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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 2015

Friday, December 25, 2015

CHRISTMAS IN INDIA!!





    India is a secular nation and houses every community. Christians are a minority here and form nearly 2.3% of the population. But the fact that there are only about 25 million Christians in India, in no way lessens the observance of the festival. Moreover, the occassion is celebrated not only by Christians but by people of other religions as well.
    The tradition of Christmas observance was introduced here with the colonisation of Europeans. Though the country gained its independence in 1947, many European customs and festivals stayed on. The fact that there is the presence of a Christian community in India, helped the maintaining of these traditions in no less a way. Today, Christmas is the biggest and most-loved festival of Indian Christians. The festival is also enthusiastically celebrated by people of other religions residing here.










    Like in many other countries, Christmas is observed in India on 25th December. Everyone gears up for the festival from nearly a week before. Business stores are decked up for the occassion with every gift shop packed with Christmas treespresentsornaments and other items of decoration that are bought by millions of enthusiastic celebrants of the festival.
    For Indian Christians, especially the Catholics, the Midnight mass on Christmas Eve is a very important service and holds great religious significance. Every year, on the night of 24th December, all members in Christian families visit their local churches to attend the Midnight mass. On this night, churches in India are decorated with Poinsettia flowers and candles. The mass over, everyone relishes a mouthwatering feast of various delicacies, mostly consisting of curries. Thereupon, presents are given to one another and "Merry Christmas" is wished. India being a multicultural nation, many different languages are spoken here. In Hindi and Urdu, Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Bade Din ki Mubarak'; in Sanskrit it is 'Krismasasya shubhkaamnaa'; in Bengali 'Barodiner shubhechha janai'; and in Tamil it's 'Christhu Jayanthi Nalvaalthukal'.










    Nativity plays are staged in many schools(mainly the Christian ones) and churches on Christmas morning. The perfomances by young children depict the birth, life and actions of Jesus Christ and usually end with the singing of hymns and carols and the visit of a person dressed as Santa to distribute candies/toffees to kids. In the metros a smiling Santa Claus, entertaining children at departmental stores with toys and gifts, is not an uncommon sight. Caroling processions on streets and thoroughfares can also be seen on 24th night.
    A sizeable population of the Christian Community reside in Mumbai of the Indian state of Maharashtra and are mainly Roman Catholics. It is a delight to watch their homes during Christmas. Every Christian home creates a nativity scene, often display a manger in the front window. Giant star-shaped paper lanterns are hung between the houses so that the stars float above you as you walk down the road. There is a provision of sweets, mainly home-made, in every household to welcome visitors during the occassion. In Southern states, Christians often light small clay oil lamps and place these on the flat roofs of their homes to show that Jesus is the light of the world. In the North-western states of India, the tribal Christians of the Bhil folk take out caroling processions during the whole Christmas week and often visit neighbouring villages to tell the Christmas story to people through songs.











    In India, Father Christmas or Santa Claus is held to be the giver of presents to children from a horse and cart. As in the U.S., he is believed to deliver presents at the house of every kid who behaves well during the whole year. Santa Claus is known as 'Christmas Baba' in Hindi and 'Christmas Thaathaa' in Tamil.

THE WORLDS BEST CHRISTMAS MARKETS AROUND THE WORLD!











Christkindelmarkt, Leeds - a little piece of Germany in the heart of Leeds City Centre





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   Christkindelmarkt, Leeds is one of the most established German Christmas Markets in the UK, with traditional wooden stalls, festive greenery, Christmas carousel ride and twinkling colourful lights all creating a unique continental style festive atmosphere in the heart of Leeds city centre.
   Set in the stylish civic setting of the award winning Millennium SquareChristkindelmarkt attracts many hundred thousands of visitors to Leeds each year and forms an integral part of the city’s annual events program.









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   The market consists of over 40 wooden chalet stalls fromauthentic German traders providing a wide range of seasonal gift ideas for everyone including; handcrafted toys, jewellery, Christmas cards and festive decorations, speciality foods and traditional German delicacies such as gluhwein, bratwurst sausages, goulash, soups, schnitzels, stollen, gingerbread and candied fruits.
   The popular Frank-furter Scheune, Kuh Stall and the new Alp Chalet Bavarian eatery provide visitors with a warm and cosy retreat in which to sample the very best in authentic German food & drink, and the ideal way to celebrate the festive period with family and friends. For further details and information visit www.frankfurter-scheune.com

The market is open daily from:
 10.30am to 9.30pmMonday - Saturday and 10.30am to 7.30pm on Sundays







Southbank Centre Christmas Market at the London Eye






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Southbank Centre Christmas Market from 16 Nov – 24 Dec 2012
(11am – 10pm MO - FR / SA & SU 10am – 10pm)

    The Southbank Centre Christmas Marketbrings the real German Christmas feeling to Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival. From 16thNovember – 24th December 2012, Queen’s Walk along the Thames (London Eye to Waterloo Bridge) turns for the 5th time into a christmassy promenade for the young and the young at heart.








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    Experience a taste of what a traditional, beautifully lit, German style Christmas Market has to offer at the Southbank Centre Christmas Market in London! 80 authentically decorated wooden chalets will sell a wide range of unique hand-crafted gifts and unusual Christmas presents. Wooden and soft toys, unique jewellery, hand made soaps and many more Christmassy products are offered in a magical winter atmosphere. Sip a warming “Glühwein” (German Mulled Wine), enjoy a famous German Bratwurst or indulge yourself with roasted nuts, gingerbread hearts, and many other delicious treats. As well as shopping, the carousel within the Christmas Market and traditional Christmas music will
enthrall visitors, filling them with the Christmas spirit.
   As part of Southbank Centre Christmas Market, stretching all the way along the riverside, two wooden chalets are being designed just for children. Richard Woods is creating a fun and unusual design for the outside while we provide a craft workshop and pocket-money gift shop inside.






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1.30pm & 7pm daily Choir performance-
Voicelab invites you to a series of free performances at Southbank Centre’s Christmas Market. Soak up the festive atmosphere on your lunch break or after work with performances from local schools and office choirs performing all musical styles – the perfect accompaniment to a pre-show mulled wine!

 For additional information on the Southbank Centre Christmas Market, please visit:www.xmas-markets.com /www.facebook.com/XmasMarkets






Manchester Christmas Market





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All you need for Christmas in the heart of Manchester

17 November – 23 December 2012


   Don your Santa hat, dust off the mulled wine glass, and get into the festive spirit - it’s time to head down to Manchester’s world famous Christmas Markets.


   Attracting shoppers from all over the UK and beyond, the market has put Manchester city centre firmly on the Christmas map – the Christmas Market has become not just a fabulous place to shop but also a hugely popular leisure destination in its own right. No Mancunian winter is complete without a wander through the chalet-lined streets of the markets.







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   This year the market will be celebrating its 14th year and will take over eight different spaces around the city, each with it's own distinct character and atmosphere.
   The array of over 200 stalls is mind-boggling, with mouthwatering delicacies from all over Europe. The choice is getting bigger and bigger and includes gifts, crafts, jewellery, clothes, toys and an array of food and drink. Treat yourself to anything from Dutch mini pancakes, to Hungarian goulash to Spanish paella to French profiteroles. Relax with a hot chocolate, German or Spanish beer, or French wine. Soak up the atmosphere of a truly international event with a uniquely Mancunian flavour.







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   European and local producers offer everything from fine amber jewellery, handcrafted leather bags, and top quality bonsai trees, to Dutch cheeses, French breads, and Spanish chorizo. Perfect for alternative gift ideas.
   The Christmas markets first arrived in the city in 1998, when the council of Frankfurt hosted a small traditional German market of just 17 stalls in St Ann’s Square.
   And with all glasses and mugs returnable as part of an environmentally friendly deposit scheme, your Christmas markets are greener than ever.

All market sites (except Albert Square*)
Nov: 10am - 7.30pm (bars open until 9pm)
Dec: 10am - 8pm (bars open until 9pm)
Albert Square    10am - 9pm every day

For full information visit www.manchestermarkets.com






A Traditional Christmas Continental Market in Belfast






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   Belfast one of Europe's biggest tourist destinations will welcome back its wonderful Christmas Continental Market. The fabulous City Hall gardens are transformed into a bustling Continental  village providing a great shop around Europe opportunity in the heart of this famous City Centre. The Belfast Christmas Market also guarantees a real Irish welcome for all its visitors.

Location


   One of Belfast landmark buildings the famous City Hall with its beautiful gardens provide a wonderful backdrop for the Belfast Christmas Market, situated right in the heart of the City Centre and its wider retail shopping areas. The Market is situated directly alongside the central Bus link and taxi station so transport and travel are never far away.







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   Among the retail theatre taking place each day, visitors will be able to avail of the now infamous culinary delights including a range of products such as cheeses, olives, Italian nougat, Belgian chocolates, French tarts, (made on site by a fantastic Breton Patisserie) Mouthwatering foods will be available for customers to sample and buy as they wander around the Yuletide market - giant Bratwurst sold from a traditional Schwenkgrille, Spanish Paella, exotic and rare meats from around the World such as Alligator, Impala, Kangaroo and Wild Boar. For those who enjoy Crepes one of the best Creperies in Europe will be selling both the sweet crepes and savoury Galettes alternatively the Dutch equivalent the Pofitjes (or mini pancakes) will be served with a variety of toppings. And of course bringing a great splash of colour is the Dutch Bulb and Plant Garden selling a fabulous array of bulbs, trees, shrubs, garden ornaments and bird feeders.







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To warm you

   The market features some fantastic refreshment areas such as the Continental Bar and  Lavery's traditional Irish Bar where you can hear some great live music or wander around the German Gluwein and Bratwurst Stands enjoying a great glass of warming mulled wine.
   And if all that shopping, eating and drinking doesn't satisfy you, you can also take the family to visit to Santa (supporting the Northern ireland Children's Hospice) in his specially designed Grotto
   The Belfast  Christmas Market is completely adapted to assist the disabled to have comfortable and enjoyable experience. Mon - Wed 10am - 12noon we offer assisted tours of the market to groups who pre-book - to do so please email esther@typeabconsultancy.co

Some useful web sites


www.flickr.com/belfastcitycouncil, where there are photos of last year's market. 










Rochester Christmas Market






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Rochester Christmas Market
(Rochester Castle Gardens)

December 1st and 2nd and 6th through 9th.

   The Rochester Christmas Market will be taking place in the iconic setting of the castle gardens.
   Around 70 market stalls under canvas marquees will be offering visitors a wide variety of festive gifts, souvenirs and novelty stocking fillers.   During the market festive lighting, decorations, Christmas tree and traditional family fun fair will be complimented by a daily program of entertainment and music.
   So pop along to the Rochester Christmas Market this December to soak up some festive atmosphere and enjoy a hog roast, hot chocolate or roasted chestnuts as you browse the wide range of stalls for those last minute gifts and stocking fillers.







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• Wide selection of stalls
• Affordable presents
• Stocking fillers
• Santa's Grotto
• Face-painting
• Christmas family funfair
• Refreshments & Christmas faire


   The Christmas Market will be taking place during the Rochester Dickensian Christmas weekend on Saturday, 1 and Sunday 2 December.  It will then continue from Thursday, 6 to Sunday, 9 December, 11am to 6.15pm.   Visitors should note that High Street entertainment and the parades only take place during the Dickensian Christmas on the first weekend in December.




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   The Rochester Christmas Market at the castle makes a perfect day-trip out for turkey and tinsel tours. So, if you are touring Kent or passing Rochester en-route to London or the Channel Ports around the 6 to 9 December, then why not include this Christmas market in your itinerary?  It is advisable to let us know if you are intending to visit Rochester on these days, so that a parking space can be reserved for your coach at Acorn Wharf Coach Park.
A coach booking system is in place for the Rochester Dickensian Christmas weekend (1 and 2 December, 2012).  It is essential that coach groups visiting the Christmas market at the castle during the festival weekend pre-book their parking.   A coach booking form for this event can be downloaded from www.whatsonmedway.co.uk or by emailing mary.sewell@medway.gov.uk.







The South West's Premier Christmas Shopping Event





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   Just a short stroll from Bath Spa Station, in the centre of the city, you will find Bath Christmas Market - one of the largest festive events in the UK and certainly the most beautiful. 
   For 18 days, more than 130 quaint wooden stalls line the squares and streets surrounding the impressive Bath Abbey, selling everything you could possibly need for your festive celebrations.  Gift ideas abound, including clothing, accessories, crafts and toys as well as more unusual or one-off pieces of art and jewellery.  Stock up on festive foods with cheeses, pickles and meats galore, and sample wines, liqueurs and local cider to compliment your choices.  Treat yourself to luxurious chocolates and puddings – or why not put together a hamper as a wonderful gift?







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   Get well and truly into the Christmas spirit and enjoy the atmosphere of the market.  The enchanting sound of carols and the tantalising aroma of sumptuous food on the air add to the ambience of the market, creating a magical experience.  There is no need to rush – with the market open late most evenings, you can take your time and browse the stalls under twinkling lights, before perhaps retiring to a bar or restaurant.
   Ideally located in the heart of Bath’s main shopping area, with well-loved high street brands and designer boutiques all around, you can’t fail to find everything you are looking for.  Give yourself a treat this festive season and get your Christmas shopping ‘wrapped up’ in one magical day at Bath Christmas Market.






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SKIPTON YULETIDE FESTIVAL & CHRISTMAS MARKET 2012






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SUNDAY 2nd & SUNDAY 9th DECEMBER 2012

   The 'Gateway to the Dales' brings you Skipton's famous Yuletide Festival and market, which is now in its 18thyear. This hugely successful event, brought to you by Skipton Town Council and the Skipton Business Improvement District attracts tens of thousands of people from across the country on the first two Sundays of December.


   This year, the event takes place on Sunday 2nd and Sunday 9th of December.


   Skipton's famous Market will be in full festive flow on both days – running the full length of the High Street.


   Together with the market there will be a full range of entertainment in the Town Centre throughout the day, both in the main High Street Arena and at locations across the Town. The whole of Skipton truly has a real Christmassy feel...






Skipton High Street, BD23 1DT christmas market, Skipton High Street, BD23 1DT christmas markets, Skipton High Street, BD23 1DT xmas market, Skipton High Street, BD23 1DT xmas markets









   The Yuletide Festival is an ideal opportunity to sample a great atmosphere – and to bag yourself a pre-Christmas bargain at the same time. In fact, you could do ALL your Christmas shopping in one go at the fabulous range of independent shops, market stalls and famous high street brands. Skipton also has two department stores – and a fabulous range of places to eat and drink.

   Acts are still to be confirmed, but we hope to see the return of Bjorn the Polar Bear, the Tap Dancing Turkeys, talk of the town last year Musical Ruth and her piano as well as the hilarious Granny Turismo'shttp://www.grannyturismo.net/...plus along with these great acts we have our regulars - Skipton Brass Band, Barnoldswick Brass Band, Nelson Brass Band and Accrington Pipe Band adding to the festive occasion...















We also have two of Santa's REAL REINDEER in attendance on both Sundays of the Christmas Festival.


Each day of the Festival rounds off with a procession up the High Street to Holy Trinity Church (starting at 4pm) where a traditional Christmas carol service takes place in the grounds!


Full details available online at: www.skiptonevents.co.uk









Something for Everyone at Bury St Edmunds!









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   Between 23 November and 25 November, the historic centre of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk will be transformed into a wonderful Christmas market with colourful stalls selling local produce and crafts as well as traders from around the UK and mainland Europe, traditional fairground rides and on-stage entertainment.
   The Angel Hill area of Bury St Edmunds, with its recently crowned cathedral, medieval Abbey Gate and links with Charles Dickens is the ideal setting for a traditional Christmas Fayre. An added attraction is the town’s nearby cosmopolitan shopping centre with its great mix of famous name stores and independent shops plus cafés and restaurants galore. Visitors on Friday and Saturday will also be able to sample the delights of Bury St Edmunds provisions market on the Buttermarket and Cornhill while, this year, the date also coincides with the Cathedral’s Christmas Fair and the Medieval Fayre in Moyse’s Hall Museum. There will be street entertainment on all three days leading up into the town centre and more stalls in our new shopping centre 'arc' There really is something for everyone.






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   Bury St Edmunds has good value parking close to the town centre and a  park and ride service will operate. For groups and coach parties there will be coach drop off points close to Angel Hill on all three days. Coaches will be able to park all day for free, there will also be a free taxi service provided for drivers to take them into town and a £5 meal voucher for all pre-booked coaches.
   Details from Bury St Edmunds’s Tourist Information Centre on Tel: 01284 764 667 or click on the icon which take you directly to our website.  The market will be open 10am-7pm on Friday and Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday.







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Basel – The Christmas City at the heart of Europe






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   Basel, located in the three countries corner of Switzerland, France and Germany, is the centre of one of Europe’s most exciting Christmas regions. In November of each year, the cosmopolitan city on the Rhine surpasses itself in the scale and attractiveness of its preparations for the coming Advent period. Basel has a deep-rooted tradition as Switzerland’s most beautiful and largest Christmas city, and is well worth a visit every year. Particularly recommended is the Christmas market, which this year is being held not only on Barfüsserplatz, but also on Münsterplatz for the first time - one of the most beautiful squares in Basel. On both locations and in about 150 stands and wooden huts, traders and practitioners of art and crafts from all over Switzerland and the Basel region offer their goods and give a demonstration of their skills.







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   Not only the well-preserved Old Town is radiant in the warm Christmas light, but the shops and the facades of many buildings glitter with a golden glow. Roughly a hundred tall pine trees border the streets and stand like brightly lit sentinels pointing the way for the visitor. Seven reasons to visit Basel during Christmas time are as follows:
  • Illuminated Christmas streets with roughly a hundred tall pine trees
  • Great Christmas shopping possibilities
  • Top and specialised Christmas shops like the Johann Wanner Christmas House
  • Numerous Christmas concerts
  • Guided Christmas tours
  • Ideal starting point for a European Christmas adventure  .






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Contact Basel Tourism for Christmas packages:
www.basel.com/christmas











Traditional festive fun at A Victorian Festival of Christmas!








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   A Victorian Festival of Christmas, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

   Friday 30th November - Sunday 2nd December 2012




   Now, in its 13th year! This family favourite event set in the atmospheric dockyard surroundings, steeped in history, is the perfect way to start your festive season celebrations and preparations!







   Be magically transported into a Dickensian-style bygone era of beautiful snowy streets and experience a taste of days gone by with a magic lantern show, Victorian dancing and a host of colorful characters including chimney sweeps, suffragettes, wenches, Victorian gentry and Fagin with his gang of pickpockets.
   Browse for unique gifts and festive food at our Christmas Shopping markets, the largest on the South Coast.The young (and young at heart!) will delight in seeing the traditional Father Christmas (dressed in green).







   Tickets also include entrance to the Dockyard attractions: HMS Victory, National Museum of the Royal Navy, HMS Warrior 1860, Action Stations and a boat trip of Portsmouth Harbour (weather permitting).


Buy your tickets before end of October for a 10% discount!
Tickets (with 10% discount before end October): Adults: £13.50, Seniors: £12.60, Children: £11.70, Family: £40.50 (up to 5 people – max 2adults/seniors), under 7s are Free.
For further information and to buy tickets online visit the website: www.christmasfestival.co.uk.




CHRISTMAS SPIRITS AROUND THE WORLD INFOGRAPHIC!

   One of my favorite parts of christmas is experimenting with festive holiday cocktails. Christmas parties are always packed with the regular beer and wine, but having a signature cocktail is a little more impressive. This infographic takes you around the world for some the signature christmas cocktails. Everyone seems just delicious to me, but that may mean something about my lifestyle. I would definitely go with a Gingerbread Sacrifice in Paris, Candy Cane Eggnog in New England and a Santa’s Stiff Hot Chocolate up in the North Pole.
   These days, Pinterest allows us to find many delicious cocktail recipes at the drop of a hat. Each one is more original and unique than the rest. At a holiday party last week we tried out a holiday sangria, containing two bottles of wine, 5 cans of sprite, orange liquor (as much as you’d like, we put in a bunch), pomegranate seeds and lime slices. It was a huge, refreshing hit. Another christmas classic is a simple mulled wine, with two bottles of red wine, a juiced orange, cloves in the orange peel, cinnamon sticks and what ever spices you could imagine. Let that concoction sit for about an hour, mulling over heat on the stove, and you end up with a spiced drink that tastes just like christmas.
What are your favorite christmas cocktails?




SANTA'S CARBON FOOTPRINT INFOGRAPHIC!

   Santa knows whether you’ve been naughty or nice, but he doesn’t know how much he’s hurting the environment. In one night, Santa uses as much carbon as Qatar does in one year! I like getting toys for Christmas, but I don’t think I need them that badly!    Maybe we need to raise our standards on who makes the ‘nice’ list.
   Not sure what else to say about this infographic. Santa’s a carbon glutton and needs to be put away.  In this kind of economic recession we need to cut down on spending and we are wasting too much on Santa. Or maybe get him a hybrid sleigh?
   Well I guess this infographic is a good exercise for thinking critically about our energy usage. Although I’m not sure where they got the statistics. But now you know to limit the amount of wrapping paper you use to help offset Santa’s ridiculous carbon usage.  




Thursday, December 24, 2015

CHRISTMAS IN ETHIOPIA!!



Ethiopia (and especially the Ethiopian Orthodox Church) still use the old Julian calendar, so the celebrate Christmas on January 7th, not December 25th! The Christmas celebration in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is called Ganna. Most people go to Church on Christmas day.
Many people fast (don't eat anything) on their 'Christmas Eve' (6th). At dawn on the morning of Ganna, people get dressed in white. Most people wear a traditional garment called a shamma. It's a thin white cotton piece of cloth with brightly colored stripes across the ends. It's worn like a toga. If you live in a big town or city you might wear 'western' clothes. The early Ganna mass starts at 4am!




The Ethiopian capital city is Addis Ababa. It's a modern city. Most people who live outside big cities live in round house made of mud-plastered walls which have thatched cone-shaped roofs. Sometimes houses in the country are rectangular and made of stone.
The design of Ethiopian Church is similar to the houses. In the country, they are often very old and have been carved out of rock. In cities, modern churches are built in three circles, each within the others.
The choir sings from the outer circle. Everyone who goes to church for the Ganna celebrations is given a candle. The people walk around the church three times in a solemn procession, holding the candles. They then go to the second circle to stand during the service. The men and boys are separated from the women and girls. The center circle is the most important and holy place in the church and is where the priest serves the Holy Communion or mass.




It's also a tradition that one of the Wise Men who visited Jesus came from Ethiopia.
Around the time of Ganna, the men and boys play a game that is also called ganna. It's played with a curved stick and a round wooden ball, a bit like hockey.
Traditional Christmas foods in Ethiopia include wat which is a thick and spicy stew that contains meat, vegetables and sometimes eggs (sounds yummy!). Wat is eaten on a 'plate of injera' - a flat bread. Pieces of the injera are used as an edible spoon to scoop up the wat.
Twelve days after Ganna, on 19th January, Ethiopians start the three day celebration of Timkat. It celebrated the baptism of Jesus. Children walk to church services in a procession. They wear the crowns and robes of the church youth groups that they belong to. Adults wear the shamma. The priests wear red and white robes and carry embroidered fringed umbrellas.




Musical instruments are played during the Timkat procession. The sistrum is a percussion instrument with tinkling metal disks a bit like a vertical tambourine. A makamiya, a long T-shaped prayer stick is used to keep the rhythm and is also used by the priests and a stick to lean on during the long Timkat church service!
Ethiopian men also play a sport called yeferas guks. It's played on horseback and the men throw ceremonial lances at each other (sounds rather dangerous!).
People don't give and receive present during Ganna and Timkat. Sometimes children might be given a small gift of some clothes from their family members. It's more a time for going to church, eating lots and playing games!

SANTA HAT PLACECARD HOLDER AND SNOWMAN PLACECARDS!

This diy comes from www.bhg.com . Something to add to your holiday table so your guests know where they are being seated on Christmas dinner night. Enjoy!

Santa Hat Place Cards for Christmas




Craft these Santa hats to help guests find their places at the Christmas table.



What You'll Need:
  • Tracing paper or a copier; pencil
  • Square of stiff red glitter felt
  • Scrap of white fluffy, furry fabric
  • Fabrics glue
  • Hand-sewing needle; red sewing thread
  • Straight pins; scissors
  • 20-mm gold jingle bell


  1. Trace the pattern using tracing paper or a copier. Place the pattern on the red glitter felt, and cut out one shape for each holder.
  2. Cut 1-1/2x8-inch piece of white fabric. Fold long edges under 1/4 inch, and glue the to the back side of the fabric to make a strip 1x8 inches.
  3. Glue white trim in place on the front lower curved edge of the red felt. Match straight edges of the red felt; form into a cone.
  4. Pin the straight edges together and stitch with a tight whipstitch using matching red thread.
  5. Sew a large jingle bell firmly to the top point, using matching red thread. Slide a place card through the top bell slit.



Tiny Snowman Place Cards for the Christmas Table




Make these mini snowmen as place cards on the Christmas table for family and friends.





What You'll Need:


    How to Make It:
    1. Trace or copy the patterns. From card stock, cut out the snowman shapes you want.
    2. From the same pattern, cut out shapes to emphasize three-dimensional pieces, such as the scarf and hat. Stick dimensional dots under the shapes, and layer them on top of the base shape.
    3. For each snowman, draw on features and add a guest's name. Place an extra ornament clip into the ornament top. Insert the snowman into the clip holder, and set the ornament on a curtain-ring base.

DIY PEPPERMINT TOPIARY TREES!*

This comes from www.showtellshare.blogspot.com . These would look really great on your Chirstmas buffet and dessert table. Good luck!

Peppermint Topiary Trees









Some of my special childhood memories of Christmas center around holiday candy. Peppermint sticks and marshmallow Santas and those creamy bits of heaven called Lindt balls were stocking standards in our home. I would savor my stocking candy for weeks, trying to prolong the magical taste of Christmas. Santa always left Starlight mints for us among the cookie crumbs on his plate, and although I enjoyed them year round, those enchanted drops touched by The Man Himself always tasted special and different on Christmas morning.










Last holiday season my friend brought a peppermint-covered decoration to our girls' craft night. The sight of her ball brought back vivid memories of Christmas-morning delight and crispy-coolness melting in my mouth. I knew I had to make some peppermint topiaries for my home as well! With her permission, I'm sharing my interpretation of her idea. Thanks Tiffany!





Materials needed:


10" STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam sphere
6" STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam cube
Pot or container for the base
Peppermint candies, about 4 1/2 11-oz bags
Red duct tape
1" dowel
Decorative accents and ribbon as desired









I painted my dowel white, since I wanted a cute, whimsical look to match the red and white candy.

Cut the dowel to 24". Finding the exact center of the STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam cube, gently twist the dowel into the STYROFOAM™ at the center point until it is firmly embedded in the cube, approximately 4-5 inches deep. Secure the cube into the bottom of the container with hot glue.









To hide the white STYROFOAM™, I cut a piece of square cardstock to size and let it rest on top of the cube, cutting a hole in the center for the dowel. Before gluing the dowel into the cube, twist the other end of the dowel into the STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam sphere, about 5-6 inches deep. Pull the sphere back off the dowel.








Using small strips of colored duct tape, cover the surface of the sphere. Be careful to leave the hole for the dowel uncovered. Smooth down any rough edges or wrinkles in the tape, and then glue the sphere onto the dowel.









With a glue gun, begin at the top of the sphere and attach unwrapped peppermint candies to the tape. Of course, you'll have to suck on a few of the chipped mints as you work. Just remember that they won't taste as good now as they will on Christmas morning. After the entire sphere is covered, spray generously with a polyurethane spray to keep the candies from becoming sticky or melting. Down in these parts we've been known to have 80 degree temperatures at Christmas time. That just feels wrong somehow.

I added green tinted glass gems to the top of my cardstock to give some extra sparkle, and a big bow for accent.










Depending on the length of your dowel and the size of your sphere and container, these Peppermint Trees would make a cute centerpiece on a table, a festive arrangement at the base of the staircase, or a welcoming display near the entry. As for me, my trees will be right next to the fireplace, waiting to welcome The Man in Red on his Christmas Eve visit.