Archive

Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

The History of Christmas

December 25, 2007 1 comment

Christmas is an annual holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus. It refers both to the day celebrating the birth; as well as to the season which that day inaugurates, and which concludes with the Feast of the Epiphany. The date of the celebration is traditional, and is not considered to be his actual date of birth. Christmas festivities often combine the commemoration of Jesus’ birth with various cultural customs, many of which have been influenced by earlier winter festivals. Although nominally a Christian holiday, it is also observed as a cultural holiday by many non-Christians.

In most places around the world, Christmas Day is celebrated on December 25. Christmas Eve is the preceding day, December 24. In the United Kingdom and many countries of the Commonwealth, Boxing Day is the following day, December 26. In Catholic countries, Saint Stephen’s Day or the Feast of St. Stephen is December 26. The Armenian Apostolic Church observes Christmas on January 6. Eastern Orthodox Churches that still use the Julian Calendar celebrate Christmas on the Julian version of 25 December, which is January 7 on the more widely used Gregorian calendar, because the two calendars are now 13 days apart.

The word Christmas originated as a contraction of “Christ’s mass”. It is derived from the Middle English Christemasse and Old English Cristes mæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038, compounded from Old English derivatives of the Greek christos and the Latin missa.[1] In early Greek versions of the New Testament, the letter Χ (chi), is the first letter of Christ. Since the mid-16th century Χ, or the similar Roman letter X, was used as an abbreviation for Christ.[2] Hence, Xmas is often used as an abbreviation for Christmas.

After the conversion of Anglo-Saxon Britain in the very early 7th century, Christmas was referred to as geol,[1] the name of the pre-Christian solstice festival from which the current English word ‘Yule’ is derived.[3]

The prominence of Christmas Day increased gradually after Charlemagne was crowned on Christmas Day in 800. Around the 12th century, the remnants of the former Saturnalian traditions of the Romans were transferred to the Twelve Days of Christmas (25 December – 5 January). Christmas during the Middle Ages was a public festival, incorporating ivy, holly, and other evergreens, as well as gift-giving.

Modern traditions have come to include the display of Nativity scenes, Holly and Christmas trees, the exchange of gifts and cards, and the arrival of Father Christmas or Santa Claus on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. Popular Christmas themes include the promotion of goodwill and peace.

Read more stories of Christmas History on Wikipedia site. It’s pretty long to read. Enjoy it.

Categories: Holiday

Santa Claus speaks with Deaf Child through VRS!

December 21, 2007 11 comments

By Bug

Watch this video and see a Deaf girl asking Santa Claus to call her. Did Mr Claus call her through VRS? Yes!

So is there a Santa Claus?

Well, we live in a world where the idea of someone rewarding good behavior in this life, rather than the next (or at the door to the Disneyland) sounds darn nice, and particularly for children, is a good reminder of the rewards of thrift, virtue, compassion and honesty. And those are sorely missing attributes in our modern world, if you ask me.

So yes, I think that there is a Santa Claus.

I’ll certainly make sure we leave a plate of cookies and glass of milk out on Christmas Eve. How about you?

Enjoy the video.

The History of Thanksgiving Day

November 22, 2007 3 comments

Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a traditional North American holiday to give thanks at the conclusion of the harvest season. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada.

The earliest Thanksgiving events were held in the British Colonies, at present day Berkeley Plantation in Virginia in 1619 and at Plymouth in present day Massachusetts in 1621.

In November, 2007, President George W. Bush will give a Thanksgiving address at Berkeley Plantation in Charles City County, Virginia.

In the United States, Thanksgiving is a four day weekend which usually marks a pause in school and college calendars. Many workers (78% in 2007) are given both Thanksgiving and the day after as paid holidays.

Thanksgiving meals are traditionally family events where certain kinds of food are served. First and foremost, turkey is the featured item in most Thanksgiving feasts (so much so that Thanksgiving is sometimes facetiously referred to as “Turkey Day”). Stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn, turnips, rolls, pecan pie, and pumpkin pie are commonly associated with Thanksgiving dinner. Often guests bring food items or help with cooking in the kitchen as part of a communal meal.

In keeping with the holiday theme of giving thanks, during the socializing or meal, people talk about what they are thankful for or tell about experiences during the past year which have caused them to feel grateful.

The Thanksgiving holiday was established as a national day of giving thanks and praise to God. The religious heritage of Thanksgiving continues in the tradition of saying grace at the beginning of the Thanksgiving holiday dinner.

The Thanksgiving season is also a time of generosity. People contribute food to annual Thanksgiving food drives and donate to charities.

You can check the rest of the story on Wikipedia website.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!

The FB Editors

Categories: Holiday

The History of Veterans Day

November 11, 2007 1 comment

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as Armistice Day to remind Americans of the tragedies of war. The fighting in World War I had ended a year earlier, at 11 A.M., November 11, 1918 (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month).

Two years later on Armistice Day, an unknown American World War I soldier was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., in the Tomb of the Unknowns. Thousands of people came to watch the elaborate ceremonies that took place. Similar ceremonies had taken place the previous year in England and France: an unknown English soldier was buried in Westminster Abbey in London, and an unknown French soldier was buried at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

In 1926, Congress passed a resolution calling for the observance of Armistice Day in schools, churches, and other suitable places. Twelve years later the day was designated as a national holiday. In 1939, a year after Armistice Day became a national holiday, World War II broke out in Europe. The start of this war ended the idealistic hopes that World War I was “the war to end all wars.” Over four hundred thousand American troops died in World War II.

After the Korean War (1950–1953), during which over 36,000 Americans died, Congress considered making Armistice Day a day to commemorate veterans of all wars, not only those who served in World War I. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming the holiday a remembrance of all wars and changing its name to Veterans Day.

A law passed in 1968 moved the Veterans Day celebration to the fourth Monday in October. However, the original date, November 11, was historically significant to many Americans, and ten years later the observation of Veterans Day returned to its original date.

Categories: Holiday

The History of Columbus Day

October 8, 2007 6 comments

Christopher Columbus

Today is Columbus Day. I am writing to give you the fact history of Christopher Columbus Day.

Today we take for granted that the world is round. In the fifteenth century, however, most people believed the world was flat. They thought that monsters or a trip over the edge of the earth waited for anybody who sailed outside the limits of known territory. People laughed at or jailed others who dared think that the world was in the shape of a globe.

There were educated persons, however, who reasoned that the world must be round. An Italian named Christopher Columbus was bold enough to push this notion, and ask for money to explore the seas, and find what he thought would be the other hemisphere of the earth. Portugal, Italy and England refused to support such a venture.

At that time, spice merchants were looking for an easier route to Asia. They traveled south past Africa, around the Cape of Good Hope, and continued eastward. Christopher Columbus convinced Queen Isabella of Spain that it would be easier to sail directly west and find the rich treasures of India and Asia. A new route would be found, he said, and possible new lands for Spain.

Columbus first asked Queen Isabella for help in 1486, but it was years before she agreed… provided that he conquer some of the islands and mainland for Spain. Columbus would also be given the title of “Admiral of All the Ocean Seas,” and receive one-tenth of the riches that came from any of his discoveries.

Finally, on August 3, 1492, he and ninety men set sail on the flagship Santa Maria. Two other ships, the Nina and the Pinta, came with him. They sailed west. Two long months went by. His men became tired and sick, and threatened to turn the ships back. Columbus encouraged them, certain that they would find the spice trail to the East. On October 11th, ten o’clock at night, Columbus saw a light. The Pinta kept sailing, and reported that the light was, in fact, land. The next morning at dawn they landed.

Christopher Columbus and his crew had expected to see people native to India, or be taken to see the great leader Khan. They called the first people they saw “Indians.” They had gone ashore in their best clothes, knelt and praised God for arriving safely. From the “Indians” they learned that the island was called Guanahani. Columbus christened it San Salvador and claimed it immediately for Spain. When they landed on the island that is now Cuba, they thought they were in Japan. After three subsequent voyages, Columbus was still unenlightened. He died a rich and famous man, but he never knew that he discovered lands that few people had imagined were there.

Columbus had stopped at what are now the Caribbean Islands, either Watling Island, Grand Turk Island, or Samana Cay. In 1926, Watling Island was renamed San Salvador and acknowledged as the first land in the New World. Recently, however, some people have begun to dispute the claim. Three men from Miami, Florida have started a movement to recognize Conception Island as the one that Columbus and his men first sighted and landed on. The controversy has not yet been resolve.

Few celebrations marked the discovery until hundreds of years later. The continent was not even named after Columbus, but an Italian explorer named Amerigo Vespucci. In 1792, a ceremony was held in New York honoring Columbus, and a monument was dedicated to him. Soon after that, the city of Washington was officially named the District of Columbia and became the capital of the United States. In 1892, a statue of Columbus was raised at the beginning of Columbus Avenue in New York City. At the Columbian Exposition held in Chicago that year, replicas of Columbus’s three ships were displayed.

Americans might not have a Columbus Day if Christopher Columbus had not been born in Italy. Out of pride for their native son, the Italian population of New York City organized the first celebration of the discovery of America on October 12, 1866. The next year, more Italian Organizations in other cities held banquets, parades and dances on that date. In 1869, when Italians of San Francisco celebrated October 12, they called it Columbus Day.

In 1905, Colorado became the first state to observe a Columbus Day. Over the next few decades other states followed. In 1937, then- President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed every October 12 as Columbus Day. Since 1971, it has been celebrated on the second Monday in October.

Although it is generally accepted that Christopher Columbus was the first European to have discovered the New World of the Americas, there is still some controversy over this claim. Some researchers and proponents of other explorers attribute the first sightings to the early Scandinavian Vikings or the voyages of Irish missionaries which predate the Columbus visit in 1492. The controversy may never be fully resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, but 1992 marked the 500th anniversary of the Columbus discovery.

It is always on Second Monday in October. For decades and decades, American history books and school teaching told us that Christopher Columbus discovered America. What those books and teachings did not give credit to was the fact that Native Americans were already here first and truly discovered America. It also gave little mention to the fact that Nordic explorers had travelled down the eastern cost of Canada thousands of years earlier. Today, we celebrate Columbus day for what it accurately is. Columbus did discover the existence of the New World for Europeans who until then, believed the world was flat and ended somewhere in the Atlantic. And, the focus is more upon discovery of the “New World”, and less upon Columbus himself. Did You Know? Columbus day is sometimes referred to as “Discoverer’s Day”. Some key facts (in case you forgot them since grade school):

  • Columbus Discovered America in 1492. He originally set sail on August 3, 1492, but had trouble with the ships, stopping at the Canary Islands for a month. The ships left the Canary Islands on September 3, 1492.
  • He travelled with three ships: The Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.
  • While Columbus was an Italian, he could not find funding in Italy, so he turned to the King of Spain. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella provided the funding.
  • He did not land on the U.S. mainland. He landed on an island in the Caribbean. While many believe he landed on San Salvador, there is still debate on which island he originally landed on.
Categories: Holiday
%d bloggers like this: