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Showing posts from January 9, 2013


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…


New Year's Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. This is a list of the ten most popular New Year resolutions.

10. Reorganize Life
   On just about every New Year resolution top ten list, organization can be a very reasonable goal. Whether you want yourhome organized enough that you can invite someone over on a whim, or your office organized enough that you can find the stapler when you need it, these tips and resources should get you started on the way to a more organized life.

9. Be More Charitable
   A popular, non-selfish New Year’s resolution, volunteerism can take many forms. Whether you choose to spend time helping out at your local library, mentoring a child, or buildingahouse, there are many nonprofit volunteer organizations that could really use your help.

8. Learn Something New
   Have you vow…


Honey and chopped macadamia nuts add a fresh twist to classic holiday fudge.

Honey and Macadamia Nut Fudge

1 1/2cupsgranulated sugar 1cuppacked brown sugar 1/3cuphalf-and-half or light cream 1/3cupmilk 2tablespoonshoney 2tablespoonsbutter


Christmas Eve in a candlelit cemetery

    At Christmastime many Finns visit cemeteries to place candles by the graves of relatives, or by monuments such as this one in memory of war veterans. Visiting the local cemetery is very much a part of many Finnish families’ Christmas rituals. Hey, it’s not as morbid as it might sound.     Although going to a graveyard might seem an unlikely activity for the festive season, the sight of hundreds of graveside candles glowing in the snow in a serene wooded cemetery can be surprisingly uplifting.
   Placing candles on the graves of deceased relatives at Christmastime is a deep-rooted tradition followed by non-churchgoers and members of the Orthodox faith, as well as believers from the majority Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. “As many as three-quarters of Finnish families visit a cemetery at Christmas, mostly on Christmas Eve, and we even have to make special traffic arrangements to accommodate the crowds,” says Risto Lehto, who manages si…