Easter

easter-bunnyMany Christians worldwide celebrate Easter with special church services, music, candlelight, flowers and the ringing of church bells.  Easter processions are held in some countries such as the Philippines and Spain.  Many Christians view Easter as the greatest feast of the Church year.  It is a day of joy and celebration to commemorate that Jesus Christ is risen, according to Christian belief.

Although Easter maintains great religious significance, many children in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, think of it as a time to get new spring clothes, to decorate eggs and to participate in Easter egg hunts where eggs are hidden by the Easter Bunny. Some children receive Easter baskets full of candy, snacks and presents around this time of the year.

tombMany Christians celebrate Easter Sunday as the day of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, which is written in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. According to the Gospel of John in the New Testament, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb where Jesus was buried and found it empty.  An angel told her Jesus had risen. Christians worldwide have celebrated Easter for centuries.

Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny are both fertility symbols, holdovers from the feast of Eostara. Other symbolic parallels include the pagan joy in the rising sun of spring, which coincides with a Christians’ joy in the rising Son of God, and the lighting of candles in churches, which corresponds to the pagan bonfires. The symbol of the cross and images of Jesus Christ, through paintings or statues, are remembered on Easter Day.

However you celebrate this season, I hope you enjoy your long weekend and have a great Easter!

St. Patrick’s Day 2016

st-patricks-1Enjoy your day on the 17th,
celebrate respons-o’-bly and. . .

Wherever you go and whatever you do,
May the luck of the Irish be there with you.

~ an old Irish blessing

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!    T.

 


St. Patrick’s Day and the Leprechaun

LeprechaunFirst appearing in medieval texts, the leprechaun is a type of fairy, native to Ireland. However, instead of fluttering around the woods, he passes the time causing mischief and cobbling his often worn-out shoes. His small stature helps in evading capture; by the time humans realize something is amiss, he’s out the door!  If you’re lucky enough to catch a leprechaun, he not only grants wishes, but surrenders his pot of gold. Kids have been trying to trap one of these diminutive creatures for years, to no avail.

irish-hat You can be really creative with the idea that leprechauns play tricks on kids. After all, they are tiny, green, greedy, and grumpy. Why not let your children decorate the house for the occasion? When they wake up on the morning of the 17th,  the “Leprechaun” has played a trick on .them and shrunken all of the decorations to a tiny size. Or make ‘leprechaun traps’ or little houses to catch the Leprechaun. However, “he” will be too clever and has replaced all of their traps with green hats!

At some point, the Leprechaun symbol of Ireland was appropriated as a secular mascot for St. Patrick’s Day. Now an international sensation, the leprechaun can be found on breakfast cereals, in films and at St. Patrick’s Day  festivities around the world.

Canada Day

Canada Day 1Did you know…. ?

  • that Canada is the largest country in the world, right after Russia?
  • Canada is the world’s most educated country?  Over half its residents have college degrees!
  • Canada consumes more macaroni and cheese than any other country in the world?
  • Residents of Churchill, Manitoba leave their cars unlocked to offer an escape for pedestrians who might encounter a polar bear?
  • Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world’s lakes combined?
  • Canada Day 2License plates in the Canadian Northwest Territories are shaped like polar bears?
  • Canada has the largest coastline in the world?
  • In Newfoundland, the Atlantic Ocean sometimes freezes, so people play hockey on it?
  • Yonge St. in Toronto is the longest street in the world – 1,896 km.?
  • The Mall of America is owned by a Canadian family, along with the West Edmonton Mall?
  • The U.S. – Canada border is the longest international border in the world and it lacks military defense?
  • Canada has fewer people than Tokyo’s metropolitan area?
  • Canada’s official phone number is 1-800-0-CANADA?
  • Americans have invaded Canada twice – in 1775 and 1812?  They LOST both times.

Father’s Day

Father's Day1Happy FATHER’S DAY to all the dads out there!  Hope you’ll enjoy a great day with family and make more memories to cherish!  Also remembering all the Dads who have touched our lives and helped shape who we are today.  Missing my dad since 2003.  He is remembered always and I am grateful for the memories!

Congrats to everyone who chose the Chicago Blackhawks to win The Stanley Cup!  Check out my Blog to see our WINNER!

T.

 < My Dad!

Father's Day 2The idea of a special day to honor fathers and celebrate fatherhood was introduced from the United States. A woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was inspired by the American Mother’s Day celebrations and planned a day to honour fathers early in the 20th century. The first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910. Father’s Day has become increasingly popular throughout North America and other parts of the world over the years. In 1924. President Calvin Coolidge first recognized Father’s Day.  In 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day to be held on the third Sunday of June.

Over the years, the concept of celebrating Father’s Day spread beyond geographical boundaries. Today, millions of children across the world express gratitude for their dads as they celebrate Father’s Day.

Father's Day 3Many people laughed at Sonora Dodd when she gave the concept of having a Father’s Day, as traditionally, only mother is regarded as the sole nurturer of a child. The role of father is often relegated to a secondary status as compared to a mother. But all of us know that a father is just as important for a child as a mother. If mothers are the heroes of child rearing, the significance of father in the development and emotional well being of a child is no less. Children depend on their father for their spiritual, emotional, physical, financial and social well being. For daughters, father is the ideal man in the world and also the first man they adore, while for sons, father is an idol and the strongest man they aspire to emulate.

Though traditionally father is seen more as a provider  and guide for children, the scenario appears significantly changed in the nuclear family culture of today. With most husbands and wives working, fathers are very involved in child rearing. Today, most fathers do not shy away from changing diapers or taking on the difficult task of putting the baby to sleep. This cultural change is helping to strengthen father-child relationships and resulting in stable emotional development of a child and stronger family bonds.

In short, fathers have a powerful and positive impact upon the development and health of children. When you think how important the role of a father is to your child(ren), it is no wonder we honour it!  Enjoy your day of celebration!

(Excerpts taken from Father’s Day Celebrations website)

Victoria Day Weekend

Victoria DayVictoria Day is a statutory holiday in Canada, and falls on the last Monday before May 25th.

Most people in Canada consider the Victoria Day weekend the real start of summer. It’s often still cold for the first weekend of summer, but chances are good that the weather will be nice enough to be outside, even if you need a spring jacket. Due to agreeable weather and longer days, gardening, camping, patio-lounging, fireworks and other outdoor entertainment are all popular choices over the Victoria Day weekend.

GardeningSo What’s the “May Two-Four”? Did you know this weekend has another name – one which has very little to do with celebrating royal birthdays? A “two-four” is slang for a case of 24 beers, and since the Victoria Day Weekend often ends up including the date May 24th, well, the “May Two-Four” is that weekend where you have an extra day to drink, or recover. However you want to look at it.

The May long weekend is also the start of the gardening season. In the hopes that the frost is really over, many people break out the gardening tools and gloves for Victoria Day and get dirty. If you’re one of them, check out our local nurseries for gardening workshops, or visit a nursery to get the plants you need (just don’t forget to check their hours, first!). Many Fireworksgrocery and department stores also have garden centres open for this weekend.

Victoria Day Fireworks are always something to look forward to. This year you can see fireworks at the Falls at 10 PM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fireworks will also be happening at the Virgil Stampede on Monday at 9:30 PM to wrap up a great weekend event!

How Much Will You Owe?

With the spring home buying season in full swing, aspiring and existing home owners would be wise to research the cost of breaking their mortgage. Depending on the type of mortgage you have, penalties might be zero, three months’ interest, or something known as the interest rate differential amount.  See this video that explains the process > > How much will you owe if you break your mortgage?

Carbon Monoxide Alarms Mandatory

CB ALARMOntario Regulation 194/14 is a regulation to require the installation of a carbon monoxide alarm adjacent to all sleeping areas if your home has a fuel burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage.

The testing and maintenance elements of the regulation came into force on October 15, 2014 while the installation and replacement requirements will have a phased implementation of 6 months (April 15, 2015) or 1 year (October 15, 2015) from the in-force date, depending on the building size.

As of April 15, 2015 you must install a carbon monoxide alarm adjacent to all sleeping areas if your home has a fuel burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage and contains no more than six suites of residential occupancy including single family homes.  Click here for more information.

Celebrating Mom

imagesann jarvisThe official Mother’s Day holiday arose in the 1900s as a result of the efforts of Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis. Following her mother’s 1905 death, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. After gaining financial backing from a Philadelphia department store owner named John Wanamaker, in May 1908 she organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia. That same day also saw thousands of people attend a Mother’s Day event at one of Wanamaker’s retail stores in Philadelphia.

Following the success of her first Mother’s Day, Jarvis-who remained unmarried and childless her whole life-resolved to see her holiday added to the national calendar. Arguing that American holidays were biased toward male achievements, she started a massive letter writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood. By 1912 many states, towns and churches had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday, and Jarvis had established the Mother’s Day International Association to help promote her cause. Her persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

imagesHIY94PD0Anna Jarvis had originally conceived of Mother’s Day as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families. Her version of the day involved wearing a white carnation as a badge and visiting one’s mother or attending church services. But once Mother’s Day became a national holiday, it was not long before florists, card companies and other merchants capitalized on its popularity.

While Jarvis had initially worked with the floral industry to help raise Mother’s Day’s profile, by 1920 she had become disgusted with how the holiday had been commercialized. She outwardly denounced the transformation and urged people to stop buying Mother’s Day flowers, cards and candies. Jarvis eventually resorted to an open campaign against Mother’s Day profiteers, speaking out against confectioners, florists and even charities. She also launched countless lawsuits against groups that had used the name “Mother’s Day,” eventually spending most of her personal wealth in legal fees. By the time of her death in 1948 Jarvis had disowned the holiday altogether, and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the American calendar.

Happy Easter

imagesIH1UOL6QAfter a very cold and LONG winter and the start of spring, we welcome Easter and the warmer weather!  Hope you’ll have a chance to get outside for a walk or some light gardening, clean off those golf clubs and find a driving range or whatever it is you love to do this long weekend!  Happy Easter to you and your family!

Easter

bunnyy123Easter Sunday is the most important day in the Christian church calendar in Canada. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion, according to Christian belief.  Traditionally the Easter Season lasted for the forty days from Easter Day until Ascension Day but now officially lasts for the fifty days until Pentecost. The first week of the Easter Season is known as Easter Week or the Octave of Easter. Easter also marks the end of Lent, a season of fasting, prayer, and penance.

The date of Easter is not a fixed date but does fall on the first Sunday after the full moon following March 21.  The date of Easter therefore varies between March 22 and April 25.

imagesXIMA49QQEaster eggs or spring eggs are special eggs given to celebrate the Easter holiday or springtime.  The egg was a symbol of the rebirth of the earth in celebrations of spring and was adopted by early Christians as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus.  The oldest tradition is to use dyed or painted chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with candies such as jelly beans. These eggs are often hidden, allegedly by the Easter Bunny, for children to find on Easter morning. According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.  Enjoy your Easter treats!