A Season of Celebration and Worship

By: Ylee , 11:52 PM GMT on December 22, 2012

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This time of year is dominated with celebration, and worship. Christmas and Hanukkah are the most well known this time of year, but there are other religions that celebrate, such as the Hindus. There are plenty of secular celebrations this time of year, as well!(But I don't have a Festivus webcam, lol!)


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Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. The date of December 25 was given during the early days of the Christian Church because it was believed that Jesus was conceived on March 25, the Roman day for the spring equinox.

Christmas has not always been the #1 holiday of the season. In the early days of Christendom, Epiphany was celebrated. The first feast at Christmas was not documented until the year 354. In 1647, Puritans, which ruled England at the time, banned Christmas celebrations, saying that the revelry associated at the time with celebrating Christmas was the work of the Devil! Boston followed, banning Christmas from 1659 to 1681. Scotland also abolished Christmas in 1640, going so far as not having Christmas as an official public holiday until 1958!

Charles Dickens heavily influenced modern Christmas celebration, which is more secular and family-based than the church-oriented celebrations of the past. His book, A Christmas Carol, influenced millions with its message of family, goodwill, and compassion. "Merry Christmas", a phrase from the book, became popular following its publishing, and remains so to this day!

Christmas became a legal U.S. holiday in 1870.



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Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is celebrated between late November and late December. This year, Hanukkah falls between the 8th of December, and the 16th.

In 168 BC, Syrian king Antiochus IV Epiphanes invaded Jerusalem, looted the Temple, and constructed an Altar to Zeus, banning Judaism in the process. A Jewish priest, Mattathias Maccabee, with his five sons, began a revolt in protest, his son Judah finally being able to expel the Syrians by 165 BC. Judah ordered the Temple to be cleansed, a new altar to be built, and new holy vessels to be made.

In the Temple, they found a solitary jar of oil, enough to burn in a lamp for only one day. However, the lamp burned for eight days, long enough for more oil to be pressed and refined for use! Jewish leaders of the day declared this a miracle, and proclaimed an eight day festival to celebrate.

Today, Jews light a chanukkiah, a special candelabrum consisting of nine candles; a central, raised candle called a shamash, used solely for illumination, and eight lower candles, four on each side. Each night, for a half an hour, the shamash candle, and an additional candle is lit, until on the last night, all the candles are lit. It's important that the shamash is lit, for it is forbidden that the other candles are used for illumination. The other candles are for telling the story of Hanukkah! A hymn, Ma'oz Tzur, is sung after the lighting of each candle.

Gifts are given, and fried foods in olive oil, such as latke(potato pancakes), and pontshkes(jam filled doughnuts) are enjoyed. Other Psalms are sung, and there are prayers and special services at synagogues.



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Tamil Hindus also have a celebration this time of year, called the Karthikai Deepam. Between mid-November and mid-December, when the moon and the Pleiades(or Karthikai, in Tamil) are in conjunction, there is a festival, where houses and streets are lit up with lamps(or Deepam).

From wikipedia: "The six stars(Pleiades) are considered in Indian mythology as the six celestial nymphs who reared the six babies in the saravana tank which later were joined together to form the six faced Muruga. He is therefore called Karthikeya, the one brought up by the Karthigai nymphs."

Karthikai is basically a festival of lamps. The lamps are supposed to ward off evil and bring joy. This festival is also celebrated to commemorate the bonding between brothers and sisters in south India. Sisters pray for the prosperity and success of their brothers and light lamps to mark the occasion.

The Karthigai festival in Tiruvannamalai (where Mount Arunachala is located) is very famous. On Karthigai day, a huge fire lamp is lit up on the hill, visible for several kilometers around the hill. The fire (dheepam) is called Mahadeepam, as Hindu devotees visit the place, to pray and offer Lord Shiva.



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Tenrikyo is a fairly recent religion, founded in 1838 by Miki Nakayama, who was chosen as the Shrine of God. " Followers of Tenrikyo believe that God, known by several names including Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, expressed divine will through Nakayama's role as the Shrine of God. Tenrikyo's worldly aim is to teach and promote the Joyous Life, which is cultivated through acts of charity and mindfulness called hinokishin. The Joyous Life in Tenrikyo is defined as charity and abstention from greed, selfishness, hatred, anger and arrogance. Negative tendencies are not known as sins in Tenrikyo, but rather "dust," as a metaphor, that can be swept away from the mind through hinokishin and ritual."

Tenrikyo doesn't have a festival around the winter solstice, but they do have monthly services on the third Sunday of each month, as well as daily services.



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Happy Día de los Inocentes, Shore!

Is that feer (feline/deer) any relation to the jackalope family?
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 234 Comments: 25116
142. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting RobDaHood:

Indeed he is...but look in the shadows!
The whole tribe!

Out for a while.
Watch out for...well nevermind!


Saw that the whole tribe was there in the shadows .. looked like maybe 4 altogether .. something spooked them .. but they will be back ..
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 364 Comments: 31559
I see two. One little buck and a doe (?) on it's left.

The possible chicks are no longer visible.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 234 Comments: 25116
Quoting whitewabit:
the little buck is back ..


Indeed he is...but look in the shadows!
The whole tribe!

Out for a while.
Watch out for...well nevermind!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 97 Comments: 32263
139. whitewabit (Mod)
the little buck is back ..

now there are 3 standing in the shadows ..

Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 364 Comments: 31559
Rest well Ylee.

And for the record...
'twas Shore wot was scarin' folks with her photoshoppy stuff!

Although Justin Bee burr or whatever his name is...well now I'm afeared!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 97 Comments: 32263
137. Ylee
Looks like everyone's having a good time on the blogs this evening! Me, I've been banging my head against the wall, trying in vain to get the new blog formatted so it'll look right! :P I did decide on a course of action, but it cost me a good part of the day! Oh well, it'll be worth it when I'm done!

With evidence that the penguins don't preen each other, it is my guess that they smell bad, bug! :)

wab, don't rub it in; you're going to give bug a complex! You too, Shore! LOL!

Happy New Year to you, Beachie! Hope it's better than the last one!

Rob, don't be scarin' folk of monsters and such. People will start seeing things on the cam, like Nessie or Justin Beiber or something worse! :)

Time to go home! Be back in the morning! But not at 3AM, thank goodness! :)
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 94 Comments: 15746
You're a bad girl Shore!
LOL
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 97 Comments: 32263
Happy Día de los Inocentes, Bug! When I saw that mention of the chupacabra, I went looking for a pic and turned up this thing. I couldn't resist superimposing it on the feeder cam. My goodness - a week ago I didn't even know about this "other" April Fool's Day - now I'm pulling pranks!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I don't have any kind of program on this lappy that will allow me to enlarge or add arrows or whatnot. I'm emailing it to work but I can't do anything with it until Monday. I have SnagIt at work.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 234 Comments: 25116
I swear, though....

There's an oblong white rock right underneath that penguin and it sure looks like two small heads, one on either side, with the little black beaks, both looking in the direction of the camera.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 234 Comments: 25116
Yeah, I know, Rob. I just couldn't resist picking at you!

Wab, I said 'I think.' It could just as easily be two oddly shaped rocks.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 234 Comments: 25116
ROFLMBO!
Wasn't really wishin. Would freak me out!
Just a little trepidation when I click here in the wee hours!
LOL
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 97 Comments: 32263
130. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting palmettobug53:
Wishin' for chupracabras and skunk apes!

I see a deer! A regular one and one really, really strange one with a head like a cat! lol

I think I see chicks! Directly below the rock cairn, there's three penguins. One standing up. Below that one, there are two kinda lying down. One looking towards the camera and one looking away. If you look on either side of the one looking away, I think I see small heads.


You must have better eyes then me with those bionic new glasses ..
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 364 Comments: 31559
Wishin' for chupracabras and skunk apes!

I see a deer! A regular one and one really, really strange one with a head like a cat! lol

I think I see chicks! Directly below the rock cairn, there's three penguins. One standing up. Below that one, there are two kinda lying down. One looking towards the camera and one looking away. If you look on either side of the one looking away, I think I see small heads.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 234 Comments: 25116
Quoting palmettobug53:
Hush yo mouf, Rob!


Ooop!
What did I say?
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 97 Comments: 32263
127. whitewabit (Mod)
2 deer at the feeder early tonight !!
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 364 Comments: 31559
Where's Gus, Bug? He was supposed to meet me....

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I counted wrong. Those eggs should have started hatching in early Dec. Maybe mid Dec for any late layers. They're probably brooding chicks at this point.

While reading that link, I hit this sentence: Gentoo penguins do not allopreen.

Allopreen? What the heck is that? I had to go look it up.

Mutual preening; preening of the feathers of one bird by another; often a part of courtship or pair bond maintenance.

I learn something new every day.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 234 Comments: 25116
Hush yo mouf, Rob!

Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 234 Comments: 25116
There was one laying there on the shelf in the same position every time I checked. This morning it had moved...finally.
Now it, or another, is back laying on it's belly on the shelf.

Nope, still holding out for big foot, a skunk ape, or one of their cousins to freak me out in the midnight hours on the feeder cam. I'll settle for a chupacabra though.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 97 Comments: 32263
zwani.com myspace graphic comments
Happy New Year comments & graphics
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121. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting palmettobug53:
I believe what have are Gentoo penguins.

According to the linked website, egg laying is generally completed by the end of October. Two eggs are laid four days apart. Oddly enough, they both hatch within 24 hours of each other.

Incubation takes about 34 days, so, if I'm counting on my fingers correctly, it's about time for hatching. It is quite possible that some have already hatched; we just can't see the chicks yet, because mom or dad is still brooding them.


Some do look like their sitting on a rock pebble nest..
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 364 Comments: 31559
No deer; no squirrels.

(Bug wanders off, humming, "Somedaaay my deer will come. Somedaaaay, my deer will come, Somedaaay, I'll find my bucks, and how thrilling that moment will beeeeeee......" )
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 234 Comments: 25116
I believe what we have are Gentoo penguins.

According to the linked website, egg laying is generally completed by the end of October. Two eggs are laid four days apart. Oddly enough, they both hatch within 24 hours of each other.

Incubation takes about 34 days, so, if I'm counting on my fingers correctly, it's about time for hatching. It is quite possible that some have already hatched; we just can't see the chicks yet, because mom or dad is still brooding them.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 234 Comments: 25116
118. Ylee
Stopping in for a minute; I wonder if the pope is inside the tent in the center of the square?

bug, I'm sure someday you'll get to see the whole herd at the feeder cam! The ultimate for me to see there would be a bear!

Sandi, I wonder how often this happens? It would be good for the Catholic Church to have these several times a year! Any congregation needs a constant influx of new blood to remain viable; look what happened to the Shakers!

Pontifex sound like a spoiler or a wing that you'd buy for a Trans Am, ycd! :)

Rob, I really do think those penguins are incubating egg! I don't think it'll be too much longer until we'll see chicks!

I'll be here until the new year, Shore!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 94 Comments: 15746
Ah, so that's what it is. The square is full!
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 234 Comments: 25116
Well, there's only one squirrel at the feeder, but St. Peter's square is about full. I'm glad for the information our research staff dug up! Exciting times for some of those youth, I would think.

I can't figure out if you're there or off, so I'll stop back in a bit and see if you've made an appearance. I'm glad you didn't get a blizzard!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wow, 4 deer!

Glad that one penguin finally moved. Thought it was dead!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 97 Comments: 32263
Good morning Ylee:
Good to see that your snow was manageable . We still have some patchy cover in shaded spots. We seem to be stuck at 3C. with light rain here. Four deer on the feeder.
palmetobug53:
The Pope has opened a Twitter account:
@Pontifex
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 179 Comments: 4633
Oh, Ylee,
There are folks filling the chairs in St Peter's square, as it is getting dark.
I wonder if it is for some midnight mass or something?

EDIT - I found this

29 Saturday
Saint Peter's Square, at 18:00
Taize : European Youth Meeting
Prayer presided by the Holy Father

So it is a youth prayer event.
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 294 Comments: 26344
Hi, Ylee.

yeah, I must have webcam juju. I think I've seen more than one deer at the feeder only once. Two deer or maybe three. It's been so long ago, I forget.

Sandi, I noticed the roped off areas and rows of chairs as soon as that cam came back up. Right now, it appears that there is a throng of people sitting in them and queued up.

Something is about to happen. Or maybe it is over and they're lingering.

I tried to dig up something about Vatican news for Dec 29th to see what was going on but couldn't find anything. Not even on the Vatican's website.

Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 234 Comments: 25116
111. Ylee
Good morning! The computer gods are smiling on me this morning, as I have the buttons above the comment box back! Typing html tags bites! :)

We got about 1 1/2" of snow last night! Good, wet, snowball-making stuff! Roads were pretty clear at 3AM(I came in early this morning), thank goodness! Supposed to drop into the teens tonight!

Glad that the Vatican cam is back online! About time! Don't know about the rest of my work schedule leading up to New Years', so getting out the new blog ASAP will be a priority!


Bug, you must have some bad webcam Juju, or something! :) I think everyone else has seen multiple deer at the feeder!

Sandi, I've piled on 45 pounds since I started working here over six years ago! At this pace, people will start pointing me to the audition line for Santa Claus! :)

Don't know what the chairs at St. Peter's is for; Ney Year's Mass, perhaps?

Tony, you're doing a good job with that snow; We have some more due Monday, I hear!

wab, It was almost all snow this time, there just wasn't much of it!

GG, when I first read your post, I thought you were talking about your husband, lol! I'm surprised that an apartment would have a doggie door!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 94 Comments: 15746
Hey.... The web cam at St Peter's is up and running again and they appear to have laid out rows and rows of chairs. I wonder what for?
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 294 Comments: 26344
Good morning YLee.
I see on the news that Alley's area did get a heavy snowfall. I'm ditrbuting the stuff as fast as I can. We're getting more today here so soon I'll be able to start sending it away again.
Enjoy the evening.
Member Since: August 18, 2006 Posts: 2481 Comments: 7364
"GG, I'd have to agree with wab; those roly-polys probably smell like the bad side of a fish market! :)"

Yeah I guess they may be a bit stinky. Roxie would love to roll in pengiun land I'm guessing.

When my Dad lived on the coast I would go visit for a few days. The second night I woke up to something all warm, wiggly and STINKY! in my bed. I had been playing with the neighbors neglected pitbull since I got there so Sally came through the dog door to find me. If I hadn't lived in an apartment I would have washed her and quietly taken her home. Sweet dog, but pheww,
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 256 Comments: 9583
107. whitewabit (Mod)
You look to be close to the rain/snow line again with this little system .. which will it be ??
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 364 Comments: 31559
Good morning YLee.
They've reicarnated the Furby's. I think they've run out of ideas for new toys.
Have a good day.
Member Since: August 18, 2006 Posts: 2481 Comments: 7364
Me, I'm going on a diet come the new year(urp!)! :)


I saw the above comment from you in Jus' blog....I am all set to do that, too!!
Sitting around for almost three months - doing things that didn't put a strain on my 10 inch scar, means I have become lethargic and I am beginning to put on the weight I lost in worry before entering hospital !!
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 294 Comments: 26344
FIVE DEER?! I missed five deer at the feeder? Ah, rats. Nothing there now but 3 obese squirrels.

I see the Vatican cam is back up again, now that Christmas is over. Something's up; they've got most of the plaza fenced off. Or maybe that's left over from Christmas, while they had all the cams shut down.

Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 234 Comments: 25116
103. Ylee
Time to go home! Be back tomorrow!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 94 Comments: 15746
102. Ylee
So it's a town now, Skye? It was just a golf course/development when I was there. Even though I had lived in Fla. for about two years at the time, I was pretty jazzed when Arnold Palmer flew overhead in a helicopter, on his way there for Senior PGA tournament!

As I recall, I was with a framing crew that built duplexes and fourplexes, done in Southwestern style with red tile roofs!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 94 Comments: 15746
101. Skyepony (Mod)
6:07 AM GMT on December 28, 2012
We've been waiting. It's one of the kid's favorite cams at the moment.

Pretty neat you worked on Suntree. I remember when that town went up.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38172
100. Ylee
6:04 AM GMT on December 28, 2012
Should be seeing some eggs or chicks there soon, Skye!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 94 Comments: 15746
99. Skyepony (Mod)
5:31 AM GMT on December 28, 2012
Penguins look all happy with some snow.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38172
98. Ylee
5:27 AM GMT on December 28, 2012
Alley, you beat us in the snow dept., as we only got an inch! I don't think the deer or the rest of the critters have to work too hard in order to get some grub!

May technically be morning there(Not midnight here yet, as I'm in CST), but the night is still young! :)
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 94 Comments: 15746
97. Alleyoops
5:15 AM GMT on December 28, 2012
Boy those deer at the feeder cam sure look to be in great shape.

Good morning Ylee. Yes its morning here already. Wide awake and trying to decide if I should try to go to bed and maybe do some reading to help me sleep.

Been pretty quiet around here. Got a nice bit of snow yesterday and last night but all in all it could have been a lot worse than the 4 inches we did receive. The wind was the worse culprit. Some areas got over a foot of the white stuff.

Well I hope you have a decent shift tonite. Take it easy, no need to rush. Have a great night.
Member Since: April 18, 2007 Posts: 190 Comments: 29423
96. Ylee
4:54 AM GMT on December 28, 2012
Nice "moonset" at Milos, and five deer at the feeder!

ycd, some folks have their angry birds or facebook gossip, I have my webcams! :)

I'm glad something's perky, bug! I'm not, LOL!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 94 Comments: 15746
95. palmettobug53
3:01 AM GMT on December 28, 2012
Everything is quiet. Except the penguins. They look perky!
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 234 Comments: 25116
94. ycd0108
2:19 AM GMT on December 28, 2012
Evening Ylee:
Been a while since I needed to spell check the word evening.
Just the way it is nowadays
But ain't that somethin' that you and I can see what weather is coming in to Milos and Czek and our pinguins?
It's ALRIGHT!
Have a good shift.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 179 Comments: 4633
93. Ylee
2:03 AM GMT on December 28, 2012
Good evening! Cold and cloudy again, temps running around freezing! Not much snow left here! Did get the outside decorations put away; tomorrow it'll be the inside!

No moon over Milos tonight; it's cloudy there, too! I'll start on the new blog Saturday; cams are not in question, but there's a whole lot of work to be done on it before it's ready!

Hi,Tony! Still working OT, but it'll be an easier night tonight than last night! I hope! :)

Evenin, Todd!

GG, I'd have to agree with wab; those roly-polys probably smell like the bad side of a fish market! :)

You did, bug! Don't you see it? :) #90!

wab, I'm not sure about the cleansing abilities of Antarctic water on insulated feathers, preening, or no preening!

Hi, sp! I happened across those lights by accident while looking through old blogs, same as the Zatec cam! Never saw any good U.S. holiday light displays, for some reason!

Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 94 Comments: 15746

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About Ylee

I live and work in metropolitan Lewisport, KY. I like webcams, through which I can see the whole world!

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