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Sunday, April 10, 2011

About Grand National, Grand National 2011

The Grand National is a world-famous National Hunt horse race which is held annually at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England. It is a handicap chase over a distance of four miles and 856 yards (7,242 m), with horses jumping thirty fences over two circuits of Aintree's National Course. It is currently scheduled to take place each year on a Saturday afternoon in early April. The next Grand National will be held on 14 April 2012.
The steeplechase is the centerpiece of a three-day meeting, one of only four run at Aintree in the racing season. It is the most valuable National Hunt event in Britain, offering a total prize fund of £950,000 in 2011. The race is popular amongst many people who do not normally watch or bet on horse racing at other times of the year.
 The racecourse is triangular in shape and contains sixteen fences all except The Chair and the Water Jump are jumped twice. Some fences are notorious for their severity, particularly Becher's Brook and The Chair. In recent years, Aintree authorities have worked in conjunction with animal welfare organizations to improve veterinary facilities and minimize the danger of the jumps while still preserving them as formidable obstacles.
The National is listed on the Ofcom Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events, ensuring it is broadcast live on free-to-air terrestrial television in the United Kingdom. The first radio commentary of the race was broadcast by Meyrick Good and George Allison on the BBC in 1927 the first televised coverage was in 1960 and the BBC has retained the rights ever since. An estimated 500 to 600 million viewers watch the Grand National worldwide.
 The Grand National has always been run over the same course at Aintree and consists of two circuits of sixteen fences, the first fourteen of which are jumped twice. Participating horses cover a distance of four miles and four furlongs, the longest of any National Hunt race in Britain. The course is also notable for having one of the longest run-ins from the final flight of any steeplechase, at 494 yards.
The Grand National was designed as a cross-country steeplechase when it was first officially run in 1839. The runners started at a lane on the edge of the racecourse and raced away from the course out over open countryside towards the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The gates, hedges and ditches that they met along the way were flagged to provide them with the obstacles to be jumped along the way with posts and rails erected at the two points where the runners jumped a brook.
The runners returned towards the racecourse by running along the edge of the canal before re-entering the course at the opposite end. The runners then ran the length of the racecourse before embarking on a second circuit before finishing in front of the stands. The majority of the race therefore took place not on the actual Aintree Racecourse but instead in the adjoining countryside. That countryside was incorporated into the modern course but commentators still often refer to it as "the country", much to the confusion of millions of once-a-year racing viewers.

About Easter, Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday is a happy day for Christians because they believe that Jesus rose from the dead on this day.  They believe that Jesus' resurrection or coming alive shows that death is not the end of everything. Many go to church to thank God for Jesus' life. Church bells are rung and churches are decorated with flowers such as white lilies which are associated with Easter. The colors in the church change to white or gold which are thought to be the best colors. There are many customs associated with Easter Day which involve eggs.
For this reason Easter Day used to be known as Egg Sunday. For the last two hundred years in Britain the custom of giving children chocolate eggs has been popular while in Europe and America parents hide chocolate eggs in the garden for children to find. In many countries children are given hard boiled eggs and it is also a custom for children to decorate these by painting or dyeing them in bright colors.
The Celebrations in Panjim, hundreds of devout Goan Catholics gather in the Panjim Church of Mary Immaculate Conception to listen to mass and participate in the Way of the Cross. During the afternoon sermon, the priests narrate the sufferings that Jesus Christ took upon himself for the sake of humanity.
The mass is in Konkani, Goa's state language, attracts a crowd too large for the church itself, and people stand in the doorways and in the premises, dressed in formal clothes with somber countenance.
Eggs were always thought to be special even before Jesus was born. It is because they are associated with new life when the chick breaks from the egg. After Jesus had risen from the dead it was easy to think of eggs as a sign of new life. So eggs have always been part of celebrations at Easter.

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