Archive for February 2009

Carnival time Mardi Gras or "Fat Tuesday"

February 24, 2009

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Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday") is the day before Ash Wednesday, and is

Carnaval Rio de Janeiro, Brasil 2008

also called "Shrove Tuesday" or "Pancake Day". Mardi Gras is the final day of Carnival, though the term is often used incorrectly to describe the days and weeks preceding Fat Tuesday. Carnival begins 12 days after Christmas, or Twelfth Night, on January 6 and ends on Mardi Gras, which always falls exactly 47 days before Easter. Perhaps the cities most famous for their Mardi Gras celebrations include New Orleans, Louisiana; Venice, Italy; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Many other places have important Mardi Gras celebrations as well. Carnival is an important celebration in most of Europe, except in the United Kingdom where pancakes are the tradition, and also in many parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.   see related photos

In the United States, Mardi Gras draws millions of fun-seekers to New Orleans every year. Mardi Gras has been celebrated in New Orleans on a grand scale, with masked balls and colorful parades, since French settlers arrived in the early 1700s. Hidden behind masks, people behaved so raucously that for decades in the early 19th century masks were deemed illegal in that party-loving city. learn more about Mardi Gras

History        see related post

When Christianity arrived in Rome, the dignitaries of the early Church decided it would be more prudent to incorporate certain aspects of such rituals into the new faith rather than attempt to abolish them altogether. This granted a Christian interpretation to the ancient custom and the Carnival became a time of abandon and merriment which preceded the Lenten period (a symbolic Christian pertinence of 40 days commencing on Ash Wednesday and ending at Easter). During this time, there would be feasting which lasted several days and participants would indulge in voluntary madness by donning masks, clothing themselves in the likeness of spectres and generally giving themselves up to Bacchus and Venus. All aspects of pleasure were considered to be allowable during the Carnival celebration and today’s modern festivities are thought by some to be more reminiscent of the Roman Saturnalia rather than Lupercalia, or be linked to even earlier Pagan festivals.

From Rome, the celebration spread to other European countries. In medieval times, a similar-type festivity to that of the present day Mardi Gras was given by monarchs and lords prior to Lent in order to ceremoniously conscript new knights into service and hold feasts in their honor. The landed gentry would also ride through the countryside rewarding peasants with cakes (thought by some to be the origin of the King Cake), coins (perhaps the origin of present day gifts of Mardi Gras doubloons) and other trinkets. In Germany, there still remains a Carnival similar to that of the one held in New Orleans. Known as Fasching, the celebrations begin on Twelfth Night and continue until Shrove Tuesday. To a lesser degree, this festivity is still celebrated in France and Spain. A Carn ival season was also celebrated in England until the Nineteenth Century, originating as a type of "renewal" festival that incorporated fertility motifs and ball games which frequently turned into riots between opposing villages, follo© jasanone Carnival Time at New Orleans celebrating Fat Tusday (mardi gras)360x480 wed by feasts of pancakes and the imbibing of alcohol. The preparing and consumption of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday (also known as "Pancake Day" or "Pancake Tuesday" and occurring annually between February 2 and March 9, depending upon the date of Easter) is a still a tradition in the United Kingdom, where pancake tossing and pancake races (during which a pancake must be tossed a certain number of times) are still popular. One of the most famous of such competitions, which takes place in Olney, Buckinghamshire, is said to date from 1445. It is a race for women only and for those who have lived in the Parish for at least three months. An apron and head-covering are requisite. The course is 415 yards and the pancake must be tossed at least three times during the race. The winner receives a kiss from the Ringer of the Pancake Bell and a prayer book from the local vicar. "Shrove" is derived from the Old English word "shrive," which means to "confess all sins."

It is generally accepted that Mardi Gras came to America in 1699 with the French explorer, Sieur d’Iberville. The festival had been celebrated as a major holiday in Paris since the middle Ages. Iberville sailed into the Gulf of Mexico and, from there, launched an expedition along the Mississippi River. By March 3, 1699, Iberville had set up a camp on the West Bank of the River…about 60 miles south of the present day City of New Orleans in the State of Louisiana. Since that day was the very one on which Mardi Gras was being celebrated in France, Iberville named the site Point du Mardi Gras in honor of the festival. According to some sources, however, the Mardi Gras of New Orleans began in 1827 when a group of students who had recently returned from school in Paris donned strange costumes and danced their way through the streets. The students had first experienced this revelry while taking part in celebrations they had witnessed in Paris. In this version, it is said that the inhabitants of New Orleans were swiftly captured by the enthusiasm of the youths and quickly followed suit. Other sources maintain that the Mardi Gras celebration originated with the arrival of early French settlers to the State of Louisiana. Nevertheless, it is known that from 1827 to 1833, the New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations became more elaborate, culminating in an annual Mardi Gras Ball. Although the exact date of the first revelries cannot be determined, the Carnival was well-established by the middle of the Nineteenth Century when the Mystick Krewe of Comus presented its 1857 Torchlight Parade with a theme taken from "Paradise Lost" written by John Milton

The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are purple (symbolic of justice), green (symbolic of faith) and gold (symbolic of power). The accepted story behind the original selection of these colors originates from 1872 when the Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff of Russia visitedMardigrasdflag New Orleans. It is said that the Grand Duke came to the city in pursuit of an actress named Lydia Thompson. During his stay, he was given the honor of selecting the official Mardi Gras colors by the Krewe of Rex…thus, did these colors also become the colors of the House of Romanoff. The 1892 Rex Parade theme (" Symbolism of Colors") first gave meaning to the representation of the official Mardi Gras colors. Interestingly, the colors of Mardi Gras influenced the choice of school colors for the Lousiana arch-rival colleges, Louisiana State University and Tulane University. Whe LSU was deciding on its colors, the stores in New Orleans had stocked-up on fabrics of purple, green and gold for the upcoming Mardi Gras Season. LSU, opting for purple and gold, bought a large quantity of the available cloth. Tulane purchased much of the only remaining color…green (Tulane’s colors are green and white).

Rio de Janeiro

Mangueira samba school parades in Rio de Janeiro.The Carnaval is an annual  celebration in Brazil held 40 days before Easter and marks the beginning of Lent. Rio de Janeiro has many Carnaval choices, including the famous Escolas de Samba (Samba schools) parades in the sambódromo exhibition centre and the popular ‘blocos de carnaval’, which parade in almost every corner of the city. The most famous parades are the Cordão do Bola Preta with traditional carnaval parades in the centre of the city, the Suvaco do Cristo parades in the Botanic Garden, Carmelitas parades in the hills of Santa Teresa, the Simpatia é Quase Amor is one of the most popular parades in Ipanema, and the Banda de Ipanema which attracts a wide range of revelers, including families and a wide spectrum of the gay population (notably spectacular drag queens).  read more about Carnival at Rio de Janeiro


In Mexico, there are big Carnival celebrations every year in Mazatlán, which has "The third largest Mardi Gras in the world", and Veracruz, which that include the election of a queen and street parades. There is also a week-long Carnival or Mardi Gras celebration in Mérida, Yucatán.

sources:”Mardi Gras or "Fat Tuesday" Jasan’s Life. 23 Feb 2009,18:53 UTC FEB 2009!FCE4363F5CFE3E4C!690.entry

"Mardi Gras in the United States." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 23 Feb 2009, 19:39 UTC. 24 Feb 2009 <>.

"Mardi Gras." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 24 Feb 2009, 00:59 UTC. 24 Feb 2009 <>.

"Carnival." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 24 Feb 2009, 02:46 UTC. 24 Feb 2009 <>.


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14 de febrero Día del Amor y la Amistad?

February 14, 2009




El Día de San Valentín es una celebración tradicional en la que los amigos, enamorados, novios o esposos expresan su amor o cariño mutuamente. Se celebra el 14 de febrero, onomástico de san Valentín. En algunos países se llama Día de los Enamorados y en otros como Día del Amor y la Amistad.

En la actualidad se celebra mediante el intercambio de notas de amor conocidas como «valentines», con símbolos como la forma del corazón o de Cupido, aunque con la popularidad de Internet en la actualidad también se acostumbra  intercambiar postales virtuales.         Leer historia de San Valentín



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Desde el siglo XIX se introdujo el intercambio de postales producidas masivamente. A esta práctica se sumó el dar otro tipo de regalos como rosas y chocolates, normalmente regalados a las mujeres por los hombres. En Estados Unidos, esta celebración también se empezó a asociar con un saludo amor platónico de «Happy Valentine’s», enviado por los hombres a sus amigas.   envia tarjetas gratis

Es común el regalo de rosas entre los amigos y familiares. Tal es así que según el color de la rosa se está expresando un mensaje. Por ejemplo: la rosa roja simboliza el amor, la blanca representa la paz y la amarilla la amistad. 

El moderno Día de San Valentín fue importado a EE. UU. en el siglo XIX por los británicos. Las primeras postales (valentines) producidos en masa datan de 1847, creadas por la artista y empresaria estadounidense Esther Howland (1828-1904).

Celebración  en distintos países

©jasanone 213x160 Cupido

El Día de San Valentín es típicamente occidental, pues se remonta a la Antigua Grecia y a Roma, pero actualmente se ha extendido a otros países, como China, Japón y Taiwán.

En Brasil el llamado ‘Dia dos Namorados’ (día de los enamorados) es el 12 de junio. Las parejas de novios cambian regalos y tarjetas.

En Bolivia se festeja el 21 de septiembre, que se conoce como Día del Estudiante, de la Juventud, de la Primavera y el Amor, aunque generalmente se festeja esto último. En ese día se tiene por costumbre regalar tarjetas, flores, chocolates y osos de peluche. Esta fecha da inicio a la estación de la Primavera.

En China ya existía el Qi Qiao Jie (día para mostrar las habilidades’), celebrado el séptimo día del séptimo mes del calendario lunar.

En Chile se conoce como día de los enamorados, siendo un día donde las parejas (sea pololos, novios o esposos) celebran el amor y la unión del uno con el otro.

En Colombia se conoce como El Día del Amor y la Amistad y no se celebra el 14 de febrero sino en septiembre, pues en la mayor parte del país septiembre es el mes de la temporada escolar. Es común la tradición del «amigo secreto», que consiste en sortearse el recipiente de un regalo —hombre o mujer— sin que éste sepa quién se lo obsequió.

En Ecuador se suele celebrar el 14 de Febrero con rosas, tarjetas, serenatas, cenas nocturnas entre parejas casadas, de novios y amigos

En España esta fiesta se empezó a celebrar a mediados del siglo XX, con el motivo de incentivar la compra de regalos. Se dice que la introdujo la tienda El Corte Inglés.[cita requerida]

En Guatemala también se conoce como Día del Amor y la Amistad o Día del Cariño. Las personas lo demuestran haciendo de intercambio por ejemplo amigos secretos, regalando rosas los hombres a las mujeres, chocolates y pequeños detalles que demuestren amor y amistad.

En Japón, además del festival de Tanabata —versión local del Qi Qiao Jie chino—, el Día de San Valentín se celebra desde 1936, impulsado inicialmente por la compañía de chocolates Morozoff. Como particularidad, se destaca el hecho de que son las mujeres quienes regalan chocolates a los hombres, ya sean sus familiares, amigos o compañeros de trabajo. En este último caso, el obsequio se vuelve casi una obligación, pues deben regalarles chocolates a todos sus colegas giri-choco, de giri: ‘deber’, y choco: apócope de chokorito: ‘chocolate’). Como una especie de compensación, también producto del mercadeo, los hombres devuelven el favor un mes después, el 14 de marzo, celebración conocida como White Day (‘día blanco’), en el que se suelen regalar obsequios de color blanco, como chocolate blanco, malvaviscos o incluso ropa interior.

En México se demuestra el amor entre novios o esposos con rosas.  

En Perú esta fiesta se conoce como Día del Amor y la Amistad.

En Venezuela se suele celebrar con cenas íntimas entre parejas casadas, de novios e incluso amigos (en este último caso casi siempre entre personas de sexos opuestos,(muy rara vez en personas con igual sexo.  leer mas acerca del Dia del amor y la amistad

Tu opinion es importante deja tus comentarios:

Como celebras el 14 de febrero?



Día de San Valentín. (2009, 13) de febrero. Wikipedia, La enciclopedia libre. Fecha de consulta: 04:09, febrero 13, 2009 from

Día del amor y la amistad.2008, febrero. Espacio de Memo.!49BF390D536D7A69!471.entry

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Earth Hour 2009 You can make the difference!

February 6, 2009

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Eath Hour logo Earth Hour is an annual international event created by WWF (The World Wide Fund for Nature/World Wildlife Fund), held on the last Saturday of March, that asks households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. It was pioneered by WWF Australia and the Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, and achieved worldwide participation in 2008.   read more about Earth Hour

In 2009 Earth Hour aims to reach 1 billion people in 1,000 cities.  see full list of the cities



February 5, 2009: With eight weeks still to go before800px-Sydney_Earth_Hour_2 people around the world switch off their lights for Earth Hour, the public awareness raising campaign on climate change is showing signs of being the greatest voluntary action the world has ever witnessed.
The lights out initiative, which began in Sydney in 2007 as a one-city environmental campaign, has evolved into a grassroots action that has captured the attention of the citizens of the world. In 2008, 371 cities across 35 countries turned their lights out in a united call for action on climate change.
Now, with almost two months still 800px-Colosseum_Earth_Hourremaining before Earth Hour 2009, that number has already been eclipsed, with 377 cities across 74 countries now committed to turning off their lights for one hour at 8.30pm on 28 March.
WWF Director General, Mr James Leape, said he is optimistic about the campaign’s potential to drive key decision making on the issue of climate change.
“With hundreds more cities expected to sign up to switch off in the coming months, Earth Hour 2009 is setting the platform for an unprecedented global mandate for action on climate change,” he said. The list of cities confirming their participation in Earth Hour 2009 includes 37 national capitals and some of the great cities of the world, including London, Beijing, Rome, Moscow, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, Athens, Buenos Aires, Toronto, Sydney, Mexico City, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Manila, Las Vegas, Brussels, Cape Town and Helsinki.


Video official Earth Hour 2009

 see Earth Hour video 2008

Along with the great metropolises of the world, Earth Hour 2009 will also see the lights go out on some of the most recognised landmarks on the planet, including Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Table Mountain in Cape Town, Merlion in Singapore, Sydney Opera House, CN Tower in Toronto, Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and the world’s tallest constructed building Taipei 101.
A host of high profile ambassadors across the world have also lent their support to the campaign, most notably Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett. Shepard Fairey, the artist who created the iconic imagery for Barack Obama in the recent US Presidential Election, has agreed to create artwork for the Earth Hour campaign.
Earth Hour Executive Director, Mr Andy Ridley, said the 2009 campaign is an opportunity for the people of the world to cast their vote on this important global issue.
“Earth Hour by its very nature is the essence of grassroots action. This is the opportunity for individuals from all corners of the globe to unite in a single voice and demand action on climate change,” said Mr Ridley.
2009 is a critical year for action on climate change, with the world’s leaders due to meet at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December to sign a new deal to supersede the Kyoto Protocol. 

sources:"Earth Hour." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 5 Feb 2009, 23:17 UTC. 6 Feb 2009 <>.

“Earth Hour Official site”

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