Quirky traditions


The year 2014 is hurrying to a close.  Here is a recipe for a HAPPY YEAR.
Take 12 complete months.  Clean them carefully of all —— bitterness, hate and envy.  Cut each month into 29, 30 or 31 different pieces, but do not cook them all at the same time.  Prepare ONE DAY AT A TIME, with the following ingredients :  a pinch of FAITH, a pinch of PATIENCE, a pinch of COURAGE and a pinch of WORK.  Add to each day one part of HOPE, FAITHFULNESS & KINDNESS.  Mix well with one part PRAYER, one part MEDITATION, and one part APPLICATION.  Season with a portion of GOOD SPIRITS, a pinch of HAPPINESS, a little ACTION & a good measure of HUMOUR.  Place everything in  a VESSEL OF LOVE.  Cook well on the fire of RADIANT HAPPINESS.  Garnish with a SMILE and serve ABUNDANTLY.
quirky ChristmasYou sure haven’t heard of bizarre Christmas traditions.  Rum cake.  Rib roasts.  Cane candies.  How about plump, fuzzy caterpillars ?  For Southern Africans, those hairy caterpillars are Christmas munchies.  The Inuits in Greenland have kiviak as Christmas lunch.  Kiviak is not apple pie, it is a buried bird .  Inuits stuff nearly 500 Auk birds in seal skin and bury them.  After months, the meat becomes pungent.  Inuits relish them as Christmas vitamin pills.
The Filipinos make the cake differently.  Rice is stuffed in bamboo tubes, steamed, sprinkled with sugar, grated coconut and margarine.  The Aussies lay shrimp on the Barbie ( not the doll — the barbecue) and have wreath-shaped soda bread.  The Swedes opt for Janssen’s Temptation —– a potato, cheese and anchovy casserole that’s traditional part of the Julbord (Christmas smorgasbord) .
In Slovakia, forget the food on the dining table ——- spoon it and fling it.  In a curious tradition, the patriarch of the Slovak family loads his spoon with loksa (pudding) and flings at the ceiling.  The more ‘loksa’ sticks up there the better the harvest next year.  In Finland, they feed the dead.  On the Christmas table, a plate is placed for ancestors.  In Catalonia, children feed the Yule log.  The log is covered with blankets so that it does not catch a cold.  On Christmas eve, children beat the log in the hope that it will poop gifts !!!!
Traditions are not only about food.  They are about music as well.  For Christmas, Cubans beat their pots and pans to create music.  The Venezuelans skate to church, and Yugoslav children sneak up on their mother, tie her feet to the chair and then dance around singing, “Mother, Mother, what will you pay to get away ?”  Poor Mum, has to pay ransom.  She gives gifts.  The Germans put glass pickle on the Christmas tree, while Ukrainians hang spiders and webs on it.
——–Preeti Verma Lal   
Now we come to some strange New Year traditions : ** In Bolivia, Venezuela, men wear new underpants on New Year’s eve —— red underpants for love, yellow for money.  **Spaniards eat 12 grapes at midnight ; each grape symbolising one month of the year.  **The Filipinos wear polka dots and arrange round fruits on the dinner table.  Polka and all things round signify coins, hence prosperity.  ** In Scotland, the townsmen walk around with giant fireballs hoisted on long poles (resembling the sun) to purify the coming year.  ** The Danes break glass dishes on the doors of neighbours and friends.  **Estonians eat seven times on the first day of the year to ensure abundant food throughout the year.  ** Unmarried Irish girls place mistletoe leaves under the pillow to catch a good husband.  .
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