why are we here? December 22, 2006
Christian believes in life after death. But before that happens, let me ask you “why are we here?” We know that God not only created humans but also plants and animals. Maybe the purpose why we are created is for us to take good care and maintain the other creatures, also we lived because of them. That’s the nature and cyle of life. A great power comes with a great responsibility.
But, “Where did you go?” Most of us forget our mission and most of us take it as a joke. Well, it’s not funny. Open your eyes and look what is happening now in our planet. WE MUST BE A CARETAKER NOT A DESTROYER. (mark my word) This is not our planet, we are not the one who created it, so we must take good care of it. People think only how to earn money and how to live in wealth but they did not think of the consequences of their actions. Someday karma will hit them back. No! will hit ‘us’ back because of their actions. The solution?…Take an action… First thing first, we must start on ourselves. Correcting our mistakes and learn from it. Innocent people must be aware of the reality, also the ignorant ones must be educated. Join campaigns and volunteering groups to save the planet. Start now….
World History of Christmas December 19, 2006
The word ‘Christmas’ comes from Cristes maesse, an English phrase that means Mass of Christ.
The history of Christmas dates back over 4000 years. Many of our Christmas traditions were celebrated centuries before the Christ child was born. The 12 days of Christmas, the bright fires, the yule log, the giving of gifts, carnivals (parades) with floats, carolers who sing while going from house to house, the holiday feasts, and the church processions can all be traced back to the early Mesopotamians.
Many of these traditions began with the Mesopotamian celebration of New Years. The Mesopotamians believed in many gods, and as their chief god – Marduk. Each year as winter arrived it was believed that Marduk would do battle with the monsters of chaos. To assist Marduk in his struggle the Mesopotamians held a festival for the New Year. This was Zagmuk, the New Year’s festival that lasted for 12 days.
The Mesopotamian king would return to the temple of Marduk and swear his faithfulness to the god. The traditions called for the king to die at the end of the year and to return with Marduk to battle at his side.
To spare their king, the Mesopotamians used the idea of a “mock” king. A criminal was chosen and dressed in royal clothes. He was given all the respect and privileges of a real king. At the end of the celebration the “mock” king was stripped of the royal clothes and slain, sparing the life of the real king.
The Persians and the Babylonians celebrated a similar festival called the Sacaea. Part of that celebration included the exchanging of places, the slaves would become the masters and the masters were to obey.
Early Europeans believed in evil spirits, witches, ghosts and trolls. As the Winter Solstice approached, with its long cold nights and short days, many people feared the sun would not return. Special rituals and celebrations were held to welcome back the sun.
In Scandinavia during the winter months the sun would disappear for many days. After thirty-five days scouts would be sent to the mountain tops to look for the return of the sun. When the first light was seen the scouts would return with the good news. A great festival would be held, called the Yuletide, and a special feast would be served around a fire burning with the Yule log. Great bonfires would also be lit to celebrate the return of the sun. In some areas people would tie apples to branches of trees to remind themselves that spring and summer would return.
The ancient Greeks held a festival similar to that of the Zagmuk/Sacaea festivals to assist their god Kronos who would battle the god Zeus and his Titans.
The Roman’s celebrated their god Saturn. Their festival was called Saturnalia which began the middle of December and ended January 1st. With cries of “Jo Saturnalia!” the celebration would include masquerades in the streets, big festive meals, visiting friends, and the exchange of good-luck gifts called Strenae (lucky fruits).
The Romans decked their halls with garlands of laurel and green trees lit with candles. Again the masters and slaves would exchange places.
“Jo Saturnalia!” was a fun and festive time for the Romans, but the Christians though it an abomination to honor the pagan god. The early Christians wanted to keep the birthday of their Christ child a solemn and religious holiday, not one of cheer and merriment as was the pagan Saturnalia.
But as Christianity spread they were alarmed by the continuing celebration of pagan customs and Saturnalia among their converts. At first the Church forbid this kind of celebration. But it was to no avail. Eventually it was decided that the celebration would be tamed and made into a celebration fit for the Christian Son of God.
Some legends claim that the Christian “Christmas” celebration was invented to compete against the pagan celebrations of December. The 25th was not only sacred to the Romans but also the Persians whose religion Mithraism was one of Christianity’s main rivals at that time. The Church eventually was successful in taking the merriment, lights, and gifts from the Saturanilia festival and bringing them to the celebration of Christmas.
The exact day of the Christ child’s birth has never been pinpointed. Traditions say that it has been celebrated since the year 98 AD. In 137 AD the Bishop of Rome ordered the birthday of the Christ Child celebrated as a solemn feast. In 350 AD another Bishop of Rome, Julius I, choose December 25th as the observance of Christmas.
In the late 300’s, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. By 1100, Christmas had become the most important religious festival in Europe, and Saint Nicholas was a symbol of gift giving in many European countries. During the 1400’s and 1500’s, many artists painted scenes of the Nativity, the birth of Jesus. An example of these works appears in the Jesus Christ article in the print version of The World Book Encyclopedia.
The popularity of Christmas grew until the Reformation, a religious movement of the 1500’s. This movement gave birth to Protestantism. During the Reformation, many Christians began to consider Christmas a pagan celebration because it included nonreligious customs. During the 1600’s, because of these feelings, Christmas was outlawed in England and in parts of the English colonies in America. The old customs of feasting and decorating, however, soon reappeared and blended with the more Christian aspects of the celebration.
IMC Christmas Party December 18, 2006
Last December 16-17 at Mel’s Place, Villa, Iloilo City, we celebrated the Christmas Party of our “mother-club”, Iloilo Mountaineering Club, Inc. Every year we had this ritual costume that depends on a theme, and this year’s theme is
“Express Yourself in Environmental Accent”. Lots and lots of fun happened. Aside from exchanging gifts, we had a lots of programs: Fashion Show of Costumes, Search for Miss Gay 2006, Intermission Numbers from school-based clubs, Videoke Challenge, lots of challenging games and we put-up a climbing wall for a sport climbing challenge but sad to say that did not work out because of some problems arose. Did I mention skimboarding? Most of us had sleepless nights. Drinking, partying, smoking, joking, eating, sense and non-sense conversations, all of those things need to be done just for us to stay awake. Drink and drink ’til you drop. All-in-one package the fun and laughters. One of the best christmas party ever!
im sick December 15, 2006
Its hard for me to wake up this morning feeling that I have this roller coaster inside my stomach marking its every move and it freaks me out! Confidently due to some acid I’ve taken from this past days: coffee, soda and alcohol. It triggers every seconds of my life.
to be continued..