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“It is not the destination where you end up but the mishaps and memories you create along the way.”
CASTLE HOTEL IN YORKSHIRE NORTH E. ENGLAND
HOTEL IN NICE
‘You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.’ – J.R.R. Tolkien
HOTEL Villa Honegg in Switzerland
Hotel Baumanière les Baux de Provence, France
December 17-23 Predating the birth of Jesus by centuries, this Ancient Roman celebration, in honor of the God Saturn, is marked by parties, gift-giving, and role reversals.
The first-century AD poet Gaius Valerius Catullus described Saturnalia as ‘the best of times’: dress codes were relaxed, small gifts such as dolls, candles and caged birds were exchanged.
Saturnalia saw the inversion of social roles. The wealthy were expected to pay the month’s rent for those who couldn’t afford it, masters and slaves to swap clothes. Family households threw dice to determine who would become the temporary Saturnalian monarch. The poet Lucian of Samosata (AD 120-180) has the god Cronos (Saturn) say in his poem, Saturnalia:
‘During my week the serious is barred: no business allowed. Drinking and being drunk, noise and games of dice, appointing of kings and feasting of slaves, singing naked, clapping … an occasional ducking of corked faces in icy water – such are the functions over which I preside.’
Saturnalia originated as a farmer’s festival to mark the end of the autumn planting season in honour of Saturn (satus means sowing). Numerous archaeological sites from the Roman coastal province of Constantine, now in Algeria, demonstrate that the cult of Saturn survived there until the early third century AD.
Saturnalia grew in duration and moved to progressively later dates under the Roman period. During the reign of the Emperor Augustus (63 BC-AD 14), it was a two-day affair starting on December 17th. By the time Lucian described the festivities, it was a seven-day event. Changes to the Roman calendar moved the climax of Saturnalia to December 25th, around the time of the date of the winter solstice.
From around 1583 the Church of Scotland ( Presbyterian) discouraged ‘Yule’ celebrations. The church believed that there was no basis for celebrating the day as it didn’t reflect what was in the bible. There are even records of some people being arrested over unlawful celebrations during
the years it was officially banned.
‘Christmas Day’ only became a public holiday in Scotland in 1958.
When something is just ‘made-up’ the permutations can be endless.
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Summer is here and it means vacation, relaxing, enjoyable times everyday of the week. You can travel or you can stay home enjoying your beautiful garden with your family and friends.
My favorite places to travel this summer 2018 are:
LAKE COMO, ITALY
However, things might change depending on the rest of the family. We usually choose one or two places each one of us and vote, I hope I win this year.