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!

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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.

Discussion Forum


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

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Comment by inthistogether on November 27, 2008 at 9:29pm
My name?? Does it need a lotta explanation? I don't think so -- it started years ago on a music/movie sharing site - Winmx and my reasons for adopting it still develop daily
Comment by Deniz Kite on November 26, 2008 at 2:20pm
David and Yousre, welcome!
Comment by Deniz Kite on November 26, 2008 at 2:19pm
Another meaning came from Devanayagi!

At 6:27am on November 26, 2008, Devanayagi Parameswaran said… Salutations my dear Deniz

My name means queen of the gods
Comment by nilgun on November 24, 2008 at 6:26pm
Hello Deniz,
"nilgun" means sky blue...
Comment by ~mAmUn~ on November 24, 2008 at 11:46am
'Mamun' means 'Trustworthy'
I believe that trust is one of a strong components of peace...
What is your opinion...!
However, thanks for quoting from 'Rumi'.
Will appreciate more.

Nice picture indeed.



When I got your invitation and sentences,
suddenly I recalled couple of things, want to share...

From Shakespeare:
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

similar quote I like most-
from Gertrude Stein's poem Sacred Emily, written in 1913 and published in 1922, in Geography and Plays. The verbatim line is actually, 'Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose':

"Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose
Loveliness extreme.
Extra gaiters,
Loveliness extreme.
Sweetest ice-cream.
Pages ages page ages page ages."

Wishes to all.
Comment by Rebanta Goswami on November 24, 2008 at 8:08am
'Rebanta' is a Vedic word,
derived from Rebaan + (Sanskrit 'in' suffix), adressing 'INDRA' in 'Sama' Veda.
In Vedic Sanskrit, 'Rebaan' meant Vigour/ Life/ Energy.
In 'Purana's (Hindu Mythology),
'Rebanta' is described as one of the twin sons (Ashvini Kumara-s) of 'SURYA' (who desired to enjoy his wife Chhaya, changing her into a mare, in a horse's style (as he got aroused watching his own 7 horses' amorous play) resulted in the birth of 'Asvini-Kumara-dwayah' (or Horse-Prince twins).
'Rebanta' became the artist/entertainer/inventor in heaven ('Swarga') looking after the ('Deva')s or the Gods.
His brother 'Shukra' learnt Ayurveda and the secret of longer life/body-power/martial arts and became 'Shukraachaarya' the 'Daitya-Kula-Guru' (the Guru of the Demons or the contenders of Heaven).
Far later, in 'Heena-yaana' Buddhist period, 'Rebanta' was worshiped as a god of Hunting, riding a horse. A broken-head granite-statue of 'Rebanta' the Hunting-God in later Buddhist era, made during the great 'Paal'-dynasty rule in Bengal, is still on display in the south corridor/ ground-floor of the Indian Museum at 27 Chowringhee Road (Jawaharlal Nehru Road now). One can see it anytime.
** (....... and this mortal Professor of Art named 'Rebanta' Goswami can be found in the next
building to the Indian Museum at Govt College of Art & Craft at 28 Jawaharlal Nehru Road, on working days.. )
This is all I know about my name.
My late mother had found it in the 'MahaBharata' and named me before I was born.She left us forever, on 11 Sept 2007. Let's pray for her soul to rest in peace. My name is a very uncommon one in modern India.
So I explained it vividly.
Love and the Best Wishes to all members.

Comment by Deniz Kite on November 24, 2008 at 12:46am
Peace/ Noun

1. stillness or silence
2. absence of mental anxiety: peace of mind
3. absence of war
4. harmony between people or groups
5. a treaty marking the end of a war
6. law and order within a state: a breach of the peace
7. at peace
a. dead: the old lady is at peace now
b. in a state of harmony or serenity
8. hold or keep one's peace to keep silent
9. keep the peace to maintain law and order [Latin pax]
Collins Essential English Dictionary 2nd Edition 2006 © HarperCollins Publishers 2004, 2006
Comment by Deniz Kite on November 24, 2008 at 12:09am
Deniz means the Sea.

And yes, whole my life, I related myself to the Sea; sometimes I was peaceful like a lake and sometimes almost like a volcano errupting...

Yes, the Sea had the waves like my ups and downs in life and I enjoyed the deepness I went through.

Now, I am like a calm and warm Sea enjoying the sunset... This is Peace: being able to accept all in life and be happy with all the experiences lived.

re-considering now: I love my name: No other name would ever be better for me.

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