2010-11-15

How Much you Know about Thanksgiving?



Thanksgiving Day is a festival of the United States and Canada, initially was intent on thanks for the good harvest sent by the god. In the U.S., since 1941, the Thanksgiving Day is the fourth Thursday in November annually, and from that day people will be on leave for three days, just like the Chinese New Year, as in that day, no matter how busy, thousands of people will back home to stay together with their families.

The Thanksgiving holiday celebrated an event from the earliest settlers in the United States. On this occasion, we eat turkey with mashed potatoes and the ubiquitous pumpkin pie "pumpkin pie".

The last Thursday of November, all Americans come together as a family to share the traditional Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving is a day of Thanksgiving to thank the Indians and Heaven have enabled the first pilgrims who came from England to settle and live on American soil thanks to good harvests they could do.

The Pilgrims settled at Plymouth Rock December 11, 1620. Their first winter was devastating. At the beginning of the next fall, 46 were dead on the 102 who came on the Mayflower. But the harvest of 1621 was one of the most successful so the remaining colonists decided to celebrate. This feast was more of a traditional "harvest festival" in the English tradition of a real Thanksgiving. It lasted three days.

This celebration of Thanksgiving was not reproduced the following year. But in 1623, during a severe drought, the Pilgrims got together to pray and invoke the rain. When a dense and continuous rain appeared the next day, Governor Bradford proclaimed another day of Thanksgiving, again inviting the Indians. Then it was not until June 1676 that another day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed.

On June 20, 1676, the council of Charlestown, Mass., met to determine what was the best time of year to express its gratitude to the good fortune that has allowed the community to settle. Unanimously, they decided to proclaim June 29 as a day of "Thanksgiving."

October 1777 was the first time or the 13 colonies jointly to celebrate a "Thanksgiving" was to commemorate their victory against the British at Saratoga. But this was the case only once.

Then came George Washington proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, although some were opposed. Of discord reigned among the colonies, many believing that beliefs of a few Pilgrims did not deserve that devotes a national day. Later, President Thomas Jefferson laughed at the idea of having a "Thanksgiving Day".

It was Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, who contributed greatly to creating a "Thanksgiving Day". Hale wrote many articles defending his case in his magazines.

Finally in 1863, which President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November a national day of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving was proclaimed by every president after Lincoln. The date changed from time to time, it was amended by including Franklin Roosevelt, who established one week after the last Thursday in order to lengthen the Christmas shopping season. The public protested against this decision so that the President returned it to its original date two years later.

It was during the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941, as Thanksgiving was finally declared "legal holiday" by Congress and was introduced on 4th Thursday of November.

Today, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving everywhere.

Thanksgiving Day in Canada was starting in 1879, it is the second Monday of October every year, which is the same date with the United States Columbus Day.

In addition, the South Koreans are also accustomed to celebrate Thanksgiving, but this tradition has nothing to do with the Thanksgiving Day in North America, Koreans celebrate the Thanksgiving Day with in the Mid-Autumn Festival on the same day.

* Original address of this China gift post: China Gift and Fine Arts & Crafts in China

2010-11-05

Do you know China Shadow Play?


Traditional Chinese Shadow Play

Shadow play is not a Chinese specialty, there are shadow plays in other countries as well. However, do you know the shadow play or shadow puppetry is what kind of play?

It is an ancient form of storytelling and entertainment using opaque figures in front of an illuminated backdrop to create the illusion of moving images.

In Taiwan, the shadow play was developed from the Chaochow(a county in Guangdong province, China) school of shadow puppet theatre, it was called ‘leather monkey show’ generally.

Chaochow Leather Monkey Show

Older puppeteers estimate that there were at least a hundred shadow puppet troupes in southern Taiwan in the closing years of the Qing. Traditionally, the eight to 12-inch puppet figures, and the stage scenery and props such as furniture, natural scenery, pagodas, halls, and plants are all cut from leather.

In France, although at the beginning the shadow play was spread from China in the past, but when it was added with their local characteristics, this kind of performance immediately become a type of authentic French Art.

The shadow play began to spread to Europe in the mid-18th century, when French missionaries in China took it back to France in 1767 and put on performances in Paris and Marseilles, causing quite a stir. In time, the Ombres chinoises (French for "Chinese Shadows") with local modification and embellishment, became the Ombres fran├žaises and struck root in the country.

Silhouette Animation

Now in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, these countries all have the tradition of shadow theatre. While Germany pioneered the silhouette animation, this new type shadow play used the same puppet as traditional shadow play, and filmed it frame-by-frame.

* Original address of this China gift post: China Gift and Fine Arts & Crafts in China