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New Year history reaches back to Babylon

By Darlene Jung

The celebration of the new year is thought to be the oldest observed holiday. It is believed to have began roughly 4,000 years ago in Babylon. The celebration was probably not held Jan. 1, but instead, on the first day of spring, in March.

The Babylonian new year began with the first . . . → Read More: New Year history reaches back to Babylon

Urashima Taro

A Japanese Tale

Long ago there lived in a small fishing village by the southern shores of Japan a young fisherman named Urashima Taro. We will call him Taro in our story. One bright day while he was walking along the seashore with his fishing pole, Taro saw a group of children jumping and running . . . → Read More: Urashima Taro

World New Year’s festivities tempered

New Year’s celebrations were tempered Friday as revellers scaled down — and in some cases cancelled festivities — in honour of the more than 120,000 victims who perished in the tsunami disaster.

Australia ushered in the New Year with a moment of silence before fireworks exploded overhead Sydney’s landmark Harbour Bridge. In tsunami-ravaged Asian countries, . . . → Read More: World New Year’s festivities tempered

Lesbians raising sons; got a problem with that?

By R. Albert Mohler Jr.

“Brian, a bright and personable third-grader, brought home from school a form that frustrated him: his family tree, complete with empty spaces for mother, father, and four spaces for grandparents. Brian’s parents are a lesbian couple; his father is an unknown sperm donor. Brian’s mothers worked to persuade their son . . . → Read More: Lesbians raising sons; got a problem with that?

Manitoba & Saskatchewan dig out from blizzard

WINNIPEG (CP) – People in southern Manitoba and parts of Saskatchewan were digging out Friday after a blizzard roared through the area, making a mess of roads and highways. As much as 25 cm of snow fell on Winnipeg, with other areas receiving slightly less.

Numerous highways remained closed Friday morning, including the Trans-Canada . . . → Read More: Manitoba & Saskatchewan dig out from blizzard

Adventures in American Theocracy

(Part 1) The Pequot War By Mark W. Bradley

As a California public school teacher, I have witnessed, over the past decade, a gradual evolution in the content standards that govern the teaching of social studies in our state’s middle schools. I use the term “evolution”? advisedly here, for no matter how diligently I . . . → Read More: Adventures in American Theocracy

Direct Experience With The Divine

By Janet Boyer

I think many people nowadays are experiencing existential angst, as I like to call it. Organized religion–with its fear based dogma, exclusionary rhetoric, irrationality, abdication of personal responsibility and lack of workable, experiential answers–are leaving many at a loss. Who is God? Why are their so many versions of the Divine and . . . → Read More: Direct Experience With The Divine

Green man calls in the new year

By Chris Pragnell

DON’T be frightened kids – this sinister-looking chap has good intentions. Dressed from head to toe in holly, he symbolises the coming of the new year. The Holly Man traditionally sees in the turn of the year in spectacular fashion on the South Bank.

Arriving by boat at Bankside Pier, he docks . . . → Read More: Green man calls in the new year

Few of psychic’s predictions for 2004

A self-described intuitive and clairvoyant, Mead does tarot readings regularly at the Enchanted Grove in downtown Willoughby and at The Silver Branch, in the Ashtabula Harbor.

At the newspaper’s behest, Mead offered up 28 predictions for 2004 for the New Year’s Eve edition, based on information given him by what he calls his “spirits.” Even . . . → Read More: Few of psychic’s predictions for 2004

Epiphany in Italy: 12th Day of Christmas

By Vanessa Robinson

According to Christian tradition, the three Wise Men finally reached the manger in which baby Jesus was born on January 6; that day is now celebrated as the Epiphany (also known as Little Christmas) and it marks the end of the Christmas season. Epiphany is an especially important holiday in Italy, where . . . → Read More: Epiphany in Italy: 12th Day of Christmas