April 1st, 2012

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April Fools' Day: 1 April

Cut and pasted from Wikipedia:

April Fools' Day is celebrated in different countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools' Day, April 1 is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when many people play all kinds of jokes and foolishness. The day is marked by the commission of good-humoured or otherwise funny jokes, hoaxes, and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, teachers, neighbours, work colleagues, etc.

In its honour, I am running the following which some of my less high-brow friends have been wanting me to run for some time:

Otters Who Look Like Benedict Cumberbatch: A Visual Examination

Photo credit: http://redscharlach.tumblr.com/post/19565284869/otters-who-look-like-benedict-cumberbatch-a

All credit for this work of sheer genius goes to redscharlach.
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Palm Sunday: Sunday 1 April 2012

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/waitingfortheword/5602190937/

Cut and pasted from Wikipedia:

Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels. (Mark 11:1–11, Matthew 21:1–11, Luke 19:28–44, and John 12:12–19). In the accounts of the four canonical Gospels, Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem takes place about a week before his Resurrection.

According to the Gospels, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, and the celebrating people there lay down their cloaks in front of him, and also lay down small branches of trees. The people sang part of Psalms 118: 25–26 – ... Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord ....

The symbolism of the donkey may refer to the Eastern tradition that it is an animal of peace, versus the horse, which is the animal of war. Therefore, a king came riding upon a horse when he was bent on war and rode upon a donkey when he wanted to point out he was coming in peace. Therefore, Jesus' entry to Jerusalem symbolized his entry as the Prince of Peace, not as a war-waging king.

In many lands in the ancient Near East, it was customary to cover in some way the path of someone thought worthy of the highest honour. Both the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John report that people gave Jesus this form of honour. However, in the synoptics they are only reported as laying their garments and cut rushes on the street, whereas John more specifically mentions palm fronds. The palm branch was a symbol of triumph and victory in Jewish tradition, and is treated in other parts of the Bible as such. Because of this, the scene of the crowd greeting Jesus by waving palms and carpeting his path with them and their cloaks has become symbolic and important.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Palm Sunday was marked by the burning of Jack-'o'-Lent figures. This was a straw effigy which would be stoned and abused. Its burning on Palm Sunday was often supposed to be a kind of revenge on Judas Iscariot, who had betrayed Christ. It could also have represented the hated figure of Winter whose destruction prepares the way for Spring.

In many Christian churches, Palm Sunday is marked by the distribution of palm leaves (often tied into crosses) to the assembled worshipers.
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In tribute to The Comedy of Errors, National Theatre, which closed tonight

Photo credit: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/dec/17/government-accused-scaling-back-ambulance-services

I just loved this production to pieces, it closed today and I was there!

In case you wonder what I am on about (both in terms of the ambulance and in terms of my reaction to the production), follow the link:
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Die Harder by David Mach, Southwark Cathedral

Die Harder
Die Harder is a dramatic sculpture by artist David Mach RA which will bring home to people the human agony of the Crucifixion.

Photo credit: http://www.arturban.co.uk/blog/coat-hanger-christ-david-mach/

Photo credit: http://www.1000thingsinlondon.com/2012/03/southwark-cathedral-141000.html

I first saw this on Sunday 25 March, and was profoundly moved by it. I went back on Saturday 31 March so that I could have some quality time with the sculpture and take some decent photos of it.

I am highly recommending the work, for believers and non-believers alike, because it is deeply moving and it gets you to think about (if you are a believer) the pain, suffering and agony that Christ endured to redeem us and (if you are a non-believer) the pain, suffering and agony that many millions of people around the world endure in the here and now for their religious and political beliefs because they have the misfortune to live in countries where they are persecuted for these beliefs.

Photo credit: http://www.hihimag.com/arts/2012/03/david-mach-die-harder/

Follow the link for more details:

More information can be found on the flyer which is here:

Die Harder will be in place in Southwark Cathedral until Good Friday (6 April).

Photo credit: http://www.hihimag.com/arts/2012/03/david-mach-die-harder/