Monday, February 22, 2016
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Most Americans don't get an adequate amount of sleep, and I have to admit, I'm one of them. I find it difficult to slow down, chill out, and relax. I go to bed at midnight and it'll be two hours before I finally fall asleep. This isn't healthy!
Lack of sleep can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and can exacerbate diabetes as well. This is where Dr. Andrew Weil enters the picture.
D. Weil is a wellness practitioner who studies breathing, meditation, and how it can impact our lives. He mastered a technique called 4-7-8, which is a way of breathing that eases stress and helps yo fall asleep.
It can be used any time, anywhere, to immediately slow down your heart rate and calm anxiety. It'll get you to sleep in under 60 seconds every time too. Give it a try!
New York City's
Last Accordion Repairman
Alex Carozza has been building and repairing accordions in New York City since 1960.
The last craftsman of his kind in the city, Alex is the living memory of a once vibrant musical culture that has all but disappeared from New York. This is the story of a true classic.
Alexandr Hrustevich Vilnius
1. A. Vivaldi - P. Fenyuk. The four seasons "Summer" 1-3part
2. A. Borodin - A. Glazunov-S.Naiko Petite Suite: "Reverie"
Her Most Beautiful Accordion Melodies
Her Most Beautiful Accordion Melodies
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Sunday, February 14, 2016
The month of February takes its name from the Latin Februarius that in turn was borrowed from the language of the ancient Sabine people of Rome. They called their festival of purification ‘Februa’. This spring festival celebrated the founding of Rome by The twins Romulus and Remus and was a celebration of purification and fertility.
The Italian Heritage
The festival was also known as Lupercalia, (Lupine- Wolf-like) named in honour of the she-wolf that nurtured Romulus and Remus and was held at the Lupercal, the cave at the foot of Palatine hill where the twins were said to have grown up.
The Luperci or the brothers of the wolf were two naked young men whose tough was supposed to confer fertility and vigor. These two men covered only in goat’s hide would fashion a whip from the same skin. The whip was called ‘Februa’ and was used to touch and gently flagellate women who lined the streets in order to be blessed with fertility. There was much revelry during the celebration of Lupercalia. It was held mid month on the 15th of February.
More interestingly February 14th, the eve of Lupercalia, was called the lover’s lottery. Many eligible young men would pick out names of teenage girls that would be written in cards and placed in an urn. Whichever name they drew, the two will be paired for the festivities .
In some instances if the pair hit it off, it may result in a long term liaison or even a marriage. This is perhaps the precursor of the Valentine’s day and the Valentine’s card !
Sunday, February 7, 2016
Carnival (often spelled Carnaval) is a festive season which occurs immediately before Lent; typically involves street parades. People often dress up or masquerade during Carnival celebrations and parties.
Carnival typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party.
People often dress up or masquerade during the celebrations, which mark an overturning of daily life. In Germany and the Netherlands, the Carnival season is traditionally opened on 11/11 (often at 11:11 a.m.).
Carnival is traditionally held in areas with a large Catholic and to a lesser extent, Eastern Orthodox makeup. Protestant areas usually do not have Carnival celebrations or have modified traditions, such as the Danish Carnival or other Shrove Tuesday events. Conversely, the Philippines, though a predominantly Roman Catholic country, does not have Carnival celebrations because it has been culturally influenced by neighboring Asian nations, which do not have Carnival celebrations.
The Lenten period of the Liturgical year Church calendar, being the six weeks directly before Easter, was marked by fasting and other pious or penitential practices. Traditionally during Lent, no parties or other celebrations were held, and people refrained from eating rich foods, such as meat, dairy, fats and sugar. The forty days of Lent, recalling the Gospel accounts of the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, serve to mark an annual time of turning. In the days before Lent, all rich food and drink had to be disposed of. The consumption of this, in a giant party that involved the whole community, is thought to be the origin of Carnival.
While it forms an integral part of the Christian calendar, particularly in Catholic regions, many carnival traditions date back to pre-Christian times.
The Italian Carnival may be derived from the ancient Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Bacchanalia. The Saturnalia, in turn, may be based on the Greek Dionysia and Oriental festivals. While medieval pageants and festivals such as Corpus Christi were church-sanctioned celebrations, carnival was also a manifestation of medieval folk culture. Many local carnival customs are based on local pre-Christian rituals, for example the elaborate rites involving masked figures in the Swabian–Alemannic Fastnacht.
Some of the best-known traditions, including carnival parades and masquerade ball masquerading, were first recorded in medieval Italy. The carnival of Venice was, for a long time, the most famous carnival. From Italy, carnival traditions spread to the Catholic nations of Spain, Portugal, and France. From France, they spread to the Rhineland of Germany, and to New France in North America. From Spain and Portugal, they spread with Catholic colonization to the Caribean and Latin America. In 1823 the first worldwide carnival parade took place in Cologne, Germany.
The origin of the name "Carnival" is disputed, between those that argue a link with the Italian word "carne" (meat), and those that argue a link with the word "carrus" (car). The link with carne would suggest an origin within Christianity, while the link with carro with earlier religions.
From carne levare
Those that argue for the origin from "carne", point to variants in Italian dialects that would suggest that the name comes from the Italian carne levare or similar, meaning "to remove meat", since meat is prohibited during Lent.
From carne vale
Folk etymologies exist which state that the word comes from the Late Latin expression carne vale, which means "farewell to meat", signifying that those were the last days when one could eat meat before the fasting of Lent. The word carne may also be translated as flesh, so suggesting carne vale as "a farewell to the flesh", a phrase actually embraced by certain Carnival celebrants who encourage letting go of your former (or everyday) self and embracing the carefree nature of the festival. However, explanations proceeding from carne vale seem to be folk etymologies and are not supported by philological evidence
From carrus navalis
Other scholars argue for the origin from the Roman name for the festival of the Navigium Isidis (ship of Isis), where the image of Isis was carried to the sea-shore to bless the start of the sailing season. The festival consisted of a parade of masks following an adorned wooden boat, that would reflect the floats of modern Carnivals. Modern Carnival shares resemblances with the Navigium Isidis.
The Carnival of Venice (Veneto)
was first recorded in the 13th century but Venice has only been "the city of Carnival" since the 18th century, when people from all over Europe came to its fantastic parties. Recently there has been a great revival of the Venetian carnival. In the city there are a lot of parties, dancing and costumes parades.
Mardi Gras (/ /; French meaning "Fat Tuesday") is an annual Carnival celebration in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.
The New Orleans Carnival season, a variation of the traditional manner of preparing for the start of the Catholic season of Lent, starts after Twelfth Night, on Epiphany (January 6). It is a season of parades, balls (some of them masquerade balls), and king cake parties. It has traditionally been part of the winter social season; which at one time was when parties for Southern Society women, débutante balls, were arranged.
Celebrations are concentrated for about two weeks before and through Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras in French), the day before Ash Wednesday. Usually there is one major parade each day (weather permitting); many days have several large parades. The largest and most elaborate parades take place the last five days of the season. In the final week of Carnival, many events large and small occur throughout New Orleans and surrounding communities. Neighboring communities also hold Carnival celebrations.
The parades in New Orleans are organized by Carnival krewes. Krewe float riders toss throws to the crowds; the most common throws are strings of colorful plastic beads, doubloons (aluminum or wooden dollar-sized coins usually impressed with a krewe logo), decorated plastic throw cups, and small inexpensive toys. Major krewes follow the same parade schedule and route each year.
While many tourists center their Carnival season activities on Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, none of the major Carnival parades have entered the French Quarter since 1972 because of its narrow streets and overhead obstructions. Instead, major parades originate in the Uptown and Mid-City districts and follow a route along St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street, on the upriver side of the French Quarter. Exposing body parts, or "flashing", in an effort to catch more beads or throws, is frowned upon by the police department and can be grounds for a ticket or an arrest. Though it is a growing trend for uninhibited, mostly younger women to show their breasts, this practice mostly only takes place on and around Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. The Uptown and Mid-City parade routes are family-friendly gatherings for citizens of all ages to enjoy the parades.
"Mardi Gras" specifically refers to the Tuesday before lent, the highlight of the season. The term is also redundantly used less specifically the whole Carnival season, sometimes as "the Mardi Gras season". The term "Fat Tuesday" or "Mardi Gras Day", also redundant, always refers only to that specific day.
Danseuses de Carnaval