What/when is Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest is one of the world’s largest festivals and occurs in Munich, Germany every year. It is a beer festival and travelling funfair and is an important part of Bavarian culture. People attending often wear traditional Bavarian costume.

Two kids, boy and girl in traditional Bavarian costumes in wheat field

The festival begins in mid September each year and lasts for just over two weeks, ending in early October. Over six million people attend each year.

Although you may think it is aimed at adults, the Oktoberfest is also a great day out for families too. The Tuesdays during the festival period are designated ‘Family Days’ with discounted entry and rides. Children are allowed into the beer tents, but those under 6 years old must leave by 8pm.

Click here for a blog post of one family’s Oktoberfest experience.

For a video on the history of the festival, and an excellent showcase of German humour, please see below.

If your child has shown interest in the culture of Germany, please see below link for further reading. (Links to Amazon)

What is a hurricane?

A hurricane is a large storm characterised by very strong winds. If a tropical cyclone has winds over 74mph(119km/h) and it forms in the Atlantic Ocean, it is known as a hurricane. There are 5 categories of hurricane numbered 1 to 5. The most severe category 5 hurricanes can have winds up to 200mph(320km/h). The hurricane develops around an area of low pressure(the eye) and the winds rotate in an anti clockwise direction around this point. This is what they look like from space.

Extremely detailed and realistic high resolution 3D illustration of a Hurricane approaching Texas. Shot from Space. Elements of this image are furnished by Nasa.

A hurricane is specific to the area around the USA. A tropical storm formed in the Indian Ocean is called a cyclone, and one formed in the Western Pacific Ocean is called a typhoon.

For more in depth information on hurricanes, please see the following link:

An excellent page from Weather Wiz Kids

For a video on hurricanes, please see below.

If your children have shown an interest in the weather, please see the book below(links to Amazon).

For those that prefer to learn through play, please see the following product(links to Amazon).

How far is South East London from the Equator?

South East London is around 5700 kilometres, or 3540 miles, from the Equator.

Boy On Trip To Museum Looking At Map And Writing In Notebook

If you would like more information about how to calculate how far you are from the Equator, please see the following link:

City to Equator distance calculator from sciencing.com

A basic way to work it out is to take your latitude and to multiply this by 111.111. This will give you the answer in kilometres. To convert to miles, multiply by 0.621.

Please see below video explaining why the distance you are from the Equator affects the weather you experience.

Please see below book for further geography related reading(links to Amazon)

What do giraffes eat for breakfast?

Animals usually eat the same type of food all through the day. They don’t have different meals like we do.

IMG_0959In the case of giraffes, they usually eat twigs, leaves and fruit from trees which they can easily reach with their long necks.

For more information on giraffe feeding, click on this link.

If you would like to have breakfast with a giraffe, please see the below video of Giraffe Manor.

For a more general video on what giraffes eat, please see below.

For more reading on what animals eat, please see the below book(links to Amazon).

What is the difference between Catholics and Protestants?

Catholics and Protestants are both Christians, which means that their Holy Book is the Bible and they both worship Jesus Christ, as they believe him to be the Son of God.

Lighting candles in a church

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that it developed from the community formed by Jesus himself in the first century AD. Over the next centuries the Catholic Church become very rich and powerful and its influence spread throughout much of Western Europe.

A split occurred during what is known as the Protestant Reformation. This was mainly started by a German friar called Martin Luther. He disagreed with some of the rules and beliefs of the Catholic faith and he tried to ‘reform’ the Catholic Church, but instead they split, and a new movement within Christianity was created.

Catholics believe that the Pope is God’s representative on Earth, and their beliefs are based on traditions as well as the Bible itself. Protestants reject the authority of the Pope and for them the Bible is only basis for their faith.

For a site with a chart of the differences, please click on the link below:

A chart showing the differences from Diffen.

For more detail, please see the following link:

More reading from BBC Bitesize.

For a video on what happened in England, please see the video below:

For further reading on the subject, please see the product below(links to Amazon).

Who were the Anglo-Saxons?

The Anglo-Saxons were the people who lived in Great Britain during the period from around the year 400 to when the Norman Conquest occurred in 1066.

Anglo Saxons

They were descended from Germanic Tribes who moved to Great Britain after Roman rule ended.

The language they spoke developed into what we today call English.

For 10 facts about the Anglo-Saxons, please see the video below:

If you like to visit a Royal Anglo-Saxon burial site with an excellent exhibition, please find out more by clinking the link:

A link to more information about Sutton Hoo.

A further list of Anglo-Saxon sites to visit can be found by clicking the following link:

A list of sites from Archaeology Travel.

For those that like to learn through play, please see the product below(links to Amazon).

What is Eurovision?

The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual competition which started back in 1956. The entrants in the competition are countries which are part of the European Broadcasting Union. This is not related to the European Union(EU) and the country does not have to be geographically within Europe to enter. In the first competition in 1956 only seven countries entered. Since then, 52 different countries have entered.  In 2017 there were 42 entrants.

Eurovision_Song_Contest_2017_logo

Each entrant must have someone sing an original song live. After each entrant has sung, there is a combined vote by the audience and a panel of judges from each country. These two votes are turned into points. The country that receives the most points wins, and that country hosts the competition the next year. Last year the winner was Ukraine, so the competition was held this year in its capital city, Kiev.

For this year’s promo video, please see below:  

For this year’s UK entry please see the below video.

The 2017 competition was won by Portugal, see their entry below. This was the first time they had won and the 2018 competition will be held there.

If you want to get some fairy cakes for your Eurovision party, please click on the link below(links to Amazon).