Category Archives: Celebrations

Orthodox Easter Eggs, folktales, symbolism, traditions via @patfurstenberg #culture #history

It was an erstwhile custom that a mother, no matter how elderly or ailing she felt, would take it upon herself to bring food to her lad bided elsewhere as soon as the snow thawed and the first white spring shoots pierced the ground.

A folktale tells that Mary, the mother of Jesus, took it upon herself to visit Jesus in Jerusalem and thus she packed a basket with fresh eggs. It wasn’t much else she could take him, Herod having just increased his taxes, again.

The road was winding through the verdant green hills of Judea and Mary’s heart felt light for each step brought her hither to her son, which she hasn’t seen in a long time. As the morning progressed her own shadow became but a puddle by her feet. Soon enough the basket began feeling heavier and heavier in her work-worn hand and her steps became slower and slower and she felt like her journey to Jerusalem had become a quest for shade. Not many trees were in bloom so as soon as Mary spotted a stream sheltered by a little arbor she quickened her step and stopped to cool and quench her thirst. It was a thirst like she had never felt before.  So she looked about and decided to stop for a few moments.

The stream singed and Mary saw a new nest above her head and smiled. Life was precious. The water moved softly over her fingers and, when she removed her hand, a few droplets lingered on her fingers. She brought the hand to her eyes and smiled, a whole life scene embedded in those tiny see-through pearls.

It was a peaceful moment and life’s moments were just like this string of beads following each other on her outstretched hand. Each one connected to the next, stronger together. Filled with love.

But it was time to move along. Before getting up something tugged at her heart and Mary lifted the white cotton fabric that covered the basket to see if the eggs were still in good shape.

A dreadful sight unfolded before her eyes. It was as if the sun had stopped shining, no gurgling from the stream could glide through the air and all proof of life on earth had been stamped out.

The eggs had turned blood red and the Blessed Mother of Jesus understood that the time had come for her son to pay for our sins. But she was first a mother and he was her baby boy and so she wept, Mary did, and as her tears rolled down her cheeks and dripped onto the blood covered eggs they drew patterns, a cross, a star, lines and spirals.

When Mary reached the place where Jesus hang on the cross, she laid the basket at his feet and kneeled to pray. Then Jesus spoke and asked her not to cry for Him, but to share those blessed eggs with the people who believe in His resurrection.

***

This is why on the Orthodox Easter we color boiled eggs in red, we draw patterns on them and we share them with our loved ones, family, friends, colleagues, knocking egg against egg and saying: “Christ has risen,” and answer “It is true He has risen.”

Red easter eggs on the grass with flowers and blowballs, naturally colored easter eggs with onion husks. Happy Easter, Christian religious holiday.

The symbolism of the Easter egg

The hard shell of the egg symbolizes the sealed Tomb of Christ.

The cracking of the egg (through knocking) symbolizes His Resurrection.

The Ritual of coloring Easter Eggs

It is said that coloring Easter eggs is a sacred ritual. The day when one colors the eggs is special and no other activity will take place.

On counting the eggs that are to be colored, one doesn’t begin with one, but with “one thousand”, thus bringing wealth in the house for the remainder of the year.

The paint was already prepared, using different plants for different colors. GREEN – was made from walnut leaves, sweet apple skin. RED came from the leaf of a sweet apple, corn leaves or thyme. A special flower was used for YELLOW. Oregano was used to give the colored eggs a heavenly perfume.

The room where the eggs were painted was also special. No worried or upset person was allowed to step inside and no bad rumors or news of people who just passed away were allowed to reach the ears of the egg-painter.

Easter egg color symbolism

Easter eggs are nowadays colored in a rainbow of shades.

WHITE – means purity

RED – symbolizes the blood of Christ and life

BLUE – symbolizes the sky above, uniting us all

BLACK – means fertility

GREEN – means nature

YELLOW – symbolizes sun and energy

Orthodox Easter Egg Design Symbolism

A straight vertical line means life.

A straight horizontal line means death.

A double straight line symbolizes eternity.

A rectangle pattern – symbolizes thought and knowledge.

A sinuous line symbolizes water and purity.

A spiral means time and eternity.

A double spiral symbolizes the connection between life and death.

Cross – symbol for Christianity

A cross with additional small crosses at the end of each arm is a Russian cross.

A star – is called the “shepherd’s star”

A monastery – symbol of Christianity

Other motives used for decorating Easter eggs: bees, frogs, snakes, lambs, garden tools, fir tree, tulip, wheat.

Other traditions call for all the family members to wash their faces with fresh water on Easter morning, water from a container that holds a red egg and a silver coin. It is believed that the red egg brings good luck, good health, warn off evil spirits and all spells.

12th Day of Christmas Haiku, #Haiku, #drummers #drumming via @PatFurstenberg

12th Day of Christmas Haiku: Twelve Drummers Drumming

Twelve drummers drumming

Pa-ra-pa-pam-pam. Peace on

Earth. First snow falls soft.

~

Happy New Year 2019!

In older versions of the song the twelve drummers drumming were lords a-leaping, bells ringing, fiddlers a-fiddling.

It seems that the first drums were introduced to Europe during the Crusades, brought back from the Holy Land; they were Egyptian and Sumerians.

I hope you will enjoy the 12 Days of Christmas haiku; there will be published one each day starting on Christmas Day. Subscribe to my newsletter to never miss a blog post.

You can enjoy more haiku on this page of my website.

Find all my book on Amazon. Enjoy!

12 Days of Christmas images available freely on 3dinosaurs.com

Text and Haiku-San © Patricia Furstenberg.

I hope you enjoyed my haiku. Let me know your thoughts in comment below.

10th Day of Christmas Haiku, #Haiku, #lordsaleaping via @PatFurstenberg

10th Day of Christmas Haiku: Ten Lords a Leaping

On pouring days when

Sky and earth by rain are joined-

Leap frog games indoors.

~

Happy New Year 2019!

Eight days after Christmas and throughout January the Christian world celebrates the naming of baby Jesus.

In older versions of “12 Days of Christmas” the lords a leaping were pipers pipping, ships a sailing, fifers fifing, ladies dancing, men a-mowing, cocks a crowing and even asses racing.

Back in the day leaping was an exclusive men’s activity. One explanation would be that during rainy winter’s day men would keep up their stamina by playing a leap game on those long corridors of Victorian houses. Another explanation would be that leaping was used before a battle to raise the morale.

Men a leaping could also symbolize the Morris dancers that performed between courses during a Christmas feast.

I hope you will enjoy the 12 Days of Christmas haiku; there will be published one each day starting on Christmas Day. Subscribe to my newsletter to never miss a blog post.

You can enjoy more haiku on this page of my website.

Find all my book on Amazon. Enjoy!

12 Days of Christmas images available freely on 3dinosaurs.com

Text and Haiku-San © Patricia Furstenberg.

I hope you enjoyed my haiku. Let me know your thoughts in comment below.

9th Day of Christmas Haiku, #Haiku, #ladiesdancing via @PatFurstenberg

9th Day of Christmas Haiku: Nine Ladies Dancing

Nine gowns a’ dancing

One, two, spin; three, four and round.

None flowers swaying.

~

Happy New Year 2019!

I hope you will enjoy the 12 Days of Christmas haiku; there will be published one each day starting on Christmas Day. Subscribe to my newsletter to never miss a blog post.

In older versions of the song the nine ladies dancing were lords a leaping, drummers drumming, bulls a-roaring, bears a beating, even pipers pipping.

Dancing was an important part of rituals, celebrations and even social communications since 30 000 years ago, with rock-art and Egyptian tomb paintings bearing witness. Dancing was also a way to worship the sun, this being done in a circle movement around a fire, from east to west – following the sun’s movement on the sky.

You can enjoy more haiku on this page of my website.

Find all my book on Amazon. Enjoy!

12 Days of Christmas images available freely on 3dinosaurs.com

Text and Haiku-San © Patricia Furstenberg.

I hope you enjoyed my haiku. Let me know your thoughts in comment below.

Happy New Year 2019, New Year’s Day via @PatFurstenberg #HappyNewYear #HappyNewYear2019 #Pentatonix #Music #FeelGood #TuesdayBlogShare

Happy New Year! I hope you will choose to focus on the future and its endless possibilities! You can “ kiss the past away ” and be the Kind or Queen of your own world!

New Year’s celebrations can be traced as far back as the times before Christianity spread. Although during the Roman era the month of March marked the beginning of the calendar and the year, it was Julius Cesar creating the Julian calendar that set the New Year where we know it today.

But whatever you do this January 1st, don’t let social convention dictate what you do, rather choose what feels best for you.

New Year’s Day  – lyrics

Tonight, the apple falls in time
We’ll sing along with Auld Lang Syne
And throw confetti high up into space
Tomorrow morning when we wake
This town will be a different place
And the past will wash away like coffee stains
We could be kings of the world
On top of the nation
It’s a celebration of the moments to come
The city’s on fire
We’re holding up lighters
Raising them higher and we’ve only begun
Take me all the way (oh)
Hear me when I say (yeah)
Let’s kiss the past away
Like New Year’s Day
Take me all the way
Hear me when I say
It’s time to celebrate
Like New Year’s Day
We’ll play it back in slow rewind
And laugh about the cold and bitter nights
We’re [?] our way on maps of stars
Hold on tight to fragile hearts
And keep our friends forever by our side
We could be kings of the world
On top of the nation
It’s a celebration of the moments to come
The city’s on fire
We’re holding up lighters
Raising them higher and we’ve only begun
Take me all the way
Hear me when I say
Let’s kiss the past away
Like New Year’s Day
Take me all the way
Hear me when I say
It’s time to celebrate
Like New Year’s Day
Morning breaks, take my hand
Wide awake with arms wide open
Catch your breath, walk this way
No regrets on New Year’s Day
Morning breaks, take my hand (kings of the world, top of the nation)
Wide awake with arms wide open (it’s a celebration of the moments to come)
Catch your breath, walk this way (city’s on fire, holding up lighters)
No regrets on New Year’s Day (raising them higher, we’ve only begun)
We could be kings of the world
On top of the nation
It’s a celebration of the moments to come
The city’s on fire
We’re holding up lighters
Raising them higher and we’ve only begun
Take me all the way
Hear me when I say
Let’s kiss the past away
Like New Year’s Day
Take me all the way
Hear me when I say
It’s time to celebrate
Like New Year’s Day
Take me all the way
Hear me when I say
Let’s kiss the past away
Like New Year’s Day
Take me all the way
Hear me when I say
It’s time to celebrate
Like New Year’s Day

Songwriters: Martin Johnson / Jacob Pitts / Jeremy Ferguson / John William Feldmann / Andrew Biersack
New Year’s Day lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

AfrikaansGelukkige nuwe jaar
AlbanianGezuar Vitin e Ri
ArabicAntum salimoun
ArmenianSnorhavor Nor Tari
AzerbaijaniYeni Iliniz Mubarek!
BengaliShuvo Nabo Barsho
BulgarianChestita Nova Godina
CatalanFELIÇ ANY NOU
ChineseXin Nian Kuai Le
CroatianSretna Nova godina!
DanishGodt Nytår
DutchGELUKKIG NIEUWJAAR!
EskimoKiortame pivdluaritlo
EsperantoFelican Novan Jaron
EstonianHead uut aastat!
FinnishOnnellista Uutta Vuotta
FrenchBonne Annee
GaelicBliadhna mhath ur
GermanProsit Neujahr
GreekKALÌ CHRONIÀ
GujaratiNutan Varshbhinandan
HawaiianHauoli Makahiki Hou
HebrewL’Shannah Tovah
HindiNaye Varsha Ki Shubhkamanyen
HungarianBoldog Ooy Ayvet
IndonesianSelamat Tahun Baru
IrishBliain nua fe mhaise dhuit
ItalianFelice anno nuovo
JapaneseAkimashite Omedetto Gozaimasu
KoreanSaehae Bock Mani ba deu sei yo!
KurdishNEWROZ PIROZBE
LithuanianLaimingu Naujuju Metu
MalaySelamat Tahun Baru
MarathiNveen Varshachy Shubhechcha
MalteseIs-Sena t- Tajba
NepaliNawa Barsha ko Shuvakamana
NorwegianGodt Nyttår
PersianSaleh now mobarak
PolishSzczesliwego Nowego Roku
PortugueseFeliz Ano Novo
PunjabiNave sal di mubarak
RomanianAN NOU FERICIT
RussianS Novim Godom
SlovakA stastlivy Novy Rok
Sloveniansreèno novo leto
SomaliIyo Sanad Cusub Oo Fiican!
SpanishFeliz Ano~Nuevo
SwedishGOTT NYTT ÅR!/Gott nytt år!
TamilEniya Puthandu Nalvazhthukkal
TeluguNoothana samvatsara shubhakankshalu
ThaiSawadee Pee Mai
TurkishYeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
UkrainianShchastlyvoho Novoho Roku
UrduNaya Saal Mubbarak Ho
UzbekYangi Yil Bilan
VietnameseChuc Mung Tan Nien
WelshBlwyddyn Newydd Dda!

Song lyrics and movie clip are property and copyright of their owners and are provided for educational purposes and personal use only.

The #MusicMonday meme was created by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. You can pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I thoroughly enjoyed this blog feature on Mischenko’s lovely blog, ReadRantRockandroll .

Thank you for visiting my website.

8th Day of Christmas Haiku, #Haiku, #maidsamilking via @PatFurstenberg

8th Day of Christmas Haiku: Eight Maids a-Milking

Hay on the shed’s floor,

Steamy, barny-odour milk.

Last star shies away.

~

Happy New Year 2019!

La Multi Ani!

Gelukkige nuwe jaar!

Bliadhna mhath ur!

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

Bonne année!

Bliain nua fe mhaise dhuit!

Today Christianity celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of Jesus.

In older versions of “12 Days of Christmas” the maids a-milking were hares a-running and even hounds a-running or boys a-singing.

The eight maids a-milking might simply represent the goodness of the dairy products, so sought after during the Middle Ages when refrigeration was not an option.

I hope you will enjoy the 12 Days of Christmas haiku; there will be published one each day starting on Christmas Day. Subscribe to my newsletter to never miss a blog post.

You can enjoy more haiku on this page of my website.

Find all my book on Amazon. Enjoy!

12 Days of Christmas images available freely on 3dinosaurs.com

Text and Haiku-San © Patricia Furstenberg.

I hope you enjoyed my haiku. Let me know your thoughts in comment below.

 

7th Day of Christmas Haiku, #Christmas, #Haiku, #swansaswimming via @PatFurstenberg

7th Day of Christmas Haiku: Seven Swans a Swimming

Plumed water lily

Gliding shyly away. Swan.

Odette, not Odile.

~

Happy New Year 2019!

Hogmanay is celebrated today in Scotland, with the first stroke of midnight, so Slàinte Mhath!

Catholic Church celebrate Pope Sylvester today – in many Central and Eastern European countries New Year’s Eve is called Silvester.

Swans have been associated with the supernatural world by Egyptians: swan statues have been discovered in royal burial chambers. Egyptians successfully captured many of these birds during their migration and acclimatized them to the weather conditions along the Nile.They must have looked so elegant and graceful gliding with their white bodies over water and singing – more beautiful as they grow older.

Greeks, too, have a mythological story or two involving swans, perhaps the best known and most controversial being that of Leda and the Swan, in which God Zeus took the form of a swan to seduce his beloved Leda, Queen of Sparta – and thus Helen of Troy was born.

King Edward of England took his knighthood vow in Westminster Abbey on 22 May 1306 together with 266 other esquires eligible for knighthood on two swans, ‘The Feast of the Swans“. Apparently the swans had golden and crowns and since then swans have been associated with monarchy.

I hope you will enjoy the 12 Days of Christmas haiku; there will be published one each day starting on Christmas Day. Subscribe to my newsletter to never miss a blog post.

You can enjoy more haiku on this page of my website.

Find all my book on Amazon. Enjoy!

12 Days of Christmas images available freely on 3dinosaurs.com

Text and Haiku-San © Patricia Furstenberg.

I hope you enjoyed my haiku. Let me know your thoughts in comment below.

6th Day of Christmas Haiku, Haiku-San #Christmas, #Haiku, #geesealaying, #haikusan, #sunday via @PatFurstenberg

6th Day of Christmas Haiku, Sunday Haiku-San: Six Geese a Laying

Webbed feet, menace honk,

Orange bill, wings spread out. Run!

Still lake at sunset.

~

Merry Christmas!

I hope you will enjoy the 12 Days of Christmas haiku; there will be published one each day starting on Christmas Day. Subscribe to my newsletter to never miss a blog post.

In a previous version of this song the geese were ducks a-laying.

The geese has always been considered a symbol of the solar year (due to their annual migration) and of fertility.

You can enjoy more haiku on this page of my website.

Find all my book on Amazon. Enjoy!

I chose the name Haiku-San as it derives from Haiku, meaning unusual verse in Japanese (hai=unusual, ku=verse, strophe) and San, the honorific Japanese title when speaking about people. San is also the phonetic transcription of the first syllable of the English word Sunday, Sun-day hence Haiku-San, a Sunday feature on Alluring Creations involving Haiku I write.

12 Days of Christmas images available freely on 3dinosaurs.com

Text and Haiku-San © Patricia Furstenberg.

I hope you enjoyed my haiku. Let me know your thoughts in comment below.

5th Day of Christmas Haiku, #Christmas, #Haiku, #goldenrings via @PatFurstenberg

5th Day of Christmas Haiku: Five Golden Rings

Circle of promise

Written in gold, forever.

Five rings mugger’s luck.

~

I hope you will enjoy the 12 Days of Christmas haiku; there will be published one each day starting on Christmas Day. Subscribe to my newsletter to never miss a blog post.

In previous versions of “12 Days of Christmas” five golden rings have been hares running or goldie rings.

These golden rings seem a bit out of place mentions in the middle of a list of birds (partridge, doves, hens, calling birds, geese, swans), isn’t it?

Golden Pheasant
Golden Pheasant

That’s because they might actually refer to the golded rings around the neck of the Golden Pheasant.

Some scholars suggest that the golden rings are actually goldspinks, a 1700’s name for another bird, the European Goldfinch.

There is a Greek legend that might played some influence here. It speaks of Jason and the Argonauts, his crew of men, who went in the quest for the Golden Fleece as ordered by kind Pelias in order to place Jason legally on the throne of Thessaly.

“To take my throne, which you shall, you must go on a quest to find the Golden Fleece.”

From their quest they also brought golden birds, Phasianos ornis in Greek, bird of the river Phasis (Φασιανὸς ὂρνις), the “ring-necked pheasant. But being just introduced in the country they were quite scares so eating them was a luxury of the very rich.

You can enjoy more haiku on this page of my website.

Find all my book on Amazon. Enjoy!

12 Days of Christmas images available freely on 3dinosaurs.com

Text and Haiku-San © Patricia Furstenberg.

I hope you enjoyed my haiku. Let me know your thoughts in comment below.

4th Day of Christmas Haiku, #Christmas, #Haiku, #callingbirds via @PatFurstenberg

4th Day of Christmas Haiku: Four Calling Birds

Thick necks, black, shaggy

Feathers, raven’s high shrill warns:

Fear! Four calling birds.

~

Merry Christmas!

I hope you will enjoy the 12 Days of Christmas haiku; there will be published one each day starting on Christmas Day. Subscribe to my newsletter to never miss a blog post.

Today Christianity celebrates the The Feast of the Holy Innocents, remembering the baby boys killed by King Herod while trying to find baby Jesus and get rid of Him.

In previous versions of “12 Days of Christmas” the calling birds were colly birds, collie birds, coloured birds or canary birds – but meaning black birds, the European Blackbird or the common blackbird, Turdus Merula, ‘colly’ deriving from ‘coaly’, of ‘coal’ color, black – the crow.

Let’s remember the Medieval culinary traditions involving gourmet meals on special occasions and baked pies with surprising fillings! Blackbirds, being quite big and abundant during those times,were considered a delicacy – so four black birds for a Christmas time feast was appealing. Remember, “Song of Six Pence” speaks of 24 blackbirds baked in a pie!

You can enjoy more haiku on this page of my website.

Find all my book on Amazon. Enjoy!

12 Days of Christmas images available freely on 3dinosaurs.com

Text and Haiku-San © Patricia Furstenberg.

I hope you enjoyed my haiku. Let me know your thoughts in comment below.