Today’s festival of light. The Moustache of Understanding would like us to believe that globalisation was invented during the realm of St. Ronaldus Reagan. And yet medieaval Scandinavians managed to conflate pre-Christian celebration of the annual Ride of the Queen of Darkness with the Church-sanctioned holiday dedicated to a fourth-century Sicilian martyr and come up with “traditions” no less popular today than our American re-enactments of Dickens or Dr. Seuss…
Technically, of course, the Winter Solstice is another week away — and here in the northern climates we’ve got at least three months of snow & cold to face down. But the local tv weathercaster actually pointed out this evening that Boston’s sunset was a whole minute later than it was two nights ago, so from this point forward the days will be getting longer, as the light returns. Religious, agnostic, or atheist, we can all celebrate more daylight!
Early Morning Open Thread: Happy St. Lucia Day!
My X was a Lucia and she hated it when she was a kid and they made her parade around with the candles on her head!
Technically speaking, the day just shifts around for the next week or so–the days still getting seconds shorter, till the solstice. In Boston, it’s 34 seconds shorter tomorrow than today:
but the sun DOES set a minute later. Checking out the lessening of the shortening days on Weather Underground, then checking as they grow by a few seconds every day–and getting seed catalogs–keeps me sane until about March.
@Linda: You need more hobbies. We just harvested the “popcorn” from our Chinese Tallow tree to make wreaths, maybe you could find one?
You harvested that? Is there a reason?
@Linda: Yea, my wife makes the little popcorn buds into wreaths and lil xmas trees.
They look better in person.
Most people my age were exposed to the Neopolitan song “Santa Lucia” in film (e.g. “A night at the opera”)and particularly cartoons. Strangely in the US it came to stand for all Italians I guess since the majority of immigrants came from the south – the Naples and Sicily regions. In cartoon-land all cartoons seem to be set in Venice (the north) but the characters sing THE southern song. E.g: Tom and Jerry, Tweety and Sylvester.
@MonkeyBoy: The holiday was a big deal for my Swede x-in-laws.
The wreath is really pretty. Everything that’s attractive on my property bit the dust with the frost.
dance around in your bones
♫ ♬ Today is my birthday, I’m gonna have a GOOD time ♫ ♬
Yep, me and Santa Lucheeeeeiaaaaa!!
(Last night Number One Grandson asked if we could “go outside and look at the moon and stars and you can wrap me up in that cozy blanket?” so despite the fact that it was cloudy and wet and no moon or stars to be seen, we snuggled up on the porch and expressed amazement when a solitary planet poked through the clouds! I considered that my early birthday present because it made my heart go all squishy.)
I don’t know where some of our front-pagers get the idea that Mornin Joe is pimping Newt. He is fucking killing him again today.
@Linda: It killed our damn kudzu! She’s got all these cool little cabbage kind of plants and camellias all over that brighten things up. There are some advantages to living in Georgia.
teh stoopid of a candidate perry’s stoopid of a campaign ad is youtube’s 2nd most disliked vid.
21K to 660K within a week is no mean shit.
@dance around in your bones:
what a darling grandson. too
@Raven: The wreath is beautiful and your bride is very talented.
Happy Birthday dance around in your bones.
dance around in your bones
Thanks, youse guys….Mostly I try to ignore birthdays anymore, but this year I’m going to try to be happy that I got another year added to the mix.
I believe my hints for a Balloon Juice coffee mug and asst Pastafarian merch have been fulfilled ;)
@dance around in your bones:
Happy birthday! What a nice story about your grandson. Made me feel all squishy just reading it :-)
Love the wreath! That’s beautiful.
Happy Lucia Day–thank you, Anne Laurie!
To help you celebrarte: The axolotl song.
I was just saying the Feast of Saturnalia starts in 4 days. It’s the REAL reason for the season.
Happy Higgsmas everybody! (Liveblog here.)
@THE: Ok, that was cool. Thanks.
@SiubhanDuinne: Oh my! Here’s the little tree on our funky porch.
Which is, always, exactly as it should be.
I came across canned San Marzano tomatoes grown in the US, probably California. Don’t waste your money. They taste pale as hell, worse than Dole or Hunts varietals. It really must be the volcanic soil. Wonder if grown in Hawaii they would taste right?
And that ugly MLK statue on the Mall has been garnering nicknames. The one I thought most acute was Martin Luther Ming the Merciless. I, too, wish they would just re-do it.
That is sweet. Also funky :-)
When I was in first grade, our teacher was big on presenting us with ethnic diversity activities. She did a Festival of Lights brunch for the parents and us students as the performers that we held before the big school-wide Christmas concert. I was thrilled to be chosen to wear the crown of candles (not real ones!).
As I typed this, I thought about how old I am. Not sure that celebrating religious festivals or, when thinking about the subsequent concert, singing explicitly religious Christmas carols would go over as well today in a public school. Yes, folks, I was in first grade in 1964. Jeebus. The only thing that makes me feel better is that my John was in first grade in 1952 and graduated from high school the same year that I was wearing that crown.
Damn. Wife’s name day. Knew I forgot something.
PLH in NYC
Thanks for the reminder. I have cousins in Sweden who introduced me to the Holiday and we had a celebration here one year when they were visiting.
Thank you for this. In my mind, any holiday that is used to get children to sing is cool.
A favorite YouTube. A St. Lucia concert at the Stockholm Globe arena.
We’re having our office potluck today and, being us, we go all out, so it’s Hawaiian Holiday. Turns out it’s a giant pain in the butt to make huge amounts of fried rice in a skillet that’s a leetle too small. I’ll be finding little pieces of rice everywhere for weeks to come. I ended up having to split it into two batches and then stir it all together.
Bill in Section 147
@geg6: At our local public schools singing Christmas carols, discussing religion, and those types of things are still allowed. Seasonal songs of all types are always included in the choral presentations, etc. Importantly these activities are not required or solely religious festivals.
I suppose if a teacher or student tried to proselytize there would be an issue but fortunately that has not been a problem over the last 18 years that I have had school-age children.
“VICTORIA, Dec 13 (Reuters) – A U.S. drone aircraft crashed at Seychelles International Airport on Tuesday, the U.S. embassy in Mauritius said.
“A U.S. Air Force remote-piloted MQ-9 crashed at the Seychelles International Airport in Mahe. The MQ-9 was not armed and no injuries were reported,” the embassy said in a statement.
The Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) confirmed the incident and said that the plane was on a “routine patrol” and had crashed because of mechanical failure.
The U.S. embassy did not comment on the plane’s mission and said that the cause of the crash was unknown.
Iran announced on Dec. 4 it had downed a U.S. drone in the eastern part of the country, near Afghanistan. It has since shown the plane on television and said it is close to cracking its technological secrets. (Reporting by George Thande; Writing by Barry Malone)
Is it the negative vibes of the Debates? What is the deal with these drones?
Is hacktivity being shared globally?
“Belgium grenade attack leaves at least two dead
At least two people have been killed and up to 47 others wounded when up to four grenades exploded outside the main courthouse in the eastern Belgian city of Liege.
@Linda: This thread was over before I got here but just in case you come back, this is for you, Linda: http://www.opentopia.com/sunlightmaprect.html
Thanks, Ohio Mom. Although I there won’t be much sunlight in Toledo till March.