MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Wed, December 14, 2011 10:20:50 I'm quoting a online discussion in another forum about Christmas, since I found it pretty interesting. Some say: "It's all bout Jesus that's why it's called Christmas". But then we have to consider that hhe Roman Catholic Church didn't settle on a date until well into the 4th century. Most countries had some other form of celebration well before that at the same time period and the date for the Christ Mass was a topic of hot debate for along time since many historians think that he was actually born in the autumn. Christian celebrations as most know them today in the US is an amalgamation of several non-Christian celebrations. This was actually done quite deliberately by the RC Church to displace such "pagan" celebrations with a central, well controlled theme.
As a side note, the Puritans banned Christmas in the mid-1600's and that ban held for more than 22 years. Around the Boston area Christmas wasn't fashionable again and generally celebrated until into the 1800's.
Interesting factoid: The U.S.
didn't have an official Christmas holiday until 1870. Up until then
Congress met on every working Christmas day. In fact, there were really
only 3 official holidays and they were Independence Day, Thanksgiving
and training day (militia).
MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Mon, December 12, 2011 12:13:34 ¨Breaking News. The American Santa (it means "Jultomten" in English) has been spotted in Texas. Apparently he likes Blues. And Elvis! In fact it turns out that his civilian day-job during the year is playing the guitar in a band where he can keep his beard without being recognizzed...
MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Sun, December 11, 2011 22:23:23 Christmas is one of the biggest celebrations but it is not only celebrated among the Christians. Christmas is celebrated in many countries around the world. Caroling, feasting, and gift-giving along with the prayers and wishes - Christmas is celebrated with high spirits in various parts of the world. Though the mode of celebration, dates and the traditions vary. Here's a little Yule-hikers guide to the festivities. :)
MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Fri, December 09, 2011 09:31:14 In English the term is "mulled wine", but at the Ministry (as in the Nordic countries) it is "Glögg" - sometimes it is misspelled in English as 'glog' or 'glug' - be adviced, use the proper spelling ;). It is Glögg in Swedish and Icelandic, in Norwegian and Danish: Gløgg, Estonian and Finnish: Glögi). At this time a year alcoholic or non-alcoholic glögg can be bought ready-made just about everywhere. I'm sure some of the gas-stations are selling it too (non-alcoholic). Even if glögg spice extract and ready-mixed spices can be purchased in grocery stores, the real Man makes his own Glögg. And the main classic ingredients are usually red wine, sugar and spices; such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves and bitter orange. Optionally also stronger spirits such as vodka, akvavit or brandy are used when making your own glögg during Yule-tide. To prepare glögg, spices and/or spice extract are mixed into the wine, which is then heated to 60-70 °C (140-158 °F). The temperature should not be allowed to rise above 78.4 °C (173.12 °F) - in order to avoid evaporation of the alcohol (which actually is regarded as alcohol abuse). When preparing home-made glögg using spices, the hot mixture is allowed to infuse for at least an hour, often longer, and then reheated before serving. In Sweden, ready-made wine glögg is normally sold at "Systembolaget" (Goverment owned monopoly liquer-stores across Sweden) ready to heat and serve. Concentrate and extract form is sold everywhere else to be mixed with spirits to taste. Glögg is generally served with raisins, blanched almonds and Ginger biscuits (Ginger Snaps).In Sweden, ginger bread and "lussebullar" (also called "lussekatter") - a type of sweet bun with saffron and raisins, are typically served with the Glögg. At the Ministry scientific experimenting has also releaved that chocolate is extremely tasty on the side. It is also traditionally served at "Julbord" - the Christmas buffet. In Denmark, gløgg parties typically include æbleskiver sprinkled with powdered sugar and accompanied with strawberry marmalade. In Norway, gløgg parties with gløgg and rice pudding (Norwegian: riskrem) are common. In such cases, the word graut-/grøtfest is more precise, taking the name from the rice pudding which is served as a course. Typically, the gløgg is drunk before eating the rice pudding, which is often served with cold, red cordial (saus). These type of traditions is also found in Sweden and at the Ministry.Glögg recipes vary widely; and some families guard their secret recipies like gold-treasures. Variations with white wine or sweet wines such as Madeira, or spirits such as brandy are also popular, and during the last years lot's of different picant alternatives are coming and going. Glögg can also be made alcohol-free by replacing the wine with fruit or berry juices (often blackcurrant) or by boiling the glögg to evaporate the alcohol - but that is not for the average true Glögg-drinker!
MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Wed, December 07, 2011 21:38:17 There is a saying about being careful what you wish for, you might get it. However, I hope this is not what Santa will bring however the wishing. It can't be the real Santa in such an image now. Or is there a Redneck Santa? I hope not.
MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Mon, November 28, 2011 22:25:45 I was invited to participate in a local exhibition called "setting the Christmas table" and I took a trip down memory lane, putting all kinds of memorabilia together to the optimal Christmas table setting. We were 8 invited to make a table for Christmas or New Year. Of course I picked Christmas! What else... Merry Christmas!
MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Thu, November 24, 2011 19:56:34 What is all this about thanksgiving?? It is today officially 4 weeks till xmas! Consider that instead! Forget the turkey and buy presents! Turkey we can eat for xmas anyway! 4 weeks!?!?!!? Don't panic! Some of us has been forgetting this - it's called living in denial... Start checking those x-mas lists. Wish-lists I mean. Who's been naughty and nice? Who want's what for X-mas?
Are you prepared? It's 4 weeks left and you should start getting busy or the big x-mas panic will eat you up soon! :)
A Christmas-related record from the Guinness World Records. The most lights on a artificial christmas tree is 260.498 and was created in and by Universal Studios Japan® in Osaka, Japan on 7 November 2011. Some people just don't know when to stop...
MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Tue, October 25, 2011 17:39:59 The Ministry would just to point out that it is now 8 (eight) weeks to Christmas. Sorry about that the forewarning is short, you better start thinking
Make a list.
Who's been naughty and nice?
My advice to you is
to act instantly. If you postpone you might end up picking out
presents in a panic. It can turn out to be bad choices, since you can
choose from what's left on the cleaned out stores.
MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Sat, September 24, 2011 20:46:54 The Ministry interrupts this evening with an important message. Today it is only 3 months left to Christmas! Sorry about the short notice.
But sine the forewarning is hort, you better start thinking
about Christmas-presents. Make a list. Who's been naughty and nice? What do they like? If you happen to see something suitable - our advice is to act instantly. If you postpone we can bet that you will forget what it was you were going to buy, and not only will you end up picking out presents in a panic. It will also be very bad choices, since you can only pick up what's left on the otherwise cleaned out usual crap.
The Yule-tide is up front. Another few weeks and you know what I'm talking about...
Santa's in town and he's taking lists, taking notice and flaunting it! You thought he was at home at the Polar Circle? Nah, nah, nah. He's partying like it was 1999! Parading up and down and making Kodak Moments as he goes!
OK. So we're over the top! From here on it's down-hill. We are now five (5) months from Christmas. Yes, it's quite bizarre when you think about it. About a week ago we visited Denmark to see what's going on with the Santa this time of year. If you didn't know it Copenhagen is the place to be when the Santa Claus of the world get together for their annual convention. The Santa World Congress... You can meet the man and shake hands and even leave him your wish-list. Oh, by the way... have you started your list yet? Bought any pressies? Get crackin'! Only 5 to go...
MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Fri, May 27, 2011 21:51:07 I hate to be a spoilsport with the summer closing in and all, but heed this heads-up. Did you know that today it's LESS than 7 month till Christmas!! In July we will attend the big Santa Convention in Copenhagen. We'll see what the red guys have cooking then, stay tuned for a report.
Elvis says "Seven to go, man!" By the way, Elvis is more famous than Santa. In fact there is three Divinities that are known alla around Planet Earth. One of the following will be known wherever you go: Elvis, Jesus or Coca-Cola... Sorry Santa...
MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Sun, April 24, 2011 21:18:14 Today it is only 9 months left to Christmas! Better start thinking about Christmas-presents. That of course leads us to ponder the Christian mythology. It so happens this year to be the day of his rising from the dead! If it's nine months left to his birthday it means that this would be the day of the Big Conception. Conception AND Rising from the dead at the same date... Weird! Anyhow. The Yule-tide is still closer behind us than in front of us.
The 4th batch of Rice pudding has been cooked at the Ministry, since the beginning of December. First batch used up 2 liters of Milk, second and third 1 liters each. Batch number four used up 2 liters again. It just runs out too quickly otherwise! Most of it is converted to Ris a la Mande - which is super extra yummy! ;) Cinnamon is a must! So far 6 liters of Rice Pudding has been cooked and eaten. Right now there is only a little bit left on the Ris a la Mande! Soon it's time for batch number 5, and we are still only on December 13. It's Lucia today!
The time of waiting is here... Busy days filled with thinking and planning and gift wrapping. Still more presents to find. It is kind of hard to wrap your mind around that in 12 days we will be sitting around the Yule tree, sipping mulled wine and waiting for Santa...
MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Fri, December 10, 2010 23:43:55 OK, so it's getting close now. I have lots of things to wrap in papers. The x-mas tree is not up yet even if some has come to a false start. Nah, thats's not possible with x-mas is it. not as long as it's in December...
OK, only one month to go now... Don't say I didn't tell you! Today I picked out yet a few Christmas presents. Long time since I was this early! Now only
the rest is left. In 2 weeks it's Lucia, the darkest time of the year (shortest day) and then, in fact, we are heading for lighter times! The first taste of winter has hit the Ministry this week. Quite a bit of snow, and bone chilling wind! Let's face it, a winter without a Christmas would be the worst...
MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Sun, October 24, 2010 20:41:56 Yet another Yule coming up, and only in two months... Well, the first Christmas present is done! Only the rest is left. And a few b-day presents before that... A visit to the Yulemans (Santas) camp in Bakken Denmark this year resulted in the following pic. We missed the yearly Santa Convention - maybe next year... Time to wrap the first xmas pressie.
MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Mon, September 27, 2010 07:33:10 OK, so now all of a sudden all there is left now is three (3) measly month. The first x-mas present was actually bought during the weekend! (Found it by chance, so it's not so structured as it may seem). However, it is high time to start thinking about those x-mas gifts, gift-lists, Christmas-cards and so on and so on... Get you xxx out of the wagon!
MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Wed, August 25, 2010 20:23:07 Now, it's proven beyond doubt, time really flies... Now it's measly four (4) months till Christmas! I wonder what Santa is doing right now... I better get started on the
x-mas wish-list. Have you?
MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Mon, May 24, 2010 20:41:41 Oops! Time really fly... Today it's 7 months till Christmas! Which is hard to take in when it's getting towards summer for sure. Midsummer is closing in. I wonder what Santa is doing right now... I was just getting used to the snow and all of a sudden it's summer. The world is crazy place. The lawn is green and growing again. Dandylions are abundant and the lawnmower is not working... On the other hand it keeps raining so it's really not that easy to mow any lawn anyway! I better get started on the x-mas wish-list instead. Have you?
MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Wed, February 24, 2010 21:36:44 It is now some time ago Christmas passed... Now it's only 10 months to go till the next one. Winter iss till harsh... cold... snowy! Let's hope there's coming a summer in between x-masses!
Do you wonder what Santa does now then? Ride his bike perhaps together with his pals?
MiscellaneousPosted by Ministry of Art Tue, January 05, 2010 12:58:48 During the Christmas some unexpected new variations have been discovered at the Ministry, amongst others with Julmust, the number one Christmas drink:
Waffle with homemade strawberry jam and Riz à l'amande (Ris a la Malta). This is good Stuff!
Julmust and Pilsner (Not bad...)
Otherwise we have another sure tip for Julmust:
Julmust and Belgian chocolate. That is drinking Julmust while munching Belgian Chocolate. Life could be worse!