Fiestas Patrias, Chile’s Independence Day Celebration

Ah, the jubilation, liberation, and celebration of declaring independence. Such declaration for change is of great historical significance for generations to commemorate in years to come.

Fiestas Patrias is a Spanish phrase meaning “Patriotic Holidays” or “National Holidays”. Although in Mexico it refers to a set of Mexican holidays, in Chile it means the Independence Day celebration of Chile. This celebration lasts for two days, September 18-19.

Fiestas Patrias is often referred to as the Dieciocho, or “18th” within Chile. This holiday in Chile commemorates the proclamation of the First Governing Body of 1810 beginning on September 18. On September 19 the day is known as the “Day of the Glories of the Army”.

Independence Day in many cultures is observed with great festivities to honor this momentous occasion. In Chilean culture, traditional activities associated with the Dieciocho include Chilean rodeo, dancing the cueca (a family of musical styles and associated dances from Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia), going to fondas (places that sell food and beverages during the Fiestas Patrias), and barbecue.

#HappyFiestasPatrias

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All You Who Labor

Labor Day, Happy Labor Day, Work, Workers, Laborers

Ah, Labor Day! This annual celebration honors the American labor movement and contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the United States of America. As I think about workforces around the country observing this day, I am emotionally reminded of this Bible verse,

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. -Matthew 11:28

Many people have the day off from work, and it also serves as a signal to many that summer is over, although it officially ends on Friday, September 22, 2017. So whether you commemorate this day by grilling out, embarking on some adventurous leisure pursuits or simply basking in relaxation, make it a spectacular day!

#HappyLaborDay

Let Freedom Ring on Independence Day

4th of July, Indepenence Day

Happy 4th of July!

As we recognize this Independence Day, let us never forget nor take for granted the sacrifices that were made in the past to enjoy the freedom we have today.  Have a safe and fun-filled 4th of July!

Red, White and Blue Holiday Recipes on Food Porn Friday

Image Source: Half Baked Harvest – Triple Layer Roasted Berry Piñata Ice Cream Cake

Are you looking for ideas to put FUN back into your 4th of July holiday spreads? Looking for some quick, simple and deliciously patriotic recipes to make your 4th of July tablescape more impressive and just as spectacular as a fireworks show? Well, wonder no more because we came across these Independence Day jaw-dropping, smack dabulicious recipes that will knock your red, white and blue socks off!

Check out this lineup of mouthwatering delights from 50 Red, White and Blue Recipes from FoodieCrush.com. Make your Independence Day table delights, delectably unforgettable.

Celebrating Our Mothers

tulips-in-basket-mother-day-card

Mothers. It seems like we can never tire of saying enough about them. For those of you who are still blessed to have your mother around, then treasure those precious opportunities to spend time with her. For those of us whose mother has passed on from this life, we will always have fond memories of times we spent with them. For those of you who have fathers, guardians, aunts, grandmothers or stepmothers who are surrogates acting in a maternal capacity, then it behooves you to cherish that.

For all mothers, past and present, I honor you with this poem “I Applaud You” and wish all of you a very Happy Mother’s Day!

I Applaud You

I applaud you for the strength you unselfishly earned
your nurturing gift you so willingly impart
your character, immeasurable and priceless
your gentle spirit, so humble and genuine.

I applaud your determination to fight for the common good
your comfort during times of sadness, pain and grief
your encouragement during those moments when someone wants
to give up
your heart, more precious than the facets in a perfect diamond.

I applaud your tears of joy, glistening down your cheeks during
celebrations
your carefree attitude to enjoy life and live it abundantly
your wisdom from life’s lessons of hard knocks and
disappointments
your test of endurance to stand up, amid all reasoning to stay
down.

Regardless of what you’ve suffered
been diagnosed with
or the pain from heartbreaks you’ve endured,
I applaud you for your survival skills
despite the cards that you were dealt.

Your inner beauty radiates your graciousness
turning obstacles into stepping stones
ugliness into beauty
discouragement into courage
skepticism into faith
despair into hope
with complete reverence of God
I applaud you.

– Kym Gordon Moore (from the book “Wings of the Wind: A Cornucopia of Poetry,” 2013)

Holy Sacred Commercialism

Easter, He is Risen, The Resurrection, Happy Easter

Image source: Old Farmer’s Almanac

I realize this week has been a week of deep reflection for me. At first, I thought my imbalance was a result of all the violence that has recently occurred over the past few days but I finally put my finger on what the real reason was. See, on Easter Sunday 14 years ago, my mother passed away. There was an emptiness I felt that day as many of us who lost a parent or someone extremely close to them experiences. When I got to the hospital, walked into my mother’s room and saw her lifeless body, I couldn’t begin to cry, not yet.

I felt her hands which were still warm. I told her I got there as fast as I could. It took me 3 hours to drive there, but it seemed like 8. When I began thinking about that day, how I commemorated the sacredness of Easter Sunday, because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, I felt a gnawing uneasiness in my spirit and I had no energy. In hindsight, I finally understood what my spirit was telling me.

Today is Maundy Thursday, the first of the three days of solemn remembrance leading up to Easter. Tomorrow is Good Friday, in which the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ is commemorated in the Christian Church and is traditionally a day of fasting and penance. Holy Saturday, also known as the Great Sabbath or Easter Eve is the final day of Holy Week.

Easter, which celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, is one of Christianity’s most important holidays. I have often wondered, how did we creatively turn the sacredness of the holiday into extreme commercialism? How did we adopt icons like colored eggs and bunny rabbits to identify the meaning behind this celebration? Probably because Easter eggs and the Easter bunny are easier to accept than a religious symbol.

I am not here to judge, offend or become overly sanctimonious, but when I searched through images for Easter, I found that 99% of them were bunnies, eggs, green grass, baskets, bonnets, daisies and daffodils. Many of those who I speak to and who identify with Christianity, don’t have a problem with the commercial promotion of how this holiday is marketed and think we may need to steer away from religious representations so that others will not be offended or feel alienated. 

As I reflect on the emotions surrounding this all-important holiday for me, I find a peace within my spirit that surpasses all understanding and a gratitude that I can never explain, except to say “Thank You, God!” While my opinion of how I celebrate Easter may be significantly different from the way some others celebrate it, I enter the final leg of this Holy holiday and bid everyone a very Happy Easter! Now that makes me cry!

Drinking Lucky Green Beer on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day, Green Beer, Alcoholic Beverage, National Green Beer Day

Image Source: Alex Hayden, Getty Images on http://chemistry.about.com

We’re going green on St. Patrick’s Day and not green with envy either! The Feast of Saint Patrick is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17th, the traditional date of the death of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

Today’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations generally involve public parades, festivals, wearing green attire or shamrocks, formal gatherings, banquets or dances. St Patrick’s Day was greatly influenced by the Irish diaspora, especially in North America.

Since this is Food Porn Friday, we are going to feature a green-licious beverage, that symbolizes the luck of the Irish…Green Beer!

Happy St. Partick’s Day on Food Porn Friday