It’s tea time!

Hello everyone!

Is there anything more British than a good cup of tea? I don’t think so. British people have had an affair with the cuppa for centuries, and yet tea is not originally from the UK. Continue reading “It’s tea time!”

Christmas words and expressions!

Hello everybody and Merry (almost) Christmas!

In a couple of days we will be celebrating Christmas and some of our students have decided to spend it in the UK! How great is that???? 😀

We know how traditions are different there (click here for more info) but there’s something we hadn’t addressed before, special vocabulary and expressions used these days! So I’ve prepared a little quiz for you to find out some of the most used. Continue reading “Christmas words and expressions!”

There's always something to be thankful for, happy Thanksgiving!

…and happy Black Friday, of course!!!

I am sure most of you are familiar with the Thanksgiving celebration; celebrated mainly in the USA, every November we can see movies and even our favourite series celebrating this festivity. But where does it come from, and more importantly, how is it related to Black Friday?

Well, in 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians celebrated autumn harvest by getting together and sharing the food every family had obtained during the summer-autum season. However, it wasn’t until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. The celebration as we know it today started when Abraham Lincoln finally called all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation” as the Civil War came to an end.

He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression.


So we could say that, in a way, Roosevelt started what we know today as “Black Friday” but it wasn’t until the 1960s when the term stuck to mark of the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season.

What I´ve always wondered is, why Black Friday? After all, the colour black isn’t something people associate with good things, is it? Well, as usual, we found an explanation for it. Apparently, at the time shops, and specially retail shops, had a colour code on their accounting records that went from red (to indicate loss) to black (to indicate profit). And so Black Friday was expected to become the date when the shops made most of their profit for the month, the name couldn’t have been more appropiate and it seems to have worked out really well because ever since the start of the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start to a bustling holiday shopping season which, although not an official holiday, is a day off for most employees except, of course, for those working in retail.

Black Friday is becoming more and more popular in Spain, up to the point that some shops have already announced that the discounts will last 10 days this year.

There you have it, now: got some money to burn? Then go for it and start your Christmas shopping next Friday! Oh, and by the way: if you shop from the UK online you may get an even bigger discount! 😉

Happy Halloween!

Hello everyone!

Are you ready for the spookiest night of all year? Nowadays we’re all familiar with Halloween and all its traditions such as trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. But, where do these festivities come from?

The Origins…

The word Halloween is a shortening of All Hallows’ Evening also known as Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve and it has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced “sah-win” in English and “Samaín” in Galician).

The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. It was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops.

The festival would frequently involve bonfires as it was believed that the fires attracted insects to the area which attracted bats. These are additional attributes of the history of Halloween.

Masks and costumes were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or appease them but, actually, the practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays goes back to the Middle Ages. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of “souling,” when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2).

But then, how come the USA is now the country which celebrates it the most?

Well, Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century and it stuck. Halloween is now popular in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, and due to increased American cultural influence in recent years, imported through exposure to US television and other media, trick-or-treating has started to occur among children in many parts of Europe, and in the Saudi Aramco camps of Dhahran, Akaria compounds and Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia.

The most significant growth and resistance is in the United Kingdom, where the police have threatened to prosecute parents who allow their children to carry out the “trick” element.


As you can see, Galician, Irish and Scottish people share a very profound bond: The Celtic culture. We share cultural background and traditions which shouldn’t be overlooked! So go ahead and enjoy Halloween or Samhain, because, at the end of the day, the name is the least important thing!

Happy and spooky Halloween and Samhain folks! Watch out for ghosts!!!

Special thank you to our teacher Eoin for contributing to this post. Cheers Eoin!

Rugby in Spain

Today we have Daniel Davis’ testimony not only about his first impression of our city, Coruña, but he is also going to tell us about one of his passions: Rugby!

Before you keep reading, take a look at this video to get a better idea about this sport:

What’s rugby about?

Little bit clearer, right? Keep scrolling to find out how a rugby player actually lives here in Coruña!

My name is Daniel, I am a teacher here at the Euroschool of English, what you are about to read is an account of my rugby season here in A Coruña.
Despite living in Gijón four years ago and playing against my current club, Club Rugby Arquitectura Tecnica (CRAT), I knew very little about A Coruña. Like most people from the UK I had heard of Deportivo but, apart from that, I moved to A Coruña with an open mind, ready to learn as much as possible about the city and the people.
One plus point to start with, was the fact that I joined up with the rugby team straight away.

Rugby is a sport unlike any other, where teamwork, discipline and respect are the core values, this means that any team in any country will welcome a new player and treat him like an old friend. This was exacly the treatment I recieved and it helped me settle in to life here in no time.
The season started with an away game to Belenos RC in Aviles, a “short” three – hour bus journey. This was a totally new experience for me, coming from Wales where a 30 minute journey would be considered a long one. Wales as a country is the same size as Galicia, with almost the same population. The difference is that in Wales there are over 200 clubs with 79000 registered players, compare this to Galicia where there are only 14 and the difference in popularity is stark. The travelling situation was highlighted in two journeys that I will mention.

The distances we covered this year were for me truly staggering, if I left my home town in Wales and travelled east on a bus for 8/9 hours I would be somewhere near the Dutch/German border, not preparing for a league game in the same country. Coming from a rugby mad country it is interesting and refreshing to see the comittment that these people put in to play a game of rugby.

One Sunday when we were due to play a regional game in Ourense. I had been on the bus for an hour when I asked (in my broken Spanish) how long the journey would take, “only two more hours” came the reply. 3 hours for a local fixture?! Worse was to follow however.
We have two teams, one team in the national second division along with teams from Asturias and the Basque country. One example of an away trip was early in Feburary and a trip to Eibar. A league game in the Basque country means leaving A Coruña at 12 on a Saturday and arriving in Bilbao 7 hours later. After a night in a hotel and an early morning journey to Eibar the game started 24 hours after leaving A Coruña. After a famous victory (the club’s first in Eibar) the realisation of the 8/9 hour journey back to Galicia sank in.

Our season was a good one, winning as many games as we lost which is very good considering we often had to travel without many players due to work or family commitments.
We, CRAT, play our home games at Acea de Ama and our season runs from October to April. Why not come down, watch a game and enjoy the friendly atmosphere? You’ll be sure to recieve a warm welcome!!

So, doesn’t it sound appealing? 🙂 If so, be sure to watch the rugby World Cup this summer which is being held in Britain!

Remember to leave your rugby comments and questions below!


Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!

Today we want to show you our kiddies working on their Easter baskets, getting ready for the Easter Egg Hunt!!!

Why were they making a basket?

Many countries share the Easter Bunny tradition and in the UK it is still celebrated. The legend says that, if the children have been good, the bunny will hide colourful eggs for kids to find and eat.

The hunt can be celebrated in your own house but, additionally, in the UK Easter Egg Hunts have become so popular that they are organised by the Town Council so families can meet and enjoy them together.

Do you want to have some fun with your kids this Easter? We are sure they would love to make an Easter Basket and look for some chocolate eggs around the house! This is what you’ll need:

Print these documents and let the kids colour them. Once they are done, cut the parts of the basket and glue them together so when it is done they can put the eggs and bunny inside it! 😉

Happy Easter and Happy Hunting! 😀

Saint Patrick's Day

Hello again everyone!

Today’s post talks about the festivity of St. Patrick’s Day (as you may have probably guessed because of the title… Otherwise, tell your teacher you desperately need to practise Reading comprenhension! 😉 ). I think we will all agree when I say that the average young Spanish adult only knows two things about this day:

  1. They get Guinness merchandise for free in (mostly) Irish pubs.
  2. Therefore, it must have something to do with the Irish

And we are not mistaken at all! Just a quick look through Wikipedia will give you some essential background info, including the fact that it is originally from Ireland.  You know that at ES we have teachers from, pretty much, all over the globe and we have asked our teacher Eoin (aka “Owen” for non-Irish speakers) to share his insights on this Irish holiday.

So here it is, enjoy!

When the excitement of Christmas and New Year begins to rapidly wane and the depressing reality of January starts to take hold, Irish men and women all over the globe reach for their fancy new calendars and desperately seek out the magic day of March 17.  Once the magic day has been found and marked out, a magic rainbow appears, stretching out from the grey plains of January and February towards the emerald green horizon of mid-March.

To a young child growing up in Ireland however, and speaking from my own experience of growing up in Ireland in the 1970s, Saint Patrick’s Day was a very religious holiday that offered very little to children when compared to Easter and Christmas. Instead of the promise of Cadbury’s chocolate eggs or the allure of Beano annuals and Matchbox cars, Saint Patrick’s Day simply meant a boring day, going to early mass followed by standing on the side of the road at a parade, for what felt like hours, staring at countless tractors and marching bands pass by. After standing outside for hours in the pouring rain, my parents would invariably make their way, with five kids in tow, into a nearby pub. Here at least we were warm and dry, and after finding a spare table, we would sit down to a wonderful feast of crisps and red lemonade. All around the pub were families like ourselves and soon we would be running around and playing with the other kids while the grown-ups sang songs and told jokes much to their own amusement.

Saint Patrick’s Day followed this pattern more or less for me and nearly every other child in Ireland until the age of around fifteen. Ireland in the 1980s was a very religious society and the celebration of our patron saint meant that early mass was still mandatory as was the blessing of the shamrock and wearing your Sunday’s best outfit. After mass however, we were now free to make our own way into town with friends to watch the parade, which by this time had moved on from tractors and marching bands to sponsored floats and professional razzamatazz marching bands from the US. After the parade we now invariably made our way, parentless, to the nearest pub were we could get a drink, and after finding a pub desperate enough to let us in we would sit down to a grand feast of crisps and Guinness. The singing of songs however, had now been sadly replaced by jukeboxes or sound systems in most pubs and to this day it is very rare to hear drinkers singing in a pub to a hushed audience.

Many traditions had changed in Ireland by the 1990s and inevitably Saint Patrick’s Day had changed too. Now it was called Paddy’s day, the day to celebrate Irishness, as opposed to honouring our patron saint and all that was holy and sacred. That meant for the majority of Irish people, early mass and blessed shamrock were now a thing of the past. The parades in Ireland had changed too, they were now more commercial and competitive, every school now had a band or some special routine, and every football team marched down the main street proudly wearing their sponsor’s logo. The tradition of going to the pub straight after the parade thankfully continued and as by this stage most of my friends and I were all working, we got to enjoy a day and night out together happy in the knowledge that we were getting paid as well.

The recent spectacular rise and fall of Ireland’s economic prowess had a limited impact on our big day, the parades are still improving year after year thanks to the fact that Ireland has become more multi-cultural, and nowadays when you stand by the side of the road dripping wet, you can find it hard to believe that you are in Ireland. Living in Spain as I do now, I see a big similarity between the carnival festival and Paddy’s day. The big difference of course is that carnival is celebrated throughout the Latin world while Paddy’s day is uniquely an Irish thing, it is a day to feel proud of where you come from, a day to be proud of who you are, but most importantly it is a day to drink plenty of Guinness!!

Thanks so much for your contribution to this new project Eoin!

And what about you, dear students? Do you dare to give us a writing about how you first learned about St. Paddy’s? Hand your writings to reception before Sunday 22nd, we will correct them for you and the best will be published in our blog! Good luck and happy St. Paddy’s day! 🙂