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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 08/08/16

Monday, August 8, 2016

IKARI BRIDGE DIVING FROM BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA!








    Each July, tens of thousands of spectators line the banks adjacent to the Stari Most, the Old Bridge that crosses Bosnia-Herzegovina’s beautiful Neretva River in the city of Mostar. Undeterred by the Balkan sun, onlookers keep their eyes locked on the apex of the single-arch bridge where, one by one, divers enter the water in a spectacle of machismo and local tradition as they vie for title in the world’s longest-running high diving competition: the Ikari.
    As one of the oldest venues for extreme sporting events, the Stari Most has been the place to go for male rites of passage since it was first built back in 1566. Set in the Ottoman Empire’s regional capital, the Old Bridge connected the Neretva River’s two banks at its narrowest point, a strategic location that marked the centre of the city’s earliest development. The name Mostar comes from the “mostari,” or bridge-keepers who held watch over the structure from the Halebinovka Tower on the west bank, and the Tara on the east. In a city dotted by minarets and spires, and inhabited by Croat and Bosnian ethnic communities, Stari Most grew to symbolize the peace and unity of cosmopolitan Mostar—a physical structure that also bridged cultural divides.












    Much of the Old Bridge’s charm also lies in its tradition of bridge jumping. Crossing the Neretva gorge at a height of 21 metres, over twice that of a high board diving competition, the Stari Most has long offered men the chance to prove their pluck by diving from its highest point into the teal-blue waters below. In Mostar, so the saying goes, as soon as you learn how to walk, you learn how to dive. It’s a rite of passage that makes heroes of men, and many take their first leaps during the annual Ikari competition in which up to seventy-odd participants can choose to make their descents either feet or head first. It’s no surprise then, that many of the world’s high diving champions got their start at Stari Most. Zvezdan Grozdic, the international cliff-diver












who has proved his mettle on the elite World Cup circuit, took his first plummets in Mostar back in the late 1990s. Although Grozdic now jumps from staggering heights off cliffs worldwide, it’s not easy to out-jump local legend Emir Balic, an Ikari veteran who by the age of seventy (in 2004) had taken the plunge over 1,000 times—the first when he was the boyishly tender age of fifteen.
    For someone like Balic, and the countless others devastated by the Bosnian War (1992-1995), the intentional destruction of the Stari Most on 9 November 1993 by heavy shelling, embodied the worst of the civil war for most Bosnians. As the stones of Stari Most tumbled into the Neretva River, the country witnessed the decimation of a globally-recognized symbol of multiculturalism and unity.













With resounding condemnation of what has since been called a war crime, the international community coalesced to support the reconstruction of Stari Most; and on 23 July 2004, the Old Bridge reopened in a celebration of renewed peace and partnership. After a decade of rebuilding, the ceremony was perhaps most touching when nine Mostar divers leapt into the Neretva River with torches in hand.
    Returning after a 438-year-old run, the reinstitution of the Mostar Bridge Jump and Ikari is a sure sign that the Stari Most retains a strong significance for Mostar as a symbol of reconciliation and courage.













When to Go to Mostar Bridge Dive
    If your aim is to take in the Ikari bridge jump, plan on being in Mostar the last week of July. The exact dates change each year, but the local diving club, the Mostarski Ikari, announce the final dates ahead of time. A call to the Mostar tourism board or a visit to their website in the month previous will provide you with the specific dates and times.
Even if you can’t make it to Mostar in July, bridge jumpers continue to dive on a seasonal basis throughout the warmer months. Enjoy an ice cream atop the Old Bridge and wait for the divers to make their appearance. A good time to stake your dive-viewing location is usually in the afternoon to early evening.













    Now is a great time to visit Mostar. With reconstruction and the rebuilding of BiH’s infrastructure, tourists are returning to Mostar in greater numbers. Although Bosnia-Herzegovina is not mine-free, the country is not considered dangerous, and Mostar is safe for all travellers. Mostar’s Old Bridge area is also a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site as a symbol of solidarity and peaceful coexistence. Preserved in the Old Town are Mostar’s unique Turkish houses and the Old Bridge.







Odds n' Ends

    These days, the annual Ikari competition has reasserted its prominence as a tradition within Mostar. Presided over by the local diving club, Mostarski Ikari, Speedo-clad bridge jumpers continue to enthral onlookers with their feats of bravado. They jump, not only during July’s Ikari, but throughout the warmer months, entertaining tourists and residents alike. If you happen to be in Mostar, take a walk along the Old Bridge at Stari Most. You might luck out and catch a young boy take his first leap to manhood in Mostar’s Neretva River.

IL PALIO HORSE RACE FROM ITALY!








    "Piazza del Campo" is still used today for the well known Palio horse race which is one of the most famous popular Italian manifestations. It takes place every year on July 2 and August 16. The Palio is run to celebrate the miraculous apparition of the Virgin Mary near the old houses that belonged to Provenzano Salvani. The holy apparition was therefore called "Madonna di Provenzano" in whose honour the very first Palio was run on August 16, 1656. The Palio was run for the first time in 1701 in honour of the "Madonna dell'Assunta" the patroness and Advocate of Siena through all the tragic events since she protected the Sienese militia at the famous battle of Monteaperti on September 4, 1260, against the Florentines.
   The Palio is a historical secular tradition strictly connected with the origin of the Contradas of Siena (districts into which the town is divided). The Contradas are spectacular agonistic institutions each having their own government, oratory, coat of arms, appellations, sometimes titles of nobility, emblems and colours, official representatives, festivities, patron Saints, with protectors, delimited territories and population which consist of all those people who were born or live within the topographic limits of the district, according to the proclamation issued by Violante Beatrice of Bavaria on January 7, 1730, at that time, Governess of the town.












    Originally, there were about fifty-nine "Contrade"; now only seventeen remain, ten of which take part in the historical pageant and in the race at each Palio (seven by right and three drawn by lots).
    Here is a list of their names, emblems and colours grouped into "Terzi" or "Terzieri" (in olden times the town was divided into three sections called: "Terziere di Città", "Terziere di San Martino" and "Terziere di Camollia").













Terziere di Città
AQUILA (Eagle) a double-headed eagle with imperial symbols. Yellow with black and blue bands.
CHIOCCIOLA (Snail) a snail. Yellow and red with blue bands.
ONDA (Wave) a swimming dolphin wearing a crown. White and blue.
PANTERA (Panther) a rampant panther. Red and blue with white bands.
SELVA (Forest) a rhinoceros bearing a huge tree hung with hunting implements. Green and orange-yellow with white bands.
TARTUCA (Tortoise) a tortoise. Yellow and blue.
Terziere di San Martino
CIVETTA (Owl) an owl. Black and red with white bands.
LEOCORN0 (Unicorn) a unicorn. White and orange-yellow with blue bands.
NICCHIO (Shell) a seashell. Blue with yellow and red bands.
TORRE (Tower) an elephant with a tower on its back. Dark bordeaux red with white and blue bands.
VALDIMONTONE or simply MONTONE (Ram) a rampant ram. White and yellow with red bands.











Terziere di Camollia
BRUCO (Caterpillar)- a caterpillar. Yellow and green with blue bands.
DRAGO (Dragon)- a flying dragon. Red and green with yellow bands.
GIRAFFA (Giraffe)- a giraffe. White and red.
ISTRICE (Porcupine)- a porcupine. White, red, black and blue bands.
LUPA (She-Wolf)-the Roman She-Wolf suckling the twins. Black and white with orange-yellow bands.
OCA (Goose)- a crowned goose with the cross of Savoia round its neck. White and green with red bands.
    The "Contrade" first appeared in the middle of the 15th century to celebrate certain solemn events. They were represented by special wooden devices shaped like animals, such as, for instance, a giraffe, a dragon, a porcupine, a she-wolf, a caterpillar, a goose etc. - worked from inside by the youngsters of the districts they represented. They were called after the animals themselves.














    Very soon these associations began to organize shows of their own, such as: bull hunting (suppressed in 1590), buffalo races (only until 1650), donkey races and a game called "Giuoco delle Pugna".
    In ancient times (besides the usual horse-races which took place in many towns of Italy to celebrate certain particular religious and civil events) the Sienese played other kinds of games, such as: Mazzascudo (mace and shield) because the players bore maces and shields; the Giorgiani in honour of San Giorgio (battles with blunt weapons); Elmora detto dei cestarelli because the players wore certain funny baskets (cestarelli) on their heads; le Pugna (punching) abolished in 1324 because the players started throwing stones at one another, then weapons and sticks were used and a real battle ensued. To re-establish order the Bishop was compelled to descend into the square with a train of priests and monks. "La pallonata", a game played between the "Terzi" of the town. A huge ball was thrown from the top of the "Mangia" tower by the youngsters of one of the "Terzi" into the field of their opponents. This game was played on January 13, 1555 for Biagio di Montluc, the French Marshall.












    Of all these games only the Palio has survived. The preparations for this parade are slow and methodic like a liturgical procedure. Four days before the day of the Palio trials take place in the "Campo" square which is turned into a race track. A thick layer of earth is spread on the ground and a row of mattresses is placed against the walls at the dangerous corner of San Martino to protect the jokeys in case they fall.
    The whole square is amazingly fit for such manifestations because its shape is that of a mediaeval Roman amphitheatre closed at the base by the straight line of the Palazzo Pubblico. Besides being semi-circular this peculiar square is also funnel-shaped like the theatres of the imperial age. Eleven streets run into it, though it is extremely difficult to percieve them from the middle of the square. All around the track, perched up against














the walls of the houses, seats are arranged one behind and above the other like bleachers. Windows, balconies and loggias, too, are made ready for the visitors; 33,000 seats in all, but they are far from sufficient and are always sold out long before the day of the performance. In the centre of the square there is room for about 28,000 people to stand, but this is not enough either and the roofs, the turrets and the cornices of the old houses looking on to the square are also crowded. There are people everywhere, even in the most unlikely places.
    On both the appointed days every year the "Contrade" - that is to say all the Sienese population - compete for a prize which is but a hand painted silk banner (pallium). Each "Contrada" is represented by a group of young men called "Comparsa" arranged as follows: one drummer, two flag-bearers, with their flags, one "Duce", two grooms, one page carrying a flag with two pages at his sides carrying the emblems of the "Contrada", the race-horse called barbero with a jockey called "barbaresco", last the jokey who is to run the race on a parade horse called "soprallasso" followed by a groom.













    The historical parade is a lively display of rich medieval costumes which date back to the time period from 1430 to 1480; their colours are as bright as one may fancy. The procession goes winding its way round the "Campo" square in the following order: the flag-bearer of the Commune on horseback bearing the standard of Siena (the black and white Balzana) followed by his groom, a group of drummers, a group of trumpeters and musicians called "musici di Palazzo" playing the march composed for the Palio by Pietro Formichi in 1875 on their bugles, the Captains, the representatives of the "Podestà" (called podesterie), the flag-bearers with the standards of the "Terzieri" of the town and of the lands belonging to the Commune called "Masse", the flag-bearers of the Corporations of the Arts and Crafts, the captain of the peopIe (Capitano del popolo) on horseback and a group of flag-bearers with the flags of the old Sienese Republic.














    Next come the representatives of the "Contrade" called "comparse". The first ten are those which are to run in the palio horse race; they are followed by a row of young pages bearing festoons of laurel leaves and then by the seven "Contrade" that do not run (they have no "barbero" and no jockey).
    Next comes the captain of Justice (Capitano di Giustizia) riding a horse and then the representatives of the seven "Contrade" that no longer exist: Cock, Lion, Beam, Oak, Sword, Viper. Last comes the triumphal chariot (carroccio) drawn by huge oxen. In the chariot are seated the four "Provveditori di Biccherna" (administrative authority who in times of yore used to superintend public representations, along with the oriflamme of the Commune, the Palio to be awarded to the victor, and a group of trumpeters.












    When this magnificent pageant has slowly gone round the square, all the representatives go to sit on a platform raised just for the purpose beneath the windows of the "Palazzo Pubblico". When they have all been seated ther, they look like a strange army after some brilliant victory, or a train of heroes or of poets ready to enter Paradise. As soon as everything is quiet, the flag-bearers from all of the "Contrade" perform together with their flags in what is most commonally known as "gioco delle bandiere". They throw them high up into the air and catch them again before they touch the ground; it is a splendid, most decorative display of colours accompanied by the beating of drums, the sound of bugles and trumpets and the chimes of the big bell on top of the "Mangia" tower; the little bell on the chariot, known in Siena as "Martinella", is also very busy ringing.












    All of this is but a prelude, a time of anxiety and expectation. When at last the horses appear and the race starts, the crowd becomes delirious. The jockeys goad their horses round the square three times and the people shout as if the town were about to fall.
    The spirit of Siena is in the very colours of her "Contrade" and in all the manifestations connected with each of them. First of all, the benediction of the horses and jockeys, each in the church of their own "Contrada", early in the afternoon just before the Palio. It is this spirit that animates the whole manifestation and contributes such enthusiasm and pathos to the scene.









This traditional popular manifestation lasts four days (from June 29 to July 2 and from August 13 to 16) and finishes in the streets of the victorious "Contrada" where the people celebrate the happy event in a most joyous way. Winner pays all.
Whoever happens to be in Siena during these exciting days can, but join in the enthusiasm of the people for the Palio and, of course, the final victory. Visitors, in fact, often go roaming through the winding streets of the ancient town sympathizing with the "Contrada" in which they are living; they do their best to understand the alliances and rivalries between the contradas and temporarily become fervent "contradaioli" (as the inhabitants of each Contrada are called) having much at heart the health of the race horse and of the jockey.

AUGUST FOOD HOLIDAYS TO WET YOUR APPETITE!!







August is the hottest month in the U.S., that means some really hot and happening food holidays too.












National Sandwich Month

We all love them so now lets learn about them. The term sandwich is occasionally used (informally) in reference to open-faced sandwiches; these normally consist of a single slice of bread topped with meat, salad vegetables, and various condiments. These differ from a normal sandwich in that they have a single slice of bread instead of two, with toppings instead of a filling. The open-faced sandwich also has a .....











National Peach Month

Are you ready to add some peaches to your menu this month? A medium peach (75 grams), has about 30 calories, seven grams of carbohydrates (six grams of sugar and one gram of fibre), one gram of protein, 140 miligrams of potassium, and 8% of the Dietary Reference Intake for vitamin C.












National Catfish Month

Catfish is eaten in a variety of ways; in Europe it is often cooked in similar ways to carp, but in the United States it is typically crumbed with cornmeal and fried. In Indonesia catfish are usually served grilled in street stalls called warung and eaten with vegetables. Catfish is high in Vitamin D. Farm-raised catfish contains low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and a much higher proportion of omega-6 fatty acids.













Goat Cheese Month
Goat cheese has been made for thousands of years, and was probably one of the earliest made dairy products. Goat milk is often used by those who are young, are ill, or have a low tolerance to cows' milk. Goat milk is more similar to human milk than that of the cow, although there is large variation among breeds in both animals.


Eat Dessert first month

In Western culture dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal, usually consisting of sweet food. But during the month of August dessert lovers everywhere are given the go ahead to eat our desserts first and not feel bad about doing it. That's right August celebrates the sweet tooth.











National Watermelon Month









National Brownies At Brunch Month












National Water Quality Month

Movable Days
National Mustard Day is the first Saturday.
National Apple Week Is The Second week.


Daily Observances











August 1 - National Raspberry Cream Pie Day

August 2 - National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

August 3 - National Watermelon Day

August 4- National Chocolate Chip Day

August 4- National Champagne Day

August 5-









August 6- National Root Beer Float Day

August 7- National Raspberries & Cream Day

August 8- National Frozen Custard Day

August 9 - National Rice Pudding Day











August 10- National S'Mores Day

August 11- National Raspberry Bombe Day

August 12- National Toasted Almond Bar Day

August 13- National Filet Mignon Day

August 14- National Creamsicle Day










August 15- National Lemon Meringue Pie Day

August 16- National Rum Day

August 17- National Vanilla Custard Day

August 17- Cup Cake Day

August 18- National Ice Cream Pie Day

August 19- National Soft Ice Cream Day










August 20- National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day

August 20- National Lemonade Day

August 21- National Spumoni Day

August 22- National Pecan Torte Day

August 23- National Spongecake Day

August 24- National Waffle Day

August 24- National Peach Pie Day










August 25- National Banana Split Day

August 25- National Waffle Day

August 26- National Cherry Popsicle Day

August 27- National Pots du Creme Day

August 28- National Cherry Turnover Day

August 29- National Whisky Sour Day

August 29- More Herbs Less Salt day (Eat Healthy Day!)

August 29- National Lemon Juice Day










August 30- National Marshmallow Toasting Day

August 31- National Trail Mix Day




August 31- Eat outside day

AUGUST HOLIDAYS TO KEEP YOU COOL!!





Image result for AUGUST






This month has some funny, exciting, and wacky holidays to celebrate all month long. In fact, there is at least one holiday to observe each day during the month of August (with the exception of the 2nd). Here are some suggestions for celebrating each day in August.




August 1: World Wide Web Day - Celebrate this holiday by spending your day exploring the World Wide Web.

August 2: Make Your Own Holiday - This one's obvious...

August 3: Watermelon Day - Try different recipes using watermelon. Eat watermelon at every meal. Don't just eat it - drink it!

August 4: National Chocolate Chip Day - You can't go wrong with chocolate chips. If you don't have time to bake cookies, they aren't bad alone!













August 5: International Beer Day - This should be a fun day for some of you.

August 6: National Fresh Breath (Halitosis) Day - Offer everyone you meet a stick of gum.

August 7: Lighthouse Day - I'm not really sure how one can celebrate Lighthouse Day.

August 8: Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day - Do that.

August 9: Veep Day - All I know is it has something to do with the Presidency...






August 10: S'mores Day - Is your mouth watering yet?

August 11: President's Joke Day (2010) - Crack a Presidential joke (in private if it may be offensive!).

August 12: Sewing Machine Day - Buy a sewing machine and learn how to use it. Use your newfound talent to make yourself a new wardrobe.

August 13: International Left Hander's Day - Honor all left handers by doing everything with your left hand today. Lefties, switch it up by using your right.

August 14: National Garage Sale Day - Hit all the local sales bright and early (before all the good stuff is gone).









August 15: National Relaxation Day - Hey, I knew you'd like this one!

August 16: Joe Miller's Joke Day - Crack some jokes.

August 17: Meaning of "Is" Day - What does "is" mean to you?

August 18: Bad Poetry Day - Hey, not all poetry has to be good. Write your very worst poem today.

August 19: "Black Cow" Root Beer Float Day - Not any old root beer float will do; it has to be "Black Cow".












August 20: Virtual World's Day - All reality aside, get lost in the virtual world for the day.

August 21: National Homeless Animals Day (2010) - There are tens of thousands of homeless animals in the world. What can you do to help?

August 22: Be an Angel Day - Or at least pretend.

August 23: Day for the Remembrance of Slave Trade and Its Abolition - Ahem--I said its abolition, not its existence.

August 24: National Waffle Day - Frozen waffles count.












August 25: Kiss and Make Up Day - In a tiff? Kiss and make up (at least for the day).

August 26: National Dog Day - What can you do on National Dog Day? Give your dog a bone.

August 27: Global Forgiveness Day - Have no worries. Forgive the globe....

August 28: Race Your Mouse around the Icons Day - Oh, boy! This one sounds like fun. And I can't forget; today is also 'Crackers over the Keyboard Day'.

August 29: National Sarcoidosis Day - Don't even ask what sarcoidosis is....












August 30: National Toasted Marshmallow Day - No, they can't be raw. You have to eat them toasted.

August 31: Love Litigating Lawyers Day - You gotta love 'em. You gotta.