Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Christmas Season Begins

Friday evening marked the beginning of the Christmas season in Kenilworth, with the ceremonial lighting of the town's Christmas lights. A large section of the main shopping street, the Warwick Road, was blocked off and filled with people trying their luck at various tombolas. Tombola is an Italian word for a raffle in which numbers are pulled out of a drum (tombola is cognate with the English "tumble.") In an English tombola, numbered tickets (5 for £1) are drawn from a bucket; if the number on the ticket ends with a 0 or a 5, you win a corresponding donated prize. The money collected usually goes to a charity. With 20 tickets (£5), we managed to win four prizes, ranging from a small blue vase to a kitschy teddy bear figurine. The money went to the Kenilworth Netball Club (netball is a type of women's basketball popular in England). Then, at about 7:00 pm, the loud band and the light drizzle stopped, and the Mayor of Kenilworth, in full regalia, switched on the lights. The Christmas season has begun.

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