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aries1988 : christmas   16

The Parable of the Hanukkah Scolds (With a Lesson for Non-Jews, Too)
Gift giving is thought to be a holdover from Roman winter festivals. Santa Claus is a Greek saint who got garbled into something very different by medieval Dutch and English folk culture. The reindeer are from Finland. Jesus and his early followers would probably find the traditional Christmas ham to be just as shocking and un-Christian as the elves in the North Pole.

It’s one of the most persistent myths about how identity works: that there is some true core version — of Hanukkah, of Jewishness, of Americanness — constantly at risk of foreign contamination. But there is no pure core. It’s foreign contamination all the way through.

But just because identity is made up -- a more formal phrase is "socially constructed" -- doesn't make it meaningless.
jewish  identity  usa  conflict  opinion  christmas  children  tradition 
january 2019 by aries1988
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この時期になると毎年これ見てめちゃ笑っている。
cat  lol  christmas 
december 2018 by aries1988
Why KFC Is Christmas Dinner In Japan

The official explanation from KFC is that a Christian kindergarten in Japan wanted to order KFC for its kiddy Christmas party. The school reportedly ask the KFC shop manager to dress up as Santa Claus for the party. He agreed, appearing at the party in full Santa gear, saying, “Merry Christmas” to the children’s delight. According to KFC, gradually, more and more schools ordered KFC for their holiday parties, and in 1974, KFC held its first special Christmas meal campaign. Decades later, KFC’s Christmas has become an annual mainstay, with people growing up eating the fried chicken during the holidays and naturally associating it with Christmas.
christmas  kfc  japan  japanese  food  festival 
december 2017 by aries1988
Why Christmas Eve Is The Busiest Day Of The Year For Japan's Love Hotels
For couples in Japan, Christmas Eve is all about the infamous love hotel -- when many of the high-end hotels have already been booked months in advance. By the night of December 24th, many of these hotels are completely full with amorous couples celebrating the holiday season.
japanese  sex  couple  christmas 
december 2017 by aries1988
Salzburg: snow, strudel and ‘Silent night’
Tradition dictates that the carol is not sung at any point of the year until this moment. In Oberndorf’s chapel square, the thousands-strong throng of devotees will join in with the words, as no doubt will the wider audience all around the world who are watching live online (at stillenacht.info). The song, first performed here 199 years ago, has been recognised by Unesco as part of Austria’s “intangible cultural heritage” and has been translated into 300 languages. It is also the inspiration for no fewer than three museums in the surrounding area.Tradition dictates that the carol is not sung at any point of the year until this moment. In Oberndorf’s chapel square, the thousands-strong throng of devotees will join in with the words, as no doubt will the wider audience all around the world who are watching live online (at stillenacht.info). The song, first performed here 199 years ago, has been recognised by Unesco as part of Austria’s “intangible cultural heritage” and has been translated into 300 languages. It is also the inspiration for no fewer than three museums in the surrounding area.

Back in Oberndorf, home of the Silent Night chapel, the town’s new Silent Night museum has got around the prohibition by installing a soundproofed karaoke booth, so that you can sing along in your own language without offending anyone’s sensibilities.

Salzburg itself, with a Christmas museum, two year-round Christmas shops and regular snowfall, manages to perpetuate that Christmassy feeling long after the festive season has ended. It’s a place of cupolas and belfries, of Renaissance and Baroque city squares, with sonorous church bells measuring out the onward march of time. It feels tailor-made for winter weekend breaks.

Almost entirely car-free, the old town sits on the west bank of the Salzach, backed by wooded hills and towered over by Hohensalzburg, the largest and best-preserved castle in central Europe. Visitors can reach it via funicular railway, then tour the medieval rooms of the powerful prince-archbishops who ran Salzburg as a wealthy independent city state until 1805, when it was subsumed into the Austrian empire.

Back in Oberndorf, home of the Silent Night chapel, the town’s new Silent Night museum has got around the prohibition by installing a soundproofed karaoke booth, so that you can sing along in your own language without offending anyone’s sensibilities.

Salzburg itself, with a Christmas museum, two year-round Christmas shops and regular snowfall, manages to perpetuate that Christmassy feeling long after the festive season has ended. It’s a place of cupolas and belfries, of Renaissance and Baroque city squares, with sonorous church bells measuring out the onward march of time. It feels tailor-made for winter weekend breaks.

Almost entirely car-free, the old town sits on the west bank of the Salzach, backed by wooded hills and towered over by Hohensalzburg, the largest and best-preserved castle in central Europe. Visitors can reach it via funicular railway, then tour the medieval rooms of the powerful prince-archbishops who ran Salzburg as a wealthy independent city state until 1805, when it was subsumed into the Austrian empire.
austria  holiday  idea  christmas 
december 2017 by aries1988
Another Failed ISIS Attack

ISIS hates Christians less than it hates most non-ISIS Muslims, and the things it hates about Christmas are hardly the aspects of the holiday that find expression in advertisements in the Port Authority, which are more likely to be selling Rockettes tickets than to be stressing the corporeality of a triune God. Yes, ISIS hates Christmas. But they hate everything else Americans do, too.

For now, the Christmas tradition looks just as it did before ISIS, with ISIS-proscribed pleasures like pork sausage and mulled wine, both freely enjoyed in mixed company. The war on Christmas continues, but so does Christmas itself, on both sides of the Atlantic.
isis  christmas  explained  deutschland  market 
december 2017 by aries1988
Why family traditions make for happy holidays
And without going into too much detail, there is one Christmas tradition that’s unlikely to disappear any time soon: the number of children conceived peaks over the Christmas holidays, leading to a bump in birth rates in September. That’s certainly one way to bring a family closer together.
christmas 
december 2016 by aries1988
9 Things to Do During Christmas in Bruges: A Guide
Bruges is one of the Christmas capitals of the world. Here are some personal recommendations and experiences from my own Christmas in Bruges.
christmas  benelux 
december 2016 by aries1988
How do I ... spend Christmas alone? Here are 10 ways
Many of us spend our lives surrounded by people. On 25 December we can embrace the quiet and complete tasks undisturbed

5. Spend a guilt-free day bathing in the vastness of the internet. I can’t vouch for their content, but if you’re in need of conversation, chatrooms and forums can be a good source of company: from Chatroulette and Reddit to the Guardian comment threads. As soon as you tire of their company, you can simply click the back button on your browser: a luxury you don’t have with real-life company.
idea  howto  christmas 
december 2015 by aries1988
How maths can help you create the perfect Christmas Day | New Scientist
But what if you want to guarantee a larger number of friends or strangers? Over the years mathematicians have tried to calculate the Ramsey numbers, R(m,n), which tell you the number of people, R, needed to ensure m friends or n strangers, but it’s tricky. The number of possibilities grows so rapidly as the size of your party increases that while R(4,4) is known to be 18, mathematicians have only pinned R(5,5) down to between 43 and 49. Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdős once said that if aliens demanded an accurate calculation of R(5,5) within a year to deter an invasion, we could probably just about do it – but if they demanded R(6,6), we would be better off launching a pre-emptive attack.
fun  christmas  maths  instapaper_favs 
december 2015 by aries1988
He Sees You When You’re Sleeping, and Gives You Nightmares
In Germany, misbehaving children had better watch out. The Krampus, a devilish goblin who tears through the streets as St. Nick’s evil counterpart, is making a comeback.

But with cultural homogenization spreading across an increasingly unified Europe, a new generation is bringing back the customs that defined their childhoods, and those of their parents and grandparents.

Advocates of the ritual say reviving it is important because American Christmas customs, which they see as more commercialized, have made their way into the German holiday.

“This is a pagan tradition that belongs in the village,” said Mrs. Danzing, shaking her head at the spectacle in the Bavarian capital. “I am glad my grandchildren aren’t here, they would be terrified.”
germany  german  christmas  pagan  tradition 
december 2014 by aries1988

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