Archive for December 5th, 2009

(December 05) Tonight we're celebrating . . .  Saint Nicholas Eve

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

Saint Nicholas Eve
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Sinterklaas (also called Sint-Nicolaas or De Goedheiligman in Dutch (and Saint Nicolas in French) is a traditional Winter holiday figure in the Netherlands, Aruba, Netherlands Antilles and Belgium, celebrated every year on Saint Nicholas’ eve (December 5) or, in Belgium, on the morning of December 6. The feast celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of, among other things, children.

It is also celebrated in parts of France (North, Alsace, Lorraine), as well as in Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and in the town of Trieste and in Eastern Friuli in Italy. Additionally, many Roman Catholics of Alsatian and Lotharingian descent in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, celebrate “Saint Nicholas Day” on the morning of December 6. The traditions differ from country to country, even between Belgium and the Netherlands.

In the Netherlands, Saint Nicholas’ Eve (December 5) is the chief occasion for gift-giving. The evening is called “sinterklaasavond” or “pakjesavond” (“presents evening”). In the Netherlands, children receive their presents on this evening whereas in Belgium, children put their shoe in front of the fireplace on the evening of December 5, then go to bed, and find the presents around the shoes on the morning of the 6th.

Sinterklaas is the basis for the North American figure of Santa Claus. It is often claimed that during the American War of Independence the inhabitants of New York City, a former Dutch colonial town (New Amsterdam) which had been swapped by the Dutch for other territories, reinvented their Sinterklaas tradition, as Saint Nicholas was a symbol of the city’s non-English past.[1] The name Santa Claus supposedly derived from older Dutch Sinte Klaas. However, the Saint Nicholas Society was not founded until 1835, almost half a century after the end of the American War of Independence.[2] A study of the “children’s books, periodicals and journals” of New Amsterdam by Charles Jones revealed no references to Saint Nicholas or Sinterklaas.[3] However, not all scholars agree with Jones’s findings, which he reiterated in a booklength study in 1978;[4] Howard G. Hageman, of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, maintains that the tradition of celebrating Sinterklaas in New York existed in the early settlement of the Hudson Valley, although he agrees that “there can be no question that by the time the revival of St. Nicholas came with Washington Irving, the traditional New Netherlands observance had completely disappeared.”[5] The Saint Nicholas Society of New York still has a feast on December 6 to this day

quoted text and image source: wikipedia: Sinterklaas

Did You Know? Countdown to Chanukah 2009 (12/05)

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

dyk-chanukah09

Did You Know?
Facts, Figures &
Folklore about Chanukah
the Jewish Festival of Lights

Dec 05 : 06 days till Chanukah

Did you know that a menorah is actually a candelabra with six branches?

So, when someone says that they are going to light their Chanukah menorah, they are technically mistaken. The eight-branched candelabra that is lit on Chanukah is correctly known as a chanukiah.

Did you know that the many chanukiahs have nine candle holders?

There are eight equally spaced holders for each of the eight days of Chanukah, along with a ninth holder for the helper candle, called the Shamash. The Shamash holder is typically separated from the other eight — either higher up or off to the side. The role of the Shamash is to light each of the other candles.

Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, is a celebration of the victory of the Maccabees and the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple. It also commemorates the miracle of the oil that burned for 8 days. Jewish people mark this eight-day holiday by lighting the menorah, an eight-branched candelabra, and eating foods fried in oil such as potato latkes and jelly donuts. Join us for a new Did You Know? each day as we count down to Chanukah.

Chanukah, Hanukkah, Hanaka — no matter how you spell it — the fun begins at sundown on Friday December 11th.

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(December 05) Today we're celebrating . . .  Bathtub Party Day

Saturday, December 5th, 2009


Bathtub Party Day

Splish splash, I was taking a bath
Long about a Saturday night
A rub dub, just relaxing in the tub
Thinking everything was alright

Stop rushing to get clean today. Instead, luxuriate in the nice warm waters of a bath.

photo credit: via flickr

2009 Video Advent Calendar: December 05th

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

A Holiday Video Countdown to Christmas: Day 5

"Josh Groban – Believe"
December 05, 2009 : 20 Days Till Christmas

You can check out a new holiday video each day right here or check out our Advent Calendar each day.

link: Advent Calendar on the Net

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