Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Variety of Iftar in Bangladesh & Brunei


In Bangladesh, a wide variety of foods is prepared to break the fast at Maghrib time. Some of the common iftar items from Bangladeshi cuisine include Piyaju (made of pulse, onion and pulse powder), Beguni (made of eggplant and pulse powder), Jilapi, Muri (puffed crunchy rice grains, usually spiced with onion, garlic, chilli and other iftar items), Haleem, dates, samosas, Dal Puri (a type of lentil based pastry), Chola (cooked chickpeas), traditional Bengali sweets and different types of fruits such as watermelon. Drinks such as Rooh Afza and lemon sharbat are common on iftar tables across the country. People like to have iftar at home with all family members and iftar parties are also arranged by different offices and organisations.


In Brunei, iftar is called "sungkai". Traditionally this is held in the mosque or masjid for those who have prayed. In the mosque, a buffet is prepared by the government and local residents. Before the iftar, the beduk must be heard as a signal for beginning sungkai. Sungaki also means when a person decided to break their fast during daylight hours (the prescribed fasting time). Bruneians usually celebrate sungkai in restaurants (with reserved seats).


See also: Idul Fitri, Hamper Hari Raya, Hari Raya Hampers

Qasideh for Muslim

Qasida (also spelled qasidah), in Arabic: قصيدة, plural qasā'id, قــصــائـد; in Persian: قصیده (or چكامه, chakameh), is a form of poetry from pre-Islamic Arabia. It typically runs more than 50 lines, and sometimes more than 100. It was later inherited by the Persians, where it became sometimes longer than 100 lines and was used and developed immensely.

Qasida is often panegyric written in praise of a king or a nobleman. This kind of qasidah is known as a madih meaning praise. Qasidas have a single presiding subject, logically developed and concluded.

The classic form of qasida maintains a single elaborate meter throughout the poem, and every line rhymes. These poems are considered some of the most elaborate in the world.

In his 9th century Kitab al-shi'r wa-al-shu'ara' (Book of Poetry and Poets) the Arabic writer ibn Qutaybah says that (Arabic) qasida are formed of three parts: - They start, he says, with a nostalgic opening in which the poets reflects on what has passed, known as nasib. A common concept is the pursuit of the poet of the caravan of his love; by the time he reaches their campsite they have already moved on. - The nasib is usually followed by the takhallus - a release or disengagement. The poet often achieved this disengagement by describing his transition from the nostalgia of the nasib to the next portion of the poem. The second section is rahil (travel section) in which the poet contemplates the harshness of nature and life away from the tribe. - Finally there is the message of the poem, which can take several forms: praise of the tribe, fakhr; satire about other tribes, hija; or some moral maxims, hikam.

While many poets have intentionally or unintentionally deviated from this plan in their qasida it is recognisable in many.

One of the most popular and well known qasidas is the Qasida Burda ("Poem of the Mantle") by Imam al-Busiri.


See also: Lebaran, Hari Raya, Ramadan Gift

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Celebration of Eid ul-Fitr in Turkey

In Turkey, where Ramadan celebrations are infused with more national traditions, and where country-wide celebrations, are referred to as Bayram. It is customary for people to greet one another with "Bayramınız Kutlu Olsun" or "Bayramınız Mübarek Olsun" ("May Your Bayram Be Holy"). "Mutlu Bayramlar" ("Happy Bayram") is an alternative phrase for celebrating Bayram.

Referred to as both Şeker Bayramı ("Bayram of Sweets") or Ramazan Bayramı ("Ramadan Bayram"), Eid in Turkey is a public holiday, where schools and government offices are generally closed for the entire period of the celebrations.

It is a time for people to attend prayer services, put on their best clothes (referred to as "Bayramlık", often purchased just for the occasion) and to visit all their loved ones (such as friends, relatives and neighbors) and pay their respects to the deceased with organized visits to cemeteries, where large, temporary bazaars of flowers, water (for watering the plants adorning a grave), and prayer books are set up for the three-day occasion. The first day of the Bayram is generally regarded as the most important, with all members of the family waking up early, and the men going to their neighborhood mosque for the special Bayram prayer.

It is regarded as especially important to honor elderly citizens by kissing their right hand and placing it on one's forehead while wishing them Bayram greetings. It is also customary for young children to go around their neighborhood, door to door, and wish everyone a happy Bayram, for which they are awarded candy, chocolates, traditional sweets such as Baklava and Turkish Delight, or a small amount of money at every door, in an almost Halloween-like fashion.

Municipalities all around the country organize fundraising events for the poor, in addition to public shows such as concerts or more traditional forms of entertainment such as the Karagöz and Hacivat shadow-theatre and even performances by the Mehter - the Janissary Band that was founded during the days of the Ottoman Empire.

Helping the less fortunate, ending past animosities and making up, organizing breakfasts and dinners for loved ones and putting together neighborhood celebrations are all part of the occasion, where homes and streets are decorated and lit up for the celebrations, and television and radio channels continuously broadcast a variety of special Bayram programs, which include movie specials, musical programming and celebratory addresses from celebrities and politicians alike.


See also: Idul Fitri, Hamper Hari Raya, Hari Raya Hampers

About the “Takbir” Meaning

The Takbīr or Tekbir (تَكْبِير) is the Arabic name for the phrase Allāhu Akbar (الله أكبر). Usually translated "God is [the] Greatest," or "God is Great", it is a common Islamic Arabic expression, used as both an informal expression of faith and as a formal declaration.

The form Allāhu is the nominative of Allah "[the one] God".

The form akbar is the elative of the adjective kabīr "great". As used in the takbir it indicates the superlative (best), usually translated as "greatest". The term takbīr (تَكْبِير) itself is the stem II verbal noun (tafʿīlun) of the triliteral root k-b-r "great."

In the English version of Ibn Qayyim's book "The Way to Patience and Gratitude", it is stated in the footnotes that "Allahu Akbar" translates into "Allah is Greater". In the Second Edition on page 463, it quotes:

"...I preferred using 'the Greater' to the 'the Greatest', as it is commonly used. Allahu Akbar literally means, "Allah is Greater" with the comparative mode. Yet, this does not mean that He (Glory be to Him) is not the Greatest, nor does it mean that there is anything that is put in comparison with Him. This is because when the Muslim says it, he means He is "Greater" than anything else, which, consequently, means He is the Greatest. This use gives more influence. This may be why it is used in Arabic this way, otherwise it should have been used as "Allahu al-Akbar", in the superlative mode. Surely, Allah Knows best. (Translator)..."


See also: Lebaran, Hari Raya, Ramadan Gift

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Liturgical Cycle of Liturgical Year

The liturgical cycle divides the year into a series of seasons, each with their own mood, theological emphases, and modes of prayer, which can be signified by different ways of decorating churches, colors of Paraments and Vestments for clergy, scriptural readings, themes for preaching and even different traditions and practices often observed personally or in the home. In churches that follow the liturgical year, the scripture passages for each Sunday (and even each day of the year in some traditions) are specified by a list called a lectionary.

Among non-Catholic Western Christians, Anglicans and Lutherans have traditionally followed the lectionary since the days of the Protestant Reformation. Following the Roman Catholic liturgical reform of the Roman Rite instituted by Pope Paul VI in 1969, the adoption and use of lectionaries in other Protestant churches (Methodist, Reformed, United, etc.) increased. In particular, the growing influence of the Revised Common Lectionary led to a greater awareness of the Christian year among Protestants in the later decades of the 20th century, especially among mainline denominations.


See also: Sending Flowers, Online Florist, Florist

What is “Liturgical Year”???

The liturgical year, also known as the Christian year, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches which determines when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read. Distinct liturgical colours may appear in connection with different seasons of the liturgical year. The dates of the festivals vary somewhat between the different churches, though the sequence and logic is largely the same.

In both East and West, the dates of many feasts vary from year to year, usually in line with the variation in the date of Easter, with which most other moveable feasts are associated. The extent to which feasts and festivals are celebrated also varies between churches; in general, Protestant churches observe far fewer than Catholic and Orthodox, in particular with regard to feasts of the Virgin Mary and the other Saints.


See also: International Flower Delivery, Florist, Flowers Discount Code

Description of Magnolia

It is a great and beautiful tree, pyramidal, up to a height of 30 m to 25 m in cultivation.

Its foliage is evergreen. Its leaves are entire margins smooth, elliptical shape obovate, long 10-20 cm, leathery, glossy green on upper surface, hairy, red ferruginous tomentose and often on the underside.

Flowering, which appears quite late on mature trees, to 25 years (except for some early cultivars), lasts all summer, from June to September or November. (In the southeastern United States, flowering is late April to July). The flowers are large, up to 25 cm diameter, white, very fragrant and highly decorative. Each flower remains a single day on the tree, but they are constantly renewed.

The fruit ovoid, somewhat resembles a conifer cone. First yellowish green, he blushed gradually while its scales are opening to release seeds bright red.

The tulip-laurel is, if we except the conifers, one of the few trees temperate evergreen.

Tree of temperate and tropical climates, it prefers full sun exposure, and proximity to flowing water. In France, it is hardy up to Ile-de-France, where he suffers from severe cold, however. Farther north, it grows and flourishes less evil.

Prefers soils with neutral or acidic pH, but can tolerate moist soil pH is fairly high, up to pH 8. He loves siliceous.

See Also: Lebaran, Hari Raya, Ramadan Gift

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mandu, the Korean Dumpling

Mandu are dumplings in Korean cuisine. First brought to Korea by the Mongols. They are similar to pelmeni and pierogi in some Slavic cultures. The name is a cognate to the names of similar types of meat-filled dumplings in Central Asia, such as Turkish manti, Kazakh manty, and Uzbek manti. It is also a cognate with the Chinese mantou, although mantou is a steamed bun rather than a dumpling.

In Korean cuisine, mandu generally denotes a type of filled dumplings similar to the Mongolian buuz and Turkish mantı, and some variations are similar to the Chinese jiaozi and the Japanese gyoza. If the dumplings are grilled or fried, they are called gunmandu (군만두); when steamed jjinmandu (찐만두); and when boiled, mulmandu (물만두). Mandu are usually served with a dipping sauce made of soy sauce and vinegar.

It is believed that mandu were first brought to Korea by Mongolians in the 14th century during the Goryeo Dynasty. The state religion of Goryeo was Buddhism, which discouraged consumption of meat. Mongolian domination of Goryeo relaxed the religious prohibition against consuming meat, and mandu was among the newly imported Mongolian dishes that included meat.

Another possibility is that mandu came to Korea at a much earlier period from the Middle East through the Silk Road. Historians point out that many cuisines based on wheat, such as dumplings and noodles originated from Mesopotamia and gradually spread from there. It also spread east along the Silk Road, leaving many versions of mandu throughout Central and East Asia.


See also: Sending Flowers, Online Florist, Florist

The Dampfnudel

Dampfnudel (lit. "steam-noodle") is a sort of white bread eaten as a meal or as a dessert in Germany and in France (Alsace). It's a typical southern German dish.

Ingredients and preparation

Dampfnudels (pl: "Dampfnudeln") are made from a dough composed of white flour, water, yeast, salt, butter or margarine, and sometimes also eggs and sometimes a little sugar. The dough is formed into balls about the size of an egg, left to rise and then cooked in a closed pot, preferably a high-rimmed iron pan with a lid, with milk and butter (or salt water and fat) until a golden brown crust forms at the bottom after the liquid has evaporated. The tops remain white.


Dampfnudels are typically served as a main dish with savoury accompaniment such as cabbage, salad, gherkins, potato soup, or mushrooms in white sauce. They can also be served as a dessert with vanilla custard, jam, or boiled fruit. In the Palatinate, however, Dampfnudels are traditionally served as the main dish even when sweet.


See also: International Flower Delivery, Florist, Flowers Discount Code

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Further regarding the Old Garden Roses

Hybrid Perpetual

The dominant class of roses in Victorian England, hybrid perpetuals (a misleading translation of hybrides remontants, 'reblooming hybrids') emerged in 1838 as the first roses which successfully combined Asian remontancy with the Old European lineages. Since re-bloom is a recessive trait, the first generation of Asian/European crosses (Hybrid Chinas, Hybrid Bourbons, Hybrid Noisettes) were stubbornly once-blooming, but when these roses were recrossed with themselves or with Chinas or teas, some of their offspring flowered more than once. The Hybrid Perpetuals thus were something of a miscellany, a catch-all class derived to a great extent from the Bourbons but with admixtures of Chinas, teas, damasks, gallicas, and to a lesser extent Noisettes, albas and even centifolias. They became the most popular garden and florist roses of northern Europe at the time, as the tender tea roses would not thrive in cold climates, and the Hybrid Perpetuals' very large blooms were well-suited to the new phenomenon of competitive exhibitions. The "perpetual" in the name hints at repeat-flowering, but many varieties of this class had poor re-flowering habits; the tendency was for a massive spring bloom, followed by either scattered summer flowering, a smaller autumn burst, or sometimes nothing at all until next spring. Due to a limited colour palette (white, pink, red) and lack of reliable repeat-bloom, the hybrid perpetuals were ultimately overshadowed by their own descendants, the Hybrid Teas. Examples: 'Ferdinand Pichard', 'Reine Des Violettes', 'Paul Neyron'.

Hybrid Musk

Although they arose too late to qualify technically as Old Garden Roses, the hybrid musks are often informally classed with them, since their growth habits and care are much more like the OGRs than Modern Roses. The hybrid musk group was primarily developed by Rev. Joseph Pemberton, a British rosarian, in the first decades of the 20th century, based upon 'Aglaia', a 1896 cross by Peter Lambert. A seedling of this rose, 'Trier', is considered to the foundation of the class. The genetics of the class are somewhat obscure, as some of the parents are unknown. Rose multiflora, however, is known to be one parent, and R. moschata (the musk rose) also figures in its heritage, though it is considered to be less important than the name would suggest. Hybrid musks are disease-resistant, remontant and generally cluster-flowered, with a strong, characteristic "musk" scent. Examples include 'Buff Beauty' and 'Penelope'.

Hybrid Rugosa

The Rugosas likewise are not officially Old Garden Roses, but tend to be grouped with them. Derived from the R. rugosa species of Japan and Korea beginning in the 1880s, these vigorous roses are extremely hardy with excellent disease resistance. Most are extremely fragrant, repeat bloomers with moderately double flat flowers. The defining characteristic of a Hybrid Rugosa rose is its wrinkly leaves, but some hybrids do lack this trait. These roses will often set hips. Examples include 'Hansa' and 'Roseraie de l'Häy'.

Bermuda "Mystery" Roses

A group of several dozen "found" roses that have been grown in Bermuda for at least a century. The roses have significant value and interest for those growing roses in tropical and semi-tropical regions, since they are highly resistant to both nematode damage and the fungal diseases that plague rose culture in hot, humid areas, and capable of blooming in hot and humid weather. Most of these roses are likely Old Garden Rose cultivars that have otherwise dropped out of cultivation, or sports thereof. They are "mystery roses" because their "proper" historical names have been lost. Tradition dictates that they are named after the owner of the garden where they were rediscovered.


There are also a few smaller classes (such as Scots, Sweet Brier) and some climbing classes of old roses (including Ayrshire, Climbing China, Laevigata, Sempervirens, Boursault, Climbing Tea, and Climbing Bourbon). Those classes with both climbing and shrub forms are often grouped together.


See also: Sending Flowers, Online Florist, Florist

Old Garden Roses

An Old Garden Rose is defined as any rose belonging to a class which existed before the introduction of the first Modern Rose, La France, in 1867. In general, Old Garden Roses of European or Mediterranean origin are once-blooming woody shrubs, with notably fragrant, double-flowered blooms primarily in shades of white, pink and red. The shrubs' foliage tends to be highly disease-resistant, and they generally bloom only on two-year-old canes. The introduction of China and Tea roses from East Asia around 1800 led to new classes of Old Garden Roses which bloom on new growth, often repeatedly from spring to fall. Most Old Garden Roses are classified into one of the following groups.


Literally "white roses", derived from R. arvensis and the closely allied R. alba. These are some of the oldest garden roses, probably brought to Great Britain by the Romans. The shrubs flower once yearly in the spring with blossoms of white or pale pink. The shrubs frequently feature gray-green foliage and a climbing habit of growth . Examples: 'Alba Semiplena', 'White Rose of York'.


The gallica or Provins roses are a very old class developed from R. gallica, which is a native of central and southern Europe. The Apothecary's Rose, R. gallica officinalis, was grown in monastic herbiaries in the Middle Ages, and became famous in English history as the Red Rose of Lancaster. Gallicas flower once in the summer over low shrubs rarely over 4' tall. Unlike most other once-blooming Old Garden Roses, the gallica class includes shades of red, maroon and deep purplish crimson. Examples: 'Cardinal de Richelieu', 'Charles de Mills', 'Rosa Mundi' (R. gallica versicolour).


Named for Damascus in Syria, damasks originated in ancient times with a natural cross of (Rosa moschata x Rosa gallica) x Rosa fedtschenkoana. Robert de Brie is given credit for bringing damask roses from the Middle East to Europe sometime between 1254 and 1276, although there is evidence from ancient Roman frescoes that at least one damask rose existed in Europe for hundreds of years prior. Summer damasks bloom once in summer. Autumn or Four Seasons damasks bloom again later, in the fall: the only remontant Old European roses. Shrubs tend to have rangy to sprawly growth habits and vicious thorns. The flowers typically have a more loose petal formation than gallicas, as well as a stronger, tangy fragrance. Examples: 'Ispahan', 'Madame Hardy'.

Centifolia or Provence

Centifolia roses, raised in the seventeenth century in the Netherlands, are named for their "one hundred" petals; they are often called "cabbage" roses due to the globular shape of the flowers. The result of damask roses crossed with albas, the centifolias are all once-flowering. As a class, they are notable for their inclination to produce mutations of various sizes and forms, including moss roses and some of the first miniature roses (see below) . Examples: 'Centifolia', 'Paul Ricault'.


Mutations of primarily centifolia roses (or sometimes damasks), moss roses have a mossy excrescence on the stems and sepals that often emits a pleasant woodsy or balsam scent when rubbed. Moss roses are cherished for this unique trait, but as a group they have contributed nothing to the development of new rose classifications. Moss roses with centifolia background are once-flowering; some moss roses exhibit repeat-blooming, indicative of Autumn Damask parentage. Example: 'Common Moss' (centifolia-moss), 'Alfred de Dalmas' (Autumn Damask moss).


The Portland roses were long thought to be the first group of crosses between China roses and European roses; recent DNA analysis at the University of Lyons, however, has demonstrated that the original Portland Rose has no Chinese ancestry, but rather represents an autumn damask/gallica lineage. They were named after the Duchess of Portland who received (from Italy about 1775) a rose then known as R. paestana or 'Scarlet Four Seasons' Rose' (now known simply as 'The Portland Rose'). The whole class of Portland roses was thence developed from that one rose. The first repeat-flowering class of rose with fancy European-style blossoms, the plants tend to be fairly short and shrubby, with proportionately short flower stalks. Example: 'James Veitch', 'Rose de Rescht', 'Comte de Chambord'.


The China roses, based on Rosa chinensis, were cultivated in East Asia for centuries and finally reached Western Europe in the late 1700s. They are the parents of many of today's hybrid roses, and they brought a change to the form of the flower. Compared with the aforementioned European rose classes, the Chinese roses had less fragrant, smaller blooms carried over twiggier, more cold-sensitive shrubs. Yet they possessed the amazing ability to bloom repeatedly throughout the summer and into late autumn, unlike their European counterparts. The flowers of China roses were also notable for their tendency to "suntan," or darken over time — unlike the blooms of European roses, which tended to fade after opening. This made them highly desirable for hybridisation purposes in the early 1800s. According to Graham Stuart Thomas, China Roses are the class upon which modern roses are built. Today's exhibition rose owes its form to the China genes, and the China Roses also brought slender buds which unfurl when opening. Tradition holds that four "stud China" roses ('Slater's Crimson China' (1792), 'Parsons' Pink China' (1793), and the Tea roses 'Hume's Blush Tea-scented China' (1809) and 'Parks' Yellow Tea-Scented China' (1824)) were brought to Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; in fact there were rather more, at least five Chinas not counting the Teas having been imported. This brought about the creation of the first classes of repeat-flowering Old Garden Roses, and later the Modern Garden Roses. Examples: 'Old Blush China', 'Mutabilis' (Butterfly Rose), 'Cramoisie Superieur'.


The original "Tea-scented Chinas" (Rosa x odorata) were Oriental cultivars thought to represent hybrids of R. chinensis with R. gigantea, a large Asian climbing rose with pale-yellow blossoms. Immediately upon their introduction in the early 1800s breeders went to work with them, especially in France, crossing them first with Chinas and then with Bourbons and Noisettes. The Teas are repeat-flowering roses, named for their fragrance being reminiscent of Chinese black tea (although this is not always the case). The colour range includes pastel shades of white, pink and (a novelty at the time) yellow to apricot. The individual flowers of many cultivars are semi-pendent and nodding, due to weak flower stalks. In a "typical" Tea, pointed buds produce high-centred blooms which unfurl in a spiral fashion, and the petals tend to roll back at the edges, producing a petal with a pointed tip; the Teas are thus the originators of today's "classic" florists' rose form. According to rose historian Brent Dickerson, the Tea classification owes as much to marketing as to botany; 19th century nurserymen would label their Asian-based cultivars as "Teas" if they possessed the desirable Tea flower form, and "Chinas" if they did not. Like the Chinas, the Teas are not hardy in colder climates. Examples: 'Lady Hillingdon', 'Maman Cochet', 'Duchesse de Brabant'.


Bourbons originated on the Île de Bourbon (now called Réunion) off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. They are most likely the result of a cross between the Autumn Damask and the 'Old Blush' China rose, both of which were frequently used as hedging materials on the island. They flower repeatedly over vigorous, frequently semi-climbing shrubs with glossy foliage and purple-tinted canes. They were first Introduced in France in 1823. Examples: 'Louise Odier', 'Mme. Pierre Oger', 'Zéphirine Drouhin'.


The first Noisette rose was raised as a hybrid seedling by a South Carolina rice planter named John Champneys. Its parents were the China Rose 'Parson's Pink' and the autumn-flowering musk rose (Rosa moschata), resulting in a vigorous climbing rose producing huge clusters of small pink flowers from spring to fall. Champneys sent seedlings of his rose (called 'Champneys' Pink Cluster') to his gardening friend, Philippe Noisette, who in turn sent plants to his brother Louis in Paris, who then introduced 'Blush Noisette' in 1817. The first Noisettes were small-blossomed, fairly winter-hardy climbers, but later infusions of Tea rose genes created a Tea-Noisette subclass with larger flowers, smaller clusters, and considerably reduced winter hardiness. Examples: 'Blush Noisette', 'Lamarque' (Noisette); 'Mme. Alfred Carriere', 'Marechal Niel' (Tea-Noisette). (See French and German articles on Noisette roses).


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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jacob's Ladder - In the violence of the Beyond

Jacob's Ladder - In the violence of the Beyond
Jacob's Ladder - The power of the Hereafter (Original Jacob's Ladder) is an American thriller by Adrian Lyne in 1990, who, with disturbing images, and occasionally new extreme-lapse sequences of human movements ("Body Horror") is a kind of visual horror introduced to the cinema and influenced younger directors has (among other things was the Spaniard Jaume Balagueró in The Nameless, and Fragile), and also inspiration for the creators of the critically acclaimed video game series Silent Hill much.

The postal workers and Vietnam War veteran Jacob Singer lives in New York City. He is divorced. Singer plague visions in which he is killed in the jungle. Even in everyday life he encounters increasingly frightening unknowns that appear to be not quite human, and environmental and facilities are increasingly alien to him. His relationship with Jezebel suffers, and sometimes Jacob are not sure whether or not it changed unnatural. At times he seems to live again in the past, together with his (ex-) wife and children, of which Gabriel was actually already died in an accident (and why Jacob feels very guilty).

He tries to risk their lives and with the help of a former army chemist to discover a plot to an experiment that was where the psyche in Vietnam deployed soldiers with a drug called "the ladder" manipulated (see the biblical Jacob's ladder, from the James dreamed that angels went up and down between heaven and earth). In all of the threat, fear and uncertainty it is only as a last confidant Louis, his chiropractor and "fat cherub," unconditionally and loyally as a guardian angel to the side.

In the end, it turns out that singer was fatally wounded during the Vietnam War and the events constitute a hallucination shortly before his death. Other interpretations can see the "hallucinations" as manifest limbo or purgatory of the dying man, who by adhering to his earthly existence, with its secular doubt, guilt feelings and fears (or by the drug experimentation of the Army) the messengers of the Hereafter a terrible demonic entities responsible. Louis also tells of a medieval mystic who was of the opinion that those who can let go, the transition is not as nightmarish, but as a liberating exercise.

The structure of the narrative is based on the short story An Incident at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce (1890), in which a soldier in the American civil war at first seems to have escaped his execution, which in the end, however, as a hallucination during his death struggle turns out. A similar pattern also follows the movie Carnival of Souls (USA, 1962).

See Also: Sending Flowers, Online Florist, Florist

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Confectionery Examples

Confectionery items include sweets, lollipops, candy bars, chocolate, candy floss, and other sweet items of snack food. The term does not generally apply to cakes, biscuits, or puddings which require cutlery to consume, although exceptions such as petit fours or meringues exist. Speakers of American English do not refer to these items as "candy". See candy making for the stages of sugar-cooking.

Some of the categories and types of confectionery include the following:

• Hard sweets: Based on sugars cooked to the hard-crack stage, including suckers (known as boiled sweets in British English), lollipops, jawbreakers (or gobstoppers), lemon drops, peppermint drops and disks, candy canes, rock candy, etc. These also include types often mixed with nuts such as brittle. Others contain flavorings including coffee such as Kopiko.

• Fudge: A confection of milk and sugar boiled to the soft-ball stage. In the US, it tends to be chocolate-flavored.

• Toffee (or Taffy or Tuffy): Based on sugars cooked to the soft-ball stage and then pulled to create an elastic texture. In British English, toffee can also refer to a harder substance also made from cooked sugars which resembles toffee.

• Tablet. A crumbly milk-based soft and hard candy, based on sugars cooked to the soft-ball stage. Comes in several forms, such as wafers and heart shapes.

• Liquorice: Containing extract of the liquorice root. Chewier and more resilient than gum/gelatin candies, but still designed for swallowing. For example, Liquorice allsorts. Has a similar taste to Star Anise.

• Chocolates are bite-sized confectioneries. People who create chocolates are called chocolatiers, and they create their confections with couverture chocolate. A chocolate maker, on the other hand, is the person who physically creates the couverture from cacao beans and other ingredients.

• Jelly candies: Including those based on sugar and starch, pectin, gum, or gelatin such as Lokum / Turkish Delight, jelly beans, gumdrops, jujubes, cola bottles gummies, etc.

• Marshmallow: "Peeps" (a trade name), circus peanuts, fluffy puff, etc.

• Marzipan: An almond-based confection, doughy in consistency, served in several different ways. It is often formed into shapes mimicking (for example) fruits or animals. Alternatively, marzipan may be flavoured, normally with spirits such as Kirsch or Rum, and divided into small bite-sized pieces; these flavoured marzipans are enrobed in chocolate to prevent the alcohol from evaporating, and are common in northern Europe. Marzipan is also used in cake decoration. Its lower-priced version is called Persipan.

• Divinity: A nougat-like confectionery based on egg whites with chopped nuts.

Not all confections equate to "candy" in the American English sense. Non-candy confections include:

• Dodol: A toffee-like food delicacy popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines

• Mithai: A generic term for confectionery in India, typically made from dairy products and/or some form of flour. Sugar or molases are used as sweeteners.

• Pastry: A baked confection whose dough is rich in butter, which was dispersed through the pastry prior to baking, resulting in a light, flaky texture; see also pie and tart.

• Chewing gum: Uniquely made to be chewed, not swallowed. However, some people believe that at least some types of chewing gum, such as certain bubble gums, are indeed candy.

• Ice cream: Frozen flavoured cream, often containing small chocolates and fruits.

• Halvah: Confectionery based on tahini, a paste made from ground sesame seeds.

• Alfajor: a traditional South American cookie typically consisting of two round sweet biscuits joined together with a sweet jam, generally dulce de leche (milk jam).

• Dragée - Coated almonds and other types of coated candy.


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Confectionery – The Definition

Confectionery is the set of food items that are rich in sugar, any one or type of which is called a confection. Modern usage may include substances rich in artificial sweeteners as well. The word candy (U.S.), sweets (UK) or lolly (Australia) is also used for the extensive variety that compose confectionery. Generally speaking, confections are low in nutritional value but rich in calories. Specially formulated chocolate has been manufactured in the past for military use due to its high concentration of calories.

Different dialects of English use regional terms for confections:

• In Britain, Ireland and some Commonwealth countries, sweets or more colloquially sweeties (particularly used by children, sweeties also resembles the Scottish Gaelic word suiteis in pronunciation and meaning). In some parts of England, spogs, spice, joy joy and goodies are terms used, alongside sweets, to denote confectionery. In North-West England, especially Lancashire, toffees is often used as a generic term for all confectionery. Northeast England and the Scottish Borders commonly use the word ket (plural kets) and more recently chud, derivative of chuddy, a localised term for chewing gum.

• In Australia and New Zealand, "lollies".

• In North America, "candy" - although this term can also refer to a specific range of confectionery and does not include some items called confectionery (e.g. pastry) (See below and the separate article on candy.) "Sweets" is occasionally used, as well as "treat"


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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Lobster Feast

A lobster feast (Swedish: kräftskiva; Finnish: rapujuhlat) is a traditional Swedish and Finnish in the late summer garden party. The feast coincides with the period of catch crayfish. The main course usually consists of boiled crayfish, garnished with dill. There are often other things to eat, like (toasted) bread, cheese, shrimp and Smörgåsbord. There are also many spirits, beer or sockerdricka (Swedish lemonade) to drink.


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What is “Crayfish Party”???

A crayfish party is a traditional summertime eating and drinking celebration in the Nordic countries. The tradition originated in Sweden, where a crayfish party is called a kräftskiva. The tradition has also spread to Finland via the Swedish-speaking population of that country.

Crayfish parties are generally held during August, a tradition that started because crayfish harvesting in Sweden was, for most of the 20th century, legally limited to late summer. Today, the “kräftpremiär” date in early August has no legal significance. Dining is traditionally outdoors, but in practice the party is often driven indoors by bad weather or aggressive mosquitoes. Customary party accessories are comical paper hats, paper tablecloths, paper lanterns (often depicting the Man in the Moon), and bibs. A rowdy atmosphere prevails amid noisy eating and traditional drinking songs (snapsvisa). It is culturally correct to suck the juice out of the crayfish before shelling it.

Akvavit and other kinds of snaps are served, as well as beer. The crayfish are boiled in salt water and seasoned with fresh dill — preferably “crown dill” harvested after the plant has flowered — then served cold and eaten with the fingers. Bread, mushroom pies, strong Västerbotten cheese, salads, and other dishes are served buffet-style.


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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Further regarding the Mawlid Day

Islamic scholars are divided on whether observing Mawlid is necessary or even permissible in Islam. Some see it as a praiseworthy event and positive development, while others say it is an improper innovation and forbid its celebration.

A number of Islamic scholars, such as Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki, Gibril Haddad, and Zaid Shakir, all subscribing to Sufi Islam, and Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the primary scholar of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, have given their approval for the observance of Mawlid. They cite hadith where Muhammad recommended fasting on Mondays, as that was the day he was born and also the day prophecy descended on him. They suggest that fasting on Mondays is also a way of commemorating Muhammad's birthday. However, there is division among them on the lawfulness of the methods of the celebrations. Most accept that it is praiseworthy as long as it is not against sharia (i.e. inappropriate mingling of the sexes, consuming forbidden food or drink such as alcohol, playing music etc).

Notable sunni scholars who consider Mawlid to be bid'ah and forbid its celebration include, Ibn Taymiyyah, Muhammad Taqi Usmani, a Hanafi scholar from Pakistan who has served as a judge on the Shariah Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and subscribes to the Deobandi movement, and Abd-al-Aziz ibn Abd-Allah ibn Baaz, who was the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia subscribing to the Salafi movement. Although all agree that the birth of Muhammad was the most significant event in Islamic history, they point out that the companions of Muhammad and the next generation of Muslims did not observe this event. Furthermore, they highlight that Muhammad did not observe the birth or death anniversaries of his family and loved ones, including that of his first wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, nor did he advise his followers to observe his birthday.


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History of the Mawlid Day

The earliest accounts for the observance of Mawlid can be found in eighth-century Mecca, when the house in which Muhammad was born was transformed into a place of prayer by Al-Khayzuran (mother of Harun al-Rashid, the fifth and most famous Abbasid caliph). Public celebrations of the birth of Muhammad did not occur until four centuries after his death. It was originally a festival of the Shia ruling class, not attended by the common people, with the first official Mawlid celebrations occurring in Egypt towards the end of the eleventh century. The early celebrations included elements of Sufic influence, with animal sacrifices and torchlight processions along with public sermons and a feast. The celebrations occurred during the day, in contrast to modern day observances, with the ruler playing a key role in the ceremonies. Emphasis was given to the Ahl al-Bayt with presentation of sermons and recitations of the Qur'an. The event also featured the award of gifts to officials in order to bolster support for the ruling caliph.

The first public celebrations by Sunnis took place in twelfth-century Syria, under the rule of Nur ad-Din Zangi Though there is no firm evidence to indicate the reason for the adoption of the Shi'ite festival by the Sunnis, some theorise the celebrations took hold to counter Christian influence in places such as Spain and Morocco. Theologians denounced the celebration of Mawlid as unorthodox, and the practice was briefly halted by the Ayoubides when they came to power, becoming an event confined to family circles. It regained status as an official event again in 1207 when it was re-introduced by Muzaffar ad-din, the brother-in-law of Saladin, in Arbil, a town near Mosul, Iraq.

The practice spread throughout the Muslim world, assimilating local customs, to places such as Cairo, where folklore and Sufic practices greatly influenced the celebrations. By 1588 it had spread to the court of Murad III, Sultan of the Ottoman empire. In 1910, it was given official status as a national festival throughout the Ottoman empire. Today it is an official holiday in many parts of the world.


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About the Film Festival

A film festival is an organised, extended presentation of films in one or more movie theaters or screening venues, usually in a single locality. The films may be of recent date and, depending upon the focus of the individual festival, can include international releases as well as films produced by the organisers' domestic film industry. Sometimes there is a focus on a specific film-maker or genre (e.g., film noir) or subject matter (e.g., gay and lesbian film festivals). A number of film festivals specialise in short films, each with its defined maximum length. Film festivals are typically annual events.


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The Main Events of New Zealand Comedy Festival

The New Zealand International Comedy Festival (NZ International Comedy Festival) is held annually in Auckland and Wellington with a travelling convoy visiting other parts of New Zealand. It is run by the NZ Comedy Trust.

The opening of the festival is the televised Gala, a showcase of performances by the top local and international comedians appearing in the festival. Until 2008 it was held at the St. James theatre and in 2008 it was moved to the Auckland Civic Theatre. Past hosts of the gala have included: Jeff Green, Ardal O'Hanlon, Jimeoin, Greg Proops and Bill Bailey.

Alongside the large number of local and international shows, there are a number of events held annually such as the Class Comedians programme. This in an initiative set up to train talented high school students in the art of stand-up comedy and ends with a showcase at the Auckland Town Hall. The RAW rookie competition is also held every year, with the national finals at the Classic comedy bar in Auckland.

To conclude the festival is the Last Laugh awards showcase. It is the last chance for the nominees for the Billy T Award and Fred Award to perform before the winners are announced at the end of the show. Other festival prizes awarded at Last Laugh include: Best International Comedian, Best Local Show, Best Newcomer, Best Marketing and Spirit of the Festival.


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Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Ritual of May Crowning Day

May crowning is a traditional Roman Catholic ritual that occurs in the month of May of every year. In some countries, it takes place on or about May 1, however, in many United States Catholic parishes, it takes place on Mother's Day. An image or likeness of the Blessed Virgin Mary is ceremonially crowned to signify her as Queen of Heaven and the Mother of God. The practice is also maintained in the same fashion by some Anglo Catholic Anglicans.

A number of traditions link the month of May to Mary. In ancient Greece, May was the month dedicated to Artemis and some people allege that the reverence for this goddess was transferred to Mary with the Christianization of Europe. Later, the Coronation of the Virgin became a popular subject in art. lala Alfonso X, king of Castile wrote in his "Cantigas de Santa Maria" about the special honoring of Mary during specific dates in May. Eventually, the entire month was filled with special observances and devotions to Mary. The tradition of honoring Mary in a month-long May devotion is believed to have originated in Italy, but spread eventually around the Roman Catholic world in the 19th Century together with a month-long devotion to Jesus in June and the Rosary in October.

In the Philippines, the celebration is marked with a parade called the Santacruzan, where young ladies are chosen to represent certain historical (such as St. Helena) and traditional figures, called "reynas" (examples of these titles are "Reyna Elena" and "Reyna Emperatriz"). They parade through the town, escorted by young men or boys (for example, St. Helena is escorted by a young Constantine), under mobile arches heavily decorated with local flowers or other decorations meant to denote bounty.


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