New Year’s Resolutions: A Tradition

By : Damien Knight

Before I list my New Year’s resolutions for this year, I want to give you this post. Another one of my holiday histories.

New Year’s resolutions are nearly as old as New Year itself. It dates back to almost 4000 years back to the kingdom of Babylon. Babylonian New Year was celebrated during the feast time Akitu. It was during Akitu new kings would be crowned or oaths to old kings were sworn. They also would swear oaths to their gods. These oaths often included promises to pay debts.

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Motivational Monday: Christmas Trees

By Damien Knight

Every year on the 15th of December my father, a short man, would go out and pick a live tree that often was 2 feet taller than he was. He would proudly haul this tree up four flights of stairs and into the apartment. The pine smelt amazing, and you could tell our father worked hard to pick the best tree.

My favourite tree was the one he hauled up those stairs, got it to the door, and in the house only to stand it up and it didn’t fit. We had to trim the top it was so tall. While I have never purchased a live tree, I cherished those memories and know Christmas is a time of celebration. Happy Yule, Merry Christmas, and a Cheerful Holiday to all my readers this year!
christmas

April Fool’s Day

By Damien Knight

(Originally written on April 1st 2017)

I have never been one to really get into this holiday. I don’t like surprises or pranks. I hate people jumping at me and sneaking up on me. Today is also my son’s favourite day to do all the above. This got me thinking, why do we celebrate April Fools day.
According to Snopes, it started with a legend. Once upon a time we started the year in March 25th and the new year was celebrated on April 1st. History.com also cites this as a potential origin,  stating that it started in France and those who did not know the new year changed to January were “April Fish” a term to describe being easily caught.
Even though this legend seems plausible the celebration goes back even further and might even link to the Roman Festival of Hilaria where Romans wore disguises. During this time of year even Mother Nature gets in on the act giving us tricky weather.
Snopes states those who, like myself, respond poorly to hoaxes will call bad luck on themselves. Another supposed rule is hoaxes past noon bring bad luck on the prankster. Either way I hope all you pranksters and the “fish, gowks and fools” had a great Fools Day.

My Favourite Holiday

By Cera Knapp Author Photo I love St.Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day is on my birthday. This is why I love St. Patrick’s Day. In America we celebrate by wearing green. St. Patrick’s day is from Ireland. It is celebrated on March 17th, the day St. Patrick died. It is a Catholic holiday. The holiday honours St. Patrick. He is the patron saint of Ireland. Irish myth claims St. Patrick banished…

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Halloween: A Brief History

By: Damien Knight

(Written in Oct 2016)
As All Hallow’s Eve or as we today call it Halloween approaches I thought it pertinent we reflect on the origins of this so called “Devils Holiday.” For me it is particularly important as my family follows the tradition of the Samhain feast. A feast that is said to have come from old harvest feasts back in Europe before the spread of Christianity and is supposedly the original purpose of Halloween.
Samhain was an ancient Celtic festival that celebrated the end of harvest and the preparation of winter. It was believed by the Celts that during this time the spirit world veil was thinnest. Many other cultures today still believe this which is why the Day of The Dead is celebrated on November second while the veil is still ‘thin.’ Like the Day of the Dead, Samhain also featured paying respect to the deceased and Aos Si (old gods, fae) that they might survive the coming winter. They would do this by leaving an offering of drink and a small portion of that years harvest.
It is customarily believed costumes were donned at some point to trick spirits. The earliest known use of costumes for trick or treating was in medieval Europe during Hallow-mas on November first. Poor folk would go door to door begging for food in return for praying over the houses dead. This practice was called Souling. This was followed by All Souls Day on November second which was similar to the Day of the Dead in today’s modern culture.
Halloween was slow to pick up in America. The earliest report of something like trick or treat in America was in the early 1900’s. While stories portray Halloween as an invention by American adults to keep kids from performing trick (pranks) and instead get treats this is not entirely true. In some places kids had to stage protests due to adult unwillingness to celebrate. By 1952 Halloween became a well-established American custom.
All around the world people celebrate Halloween and various other death honouring holidays. While today we enjoy getting our scare on it is good to remember that Halloween was a day to pay respect to those who passed on. It isn’t about fearing death but respecting it and enjoying life. Happy Halloween!

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My Favourite Holiday

By Cera Knapp Author Photo I love St.Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day is on my birthday. This is why I love St. Patrick’s Day. In America we celebrate by wearing green. St. Patrick’s day is from Ireland. It is celebrated on March 17th, the day St. Patrick died. It is a Catholic holiday. The holiday honours St. Patrick. He is the patron saint of Ireland. Irish myth claims St. Patrick banished…

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