Archive for the ‘Dates For Your Calendar’ Category
Being a mum isn’t for every one but for those of us who do have babies it’s the beginning of a wild roller coaster ride of extreme highs and lows as you guide your child through their first years and give them the best start in life that you can.
My mum still has a collection of dubious nick nacks that we bought with our own pennies for her Mother’s Day gifts and she has always maintained it’s not how much you spend … it’s the thought that counts. I can understand that better now that I am a mum because gifts my little one has chosen are extra special. I have a huge stone on my desk to illustrate this point and a bag of leaves that were described as “playground treasure”.
What ever you have bought for your mum on Mother’s Day make time for her as well. In today’s busy world days can fly by and before we know it we haven’t seen our mum for a week, maybe two. We’re lucky to have our mums so make the most of yours.
Pancake day (or shrove Tuesday) is the day before Ash Wednesday which is the first day of Lent. The day changes annually depending on when Easter is. It falls 47 days before Easter Sunday.
Shrove comes from the word “shrive” which means to confess. This tradition is observed by many Christian Faiths where people usually indulge themselves in foods that aren’t allowed during lent. This comprises of daily products hence the use of butter and eggs.
Another tradition for lent is to give up something you enjoy for the period which lasts 6 1/2 weeks, this could be chocolate or alcohol or some other rich food. It is a time for Christians to prepare for Easter and think about what they have done wrong or what they can confess to.
Other Countries all celebrate the day but in different ways , here are a few:
In Brazil it is called Fat Tuesday and marks the end of the Brazilian Carnival
In Greece it’s called Apocreas (meaning from the meat) as they do not eat meat during Lent
France celebrate Mardi Gras (this is also celebrated in the USA in Catholic and French speaking parts)
Sweden celebrate Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday)
Iceland has Sprengidagur (Bursting day)
One of the fun aspects of pancake day for children and adults is the tossing of the pancake. Can the pancake be tossed perfectly so it lands on the uncooked side. Peppa Pig has an episode devoted to pancake day where daddy pig tosses the pancake and it sticks to the roof (I wonder how many homes this is a reality).
In the UK some towns have pancake races, this was said to have originated on Olney, Buckinghamshire when one housewife was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time and when she heard the church bells ringing she raced to the church while still carry the frying pan with the pancake still in it. In this town there is still a pancake race that has been held since 1445, there are strict rules where contestants have to toss the pancake at both start and finishing lines and have to be dressed in an apron and scarf, even the men .
So whatever you are doing in your house or town enjoy your pancakes and hope there aren’t too many pancakes stuck to ceilings.
For the first time in our house we are eagerly awaiting the tooth fairy. My 6 year old daughter acquired her first wobbly tooth 2 weeks ago after months of ‘mum, when will I get a wobbly tooth, mum why has Grace got a wobbly tooth when she is younger than me’. So now we are at the stage of wobbling her tooth constantly until it finally falls out.
From this I decided to look into the origins of the tooth fairy and if all cultures have a ‘tooth fairy’. There is actually a Tooth Fairy day which is 28th February.
The tradition of leaving a tooth under their pillow is practised in most English speaking Countries, it is custom for parents to pretend the tooth fairy has been and taken the tooth and left money or a little gift where the tooth was. Some parents also leave a trail of glitter to make it more authentic. The tradition in Northern Europe where money was paid for the child’s first tooth can be dated as far back as the 13th Century.
In England in the Middle Ages children were instructed to burn their baby teeth in order to save the child from hardship in afterlife, superstition said if the child’s teeth weren’t burnt they would spend eternity searching for them in the afterlife. Another reason to burn the teeth was to ensure witches did not get hold of them as this meant having a part of your body the witch could have total power over you. It is said the Vikings paid for children’s teeth and in Norse culture these and other children’s belongings brought good luck in battle. The modern example of these traditions into what we now know as the tooth fairy appeared in print in 1927.
In Spanish and Hispanic American cultures they have Ratoncito Perez (Perez mouse in English) which is similar to the tooth fairy, he takes on different forms in different areas but is always depicted as a mouse. This originated in Madrid in 1984 and has the same tradition as the tooth fairy. In Italy, France and French Speaking Belgium the tooth fairy is also a little mouse.
In India, China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam it is customary for the child to throw the tooth onto the roof if it came from the lower jaw or into the floor space if it came from the upper jaw. When they do this they shout a request for the tooth to be replaced with the tooth of a mouse. The tradition is based on the fact that the teeth of mice grow for their whole lives.
In middle Eastern countries the tradition is to throw the tooth up into the sky to Allah, this tradition may date back to at least the 13th century.
So whichever culture you are from it’s good to keep the spirit of the tooth fairy alive and can even help to ensure your children keep their teeth clean as the tooth fairy only takes clean teeth.