Tag Archives: Beard

TODAY’S HOLIDAY: UP-HELLY-AA


Up-Helly-Aa

This ancient fire festival is observed by people ofLerwick in the Shetland Islands. In pre-Christian times, their Norse ancestors welcomed the return of the sun god with Yule, a 24-day period of feasting, storytelling, and bonfires. The last night of the festival was called Up-Helly-Aa, or “End of the Holy Days.” Today, a group known as the Guizers builds a 31-foot model of a Viking longship in honor of the Viking invaders who remained in Scotland. On the night of Up-Helly-Aa, the Guizers dress in Norse costumes and carry the boat to an open field. There, they throw lit torches into the ship and burn it. More… Discuss

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This Day in the Yesteryear: 11-YEAR-OLD GRACE BEDELL URGES ABRAHAM LINCOLN TO GROW A BEARD (1860)


11-Year-Old Grace Bedell Urges Abraham Lincoln to Grow a Beard (1860)

A few weeks before Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the US, 11-year-old Grace Bedell sent him a letter urging him to grow a beard to win over voters. Bedell claimed that “all the ladies like whiskers” and would urge their husbands to vote for a bearded Lincoln. Days later, Lincoln drafted a noncommittal response in which he wondered whether such a change in appearance would be well received. Within months, he was sporting his now-iconic beard. What did he say when he later met Bedell? More…Discuss