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What's good and pure in your local culture/tradition?


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#1 Hankshank

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 05:30 PM

In a time when all you hear about other countries in news and such are bad things, Its easy to forget that most places in different parts of the world have good things doing, nice traditions.And I just read a novel I borrowed from missus, a feelgood kind of novel set in Vermont, which gave me the idea to this thread. It had a plot, but what struck a tone in me was the description of the local traditions with the local folk music, the holidays and other events that sounds nice but are unknown to me. Thanksgiving is not at all celebrated in Scandinavia, for instance. But we do have other things that are local to us, nice things that keeps people together.

So I thought we could have a thead here where we can share some of the things we appreciate from our local traditions. When christmas comes closer, maybe we can compare how that is celebrated in different parts of the world.

I can start with some things I like, living in a town not so far from Stockholm, the capital of my country. This time of year is not the nicest, living at latitude 60 degrees north, days get darker so fast and weather normally rainy and grey. But soon, in the end of november the traditions leading up to christmas starts. Four sundays before christmas we have what is called Advent. We will decorate our gardens with lights, we will make special buns called "lussebullar" seasoned with saffron and raisins. And drink a local heatened sweet wine called "glögg". We have a special candleholder with four candles, that sunday we light one candle, the sunday after we light two candles and so on.

That's what we wait for now. November is a dark, dark month here and for some reason there is no events in our local tradition from summer until Advent. We have imported halloween from the US for the last 30 years or so which is a good thing. But traditionally, it's work, work, work... Some towns like my home town has started light festivals in november, where light installments are made all over the city. That lights up things a little. But this is a quiet time of year here.

Edited by Hankshank, 25 October 2017 - 05:33 PM.


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#2 SixtySomePing

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 06:46 PM

The fall season in general here starting with Halloween through New Year's goes something like this... halloween being the last day of October brings a neighborhood event called beggar's night when kids dress up in their favorite costume and go door to door for candy by saying 'trick or treat', and it's all a lot of fun, some variations being they might go somewhere safer such as a mall or community place for this.

For some, hunting season is beginning, at least in our area for deer, and waterfowl, rabbits and such, which gets you outdoors and active. Some like it, and just don't understand why those who don't like it just don't get it. Some don't like it, and just don't understand why those who like it just don't get it.

Next comes Thanksgiving, most people seem to get off work for the 4 day weekend starting with the Thursday of Thanksgiving. This is a big day where relatives and or loved ones gather for the big traditional meal of a large baked turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and additions or variations of those. Then all the guys will collapse on the living room furniture from excessive eating and watch football and the ladies find something more important to do. The leftovers last for several days or until the trash service shows up and your wife says 'are we gonna eat any more of this?'

This is followed immediately by Black Friday where all the stores compete with the big sales deals of Christmas items you must have which will end up in next year's yard sales, but that's not important at this point. Some people have slept out all night in tents or maybe 3 nights getting pneumonia for a $300 60" screen off brand digital tv, missing Thanksgiving, but texting hi to uncle Hank during the meal prayer (only so he won't eat one of the turkey drumsticks)

Anyway Christmas is coming and prepared for, so lights can be hung, also there are many displays of lights that can be visited, whether at the zoo or such places... the tree bought, and shopping completed, all the wonderful shows watched again on tv, and family once again gathers, children have a wonderful time, and Christmas comes and goes too quickly. Hopefully some take the time to remember the true meaning of it all.

Some folks take a nice vacation and then there is planning for the New Year's eve parties which take place the following week. Food gets prepared, for some baby sitters are arranged, and before you know it, the party is in full swing, the ball drops in NY city at midnight and you are left with a seemingly long January, and February before a glimpse of golf season begins to appear in the distance. So the roller coaster ride from Halloween through New Years is actually a fun but busy one, and there are many more events to choose from which others will add to this list I'm sure.

By the way, Stockholm sounds like a pretty cool place...
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#3 Wriggles

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 06:16 AM

Sixty, you pretty much said it all.

Thanksgiving dinner has always been my favorite dinner.  Christmas dinner, next.  In recent years, these events have taken place at a nearby sister in law's, a much smaller affair, than when the old folks were around.  (Now, we're the old folks.)

Other than that, I just enjoy the few times I can golf during the long winter months.  Usually, the week between Christmas and New Years, the weather gets nice enough to play golf at least once.  That's my favorite Christmas present.

Happy Holidays to ALL!

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#4 bscinstnct

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 11:00 AM

Holidays have many great traditions. In addition to those so nicely summarized by Sixty and Wriggles......


On Thanksgiving, there is invariably that Aunt or Uncle who generally does not drink alcohol but who decides they want to drink a bunch of tumblers full of Gin with no ice and gets so looped that by turkey time, they are dropping F-bombs much to the delight of the children ; )

Edited by bscinstnct, 26 October 2017 - 11:07 AM.


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#5 Hankshank

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 12:24 PM

I suppose Thanksgiving traditions in the US vary from family to family, but are also traditions different in different parts of your country? Or are the thanksgiving traditions basically the same in California, Alabama and Maine?


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#6 bigred90gt

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 12:54 PM

View PostHankshank, on 26 October 2017 - 12:24 PM, said:

I suppose Thanksgiving traditions in the US vary from family to family, but are also traditions different in different parts of your country? Or are the thanksgiving traditions basically the same in California, Alabama and Maine?

Basically the same, except in California they probably serve Avacado with thanksgiving dinner and are wearing shorts and flip flops, Maine is probably bundled head to toe in the thickest winter clothes one can find and possibly serving a side of Lobster, and Alabama is somewhere in between, except drinking moonshine instead of Gin.

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#7 glk

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 04:24 PM

One of my favorites is pie (pi) day.   Just another excuse to eat pie!!!! Mark it down, 3/14 of every year. Of course, I spend as many other days of the years practicing so I get it right on 3/14.

If you were unaware then in 2015 you really missed it - on 3/14/15 at 9 (am/pm):26:53 the first ten digits of pi made for an amazing pi day.     I had apple cream cheese with crumbles.     Keep your fork Duke, there's pie (as once told to the visiting Duke of Edinburough) in a small town Canadian diner.

Edited by glk, 26 October 2017 - 04:31 PM.


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#8 Wriggles

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 04:55 AM

I don't how it is in other parts of the world, but in the US, almost no one dresses up for holiday dinners or anything anymore.  I think that's sad.  I'll always remember a short story by O. Henry, called, "Clothes Make the Man."  I feel that the horrible behavior people exhibit nowadays is more pronounced due to lack of dress codes.  When people dress like ladies and gentlemen, they are more apt to act the part.  Dressing up today means putting on a t shirt, jeans, and a ball cap.   Reminds me of Onslow, the character in the BBC series, "Keeping up Appearances."

Anyhow, the holiday dinners I attend, look more like a bunch of people doing yard work, or working on the car.  I've taken to wearing a sport coat and tie in the last few years, just because I want to.  Easily done, because I've always worn OCBD's and khakis universally.  Of course, I'm looked upon as an oddball.

Thought I'd throw in how people dress in the US.

Is it the same worldwide?

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#9 bigred90gt

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 12:48 PM

View Postglk, on 26 October 2017 - 04:24 PM, said:

One of my favorites is pie (pi) day.   Just another excuse to eat pie!!!!    Mark it down, 3/14 of every year.    Of course, I spend as many other days of the years practicing so I get it right on 3/14.

If you were unaware then in 2015 you really missed it - on 3/14/15 at 9 (am/pm):26:53 the first ten digits of pi made for an amazing pi day.     I had apple cream cheese with crumbles.     Keep your fork Duke, there's pie (as once told to the visiting Duke of Edinburough) in a small town Canadian diner.

3/14 is a different type of “holiday” as far as I know. It involves steak and something that can’t be mentioned here.

2/14 is Valentine’s Day, a holiday for women. 3/14 is a holiday for men.

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#10 glk

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 02:07 PM

View Postbigred90gt, on 27 October 2017 - 12:48 PM, said:

View Postglk, on 26 October 2017 - 04:24 PM, said:

One of my favorites is pie (pi) day.   Just another excuse to eat pie!!!! Mark it down, 3/14 of every year. Of course, I spend as many other days of the years practicing so I get it right on 3/14.

If you were unaware then in 2015 you really missed it - on 3/14/15 at 9 (am/pm):26:53 the first ten digits of pi made for an amazing pi day. I had apple cream cheese with crumbles. Keep your fork Duke, there's pie (as once told to the visiting Duke of Edinburough) in a small town Canadian diner.

3/14 is a different type of "holiday" as far as I know. It involves steak and something that can't be mentioned here.

2/14 is Valentine's Day, a holiday for women. 3/14 is a holiday for men.
Do you mean 4/20?


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#11 SixtySomePing

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 11:16 AM

So, I apologize on behalf of America for where your thread appears to have gotten derailed to. Anyway, this time of year is very much a time for families and especially the kids.

You mentioned saffron, it's very good, but very expensive here. Do you grow it yourself? Food itself is another big deal other than Thanksgiving for this time of year going right through the New Years events. Also, simple things like right now for instance, hot apple cider, pumpkin pie, caramel apples, hot chocolate. This kind of stuff lasts well into the winter, minus probably the caramel apples. Candies of all sorts, cookies galore, lots of home made items. As mentioned earlier, the Thanksgiving turkey, but others like to have ham, and many like to go hunting, so venison is popular along with rabbit or pheasant or duck depending on where you may live. Some people like to cook the meat in a smoker outside, and some deep fry the meat outside in a deep fryer.

Some traditions which still take place though not as often are door to door caroling, groups who actually sing Christmas carols, lots of times at nursing homes, the elderly love it. Families will travel about looking at Christmas light displays, and also watch all the shows on .

There's the annual Macy's parade on TV on Thanksgiving Day which some people must watch or their year is not complete, it has floats, and commercials, and bands, and commercials, and celebrities, and commercials, and performers, and commercials, and such, so it's a big deal.

All of this is surrounded by the college football playoffs, and championship games, and the championship game after the New Year. Then the Super Bowl, followed by the darkness of February when everyone goes into their cocoon for a couple of months and transforms into a slightly heavier, grayer humanoid than before...
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#12 glk

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 01:10 PM

View PostSixtySomePing, on 28 October 2017 - 11:16 AM, said:

So, I apologize on behalf of America for where your thread appears to have gotten derailed to. Anyway, this time of year is very much a time for families and especially the kids.

You mentioned saffron, it's very good, but very expensive here. Do you grow it yourself? Food itself is another big deal other than Thanksgiving for this time of year going right through the New Years events. Also, simple things like right now for instance, hot apple cider, pumpkin pie, caramel apples, hot chocolate. This kind of stuff lasts well into the winter, minus probably the caramel apples. Candies of all sorts, cookies galore, lots of home made items. As mentioned earlier, the Thanksgiving turkey, but others like to have ham, and many like to go hunting, so venison is popular along with rabbit or pheasant or duck depending on where you may live. Some people like to cook the meat in a smoker outside, and some deep fry the meat outside in a deep fryer.

Some traditions which still take place though not as often are door to door caroling, groups who actually sing Christmas carols, lots of times at nursing homes, the elderly love it. Families will travel about looking at Christmas light displays, and also watch all the shows on .

There's the annual Macy's parade on TV on Thanksgiving Day which some people must watch or their year is not complete, it has floats, and commercials, and bands, and commercials, and celebrities, and commercials, and performers, and commercials, and such, so it's a big deal.

All of this is surrounded by the college football playoffs, and championship games, and the championship game after the New Year. Then the Super Bowl, followed by the darkness of February when everyone goes into their cocoon for a couple of months and transforms into a slightly heavier, grayer humanoid than before...
What? Derailed.  He asked about local culture/tradition.   Maybe you don't do pi day but lots of us math geeks have done it for years. Just as 4/20.   I for one have no clue what this special 3/14 holiday is for me but if you can't mention it for fear of a lock then I don't need to know.    If the op just wanted to discuss christmas then apologies.

Edited by glk, 28 October 2017 - 01:11 PM.


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#13 SixtySomePing

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 01:33 PM

The man said good and pure
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#14 glk

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 01:42 PM

View PostSixtySomePing, on 28 October 2017 - 01:33 PM, said:

The man said good and pure
Pi day is.   I agree that this other day is inappropriate.

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#15 Imhappyinthe80s

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 10:25 PM

Good and pure, for me is the new Christmas I partake in, or have for almost 9 years. I lost most of my family through the years and the numbers weren't exactly high before that.  Anyway, my significant other comes from a large family who make it a point to celebrate every birthday and holiday, which at times can feel like overkill.

Christmas is something special. It's a large brunch and gift exchange followed buy a mid day hike that ends with a bonfire on the side of a mountain and a happy hour that can go toe to toe with any I've ever seen. Followed by a traditional dinner and some more drinks and a movie.

It has become my favorite tradition. It's a day of celebrating family and relationships and I can't think of anything as pure and good.

Edited by Imhappyinthe80s, 31 October 2017 - 10:27 PM.

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#16 Hankshank

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 10:27 AM

Actually, we celebrate Halloween here, imported from USA. Not a bad idea even though it's very much not a Scandinavian thing. It matches the weather. What we have done here traditionally is to go to the graves of passed relatives at "all saints day", lighting candles and a lot of people still do, but there is no celebrations around it. It's a very quiet period of the year now here. So a little Halloween is needed. But it's nothing compared to the US. We have friends in California who has "decorated" their house with skeletons and stuff. Nothing like that here. Kids do trick or tread (Bus eller Godis), and some people have a small party dressed up like Frankensteins or Draculas. But it's nothing big, and a lot of people are clearly against it since it is imported. And again, very un-Scandinavian.

Edited by Hankshank, 04 November 2017 - 10:30 AM.


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#17 thug the bunny

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 10:51 PM

View PostHankshank, on 25 October 2017 - 05:30 PM, said:

In a time when all you hear about other countries in news and such are bad things, Its easy to forget that most places in different parts of the world have good things doing, nice traditions.And I just read a novel I borrowed from missus, a feelgood kind of novel set in Vermont, which gave me the idea to this thread. It had a plot, but what struck a tone in me was the description of the local traditions with the local folk music, the holidays and other events that sounds nice but are unknown to me. Thanksgiving is not at all celebrated in Scandinavia, for instance. But we do have other things that are local to us, nice things that keeps people together.

So I thought we could have a thead here where we can share some of the things we appreciate from our local traditions. When christmas comes closer, maybe we can compare how that is celebrated in different parts of the world.

I can start with some things I like, living in a town not so far from Stockholm, the capital of my country. This time of year is not the nicest, living at latitude 60 degrees north, days get darker so fast and weather normally rainy and grey. But soon, in the end of november the traditions leading up to christmas starts. Four sundays before christmas we have what is called Advent. We will decorate our gardens with lights, we will make special buns called "lussebullar" seasoned with saffron and raisins. And drink a local heatened sweet wine called "glögg". We have a special candleholder with four candles, that sunday we light one candle, the sunday after we light two candles and so on.

That's what we wait for now. November is a dark, dark month here and for some reason there is no events in our local tradition from summer until Advent. We have imported halloween from the US for the last 30 years or so which is a good thing. But traditionally, it's work, work, work... Some towns like my home town has started light festivals in november, where light installments are made all over the city. That lights up things a little. But this is a quiet time of year here.

Hank, that was a lovely description of life during fall in Scandinavia. I really felt like I was there for a short while. Thank you. I always get a little depressed when the daylight starts to run short, but it sounds like you Swedes just hunker down and change your mode of living. Dark and cold never suited me, but there is a certain mindset that goes along with enduring that time of year. It is a time when working inside on house projects makes you feel good, and getting outside during the brief sunlight is also a blessing, and stoking up a big hot fire in the woodstove also brings comfort. Thanks again for that nice essay. Have a blessed holiday!!
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#18 bscinstnct

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 11:26 PM

Thankgiving is a time for family.

When you attemp to keep a straight face as you silently mock your cousins girlfriends tacky outfit.

And that in-law who brings a load of tomatoes but no cheese and asks if there is any mozzarella.

When there are enough people milling about catching up yapping so that you can heap a huge plate of antipasti and go escape and watch football.

And refill your scotch glass 3 times before dinner without anyone noticing.

Starting to get excited ; )

Edited by bscinstnct, 07 November 2017 - 11:27 PM.


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#19 Petethreeput

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 09:36 PM

I am in America. I tried to come up with a national holiday everyone supports with an honored tradition.
Presidents Day? Nope, no one celebrates, but the furniture sales are out of sight.
Valentines Day? Nope, Hallmark holiday when men are compelled to buy flowers and chocolate.
St Patrick’s Day? Nope, just bar hopping and vomit.
Easter? Nope, buy lots of chocolate, hide it in plastic eggs and maybe buy a present. Maybe have family over for the afternoon, but focus on the commercialization of the day.
Memorial Day? Nope, bbq, but more furniture sales.
Labor Day? Nope. Another bbq and some awesome auto sales.
Halloween? Nope, commercialized to distraction. Every costume is store bought and invariably labeled “sexy.” Hey kid, wanna be a Sexy Football player?
Thanksgiving? It was close, but Thank God the stores open at 2 now for Black Friday. So now we have a family get together for omelettes then rush to Walmart to buy the newest Xbox. Make sure you’re armed though, there are only 100 available.
Christmas? Get those presents opened so we can call our friends and find out what they got. Then we can decide who spent more to make it a worthy holiday, bc love can only be shown by spending a lot of money.

So I guess, Pi day might be the only pure holiday left.

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#20 bscinstnct

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 10:15 PM

View PostPetethreeput, on 08 November 2017 - 09:36 PM, said:

I am in America. I tried to come up with a national holiday everyone supports with an honored tradition.
Presidents Day? Nope, no one celebrates, but the furniture sales are out of sight.
Valentines Day? Nope, Hallmark holiday when men are compelled to buy flowers and chocolate.
St Patrick’s Day? Nope, just bar hopping and vomit.
Easter? Nope, buy lots of chocolate, hide it in plastic eggs and maybe buy a present. Maybe have family over for the afternoon, but focus on the commercialization of the day.
Memorial Day? Nope, bbq, but more furniture sales.
Labor Day? Nope. Another bbq and some awesome auto sales.
Halloween? Nope, commercialized to distraction. Every costume is store bought and invariably labeled “sexy.” Hey kid, wanna be a Sexy Football player?
Thanksgiving? It was close, but Thank God the stores open at 2 now for Black Friday. So now we have a family get together for omelettes then rush to Walmart to buy the newest Xbox. Make sure you’re armed though, there are only 100 available.
Christmas? Get those presents opened so we can call our friends and find out what they got. Then we can decide who spent more to make it a worthy holiday, bc love can only be shown by spending a lot of money.

So I guess, Pi day might be the only pure holiday left.

Easter is the best.

In my family, and my wifes. Its a beautiful and pure vibe.


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#21 Petethreeput

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 11:09 AM

View Postbscinstnct, on 08 November 2017 - 10:15 PM, said:

View PostPetethreeput, on 08 November 2017 - 09:36 PM, said:

I am in America. I tried to come up with a national holiday everyone supports with an honored tradition.
Presidents Day? Nope, no one celebrates, but the furniture sales are out of sight.
Valentines Day? Nope, Hallmark holiday when men are compelled to buy flowers and chocolate.
St Patrick's Day? Nope, just bar hopping and vomit.
Easter? Nope, buy lots of chocolate, hide it in plastic eggs and maybe buy a present. Maybe have family over for the afternoon, but focus on the commercialization of the day.
Memorial Day? Nope, bbq, but more furniture sales.
Labor Day? Nope. Another bbq and some awesome auto sales.
Halloween? Nope, commercialized to distraction. Every costume is store bought and invariably labeled "sexy." Hey kid, wanna be a Sexy Football player?
Thanksgiving? It was close, but Thank God the stores open at 2 now for Black Friday. So now we have a family get together for omelettes then rush to Walmart to buy the newest Xbox. Make sure you're armed though, there are only 100 available.
Christmas? Get those presents opened so we can call our friends and find out what they got. Then we can decide who spent more to make it a worthy holiday, bc love can only be shown by spending a lot of money.

So I guess, Pi day might be the only pure holiday left.

Easter is the best.

In my family, and my wifes. Its a beautiful and pure vibe.

Obviously my post was partially in jest about the commercialization of all holidays by the American machine, but here is a perfect example.  My kid has a part-time job in retail.  You know, just something to get the feet wet when dealing with the public.  Here's the holiday schedule.  Thanksgiving Day from 2:30-7:30, Black Friday from 4:30AM-8:30AM.  I don't much mind the Friday schedule, but they are forcing the "Black Friday" crush for cash on our family.  Whatever I guess, but it reminds me of the old joke.  How are yogurt and the US different?   One has culture.

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#22 Spicoli

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 06:23 PM

View Postbigred90gt, on 27 October 2017 - 12:48 PM, said:

View Postglk, on 26 October 2017 - 04:24 PM, said:

One of my favorites is pie (pi) day.   Just another excuse to eat pie!!!!    Mark it down, 3/14 of every year.    Of course, I spend as many other days of the years practicing so I get it right on 3/14.

If you were unaware then in 2015 you really missed it - on 3/14/15 at 9 (am/pm):26:53 the first ten digits of pi made for an amazing pi day.     I had apple cream cheese with crumbles.     Keep your fork Duke, there's pie (as once told to the visiting Duke of Edinburough) in a small town Canadian diner.

3/14 is a different type of “holiday” as far as I know. It involves steak and something that can’t be mentioned here.

2/14 is Valentine’s Day, a holiday for women. 3/14 is a holiday for men.

I was thinking the same thing, that Pi guy must be confused...

However I'm married now, so we do celebrate 2/14... But never 3/14...

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#23 Golfingfanatic

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 02:08 AM

Today is the last day of the "Herbstmesse" in Basel. It is a funfair that is deeply rooted in the city's history. It has been going on since 1471! Additionally we have been busy celebrating St. Martin's Day on 11/11. Similiar to Scandinavia we don't really do halloween so this has been the last bigger holiday until christmas
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