Archive for the ‘folklore’ Category

Watch Night

January 1, 2012

'Watch Night: Waiting for the Hour' ('Watch Meeting — Dec. 31st, 1862'), by William Tolman Carlton

Many Washingtonians spent late Saturday night and early Sunday morning at African American churches observing Watch Night, a New Year’s Eve celebration little known outside of the Black community, though a painting of such a prayer meeting by New England artist William Tolman Carlton (above) hangs in the White House.

In 19th century England and America the secular celebration of New Year’s Eve was called “Watch Night” – Winslow Homer’s illustration in the January 5, 1861 Harper’s entitled “The Georgia Delegation in Congress Seeing the Old Year Out “ is subtitled “Watch Night.” The New Year’s Eve religious services called Watch Night developed in the Methodist Church in Britain as an occasion for the Covenant Prayer, through which believers re-commit themselves to God.

Thus it may already have been customary for Black Methodists and Baptists to celebrate Watch Night, but December 31, 1862 had a momentous worldly significance: the Emancipation Proclamation would go into effect at midnight. This is why the celebration continues in African American churches today, striking a more joyous note than prior penitential Watch Nights.

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Happy New Year and Lucky Legumes

December 31, 2011

Happy New Year and Lucky Legumes

Happy New Year to you and yours from NotionsCapital.com

Remember: If you must eat black-eyed peas and drive, roll down the windows.

___________________

Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-c3l

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Best New Year’s Resolutions Ever

December 31, 2011

Best New Year’s Resolutions Ever

If asked about your New Year’s Resolutions for 2012, the best response is “I am far from perfect, but self-criticism sessions went out with Chairman Mao. So Happy New Year, and let’s have another drink.”

If friends and family insist you make resolutions, perhaps at gunpoint, you may benefit from this list of the Top 10 Best New Year’s Resolutions Ever:

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It’s September.

September 6, 2011

It's September.

Now that September is upon us, remember:

1. The NFL season starts Thursday.

2. Air out woolens.

3. Buy leaf bags.

4. Don’t wear white shoes.

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Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2011

June 27, 2011

Smithsonian Folk Festival 2011

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is back on the National Mall in Washington DC  Thursday June 30th to July 4th and July 7th to July 11th. This year’s free Festival features Rhythm & Blues, the culture of Colombia, and the Peace Corps.

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Happy Dyngus Day

April 25, 2011

Happy Dyngus Day

Polish-Americans celebrate the end of Lent with Dyngus Day. Read more here.

 

Hat tip: Mary Knieser

Image (“Polka to Victory!”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Watch Night

January 1, 2011

Watch Night
Many Washingtonians spent last Friday night and Saturday morning at African American churches observing Watch Night, a New Year’s Eve celebration little known outside of the black community, even though a painting of such a prayer meeting by New England artist William Tolman Carlton (above) hangs in the White House.

In 19th century England and America the secular celebration of New Year’s Eve was called “Watch Night” – Winslow Homer’s illustration in the January 5, 1861 Harper’s entitled “The Georgia Delegation in Congress Seeing the Old Year Out “ is subtitled “Watch Night.” The New Year’s Eve religious services called Watch Night developed in the Methodist Church in Britain as an occasion for the Covenant Prayer, through which believers re-commit themselves to God.

(more…)

Best New Year’s Resolutions Ever

December 30, 2010

Best New Year’s Resolutions Ever 

If asked about your New Year’s Resolutions for 2011, the best response is “I am far from perfect, but self-criticism sessions went out with Chairman Mao. So Happy New Year, and let’s have another drink.”

If friends and family insist you make resolutions, perhaps at gunpoint, you may benefit from this list of the Top 10 Best New Year’s Resolutions Ever:

(more…)

Caution: Last White-Shoe Weekend of 2010

September 4, 2010

Caution: Last White-Shoe Weekend of 2010

The 2010 White Shoe Season, which commenced on May 31st, ends this Monday, September 6th. Persons wearing white shoes in the continental United States past that date are assumed to be illegal aliens from the Southern Hemisphere, and will be treated accordingly. You have been warned.

Have a happy Labor Day.

 

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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2010 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

June 24, 2010

2010 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The 2010 Smithsonian Folklife Festival begins today on the National Mall. The free event is a highlight of Washington’s summer. Dates: June 24 to 28 and July 1 to 5.

This year, visitors can experience the cultures of Mexico and the DC area’s Asian Pacific American communities and peek into the workings of the Smithsonian itself. There are special evening events, including this Saturday’s concert by Haitian artists Boukman Eksperyans and Tines Salvant (Saturday, June 26, 6PM). Be sure to pick up a program book and learn more about the people you meet and what you see, hear, and taste.

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