Wonderful Worldwide Traditions of New Year’s

fireworks at night

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The annual celebration of New Year’s Eve is one of my favorite times of the year. It is during this time that we reminisce about the past year and, at the same time, look ahead, plan, and make resolutions for the future. Millions and millions of people around the world take part in the festivities and revelry as they welcome in the New Year.

As with many of the holidays that we have throughout the year, I always find it very interesting and enjoyable to find some history and fun facts about each day. This holiday is no different. So, I decided to share some interesting facts with you about the celebration of New Year and some other intriguing things…so…here we go.

Interesting Things That Are Dropped New Year’s Eve

Most people from around the world, know that every year, New York City welcomes in the New Year in Times Square, by dropping a big “ball” which gradually descends from the top of a pole to the bottom, where it rests while all kinds of lights blink and shine as the new year begins. It all started in 1907 after there was a fireworks ban. In 1907, the iron and wood ball weighed 700-pounds and was covered with 25-watt bulbs made of iron. Today, it weighs 11,875 pounds, is 12 feet in diameter and is adorned with 2,668 Waterford crystals. Meanwhile, close to a million people in the square, dance, party, hug and kiss, and have a good time at this joyous moment. Around the world, approximately 1 billion people watch world-wide festivities from their televisions or computers.

But are there other things that are dropped in celebration of New Year’s instead of a giant ball? You bet there is!!! Here are some remarkable objects that are “dropped.” So, without further ado, here are some things from around the United States that I think you will find entertaining.

In Brookville, Florida, a giant tangerine was dropped 40 feet in 2009.

In Traverse, Michigan, a cherry is dropped.

In Flagstaff, Arizona, a pine cone is dropped from a hotel.

In Prescott, Arizona, a boot is dropped

In South Lake, California, a gondola is lowered.

In Temecula, California, a bunch of grapes is dropped.

In Niagara Falls, Ontario, a 10-foot guitar is dropped from a specially designed 120-foot scaffold at the Hard Rock Café.

In Easton, Maryland, a red crab is dropped.

In Lebanon, Pennsylvania, a 100-pound stick of bologna is dropped.

In Easton, Pennsylvania, and giant M&M is dropped

In St. George’s, Bermuda, a paper-Mache Bermuda onion covered with Christmas lights is dropped.

In Black Creek, North Carolina, a large red heart drop is lowered.

In Eastover, North Carolina, a three-foot-tall, thirty-pound flea is dropped.

In Elmore, Ohio, a sausage is dropped.

In Cincinnati, Ohio, a flying pig is “flown”, not dropped, demonstrating to everyone that there is at least one occasion “when pigs fly.”

In Red Lion, Pennsylvania. A wooden cigar held by a lion is raised.

In Panama City, Florida, an 800-pound beach ball is lowered from a tower 12 stories high.

In Praire du Chien, Wisconsin, A carp (real but dead) caught by a local fisherman and weighing between 25-30 pounds is lowered.

In Vincennes, Indiana, a giant 18-foot, 500-pound steel, and foam watermelon is raised 100 feet during the final 60-second countdown to midnight.

…..and there are many, many others!!!

 

Several Amazing Facts About the New Year Celebration

The Babylonians celebrated the New Year over 4,000 years ago.

The New Year’s song, “Auld Lang Syne,” means, “times gone by.”

If you want to have a happy new year, don’t eat lobster or chicken. Lobsters can move backward and chickens can scratch in reverse, so it is thought these foods could bring a reversal of fortune.

The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah. Apples and honey are usually eaten to celebrate.

In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring good luck all year long.

In some countries, the use of fireworks are used for more than just celebrations…they are also believed to scare off evil spirits and bring good luck

44% of American adults plan to kiss someone at midnight.

61% of people say a prayer.

Over 1 million people line the 40 miles of shoreline of the city of Sydney, Australia.

In Japan, at the stroke of midnight, Buddhist monks strike the gongs 108 times in an effort to drive out the 108 human weaknesses.

New Year’s Day is the oldest celebrated holiday.

Many people in America, eat Black Eyed Peas, cabbage, and ham on New Year’s Day for good luck.

In South America & Spain.
A person will take 12 red grapes and 12 green grapes and at midnight, they eat their first 12 red grapes, thinking about each month that passed this year, and all the things that they are grateful for that happened this year. Then they eat the 12 green grapes, thanking in advance for each new month’s blessings that will come the next year. (I know, it’s a lot of grapes to eat, so most people only do 12 grapes, and I guess they combine the gratitude for the months past and the months to come) I remember Pink or red underwear was usually for Christmas and yellow undergarments for good luck in the New Year.
No matter what tradition, this is a wonderful opportunity to reflect with gratitude for the experiences and lessons we receive this year, and to pan on the areas we want to improve or change as we have an exciting fresh chapter in our lives to start anew. (Contributed by Amira of Body and Soul Nourishment Blog).

 

Germany

In Germany, people will bake donuts, called, Pfannkuchens, which are usually filled with jelly or liquor. As a joke, a few donuts are filled with mustard. The unfortunate soul who bites into this morsel is considered someone who will have bad luck in the new year.

Itlay

A person wearing red underwear on New Year’s eve is thought to bring love, good luck, and success in the year to come.

England

Ever wonder why people kiss at the stroke of midnight? This tradition possibly began in England and Germany. It is believed that the kiss, will set the tone for the relationship of the two people involved in the smooch, for the upcoming year.

Mexico

People decorate their houses in the colors…each depicting the hopes that they have in the upcoming year. Red for love, yellow for work. and green for money.

Bahamas

Every New Year, there is a parade called the “Junkanoo” parade. People usually spend months decorating and creating their costumes with the winners taking home a prize.

Canada

In 1920, our friends in the Great White North started the traditional Polar Bear swim in which participants jump into the frigid North Bay on New Year’s Day.

Czech Republic

The people of this country believe that they can predict the future of the upcoming year by slicing an apple in half and observing the shape of its core. Interesting.

Japan

Buddhist temples throughout the land of Japan, usher in the New Year by ringing their bells 108 times…once for each of the human sins in the Buddhist beliefs. Many of the Japanese people believe that by doing so, it cleanses them from all of their sins from the previous year.

China

Many Chinese people will paint the doors of their homes red…which represents happiness and good fortune. They also hide their knives so that no one cuts themselves since it is believed that if someone gets cut, it could change their fortune for the new year ahead of them.

Scotland

In Stonehaven, during their New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Scots swing large balls of fire (which represent the sun) around during the Hogmanay festival by trained professionals then cast them into the sea. This tradition is meant to scare off evil spirits and purification.

Siberia (Russia)

On New Year’s Eve, courageous divers plant trees under frozen lakes  (YIKES!). According to tradition, the planting of the Yolka” (i.e. the Siberian Christmas tree) signifies the coming of “Father Frost” and symbolizes starting over.

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Do you know of any other traditions that celebrated around the world? Share them and I will add them to this post and give your site credit (if you wish).

Well, I hope that you enjoyed these tidbits and facts. I would like to personally wish each and every one of you the healthiest and happiest New Year!!

And here’s to many, many more!


Some Resources (countries): http://www.lifehacks.com & http://www.insider.com

Can Prayer Save America?

architecture art clouds landmark

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During the Civil War, a friend of Abraham Lincoln was a visitor in the White House. “One night I was restless and could not sleep… From the private room where the President slept, I heard low tones. Instinctively I wandered in, and there was a sight which I have never forgotten, It was the President, kneeling before an open Bible. His back was towards me. I shall never forget his prayer: “Oh, Thou God that heard Solomon when he prayed and cried for wisdom, hear me…I cannot guide the affairs of this nation without Thy help. Hear me and save this nation.”

When the leaders of our country assembled to write the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin proposed that each session be opened in prayer. Franklin said, “I have lived a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proof I see of this truth – that God governs the affairs of men.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, First Chief Justice John Jay are all names synonymous with the spirit of our country and some of the Founding Fathers of the U.S.A. Over 200 years ago they shook off the chains of tyranny from Great Britain by divine call. Citing 27 biblical violations they wrote the Declaration of Independence
with liberty and justice for all.

But something happened since Jefferson called the Bible the cornerstone for American liberty then put it in our schools as a light or since “Give me liberty or give me death”, Patrick Henry said Our country was founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have eliminated God from the equation of American life thus eliminating the reason this nation first began.

Of the 55 men who formed the Constitution, fifty-two were active members of their church…founding fathers such as Noah Webster, who wrote the first dictionary
could literally quote the Bible chapter and verse. James Madison said, “We’ve staked our future on our ability to fallow the Ten Commandments with all our heart.” These men believed you couldn’t even call yourself an American if you subverted the Word of God

In his farewell address, Washington said, “You can’t have national morality apart from religious principle, ” and it’s true. Abe Lincoln said, “The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government of the next.”
So when you eliminate the Word of God from the classroom and politics, you eliminate the nation that Word protects.

Our nation is great because it was founded upon God’s Word and prayer. But today, prayer has been replaced by political intrigue, materialism, and a mistaken notion that our private and national affairs can be run without God.

But here and there throughout America, voices are heard as individuals and groups begin to call on God in prayer. But this whole nation must be moved to prayer. So great are the dangers, so grave the perils, so tremendous the problems, that it is imperative that we lay hold upon the Lord God in prayer for His will.

Prayer CAN save America! There is only one way to go…and that is up! If we do not turn to God, our country will soon disappear like many of the great empires in history have done. It is either revival or ruin. It is now or never. The answer will not be found in the UN or NATO. The answer will only be found when we call upon the Lord God. Spiritual values need to be restored and we must return to the faith of our fathers, to family prayer, and the Bible. If we continue to ignore God and focus on the inadequate philosophies of the world…America will continue its tailspin.

We need to remember the promises that God gave us to keep our nation strong:

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” – Psalm 33:12a

God blesses nations who humbly seek Him. “…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

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Special Note: some of the information in the post is from the song, “God in America Again” ~ Carman

The Lesson of the Penny

JD Hancock

Photo Credit: JD Hancock via CC Flickr

It’s funny how you can learn things from even the smallest things in our life. In today’s story, you’ll find an interesting way to remember where our trust SHOULD be every day.

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Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband’s employer’s home. My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than her house.

The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. The husband’s employer was quite generous as a host and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely.

As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband.

He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment. Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts.

Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny. He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up? Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her.

Finally, she could stand it no longer. She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.

A smile crept across the man’s face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before! What was the point of this?

“Look at it.” He said. “Read what it says.”

 

She read the words “United States of America.”

“No, not that; read further.”

“One cent?”

“No, keep reading.”

“In God we Trust?”

“Yes!”

“And?”

“And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him? Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God’s way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!

When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change. I read the words, “In God We Trust,” and had to laugh. Yes, God, I get the message. It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful…and God is patient.

~Author Unknown

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Have an awesome, blessed day!!

“Dreamers” (Pictures That Speak Volumes #67)

Photo Credit: Unknown (if you know the name of this photographer, please LMK)

Photo Credit: Unknown (if you know the name of this photographer, please LMK)

Today’s picture is a heartwarming reminder of the time when we were are kids…just dreaming  of what we might someday want to become.

It is my hope that you have found the thing or things that you wanted to do as a child and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Like the famous American author, Mark Twain, once said, “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”.

If you haven’t lived your dream…what are you waiting for?

Putting Up the Flag

Photo Credit: DWilliams via Pixabay

Photo Credit: DWilliams via Pixabay

Today is September 11…and throughout America, there are hundreds of ceremonies and numerous “Moments of Silences” for people across our nation to reflect upon the happenings of that tragic day over a decade ago.

It is still as fresh in my memory, as if it happened yesterday, exactly what I was doing at the time the first plane hit the tower. I remember teaching my Physical Education class out on the field when the assistant Head Master of my school came out and told me what had happened. The rest of the day and the weeks to come seemed so surreal. Seeing the towers fall, the people running, the great plumes of smoke, people covered with ashes, dirt and ash, rumors of the Pentagon, the Capital Building and the White House getting hit and the chaos that ensued…it was a crazy time!

The thing that I also remember vividly, was how the country came together as one. American flags flew all across the land. it became virtually impossible to even buy a flag because they were all sold out. People flew them from their homes, businesses, cars, and even from the back of pick-up trucks! There was even a night that people were asked to light a torch or a candle and place it on their lawns or windows to show their love and support for the policemen, firefighters, and rescue people. Patriotism for our country had never been so strong…and sadly, nor has it been since then.

Here’s the thing, the thing that I am most proud of…our flag and what it is a symbol for. It represents our freedom…freedom to worship where and when we want…freedom to go anywhere as we please…freedom to vote for people that we want in office…freedom to go to and from anywhere that we wish…and so much more. It represents the hundreds of thousands of men and women who sacrificed their lives for this country so that we could enjoy the freedoms that we have.

Today’s short video clip and a nice  little reflection on our flag and some of the things that it should remind us of.

The American flag…a beautiful thing.

We Need God in America Again!

Photo Credit: Watson Creative Media

Photo Credit: Watson Creative Media

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, First Chief Justice John Jay
Names synonymous with the spirit of our country, the founding fathers of the U.S.A.

Over 200 years ago they shook off the chains of tyranny from Great Britain by divine call. Citing 27 biblical violations they wrote the Declaration of Independence “with liberty and justice for all.”

But something happened since Jefferson called the Bible the cornerstone for American liberty then put it in our schools as a light. Or since “Give me liberty, or give me death,” Patrick Henry said, “Our country was founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

We eliminated God from the equation of American life thus eliminating the reason this nation first began…from beyond the grave I hear the voices of our founding fathers plead “We need God in America again.”

Of the 55 men who formed the Constitution, fifty-two were active members of their church. Founding fathers like Noah Webster who wrote the first dictionary, could literally quote the Bible chapter and verse. James Madison said, “We’ve staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten Commandments with all our heart.” These men believed you couldn’t even call yourself an American if you subverted the Word of God.

In his farewell address, Washington said, “You can’t have national morality apart from religious principle,” and it’s true ‘Cause right now we have nearly 150,000 kids carrying guns to these war zones we call public schools.

In the ’40’s and ’50’s student problems were chewing gum and talking…in the ’90’s, rape and murder are the trend. The only way this nation can even hope to last this decade Is put God in America again

The only hope for America is Jesus. The only hope for our country is Him. If we repent of our ways stand firm and say, “We need God in America again!

Abe Lincoln said, “The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government of the next.” So, when you eliminate the Word of God from the classroom and politics, you eliminate the nation that Word protects

America is now number one in teen pregnancy and violent crime. It’s number one in illiteracy, drug use, and divorce. Everyday a new holocaust of 5,000 unborn die, while pornography floods our streets like open sewers. America’s dead and dying hand is on the threshold of the Church. While the spirit of Sodom and Gomorrah vex us all. When it gets to the point where people would rather come out of the closet than clean it…it’s a sign that the judgment of God is going to fall.
If there’s ever been a time to rise up Church, it’s now. And as the blood bought saints of the living God proclaim, it’s time to sound the alarm from the Church house to the White House and say, “We want God in America again”

I believe it’s time for America to stand up and proclaim that “one nation under God” is our demand and send this evil lifestyle back to Satan where it came from and let the Word of God revive our dying land.

Jesus Christ is coming back again in all His glory and every eye shall see Him on that day. That’s why a new anointing of God’s power’s coming on us to boldly tell the world “you must be saved.”

Because astrology won’t save you, your horoscope won’t save you the Bible says these things are all a farce if you’re born again, you don’t need to look to the stars for your answers ’cause you can look to the very One who made those stars!

History tells us time and time again, to live like there’s no God makes you a fool. If you want to see kids live right, stop handing out condoms and start handing out the Word of God in schools.

The only hope for America is Jesus. The only hope for our country is Him. If we repent of our ways, stand firm and say…we need God in America again!

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These are the lyrics from the music artist Carman and his song, “America Again”

“If I Was the Devil”

Photo Credit: patdollard.com

Photo Credit: patdollard.com

The following story was read by famous commentator, Paul Harvey in 1964. The following, is an updated version that he had said in 1995. I found this to be very prophetic, sad and spooky…but true. After reading this, you can make up your own mind.

“If I were the prince of darkness, I would want to engulf the whole world in darkness.

I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — thee.

So, I would set about however necessary to take over the United States.

I’d subvert the churches first, and I would begin with a campaign of whispers.

With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.”

To the young, I would whisper that the Bible is a myth. I would convince the children that man created God instead of the other way around. I’d confide that what’s bad is good and what’s good is square.

And the old, I would teach to pray after me, “Our Father, which are in Washington …”

Then, I’d get organized, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting.

I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the devil, I’d soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves and nations at war with themselves until each, in its turn, was consumed.

And with promises of higher ratings, I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.

If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellect but neglect to discipline emotions. I’d tell teachers to let those students run wil. And before you knew it, you’d have drug-sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

With a decade, I’d have prisons overflowing and judges promoting pornography. Soon, I would evict God from the courthouse and the schoolhouse and them from the houses of Congress.

In his own churches, I would substitute psychology for religion and deify science. I’d lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls and church money.

If I were the devil, I’d take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.

What’ll you bet I couldn’t get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich?

I’d convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun and that what you see on television is the way to be.

And thus, I could undress you in public and lure you into bed with diseases for which there are no cures.

In other words, if I were the devil, I’d just keep right on doing what he’s doing.”

Sound familiar? Scarey stuff!

It makes you think…..

If I were the prince of darkness, I would want to engulf the whole world in darkness.

I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — thee.

So, I would set about however necessary to take over the United States.

I’d subvert the churches first, and I would begin with a campaign of whispers.

With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.”

To the young, I would whisper that the Bible is a myth. I would convince the children that man created God instead of the other way around. I’d confide that what’s bad is good and what’s good is square.

And the old, I would teach to pray after me, “Our Father, which are in Washington …”

Then, I’d get organized, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting.

I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the devil, I’d soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves and nations at war with themselves until each, in its turn, was consumed.

And with promises of higher ratings, I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.

If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellect but neglect to discipline emotions. I’d tell teachers to let those students run wil. And before you knew it, you’d have drug-sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

With a decade, I’d have prisons overflowing and judges promoting pornography. Soon, I would evict God from the courthouse and the schoolhouse and them from the houses of Congress.

In his own churches, I would substitute psychology for religion and deify science. I’d lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls and church money.

If I were the devil, I’d take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.

What’ll you bet I couldn’t get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich?

I’d convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun and that what you see on television is the way to be.

And thus, I could undress you in public and lure you into bed with diseases for which there are no cures.

In other words, if I were the devil, I’d just keep right on doing what he’s doing.
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/devil.asp#fUHfJM5vyqge3RdI.99

Incredible Pers…

Quote

Incredible Perspective at Age 93

Billy Graham’s Prayer For Our Nation

THIS MAN SURE HAS A GOOD VIEW OF WHAT’S HAPPENING TO OUR COUNTRY!

‘Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem. We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from sin and Set us free. Please

Come back and rule our nation, be number one in our nation.
Amen!’

With the Lord’s help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we once again can be called ‘One nation under God!’