Friday, December 14, 2012

Just some Holiday facts!

Okay --- A little holiday fun facts ---

~ Latkes, or potato pancakes are a popular Hanukkah dish, usually served with applesauce and sour cream
~Jewish holidays are based on a lunisolar calendar, which is based on the movement of the sun and moon – the Hebrew calendar ranges from 353 to 385 days - therefore - Hanukkah does not fall on the same date each year
~A Hanukkah menorah as nine candles – one for each of the eight nights of Hanukkah and an extra one to light the others – the world’s largest Hanukkah menorah – at 32 feet high – can be found during the festival of lights in New York’s City’s Central Park
~A dreidel is a popular Hanukkah toy – to play the game, players start out with the same amount of money (or candy) and they gain and lose depending on which letter turns up when they spin the top – the four letters on the dreidel’s sides form the initials of the message, “A great miracle happened there”
~ One Hanukkah tradition is the giving of the gelt, or gold coins – in the past children would give gelt to teachers and charities – now a reward for winning dreidel games – chocolate candies wrapped in gold tinfoil are sold to mimic real gelt.

~ The word Christmas is Old English, a contraction of Christ’s Mass
~ The abbreviation Xmas is not irreligious – the letter X is a Greek abbreviation for Christ
~ Electric lights for trees were first used in 1895
~ 7.6 million Christmas trees are sold each year
~ Christmas became a national holiday in America on June 26, 1870

~ In December 1966 Kwanzaa was first celebrated – the holiday was started by Dr. Maulana Karenga – the name comes from a Swahili phrase meaning first fruits
~ The three green candles symbolize the future
~ The single black candle symbolizes unity
~ The three red candles symbolize the struggle out of slavery
~ The Kwanzaa holiday is celebrated for seven days and on each of the seven days you are suppose to work on a certain trait – unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, faith

New Year’s Day 
~ New Year is the oldest of all holidays, it was first observed in ancient Babylon as many long as 4000 years ago
~ New Year is celebrated like a festival throughout the world and everyone around is in a festive mood, partying, singing and dancing to ring out the old year and ring in the new
~The tradition of making New Year resolutions dates back to the early Babylonians
~ Noise making and fireworks on New Year’s Eve is believed to have originated in ancient times, when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck
~ The Tournament of Rose Parade dates back to 1886 – that year members of the Valley Hunt Club decorated their carriages with flowers to celebrate the ripening of the oranges in California

Three Kings Day 
~ On this day Los Tres Reyes gave three gifts to Baby Jesus – gold, frankincense and myrrh
~ Children write letters to their favorite Wise Man or Rey Mago asking for presents
~Children leave a bucket of water and hay for the animals
~ Milk and cookies are left for the Three Wise Men to eat
~Children place their old shoes under their beds before going to sleep – the Wise Men will leave them the presents they wished for in their letters in these shoes







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