I just wanted to take a moment to wish you all a happy star wars day 🙂
May the 4th be with you all, and as always, happy reading!
I know for most of you, Easter is probably at the top of your ‘most awesome holidays ever’ list. For those of us, however, who aren’t exactly big fans of chocolate, the holiday holds a different kind of significance. So just like with St. Patrick’s Day, I am going to tell you all a little tale of what the Easter weekend used to mean to people, before the baskets of chocolate and packets of peeps.
Once Upon A Time, before bunnies laid chocolate eggs and children scavenged through their households to find them, there was an event which changed the lives of Christians forever: the resurrection of Jesus Christ, their Lord and Savior.
This monumental occasion was celebrated in a grand manner, long before the notion of ‘Easter’ reached their ears. It was not until they came across the pagan tribes and observed their celebratory rituals for the coming of Spring, did the Christians first become aware that an Easter celebration existed.
As is their tradition, the Christians made it their mission to convert those tribes to their beliefs, while still allowing them to celebrate in their desired manner. In other words, the celebration did not change, but from that time on it was recognized as a Christian Holiday. Prior to this celebration, the Christians themselves took part in a great celebratory feast known as Mardi Gras, where they would feast until they could fesat no more, and celebrate until they were completely and utterly spent.
Once that day passed, they would spend over a month fasting and repenting during a 40 day period known as Lent. During this time, they are able to experience at least some of what Jesus Christ did when he fasted in the wilderness for 40 days and refused all temptations that came his way.
Finally, we come to the 4 days which make up what we recognize to be the Easter weekend, starting with Good Friday. This day is meant to commemorate the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the day where he gave up his life for the sins of the people. This theme is at the heart of the Easter celebration, symbolized by the egg which hatches to give birth to a new life, and the arrival of Spring as a time of renewal.
And thus ends the tale of Easter as it was, and begins the new tale of Easter as it is; a time for chocolate bunnies and a boom in the number of parents purchasing little baby chicks as pets for their children.
This is only one version of Easter’s history. Just like most historical celebrations, it is difficult to say how much of it is actually true, and how much was simply deduced based on limited evidence and the conclusions drawn from it. It is, indeed, a religious celebration, and there are still some who celebrate it by attending church services. For the most part, though, it has become largely a commercial holiday, just like Christmas or Halloween. I must confess that I enjoy being able to treat my self to a delicious pack of peeps whenever Easter rolls around.
That’s all for today. If you have any Easter stories you would like to share, either about the history of Easter or how you celebrate it in your hometown, feel free to share them in the comments. Until next time, have a Happy Easter, and as always, happy reading!
In celebration of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to do a little bit of research to understand why the streets will be full of green hats and overflowing bear mugs this Sunday. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of my laborious research ^_^
1. Where did it come from?
Right off the bat, most of you would probably assume that St. Patrick’s Day is a purely Irish celebration, but the you would already be wrong. The man behind this holiday was not Irish, but was in fact a British man from a Christian family, born in 390 A.D. Surprised? Well, when you consider that most of the holidays we celebrate are bent more towards the commercial and economic aspect and farther away from their historical roots, it’s not a mystery that most people are unaware of this fact. But I digress …
2. How did it come about?
According to the National Geographic, Patrick was taken away to be a slave when he was only 16 years old, and it was that experience which made him into a very devoted Christian.
Somehow, he managed to escape and make it back to Britain, but something (or possibly someone) convinced him to return to Ireland, where he became a Bishop. With his new position, he tried to spread the word of Christianity throughout Ireland. As you can imagine, he met a fair bit of resistance and animosity, and he went all but completely forgotten when he died in 461.
3. How did he go from Bishop to Saint?
Like most legends, the story of Patrick is largely shrouded by myths and speculations. His birth place isn’t even known for certain. Most claim that he was born in Britain, but others speculate that it may have been Scotland. Either way, he was not originally from Ireland, which is what makes this holiday so fascinating; why would they celebrate the life of someone who was not even native to their country? Just goes to show that it is our actions which speak the loudest.
4. Why do we drink more on this day than others?
Drinking copious amounts of alcohol is a common celebration for any holiday, but St. Patrick’s day is the worst for it. Apparently, over 13 million pints of Guinness Beer are consumed around the world on this one day!
For a person who doesn’t drink, that seems like a heck of a lot of booze. This is, for the most part, a result of ‘culture sharing’. Ireland is well known for their delectable beverages, and it was only a matter of time before they would be brought over to the US and made into a common celebratory custom.
5. Why so much green?
Green, as you all know, is the symbolic color of Ireland. There was one time, back in the 1960’s, where they actually managed to die the entire length of the Chicago River green!
It definitely takes a lot of dedication to pull something like that off. The color green is most commonly associated with the Catholic community of Ireland, while wearing orange was associated with the Protestant community and will earn you a pinch if you wear that color on St. Patrick’s day. Reveals a bit of the animosity that existed, and still exists between the two, which is kind of funny since both colors are depicted on their flag as a sign of their unity.
There is a great deal more history behind this day, of course, but this should give you the general idea. So while you’re out at the pub, throwing shamrocks in your beer and singing Irish drinking songs, keep in mind that you are taking part in a celebration which carries with it a greater history than most realize. Just another reason why reading is so important ^_^
That’s all for today. Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day weekend without going too crazy, and as always, happy reading!
It has been a long time since I actually looked forward to the arrival of this candy giving, flower clipping, paper heart cutting holiday. When I was little, and I got to put on my little red dress and go to school with a bag full of valentine’s day cards, I was so giddy with joy. It was all about having fun! It’s just not like that anymore. If you ask me, this holiday stresses too many people out. Why should there only be a single day designated to expressing how much we love or care about someone? It should be a daily endeavor, and not necessarily laden with gifts from the store.
I will confess, though, that I could not have been more excited this year about the arrival of this day, because …. well, let’s just say my mind is not filled with evil thoughts every time I see a couple walk by ^_^
Now it’s time to move on to my favourite topic: Word of the Week!
Today’s word is….
Definition: Conveying feelings of warmth, passion and fierce affection
Synonyms: fieriness, emotion, keenness, joy, passion, warmth, spirit.
Word Origin: This word appears to have originated from the 14th century, and is derived from the adjective ‘ardent’, which usually referred to alcoholic beverages known as ‘spirits’ and the burning sensation that comes from consuming them. Now, it is most commonly used in the figurative sense, such as passionate emotions.
If you’re thinking about writing a poem for that special someone, this would be a pretty good word to pop in there ^_^
That’s all for today. I hope everyone, single or not, is able to enjoy themselves today, and as always, happy reading!
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