While we in the West are packing up our Christmas lights, people all over China are beginning to decorate for Chinese New Year. Among the many traditions of this important Confucian holiday is decorating with light—lanterns, candles, and holiday lights—creating a festive atmosphere on both large and small scales.
The Big Game is one of the busiest days of the year for sports bars. Everyone is excited to watch and celebrate, but with a number of parties and special events to choose from, you need to work extra hard to create a unique and fun game day experience for your patrons.
The origins of Valentine’s Day have always been shrouded in romantic mystery. Whether St. Valentine himself had any romance in his life or not, at the end of the 5th century Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as Saint Valentine’s Day, and a melding of Christian idealized love with pagan traditions and fertility rites led to some of the Valentine’s Day rituals we observe today. Two Valentine’s Day rituals that have remained constant since the Middle Ages are sending notes, and spending the day on romance.
New Things to Do on New Year’s
If New Year’s Eve celebrations have grown a bit dull, incorporate some (or all) of these ideas from around the world to give your party new life:
The holidays are over now and it’s almost time to start taking down those decorations and saving them for next year. Taking some time to properly store your LED Christmas lights and other decorations this year can save you a giant headache next year. Here are some tips and tricks that we’ve found over the years to help you store your decorations.
“I love the light for it shows me the way. Yet, I endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.” —Og Mandino
Winter solstice marks the day with the shortest hours of light and the longest hours of darkness, and officially launches the season of winter. Many of us have already noticed the oppressive feeling of leaving for and returning from work without seeing the sun. Though winter is only just beginning, we’re already yearning for more daylight. There’s even a mood condition that affects some people in the winter, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), linked to the shortened hours of daylight. Yet this period of waiting for the light is nothing new. In many ancient cultures, the shortest day in winter was a day to gather and celebrate. It meant that the community could now begin watching for the increase of light.
The American tradition of decorating evergreen trees, homes, and landscapes, with brightly lit Christmas lights is not as old as many people think. Most of us probably assume that Americans have always used Christmas lights, in one form or another, but this isn’t exactly true. As it turns out, this American tradition has only been around for about 60 years, but the development of the tradition has a story and history that began centuries ago.
“Diwali,” “Hanukkah,” “Pasko,” “Kwanzaa,” “Santa Lucia,” “Loi Krathong.” What do all of these unusual words have in common? They are Festivals of Light from cultures around the world—each one using light to celebrate. This is the perfect time of year for children of all ages to learn how different cultures celebrate the Festival of Lights.
Not many people study Christmas lights. Most people pull the lights out of the closet or attic sometime around Thanksgiving, hang them on the Christmas tree, or drape them over some bushes, and then take them down after New Years. If you are thinking about replacing those old incandescent lights this year with energy-efficient LED string lights you may be surprised at all the options available. There are differences between the options, and it is good to know a little about the choices available before you go shopping.
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.”
— A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh