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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 07/14/16

Thursday, July 14, 2016

CHRISTMAS IN JULY!!






   Christmas in July is an event which is unofficially celebrated as a holiday by people. It is especially popular among the young people. A Christmas in July dinner usually includes Christmas Decorations Christmas Candles, colorful streamers, bonbons, Christmas hats and whistles.
   During the summer months in the northern hemisphere, the weather becomes increasingly warm and many people crave for the atmosphere of cooler temperatures, gift giving, and holiday spirit. To satisfy this craving, some people throw parties during the month of July that mimic the holiday of Christmas.

History of Christmas In July









    It's hot, you're sweaty and longing for some relief from the heat. Aren't you? And while thinking about winter, you're probably also dreaming of all those snowy nights of Christmas celebrations? Well well, you can't actually change the season now, but the closest you can get to doing so is reduce the time left for Christmas and celebrate it now, in July. That's what many are doing year after year. An unofficial holiday, Christmas in July imitates the festivities of the actual Christmas and signifies our yearning for the coolness of winter amid the scorching summer months. Do you have any idea when Christmas in July celebrations started popping up? No?









    Come July, and there is an air of festivity all over. Everywhere we find people making a mad rush to nearby stores, shops and malls to buy gift items, apparels and all other articles traditionally linked to festal occasions. Those out of the loop may wonder at the reason for this sudden shopping though such people are a rarity. It is hard to come by anyone who has not heard about or celebrated the much talked about occasion - "Christmas In July".






Even Santa needs a little amusement with his buds



 
But how did this festival originate?

   The precise beginnings of the Christmas in July tradition is not very clear, although it is commonly believed that it actually started in Europe, as a way to celebrate Christmas in summer. During the summer months in the northern hemisphere, the weather becomes increasingly warm and many people crave the coolness of winter. Amid the scorching summer months, people miss the gift giving, and holiday spirit of the Christmastime. Though it is not known when it started exactly, it is probably from the 80s that the festival began to be celebrated. The earliest Christmas celebrations in July saw people throwing parties that imitate the actual Christmas festivities in December. The celebrations also included other Christmas traditions like Santa Claus, ice cream and other cold foods, and gifts. It was held that celebrating in the warm season would ensure a strong, happy winter Christmas season.









    This untimely Christmas festival is also often ascribed to a group of Irish tourists who went for a vacation in Sydney's Blue Mountains in the summer months of July in 1980. Away from the summer temperatures in their country, they were overjoyed at the sight of snow there. It is believed that they convinced the proprietor of a local hotel in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales to hold a party called "Yulefest". The idea was an instant hit and caught on the imagination of everyone present there. The proprietor saw a golden opportunity in this and henceforth held a Christmas Party each year in July.




Keeping it real with some of his "little" peeps



    The local businessmen too jumped in to cash in on this unique festival and it continues to this day. Today, the tradition is so well entrenched in Australia that most restaurants, clubs and dining halls, have an official advertised annual catered menu for Christmas in July, and are often booked in advance. Most hotels, restaurants, bars, apparel stores, gift shops offer special discounts for the occasion. During this time, you can find the local gift shops brimming with figurines of Santa and Snowmen. Resorts have special events connected with their Christmas in July celebrations. The whole occasion has come to be utilized as amarketing gimmick as much elsewhere in Australia as in its snowfields where the month of July coincides with the high season in the Australian skiing resorts.










    But the market opportunity is, undoubtedly, the most plausible reason behind "Christmas in July" celebrations. it is commonly said that the occasion was dreamed up by retail merchants in the western countries who wanted to benefit from a holiday in July, which is otherwise a dull season for business and has few marketing opportunities. That makes a lot of sense, specially when we see how so many “holidays” are emerging these days ranging from Boss’ Day to Grandparent’s Day. Many people embrace these special days as they emerge which surely spells a fortune for retail merchants as well as greeting card companies.








    These days, Christmas in July seems to be mainly a time for retail sales. In the United States, like all other festivals, this event too has become highly commercialized. is more often used as a marketing tool than as an actual holiday celebrated by ordinary people. But these days, many American families have started celebrating Christmas in July. An unofficial holiday, the event is especially popular among the young people. Restaurants offer special discounts on this time. Many nightclubs host on this time Christmas parties open to the public. Drinks are guzzled and food items eaten up like crazy. Television stations show the recent blockbuster flicks on this occasion or re-run Christmas specials, and many stores throw special "Christmas in July" sales. Many however, choose to spend the time all by themselves or with their families.




Santa and his "Old Lady", on Holiday




    Some families love the concept of Christmas in July, especially if their family members are scattered across the states, because it is easier for them to have a get-together in July, which is a summer month and when the weather is favourable for a vacation, rather than in the freezing winter months when long distance journeys are really hard.
    And then there are others who does not celebrate during this time. They are reluctant to acknowledge the event in July are opposed to having such an occasion. They argue that this untimely celebration of Christmas makes a mockery of the actual festival that is held on December 25th and commemorates Lord Jesus Christ's birth.
However, the precise date of Christ’s birth is subject to a lot of date. No one really knows when the messiah was really born. Hence, celebrating Christmas in July shouldn’t be a huge issue so long as the holiday doesn’t lose its meaning.
    Despite it's rampant commercialization, Christmas in July remains primarily an occasion to remember the nothern hemisphere's snow blanketed Christmas nights. It is a fun way to satisfy the craving for cooler weather and holiday cheer that many people experience during the hottest month of the year.




 
 

    Christmas in July is an event which is unofficially celebrated as a holiday by people. It is especially popular among the young people. The event is greatly exploited as a marketing opportunity in the middle of the year to uplift the slack in the market situation. It is celebrated sometime during the month of July. There are many people who does not celebrate during this time and are reluctant to acknowledge the event in July. Even among those who mark this time, it is far less important than The Christmas in December. A Christmas in July dinner usually includes Christmas Decorations Christmas candles, colorful streamers, bonbons, Christmas hats and whistles.
During the summer months in the northern hemisphere, the weather becomes increasingly warm and many people crave for the atmosphere of cooler temperatures, gift giving, and holiday spirit. To satisfy this craving, some people throw parties during the month of July that mimic the holiday of Christmas.



Watch out for Seagulls!



Celebration of Christmas in July (the whole month)...

    Did you know that most people have a love hate relationship with Christmas? Read on to know more... They love giving presents but hate the crowds; Love the true meaning but hate the commercialism that seems to engulf it; Love the music, but hate having six weeks of it. They love the food but hate the weight gain. Is it not funny that, despite all of that, we still hope Christmas comes more than once a year?! And the best part is we have a way to do exactly that - Celebrate it in July and leave the rest behind.. Its not about asking you to give up the late December festivities but adding an extra zing to your holidays and celebrations in the Summer heat. So soak up the sun and celebrate Christmas in July. Surprise your friends, family or mates you really care for with a one night of bonus Christmas celebration in the middle of Summer. Drag out the artificial tree while your love is away for the day or weekend and decorate it. Go to a nursery and find a small potted evergreen to light up, if you get a real one. Bake a couple of your favorite holiday goodies. Put a few presents under the tree. Turn the air conditioner on high and light a crackling fire in the fireplace while listening to your favorite Christmas tunes. And Folks! Its Christmas in July. Ho! Ho! Ho!




Singing a little "Take Me Out To The Ballgame".



    Often nightclubs host parties open to the public. Although its sometimes attributed to an Irish group who enjoyed the winter snow in Sydney's Blue Mountains and decided to party, the precise beginnings of the Christmas in July tradition is not totally clear as it is taken as a simple idea that has been enjoyed by many who remember the northern hemisphere's snow blanketed Christmas nights and wants to just have a jolly good time associated with gift-giving and loads of holiday cheer. Features of Christmas in July include: Santa Claus, ice cream and other cold foods, and gifts.





HAUNTED CASTLES OF EUROPE!!!

  Ancient or just simply old castles are some of the most interesting man-made places on Earth. They are often grand structures that are rich in history, but sometimes their history is dark and violent. This causes some people to look at these great historical sites in a different light. You can almost guarantee that if a person has been tortured, killed, or died of old age in a castle, that someone will claim it is haunted.
    European castles have been the home to ruling monarchs, both bad and good. They have seen the hardship, pain, tragedy and triumph of mankind. They have also served as prisons and torture chambers and in some instances, even tombs.
    Many believe this is why castles are so closely associated with ghosts and haunting's. With so much agony being born within, it makes sense that some of that might permeate into the very structure itself.



Tower of London



    Perhaps no castle known to man holds the possibility of ghostly apparitions than that of the Tower of London. It was there that many of Henry VIII's wives awaited their execution along with the likes of Sir Thomas More. Many of England's most famous figures-Princes Elizabeth, Sir Thomas Beckett, Sir Walter Raleigh and Guy Fawkes-were imprisoned there.
    Prisoners were tortured relentlessly, beaten, stretched and nearly drowned. Others were eventually beheaded, drawn and quartered, hung or impaled.
The figure of Anne Boleyn is but one of the many tower inhabitants that supposedly resurfaces to make her presence known from time to time. But she is not alone. Others that suffered the king's wrath such as the Countess of Salisbury also linger re-enacting with precise accuracy the events that led up to their deaths.
    These ghostly apparitions have even been caught on film. In 2003, a photographer commissioned to do a photo shoot there, reported many different incidents. While some refused to believe him, he proved his claims with oddly blank pictures; pictures of apparitions and one of an eerie ball of light.



Windsor Castle



    Windsor Castle has been home to many rulers and still is. Three of these rulers may still be heard and see in the castle. The infamously cruel ruler, King Henry VIII can supposedly be heard walking about and groaning. How people know it is he by his footsteps and groans is anyone's guess. King Charles I was beheaded before his death. Apparently some ghosts are given back their heads after their death because Charles has been seen with his in the library and in the canon's house at Windsor Castle.



Glamis Castle


    Glamis Castle is supposedly haunted by two ghosts. One of these ghosts is that of the Second Lord of Glamis or the "Wicked Lord". He is said to have been a heavy drinker, a gambler and a violent guy. Legend has it that one night he was without a gambling opponent and so he sought to gamble with none other than the Devil. He supposedly got his wish and was predictably relieved of his soul. Makes you wonder why the Devil let his soul wander around a castle.
    The other ghost that haunts Glamis Castle is that of the wife of the Sixth Lord of Glamis. She was found guilty of witchcraft and conspiracy to kill the king and was subsequently executed in 1537. She probably wasn't really a witch.



Trifels Castle




    Germany's Trifels Castle causes many visitors to wonder if its most famous resident, Richard the Lionheart, left a piece of himself there during his imprisonment following the crusades. While there is no proof the castle is actually haunted, many people have reported discomfort or tenseness while inside the structure.


Eltz Castle




    Eltz Castle in Germany supposedly houses the ghosts of medieval knights. Some say that Mad Ludwig still haunts his German castles.


Ballygally Castle




    In Ballygally Castle, it is said that Lady Isobel Shaw remains behind to torment the structure's annual visitors.



Kinnitty Castle



    Kinnitty Castle in County Kildare is believed to carry the spirits of dead Druids who refuse to leave the only home they knew.



Leap Castle




    Leap Castle was home of the O'Carroll Clan, it was the battle for power among the patriarch's two sons that eventually led to the castle's outrageous history. One day, while mass was being said in the castle chapel, one of the brothers rushed in and slew the other while he worshipped at the altar. After that, the Bloody Chapel was born and became home to more than 400 years of tragedy.
    In the 1800's renovation of the castle uncovered something of which no one was previously aware. Hidden behind the altar of worship was a hidden room with a trap door. When construction workers opened the door they discovered it fell several feet to a bed of spikes.
    It seems that the O'Carrolls used the room to rid themselves of their enemies or anyone else who angered them. Most people died upon impact. Those who did not; however, eventually died of blood loss or starvation. Three carts of bones were removed from the room.



Charleville Castle




   Charleville Castle is located in Northern Ireland and it has been verified that paranormal activity has taken place in the early morning hours. It has been said that the ghost of the former owner haunts the grounds every night. In addition, the ghost of a little girl who fell to her death from a high staircase. The girl is said to be about 6 years old and walks the corridors crying and asking for help.



Ardgillan Castle




    Ardgillan Castle is located 20 miles north of Dublin on the coast between Balbriggan and Skerries. The castle was built in 1737 and Robert Taylor was the original owner. A woman dressed in white is said to haunt the library and maids quarters. The woman doesn't speak but seems to wander about as if she is looking for something.




Killua Castle




   Killua Castle Clonmellon is located in Northern Ireland. The castle is said to be haunted by Jacky Dalton, a land steward from the 18th century who swindled his master out of money, silver and gold coins. Dalton was eventually put to death for his crime of theft in the 18th century. It is believed that Dalton's restless spirit haunts the property. In addition, voices have been heard and doors appear to open and close by themselves.



Clonony Castle




    Clonony Castle is located on Shannon Harbor and was built i the 16th century. A man has been seen in a hazy light standing at the top of the tower dressed in peasant type clothing. Locals are not sure as to why a spirit seems to be making its presence known. No story really exists concerning any tragic events taking place at this location.



Edinburgh Castle



    Edinburgh Castle also fails to escape its bloody history. An unusual amount of violent deaths took place there over the centuries, leading some to believe the castle could never be free of its ghostly visitors. Others believe it goes back to the fact that the castle was built on top of a once active volcano that claimed the lives of thousands of people. Still others say it has to do with the plague known as the Black Death, which claimed untold lives.
    Rather than remove the bodies, new structures were simply built on top of them; a new city covering the old but unable to erase its horrendous past. Uncovered in the early 90's, the subterranean city is believed to be home of hundreds of apparitions who simply cannot rest.














COTSWOLD OLYMPICKS FROM DOVERS HILL, ENGLAND!

Image result for cotswold olimpicks 2016
 
 
 

  

    Dover’s Hill, above Chipping Campden and overlooking the Vale of Evesham, is a beautiful plateau commanding extensive views from the plains of the Avon and the Severn to the foothills of the Welsh mountains. Owned by the National Trust, it provides an ideal setting for open air games.
    Each year, on the traditional date of Friday after Spring Bank Holiday (the date for the Games this year will be held on Friday 3rd June 2011 on Dover's Hill starting at 7.30pm), the hill echoes with the shouts and cheers of competitors and spectators as Robert Dover’s Cotswold ‘Olimpick’ Games (not Olympic Games) are celebrated. Bands march, cannon fire, rustic activities and wrestling take place, and the evening is brought to a close with fireworks and a torchlight procession into Campden followed by dancing in the square.










World Championship Shin Kicking ... open to all comers.

400 Years of Olimpick Passion

Shin Kicking - Olimpick-style
    An Olympic Games held in London in 2012 will mark a unique anniversary - it will be exactly 400 years from the moment that the first stirrings of Britain's Olympic beginnings can be identified'. This statement was made by no other than the British Olympic Association in their successful bid for the games.








    They continued, 'In 1612 in the tiny village (we forgive them that) of Chipping Campden, Robert Dover opened the first 'Cotswold Olimpicks', an annual sporting fair that honoured the ancient Games of Greece. Those early 'Olimpick' competitors were as remote as you could imagine from the Olympic stars of today, and the 'sports' included singlestick, wrestling, jumping in sacks, dancing and even shin-kicking. But whatever the eccentric nature of the event, this was the pre-dawn of the Olympic Movement, and the Cotswold Games began the historical thread in Britain that was ultimately to lead to the creation of the modern Olympics.


Origins of Robert Dover's Games
    The James have a long history, possibly going back to the time when the hill was the site of the Kiftsgate Hundred Court.
    Their present form takes much from the records of the Games in the early seventeenth century. Prominent is the picture of the Games published in 1636 with a collection of poems entitled Annalia Dubrensia in praise of the Games by reputable poets of the period.









    The title page describes this as 'Olimpick'. The picture depicts Robert Dover presiding over his Games. On the summit of the hill a castle structure has guns firing to start events, and there are representations of the different activities - dancing, backswords, coursing, throwing the sledge hammer, spurning the barre, pike drill, tumbling and even shin-kicking.
    The poems by Michael Drayton, Ben Jonson, Thomas Randolph, and others describe the excitement of the contest, the good-humoured rivalry, and, above all, the sense of good honest sportmanship which Robert Dover engendered.









Robert Dover
    Robert Dover (1582-1652) came from Great Ellingham in Norfolk. After being educated at Cambridge and Gray's Inn, he came to Saintbury in 1611 and soon gave vitality to the Games which still bear his name.
The Games probably date from 1612. According to the historian Wood he was given permission from James I to hold them. In the 1636 portrayal he is shown wearing the clothes of James I. There is a general impression of a warm-hearted friendly man who believed in harmless activities.








Shin Kicking World Championship

    Shin-kicking has once again become a regular feature of Robert Dover's Olimpick Games, much to the delight of the spectators. Contestants hold each other by the shoulder and try to kick shins and bring opponents to the ground. A Stickler, the ancient name for our judge, makes sure that shins are hit before a fall can count. Our kickers wear the traditional white smocks associated with shepherds. They are allowed to protect their shins with straw.
    The Champion is the winner of the best of three challenges in the final bout, having kicked his way successfully through the early rounds.








    The sport dates back to the original Games. The 1636 picture shows shinkicking taking place, probably as the underplay of Cotswold Wrestling. The activity continued through to the 18th century.
    The poet William Somervile provided a lively account of Hobbinol of the Vale and Pastorel of the Wolds in 1740. In the early 19th century the activity was more brutal, with villages challenging each other, contestants hardening shins with coal hammers and wearing boots tipped with iron. Many a leg was broken! We still have pictures of Joe Chamberlain and Ben Hopkins shin-kicking to make the 1951 Festival Games memorable.








Some of The Other Events and Entertainment

    Expect to be welcomed to Dover's Hill by the sound of an old time Fairground Organ.
    The Campden Morrismen, one of the oldest groups in the country, will provide you with some lively dancing, in contrast to the stirring sound of the Coventry Corps of Drums and the lilt of the pipes from the St Andrew's Pipe Band of Cheltenham. Elsewhere on the upper slope you will find a Punch and Judy presentation, and may be able to gurn through a horse-collar.
    Providing an exhibition of backsword fighting which was a feature of the Games for three centuries will be some doughtly Londoners.
Not to be missed is the rousing conclusion to the Games, the lighting of the bonfire by the Scuttlebrook Queen, the fireworks that light the night sky, and then the sight of thousands of people in the torchlight procession wending their way from the hill down to the Square in Chipping Campden.




Stuffing socks before the shin kicking




The Scuttlebrook Wake

    The festivities in Campden do not end with the Friday night. There are Scuttlebrook children's races in the High Street early on the Friday evening. But the Scuttlebrook Wake, so named after the Cattlebrook or Scuttlebrook which used to flow through Leasbourne until it was covered over in 1831, is celebrated mainly on the Saturday afternoon with a procession of the Scuttlebrook Queen and the crowning of the new queen in the Square.









    There is a colourful display of imaginative fancy dress and decorated floats, children dance round the maypole. And after all this the Street Fair is declared open.