Name and Peace

The names... Words? Or deeper than what we ever think? Share with us:What does your name mean and why it may be connected to Peace... Thank you!

Location: World Citizen
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Latest Activity: May 26, 2011

The Meaning of New Year'sTraditions by Waverly Fitzgerald from Beliefnet

New Year's Eve, with its emphasis on romance and indulgence, might seem like a totally secular celebration. But underneath all that glitter and sparkle is an ancient holiday with deep spiritual roots. For centuries, and in similar ways, people have been observing the end of one year and the beginning of another.

Ancient Romans celebrated with six days of carousing that would probably be familiar to us today. St. Boniface, a missionary from England who visited Rome in 742, was appalled at how the Romans celebrated Kalends of January, as the New Year was called, with "dancing in the streets, heathenish cries, sacrilegious songs, tables laden with food and women wearing amulets and offering them for sale."

A Time of Rebirth
Because the Winter Solstice is the turning point of the year, beginning the lengthening of days, it has long been viewed as the birth of the year--by pagans celebrating the return of the Sun, and by Christians welcoming the birth of the Son of God. The days between Solstice and the New Year are a magical, luminous time period, when anything is possible. In England, the Twelve Days of Christmas were considered omen days which could be used to predict the weather in the coming year. In Scotland, no court had power during these days; and in Ireland, tradition held that if a person died during the Twelve Days, he or she went straight to Heaven.

In ancient Babylon, the days between the Winter Solstice and the New Year were seen as the time of a struggle between Chaos and Order, with Chaos trying to take over the world. Other cultures (Hindu, Chinese, Celtic) also viewed this as a time for reversing order and rules-celebrants would change roles with servants or dress in costumes for a time until order was restored.

Starting Fresh
While each culture's New Year celebration has its own flavor, there are certain common themes. The period leading up to New Year's Day is a time for setting things straight: a thorough housecleaning, paying off debts, returning borrowed objects, reflecting on one's shortcomings, mending quarrels, giving alms. In many cultures, people jump into the sea or a local body of water-literally washing the slate clean.

In some towns in Italy, I've been told, you have to watch out for falling objects, as people shove their old sofas, chairs and even refrigerators out of their windows on New Year's Eve. In Ecuador, people make dummies, stuffed with straw, to represent the events of the past year. These "ano viejo" effigies are burned at midnight, thus symbolically getting rid of the past.

Whatever preparations are made, most traditions teach that they should be completed before midnight on New Year's Eve. According to British folklore, you should not sweep on New Year's Day, or you will sweep your good luck away, or take anything out of the house-even trash. You only want to bring new things in to insure abundance in the coming year. If you must carry something out, be sure to bring something else in first, preferably a coin concealed outside the previous night. As this medieval poem reminds us:

Take out, then take in
Bad luck will begin
Take in, then take out
Good luck comes about

Rituals (and Underwear) for Good Fortune
Everything you do on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day is freighted with significance for the future. The American custom of spending the night with the one you love and kissing them at midnight insures that the relationship will flourish during the coming year. In Rio de Janeiro, more than a million people gather on the beaches on December 31st to honor Yemanja, the Yoruban "Mother of the Sea," who brings good fortune.

Even the color of underwear Brazilians wear on the first day of the new year has meaning. Pink brings love, yellow, prosperity; and white, peace and happiness.

The pig is the symbol of good luck in Vienna, Austria. Pigs are let loose in restaurants and everyone tries to touch them for luck as they run by. In private homes, a marzipan pig, with a gold piece in its mouth, is suspended from a ribbon and touched instead. In Greece, it's customary to throw a pomegranate wrapped in silver foil on the threshold, to spread the seeds of good luck for an abundant year.

In Spanish-speaking countries, people put twelve grapes into their wine or champagne class at midnight. The grapes represent the months of the old year and the new one. At the stroke of midnight, after toasting each other with the wine, people eat the grapes as quickly as possible, making a wish on each one.

Food and Money: Ensuring Abundance
As everything has significance on New Year's Day, the first person to cross your threshold after midnight brings luck to the household in the British Isles. In Scotland, the best possible "first-footer" was a tall, handsome, dark-haired man, who brought gifts of whisky, bread, a piece of coal or firewood, and a silver coin. He entered in silence, and no one spoke to him until he put the coal on the fire, poured a glass of whisky for the head of the house and wished everyone a Happy New Year. In France, the children knock on their parents' bedroom door, pretending to personify health, abundance and joy, which the parents welcome.

Food eaten on New Year's Day is said to affect the quality of the coming year. The ancient Romans exchanged bay and palm branches hung with sweets, dates, figs and gilded fruits. The items hung on the branch expressed hopes the new year would be sweet, fertile, and prosperous.

Neapolitans still wrap dried figs in laurel leaves and exchange them as a kind of insurance of abundance for the coming year. They also make confections of caramelized dough and tiny almond pieces, so the year will be sweet.

The Piedmontese eat little grains of rice which represent money. The traditional Umbrian New Year's cake, made of almonds, sugar, and egg whites, is shaped like a coiled snake, probably to represent the way snakes shed their skin to renew themselves, just as people leave behind the old year and embrace the new. Italians also serve lentils, raisins, and oranges, symbols of riches, good luck, and the promise of love.

In the American South, it's traditional to eat cornbread, cabbage, and black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. The peas symbolize coins or copper money, the cornbread gold, and the cabbage green or folding money.

A Japanese New Year's custom is the money tree: pine and cypress branches placed in a vase, and decorated with old coins and paper pomegranates and flowers. Old coins (with holes in them) are strung on colored threads in the shape of dragon and put at the foot of children's beds. This is called "cash to pass the year." It is supposed to be saved and not spent. However, money is given as a gift, usually in red envelopes.

Although many of these customs may seem like superstitions, they all stem from a similar belief: by ending the old year with respect and beginning the new one in the way we would like it to begin, we establish our intentions for the new year. Whether we gather together to watch the ball drop in Times Square or set off firecrackers at midnight or clink champagne glasses with our loved ones, we are acknowledging an important transition and welcoming a fresh start. May your New Year be rich with all of the blessings you desire.

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Started by bharat nagori. Last reply by Deniz Kite Nov 26, 2008. 1 Reply

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Comment by ABED MALHAS on May 26, 2011 at 6:05pm

Nobel Prize 4 Children;

The addition of children to Nobel; It will take a moment of your time but will impact for a lifetime; please send Emails to;; to include NOBEL PRIZE 4 CHILDREN; Imagine the great positive effect- to all World children-student-university-education- culture-innovation-education outlet-industry-media-etc.  & all humanity; let us all join to bring this beautiful concept to reality; CASA ( 9680  Member / 155 Country & growing ); Imagine a million child  from UR country or globally; 2 send  emails in one day ( they will be at Guinness World records; Please in any event U do try 2 have an internet corner 4 people 2 debate & send   emails 2 Nobel committee supporting the idea of - NOBEL PRIZE 4 CHILDREN;

Comment by Hamit GÜRSOY on December 31, 2008 at 11:55pm
Thanks a lot for your effort:
I'm very happy to be with you and other friends from different countries of the world.
In the nam of the PEACE, yo'll make a lot of activities...
Thanks again...
Comment by Deniz Kite on December 23, 2008 at 11:13pm
Dear Friends,
Firstly a warm welcome for our new members and thank you all for Be'ing here and making this group a great place.

I wish all of you a great Christmas, New Year and Chanukah with a poem!

Don't Read the words alone
Cause letters are so plain themselves.
Read the words,
Their sounds,
Their meanings,
Their emotions,
Their energy from and towards human
Carried out since their existence.

And Read
The unspoken reflection
Of mind,
Of heart,
Of universe,
This is the order Read”
Comment by Deniz Kite on December 12, 2008 at 2:51pm
Welcome our new members, Bharani, Rajesh, Salvador, Winnie, Aldis, John, Jeff, Julia and Savenaturefree!
And thanks for Rick and his names! (I do love this really Rick, such a colorful life) and Radesh, Salvador and Winnie for the explanation...

I try to write a poem devoting to you all; name and peace members... I hope soon to share with you.

I wish you a great weekend!
Comment by winnie on December 9, 2008 at 12:16pm
dear deniz kite,

thanks for inviting me.
WINNIE has its origin somewhere in the english language and means:

as a numerologist i see+feel the messages+meanings of names.
i also have written a book about the meaning of names (available only in german).
numerology opens many ways to self-realization and wisdom - e.g. insight in the higher sense of life.
if you want to know more about your name, or your life duties (dharma) - just ask me ;-)))

Comment by Salvador Espinosa on December 9, 2008 at 11:38am
Hi Deniz, Salvador means the savior, i always try to save other people, then i realize that first i need to save my self, then i can help others. Ones i try to change my name to Arturo, because it was such a responsability, then my teacher Claudio Naranjo ask me: Arturo the King ? i said yes, he told me Arturo was a Savior to, so then i just accept my name, and i like it.
Comment by Rajesh Dhari on December 9, 2008 at 10:49am
Thanks for your invetation
KRISHNA the lord of peace harmoney
Comment by Rick in NH on December 6, 2008 at 11:42pm
Greetings Deniz!
Thank You for your comments!
Llama's Hmmm let's see.....
Lakshmi, Ariel, Lilly, Penelope, Nike, Tally and, of course...
Yeaa..did it!
Of course the dogs Tashi and Nelli, the cats Ole and Ella
And our kids Senie and Sentho

That's a few names to start with : ) !!!

Be Well and...
Rick in NH
Comment by Keith Armstrong on December 5, 2008 at 9:46pm
This one is a Pisces Deniz,
nothing in Aries, but must have progressed through there by now.
Yes strong to promote understanding as the only light we have to shine on ignorance. for me the greatest enemy we face - in ourselves; in others; towards the world and from it.
Comment by Deniz Kite on December 3, 2008 at 9:10pm
Ciao Rick! Welcome among us..
You have one of the most fascinating "More About Me" on your page. I really enjoyed while reading... And if you remember the names of the Lamas...Just share with us!

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