It's Christmas and here at Linku2 Hibiscus Coast we just wanted to say have a very Merry Christmas. Safe travels if you are heading away and enjoy time with friends and family - they are the most precious gift you can have!
A. Roman pagans first introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, a week long period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17-25. During this period, Roman courts were closed, and Roman law dictated that no one could be punished for damaging property or injuring people during the week long celebration. The festival began when Roman authorities chose “an enemy of the Roman people” to represent the “Lord of Misrule.” Each Roman community selected a victim whom they forced to indulge in food and other physical pleasures throughout the week. At the festival’s conclusion, December 25th, Roman authorities believed they were destroying the forces of darkness by brutally murdering this innocent man or woman.
B. The ancient Greek writer poet and historian Lucian (in his dialogue entitled Saturnalia) describes the festival’s observance in his time. In addition to human sacrifice, he mentions these customs: widespread intoxication; going from house to house while singing naked; rape and other sexual license; and consuming human-shaped biscuits (still produced in some English and most German bakeries during the Christmas season).
C. In the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it. Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians.
D. The problem was that there was nothing intrinsically Christian about Saturnalia. To remedy this, these Christian leaders named Saturnalia’s concluding day, December 25th, to be Jesus’ birthday.
E. Christians had little success, however, refining the practices of Saturnalia. As Stephen Nissenbaum, professor history at the University of Massachussetts, Amherst, writes, “In return for ensuring massive observance of the anniversary of the Savior’s birth by assigning it to this resonant date, the Church for its part tacitly agreed to allow the holiday to be celebrated more or less the way it had always been.” The earliest Christmas holidays were celebrated by drinking, sexual indulgence, singing naked in the streets (a precursor of modern caroling), etc.
F. The Reverend Increase Mather of Boston observed in 1687 that “the early Christians who first observed the Nativity on December 25 did not do so thinking that Christ was born in that Month, but because the Heathens’ Saturnalia was at that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan Holidays metamorphosed into Christian ones.” Because of its known pagan origin, Christmas was banned by the Puritans and its observance was illegal in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681. However, Christmas was and still is celebrated by most Christians.
G. Some of the most depraved customs of the Saturnalia carnival were intentionally revived by the Catholic Church in 1466 when Pope Paul II, for the amusement of his Roman citizens, forced Jews to race naked through the streets of the city. An eyewitness account reports, “Before they were to run, the Jews were richly fed, so as to make the race more difficult for them and at the same time more amusing for spectators. They ran… amid Rome’s taunting shrieks and peals of laughter, while the Holy Father stood upon a richly ornamented balcony and laughed heartily.”
H. As part of the Saturnalia carnival throughout the 18th and 19th centuries CE, rabbis of the ghetto in Rome were forced to wear clownish outfits and march through the city streets to the jeers of the crowd, pelted by a variety of missiles. When the Jewish community of Rome sent a petition in 1836 to Pope Gregory XVI begging him to stop the annual Saturnalia abuse of the Jewish community, he responded, “It is not opportune to make any innovation.” On December 25, 1881, Christian leaders whipped the Polish masses into Antisemitic frenzies that led to riots across the country. In Warsaw 12 Jews were brutally murdered, huge numbers maimed, and many Jewish women were raped. Two million rubles worth of property was destroyed.
Winkalotts is great for kids goodies and Fishing Direct for those who love to get out on the water. NZ At Home in Tavern Road has a wide range of goodies and for those francofiles you can't go past The French Cupboard at the start of the shops up by Northern Union.
If you're looking for that special something you're bound to find it at Bendon Lingerie on the corner of Agency Lane and for the young at heart head to North Beach. If you'd like to personalise a gift and frame that special photo visti Emma Jean Framing in Agency Lane or for that home and garden decor check out Sunbliss. For jewellery and gems visit The Goldsmith in Millwater Parkway or if you're after that deal visit Crazy Deal in Peters Way or if you're trying to help someone get over that awful smoking addiction check out the huge range of flavours at NZ Vapor in Silverdale Street.
Then of course if you want everything in the one place why not hit Silverdale Centre where you'll find everything from homewares, shoes, jewellery, the larger stores including The Warehouse and Noel Leeming plus you'll also find Santa from 11 December!
Orewa Beach has lots of amazing shops to wander around, or cycle around if you've been into Saint Cycles. Not only are there great shops, but there are heaps of festive Orewa Markets which always have a wide range of local bits and bobs. A beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers from Flowers by Joanne is always a great present.
Are you feeling new year, new you, but you're also conscious of the damage fast fashion has on the planet? Restyle Boutique has new clothes, top quality recycle clothing, shoes, handbags, jewellery, acessories, hats, swimwear, ballgowns, menswear and bridalwear - in fact just about everything! Treat yourself without feeling guilty and still have pennies in your pocket!
For those artsy people there are a number of different places to go for them. If you know someone who loves scented candles, head to Vixen and Co and don't miss their pop up Christmas sale on Sunday 17 December! Get a stunning frame for that photo or painting at Orewa Framing Studio or perhaps a gift voucher for a professional custom picture frame, canvas or print. Or maybe you know a bookworm would love to get lost in a thrilling story from Never Ending Books.
Get the men in your life looking fly with face, hair, and body products from the Clooney Club, or a trendy new do from Slim Jim's Barbershop. Have you been thinking about getting some new ink for the new year? Don't forget Tattoos by Ben Kaye is local!
Look out for our blog post next week featuring Whangaparaoa, Manly, and Gulf Harbour!
As we are about to launch our "Flavours of the Coast" feature, showcasing some of the amazing dishes you can find across the Hibiscus Coast from 4 December we thought we'd just discuss some of the amazing cuisines of the world ...
It doesn't matter what culture you come from food gathers people together. Whether a dinner party, family gathering, dining out with friends or just simply the family time in the evening around the dining table and the tantilising array of cuisines is simply mouthwatering.
India is one of the most densely populated countries on the planet. With so many people within the nation, Indian cuisine is highly varied. Curries are the traditional fare, but Indian food is not confined for just curry. There are a number of regions that make vegetarian dishes, and ayurvedic medicinal traditions are often used in creating food. Within India, visitors will find a range of sweet, hot and spicy dishes. Even better, the nation is home to millions of street food stands. At these stands, visitors can try out unique treats for a very cheap price
Over the last decade, Thai food has grown in popularity. Hands down, the most popular dish is pad thai. To truly experience Thai cuisine, you should step away from the basic pad thai and try some of the broths and noodle dishes that make this cuisine so delectable. This cuisine focuses on a lot of herbs and offers a range of sweet, sour, spicy and bitter tastes. It focuses on fresh herbs, so this cuisine always has a vivid flavor.
If characterizing Indian food was hard, Chinese food is impossible to pin down. China has one of the most diverse mixes of cultures and cuisines in the world. The main eight styles of cooking are: Fujian, Cantonese, Anhui, Zhejiang, Szechuan, Shandong and Hunan. In Chinese traditional medicine and culture, the opposites of yin and yang must always be kept in balance. This same balance extends to food. When cooking, the Chinese try to balance different colors, tastes, textures and smells. This focus has paid off and made Chinese cuisine one of the world’s finest.
In a traditional Chinese meal, you can expect to have noodles or rice. Although many American-based Chinese restaurants use fried rice, most China-based Chinese restaurants serve basic steamed rice. With a strong Buddhist history, vegetarian dishes like tofu remain popular. Interestingly, garlic and chilies are considered non-vegetarian in Buddhism because they stimulate the chi. If you go to a Chinese vegetarian restaurant, don’t expect a lot of spices. For non-vegetarian dishes, you can expect Peking duck, thousand year old eggs, squid and a range of meat dishes. Vegetables are always included with dinner, and they are far from your mother’s broccoli. Chinese vegetable dishes are often the most delicious part of the meal.
Like Italian cuisine, Greek food dates back thousands of years. Many common Greek dishes have unknown origins because they have been around so long. This cuisine has a unique mix of different Mediterranean styles. Back in the day, the Greeks were well-positioned to become a major port for sea trading. Every time sailors returned from traveling, they brought back different dishes and dining styles. In Greece, visitors can expect fresh herbs, olive oil and feta. Due to its location near the sea, fish is a popular dining option. Pork and lamb are common meat choices because many of the islands are too small to host cattle.
The Hibachi or Teppanyaki grill are some of the most delectable of Japanese dining options. At a Hibachi grill, you can watch a cook flip, fry, griddle and cut the food in front of you. This cuisine focuses on noodles, tofu, sushi and vegetables. Each meal is meticulously prepared and exceptionally delicious. Even better, Japanese restaurants often serve oolong or green tea.
There is some debate if there is actually a Mediterranean cuisine. This term mostly developed in the 1970s when there was a Mediterranean diet. In general, it consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and olive oil. Depending on who you ask, it could include different Greek, Italian, Arabic, European or North African dishes.
Say Oui, Oui to French cuisine! Five-star chefs are often trained in French cooking. It uses cheese, chocolate and baguettes for delicious meals. Of course, a French meal would never be complete without some wine! Despite their focus on cheese, bread and chocolates, the French amazingly remain thin. Perhaps eating more of this cuisine could be a weight loss plan?
With a culinary history that stretches back centuries, Italian cuisine is one of the world’s favorites. Spumoni ice cream, spaghetti, lasagna and pizza are traditional dishes that are widely available in the United States. Beyond these basic dishes, there are a number of regional favorites like Parmesan cheese and Parma ham. One part of Italy is even known for making a kind of maggot cheese. The cheese is fermented and allowed to sit out so that flies lay eggs. Afterward, it is packed at the perfect time for maggots to develop. It might not suit everyone’s taste buds, but it is a specialty from the country. If this cheese is not to your liking, the country has more than 400 types of cheese.
Although Italian cuisine varies from region to region, each meal will generally be set up in a similar way. It will begin with the antipasto or appetizer menu. Next, diners enjoy the primo course which consists of pasta or rice. The second course is a meat. To top it off, the last course is the dolce or dessert course.
That is just a small sample and you can find all the above on the Coast ... We'll let you know when voting is open in our feature so you can let us know your favourite dish to be in to WIN ... #flavoursofthecoast
So who doesn't love some great outdoor sport and exercise options when it is warm and the sun is shining!
There are lots of options locally which you can enjoy and here are just a few of those ...
Orewa beach cricket, Bootcamp at Manly Park on Saturdays at 7.30 am, Yoga on the Beach (we are checking the timetable), summer soccer with Hibiscus Coast Soccer Club , Hibiscus Coast Raiders summer events, tennis at one of our local clubs, twilight bowls at Manly Bowling Club, petanque with the Hibiscus Coast Petanque Club
Or how about heading along and having a go with the Orewa Croquet Club Have a Go Day coming up next week?
There are lots of great local activities and we will link to more above as we get full details. If you know of any we should list please let us know so we can all get out into the great outdoors and have lots of sporting fun this summer!
Let us know, what's your view on facial hair?
We love the Hibiscus Coast, the beaches, the community feel and the wide variety of things to do and places to go and this isn't diminishing as the Coast grows, although we are finding there are rather too many sets of traffic lights than the old days!