vampire from Transylvania. He is a nobleman lives in a castle in the Carpathians near the Borgo Pass. During his life as a man he fought bravely in the Turks and when he died he was buried in a large grave in the chapel of his castle. He had returned from the dead like a vampire and had lived for hundreds of years in his castle with three beautiful vampire women beside him.

Among Dracula's special abilities: becoming a wolf, a rat or a mist, controlling wolves, rejuvenating the face and climbing walls. 

May 26 is Dracula Day. 

It's no exaggeration to say that Dracula is the most famous vampire in history, but he certainly was not the first and the writer Bram Stoker did not invent the vampire out of his fertile imagination. 

The history of blood-sucking creatures began long before, in novels published in the Middle Ages. The inspiration for Dracula's character was taken from the figure of Vlad III, known as Vlad the Impaler, the wavid (ruler) of Wallachia, a region in southern Romania. Vlad III also known as Draculia. Vlad the Impaler lived between the years 1431-1476 and during his reign Bolakia fought for its independence against the Ottoman Empire. He was known for his toughness and his cruelty. He had executed thousands of people and his name had been taken from his favorite form of execution - skewering people on a pointed pole. It is said that during his time people were so afraid of getting caught up in crimes and of being executed that you could leave a sack of gold in the middle of the street and no one would touch it.   In 1931 the first film was released on Dracula, starring actor Bela Lugosi.

The actor Bela Lugosi as Dracula, 1931

Dracula also appeared in comics, for the first time in 1972, as a super villain in Marvel's comics. 

 Sesame Street has a character named Count who teaching the children to count. 

In 2003, the American Film Institute rated Count Dracula, played by Bela Lugosi, as the 33rd biggest villain (Hannibal Lecter was first place in "The Silence of the Lambs"). Link to full list 

Adam Sandler played Dracula in the 2012 animated film "Hotel Transylvania" by Columbia Film Company.

Dracula in the film "Hotel Transylvania"

If you want to sleep in Dracula's seemingly castle, you can travel to Transylvania and rent a room through the Airbnb site. A carriage will take you on a trip across Transylvania, arrive at an intimate dinner by candlelight through a secret passage and change it in a coffin.

Link to Airbnb- Dracula's Castle

May 26 is also Paper Airplane Day

International Harry Potter Day - May 2

International Harry Potter Day is celebrated on May 2 each year, to commemorate the end of the Battle of Hogwarts, where many characters found their deaths. On the one hand, it's a happy day for the victory in the battle of Harry Potter and the scorching loss of Lord Voldemort, but on the other hand it's also a day of mourning for the departure of the all-important characters.

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the day in 2012. Cameron issued an official statement announcing that the reason for the announcement of this special day was to commemorate the work of writer JK Rowling, who has significantly influenced culture all over the world. Harry Potter also holds the Guinness Book of Records as the best-selling series by a single writer, with more than 500 million copies.

Some interesting facts about Harry Potter

Rowling's magical book was rejected by publishers 12 times before being accepted by Bloomsbury Books.

Rowling began writing Harry Potter in her apartment at Clapham Junction in London. The idea for the series originally came to her on train from Manchester to London.

In addition to the Harry Potter series, Rowling also writes fictional crime books under the pen name Robert Galbraith.

In 2020, the author, JK Rowling, donated a million pounds to UK charities, which help homeless people and victims of domestic violence, to increase their support for the most vulnerable sections of the popolation in the  coronavirus pandemic era. Rowling wrote on her Twitter: "Today’s the 22nd anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, but I’m going to be honest and say that it feels inappropriate to talk about fictional deaths today. Too many people are losing loved ones in the real world"

Harry Potter's birthday falls on July 31 (read more).

How to celebrate Harry Potter Day?

Enjoy the Harry Potter books or movies at home.

Visit the official Harry Potter website where you will find activities related to the world of Harry Potter's magic and sorcery. Link to official website. You can join the official fan club through the site and discover new things published by JK Rowling, and read more about the world of wizards.

Have a trivia evening with family or friends about Harry Potter. Play trivia games and find out who knows the most about Harry Potter and the rest of the characters and stories in the series.

Have a Harry Potter theme party, with Harry Potter costumes and a set design that fits the series.

Make Harry Potter-themed DIY creations, like Harry Potter sculptures from all kinds of materials you have in the house, make decorated Harry Potter themed cakes, special-colored drinks reminiscent of Harry Potter potions and everything you love about the series.

Publish Harry Potter posts and photos on social media with the hashtag #harrypotterday


May 2 is also Baby Day

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