Tag Archives: Japan

Happy New Year 2015!

  NEWYEAR3

The following youtube video, “Happy New Year – Auld Lang Syne by Sissel (Live).wmv.flv”, features phenomenal videography of panoramic vistas, endearing nature scenes, and of course the remarkable voice of Sissel Kyrkjebø, the Norwegian soprano.

WIDELY OBSERVED NEW YEAR SYMBOLS AND TRADITIONS

Resolutions: It is believed that the Babylonians were the first to make New Year’s resolutions, and people all over the world have been breaking them ever since. The early Christians believed the first day of the new year should be spent reflecting on past mistakes and resolving to improve oneself in the new year.

Fireworks: Noise-making and fireworks on New Year’s eve is believed to have originated in ancient times, when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck. The Chinese are credited with inventing fireworks and use them to spectacular effect in their New Year’s celebrations.

SCOTLAND

The birthplace of “Auld Lang Syne” is also the home of Hogmanay (hog-mah-NAY), the rousing Scottish New Year’s celebration (the origins of the name are obscure).  The Torchlight Procession is the official start of three-days of spectacular Edinburgh’s Hogmanay events.

Credit: Lloyd SmithLast year’s event welcomed over 35,000 participants and spectators, joining the Up Helly Aa’ Vikings, massed pipes & drums and thousands of torch carriers as they illuminate the city from our start position on George IV Bridge to the finale viewing areas at Waterloo Place and Calton Hill. The Torchlight Procession fireworks finale can be viewed across the city and beyond! One of the traditions is “first-footing.”

Credit: Lloyd SmithShortly after midnight on New Year’s eve, neighbors pay visits to each other and impart New Year’s wishes. Traditionally, First foots used to bring along a gift of coal for the fire, or shortbread. It is considered especially lucky if a tall, dark, and handsome man is the first to enter your house after the new year is rung in. The Edinburgh Hogmanay celebration is the largest in the country, and consists of an all-night street party.

GREECE

Orestiko_New Year’s Eve

A different type of celebration for New Year’s Day is happening in Argos Orestiko, a town in Northern Greece.  From New Year’s Eve to January 2, the locals wear their carnival costumes and celebrate in an unusual way. Unlike the rest of the cities in Greece, Argos Orestiko celebrates with a carnival during Christmas and especially around New Year’s Day. In fact, this was a custom of western Macedonia in Greece, which had its roots there at the time while the country was enslaved by the Ottomans. In order for people of the area to celebrate freely, they were in disguise — the men dressed as women and vice versa. This celebration kept on for centuries, even after the liberation of the region in 1912, and now it offers unique moments of festivities under the sound of music and, most of the time, with very cold weather.

BELARUS


In Belarus, unmarried women compete at games of skill to determine who will get married first in the New Year. One game involves setting piles of corn and a rooster before each of the single ladies. Whichever pile the bird approaches first, is believed to be the one who is to be married first.

 JAPAN

In Japan, on New Year’s Eve people prepare for and welcome Toshigami , the New Year’s god. People clean their home and prepare Kadomatsu or Shimenawa to welcome the god before New Year’s Eve. Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times at midnight in the tradition Joya no Kane. The rings represent the 108 elements of bonō, mental states that lead people to take unwholesome actions.  In most cities and urban areas across Japan, New Year’s Eve celebrations are usually accompanied by concerts, countdowns, fireworks, and other events to mark the beginning of the New Year.

People gather around the Zojoji Temple to release helium balloons up in the sky containing New Year’s wishes and watch the lighting of Tokyo Tower with a year number displayed on the observatory at the stroke of midnight.

THE NETHERLANDS

The Dutch burn bonfires of Christmas trees on the street and launch fireworks. The fires are meant to purge the old and welcome the new.

SPAIN

At midnight, Spaniards eat twelve grapes, each one bringing luck for one month of the year. The actual countdown is primarily followed from the clock on top of the Casa de Correos building in Puerta del Sol Square in Madrid. It is traditional to eat twelve grapes, one on each chime of the clock. This tradition has its origins in 1909, when grape growers in Alicante thought of it as a way to cut down on the large production surplus they had had that year.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

New Year celebrations in the USA

On New Years Eve, at 11:59 pm, millions of Americans tune in to watch the dropping of the giant ball in Times Square in New York City. The ball, which is made of Waterford Crystal, weighs 1,070 pounds, and is six feet in diameter, reaches the bottom exactly at midnight. What most people don’t know is that this ritual is carried out five times, as local news stations replay the event at midnight in each time zone.

HAPPY5

and best wishes for health, happiness and prosperity in 2015

from Martin, Dave, Louise

MARTIN, DAVE, LOUISE FOR BLOG
~ Rainsoft Ottawa ~
Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year’s_Eve
http://ryanseacrest.com/2010/12/28/9-strange-new-years-traditions-from-around-the-world/
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/newyearcelebrations.html

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WORLD WATER DAY 2013 VIDEO – A MUST SEE!

WORLD W DAY 2013

I came across a remarkable video, “World Water Day 2013”, posted by Haruna Akashi to YouTube.  Nako Akashi, a young 15 year old student in Japan produced and narrates the video herself.  I’m so impressed with Nako’s work that I feel her insight on water’s impact on our world, should be shared.

Nako is a junior high school student who enjoys music, painting, designing and photography. The devastation of the March 11, 2011 tsunami in Japan had a profound effect on Nako and she says, ” It’s time for us to help the water. The power of just one person may seem very little, but it all counts – one for all – all for one. I believe this is the international rule for everyone.”

My comments to Nako on her video: ‘Congratulations, Nako, on your remarkable video.  I feel your work is award worthy!!! I’m so impressed that I am going to present your video on my blog to celebrate World Water Day 2013.  Best of luck in all your future endeavours.  You are a wonderful ambassador for Japan as a young person with deep-felt compassion and vision.  You will find my blog on WordPress as Rainsoftottawa.’

Nako’s twitter page ~
href=”https://twitter.com/superduperpuper”>https://twitter.com/superduperpuper

Nako’s website where she has posted her photos ~ http://bitterbutter123.deviantart.com/

PEACE IS THE ONLY WAY

The International Day of Peace, sometimes unofficially known as World Peace Day, is observed annually on 21 September. It is dedicated to peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access. The day was first celebrated in 1982, and is kept by many nations, political groups, military groups, and people.

To inaugurate the day, the “Peace Bell” is rung at UN Headquarters (in New York City). The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa, and was a gift from the United Nations Association of Japan, as “a reminder of the human cost of war”; the inscription on its side reads, “Long live absolute world peace“.

Individuals can also wear White Peace Doves to commemorate the International Day of Peace, which are badges in the shape of a dove produced by a non-profit organisation in Canada.

Some of the favorite quotes ~

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” ~ Mother Theresa

“Be the change that you want to see in the world.” ~ Mohandas Gandhi

 

“Peace cannot be kept by force.  It can only be achieved by understanding.” ~ Albert Einstein.

“It isn’t enough to talk about peace.  One must believe in it.  And it isn’t enough to believe in it.  One must work for it.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Love is the way to peace,

for love is the

greatest power on earth.

ADDENDUM :  Thinking ahead to next year’s International Day of Peace, I would like to invite all of our readers to submit to me their thoughts, quotes, images, music, short videos, etc. telling me which country you live in and I will use your information to create our collective contribution to next year’s International Day of Peace. 
I think it would be great fun to hear from as many countries as possible. 
I will send my e-mail address to anyone who wishes to contribute – just mention this in a comment reply on this blog.

WE STILL HAVE A CHANCE TO STOP THE BRUTAL SLAUGHTER OF THE MAJESTIC WHALES

IT’S JUST HEARTBREAKING TO THINK ‘MASS SLAUGHTER’ OF THESE GENTLE MAJESTIC MAMMALS!

 

WE HAVE TO DO OUT PART – THIS IS UNCONSCIONABLE!!!

I am re-blogging my original blog: “TELL JAPAN: NO FUKUSHIMA DISASTER FUNDS FOR BRUTAL WHALE SLAUGHTER!” which I posted last January 14th. I noticed today that THIS PETITION IS STILL OPEN.  This time I am including the information from Avaaz‘s web site:

“593,045 have signed. Help us get to 750,000 – Posted: 14 December 2011
Right now, the Japanese whaling fleet is barreling south to hunt thousands of majestic whales, escorted by a 30 million dollar security force paid for out of the tsunami disaster relief fund!

Anti-whaling champions were successfully blocking the Japanese whale hunt — which is exactly why the Japanese government decided to swipe money from relief efforts to stop the activists from bothering the boats while they engage in their brutal slaughter.

If we can stop the whaling security and get the relief money back for desperate Japanese citizens still languishing in radioactive hotspots, we could help end the whale hunt for good. Japanese PM Noda is already under enormous pressure after scandalous failures to compensate victims of the nuclear disaster.

A massive global outcry can spark outrage inside and outside Japan and force Noda to use precious relief funds to save people, not kill whales Please sign the petition and share this campaign with everyone.”

Tell Japan: no #Fukushima disaster funds for brutal whale slaughter! Sign @Avaaz petition here: http://www.avaaz.org/en/japan_disaster_funds_whaling_d/?wdGJicb

JAPAN DEBRIS FIELD SWIRLS TOWARDS CANADA, U.S. WEST COAST

CANADIANS AND AMERICANS, THIS IS A WAKE UP CALL TO SAVE OUR ENVIRONMENT, NOW, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!!

Uploaded by on Apr 9, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPgreOZzXlo&feature=related

Cars, whole houses and even severed feet in shoes: The vast field of debris from Japan earthquake and tsunami that’s floating towards U.S. West Coast
‘If you put a major city through a trash grinder and sprinkle it on the water, that’s what you’re dealing with,’ Some of the debris to hit the West Coast may be radioactive following the devastation at Japanese nuclear power plants..

A vast field of debris, swept out to sea following the Japan earthquake and tsunami, is floating towards the U.S. West Coast, it has emerged.
More than 200,000 buildings were washed out by the enormous waves that followed the 9.0 quake on March 11.
Scientists say the first bits of debris from Japan are due to reach the West Coast in a year’s time after being carried by currents toward Washington, Oregon and California.
They will then turn toward Hawaii and back again toward Asia, circulating in what is known as the North Pacific Gyre

See also:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=R1F13J31JFo&feature=fvwp

TELL JAPAN: NO FUKUSHIMA DISASTER FUNDS FOR BRUTAL WHALE SLAUGHTER!

WE HAVE TO DO OUT PART – THIS IS UNCONSCIONABLE!!!

Tell Japan: no #Fukushima disaster funds for brutal whale slaughter! Sign @Avaaz petition here: http://www.avaaz.org/en/japan_disaster_funds_whaling_d/?wdGJicb