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Showing posts from December 2, 2015

HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS CRACKERS!

The childhood magic of anticipation comes rushing back with one of these treasures packs of promise! 

   Christmas crackers or bon-bons are an integral part of Christmas celebrations in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. They are also popular in Ireland. A cracker consists of a cardboard tube wrapped in a brightly decorated twist of paper, making it resemble an oversized sweet-wrapper. The cracker is pulled by two people, and, much in the manner of a wishbone, the cracker splits unevenly. The split is accompanied by a small bang or snapping sound produced by the effect of friction on a chemically impregnated card strip (similar to that used in a cap gun).
   Crackers are typically pulled at the Christmas dinner table or at parties. In one version of the cracker tradition, the person with the larger portion of cracker empties the contents from the tube and keeps them. In another each person will have their own cracke…

9 HOLIDAY CHARACTERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD!

Most American four-year-olds can tell you all about beloved Christmas characters like Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman. But in other countries, talking about Rudolph and his ilk might earn you little more than a blank stare. Here’s a look at some holiday characters who might not be familiar to Americans, but play a big role in celebrations around the world.




1. Zwarte Piet






   The Dutch equivalent of Santa, Sinterklaas, rolls into town via steamship from his home in Spain, and he’s always got Zwarte Piet (“Black Pete”) in tow. Although for years Black Pete was depicted as Santa’s slave, since the 1950s he’s been toned down a bit and is now thought of as Santa’s mischievous helper—a scamp who will also put naughty children in a bag and take them back to Spain. Despite being recast as Santa’s friend or devoted, albeit non-slave, servant, Black Pete still incites quite a bit of controversy, as many Dutch people feel that a subservient character in blackface and an afro wig is more than…