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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 04/07/15

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

EASTER CELEBRATIONS AROUND THE WORLD!





   Easter is a special event celebrated by Christians.  It is the celebration of the resurrection of  Christ.  Easter is celebrated in many countries all over the world, however not all traditions are the same.










America and Canada

   In America and Canada, Easter is pretty much celebrated the same.  Decorated eggs are hunted for or exchanged as well as other gifts they may include money and chocolates.  Easter baskets and bonnets are made and decorated, then entered into contests.
   The Easter bunny is very popular in both countries.  Stores line their shelves with stuffed bunnies to give as gifts as well as chocolate, decorations and gifts for the Easter holiday.











Germany

   In Germany, Eater is called Ostern.  Besides Christmas, Easter is the most important holiday in Germany.  Spring cleaning is done in the household, decorations are brought in and hung up.  Small Easter trees are brought int o the home as well and decorated with eggs.
   Parents hide Easter baskets with small presents, sweets and eggs.  Hand decorated eggs are exchanged among family and friends.  A great meal is had, where many people eat fish and light big Easter bonfires.











Mexico

   In Mexico, Easter is actually two big events combined, Semana Santa (Palm Sunday to Easter Saturday, or Holy Week) and Pascua (Resurrection Sunday until the following Saturday).
   Many Mexicans use these two weeks as a time for vacation, while other prefer to stay for the events.  Many communities stage the full Passion play including the Last Supper, the Betrayal, the Judgment, the Procession of the 12 Stations of the Cross, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.











Romania

   In Romania, Easter is the most important celebration.  Men and women each have their own tasks to complete.  The men mend fences, bring in water, take out the garbage and butcher the lambs.  Women clean the house, do laundry and decorate the eggs.  A few weeks before Eater, the young women and girls sew new shirts for the men, parents and children.
   A special Easter cake called "Pasca" is baked, the lamb is cooked and special decorated eggs are exchanged.  Lit candles are held during mass and only put out once the one holding it returned home.  It is said that if one sleeps on Easter day, they will be sleepy all year long.










Ireland

   In Ireland, a competition would be held to see who could eat the most duck eggs.  Dancers in beautiful outfits dance in the streets and compete for a cake prize.  Easter is a time of fasting and prayer.  At church on Easter Saturday, hundreds of little candles are lit off of the blessed Paschal candle.  Priests sprinkle holy water on each member of the household, then the house and cattle.
   Eggs that had been decorated and painted with faces are rolled down a hill.  A quiet traditional meal of lent soup and roasted Spring lamb is eaten on Easter Sunday.  On Easter Monday, many fairs are held and many use this day to go on a day trip.










Russia

   In Russia, Easter is celebrated on a different Sunday, than it is in the West.  In the West, the Gregorian calendar is used as well as in many places of the East, but the Julian calendar is still used and at present, is 13 days behind the Gregorian calender.  Normally Easter in the East, is one week later than the West, however this year is one of the few, rare times that they will fall on the same Sunday.
   Children dye eggs red, symbolizing the blood of Christ.  The eggs are cracked open using nails and the whites are exposed.  People are reminded of the death  of Christ and that the blood of Christ, cleanses them from sin.
   Worship at the church begins Saturday evening.  At midnight, the priests throw open the doors and shout out "Christ has risen"!  The congregation then comes to life shouting back, "He is risen indeed"!  After worship and Easter celebrations, the family Easter dinner takes place.  It is a huge picnic, where everyone in the congregation brings food to share.  Here everyone is reminded that all members of the body of Christ belong to one another.

HOMEMADE TREATS FOR MAN'S BEST FRIEND!

   This recipe and diy comes from www.comeonilene.com .  It's not always about us human beings we have to take care of our other family members and buddies in the dog world.



Ingredients
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 cup boiling beef broth
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg, beaten (or 2 eggs to make treats softer for older dogs)
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
Directions






Combine rolled oats, margarine/butter, and boiling beef broth in a large bowl. Let stand and soften for 10 minutes. Thoroughly stir in cornmeal, sugar, bouillon, milk, peanut butter, and egg. Mix in flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough comes together. Knead dough together so that it looks like this:
Roll out dough to 1/2″ thickness:




Cut out shapes with cookie cutter. I had a hard time finding a bone shape cutter and almost made my own cookie cutter but then I randomly saw this 4″bone cutter at AC Moore:






I cut some smaller shapes using mini cutters for smaller dogs:








Place on cookie sheet. They don’t spread apart so you can fit a lot on a sheet:



Bake 35 to 45 minutes at 325 degrees, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool:




All packaged up and ready to mail to my doggy friends all over!




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THE HISTORY OF THE EASTER BUNNY!!




    Children look forward to Spring and the arrival of the Easter bunny. Easter signifies the warm weather is coming, is the first big holiday since Christmas and who doesn't like jelly beans and chocolate bunnies? There are sever theories and legends around where the tradition of the Easter bunny began and how colored eggs became a part of it.
Once theory, according to Wikipedia, is that the Easter bunny or "Osterhause" as it is called in German, first originated in Western German cultures where it had traveled from the Upper Rhineland during the Holy Roman Empire. German children would leave their caps and bonnets out where the rabbit could find them and make a nest to leave brightly colored eggs. This tradition crossed the seas to the American colonies, where all children picked up the custom and started to observe it. The bright colored "Easter grass" we see in baskets today is a throw back to this custom.





    Since birds lay eggs in the Spring and rabbits give birth to large litters in the Spring, the egg became a symbol of Spring and fertility. Who better to deliver it than a new bunny? The coloring became symbolic of all the colors of Spring flowers. However, the Eastern Orthodox Church only dyes its eggs red to represent the blood shed by Christ as he was crucified.
    For those who celebrate Easter as a lunar holiday rather than a religious one, the origins go back to the fast that Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after Spring Equinox. Easter gets its name from the goddess of Spring, Eostre (pronounced Estra). She is the goddess of fertility and also was said to have always traveled with a companion, a white rabbit. Legend says she gave the rabbit the ability to lay brightly colored eggs once a year, in the Spring, and from this came our Easter eggs. This legend also appears in German folklore where they say she became angry with the rabbit and cast him into the heavens where he remains as the constellation Lepus the Hare, which is located at the feet of Orion.






    There are many legends relating the full moon, fertility and the rabbit. The Chinese believe that rabbits, like the moon, can change their sex. Often in Chinese symbols there will be a rabbit leaping across the face of the moon. This is a fertility symbol. Since Spring is the time of birth and fertility of the land, the moon and rabbits are associated with it.