The Lion Dance. Chinese New Year 

Above:  The Lions visit the  Plaza Singapura Shopping Centre in Dhoby Gaut, Singapore. 

Why? 

In a nutshell, to chase away evil spirits and monsters like Nian and to bring good luck and fortune during the coming year. 

There are two men inside each Lion. One at the head and one at the tail. The music follows the move of the Lion. The Lion has a mirror attached to its head and this is believed to expel negative energy. 

The businesses hang a string of green vegetables outside the door. To this is attached a lucky red packet. Usually the businesses have prepaid for the visit by the lions. The dance culminates with the lions ‘eating’ the green vegetables and packet accompanied by a crescendo of drums and cymbals. Then they spit out the chewed up remains. This is a symbolic gesture. The lions are blessing the business with good luck and lots of customers during the new year! In return the lions are rewarded with oranges or tangerines which again symbolise good good luck. 

Often the lions leave a Year Date spelt out in orange segments on the floor. 


In the video below you can see the climax of the lion dance at Plaza Singapura

         LION DANCE. PLAZA SINGAPURA

Come back tomorrow for more fun when we will be participating in the ‘Yu Sheng’. This is a traditional noodle tossing and great fun. Tastes great too! There’s also a DRAGON! 

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The March of the Spiders! 


Another fun craft for Halloween. 

These spiders are quick and easy to make and are great for decoration and for giving to children at the end of a Halloween party. 

They are a bit bottom heavy so don’t hang well but look great on a web! 

I made the web below from a hoop .  You could spray the hoop silver or wrap it in fabric or crepe paper before making the web but I  didn’t bother because it won’t be noticeable by the time I’ve filled it with spiders!  


 It’s better to make the web from string or a strong wool.  A flimsy web will not secure the spiders. The hoop can then be placed on a wall but I think it’s more effective hung from the ceiling or a doorway. That way you can fill both sides with spiders and it will look really cool spinning round. 

Do secure with a dab of glue, the points where the wool wraps round the diagonals otherwise your web will very quickly deteriorate!  I need to do this with mine before I put any more spiders on! 

What do you need? 

 Very little! Each spider uses four pipe cleaners, two eyes and a Chupa Chups lolly. That’s all. 

It’s so easy that’s there’s really no need for instructions. The only thing you need to remember is to lie all four pipe cleaners together side by side and wrap then round the lolly stick together tightly. If you try to do it one at a time it’s fiddly  and you will probably get in a mess! You can use a blob of glue to secure.  The eyes are stuck on with glue too. It is possible to cut the sticks a little shorter if you feel they protrude too much. 

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The Largest Pan in the World! 


Yes!  It is a real frying pan and it is used just once every year for the FESTA DELLA PADELLA in Passignano sul Trasimeno. 

Festa della Padella. (The feast of the Pan) this year is from the 24th to the 28th of August. 

This, the largest frying pan in the world can fry 2 tons of fish an hour! 

Eighteen burners powered by 6 gas cylinders heat 5.8 tons of oil.  

At this festa you can enjoy a great menu of fish from Lake Trasimeno plus music and a lively street market. There are also concerts on both nights from 22.00.


This is the scene during the day with hundreds of tables set out along the the perimeter of the lake. 

The feasting however only starts as dusk approaches and continues in candlelight when the scene becomes magical. 

On the menu is a wide variety of fish some of which is cooked in the pan. 

What’s Georgie doing? 


What’s Georgie doing? 

She is updating her Travel Journal ! 

Georgie likes to keep a journal of the places she has visited.  Its fun to do and great to share with friends. 

Every time Georgie goes away on holiday she starts a new journal.  Her journal is like a diary. It is a record of where she has been, what she has seen, meals, weather, friends ……. just about anything and everything ! 

Sometimes Georgie writes in the journal but many of the pages are filled with pictures and things stuck in. 

During the day Georgie will collect ‘memories’ and then later stick them into her journal. A memory might be an empty sugar packet from a bar they stopped at for a drink. Or a receipt from a train ride or restaurant or entrance to a zoo or pleasure park. Maybe an advertisement from a festival or the business card from a hotel. A sweet wrapper, a postcard, a shell from the beach.  

Georgie is never bored!  On a journey or sightseeing trip she is always looking for something to write about or a ‘memory’ to stick into in her journal. She takes photographs too so she can add these when she gets back home. 

Her journal is very useful if they go to the same place another time because it contains useful information like how long it took to get there and the restaurants they liked or didn’t like and the festivals and weather  and the contact details of friends they made. 

At the moment Georgie is at home but it’s the summer holidays and so she is keeping a journal of what she has done each day.  Yesterday was the last day of her village festa so this morning she is sticking in the little poster to remind her and jotting down what she ate and the people she saw and the funny things that happened. 



Festa dei Barbari


Today was the last day of our annual festa in Castel Rigone. Festa dei Barbari. 

We enjoy all the festivals but this is our favourite. It’s not just because Jumble House is in Castel Rigone. It’s because it is so much FUN especially on the Sunday when the events start at 5’o clock. 

For four days there is a market which winds its way through the quaint little streets and every evening feasting in the piazza with music, jousting and entertainment. There’s lots of great things to buy but also you can have a go at archery and see how weapons were made. 

On the last day (always the first Sunday in August) there is this great costume parade through the village, right past Jumble House!  This is followed by the ‘palio’ or challenge which does change. Then followers the feasting, really weird music, fun jousting and fire-eaters  and lots of other things.  We really enjoy the food and it’s always fun watching the wine being pumped out of these things that look like giant weed killers! 

Why do we have this festival?  Well, a very long time ago the village was attacked by the barbarians (the Ostogoths). The lieutenant  was called Riggo. That is where the name of the  village come from. The festa is a re-enactment of the barbarian invasion and it’s great fun! 

We hope you will enjoy this  video of the procession: Festa dei Barbari. Castel Rigone.

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