Saturday, 31 December 2016

43 Interesting and Funny Facts about New Year You Must Know

43 Interesting and Funny Facts about New Year You Must Know
New Year implies a new journey with a new hope, a new commitment for challenging to be better. It is celebrated all over the world with the same zeal, vigor and enthusiasm. There are lots of preparations undertaken for the event and it can be categorized as one of the occasions that the whole world celebrates together. All across the globe, cities are decorated. Most of the news channels get special reporters and correspondents geared up to show the live coverage of the celebration. For many it is a new day, a new life and a new beginning. Let us explore more on what makes New Year Day special, by dwelling on the trivia given in the lines below.

1.New Year Day is the oldest of all holidays.

2. It was first observed in ancient Babylon as many as 4000 years ago.

3. In ancient Rome the new year began on March 1.

4. It was Julius Caesar who declared January 1 in Julian calendar as the New Year, in 46 BC.

5. The first month of the year i.e. January has been named after God Janus (Latin word for door), in the Roman calendar. Janus is the God with two faces, one looking backwards and one forward, at the same time and marks the ‘spirit of the opening’

6. January 1 was revived as New Year in 1582, by the Gregorian calendar and so celebrated by most of the countries till date.

7. New Years is still observed as the Feast of Christ's Circumcision by some denominations.

8. New Year is celebrated like a festival throughout the world and everyone around is in festive mood, partying, singing and dancing to ring out the old year and ring in the new.

9. The tradition to kiss at midnight isn’t a recent invention. According to old English and German folklore, the first person you come across in the new year could set the tone for the next 12 months.

10. In Britain, when the Big Ben clocks strikes 12, everyone gathers around to sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’, a Scottish song. It was written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, literally meaning "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days", to remember old and new friends.


11. About 1 million people gather in New York City’s Times Square to watch the crystal ball drop. The Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop came about because of a ban on fireworks. Today, it is covered in 2,688 crystals, is lit by 32,000 LED lights, weighs 11,875 pounds and is 12 feet in diameter.


12. It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year's Day would bring either good luck or bad luck for the rest of the year, depending on who he/she was.
Many cultures believe that anything given or taken on New Year, in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle".

13. Forty-five percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. The top resolutions are: to lose weight, get organized, to spend less and save more, to stay fit and healthy, and to quit smoking.

14. In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring good luck all year long. The tradition dates back to medieval times.

15. To ensure a year of good luck, firecrackers and noisemakers became tradition in order to scare away any remaining evil spirits and to ensure a brand new start.
Ancient Persians gave New Year’s gifts of eggs, which symbolised productiveness.

16. Traditionally, it was thought that people could alter the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. It has, therefore, become important to celebrate first day of the New Year in the company of family and friends.

17. The Spanish ritual on New Year's eve is to eat twelve grapes at midnight. The tradition is meant to secure twelve happy months in the coming year.

18. In Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico, some families stuff a large doll, which is called Mr. Old Year, with memories from the past year. They also dress him in clothes from the outgoing year. At midnight, he is set ablaze, thus burning away the bad memories

19. The top three places to celebrate New Year’s Eve are Las Vegas, Disney World and of course, New York City.  Internationally, one of the biggest celebrations is in Sydney, Australia. More than 80,000 fireworks are set off from Sydney Harbour Bridge.

20. The ancient Hawaiian New Year was four months long, war was forbidden, people stopped working, and the people spent time dancing, feasting and having a good time.

21. There is a music festival every New Year’s eve in the Antarctic called ‘icestock’.

22. In Thailand, they celebrate their traditional New Year’s Day with a state sponsored multiple day water fight.

23. Russians celebrate the New Year twice, once on January 1st and then again on January 14th.

24. On New Year’s Day in Akita, Japan there is a tradition where men dress as mountain demons, get drunk, and terrorize children for being lazy or disobeying their parents.

25. Every December 25th a town in Peru celebrates “Takanakuy”. Men, women, and children settle grudges with fistfights. Then everyone goes drinking together, ready to start the New Year with a clean slate.

26. Instead of lowering a giant ball of lights on New Year’s Eve, Brasstown, North Carolina lowers a possum. It’s known as “The Possum Drop”.

27. After the French revolution, France briefly used a new calendar based on a decimal system; 10 days a week, 10 hours a day, 100 minutes per hour and 100 seconds per minute, and starting at Year 1.

28. North Korea does not use the normal Gregorian calendar like most of the world. Instead it uses a different calendar system called the Juche calendar for numbering the years and year one of this calendar began on Kim Il Sung’s (The founder of North Korea) birthday.

29. On New Year’s Eve, residents in a small neighborhood in Johannesburg, South Africa collect old appliances, carry them up to apartment building rooftops and toss them down to the streets far below.

30. The Reykjavik (capital of Iceland) fireworks display on New Year’s Eve is one of the largest in the world, and most fireworks sales fund rescue operations in the country.

31. At the Mummers Parade in Philadelphia, 10,000 participants step through City Hall and perform in unique costumes. 

32. Since New Year’s Eve 2008, the city of Mobile, Alabama raises a 12 foot tall lighted mechanical Moon Pie to celebrate the coming of the New Year.

33. In Korea and some other Asian countries, when you are born, you are considered one year old and everyone’s age increases one year on New Year’s. So if you were born on December 29th, on New Year’s day, you will be considered 2 years old.

34. Ethiopia has 13 months. Their current year is still 2006 and they celebrate New Years on September 11.

35. Until 2006, the Space Shuttle never flew on New Year’s day or eve because its computers couldn’t handle a year rollover.

36. When religion was suppressed in Soviet Russia, Santa/St. Nick was replaced with Grandfather Frost, called the spirit of winter, who brought gifts on New Year’s and placed them under the “New Year tree”

37. Chinese New Year is celebrated the second full moon after the winter solstice.

38. Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah. Apples and honey are traditionally eaten.

39. Black eyed peas, ham, and cabbage are considered good luck if you eat them on New Year’s Eve or Day because it is believed they will bring you money.

40. Lobster and chicken are considered bad luck because lobsters can move backward and chickens can scratch in reverse, so it is thought these foods could bring a reversal of fortune.

41. Many people ring in New Year’s by popping open a bottle of champagne. 

42. Some people wear adult diapers while celebrating New Year at Time Square due to the lack of toilets.

43. According to statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day more than any other holiday.

~~~~~*~~~~~
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Friday, 14 October 2016

24 Stunning Quote of Bob Dylan to Cheer His Winning Nobel Prize in 2016




Jubilation has still been going on in the realm of Bob Dylan’s fan. The U.S Songster, Dylan, 75, becomes the first musician in the 115-year history of the Nobel to win the prize in literature. He was honoured for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

Born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1941, Dylan got his first guitar at the age of 14 and performed in rock’n’roll bands in high school. He adopted the name Dylan, after the poet Dylan Thomas, and, drawn to the music of Woody Guthrie, began to perform folk music. 

He moved to New York in 1961, and began performing in the clubs and cafes of Greenwich Village. His first album, Bob Dylan, was released in 1962, and he followed it up with a host of albums now regarded as masterpieces, including Blonde on Blonde in 1966, and Blood on the Tracks in 1975.

 “The frontiers of literature keep widening, and it’s exciting that the Nobel Prize recognises that,” Rushdie said. “I intend to spend the day playing Mr Tambourine Man, Love Minus Zero/No Limit, Like a Rolling Stone, Idiot Wind, Jokerman, Tangled Up in Blue and It’s a Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.”



Here are some of his most popular quotations that are normally extracted from his heart moving lyrics.

1. A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.

2. Don't criticize what you can't understand.

3. He who's not busy being born is busy dying.

4. Behind every beautiful thing, there's some kind of pain.

5. I accept chaos, I'm not sure whether it accepts me.

6. I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours.

7. All I can be is me- whoever that is.

8. I define nothing. Not beauty, not patriotism. I take each thing as it is, without prior rules about what it should be.

9. If the point is sharp, and the arrow is swift, it can pierce through the dust no matter how thick.

10. Life is more or less a lie, but then again, that's exactly the way we want it to be.

11. No one is free, even the birds are chained to the sky.

12. Play it fuckin' loud!

13. Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet

14. Swallow your pride, you will not die, it's not poison.

15. When you've got nothing, you've got nothing to loose.

16. If you want to keep your memories, you first have to live them.

17. You can never be wise and be in love at the same time.

18. When you cease to exist, then who will you blame?

19. Every pleasure's got an edge of pain, pay your ticket and don't complain

20. To live outside the law you must be honest.

21. All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie.

22. You don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.

23. There is nothing so stable as change.

24.     If I had wings and I could fly,
          I know where I would go.
          But right now I'll just sit here so contentedly
          And watch the river flow.
 
~~~~~*~~~~~
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Thursday, 13 October 2016

Consider Hopkins' "Pied Beauty" is a Devotional or Religious Poem. or Give the Critical Appreciation of the Poem "Pied Beauty".

Consider Hopkins' "Pied Beauty" is a Devotional or Religious Poem. or Give the Critical Appreciation of the Poem "Pied Beauty".


Hopkins being a keenly sensuous poet and a Roman Catholic priest at the same time his poetry bears the unmistakable stamp of his poetic sensibility and devotional fervour. The poet and the priest in Hopkins are often in conflict and generate a lot of tensions. There are only a few poems in which the contradiction seems to be resolved and the poet and the priest are in harmony. Hopkins’s “Pied Beauty” is one of such poems.


The poem, “Pied Beauty” (1877) opens with a declaration — “Glory be to God for dappled things” — that suggests the author’s reverence for God, the Creator. This phrase stems from the motto of Hopkins’ Jesuit society of St. Ignatius Loyola, Ad majorem Dei gloriam”, which, when translated, reads, "to the greater glory of God." The concept of championing God and His word resonates deeply with the Jesuit culture: they strive constantly toward expanding the Roman Catholic Church through preaching the “greater glory of God.” In “Pied Beauty” Hopkins follows Duns Scotus who was pre-occupied with the distinctiveness of natural beauty as reflected through the creation of the Almighty.


This poem wears its meaning, at least the surface of its meaning, on its sleeve: it is a hymn of praise to the creator, a hymn of thanks for the richness and diversity of the world. Oftentimes considered one of the greatest Victorian poets, Hopkins’ poems are full of creative word combinations that seem to capture the imaginative essence of things.  Here, he uses those interesting hyphenated descriptions to celebrate the variety of Creation and its great beauty. The sounds of these images are crisp and ring nicely in the mouth.  "fresh-firecoal," "finches' wings," these sounds have a pleasant crunch to them. The second stanza turns from these corporeal variations to the more spiritual, moral characteristics of the world. In listing several paradoxical traits — “swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim” — Hopkins emphasizes the spectrum of emotions and intangible qualities present in these physical entities.  


“Pied Beauty” is a catalogue of God’s creation testifying to the poet’s accurate observation of natural objects which changes from time to time, things whose function appear both as separately and collectively. Hopkins begins with praise of God creating poly-coloured, poly-shaped, poly-natured things created by the Supreme Creator. God has created the “couple-colour” sky like the double colour cow. He has created the fresh water fish, trout with pink-dots on the back. The fallen chestnut is reddish brown like the hue of glowing fire. The Divine Architect also crafted landscapes isolated into separate plots: green pasture, brown uncultivated lands and grey ploughed fields. The final creation is of the “trades” or different occupation of man, with their rich diversity of appliances and equipments. The Creation of God (from Genesis), has been mentioned in this devotional poem with much sincerity.


Hopkins is staunch believer of the theory of ‘inscape’ – the individual distinction of every created natural object. His ‘instress’ – his feeling of wonder at the variegated and changeful beauties of the earth – comes out vividly in the query:

                             “Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how)?”


“Pied Beauty” is a lyrical love poem. But the love treated in the poem is not the love between man and woman, but between man and God. Here Hopkins refers to the Christian concept of God as a Lover and a Protector. God, Himself is the creator and source of pied beauty. He also refers to the concept of  “God: the Trinity” : God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The poem concludes with the poet’s imperative to praise God:

                             “Praise Him”.


Hopkins calls this poem a “curtal sonnet” in which he minimizes the traditional sonnet forms by reducing its length form 14 lines to 10 ½ lines (6 + 4 ½ ). He also follows the “spring paeonic” metre with one stressed plus three unstressed syllable. The poem is written in “sprung rhythm” which was the rhythm of common speech, and of written prose.


Throughout his life Hopkins remained religious and spiritual. He wrote to Bridges, one of his best friends: “I am a eunuch, but it is for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.” Religious preoccupation gripped him so terribly that he had neither time nor energy to carry on his writing. Thus only a few poems he composed, he got the opportunity of singing the glorious hymns of God.
 ~~~~~*~~~~~
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Saturday, 8 October 2016

23 Exquisite Quotes from Charlotte Bronte's Novel, "Jane Eyre"

23 Exquisite Quotes from Charlotte Bronte's Novel, "Jane Eyre"


1. “Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal — as we are!”

2. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

3. “I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”

4. “If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.”

5. "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.”

6. “Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear.”

7. “Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”

8. “Gentle reader, may you never feel what I then felt! May your eyes never shed such stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears as poured from mine. May you never appeal to Heaven in prayers so hopeless and so agised as in that hour left my lips: for never may you, like me, dread to be the instrument of evil to what you wholly love.”

9. “I have little left in myself -- I must have you. The world may laugh -- may call me absurd, selfish -- but it does not signify. My very soul demands you: it will be satisfied, or it will take deadly vengeance on its frame.”

10. “All my heart is yours, sir: it belongs to you; and with you it would remain, were fate to exile the rest of me from your presence forever.”
11. “I ask you to pass through life at my side—to be my second self, and best earthly companion.”

12. “I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.”

13. “I am not an angel,' I asserted; 'and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself. Mr. Rochester, you must neither expect nor exact anything celestial of me - for you will not get it, any more than I shall get it of you: which I do not at all anticipate.”

14. "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.”

15. “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.”

16. “I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”

17. "My future husband was becoming to me my whole world; and more than the world: almost my hope of heaven. He stood between me and every thought of religion, as an eclipse intervenes between man and the broad sun. I could not, in those days, see God for his creature: of whom I had made an idol."

18. "'Oh comply!' it said, 'Think of his misery, think of his danger--look at his state when left alone...Who in the world cares for you? or who will be injured by what you do?'...Still indomitable was the reply--'I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself. I will keep the law given by God, sanctioned by man. I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad--as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour, stringent are they; inviolate they shall be...with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot!'"

19. "I had found a brother: one I could be proud of,--one I could love; and two sisters whose qualities were such that, when I knew them but as mere strangers, they had inspired me with genuine affection and admiration. The two girls on whom, kneeling down on the wet ground, and looking through the low, latticed window of Moor House kitchen, I had gazed...were my near kinswomen, and the young and stately gentleman who had found me almost dying at his threshold was my blood relation. Glorious discovery to a lonely wretch! This was wealth indeed!--wealth to the heart!--a mine of pure, genial affections. This was a blessing...not like the ponderous gift of gold: rich and welcome enough in its way, but sobering from its weight."

20. "I felt desolate to a degree. I felt--yes, idiot that I am--I felt degraded. I doubted I had taken a step which sank instead of raising me in the scale of social existence. I was weakly dismayed at the ignorance, the poverty, the coarseness of all I heard and saw round me. But let me not hate and despise myself too much for these feelings: I know them to be wrong--that is a great step gained; I shall strive to overcome them...In a few months, it is possible, the happiness of seeing process, and a change for the better in my scholars, may substitute gratification for disgust."

21. "Most true is it that 'beauty is in the eye of the gazer.' My master's colorless, olive face, square, massive brow, broad and jetty eyebrows, deep eyes, strong features, firm, grim mouth,--all energy, decision, will,--were not beautiful, according to rule; but they were more than beautiful to me: they were full of an interest, an influence that quite mastered me,--that took my feelings from my own power and fettered them in his. I had not intended to love him: the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, green and strong! He made me love him without looking at me."

22. "Women are supposed to be very calm generally; but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex."

23. “It’s a long way off, sir”
“From what, Jane?”
“From England and from Thornfield: and –“
“Well?”
“From you, sir.”

~~~~~*~~~~~


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