Today, is the first of May, a day that is widely celebrated and that has various traditions attached to it. I am happy to have M. L. Kappa as my special guest for Discovering Traditions. You can find a list of all guest post that have appeared on my blog so far here, and you can find the previous guest post for Discovering Traditionshere.
May 1st and the Making of the Wreath by M.L.Kappa
One of the most fun Greek traditions is the making of the May Wreath. We call it Μάης (pronounced Màïs).
May 1st is universally known as Labor Day since 1886, when the Chicago Syndicates rebelled, asking for better working conditions. But celebrating it is not actually a 19th century tradition—it has roots in Antiquity, when festivities were held in honor of Demeter, goddess of the harvest, and Dionysus, god of grapes and wine.
Their purpose was to celebrate the fertility of the fields, the bounty of the land, the flowering of nature and the end of winter.
This tradition in various forms then spread throughout Byzantium and the rest of Europe. Continue reading “Discovering Traditions: May 1st and the Making of the Wreath by M.L.Kappa”
The 21st of March marks the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. Today, I am happy to welcome back Gulara Vincent for this lovely guest contribution to Discovering Traditions, you can find her previous guest post here, and an overview of this blog’s guest posts here.
Novruz – Spring festival in Azerbaijan by Dr Gulara Vincent
Novruz is the spring festival dearly loved and widely celebrated in Azerbaijan (and many other countries too). When I was a child, it was not an official holiday. The Soviet Union disapproved of my country’s fire-worshipping and pagan festivities. People kept it going for seven decades though. In 1993, it became an official holiday in a newly-independent Azerbaijan.
Although Novruz is celebrated on 20-21 March, the spring festival begins a month in advance. First, all households had a massive spring clearing. We washed everything: bedding, windows, walls, expensive dishes displayed in cupboards, candelabras and floors. We also cleared rugs and carpets, mended clothes and made or bought new ones. New trees were planted and gardens were tidied up. Families visited their dead relatives’ graveyards to pay their respects. Continue reading “Discovering Traditions: Novruz – Spring festival in Azerbaijan by Dr Gulara Vincent”
If we were having coffee, then we would probably be having tea. Currently, I am drinking some Pu-ehr. But I would gladly make us some nice Bai Mu Dan (white tea), at the moment this is my favourite. Once you have made the choice of beverage, I also have water or milk, we’d settle down around my living room table for a nice chat.
If we were having coffee, then I would ask you how you are doing. So, how are you? I have been quite absent from the blogosphere in a while, and am glad to catch up at last! Did you write a must read post over the last 2 months that I did not read? Then let me know, and I will try to do the necessary catching up.
If we were having coffee, then you might ask me where I have been all this time, well I did write a few posts this week and in the beginning of the month I did write about why I have been so absent. Now, I am slowly getting my life back on a new track and that includes being a very active and productive blogger! Continue reading “Weekend Coffee Share – 19 March 2016”
In the early hours of Saturday the 17th of March 2001, my family and I drove to Staten Island in New York to then take the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan. This is a great way of accessing New York City, especially if you do not want to take your car into the city. Greeted by a beautiful skyline (in this post you can find some beautiful pictures that I took of it in September 2001 a few days before 9/11), we were promised a beautiful day in the city.
Our habit was to walk up from where the ferries land, all the way to Central Park, which was quite a hike, especially for us kids, my sister was 7 and I was 12. Normally we’d go shopping, climb some sky scraper or even go ice skating (at the Rockefeller Center or in Central Park if the season permitted to do so of course), have breakfast, lunch or even dinner depending if the time of the day and length of our stay. Continue reading “Learning from a Saint”