Monday, January 9, 2012

Lace and learning about Fun Traditions

Second Monday of the Month:
the Colonial Lacemakers monthly meeting ... today in my house.

10 am. The table is laid for lunch later. Since James and I just came back from TN on Saturday, all the Christmas decorations were still up ... and I decided not to break my neck over it to un-decorate but make a party out of it.
But first serious lace making. We were 9 this time so had to spread ourselves out in living and sun room. Welcome to a brand-new lacemaker. Brenda is very eager to learn to make lace. We are happy to share whatever we know.
Wow, everybody is bent over their work.
Lunch. Soup, salad, dessert AND Christmas crackers. We had some good laughs taking turns reading the jokes we found inside the crackers.

1)  Why did the scarecrow win so many awards?

2)  Why did the bacon laugh?

3)  Why did the rocket lose his job?

Enough? Right!

And everybody was a good sport and wore the crowns found inside too. Crowns? Here is the royal wave!

1)  Because he was outstanding in his field.

2)  Because the egg cracked a yolk.

3)  He was fired.

And back to work but no more pictures. Too busy lacing and talking. I was eager to ask Lali, our friend from Barcelona, Spain, about her Christmas traditions since I had already caught snippets. She told us all about "tio". It is a log dressed up as a Catalan mystical figure. Children have to feed it every day starting Dec 8 with cookies or sweet wine.

I found the above picture on the internet. But what happens in the afternoon on December 25th is so funny. It is very well explained here and it is so funny. And here is a cute video James found about it. The link to Wikipedia even has the words to the song.

The tio only "poops" (the word Lali used) little presents. The Three Kings bring the real presents in the night of December 5th.
The 5th January is the night that Kings Parades take place all around Catalunya as the three kings finally make it to town collecting letters (wish lists) from children ahead of the much anticipated delivery of presents the follwing morning of Kings Day on the 6th.

Lali also told us about their New Year's eve celebration, called Noche Vieja. 
For many years, Spanish people have had the custom to celebrate New Year’s Eve with grapes ! This event is called “Campanadas”. On the last day of the year, the 31st of December, everybody has to have twelve grapes ready to eat when the clock starts to chime at midnight. Each time the clock chimes, they put a grape in their mouth. By the time the clock has finished chiming, everybody has to have finished the grapes so the New Year can start, but nobody finishes eating the grapes on time.

Eating the grapes is a lot of fun because everybody starts the New Year with a full mouthful of grapes. It is not possible to finish eating the grapes by the time the clock finishes chiming. You can buy small cans with 12 grapes, peeled and unseeded, in supermarkets.

This tradition started for the spanish people because one year there was a big grape harvest and the king of Spain decided to give grapes to everybody to eat on New Year’s Eve. says: This dates back to 1909, when grape growers in the Alicante region of Spain initiated the practice to take care of a grape surplus. The idea stuck, spreading to Portugal as well as former Spanish and Portuguese colonies such as Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru. Each grape represents a different month, so if for instance the third grape is a bit sour, March might be a rocky month. For most, the goal is to swallow all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight, but Peruvians insist on taking in a 13th grape for good measure.

She also told us that lately a new tradition has emerged: men and women wear red underwear.

Isn't this interesting? I love it!

And now it is time to pack the Christmas decorations up for a year! Sigh!

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