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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 01/16/13

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

TOP 10 NEW YEAR TRADITIONS!





   Just as the parties from Christmas begin to dwindle, preparations are started for the celebration of New Year. It is a time when even the least-likely party-goer will ready himself for a night of booze, singing, and food. This list looks at 10 of the most common and interesting traditions of New Year from around the world.






10. First Footing











   First-footing is an ancient European New Year’s custom that continues into the present in many areas. The first person to enter a home after midnight on the first day of the year should be a male, preferably with dark hair. Blondes may have been associated with Vikings – visitors who never brought good luck. The first-footer should carry a gift, such as a coin for prosperity, bread for food, salt for flavor, or whiskey to represent good cheer. The first-footer can be a resident of the house, but must not be inside during the hour leading up to midnight. No fair stepping outside and coming back in again!







9Irish Wind











   There is an Irish tradition of predicting the political future of the country by checking which way the wind blows at midnight on New Year’s Eve. If the wind is from the west, there is a chance that good fortune will reign that year. If the wind is from the east, however, the British will prevail. Mistletoe was handed out to ward off bad luck, and single women put a sprig of mistletoe under their pillows in hopes of catching a dream about their future husbands. Another tradition peculiar to Ireland is pounding on the doors and windows of the house with bread. This practice was to chase out evil spirits and ensure bread for the upcoming year.






8. Lavish Parties









   Madeira, a Portuguese island, holds a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the most lavish New Year’s party. In 2007, 8,000 fireworks per minute made up the display in Funchal, the capital city, for a total of 600,000 fireworks. Visitors from around the world fill the tiny harbor, where the dazzle is reflected. In 2009, the government is spending 12,000,000 Euros to ensure the most spectacular celebration anywhere in the world. Other famous fireworks displays take place in Rio de Janeiro, Sydney harbor, and, of course, New York City, were visitors watch the descent of the giant six-foot crystal ball marking the last moments of the old year.






7. Ancient History








   New Year’s is the oldest holiday still being celebrated. The Babylonians celebrated the new year as early as 4000 B.C. At that time, the new year began on the first new moon after the Vernal Equinox. The celebration continued for eleven days, with each day having a different purpose and activity. Then, as now, resolutions were made. A common Babylonian resolution is to return borrowed farm equipment. At this time each year, the king was stripped of all power to undergo a ritual of humiliation, in which he was hit by the priest and separated from everyone for three days to pray. When he reappeared, ceremonies of restoration were performed to ensure that nature would support him during the coming year.







6. Imperial Ball









   Austria has one of the most glamorous of New Year’s celebrations. At the Imperial Ball, a tradition of the Hapsburg dynasty that has continued for hundreds of years, dancers wear white gowns and black jackets. At midnight, “The Blue Danube,”is played. The Strauss operetta, “Die Fledermaus, is performed each New Year’s Day. Celebrants dine on suckling pig – considered good luck. The tables are often decorated with candy pigs. Children pour molten lead into a tub of water. A soothsayer then reads the shape of the lead. It is considered bad luck to find that your lead resembles an old woman.






5. Chinese New Year









   By the Chinese calendar, the year 2009 is actually 4706, a year of the ox. Chinese New Year is celebrated on the second new moon after the winter solstice. In 2010, it will fall on February 14. Firecrackers and noisemakers will chase away evil spirits. The fabulous dragon and lion will dance in the streets. People will wear red, the most auspicious of colors, and red envelopes with lucky money will be given to children. Tangerines are often given for good luck, but odd numbers are unlucky, so the tangerines are given in pairs. The third day of the new year is the day the mice marry off their daughters, so people go to bed early, so they don’t disturb the mice.





4. Japanese New Year










   It is traditional in Japan to spend a full week preparing for the new year to arrive. The house must be thoroughly cleaned, so that no evil spirits can linger. All debts must be paid. And most importantly, all disagreements must be resolved and forgiven. Before midnight, 108 bells ring, to symbolize the elimination of 108 troubles. With no troubles, disagreements, debts, or disorder to contend with, all are free to welcome in the new year with every expectation of peace and prosperity. The day after New Year’s is First Writing Day, when people write their hopes and dreams for the new year.






3. Emancipation Day











   For African Americans, New Year’s Day has a special significance, and is often called Emancipation Day or Jubilee Day. On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves from bondage, was read in Boston. Today, many African-American families hold “watch services” on January 1. Traditional foods include black-eyed peas, collard greens, ham hocks, and macaroni and cheese. The uniquely African-American celebration, Kwanzaa, continues over seven days starting December 26, so the New Year’s celebration is often part of Kwanzaa’s way of reconnecting people with their African roots. Kwanzaa began in the United States in the 1960s, and is not celebrated in Africa.






2. Auld Lang Syne




“Auld Lang Syne” has been called the most familiar song to which nobody knows the words. But this year, you will! Written by Robert Burns and first published after his death in 1796, the song became an instant standard in 1929 when Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians played it on New Year’s Eve, broadcasting from the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The title literally means, “Old Long Time.” Roughly translated, here are the words:
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne.
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for days of auld lang syne.
We two have run around the hills
And pulled the daisies fine.
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot
Since the days of auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream
From morn till the sun was down.
But seas between us two have roared
Since days of auld lang syne.
So here’s a hand my trusty friend.
Give us a hand of thine.
We’ll take a good-will drink again
For auld lang syne.





1. First Baby










   Using a baby to symbolize the new year has been controversial from the beginning. Many cities watch for the first baby of the new year, to shower him or her with gifts from local merchants and lots of media attention. But parading a living baby through the streets brought disapproval from Greek mothers as early as 600 B.C. Egyptians also used a live human baby to symbolize the birth of a new year. Early Christians disapproved of the practice, but its popularity eventually overcame all objections, and the symbol remains one of the most popular. Today’s baby is traditionally a diapered boy with a sash labeled with the number of the upcoming year he represents.






DIY INITIAL WREATH!


  This diy comes from www.craftaholicsanonymous.net .  Since Halloween and Christmas are over the front door is starting to look a little bare.  I thought this would go nicely.  The only thing I would do different is to make it just a little bigger.  Good luck!




Initial Wreath

Hey there ::waves hi:: to everyone joining me from Linda’s fab blog, Craftaholics Anonymous, my name is Jen J. I am a long time reader of Linda’s blog and like to do a little crafting of my own here at the World of Dennifer. I have a lot more crafts and DandR projects here on my blog, so while you’re stopping over, please feel free to look through my archives for some of my past projects and follow me (even grab my button if it tickles your fancy ;o) if you’d like to keep up with my future projects. I am so excited to be participating in the Craftaholics Anonymous Reader’s Tutorial Week and I hope you enjoy my wreath tutorial as much as I enjoyed making it…it was inexpensive to make and is so pretty on my door!

Sooo I finally got a chance to sit down and do my DIY spring {but keeping it up for the summer because I love it so much} wreath for our front door. I got my inspiration for my wreath from Kari over at Rocky Bella – I loved her spring initial wreath so much that I decided to make one of my own (with a few personal touches)…Ta da:






I pretty much just followed her directions, so first I headed to Michaels to get the supplies I needed:



A grape vine wreath (14″), a mini birds nest, some speckled faux eggs, a couple cream colored butterflies and a pretty good-sized bag of green moss. You will also need wide ribbon, a wreath hanger, a glue gun and several glue sticks for this project – I already had all of these things on hand, so I didn’t have to buy any of that. Oh and if you want your last initial on the wreath, you will want to grab a wooden letter from Michaels as well – I also had one of these on hand (if you want your letter white, then grab the kind they have that are already painted white – saved me a step)!
Then, I just plugged up my hot glue gun and got to work gluing on clumps of green moss to cover the wreath. You want to make sure you generously cover the wreath, otherwise it’ll look a little bare.






Once the wreath is completely covered with moss to your satisfaction, position your initial letter on your wreath and figure out how you want to mount it on the wreath. I put mine up against my door to make sure that the way the letter was positioned on the wreath looked how I wanted it to. Once you figure out where you want the letter, glue it on to the wreath (use a decent amount of glue so that it holds the letter completely). After that, I just glued the faux speckled eggs into the mini nest & glued the nest on the wreath, and finished it off by sticking the butterflies into the wreath where I wanted them (they had wire backings, so they easily stuck into the wreath).






(sorry – not sure why this pic uploaded sideways, but you get the point, no?)
I hung the wreath on the door with a standard wreath hanger, then tied my ribbon so that it covered the hanger & made a bow in the back (on the other side of the door), so that it stayed put…does that make sense?? And that’s it. Very, very easy wreath, although I got 2 pretty bad glue burns on my left thumb & right ring fingers – OUCH! I got small blisters & everything. ::humph:: :o/ Ah, the things we do for our DIY projects, lol. But I LOVE LOVE LOOOOVE the way it came out – exactly what I needed to dress up my front door for the spring!






Dizz likes sitting at the storm door and people watching during the day; I like keeping the door open b/c it lets natural light into our living room, so it’s a win-win. Anywho, what do you think of my spring wreath?! You likes!? I hope so b/c I loves.
Here is the cost break down:
Grapevine Wreath = $4
Bag ‘O Green Moss = $2.25 (original $4.49, but I used a 50% coupon I had)
Mini Nest = $2
Faux Speckled Eggs = $2
Wired Butterflies = $2
Wreath Hanger; Wide Ribbon; Wooden Initial; Glue Gun and Extra Glue Sticks = FREE (I already had these items on hand)
TOTAL = $12.25

ST. ANTHONY'S FEAST-A FIERY CELEBRATION FROM SPAIN!!!





    Every year on January 17th, the people of San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain, celebrate St. Anthony's by riding their horese, donkeys and mules through piles of burning tree branches.
   The unique tradition of leaping over and through flames dates back 500 years, but the men and women of San Bartolome de Pinares still celebrate it religiously.  They gather all the branches they can find in the days leading up to the festivities, and when dusk falls on the eve of Saint Anthony's, they light the branches into a bonfire.  Riders jump and run their mounts through the burning piles of the branches in the middle of the village, accompanied by sound of drums and Spanish bagpipes.
   Jumping through the flames is said to bring the animals the protection of St. Anthony Abad, acknowledged as the patron saint of domestic animals, ever since the Middle Ages.  Locals believe the fire purifies their animals and protects them against illnesses, all year long.  So far as I know none of the horses we hurt during this festival.




Drinking wine during the purification festival


















 







BURIED TREASURE MERINGUES!

Recipe photo



   These incredibly light, crisp candies come with a secret: a chunk of dark chocolate or candied cherry, hidden beneath a snowy meringue peak. Or not; the more basic version has you simply plop the "treasure" atop the dollop of meringue before baking. Either way, these easy treats are perfect for Valentine's Day, when chocolate rules and red cherries are the perfect complement to the day's signature color.




DAIRY FREE, GLUTEN FREE
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield:20 to 24 meringues




ingredients



meringues

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

filling

tips from our bakers

  • This recipe is very easily doubled, if you're baking for a crowd; simply double all of the ingredients and use two baking sheets.



directions


1) Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment (first choice), or lightly grease it.
2) In a large bowl, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a dash of salt.
3) Beat until peaks form, then gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
4) Pipe a base of meringue onto the sheet, using a pastry bag and star tip; place a candied cherry, or a couple of chunks of chocolate, atop the base. Pipe meringue to cover the cherry or chocolate.
5) If you don't want to pipe meringues, simply drop by tablespoonfuls onto the sheet. A tablespoon cookie scoop works well here. Place cherry or chocolate in the center of each meringue; cover or leave exposed, your choice.
6) Bake the meringues in a preheated 200°F oven for 1 1/2 hours. Turn the oven off, and leave them in the turned-off oven until they're completely cool, 3 hours or more. This is a good cookie to make in the evening; they can be left in the oven (with the heat turned off) overnight.
Yield: approximately 20 to 24 meringues.