First of all Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! Wow this has been quite a week for us here at OH MISS.! With Gasparilla Parade last weekend, the cold weather-I know our friends up north it has been much much worse. The simple fact is, we live here in sunny Florida and we don’t expect it to get this cold. Most of us are going to have to wait a few more weeks before we will know how much damage has been done to our plants and landscaping.
But to continur on,, we corordinated a beautiful wedding yesterday at the beach. It was absolutely bone chilling cold but beautiful. It was a sunny day and other than the fact that it did not reach 60*, perfect. How could it not be? One of us had our anniversary yesterday and the DJ celebrated his birthday as well. All sorts of reasons to celebrate.
Now along that vein, did you know that besides being St. Valentine’s Day today, it is the start of the Chinese New Year-The Year of the TIger. A chinese custom is for married couples or the elderly to give AngPous (red envelopes) to the younger or unmarried. The envelopes usually contain money. The amount is usually $8.00 as the number 8 is considered a lucky number. They will also wear new clothes that day as to symbolize that they have plenty(or enough to go around) The Tiger is considered to be lucky,vivid,lively,engaging and have incredible bravery. Persons born in the year of the Tiger are said to have these characteristics-courage, vehemence,self-reliance,friendliness,hopefulness,resilience,vanity, and disregard. Happy Year of the Tiger!
Now tomorrow the 15th of February is Clean Monday. This is the Orthodox equivalent to the Christian Ash Wednesday. Clean Monday is the day that the home or living space is thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom, all crumbs and dust are cleaned away.
In New Orleans the Mardi Gras season that has been going on for a couple of weeks now,since the day of Epiphany or Three Kings Day is coming to a close. Most know only of the ending of the season with the parade and Fat Tuesday. Another custom that is held throughout this time is the custom of the King’s Cake. This is a cake that is made witha plastic baby inside and sometimes coins. The person that receives the piece of cake with the baby is supposed to hold the feast the following year. Fat Tuesday is when all the world is a stage and their is music and dancing , reveleryabounds as does the food and drink in a sense preparing for the time of Lent that will begin on Wednesday or Ash Wednesday. This is a time that Christians often give up something that is very meaningful to them-usually in the food category such as chocolate, chips, meat, something in that ilk in keeping withthe preparation for Easter Sunday. This year Easter Sunday will be the same for both Orthodox churches and Christian churches.
Ash Wednesday is this upcoming Wednesday the 17th and begins the preparation for Easter Sunday.
Oh and if you are wondering where the origin of the heart shaped box came from for the chocolates that are given at Valentine’s Day, you can thank Mr. Cadbury who in the mid 1800’s put his chocolates in a heart shaped box. Another factoid that even centuries before the cocoa beans were considered to be aphrodisiac
Again Happy Valentine’s Day, Fat Tuesday, and Chinese New Year!