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NEW YEARS TRADITIONS REVISITED

Posted On: December 30, 2021

As the year comes to an end and the calendar marks a transition, the various New Year Traditions and Customs followed every year remain as is.

Here’s some of the interesting ways to celebrate the New Year across the globe:

England: The English custom for welcoming New Year is full of hospitality and warmth.  They believe that the first guest for the year would bring fortune for them. should be a male, He should enter through the front door and bear some traditional gifts like loaf for the kitchen, drink for the head of the family and coal to light the fire, otherwise he is not allowed. They believe that these bring good luck throughout the year.

Denmark: In Denmark, residents keep a pile of dishes, all broken, in front of the door. For this they save old dishes and People usually throw these on the friends’ doors during New Year. This symbolizes friendship and brotherhood and they believe the one with maximum dishes outside, has the most friends. Some Danish are found to leap some chairs during midnight.

China: The Chinese have a unique way of celebrating New Year, where every front door of a house is painted in red which symbolizes happiness and good fortune. They hide all the knives for the day so that no one cuts oneself, because that may actually cut the entire family good luck for the coming year. However that doesn’t make any difference to the feast they have during time.

Brazil: Brazilians believe that lentils signify wealth and prosperity. So they serve food items made up of the legume like soup or rice on the New Year. On New Year’s Eve, the priestesses dress up in blue and white for an auspicious ceremony celebrated for the water goddess. Also a sacrificial boat filled with jewelry, candles and flowers from the beach of Rio de Janeiro is pushed to the ocean that brings health, wealth and happiness for them.

Austria: Austrians find good luck charm in Suckling pigs. They serve it on the dinner table with edible pigs and the peppermint ice creams are served as desserts for fortune.

German: Lead is considered to be auspicious here. They pour molten lead into cold water and the shape that is taken after, predicts the future. Heart shapes symbolize marriage whereas round shapes denote good luck; anchor shapes tell that you need help however a cross signifies someone’s sad demise.

Belgium: They call the New Year eve as Saint Sylvester Eve. They believe in throwing family parties, where everyone kisses, exchanges fortune greetings apart from raises toast to welcome the New Year in their own manner.

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2022 YOUR FUTURE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT

Posted On: December 28, 2021


"Your future has nothing to do with your past,” 

That’s true, but only if you’re willing to accept the idea that things can get better.

Ask anyone who dropped 25 pounds and finished their first 10k run. Or the person whose career, company or industry got downsized, who retrained and got a new job, and who is now happier – maybe even making more money than ever before.

The truth is that things can get better, but only if we commit to making changes. Things don’t get better by themselves. As the old saying goes, you can only coast downhill.

If unhappiness motivates you to make a change in your life, it’s been called “divine dissatisfaction.” If you are willing to use that unhappiness as a lever for improvement, amazing things can happen.

Are you willing to work to bring about the change you want to see? If you are, then your future has nothing to do with your past.

 I can’t because I’m … (fill in the blank: too old, too young, too busy, not smart enough, discriminated against, whatever).

When you say these things, you are acting like a con artist. And you are the primary victim of your con. Mostly out of fear, we construct imaginary limitations around ourselves. We use these self-imposed limits to keep us from getting ahead – like an invisible wall blocking our progress.

This invisible wall keeps us from opening that new business, registering for that class, saying yes to that person who wants to date us, hire us, marry us or whatever.

Look in the mirror and paraphrase President Reagan’s famous 1987 speech at the Berlin Wall by telling yourself: “Tear down this wall!”

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A CHRISTMAS TRADITION CONTINUES

Posted On: December 24, 2021

                                                                                                                        

'Twas the Night Before Christmas
(or A Visit from St. Nicholas)
by Clement Clarke Moore


'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.


The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.


When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.


The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of midday to objects below,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.


With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his coursers they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

"Now Dasher! Now Dancer!
Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!"


As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
so up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.


And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.


He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.


His eyes--how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.


He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.


He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.


He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"


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THE MISTLETOE STORY

Posted On: December 21, 2021

Baldur, grandson of the Norse god Thor, woke up one morning certain that each and every plant and animal on earth wanted to kill him. His mother consoled him. His wife consoled him, but all to no avail. As Baldur cowered in his room, half-wild with fear, his mother and wife decided to ask every living thing to leave their poor Baldur in peace. They begged the kindness of the oak tree, the pig, the cow, the crow, the ant and even the worm. Each agreed. Then, as Baldur paused to celebrate his release from torment, he felt a pain in his chest. He had been stabbed and killed by an arrow made from the wood of a mistletoe plant. Mistletoe was the one species on earth his wife and mother had failed to notice.


Baldur died, but a lesson was learned: Never forget about the mistletoe. Mistletoe would come to hang over our doors as a reminder to never forget. We kiss beneath it to remember what Baldur’s wife and mother forgot. At least that is one version of the origin of our relationship with mistletoe.

Another story begins with druids who viewed the mistletoe as magical and hung it above their doors for luck. Others say it is hung for fertility; the seeds of mistletoe are sticky like semen. The modern story of mistletoe is one of kisses. As Washington Irving wrote in the 1800s, “young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under [mistletoe], plucking each time a berry from the bush. When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases.”

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CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS

Posted On: December 16, 2021

The tradition of Christmas stockings originated in the generous deeds of a nobleman named Nicholas who was born in 280 A.D. in Asia Minor. Nicholas dedicated his life to following the principles of Jesus Christ, using his wealth to help impoverished and suffering people. He became the Bishop of Myra in his young years, and was immensely popular for his kind, generous heart. Living a lifetime of celibacy, Nicholas never married or had children, but he loved children and thus often regaled those who lived in his hometown. This practice provided him with the epithet “the gift-giver of Myra.” Interestingly, his nobility never prevailed his modesty, so he always gave his presents late at night in order to protect his identity. He didn’t like the children to know who their patron was, so they were often told to go and sleep or otherwise he wouldn’t visit them.

One of the legends regarding Christmas stockings takes us to a small village where the destiny of the once wealthy merchant and his daughters changed overnight when they fell into poverty. The father was worried about the future of his children and afraid that he wouldn’t be able to provide dowries for their marriages in the future. At that time, this meant an almost humiliation due to the impossibility of wedlock. While the now-famous St.Nicholas traveled, he passed through the village and heard the sad story about the merchant and his daughter, learning from the locals that he would not accept any gifts of charity.

One night, while he was riding his gorgeous white horse, he stopped at the merchant’s home and threw three bags filled with gold coins down the house’s chimney. The bags fell down right into the girls’ stockings which were hung by the fireplace mantle to dry. The next morning, the daughters and their father discovered the coins and jumped for joy. The young women married happily and prosperously, so, obviously, their story had a happily ever after. The details of their story spread among the villagers, whose children began hanging their stockings by the fireplace, hoping to receive presents from St. Nicholas

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THE CHRISTMAS TREE TRADITION

Posted On: December 14, 2021


In 16th-century Germany fir trees were decorated, both indoors and out, with apples, roses, gilded candies, and colored paper. In the Middle Ages, a popular religious play depicted the story of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

A fir tree hung with apples was used to symbolize the Garden of Eden — the Paradise Tree. The play ended with the prophecy of a saviour coming, and so was often performed during the Advent season.

It is held that Protestant reformer Martin Luther first adorned trees with light. While coming home one December evening, the beauty of the stars shining through the branches of a fir inspired him to recreate the effect by placing candles on the branches of a small fir tree inside his home

The Christmas Tree was brought to England by Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert from his native Germany. The famous Illustrated News etching in 1848, featuring the Royal Family of Victoria, Albert and their children gathered around a Christmas tree in Windsor Castle, popularized the tree throughout Victorian England. Brought to America by the Pennsylvania Germans, the Christmas tree became by the late 19th century.

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THE ORIGINS OF THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING TRADITION

Posted On: December 09, 2021

The tradition of Christmas stockings originated in the deeds of a nobleman named Nicholas who was born in 280 A.D. in Asia Minor. Nicholas dedicated his life to following the principles of Jesus Christ, using his wealth to help impoverished and suffering people. He became the Bishop of Myra in his young years, and was immensely popular for his kind, generous heart. Living a lifetime of celibacy, Nicholas never married or had children, but he loved children and thus often regaled those who lived in his hometown. This practice provided him with the epithet “the gift-giver of Myra.” Interestingly, his nobility never prevailed his modesty, so he always gave his presents late at night in order to protect his identity. He didn’t like the children to know who their patron was, so they were often told to go and sleep or otherwise he wouldn’t visit them.

One of the legends regarding Christmas stockings takes us to a small village where the destiny of the once wealthy merchant and his daughters changed overnight when they fell into poverty. The father was worried about the future of his children and afraid that he wouldn’t be able to provide dowries for their marriages in the future. At that time, this meant an almost humiliation due to the impossibility of wedlock. While the now-famous St.Nicholas traveled, he passed through the village and heard the sad story about the merchant and his daughter, learning from the locals that he would not accept any gifts of charity.

One night, while he was riding his gorgeous white horse, he stopped at the merchant’s home and threw three bags filled with gold coins down the house’s chimney. The bags fell down right into the girls’ stockings which were hung by the fireplace mantle to dry. The next morning, the daughters and their father discovered the coins and jumped for joy. The young women married happily and prosperously, so, obviously, their story had a happily ever after. The details of their story spread among the villagers, whose children began hanging their stockings by the fireplace, hoping to receive presents from St. Nicholas

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DECEMBER 7 1941

Posted On: December 07, 2021


Air Raid On Pearl Harbor

On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor External, Hawaii Territory, killing more than 2,300 Americans. The U.S.S. Arizona was completely destroyed and the U.S.S. Oklahoma capsized. A total of twelve ships sank or were beached in the attack and nine additional vessels were damaged. More than 160 aircraft were destroyed and more than 150 others damaged. A hurried dispatch from the ranking United States naval officer in Pearl Harbor, Admiral Husband Edward Kimmel, Commander in Chief of the United States Pacific Fleet, to all major navy commands and fleet units provided the first official word of the attack at the ill-prepared Pearl Harbor base. It said simply: AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NOT DRILL.

The following day, in an address to a joint session of Congress, President Franklin Roosevelt called December 7, 1941 “a date which will live in infamy.” Congress then declared War on Japan, abandoning the nation’s isolationism policy and ushering the United States into World War II. Within days, Japan’s allies, Germany and Italy, declared war on the United States, and the country began a rapid transition to a wartime economy by building up armaments in support of military campaigns in the Pacific, North Africa, and Europe.

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