Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Passover Seder: Greek Symposium?

April 15, 2014

Passover Seder: Greek Symposium?T

The Haggadah (הַגָּדָה‎) is a Jewish text that sets forth the order of the Passover ritual meal, the Seder.

“There’s a reason the haggadah feels goyish: Formally speaking, it’s Greek. It’s a Judaicized version of a Greek genre called ‘symposium literature’. Plato loved the form. So did Xenophon. The symposium enshrined the most appealing traits of the Hellenic personality: conviviality, Epicureanism, a love of good conversation.”

–”Platonic Form,” Judith Shulevitz, Tablet Magazine

The ancient Greek symposium (συμπόσιον) was a drinking party; drinking four glasses of wine is a Passover obligation. Diners are supposed to recline while they do so, just like the Greeks.

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The Macaroons of Moses

April 14, 2014

The Macaroons of Moses

Tonight many Jewish families hold the Seder, the ritual meal celebrating the holiday of Passover. Many Americans are unfamiliar with the customs of this dinner, such as recounting the Exodus story as told in the ancient Maxwell House Haggadah and the obligation to drink four glasses of wine (oh, the sacrifices …).

One seasonal custom puzzling to Gentiles is the appearance of canned Kosher cookies in American supermarkets. Many Jews are puzzled as well, since the cookies are macaroons made with coconut, chocolate, and other ingredients not prominent in the Old Testament.

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DC: Shamrocks in the Snow

March 17, 2014

DC: Shamrocks in the Snow

Faith & Begorra! Break out your green parkas. It’s a snowy Saint Patrick’s Day in Washington DC. Maybe they can hold a parade on the Metro. On the Green Line, of course.

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-j3Q

Photo (“Leprechaun on the Metro”) 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. Yes, we know the parade was on Sunday.

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lnternational Women’s Day

March 8, 2014

March 8, 2014 is International Women’s Day. The century-old observance has its origin in social demonstrations for voting rights and political representation, but the facts of economic inequality were always obvious and acknowledged. That’s why we prefer the IWD video (above) by the nonprofit Kiva microfinance group to the better-known, token Doodle Google (below).

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Groundhog Day

February 2, 2014

Groundhog Day
It’s February 2nd, time to monitor Marmota monax and dream of winter’s end. Whether or not you believe in woodchuck weathermen, one thing is certain: you can’t have groundhogs if you want a backyard full of fresh garden veggies.

Groundhogs (aka woodchucks, whistlepigs, and marmots) are insecto-vegetarians and confirmed locavores. If you plan to plant this spring, harvest those hairy beasts now. Celebrate Groundhog Day with critter cuisine.

Serving suggestions:

Woodchuck au Vin

Canadian Fried Woodchuck

Groundhog Pie

Woodchuck Recipes from Michigan (Oriental Groundhog,Waco Groundhog in Sour Cream,Woodchuck Stew, Woodchuck Meat Loaf)

More groundhog lore and recipes here and here.

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Year of the Horse

January 30, 2014

Year of the Horse

Happy Chinese New Year’s Eve. Clean up the house, chase stale spirits from your kitchen, and stay up tonight and watch the Year of the Snake slither out. The Year of the Horse gallops in on Friday, January 31, 2014 and runs through February 18, 2015. Party on from tonight through the Lantern Festival on February 14th.

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Happy New Year & Lucky Legumes

January 1, 2014

Happy New Year & 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.

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-ilF

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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Christmas Tears

December 31, 2013

“Christmas Tears,” credited to Z. Bridge, S. Thompson, and R.C. Wilson, performed by Eric Clapton at a Washington DC benefit for the Special Olympics in 1998. A fine interpretation of Freddie King’s 1961 recording.

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-ieI

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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Merry Xmas (Says Your Text Message)

December 31, 2013

“Merry Xmas (Says Your Text Message),” written by Dan Kurtz and Martina Sorbara, performed by them with their band Dragonette.

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-iaY

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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Gee Whiz, It’s Christmas

December 31, 2013

“Gee Whiz, It’s Christmas,” written by Carla Thomas, Steve Cropper, and Vincent Trauth. The title alludes to the hit record Ms. Thomas recorded when she was 16, “Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes).”

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-i0x

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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