Good King Wenceslas looked out…
…on the Feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even…
The Feast of Stephen (or St Stephen’s day) was traditionally the day when people gave money and other gifts (or “Christmas boxes” filled with goodies) to the poor, and to servants and tradesmen for good and reliable service throughout the year.
Burn a clock on Brighton Beach to banish the dark days
Burning the Clocks started as an antidote to the excesses and commercialism of Christmas. The people of Brighton gather together to make individual and unique lanterns out of willow and paper to carry through their city and burn on the beach to mark the winter solstice and welcome the coming of the longer days.
Picture: Burning Clocks 2006 by same-sky, on Flickr
Very unusual Christmas tree decoration!
Don’t forget to share your tree pictures on our facebook page and we’ll share the best ones with everyone
Stay awake all night in Sacndinavia for St Lucia with her Lussekat buns
In Scandinavia on the night of 12th December people stay awake all night to guard against being taken by Lucifer, lord of darkness by having an all night party. In the morning St Lucia (or the household’s eldest daughter) brings delicious saffron buns
Picture by trecrowns, on Flickr
Time to light the first candle on the Advent wreath - Happy December everyone!
On St Andrew’s Day (or Andreasnacht) girls should kick a straw mattress in the nude to attract a future husband, and pour molten wax into water to see what the future holds
Picture: St Andrew’s Day by Magic Madzik
Happy Thanksgiving USA!
Shalom! Happy Hanukkah!
Hanukkah (or Chanukah) is the Jewish Festival of Lights which dates back a time over 2500 years ago when the Jews reclaimed Jerusalem from the Syrians. After rebuilding their temple it was rededicated to God by the lighting of a lamp. The lamp only had enough oil to burn for one day but miraculously it burned for eight. Hence the tradition to light a candle on a special candelabra (a Menorah or Hannukiah) on each night of the festival, progressing to eight candles on the final night.
Picture: Hanukkah menorah by skpy, on Flickr
When the river flows backwards…
The Cambodian Water Festival, Bon(n) Om Touk in Phnom Penh, celebrates a major natural occurrence - the reversing of the Tonle Sap River to flow in the opposite direction.
Picture: Bon Om Touk by Julien Chodlewski, on Flickr
Set all your hopes and dreams free and let all your grievances and regrets go with them
On the night of the full moon of the 12th lunar month, Thai people set small handmade rafts decorated with flowers, candles and incense sticks afloat on nearby ponds, lakes and waterways, or even the sea, to honor and pay respect to the goddess of water and apologise for the bad things done to the river during the past year.
Picture: Loi Krathong… by rachayuan, on Flickr