Showing posts with label Europa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Europa. Show all posts

9/16/2012

Carless car free Sunday

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Carless Sunday, Car Free Day

***** Location: Europe
***** Season: Autumn
***** Category: Humanity


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Explanation


Every year from 16 to 22 September is European Mobility Week, a week in which the major cities of Europe try and encourage the ever greater diversity of transport. The aim is help motorists to choose more environmentally friendly ways of moving across the city and, increasingly also, to help cities plan their transport policy in such a way that sustainable transport can flourish.

2012 was the eleventh year of the European Mobility Week. The movement has now expanded well beyond Europe, and in 2012 included 11 non EU Member States, some as far afield as Brazil, Canada, Japan and Taiwan. Altogether, 1983 cities participated (for more information, see http://www.mobilityweek.eu).

The highlight of European Mobility Week is the Sunday within the week, which for participating cities has become the Carless Sunday. In 2012, this was 16 September.

On this one Sunday of the year, the people of Brussels (where I have often spent the day) may not use their cars from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm. The only vehicles allowed on the road are public transport (providing their services free of charge on this day), taxis, ambulances, police and any citizens who absolutely need to use their cars and have acquired a permit from the authorities in good time beforehand. The police rigorously enforce the ban, and fines are heavy if cars are caught on the roads or if those allowed to drive exceed the special speed limit of 20 km/h.


So many cyclists on the rue de la Loi

Carless Sunday is one of the best days of the year to be in Brussels. Everyone, young and old, are out and about with bicycles, scooters, skateboards, rollerskates, prams and whatever else. The weather seems to be fine each year, and people enjoy themselves outdoors for what may be the last time before the onset of autumn and winter. The streets are taken over by pedestrians and those using their own power to move. Activities are laid on for children and families all over the city, and many of these are organised or supervised by the police, who endear themselves to the public on this day and have an exhausting time.

The noise level in the city is much reduced, and people enjoy the fresher air and the calm atmosphere. For many, it is one of the highlights of the year and a real family day.

Text and photo © Isabelle Prondzynski


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A Car Free Day encourages motorists to give up their car for a day. Organized events are held in some cities and countries.
September 22 is World Car Free Day.



According to The Washington Post, the event "promotes improvement of mass transit, cycling and walking, and the development of communities where jobs are closer to home and where shopping is within walking distance".
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


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Worldwide use

Autofreier Sonntag


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Things found on the way




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HAIKU


For the past few years, I have enjoyed writing haiku on carless Sunday.
Here are some of them :

carless Sunday --
the traffic lights change
from red to green

carless Sunday --
the peal of church bells
reaches my ear

once a minute
another plane takes off --
carless Sunday

the distant sound
of a baby crying --
carless Sunday


carless Sunday --
parents and children
out with their bikes


Activities for parents and children
in the Cinquantenaire Park




carless Sunday --
each bounce of the ball
so audible

the city seems
filled with human voices --
carless Sunday

two children playing
in the middle of the road --
carless Sunday

music wafts
across the roofs --
carless Sunday

seven o'clock --
carless Sunday ends
with a peal of bells


(2012)



carless Sunday --
even the smallest birds
have a voice

silencing the radio --
enjoying the sounds
of carless Sunday

carless Sunday --
the rustling of leaves
in the garden below

a small girl
dragging a small dog --
carless Sunday

even one taxi
makes so much noise --
carless Sunday


rue de la Loi
rings with human voices --
carless Sunday




(2011)



a long row
of neatly polished cars --
carless Sunday

carless Sunday --
he walks out to buy
a car


(2010)


the voices
of the smallest birds --
carless Sunday

carless Sunday --
listening to the television
instead


(2009)


a bird sings
a new song from the roof --
carless Sunday

teenagers wobble
their bicycles on the cobbles --
carless Sunday

the voices
of unseen children in the streets --
carless Sunday

carless Sunday --
left on the zebra crossing
an abandoned shoe

an aircraft takes off --
its sound floods our street
on carless Sunday

carless Sunday --
bells from a distant church
call us to prayer

sharing some sweets
with a stranger --
carless Sunday


relaxed police
buying a Tibetan lunch --
carless Sunday





carless Sunday --
rollerskating the pram
up the road

carless Sunday --
my neighbour snores all day
in his bed

cars return --
the cyclists ride home
prudently


(2007)



carfree Sunday --
voices of children playing
in the streets

carless Sunday --
tea and a read
in silence


(2005)

Haiku and photos © Isabelle Prondzynski


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carless sunday -
lovers cross the road
without care

carless sunday -
kids skate on the road
holding hands


Monday morning -
painful noise invades
Brussels


Dr. Kumarendra Mallick
India


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Related words

***** . Silence .


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EUROPE SAIJIKI ... TOP


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9/01/2012

Rose chafer

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Rose bug (Cetonia aurata)

***** Location: Europa
***** Season: Summer
***** Category: Animal


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Explanation

Cetonia aurata,
known as the rose chafer, or more rarely as the green rose chafer, rose bug, is a beetle, 20 mm (¾ in) long, that has metallic green coloration (but can be bronze, copper, violet, blue/black or grey) with a distinct V shaped scutellum, the small triangular area between the wing cases just below the thorax, and having several other irregular small white lines and marks. The underside is a coppery colour.



Rose chafers are capable of very fast flight; they do it with their wing cases down thus resembling a bumble bee. They feed on flowers, nectar and pollen, in particular roses (from where they get their name); which is where they can be found on warm sunny days,
between May and June/July, occasionally to September
.

Rose chafers are found over southern and central Europe and the southern part of the UK where they seem to be sometimes very localized.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


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Worldwide use

tamamushi 玉虫 / 金花虫 (たまむし) jewel beetle
two-striped green buprestid, metallic wood borer
Fam. Julodinae, Polycsetinae
kigo for late summer


. Beetles in all seasons .


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Things found on the way




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HAIKU


attempting to fly off
the mellow grape,
a tipsy rose bug

s prezrelog grozda
pokušava poletjeti
pripit gundevalj


- Shared by Tomislav Maretic, Croatia -
Joys of Japan, 2012



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Related words

***** . Beetles in all seasons .


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EUROPE SAIJIKI ... TOP


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1/13/2012

Noah's Ark

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Noah's Ark

***** Location: Europe
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


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Explanation

Noah's Ark
(Hebrew: תיבת נח‎, Teyvat Noaḥ in Classical Hebrew)
is a vessel appearing in the Book of Genesis (chapters 6–9) and the Quran (surahs Hud and Al-Mu’minoon). These narratives describe the construction of a large, seagoing ark by the Patriarch Noah at God's command to save himself, his family, and the world's animals from the worldwide deluge of the Great Flood.



In the narrative of the ark, God sees the wickedness of man and is grieved by his creation, resolving to send a great flood to cleanse the Earth. However, God chooses a man named Noah and "counted it righteous to him" to live and preserve mankind through Noah's family.
God then proceeds to give Noah detailed instructions on how to build the ark. When Noah and the animals are safe on board, God sends the Flood, which rises until all the mountains are covered and all life on Earth is destroyed. At the height of the flood, the ark rests on mountaintops, before the waters recede and dry land reappears.

Noah, his family, and the animals leave the ark to repopulate the Earth. God places a symbolic rainbow in the sky and makes a covenant with Noah and all living things, by which he vows to never again send a flood to destroy the Earth.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !



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Worldwide use





Die Arche Noah


noa no hakobune ノアの箱舟



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Things found on the way



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HAIKU


Noah's ark
animal house
party time


Ben Gieske : poemhunter


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吹雪かれてノアの方舟めく客車
fubuki karete noa no hakobune meku kyakusha

snow blizzard stops
a passenger train looking like
Noah’s Ark


Tayu Misaki 田湯岬
Tr. Fay Aoyagi


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Related words

***** - Christian Celebrations in Japanese Kigo -


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EUROPE SAIJIKI ... TOP


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9/29/2009

Bargain Sales

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Bargain Sales

***** Location: Europe, Japan
***** Season: Various, see below
***** Category: Humanity


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Explanation


Sales (English), soldes (French)

Winterschlussverkauf,
Sommerschlussverkauf (German)


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In most countries of Europe, shops have strictly regulated times when they may release regular goods at cut prices. These are usually towards the middle of winter and summer, respectively.

Thus, the winter sales start soon after Christmas or New Year's Day, and the summer sales take place in July, just before people head off for their holidays.

The opening of the sales is often accompanied by some particularly attractive bargains, for which people in many cities (e.g. Dublin, London) are prepared to queue and wait on the pavements for several days prior to the opening moment. There is a huge rush to reach the desired object, which, if valuable, may have been reduced in price by several hundred Euro. Items are reduced by up to (and sometimes over) 50 percent. In Ireland, some shops may even adopt a policy of reducing all items by 10 percent as well as giving larger concessions on those items specifically in the Sale.

Some factories may sell slightly damaged or imperfect items to the public once or twice a year in a sale which attracts the local public and boosts their public image. Such factory sales are very popular in Ireland, though less frequent now that much production has been globalised.

In Belgium, only a minority of items are reduced for the Sales -- the shops also take the opportunity of restocking with new season items which they sell at normal prices to the crowds of customers attracted by the reductions.

Isabelle Prondzynski
Belgium


CLICK for more photos


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Worldwide use

Japan

kigo for mid-summer

. chuugen uridashi 中元売出(ちゅうげんうりだし)
bargain sail for mid-year presents





. hatsu uridashi 初売出し(はつうりだし)first bargain sales
kigo for the New Year


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. Ebisu markets and bargain sales


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New Zealand, Australia, UK

. Boxing Day  
December 26



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Things found on the way



In 1923 Mitsukoshi in Nihonbashi had
bargain sales of the canned meat.
. WASHOKU
Yamato-ni 大和煮 simmered meat of wild animals
 



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HAIKU



winter bargain sale -
she does not even like
the color


Gabi Greve, 2004


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Related words

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EUROPE SAIJIKI ... TOP


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4/27/2009

Lilac Flieder

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Lilac (Flieder)

***** Location: Germany, Europa
***** Season: Spring
***** Category: Plant


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Explanation

Flieder (lilac)
Syringa

CLICK for more photos


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Syringa (Lilac)
is a genus of about 20–25 species of flowering plants in the olive family (Oleaceae). Although considered to be a tree, it is classified as a bush, native to eastern Europe and western Asia.

Lilacs are popular shrubs in parks and gardens throughout the temperate zone.

The genus name Syringa is derived from syrinx meaning a hollow tube or pipe, and refers to the broad pith in the shoots in some species, easily hollowed out to make reed pipes and flutes in early history.

A pale purple colour is generally known as lilac after the flower.

Symbolism
Lilacs symbolize love.
In Greece, Lebanon, and Cyprus, the lilac is strongly associated with Eastertime because it flowers around that time; it is consequently called paschalia.

Syringa vulgaris is the state flower of New Hampshire, because it "is symbolic of that hardy character of the men and women of the Granite State".

"When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd"
is a poem written by Walt Whitman as an elegy to Abraham Lincoln.

Numerous locations around North America hold yearly Lilac Festivals, the longest-running of which is the one in Rochester, New York.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Der Gemeine Flieder (Syringa vulgaris)
© More in the German WIKIPEDIA !


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Worldwide use

Japan

kigo for late spring

rairakku ライラック (らいらっく)lilac
rira no hana リラの花(りらのはな)
murasaki hoshidoi 紫丁香花(むらさきはしどい) violet Hashidoi



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Things found on the way



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HAIKU





A four-fold lilac
blossom on unfurled buds -
promises to keep


Michael R. Collings
Happy Haiku Forum 2007


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Lilacs damp with dew,
Beautiful fragrance scents breeze
and brings memories.


L. Lee Scott, 2007
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/242626/lilac_haiku.html


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alex serban lilac

Haiga by Alex Serban
Romania, April 2010


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leading the blind
to a bench ...
purple lilac


white lilac
standing alone by the road
an old man lifts his hat


Heike Gewi
Kigo Hotline April 2010


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Related words

***** Plants of Spring ... SAIJIKI

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beside the sparrow
only the fragrance
of a lilac blossom


- Shared by Sandi Pray -
Joys of Japan, 2012


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EUROPE SAIJIKI ... TOP

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6/08/2008

Elm tree

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Elm tree

***** Location: Europa
***** Season: Non-seasonal topic
***** Category: Plant


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Explanation

Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the genus Ulmus, family Ulmaceae, found throughout the Northern Hemisphere from Siberia to Indonesia, Mexico to Japan. Many species and cultivars have also been introduced as ornamentals to parts of the Southern Hemisphere, notably Australasia.

Elms have alternate, simple, single- or doubly-serrate leaves, usually asymmetric at the base and acuminate at the apex. They are hermaphroditic, having perfect flowers which, being wind-pollinated, are without petals. The fruit is a round wind-dispersed samara.

The other genera of the Ulmaceae are Zelkova (Zelkova) and Planera (Water Elm). Celtis (Hackberry or Nettle Tree), formerly included in the Ulmaceae, is now included in the family Cannabaceae.

Elm wood was valued for its interlocking grain, and consequent resistance to splitting, with significant uses in wheels, chair seats and coffins.

From the 18th century to the early 20th century, elms were among the most widely planted ornamental tree in both Europe and North America. They were particularly popular as a street tree in avenue plantings in towns and cities, creating high-tunnelled effects, and to this day, 'Elm Street' remains the most common road name in the USA.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


CLICK for more photos CLICK for more photos



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Sacred Trees

In England the Elm tree was associated with elves.
It was also belived that the falling of leaves of the Elm out of season predicted disease among cattle.
The Elm was also used to cure cattle by means of the "Need fire".
Elm leaves have also been used for centuries for medicinal purposes.
Herbalists still use Slippery Elm.

In Finno-Ugric mythology the Elm`s were believed to be the mothers of the fire Goddess Ut.
© www.paralumun.com

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Elm trees have entered our mythology - a mark of their prominence in the lives of early civilizations.

Germanic tribes included the elm in their creation myth, and Mongols incorporated it in a wedding prayer.

Germanic Creation Myth
The ancient Germanic peoples who came to inhabit much of Europe, believed that three gods, Odin, Vili and Ve, created the world.

According to the myth, these three gods were walking by the sea examining their handiwork when they came upon two fallen trees. One was an ash, the other an elm. Odin imbued them with the spark of life. Vili endowed them with spirit and a thirst for knowledge. Ve gave them the gift of five senses.

When they had finished, the fallen trees resembled the gods themselves. Out of the ash came man. Woman was created from the elm and her name was Embla.
(Source: "Mythologies" compiled by Yves Bonnefoy v. 1, p.281)


Mongol Wedding Prayer

"Mother Ut (Fire), Mistress of Fire, descended from the elms on the tops of the Khangai-Khan and the Burkhatu-Khan mountains. Thou, who wast born when Heaven and Earth parted, who camest forth from the footprints of Mother Ötygen (Earth), thou creation of Tengeri-Khan. Mother Ut, thy father is the hard steel, thy mother the flint, thy ancestors, the elm trees.
Thy brightness reaches the heavens and spreads over the earth. Thy brightness reaches the Heaven-dweller, nursed by the Mistress Uluken.

Goddess Ut, we offer thee yellow butter and a yellow-headed white sheep. Thine are this brave boy and the beautiful bride, the slender daughter."
(Source: "Mythology of All Races" vol. iv, Uno Holmberg, p.453)
© www.elmcare.com

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Worldwide use

Germany

Ulme


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Things found on the way



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HAIKU


today's thunderstorm
sheets of rain drum on the roof --
the elms full of birds


~ Denis M. Garrison, US
Previously published in
Haiku Harvest and Eight Shades of Blue, Lulu Press, 2005.



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yellow leaves
smothering the flowers -
a dying elm


© MGSwartout


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an elm tree shrugs
summer leaves
this autumn night


© mary seabright


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Related Words


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http://worldkigodatabase.blogspot.com/

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5/13/2007

Europe Day

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Europe Day - Europa-Tag

***** Location: European Union
***** Season: Early summer (9 May)
***** Category: Observance


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Explanation

Europe Day is a public holiday for European civil servants and other EU staff worldwide. But even those who do not get the day off, can join in the Europe Day celebrations and festivities in the European capitals and many other towns and cities.

Elsewhere around the world, there are Press articles, reports to commemorate the event, and the usual diplomatic receptions and celebrations to wish Europe well on its “national day”.

Even though the Treaty of Rome was signed on 25 March 1957 (50 years ago in 2007, a year of celebrations), the foundations were laid earlier, on 9 May 1950, when Robert Schuman made his famous speech (see below), which was soon followed by the creation of the first of the European Communities, that on Coal and Steel.


© PHOTO European Commission.

2007 is special for another reason as well -- Bulgaria and Romania joined the European family, and (it pleases the Irishwoman in me to say!) Irish finally became an official language of the European Union.

The week-end before Europe Day is a day of open doors to the European Institutions, and the public enjoy the information, the little gifts, the fun and the many multi-cultural activities laid on for them in the well-known buildings of Brussels, Luxembourg, Strasbourg and the EU Delegations and Representations elsewhere. My haiku notebook dates back to Europe Day 2004!

Text © Isabelle Prondzynski

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The 2007 Europe Day poster is here, together with its predecessors :

http://europa.eu/abc/symbols/9-may/gallery_en.htm


The great array of 2007 celebratory events can be seen here :
http://europa.eu/50/news/article/070503_en.htm

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What is Europe Day?

On 9 May 1950 the first move was made towards the creation of what is now known as the European Union.

In Paris that day, against the background of the threat of a Third World War engulfing the whole of Europe, the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman read to the international press a declaration calling France, Germany and other European countries to pool together their coal and steel production as "the first concrete foundation of a European federation".

What he proposed was the creation of a supranational European Institution, charged with the management of the coal and steel industry, the very sector which was, at that time, the basis of all military power. The countries which he called upon had almost destroyed each other in a dreadful conflict which had left after it a sense of material and moral desolation.

Everything, therefore, began that day. That is why during the Milan Summit of EU leaders in 1985 it was decided to celebrate 9 May as "Europe Day".

Every country which democratically chooses to accede to the European Union endorses its fundamental values of peace and solidarity.

These values find expression through economic and social development embracing environmental and regional dimensions which are the guarantees of a decent standard of living for all citizens.
http://europa.eu/abc/symbols/9-may/euday_en.htm



[Picture © http://europa.eu/abc/symbols/9-may/images/euday_scaffold.jpg]

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Declaration of 9 May 1950

This is the first part of the proposal, which was presented by the French foreign minister Robert Schuman and which led to the creation of what is now the European Union :

World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it. The contribution which an organized and living Europe can bring to civilization is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations. In taking upon herself for more than 20 years the role of champion of a united Europe, France has always had as her essential aim the service of peace. A united Europe was not achieved and we had war.

Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity. The coming together of the nations of Europe requires the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany. Any action taken must in the first place concern these two countries. With this aim in view, the French Government proposes that action be taken immediately on one limited but decisive point.

It proposes that Franco-German production of coal and steel as a whole be placed under a common High Authority, within the framework of an organization open to the participation of the other countries of Europe. The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe, and will change the destinies of those regions which have long been devoted to the manufacture of munitions of war, of which they have been the most constant victims.

The solidarity in production thus established will make it plain that any war between France and Germany becomes not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible. The setting up of this powerful productive unit, open to all countries willing to take part and bound ultimately to provide all the member countries with the basic elements of industrial production on the same terms, will lay a true foundation for their economic unification.

More here :
http://europa.eu/abc/symbols/9-may/decl_en.htm


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Worldwide use

The national holidays and independence days of many countries are comparable festivities.

In the World Kigo Database, see

***** Independence Day worldwide
................. Independence Day (India)

***** Jamhuri Day Kenya
***** Patrick's Day (Ireland) St. Patrick's Day

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Things found on the way


The traffic roundabout outside the main building of the European Commission in Brussels (the Berlaymont) is called Rond-Point Schuman, to honour Robert Schuman, whose far-reaching ideas set it all in motion.

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HAIKU


Europe Day --
a new haiku notebook
to take away

Europe Day --
the sound of war only
on my radio

a new
Euro coin in my purse --
Slovenian

[Slovenia joined the Euro zone in 2007]

~ Isabelle Prondzynski

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Photo © Isabelle Prondzynski

year's first pleasant dream
coming true before its end:
crossing the border!


Admittedly, this haiku needs some explanations.

In Japanese tradition the first dream one has during the year is going to influence the rest of the year. If it's a pleasant one, the year will be good. It was a practice even to sell one's auspicious dream for big money. Some legends even tell of people having their exact dream fulfilled.

In Romania this New Year's Day also meant our country joining the European Union. The first and most obvious consequence thereof was the supression of border control and of the humiliation of having to show a heap of papers and a lot of money (as a proof you had it, so they were just shown not given as a bribe) in order to be free to travel west. Thousands of people crossed the border to Hungary on foot, had a coffee in Hungary, then came back. Among them some elderly people who would never have had the money they were supposed to show...

~ Cristian Mocanu (Romania) (January 2007)

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two new faces
in the gathering round
the year's first hearth

first chorus -
this time an extra
lilt of harmony


Best wishes to all, but especially to those from our new family members (Romania and Bulgaria)!

~ Norman Darlington (January 2007)

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Related words

***** Eurovision Song Contest



This also takes place in May, is run by the European Broadcasting Union, and includes countries beyond the European Union, so that (in 2007) 42 countries will take part. The contest is held on two days, in form of a semi-final (10 May) and a final (12 May).

The event, which always attracts plenty of snide comments, is eminently watchable and enjoyable, and excitement mounts as countries send in their votes, all the way to a (usually) nail-biting finish.

The official web site is here :
http://www.eurovision.tv/


and a detailed Wikipedia write-up can be read here :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurovision_Song_Contest_2007


eurovision --
the best song of all
is the blackbird’s


Isabelle Prondzynski, May 2007


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Croatia is set to become the 28th member state of the European Union on 1 July 2013.

Croatia applied for EU membership in 2003 and the European Commission recommended making it an official candidate in early 2004. Candidate country status was granted to Croatia by the European Council in mid-2004. The entry negotiations, while originally set for March 2005, began in October that year together with the screening process. The accession process of Croatia was complicated by the insistence of Slovenia, an EU member state, that the two countries' border issues be dealt with prior to Croatia's accession to the EU.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !



this Sunday mass
as the summer purification
before entering EU


- Tomislav Maretic -
Haiku Culture Magazine, June 2013



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. BULGARIA SAIJIKI .


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11/03/2006

World Youth Day

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World Youth Day

***** Location: Rome, Worldwide
***** Season: Summer
***** Category: Humanity


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Explanation

Regularly in August, annually on Palm Sunday

1986 1st World Youth Day
Theme: “Always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you” (1Pt 3:15)

2006 21st World Youth Day
Theme: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Ps 119, 105)
http://www.vatican.va/gmg/documents/gmg_chronicle-wyd_20020325_en.html


http://www.vatican.va/gmg/documents/index.html

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The annual one (which everyone basically celebrates at home) coincides with Palm Sunday. The periodical one is celebrated every 2, 3, 4 years in one place and usually in August.

worldwide WYD celebrations with their respective host cities

1983 Rome
1987 Buenos Aires, Argentina
1989 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
1991 Czestochowa, Poland
1993 Manila, Philippines
1995 Denver, Colorado, USA
1997 Paris
2000 Rome
2002 Toronto
2005 Cologne (actually co-hosted by Cologne, Bonn, Dusseldorf and the Erft Valley communities)
(to be held in) 2008 Sydney, Australia

As a "veteran" I should describe what it looks and how it feels like, but it's beyond me. Let me just say it's far more than the Olympics. To have an average of 1 million young people walking down your streets is a challenge but also an experience any metropolis dweller wouldn't want to miss.

There's a first week where the participants (or WYD pilgrims) are hosted somewhere else in the organizing country and guests and hosts get to mutually know each other, their culture, traditions, piety etc.).

In the second week all converge toward the host city/region. It's not the "Catholic Woodstock" as sometimes dubbed by the tabloids, but a vibrant sharing of faith and joy (I should know; I've been inside). The young people have an opportunity to showcase whatever they have best in matters of faith-based art, social action etc. (Annual, "home" celebrations are similar, but more low-key and local in scope). Of course traditional Catholic devotions (Way of the Cross, Eucharistic adoration etc.) and the Mass with the Pope are a part. The final Mass
is preceded by a pilgrimage made on foot (and what an awesome sight it is).
But as I said, it's beyond my narrative abilities, really.

I should, however, conclude with a tribute to what I think is a quintessential element of the WYD: the Six-Pack.
The Six-Pack is a package containing the food ration for 6 WYD pilgrims. That's the standard. Now anybody who has any clue of how things look like during a WYD knows how unlikely it is for one to be able to stick together with other 5 people from the same group/nation. So you have to share: and it's not rare to see people from 5 continents bent over some canned tuna+sweet corn, on the same blanket. And you get to share so much more than that: insights, stories, joy...
I hear rumours that the catering for Sydney 2008 will give up the idea of Six-Packs. I hope not! Drop the Six-Packs and an essential part of the WYD spirit will be gone...

Cristian Mocanu
(the 2000-2002-2005 WYD "veteran")

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World Youth Day for All

Dialogue to Challenge the Church

The Church has so much to talk about with youth, and youth have so much to share with the Church. This mutual dialogue should take place with great cordiality, clarity and courage.
(Pope John Paul II.)

“World Youth Day for All” will try to implement this dialogue!
http://wyd4all.org/index.php?id=157

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Pope Holds Mass With One Million Pilgrims



Pope Benedict XVI sent a crowd of one million young pilgrims home happy from a gigantic open-air mass on Sunday, defying his reputation as a cold, distant pontiff who dislikes crowds.

The giant service at a former coal mine outside Cologne was the final major public appearance of Benedict's first foreign trip as pope, a trip which had been planned for Pope John Paul II.

Pilgrims from all over the world had spent the night at the site where the mass was held. Some 700,000 had attended a prayer-vigil with Benedict the night before, but the World Youth Day organizers said the numbers had swelled to "more than one million" by Sunday's mass.

© Deutsche Welle. Read more here:
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,1686424,00.html

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Worldwide use

Germany

Welt-Jugend-Tag, Weltjugendtag

The final celebration was held at Marienfeld in the Erft valley (Germany).
For this celebration, one used an artificial hill made up of earth brought from 110 countries...

Cristian Mocanu, RO

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Marienfeld

Das Marienfeld ist eine 260 ha umfassende Ackerfläche im seit 2003 verfüllten und rekultivierten ehemaligen Braunkohletagebau Frechen, in dem von 1952 bis 1986 Braunkohle aus einer Tiefe von 250 Metern gefördert wurde. Es liegt westlich von Köln im Rhein-Erft-Kreis in Nordrhein-Westfalen.

Papsthügel

Für die Gottesdienste wurde nach dem Spatenstich am 31. März 2005 der so genannte Papsthügel errichtet. Diese 10 m hohe Aufschüttung für den Altar taufte Joachim Kardinal Meisner auf den Namen Berg der 70 Nationen, weil dort Delegierte aus 70 Ländern zu Beginn des Jahres 2005 Erde aus ihren Ländern niedergelegt hatten. Für den Papsthügel wurden in 55 Tagen etwa 80.000 m³ Erde aufgeschüttet. Der Hügel hat eine Grundfläche von 15.000 m² und eine obere Fläche für Altar und Sitzplätze von 3.500 m², um circa 2.000 Menschen Platz zu bieten.

Nach Abschluss des Weltjugendtages wurden die Installationen rund um das Marienfeld bis Dezember 2005 zurückgebaut, der Papsthügel blieb jedoch erhalten und wird, wahrscheinlich im Rahmen eines Naherholungsgebietes, weiter genutzt werden.

© Wikipedia
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marienfeld_(Weltjugendtag)

Link in English
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Youth_Day_2005

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Things found on the way



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HAIKU


World Youth Day ~
the wind scatters earth from 110 contries

World Youth Day ~
the sun warms earth from 110 contries

"chibi" (pen-name for Dennis M. Holmes)


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Related words

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Please send your contributions to Gabi Greve
worldkigo .....

Back to the WHC Worldkigo Index
http://worldkigodatabase.blogspot.com/

10/05/2006

Veronica Flower

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Veronica (inu fuguri)

***** Location: Europe, Japan
***** Season: Early Spring
***** Category: Plant


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Explanation

Veronica, inufuguri, inu-fuguri, inu no fuguri
...... いぬふぐり、いぬのふぐり、犬のふぐり(犬ふぐり)

...... オオイヌフグリ
Veronica didyma
... Plant like a gourd, hyootan gusa 瓢箪草 ひょうたんぐさ
field speedwell, grey field-speedwell

Small blue, sometimes pink to lavender colored flowers cover the ground everywhere now. It is one of the earliest Spring flowers around here. Like a proper weed, it covers the still empty flowerbeds, the roadside, the small path between the rice fields and the stone walls between the fields.

But the origin of this flower is Europe. Other sources place it as native to South Asia. It has been introduced to Japan in the early Meiji Period and soon taken its place in the local landscape. Sometimes it looks like a blue carpet on an empty field.

陰嚢, fuguri, means the scrotum, testicles. Literally this flower is named "testicles of a dog", but that has nothing to with the looks of it.
The small flowers have four petals and the color gets more intensive toward the outside.



all the colors of spring -
weeds
by the roadside

© Photo and Haiku, Gabi Greve, 2006

Click on the photo to see more pictures.

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Veronica polita

Annual. . The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Veronica+didyma

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Worldwide use

Names in different countries

DE : Glanz-Ehrenpreis
DK : blank ærenpris
EN : grey field-speedwell
ES : veronica polita
FR : véronique luisante
IT : veronica lucida
NL : gladde ereprijs
PT : verónica-azul

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Things found on the way



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HAIKU


犬ふぐり 色なき畦と 思ひしに 
及川 貞


空がもし 砕けなばこの 犬ふぐり 
林 翔

http://home.g05.itscom.net/lacerise/haiku/soushun.html

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haiku yomi hajimete shiru ya inu fuguri



reading haiku -
for the first time I come to know
veronica flowers

(Tr. Gabi Greve)

緑風さん

Look at a page with more haiga and haiku about this plant.
http://haiku.blog.livedoor.com/ichiran.php?kg=3038

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She names
her blue-eyed baby Veronica -
for the wee flowers she loves.


Zhanna P. Rader


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. Nakamura Sakuo on Facebook


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Related words

***** Spring (haru, Japan)


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8/08/2006

Three Kings Day , Epiphany

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Three Kings Day , Epiphany

***** Location: Europe, Christian Communities
***** Season: Late Winter (Jan. 06)
***** Category: Observance


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Explanation


. Epiphany, koogen no hi 公現の日 こうげんのひ  
gokoogen 御公現(ごこうげん)
ju no gokoogen no iwaibi
主の御公現の祝日(しゅのごこうげんのいわいび)


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The Feast of the Epiphany takes place each year on the fixed date of 6 January in the Western churches, and later in the Orthodox churches. This means that it occurs in winter in the Northern hemisphere, in the hot dry season in East Africa and in summer in the Southern hemisphere.

The Epiphany is the day when the arrival of the Three Wise Men or Magi in Bethlehem to worship the Christ child is celebrated by Christians the world over. The three wise men are seen as having come from different countries -- so, symbolically, this event heralds the arrival of the Messiah for the entire world.



The Christmas crib in All Saints’ Church, Mullingar, Ireland

In Spanish speaking countries, this (rather than Christmas) is the day when gifts are exchanged -- as the three wise men also brought their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Christ child.

The Epiphany spells the end of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” and, on the following day, Christmas trees are undecorated and removed from the house, and Christmas cribs are removed from the church until the following year. The (longer) Epiphany season continues in church until it ends on Ash Wednesday, which is the start of Lent.

Text and photo © Isabelle Prondzynski

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Three Kings Day is celebrated on January 6th, twelve days after Christmas. It is often viewed as the last day of the Christmas season (the end of the 12 days of Christmas).

Also known as The Epiphany, Three Kings Day (Día de los Reyes) is a Christian celebration that commemorates the Biblical story of the three kings who followed the star of Bethlehem to bring gifts to the Christ child. According to the Biblical story, the Three Kings – named Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar – presented the Baby Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Traditionally in Mexico, Three Kings Day was the gift-giving time, rather than Christmas day. Just as it is common for children to leave cookies for Santa in the U.S., in some regions of Mexico, it was customary for children to leave their shoes out on the night of January 5, often filling them with hay for the camels, in hopes that the Three Kings would be generous. Mexican children would awake on January 6 to find their shoes filled with toys and gifts.

Also traditional in Mexico is for families to gather together and share the Rosca de Reyes. The Rosca de Reyes is a crown-shaped sweet bread decorated with pieces of orange and lime. It is filled with nuts, figs, and cherries. Hot chocolate is traditionally served with the Rosca de Reyes.

© 2006 Calendar Updates
http://www.calendar-updates.com/info/holidays/us/threekings.aspx

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The Visit of the Wise Men
Matthew 2 : 1 - 12

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

“And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.” ’


Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’

When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

© http://bible.oremus.org/

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Epiphany means the showing of God to all nations.

The Magi follow a star. They are not deterred by the evil scheming of Herod; like many good people, they seem hardly to perceive his wickedness, but make good use of the information he offers. They bring gifts; the gold of Gaspar, the myrrh of Melchior, the frankincense of Balthasar. And in the Christian tradition, they symbolise all nations, and every race.

There were three kings, and O what a sight!
One was yellow, and one was white,
and one was black as Epiphany night
on Christmas Day in the morning


~ Sacred Space, The Prayer Book 2007 :
from the web site www.sacredspace.ie


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Worldwide use

Kenya



Crib from All Saints' Cathedral Nairobi
Photo Isbelle Isabelle Prondzynski

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Philippines

In the Philippines which has the longest days of celebrating Christmas, from the middle of December to January 6, any godchild who fails to receive his Christmas gift from his godfather for some reason or another, has January 6 (Three Kings Day) as the last day where he can visit his godparents and still get a Christmas present
or two.

three kings day
the last time to ask for
Christmas presents


Victor P. Gendrano, 2007

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Traditions of the Epiphany

Christianity celebrates the Magi on the day of Epiphany, January 6, the last of the twelve days of Christmas, particularly in the Spanish-speaking parts of the world.

In these Spanish-speaking areas, the three kings (Sp. "los Reyes Magos de Oriente", also "Los Tres Reyes Magos"), receive wish letters from children and magically bring them gifts on the night before Epiphany. According to the tradition, the Magi come from the Orient on their camels to visit the houses of all the children; much like the Northern European Santa Claus with his reindeer, they visit everyone in one night. In some areas, children prepare a drink for each of the Magi, it is also traditional to prepare food and drink for the camels, because this is the only night of the year when they eat.

Spanish cities organize cabalgatas in the evening, in which the kings and their servants parade and throw sweets to the children (and parents) in attendance. The cavalcade of the three kings in Alcoi claims to be the oldest in the world; the participants who portray the kings and pages walk through the crowd, giving presents to the children directly.

In France and Belgium, the holiday is celebrated with a special tradition: within a family, a cake is baked which contains one single bean. Whoever gets the bean is "crowned" king for the remainder of the holiday.

This tradition also exists in Spain, but with one small variant; the cake, in this case actually a ring-shaped pastry or Roscón de Reyes, is most commonly bought, not baked, and it contains a small figurine of a Magus and a dry broad bean. The one who gets the figurine is crowned, but whoever gets the bean has to pay the value of the cake to the person that originally bought it.

A tradition in some Polish (Slavic) homes involves writing the initials of the three kings above the main door of the home to confer blessings on the occupants for the New Year. For example, K + M + B 2007.*
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Magi#Traditions_of_the_Epiphany


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Lovely page showing how the festival is celebrated in Tenerife (Spain), complete with this photo :


http://www.secret-tenerife.com/2006/01/los-reyes-magos-epiphany-jan-6th.shtml

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Puerto Rico

Día de Reyes : If you are Puerto Rican then you have to celebrate Los Reyes. After Christmas put a Reyes statue as a centerpiece on your dinning room table so the kids know - it's no over yet "faltan los Reyes."

Celebrate it Puerto Rican style, that is.... have the kids cut grass or greenery on January 5th and put it in a box under their bed.


http://www.elboricua.com/images/PRKids_grassforCamels.jpg

Put a small gift from Los Reyes in the box once they fall asleep - and don't forget to throw out the grass. Have a special and festive Día de Reyes meal that day. Take pictures of your children with their boxes. After dinner make it a tradition to sing a Reyes song.

Los Reyes arrive before dawn on January 6th. For centuries Puerto Rican children have celebrated Los Reyes in the same manner as their grandparents did when they were children. January 6 is called Epiphany and is traditionally the day in which the Magi arrived bearing gifts for the Christ child. Even to this day in Hispanic countries throughout the world, January 6 is the day that children receive their Christmas gifts, in commemoration of the Magi's visit.

... Much more on this page, with some seasonal music too :
http://www.elboricua.com/losreyes.html


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Mexico

Dia de Reyes (Epiphany) : Each year, this Mexican Christmas tradition continues. The children gather at the Alameda Central Park in Mexico City to visit the Three Magi (The Three Kings) and hand-deliver letters with their wishes and gifts in the tradition of the Three Wise Men who came from the East, following the star of Bethlehem, and presenting the Christ Child with gold, incense and myrrh.

The traditional Epiphany supper of ring-shaped cake with hot chocolate originated in Spain and made its way to Mexico. The cake is decorated with sugar and dried fruit. A small figure, representing the Christ Child, is hidden inside the cake. The century old tradition states that whoever finds the "Child" is spiritually obliged to present the figure at the nearest church on February 2nd and offer a tamale-party in his honor.
http://www.texmextogo.com/TexMexFoodHistory.htm

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Italy

La Befana is a character in Italian folklore, similar to Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus. The character may have originated in Rome, then spread as a tradition to peninsular Italy.

Her name derives from the festival of Epiphany, and she visits all the children of Italy on the night of 6 January to fill their socks with candy if they are good or a lump of coal if they are bad. Being a good housekeeper, many say she will sweep the floor before she leaves. The child's family typically leaves a small glass of wine and a plate with a few morsels of food, often regional or local, for Befana.

She is usually portrayed as an old lady riding a broomstick through the air wearing a black shawl and is covered in soot because she enters the childrens houses through the chimney. Unlike a witch though, she is often smiling and she has a bag or a hamper filled with candy and/or gifts.

Legend has it that La Befana was approached by the Astrologers some days before Christ's birth. They asked for directions to where the Christ Child was, but she did not know. She provided them with shelter for a night, as she was considered the best housekeeper in the village with the most pleasant home. They invited her to join them on the journey to find the Christ Child, but she declined, stating she was too busy with her housework. Later, Befana had a change of heart, and tried to search out for the Astrologers and the Christ child. That night she was not able to find them, so to this day, La Befana is searching for the Christ child. She leaves all the good children toys and candy, while the bad children get coal; for she never knows who might be Jesus!

Traditionally, all Italian children may expect to find a lump of "coal" in their stockings (actually rock candy made black with caramel coloring), as every child has been at least occasionally bad during the preceding year.

In the center of Rome, in Piazza Navona, a popular Market, the Fiera della Befana takes place each year between Christmas and the Epiphany. There toys, sugar charcoal and candies are sold for the Roman children.

The feast of la Befana in Rome has been immortalized in four famous sonetti in roman dialect by the nineteenth century roman poet Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli.

There is a poem about La Befana, which is well-known throughout Italy. Here it is:

La Befana vien di notte
Con le scarpe
Tutte rotte
Vien vestita
Alla romana
Viva, Viva La Befana!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Befana

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Trinidad and Tobago

Overlap : In the first month of the global calendar year, those of the Christian ethic will observe the Christmas season up until January 6th, for Christians the Solemnity of the Epiphany.

Meanwhile, Carnival loving Trinis (nationals of Trinidad and Tobago), are already selecting their costumes to masquerade on the streets, and calypso and soca singers are airing their music on the radios,TV, and in the fetes (Carnival parties).

On 19th and 20th Feburary 2007, Trinis will celebrate the annual street festival of carnival (some call it the world’s greatest show).

Gillena Cox
http://myblog-lunchbreak.blogspot.com/


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Things found on the way



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HAIKU


wise men guided by a star,
to the newborn baby.
who made the stars




© Haiga by Clark Stephen, 2007
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p254/Stephen123_album/Epiph.jpg

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Christmas crib --
a toddler joins
the three wise men

Isabelle Prondzynski, 2007

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Bright shimmering star
Lights up the three wise men's path
Babe in manger lie

Annalise Iannelli
http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/dec/25/holiday_haiku/


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Three men
known only for their gifts:
the Magi


J.D. Heskin (USA)
http://www.asahi.com/english/haiku/041227.html




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Epiphany -
a kokeshi doll
comes to me


- Shared by Elaine Andre -
Joys of Japan, 2013



. Kokeshi, Wooden Dolls こけし .


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***** Christmas

***** . Christian Celebrations in Winter
 


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7/20/2006

Stephen’s Day

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St Stephen’s Day (26 December)

***** Location: Christian communities worldwide
***** Season: Mid-Winter
***** Category: Observance


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Explanation

quote
St. Stephen's Day, or the Feast of St. Stephen, is a Christian saint's day celebrated
on 26 December in the Western Church and
27 December in the Eastern Church. Many Eastern Orthodox churches adhere to the Julian calendar and mark St. Stephen's Day on 27 December according to that calendar, which places it on 9 January of the Gregorian calendar used in secular contexts.
more in the wikipedia


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St Stephen was the first Martyr in Christian history. The manner of his death is recorded in the Bible (Acts of the Apostles, chapters 6 and 7 -- text see below). The fact that Christmas Day is immediately followed by St Stephen’s Day in the Christian calendar is significant, showing that, even after the birth, resurrection and ascension of Christ, the world remained a place of struggle, and Christianity would be continually challenged from both within and without.

St Stephen was a deacon, a servant and helper, not a priest. In many of the mainstream Christian denominations, ordinands are made deacons before they become priests, and they remain deacons throughout the rest of their lives. St. Stephen is the model of the servant in the church and of the people, and is revered for this quality as well as for his death by martyrdom.

Isabelle Prondzynski

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[© http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:St-stephen.jpg]

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The Arrest of Stephen

Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. Then they secretly instigated some men to say, ‘We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.’

They stirred up the people as well as the elders and the scribes; then they suddenly confronted him, seized him, and brought him before the council. They set up false witnesses who said, ‘This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us.’ And all who sat in the council looked intently at him, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

The Stoning of Stephen

When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen. But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’ But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he died.

Acts 6 : 8 - 15 and 7 : 54 - 60
http://bible.oremus.org/


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© artunframed.com
http://www.artunframed.com/images/artmis36/carpaccio81.jpg

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Worldwide use

In many countries, St Stephen’s Day is not celebrated as such, but is a public holiday called “Second Christmas Day” or “Day after Christmas” or similar. It may be celebrated as a church holiday, with special services continuing the Christmas theme.

Ireland
In Ireland, St. Stephen’s Day is the day for going out and visiting neighbours and friends, after the family-centred Christmas celebrations of the day before.

Isabelle Prondzynski

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In Irish it is called Lá Fhéile Stiofán or Lá an Dreoilín --
the latter translates literally as another English name used, the Day of the Wren or Wren's Day. When used in this context, 'wren' is often pronounced 'ran'. This name alludes to several legends, including those found in Ireland linking episodes in the life of Jesus to the wren. In parts of Ireland persons carrying either an effigy of a wren, or an actual caged wren, travel from house to house playing music, singing and dancing. Depending on which region of the country, they are called Wrenboys, Mummers or Strawboys. A Mummer's Festival is held at this time every year in the village of New Inn, Co. Galway. A popular rhyme, known to many Irish children and sung at each house visited by the mummers goes as follows:

The wren, the wren, the king of all birds,
On St. Stephen's Day was caught in the furze,
Up with the penny and down with the pan,
Give us a penny to bury the wren.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Stephen%27s_Day


In various parts of Ireland on St. Stephen's Day, December 26th, Wrenboys (Mummers) celebrate the Wren (also pronounced as the Wran) by dressing up in straw masks and colourful clothing and, accompanied by traditional céilí music bands, parade through the towns and villages. The tradition also exists (or existed) in various parts of Britain, especially Wales.

Some people theorise that the Wren celebration has descended from Celtic mythology. Sources suggest that Druids apparently studied the flight of the wren, amongst other birds, to derive predictions about the future. It may also have been introduced or influenced by Scandinavian settlers during the Viking invasions of the 8th-10th Centuries. Various associated legends exist, such as the Wren bird being responsible for betraying Irish soldiers who fought the Viking invaders in the late first and early second millennia, and for betraying the Christian martyr Saint Stephen, after whom the day is named.

This mythological association with treachery is a probable reason why in past times the bird was hunted by Wrenboys on St. Stephen's Day. A captured Wren was killed and tied to the Wrenboy leader's staff pole. Wrenboys no longer practice this aspect of the Wren, although the event is still referred to as Hunting The Wren. Devoted Wrenboys, with their colourful straw costumes and masks, and with the accompanying céilí bands, continue to ensure that the Gaelic tradition of celebrating the Wren continues to this day.
© http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrenboys

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Very good school page on wren boys :
http://www.sligogrammarschool.org/halostephenswrenboys.htm



[© http://www.sligogrammarschool.org/halo/stephensday/wrenboys.jpg]

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Great Britain

In Great Britain and many of the Commonwealth countries, St Stephen’s Day is known as “Boxing Day”, which has nothing to do with the sport of boxing. In England, the favourite sport for Boxing Day is in fact hunting or any other form of horse riding outdoors.

Isabelle Prondzynski.

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Quote from the Wikipedia

There are disparate theories as to the origins of the term. The more common stories include:

It was the day when people would give a present or Christmas 'box' to those who have worked for them throughout the year. This is still done in Britain for postmen and paper-boys - though now the 'box' is usually given before Christmas, not after.

In feudal times, Christmas was a reason for a gathering of extended families. All the serfs would gather their families in the manor of their lord, which made it easier for the lord of the estate to hand out annual stipends to the serfs. After all the Christmas parties on 26 December, the lord of the estate would give practical goods such as cloth, grains, and tools to the serfs who lived on his land. Each family would get a box full of such goods the day after Christmas. Under this explanation, there was nothing voluntary about this transaction; the lord of the manor was obliged to supply these goods. Because of the boxes being given out, the day was called Boxing Day.

In England many years ago, it was common practice for the servants to carry boxes to their employers when they arrived for their day's work on the day after Christmas. Their employers would then put coins in the boxes as special end-of-year gifts. This can be compared with the modern day concept of Christmas bonuses. The servants carried boxes for the coins, hence the name Boxing Day.

In churches, it was traditional to open the church's donation box on Christmas Day, and the money in the donation box was to be distributed to the poorer or lower class citizens on the next day. In this case, the "box" in "Boxing Day" comes from that lockbox in which the donations were left.

Because the staff had to work on such an important day as Christmas Day by serving the master of the house and their family, they were given the following day off. Since being kept away from their own families to work on a traditional religious holiday and not being able to celebrate Christmas Dinner, the customary benefit was to "box" up the leftover food from Christmas Day and send it away with the servants and their families. Hence the "boxing" of food became "Boxing Day".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_Day


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Things found on the way



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HAIKU


wrens and sparrows
flock to the bird table --
St Stephen’s day

Isabelle Prondzynski, 2006

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