Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Howick and Botany Times Wednesday December 4
Christian festival 124609 www.times.co.nz Times Newspapers Christmas Supplement – 3 123981-V3 HOWICK VILLAGE MARKET Find it Fresh, Find it First HOWICK VILLAGE MARKET Open every Saturday 8.30am to 12.30pm 91 Picton Street, Howick Village, Howick Village Business Association www.howickvillage.co.nz Ph 534 4505 124653-V3 New Zealand Blueberries and Boysenberries are back! longer a food for the poor and has become very popular with Icelanders. These dishes are lavishly prepared with side dishes including potatoes, prepared in many different ways, peas and beans, gravy, jam and other items. The ‘Christmas Cat’ An old Icelandic folklore states that everyone must get one new piece of clothing at Christmas. Anyone left out is in danger of being eaten by a malicious beast, the Christmas Cat. The Christmas Cat is Grýla’s cat (see Yule Lads) and every effort is made to ensure that no-one would “go to the Christmas Cat”. Therefore, everyone works hard to make a new piece of clothing for each family member. The first stories about the Christmas Cat emerged in the 19th century and were probably aimed at lazy children. It seems to have worked as now everyone gets a new piece of clothing either before or at Christmas. The Yule Lads Icelanders have not one, but 13 Santas, or rather, Yule Lads. However, these lads are not related to Santa Claus; they are descendants of trolls and were used to frighten children. However, they are now a lot friendlier. The number of Yule Lads has varied throughout the centuries but now they are consistently 13. The current names are: Sheepfold Stick, Gilly Oaf, Shorty, Spoon-licker, Pot-licker, Bowl- licker, Door-slammer, Skyr-glutton, Sausage-pilferer, Peeper, Sniffer, Meat-hook and Candle-beggar. These mischievous boys have retained their unique character and live in the mountains with their parents, Grýla and Leppalúði. They come to town, one by one, prior to Christmas. The first one arrives on December 12 and the last one on December 23. In the past, they tried to pilfer their favourite things or play tricks on people but now their main role is to give children small gifts. Children put their best shoe on the bedroom window sill on December 12 and in it receive a small gift from each Lad as he arrives in town. But naughty children just might receive a rotten potato instead! The Yule Lads’ original clothing was rags. Nowadays, they are usually seen in familiar red clothing with white beards and black boots and make appearances at Christmas dances. Children dance around a Christmas tree and sing carols, the highlight being when one of the Yule Lads joins the celebration and dances and sings before giving the children a goody bag as he leaves. The day after Christmas the first Lad returns to the mountains. Then they leave, one by one, until the last one leaves on January 6. A Silent Night The ringing of the bells at the Lutheran Cathedral in Reykjavík, which is broadcast nationally, is a signal for all (except those in church) to embrace and wish one another a Merry Christmas. This is the formal beginning of Christmas. All regular public services come to a standstill on Christmas Eve. No buses run, no restaurants or places of entertainment are open; fishing vessels are moored in port and even the hospitals are half-empty. Christmas Eve is the high point of the holiday season and the sumptuous dinner is just the beginning of the night. But what the children are waiting for – the opening of parcels – cannot take place until the table is cleared and the dishes washed. People rarely leave the house on Christmas Eve except to attend church, and that’s not widespread. The streets are deserted; it is the quietest night of the year but most buildings are aglow with bright lights. Many families end the evening by watching a late religious service on TV officiated by the Lutheran Bishop. Afterwards, there are plenty of pastries, coffee and soft drinks. This is not a night for anything stronger. As a rule, people sleep late the following morning. A festive Christmas Day lunch is traditional, but there seems to be growing preference for the main meal to be a dinner. Christmas Day is typically used for visiting family. New Year’s Eve Icelanders seldom drink on Christmas Eve, making up for it on New Year’s Eve which is probably the biggest party night of the year. Everyone buys fireworks, the high point being midnight when the sky lights up. Fire trucks and harboured ships ring their bells and blow their horns to welcome the New Year. Threttándinn – Last Day of Christmas January 6 is normally referred to as Threttándinn (13th day). It is the last day of Christmas, often referred to in English as ‘Twelfth Night’ or ‘Epiphany’. The decorations come down, work and school re-starts and in the evening families get together, have dinner, maybe light the remainder of their fireworks from New Year’s Eve and bid farewell to Christmas.
Howick and Botany Times Wednesday November 27
Howick and Botany Times Wednesday December 11