Daily Stuff 12-27-21 Coffee-houses

Hi, folks!

The shop opens at 1pm, weather permitting. Winter hours are Thurs-Mon. 1-6pm. Holiday hours Closing on 12/31 at 4pm. Closed 1/1. Featured photo by Ken Gagne.

 [posting at 7pm] Rain gauge at noon on 12/25 – 0.3, on 12/26 – 1.7] Overcast and 38F, with snow showers due to arrive around 10pm, wind at 3-11mph and gusting into the 30’s, AQI 29-48, UV0. Chance of rain 61% today and 82% tonight. WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY until 4pm. Snow showers until just before dawn, starting up again in the evening, possible sun breaks in the afternoon, temps 37/32. Just rain on Tuesday, 44/32. Dry on Wed 39/29. Showers Thurs. Dry Fri. then showers for the rest of the forecast with temps coming back to more normal.

Friday evening I spent quite awhile putting foods together, but just as I went to start baking I found that the oven had gone out again, so I went to bed and got up when Tempus came in (at 7am!) and set to at that point. I made the tea bread, baked the mince pies and set up the chicken parmigiana, among other things, and then crawled into bed with Tempus at 11am while that baked, for a nap. When we got up at 12:30 Sash was on his way. We rattled around getting things ready and were most of the way done when he arrived.

We had a good time, talking first, then opening the goodies, then eating until we were stuffed. We ended up with meatballs in a Norse berry sauce, peas in a bag, chicken parmigiana on a bed of onions, leeks and greens (mostly re-grown veg tops) and carrots in butter sauce. Sweets were individual mince pies in puff pastry, cupcakes, halvah, orange tea bread and fudge for sweets. Too much for 3 people, but we have food for the week, plus treats! We should see him again, just after his birthday.

Sash headed out not long after 3pm. The road conditions were making him nervous (us, too! He hasn’t been driving for all that long!) He took leftovers so he’ll eat well for a few days. Tempus and I did some cleaning up and sat and talked, and then I crawled into bed. Eventually he did, too, but of us getting up around 1. It turned out he had done a bunch of dishes after I went to sleep.

After he headed out on the paper route, I read for awhile, then crawled back into bed because it was pretty cold in the house. I read and slept and slept and read until he got in at 11am with some rather harrowing tales of the road conditions. He got all his papers delivered, but the next route north couldn’t. We’re not even sure that he’ll manage to deliver on Monday….

On the way into the shop I was watching various sea birds huddled up on protected places and the patchy snow. I was exclaiming over the Eckman outflow population, which looked like a preschool teacher supervising a playground. A heron was standing on a hummock watching various groups of mallards, oldsquaw and another, plainer brown ducks, some just huddling, some feet in the air and dabbling hard.

…when Tempus said something rather excitedly and I looked forward just time time to see a seagull bouncing between two cars in front of us. We got hit, too, and we found later that he took out the highbeam on that side of the car. …He was off on the side of the road, flapping, so he might have been ok.

We were very early, but got the shop open, anyway and Tempus made coffee. I finally got him to go curl up and sleep and he just got up a bit after 6pm. We had a couple of shoppers in and one fellow that I had talked to on the phone while stopped by to introduce himself while his food was in process over at the China Restaurant. I mostly was writing for the House Capuchin blog. It looks the feast is going to be virtual this year. <sigh>

I have a bit of embroidery/sewing that I want to work on tonight, plus some writing, if Tempus can get me a computer to work on. I have a lot of stuff that’s been hanging fire on various blogs, plus some transcription work.

Today we’ll be open at 1, as long as the roads are no worse. I’m going to hang the “closed due to weather” sign on the door, and we’ll take it down if we can come in and open. I have more writing and a bunch of plants to work on.

Photo from 12/18/16 by Ken Gagne of an evening sky with kites

oenothera evening primrose

Today’s Plant is Evening primroseOenothera species, sometimes called Sundrop or Suncup in Oregon. The young roots can be eaten like a peppery-flavored vegetable and the shoots can be used in salad. It can be used in poultices for wound-healing and to ease bruises. (Sun…it’s drying) Clinical trials don’t support the traditional uses for treatment of PMS (particularly bloating and water retention) or cervical ripening in pregnancy, but one of the varieties has promise as a treatment for breast cancer. – Masculine, Sun, Fire – This herb is often called the King’s Cure-all, used by a ruler to cure scrofula. It has powers of healing, particularly for drying “wet” wounds or injuries. It can be used in sleep sachets, and for spells to cure (or cause) alcoholism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evening_primrose

Today is the anniversary of the Flushing Remonstrance, which is a precursor to the United States Constitution’s provision on freedom of religion in the Bill of Rights, along with the Maryland Toleration Act. It was sent to the Dutch governor of New Netherland asking to stop the persecution of Quakers in their worship in 1657. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flushing_Remonstrance

800px-Original_Starbucks

1675 – Charles II tried to suppress the coffee-houses, since people gathered there to discuss a lot of politics and such. His Proclamation of Suppression was laughed away in just 12 days. More here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_house#Coffee_in_Europe

The shop opens at 1pm! Winter hours are 11am-6pm Thursday through Monday, Holiday hours 12/24 until 8pm. Closing on 12/31 at 4pm. Closed 12/25 and 1/1. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at ancientlight@peak.org If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light, or call the shop.

Love & Light,
Anja

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Today’s Astro & Calendar

Waning Moon Magick – From the Full Moon to the New is a time for study, meditation, and magic designed to banish harmful energies and habits, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity. Remember: what goes up must come down. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 1/17/22? Waning Crescent Moon Best time for beginning introspective magicks that are more long term (full year cycle) A good time for beginning knot magicks to “bind up” addictions and illness (finish just before the Tide Change of Dark to New) and “tying up loose ends” God/dess aspects – Demeter weeping for her Daughter, Mabon, Arachne Tyr. Phase ends on 12/29 at 1:33am.

Sunday, 12/26

Mars and its ancient rival – Mars passes north of 1st-magnitude Antares this week, offering a perfect opportunity to compare the two objects’ colors. In this 2016 scene, Mars is the brilliant object at right, Antares lies to its lower left (the two are nearly equally bright now), and Saturn resides to the star’s upper left. – John Chumack

Mars passes 5° due north of Antares at 1 P.M. EST. Although daylight will hide them at that time, you can catch them again early this morning, about 10° above the horizon 30 minutes before sunrise.

 

Reappearing act – At 8:24 P.M. EST on the 26th, Europa is poised to emerge from Jupiter’s large, dark shadow. Callisto, meanwhile, is closing in and will begin transiting the disk at 8:53 P.M. EST.

Meanwhile, evening observers should zero in on Jupiter after sunset, where the Galilean moons are putting on a show. As darkness falls, you’ll see just three of the four moons: Callisto closest to the planet’s eastern limb, with Io and then Ganymede farther east. But keep an eye on things over the next few hours: By 8:24 P.M. EST, Europa is just poised to emerge from Jupiter’s long, dark shadow. It will reappear roughly 26″ from the eastern limb — farther from the limb than Callisto now sits. That’s because the planet’s shadow stretches far out behind it, while Callisto is approaching from the front. It will begin transiting the disk at 8:53 P.M. EST and should be visible as a bright spot against the cloud tops alongside the Great Red Spot, also rotating across the visible face of the planet at the same time. Jupiter will set around 9 P.M. local time with Callisto still crossing its 36″-wide disk.

Last Quarter Moon – A Last Quarter Moon rises behind a blooming iris on the Tibetan plateau some 14,750 feet (4,500 meters) above sea level. The photographer captured this scene near Yamdrok Lake on June 9, 2015. – Jeff Dai

Last Quarter Moon also occurs tonight, with our satellite reaching this phase at 9:24 P.M. EST Last-quarter Moon (exactly so at 9:24 p.m. EST). The Moon rises around midnight tonight, in Virgo. By early dawn Monday morning it shines high in the south, with Spica to its lower left and Arcturus much farther to its upper left.

Twinkle, twinkle red giant star – Betelgeuse is the red giant shoulder of Orion the Hunter. It’s also a known variable star. – Astronomy: Richard Talcott and Roen Kelly

This is the time of year when Orion shines in the east-southeast after dinnertime. He’s well up now, but his three-star Belt is still nearly vertical. The Belt points up toward Aldebaran and the Pleiades even higher. In the other direction, it points down to where bright Sirius will rise around 7 or 8 p.m. to twinkle furiously.

Mercury is coming up from the sunset to pass Venus. On the 24th look for Mercury 9° below Venus; by the 28th it’s passing 4° to Venus’s lower left; and on the 31st you’ll find it 7° to Venus’s left or upper left. All week, Mercury remains a bold magnitude –0.7.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 27

M79 with Orion and Lepus

The constellation figure of Orion has only a tiny, pea-brained head: 4th-magnitude Lambda Orionis and its two fainter little companions, Phi1 and Phi2. Binoculars show them well. Did you know they’re part of a sparse, loose open cluster named Collinder 69? Good binoculars under a dark sky may show a dozen of its members thinly scattered over an area 1° or more across. Astronomers have identified about 100 in all. See Matt Wedel’s “Head of the Hunter,” his Binocular Highlight column in the January Sky & Telescope, page 43.

Globular clusters like NGC 2419, visible in this image taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, are not only beautiful, but also fascinating. They are spherical groups of stars which orbit the centre of a galaxy; in the case of NGC 2419, that galaxy is the Milky Way. NGC 2419 can be found around 300 000 light-years from the Solar System, in the constellation Lynx (the Lynx). The stars populating globular clusters are very similar to one another, with similar properties such as metallicity. The similarity of these stellar doppelgängers is due to their formation early in the history of the galaxy. As the stars in a globular cluster all formed at around the same time, they tend to display reasonably homogeneous properties. It was believed that this similarity also extended to the stellar helium content; that is, it was thought that all stars in a globular cluster would contain comparable amounts of helium. However, Hubble’s observations of NGC 2419 have shown that this is not always the case. This surprising globular cluster turns out to be made up of two separate populations of red giant stars, one of which is unusually helium-rich. Other elements within the different stars in NGC 2419 vary too — nitrogen in particular. On top of this, these helium-rich stars were found to be predominantly in the centre of the globular cluster, and to be rotating. These observations have raised questions about the formation of globular clusters; did these two drastically different groups of stars form together? Or did this globular cluster come into being by a different route entirely?

The constellation Lynx is climbing above the horizon at sunset tonight. Wait a few hours and then take advantage of the moonless sky before midnight to catch a glimpse of NGC 2419, the Intergalactic Wanderer. This globular cluster earned is strange name thanks to its distance — some 300,000 light-years away. That’s nearly twice the distance to the Milky Way’s largest satellite galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. Initially, astronomers weren’t sure this cluster orbited the Milky Way at all, but have since discovered that it does. Nonetheless, that vast distance is the reason NGC 2419 appears so faint (roughly magnitude 9, so opt for a 4-inch scope or larger), as it is physically quite large and intrinsically bright. To find this compact cluster, it’s actually easier to use a guidepost in nearby Gemini: The bright star Castor sits 7° due south of the Intergalactic Wanderer. While you’re in the area, perhaps take some time to enjoy Castor itself, whose bright (2nd and 3rd magnitude, respectively) A and B components are just a few arcseconds apart. Castor C lies 1.2′ to their south — see if you can also spot this 9th-magnitude star. Each of these three stars is a binary, bringing the total number of stars in this system to six.

Venus, magnitude –4.5, rapidly sinks toward the west-southwest horizon day by day, on its way to conjunction with the Sun January 8th. Venus sets around the end of twilight on Christmas and during late twilight by New Year’s. In a telescope Venus is a dramatically thin crescent, thinning more each day. Get your scope on it as early as you can, even in the blue daytime before sunset. This week we see its crescent enlarge from 55 to 60 arcseconds tall while thinning from 8% to only 2% lit!

Runic half-month of Jera/ Jara 12/13-12/27 – Jara signifies the completion of natural cycles, such as fruition, and has a more transcendent meaning of mystic marriage of Earth and Cosmos. *Ø* Wilson’s Almanac free daily ezine | Book of Days | December 13 Runic half-month of Eihwaz/Eoh 12/28-1/11 Represents the dead, and the yew tree, sacred to Winter shamanism. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books,

NIGHT SKY MAP FOR DECEMBER 2021https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-december-rotation-stars

Sun in Capricorn

Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Celtic tree month of Ruis (Elder) (Nov 25 – Dec 22)
Uranus (1/18/22) Retrograde
Color – Ivory
©2021 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright

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Celtic Tree Month of Beth/Birch, Dec 24 – Jan 20, Beith – (BEH), birch – The silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) is the most common tree birch in much of Europe. It grows up to 30 m (100 feet) high, but is more often found in spreading clumps on sandy soils. It is one of the first trees to colonize an area after a mature forest is cut; this is probably a large part of its symbolic connection with new beginnings. It is cultivated in North America, often under the name of weeping birch. The three trees in my front yard form root sprouts that would take over the bed where they are planted if I didn’t cut them back. The common birch (B. pubescens Ehrh.) is almost as widespread as the silver birch, but grows primarily on acid or peaty soils. It can reach 20 m (65 feet) in height. Birches are members of the Birch family (Betulaceae). Curtis Clark

Beth – Birch – Ogam letter correspondences –
Month: November
Color: White
Class: Peasant
Letter: B
Meaning: New Beginnings; Changes; Purification.

Phagos – Beech Ogam letter correspondences to study this month
Month: None
Color: Orange-brown
Class: Chieftain
Letter: PH, IO
Meaning: New experiences and information coming

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Tides for Alsea Bay
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Day        High      Tide  Height   Sunrise    Moon  Time      % Moon
~            /Low      Time     Feet   Sunset                                    Visible
Su  26     High   5:45 AM     7.1   7:52 AM     Set 12:20 PM      64
~    26      Low 11:50 AM     3.1   4:43 PM
~    26     High   5:10 PM     6.1
~    26      Low 11:41 PM     1.3

M   27     High   6:29 AM     7.4   7:52 AM    Rise 12:31 AM      53
~    27      Low   1:01 PM     2.5   4:44 PM     Set 12:41 PM
~    27     High   6:33 PM     5.7

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Affirmation/Thought for the Day – When You are at the end of Your rope tie a big knot and hang on!

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Journal Prompt – I wish… – I wish there really was….. If there really was, then…..

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Quotes

~   A man who tries to carry a cat home by its tail will learn a lesson that can be learned in no other way. – Mark Twain
~   If you want to know what the word of “God” is, sit down and listen. – Kerr Cuhulain
~   The Total Perspective Vortex derives its picture of the whole Universe on the principle of extrapolated matter analyses.To explain — since every piece of matter in the Universe is in some way affected by every other piece of matter in the Universe, it is in theory possible to extrapolate the whole of creation — every sun, every planet, their orbits, their composition and their economic and social history from, say, one small piece of fairy cake. The man who invented the Total Perspective Vortex did so basically in order to annoy his wife. – Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
~   I do not want to hear any mealy-mouthed talk from the Member for Benelong. – Paul Keating on John Howard

There comes the sound of childish feet
And childish laughter loud and sweet,
And little hands stretch eager palms
To beg the firelight’s golden alms. – James Berry Bensel (1856–86)

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New Year’s Magick – Lore

Our esteemed moderator has all the info on such traditions! So I’m passing this on in the knowledge that my source is not necessarily the best. – Nora (from a long-defunct forum on Delta….

New Year Traditions around the world

How it all started:

The day celebrated as New Year in the modern world was not always on January 1st.

The holiday for the celebration of the New Year is among the oldest of all holidays in the world. It was first observed in ancient Babylon*, about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 B.C, the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon (actually the first visible crescent) after the vernal equinox or the first day of spring since it is the season of rebirth, of planting new crops and of blossoming. Even today, most communities celebrates two new years, one that of English, the other pertaining to their own.

The Romans continued to observe the new year in late March, but various emperors continually tampered with their calendar so that the calendar soon became out of synchronization with the sun.

In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 B.C, declared January 1 to be the beginning of the New Year. But tampering continued until Julius Caesar, in 46 B.C , established the Julian calendar. It again established Jan 1 as the New Year. But in order to synchronies the calendar with sun, Caesar had to let the previous year drag on for 445 days!!!

Although in the first centuries of A.D the Romans continued celebrating the New Year, the early Catholic Church condemned as paganism. But as Christianity became more widespread the early Church began having it’s own religious observances concurrently with many of the pagan celebrations, and New Years’ Day was no different. New Year’s Day is still observed as the Feast of Christ’s Circumcision by some denomination.

During the middle ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New year.January 1 has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400 years or so.

Traditions like making of New Year’s Resolutions also date back to the early Babylonians. Popular modern resolutions might include the promise to lose weight or quit smoking but the most popular resolution in early Babylonia was to return borrowed farm equipment!

In most countries that follow the Gregorian calendar, New Year’s Day is a public holiday (countries like the US, UK, and Canada).  Israel and India are an exception. In New York City the world famous Waterford crystal ball located high above Times Square is lowered starting at 11:59:00 PM and reaches the bottom of its lower t the stroke of midnight(12:00:00 AM) on January 1.  Other Ball Drops take place in Copacabana Beach in Rio De Janeiro and Sydney Harbour and at the Vienna New Year Concert,in Austria. This day is also the occasion of making bonfires of discarded Christmas trees in some countries.

In Scotland, there are many special customs associated with the New Year. The Scottish name for the New Year celebration is Hogmanay. In the US the New Year is associated with the image of an old Father Time with a sash leaving proclaiming the Old Year as an infant enters with a New Year sash.

New Years Eve is a separate observance from New year’s Day. In 20th century Western practice, the celebration involves partying until the wee hours of the morning drinking champagne and making merry with loved ones. New Year’s Eve is a public non working holiday in US, UK, Australia, Spain, Hong Kong, Argentina, Germany, Philippines and Venezuela. Sydney is a crowd puller in New Year’s Eve celebration of over 1.2 million people! Over 80.000 fireworks are traditionally set off from the Sydney Harbour Bridge and four other firing points covering 6 km along Sydney Harbour. The event attracts an average of 30,000 international tourists each year.

In Hong Kong people usually gather in Central, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui harbour front and to count down the New Year at spots like the Times Square and Ocean Terminal.

The Big Ben in London is the key to the New Year Celebrations there.

Around 100,000 spectators gather around Hogmanay Street party in Edinburgh, with fireworks being set off from the castle and other major hills around the city.

London Eye is also among other famous places that displays spectacular fireworks.

The moment of midnight is marked by the sound of Big Ben in the UK ; The traditional song, Auld Lang Syne sung in first moments of the New Year , after the final stroke of the of the bell ;The dropping of the “ball” on top of One Times Square in New York City, being broadcast world wide ; The launching of fireworks in Seattle towards the space needle until it reaches the top at midnight does the countdown. In Spain a centenary clock is lowered starting at 23:59:48 at ‘La Puerto del Sol’ while a grape is eaten for each second left to the New Year…,as several hundred thousand people party, the New year arrives with new hopes of peace love and prosperity on our way… 

The Chinese New Year is a lunar holiday that begins with the arrival of the second new moon following the winter solstice. It usually starts between mid-January and mid-February, (date varies) and lasts for fifteen days. As the New Year approaches, people clean their home to escape bad luck in the upcoming year. Families gather for a feast on New Year’s Eve, and stay up late, believing that it will prolong the lives of their elders. The Chinese people believe that evil spirits come around at New Year, so they let off firecrackers to frighten them away. People often seal their windows and doors with paper to keep the evil spirits out, as well. On New Year’s Day, people dress in their best clothes and present one another with small gifts. Chinese people all over the world celebrate the first full moon with a colourful street procession, called the Festival of Lanterns. People fill the streets carrying lanterns and join a great parade led by an enormous dragon. The Festival of Lanterns is believed to light the way for the New Year.

In Korea the first day of the lunar new year is called Sol-nal. This is for families to renew ties and prepare for the new year. New Year’s Eve: People place straw scoopers, rakes or sieves on their doors and walls to protect their families from evil spirit sin the new year. Everyone dresses in new clothes, the following morning, symbolizing a fresh beginning, and gathers at the home of the eldest male family member. Ancestral memorial rites are held, then the younger generation bows to elders in the family. They wish them good health and prosperity in the coming year. The elders often then give newly minted money or gifts afterwards. New Year’s Day food includes: a bowl of rice cake soup ttokkuk. Koreans believe eating this soup will add and extra year of age to your life. Korean age is actually calculated at the New Year. Everyone becomes a year older on New Year’s Day! Favourite games: yut nori, a stick game, and see-sawing on large see-saws setup in the courtyard or in parks.

Celebration of the Japanese New Year (Oshogatsu) occurs on January 1, as with Western nations. However, the Japanese people also observe some beliefs from their religion, called Shinto. For happiness and good luck, Japanese people hang a rope of straw across the front of their homes. They believe it keeps the evil spirits away. Japanese people begin to laugh the moment the New Year begins, so they will have good luck the whole year.

The Thai New Year festival is called Songkran and lasts for three days from 13 to 15 April according the Gregorian calendar. The customs are many such as people throw water over one another, under the guise of that it will bring good rains in the coming year and all the Buddha statues or images are washed. They visit the monastery to pray and offer gifts of rice, fruit, sweets and other foods for the monks. Another custom to bring good luck, was to release birds from their cages or fish from their bowls. They carry a fish bowl to the river to release their fish all at the same time as one another. They might also play the game known as Saba which is a game rather like skittles.

The Vietnamese New Year is called Tet Nguyen Dan, or Tet for short. The exact date changes from year to year, but it usually falls between January 21 and February 19. A common Vietnamese belief is that the first person to enter a house at New Year will bring either good or bad luck. The Vietnamese also believe that there is a god in every home who travels to heaven at the New Year. In heaven, this god will reveal how good or bad each member of the family has been in the past year. Thus, the New Year is a time to reflect on the past and improve in the future. A traditional Vietnamese belief is that the god travels to heaven on the back of a fish, called a carp. Even today some people will buy a live carp, and then free it in a river or pond.

The people of Cambodia use the Indian Calendar to calculate the start of the New Year festival. The festival starts on the 12, 13 or 14 April according to the Gregorian calendar and lasts for three days. People clean and decorate their houses, as well as set up an altar to welcome the New Year Spirit Tevada Chhnam Thmey who is said to come down to earth at this time. A statue of the Buudha is put on the altar, also flowers, candles, incense, a bowl of scented water, food and drink, and banana leaves shaped into different figures. Day one of the festival people visit their local monastery and offer food to the monks. A special sand mound is built in the grounds of the monasteries on this day. The mound is decorated with five religious flags, one on top of the mound and four around the sides. Special games such as the Tug-Of-War, Angkunh and Boh Choong are played at the monasteries on each day of the festival. Day two people gather with their families to wish each other a happy New Year and exchange gifts. They might also visit the monastery again to ask the monks to say a special prayer for their ancestors. Day three the Buddha statues of their homes and the monasteries are washed. It is said this ensures good rains during the coming year. Children wash the feet of their parents as sign of respect on this day as well.

Celebration of the Hindu New Year varies based on geographic location. Most Hindus live in India, but many have different traditions. For example, the Hindus of Gujarat, in western India, celebrate the New Year at the end of October, at the same time as the Indian festival of Diwali. For the Diwali celebration, small oil lights are lit all along the rooftops. In northern India, people wear flowers to celebrate the New Year, commonly in pink, red, purple, or white hues. Hindus in central India display orange flags, flying them from the top of buildings. In southern India, mothers put food, flowers, and small gifts on a special tray. On New Year’s morning, children must keep their eyes shut until they have been led to the tray.

The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah, and falls in the seventh month, or Tishri, of the Jewish calendar (September – October). Rosh Hashanah is a holy time when people reflect on the things they have done wrong in the past, so they can improve in the future. Celebration of the New Year begins at sunset the day before, and religious services are held at synagogues in observation. An instrument called a Shofar, made from a ram’s horn, is traditionally played and children are given new clothes to celebrate the New Year. In addition, New Year loaves are baked and fruit is eaten to remind people of harvest time.

The Muslim New Year falls eleven days earlier than the previous year because the Muslim calendar is based on the movements of the moon. In Iran, people celebrate the New Year in March. As the New Year approaches, Muslims set grains of wheat or barley in small dishes and sprinkle them with water. When the New Year arrives, the growth of the sprouted grains reminds people of spring and a new year of life.

The Bahai people have their own calendar consisting of nineteen months of nineteen days plus a couple of extra days between the eighteenth and nineteenth months. They have however adopted the Iranian custom of beginning the New Year in the spring equinox. The day begins at sunset rather than midnight, and the New Year celebrations are held during the evening of March 20th.

In Egypt the New Year is a public holiday and has a very festive atmosphere. Although they know in advance when the New Year begins they still observe the custom of the new crescent moon must be seen before the official announcement is made. The sighting is carried out at the Muhammad Ali mosque which is at the top of the hill in Cairo. The message is then passed on to the religious leader known as the Grand Mufti and he proclaims the New Year. The men who have been waiting outside the mosque wish each other a happy New Year by saying “Kol Sana We Enta Tayeb!” and then go home to tell their families. Then all families sit down for a special New Year dinner. On this day even the poorest of family serves some meat. No alcohol is served because Muslims do not drink alcohol.

USA traditions like the Tournament of Roses Parade dates back to 1886.The tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year began in Greece around 600 B.C. It was the tradition at that time to celebrate their God of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that God as the spirit of fertility. Early Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth.

However, Christians denounced the practice as pagan, the popularity of the baby as a symbol of rebirth forced the church to revaluate it’s position. The Church finally allowed it’s members to celebrate the New Year with a baby, which was to symbolize the birth of the baby Jesus.

The Germans brought the use of the image of a baby with a New year’s Banner as a symbolic representation of the New Year to early America. They had used the effigy since the 14th century.

Traditionally it was believed that, what they did or ate on the 1st day of the year could affect their luck throughout the coming year. For that reason, celebrating the first few minutes of a brand new year in the company of family and friends became more popular. Parties often last into the middle of the night after the ringing in of a New Year. It was once believed that the first visitor in New Year’s Day would either bring good luck or bad luck the rest of the year. A tall dark-haired man was particularly lucky visitor.

Traditional New Year foods are also believed to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck because it symbolizes “coming full circle” (completing a year’s cycle). The Dutch eat doughnuts on New Year’s Day for good fortune.

Traditional New Year is a religious feast, but since 1900s it has become an occasion for celebration on the night between December 31 and January 1,called the New Year’s Eve. There are often spectacular fireworks displayed at midnight.

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Silliness – The Ghost of Christmas Past Participle

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