Tag Archives: Santa Claus

today’s birthday: Edward Teller (1908)


Edward Teller (1908)

Teller was a Hungarian-born physicist who worked on the first atom bomb and the first hydrogen bomb. After studying with Werner Heisenberg in Germany, Teller came to the US in 1935 to escape the Nazis. Six years later, he began working on the physics of the hydrogen bomb. He took the lead on that project and was instrumental in making possible the first successful US explosion of the device in November 1952. Soon after, he alienated much of the scientific community by speaking out about what? More… Discuss

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today’s holiday: Befana Festival (2015)


Befana Festival (2015)

Sometimes referred to simply as La Befana, this is the Twelfth Night festival in Italy where the Befana, a kindly witch, plays much the same role that Santa Claus plays in the US. The festival begins on Epiphany Eve, when the Befana is supposed to come down the chimney on her broom to leave gifts in children’s stockings. In Rome, the Piazza Navona is thronged with children and their parents, who shop for toys and exchange greetings. Bands of young people march around, blowing on cardboard trumpets, and the noise level in the square can be deafening. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Junkanoo Festival (2014)


Junkanoo Festival (2014)

The Junkanoo Parade and Festival, held in Nassau‘s native quarter, is celebrated each year on December 26, Boxing Day, and January 1, New Year’s Day. Masqueraded marchers wearing colorful headpieces and costumes dance to the beat of an Afro-Bahamian rhythm called Goombay. The music is played by a variety of unusual native instruments, including goat skin drums, lignum vitae sticks, pebble-filled “shak-shaks,” and steel drums. The Junkanoo parade, which begins at two o’clock in the morning and continues until sunrise, is followed by the judging of costumes and awarding of prizes. More… Discuss

A Christmas Festival – Boston Pops


A Christmas Festival – Boston Pops

The St. Bernard


The St. Bernard

Monks at the Hospice of the St. Bernard Pass in the Swiss Alps originally bred the St. Bernard for rescue and guide work. Endowed with an uncanny sense of direction, the breed was able to guide the monks over trails that had been obliterated by windblown snow. One St. Bernard is said to have rescued at least 40 people from harsh Alpine conditions, although such tales might be exaggerated. Why do depictions of St. Bernards

St. Nicholas Feast Day Hymn: Pat Tsagalakis (make music part of your life series)


St. Nicholas Feast Day Hymn

A SAINT OF ALL CHRISTIANS: St. Nicolas of Myra (Sfantul Nicolae) Saint of the day December 6, 2014 |Troparion to St. Nicolas Правило веры (rule of faith) composed by Nikolay Golovanov


Saint Nicholas of Myra at Ottobeuren Abbey, Ot...

Saint Nicholas of Myra at Ottobeuren Abbey, Ottobeuren, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

St. Nicholas, called “of Bari”, Bishop of Myra (Fourth Century) 6 Dec. Feast day. The great veneration with which this saint has been honored for many ages and the number of altars and … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

From Wikipedia (OUR FREE ONLINE ENCYCLOPEDIA):

St. Nicholas of Myra

Our father among the saints Nicholas of Myra, Wonder-worker, was the archbishop of Myra in southern Asia Minor in the fourth century and is also the basis for the Santa Claus legends and imagery which accompany Christmas celebrations in much of the world. While widely honored and venerated, not only in the Orthodox Church, but throughout most Christian groups, little is known historically of the life of Nicholas. He is known to have been archbishop of Myra and he may have participated in the Council of Nicea in 325. In addition to being honored as the patron saint of many countries, notably Greece and Russia, and of cities, he is the patron of many occupational groups, most notably of sea-farers. St. Nicholas is commemorated by the Church on December 6, and also on May 9 (the transfer of his relics) and on July 29 (his nativity).

Life and tradition

By tradition, Nicholas born in the province of Lycia in the southern part of Asia Minor in the city of Patara to well-to-do parents. The date of his birth is not known. Having inherited his parents’ estate, he became known for his generous gifts to those in need. As a youth, he made pilgrimages to Palestine and Egypt. He was subsequently consecrated Archbishop of Myra as the fourth century began. He was imprisoned during the persecutions of Diocletian and released by Constantine after his ascension to emperor. Nicholas was noted for his defense of Orthodoxy against the Arians. He is reputed to have been present at the Council of Nicea, but his name does not appear among any documents from that era. He died in Myra on December 6 in a year uncertain, but between 342 and 352.

St Nicholas the Wonderworker

Many of the details of his life that we have appeared during medieval times. St. Methodius, Patriarch of Constantinople, in the middle of the ninth century produced a life of Nicholas in which he noted that the life of Nicholas was unknown to most of the Christians of the time, thus indicating his composition was probably based mainly on legend. Methodius noted that Nicholas was raised well by pious and well-to-do parents and related how Nicholas contributed from his inheritance the dowry for three daughters of a citizen of Patara who had lost all his money. His feast was being celebrated by the time of St. Justinian two centuries after his death. After Methodius’ life of Nicholas became available, Nicholas was acclaimed and honored throughout Europe and especially in Italy. When Myra was captured by the Saracens in 1034, many Italian cities planned to “rescue” his relics. In 1087, forces from Bari, Italy, attacked Myra and carried away his relics from the lawful Greek guardians in Myra to Bari where they were enshrined in a new church. His fame increased. The story of his rescue of sailors in the Aegean Sea during his lifetime established him as the patron of mariners. His popularity in Russia rose to the point that almost all churches had some sort of shrine honoring St. Nicholas.

Secular fame

In time his fame in northern Europe as a saintly bishop began changing to that of a giver of gifts to children, usually done on December 6. As immigrants from the Germanic and Nordic lands settled in the United States the image of St. Nicholas, or “Sinterklaas,” as he is known among the Dutch, slowly changed to that of “Santa Claus” with little tie to the spirituality of Christianity.

Hymns

Troparion (Tone 4)

In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith,
an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence;
your humility exalted you;
your poverty enriched you.
Hierarch Father Nicholas,
entreat Christ our God
that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion (Tone 3)

You revealed yourself, O saint, in Myra as a priest,
For you fulfilled the Gospel of Christ
By giving up your soul for your people,
And saving the innocent from death.
Therefore you are blessed as one become wise in the grace of God.

Troparion to St. Nicolas Правило веры (rule of faith) comp. by Nikolay Golovanov

Regina Spektor – “Laughing With” [Official Music Video]


[youtube.com/watch?v=-pxRXP3w-sQ]

Regina Spektor – “Laughing With
(Official Music Video)

“Laughing With”

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God
When they’re starving or freezing or so very poor

No one laughs at God
When the doctor calls after some routine tests
No one’s laughing at God
When it’s gotten real late
And their kid’s not back from the party yet

No one laughs at God
When their airplane start to uncontrollably shake
No one’s laughing at God
When they see the one they love, hand in hand with someone else
And they hope that they’re mistaken

No one laughs at God
When the cops knock on their door
And they say we got some bad news, sir
No one’s laughing at God
When there’s a famine or fire or flood

But God can be funny
At a cocktail party when listening to a good God-themed joke, or
Or when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they’re ‘bout to choke
God can be funny,
When told he’ll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus
God can be so hilarious
Ha ha
Ha ha

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God
When they’ve lost all they’ve got
And they don’t know what for

No one laughs at God on the day they realize
That the last sight they’ll ever see is a pair of hateful eyes
No one’s laughing at God when they’re saying their goodbyes
But God can be funny
At a cocktail party when listening to a good God-themed joke, or
Or when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they’re ‘bout to choke
God can be funny,
When told he’ll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus
God can be so hilarious

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one laughing at God in hospital
No one’s laughing at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God
when they’re starving or freezing or so very poor

No one’s laughing at God
No one’s laughing at God
No one’s laughing at God
We’re all laughing with God

QUOTATION: L. Frank Baum about brains and happiness and thinking about…


Brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.

L. Frank Baum (1856-1919) Discuss

 

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