The biscione less known as "the vipera", is a heraldic charge showing on argent an azure serpent in the act of consuming a human. It is considered a symbol of the city of Milan; the word "biscione" is a masculine augmentative of Italian feminine "biscia", "grass snake". The charge became associated with the city after the Visconti family gained control over Milan 1277; the symbol may in turn have been derived from a bronzed serpent brought to Milan from Constantinople by Arnolf II of Arsago in the 11th century. The biscione remained associated with the Duchy of Milan after the Visconti line died out in the 15th century; the House of Sforza incorporated the symbol into their armorial after taking the duchy. As a symbol of Milan, the biscione is used by multiple organizations associated with or based in the city. Football club Inter Milan is represented by a biscione, the team's 2011 away kit featured the symbol. Milan-based auto manufacturer Alfa Romeo includes a biscione in its logo impaled with a red cross on white.
Silvio Berlusconi, born and remains based in Milan, uses stylized biscione symbols in the logos for his companies Mediaset and Fininvest. Outside Milan, a similar design is found in the seals of the Hungarian nobleman Nicholas I Garai, palatine to the King of Hungary. Here the crowned snake devours a sovereign's orb, rather than a human; the arms of the towns of Sanok in Poland and Pruzhany in Belarus feature the symbol, honoring the marriage of Bona Sforza to Sigismund I of Poland while both towns were part of Poland–Lithuania. Comparable to the biscione are some depictions of the Hindu deity Matsya. While his form is referred to as anthropomorphically having a humanoid upper half, his lower half as that of a fish, some depictions show him with his upper body emerging from the mouth of a fish. In early Christian art of the catacombs, the Old Testament prophet Jonah is depicted as a man being swallowed by a serpent-like Leviathan, a sea creature of Hebrew myth. Flag of Milan Guivre History of Milan Basilisk Leviathan Ouroboros Reina, Gabriele.
Le imprese araldiche dei Visconti e degli Sforza: Storia, storia dell’arte, repertorio. Lausanne: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des lettres, Section d'histoire de l'art
Bonmarché is a clothing retailer based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. The business was founded in 1982, was acquired by the Peacock Group in July 2002; the clothing retailer had over 380 stores nationwide, employed over 4,000 people and was the United Kingdom's largest budget fashion retailer selling womenswear in a wide range of sizes – plus size clothing. Ranges included casual and formal separates, swimwear, lingerie nightwear and accessories, all designed for larger women. Bonmarché was founded by Parkash Singh Chima; the Sikh businessman arrived in the United Kingdom in 1950, from the Punjab and settled in Ely, from where he launched a door-to-door business selling clothing items. The family bought two retail clothing firms in 1982 – Wiltex and Hartley – which had twenty six indoor market locations across the north of England. Mr Chima ran the business with two of his sons Gurchait and Gurnaik; the first Bonmarché store opened in Doncaster in 1985, this was the start of the chain that grew into more than three hundred stores, a huge headquarters at Grange Moor, a turnover of more than £200 million.
Mr Chima retired and left two sons to run the business, before they sold to the Peacock Group in July 2002. In March 2011, it was reported that Peacocks were looking to sell Bonmarché, in January 2012, the business was sold for an undisclosed sum to private equity group Sun European Partners. In July 2019, the company said that trading in recent months was so poor, it was recommending a £5.7m rescue bid from the Edinburgh Woollen Mill owner Philip Day, less than three months after rejecting it. The company was placed into administration on 18 October 2019; the administrators stated that all stores would remain open and no redundancies had yet been made. In August 2007, Bonmarché launched a collection, designed in collaboration with David Emanuel, the designer famous for the co design of Lady Diana Spencer's wedding dress in 1981. On 24 April 2013, the eight story Rana Plaza commercial building collapsed in Savar, a sub district near Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. At least 1,127 people died, over 2,438 were injured.
The factory housed a number of separate garment factories employing around 5,000 people, several shops, a bank, manufactured apparel for brands, including the Benetton Group, Joe Fresh, The Children's Place, Primark and DressBarn. Of the twenty nine brands identified as having sourced products from the Rana Plaza factories, only nine attended meetings held in November 2013 to agree a proposal on compensation to the victims; the agreement was signed by Primark, Bonmarche and El Corte Ingles. Official wesite Official corporate site
The sky has important religious significance. Many religions, both polytheistic and monotheistic, have deities associated with the sky; the day lit sky deities are distinct from the night time sky deities. Stith Thompson's Motif-Index of Folk-Literature reflects this by separating the category of "Sky-god" from that of "Star-god". In mythology, night time gods are known as night deities and gods of stars as star gods. Both of these categories are included here. Luminary deities are included as well since the moon are located in the sky; some religions may have a deity or personification of the day, distinct from the god of the day lit sky, to complement the deity or personification of the night. Day time gods and night time gods are deities of an "upper world" or "celestial world" opposed to the "netherworld" and earth ruled by other gods. For example, sky gods Zeus and Hera rule the celestial realm in ancient Greece while the chthonic realm is ruled by Hades and Persephone; the tripartite division of the world into sky/heaven/upper, earth/middle, under/nether/lower seems to be a universal feature of all human religions.
Sea gods may form a separate, third category. Water, both fresh and salt, is associated with the earth/underworld, giving rise to an alternate tripartite division of sky and sea, where sea takes the place of the underworld. Any masculine sky god is also king of the gods, taking the position of patriarch within a pantheon; such king gods are collectively categorized as "sky father" deities, with a polarity between sky and earth being expressed by pairing a "sky father" god with an "earth mother" goddess. A main sky goddess is the queen of the gods and may be an air/sky goddess in her own right, though she has other functions as well with "sky" not being her main. In antiquity, several sky goddesses in ancient Egypt and the Near East were called Queen of Heaven. Neopagans apply it with impunity to sky goddesses from other regions who were never associated with the term historically. Gods may rule the sky as a pair; the following is a list of sky deities in various polytheistic traditions arranged by language family, a better indicator of relatedness than geography.
Dyeus, the chief sky father of the Proto-Indo-European religion Hausos, dawn goddess and daughter of Dyeus Menot, moon god Seul, sun goddess Perendi, god of the light and heaven Auštaras, the god of the northeast wind Dievs, the god of the day-lit sky and the chief god in Latvian mythology Vejopatis, the god of the wind who guards the divine realm of Dausos Latobius and mountain god equated with the Greek gods Zeus and Ares Nuada, god of the sky and war Sulis, goddess of the hot springs at Bath. Xwarxšēd, god of the sun Uša, goddess of dawn Aurora, dawn goddess Caelus, personification of the sky, equivalent to the Greek Uranus Juno, goddess of the sky, queen of the gods, Jupiter's wife, equivalent to the Greek Hera Jupiter, king of heaven and god of the sky and weather, equivalent to the Greek Zeus Luna, moon goddess Nox, Roman version of Nyx, night goddess and mother of Discordia Sol, sun god Summanus, god of nocturnal thunder/lightning Stribog, god of the winds and air Triglav, a triple god whose three heads represent sky and underworld Sabazios, sky father Amun, god of creation and the wind Anhur a foreign war god who became associated with the air god, Shu Hathor a sky goddess Horus, god of the sun, sky and war Khonsu, moon god Mehet-Weret, goddess of the sky Nut, goddess of the sky Ra, god of the sun Shu, god of the air Thoth a moon god became a writing/knowledge god and the scribe of the other gods Achamán, Guanche creator and sky god Achuhucanac, Guanche rain god, associated with the sky god Achamán Asherah, sky goddess and consort of El.