Makin’ It Better NEWSLETTER
Oregon Workers’ Compensation | Personal Injury | Social Security Disability
1139 Exchange St., Astoria, OR 97103 • 503-325-8600 • JoeDiBartolomeo.com
THEY DO WHAT IN WINTER?
Winter Celebrations Around the World
Winter is a time for festive joy, with celebrations to carry us through the gloomy weather and keep us cheery about ringing in another year. Sometimes it’s hard to look outside our own traditions because we love them so much, but there’s a whole world out there full of people who have their own wonderfully different ways of celebrating a season that means so much. Here are just a few you might find as fascinating and heartwarming as we do. Celebrated at the end of February to denote the passing of winter, this seven-day festival is a time of indulgence for people all across Russia. As the name suggests, piping hot pancakes (or blinis, as they’re called in Russia) are served up every day of the celebration as people stuff themselves to the gills in preparation for Lent. The blinis are golden, fluffy, and come with an array of decadent toppings, like chocolate and fruit, or savory options, like sour cream and caviar. The festival also involves plenty of dancing, winter sports like ice skating and skiing, and culminates in the burning of the Maslenitsa straw figure to signify the forgiveness of any wrongdoings suffered. That all sounds fun and dandy, but they honestly had us at pancakes. CHINA: LUNAR NEW YEAR While this holiday is celebrated all around the world with varying customs from country RUSSIA: MASLENITSA, OR PANCAKE WEEK
to country, China’s history and traditions surrounding the holiday are the most renowned. Often falling in late January, Lunar New Year marks the start of a new lunar cycle, and thus a time to reflect on the past and look to the future. Family from across the country comes together to spend time appreciating one another and their ancestors as neighborhoods are adorned in a festive scarlet red. Cash gifts are given in small red packets, and food, dancing, parades, and fireworks entertain late into the night. It all culminates in the Lantern Festival, when families light lanterns as a sign of peace and forgiveness. MEXICO: NIGHT OF THE RADISHES Celebrated every year on Dec. 23 in Oaxaca, Mexico, Night of the Radishes is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Bright magenta radishes are grown just for this one-night celebration, when they’re picked then carved into fun and intricate figurines, including Nativity scenes, mythical monsters, and much more. They’re put on display for all to enjoy for just a few hours before they start to wilt, and prizes are awarded to the best carvings. This tradition has roots (pun intended) that date back to 1897 when the mayor of Oaxaca at the time made the carving competition part of the annual Christmas market in an effort to promote local agriculture. Seeing as radishes were already an integral part of Oaxacan cuisine, citizens latched on tight and haven’t let it go since.
AROUND THE WORLD: SANTACON You may have heard of this one or even participated in the past. But for those of you who haven’t, SantaCon is open to all! Throughout the month of December in cities big and small, men and women alike dress up in Santa’s traditional red garb and get together to have some fun. The biggest gathering ever recorded occurred in New York in 2012 where an estimated 30,000 Santas all congregated to celebrate! While some like to get a little rowdy by turning their celebrations into events like festivals and pub crawls, others volunteer their time at charities or raise funds for good causes. Whatever the case, it’s a time for adults to get into the spirit of the season by harkening back to their childhood whimsy about Santa and all the joy he brings. This winter, we hope you’ll celebrate and cherish your own fun traditions to the fullest, whatever they may be. The season can be cold and drab for some, but for all, it should be a time to reflect on our past, be thankful for what we have, and tap into the potential of all the things the coming year may bring.
The Di Bartolomeo Law Office, P.C. 1139 Exchange Street | Astoria, Oregon | 503-325-8600 | www.JoeDiBartolomeo.com
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