Tag Archive | Holiday

Merry Armenian Christmas — Orthodox Christmas

Armenia

Armenians celebrate Christmas (surb tsnunt, Սուրբ Ծնունդ, meaning “saint birth”) on January 6 as a public holiday in Armenia. It also coincides with the Epiphany. Traditionally, Armenians fast during the week leading up to Christmas. Devout Armenians may even refrain from food for the three days leading up to the Christmas Eve, in order to receive the Eucharist on a “pure” stomach. Christmas Eve is particularly rich in traditions. Families gather for the Christmas Eve dinner (khetum, Խթում), which generally consists of: rice, fish, nevik (նուիկ, a vegetable dish of green chard and chick peas), and yogurt/wheat soup (tanabur, թանապուր). Dessert includes dried fruits and nuts, including rojik, which consists of whole shelled walnuts threaded on a string and encased in grape jelly, bastukh (a paper-like confection of grape jelly, cornstarch, and flour), etc. This lighter menu is designed to ease the stomach off the week-long fast and prepare it for the rather more substantial Christmas Day dinner. Children take presents of fruits, nuts, and other candies to older relatives.

It is frequently asked as to why Armenians do not celebrate Christmas on December 25 with the rest of the world. Obviously, the exact date of Christ’s birth has not been historically established—it is not recorded in the Gospels. However, historically, all Christian churches celebrated Christ’s birth on January 6 until the fourth century. According to Roman Catholic sources, the date was changed from January 6 to December 25 in order to override a pagan feast dedicated to the birth of the Sun which was celebrated on December 25. At the time Christians used to continue their observance of these pagan festivities. In order to undermine and subdue this pagan practice, the church hierarchy designated December 25 as the official date of Christmas and January 6 as the feast of Epiphany. However, Armenia was not affected by this change for the simple fact that there were no such pagan practices in Armenia, on that date, and the fact that the Armenian Church was not a satellite of the Roman Church. Thus, remaining faithful to the traditions of their forefathers, Armenians have continued to celebrate Christmas on January 6 until today.[42]

In addition to the Christmas tree (tonatsar, Տօնածառ), Armenians (particularly in the Middle East) also erect the Nativity scene. Christmas in the Armenian tradition is a purely religious affair. Santa Claus does not visit the nice Armenian children on Christmas, but rather on New Year’s Eve. The idea of Santa Claus existed before the Soviet Union and he was named kaghand papik (Կաղանդ Պապիկ), but the Soviet Union had a great impact even on Santa Claus. Now he goes by the more secular name of Grandfather Winter (dzmerr papik, Ձմեռ Պապիկ).

CREDITS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_worldwide

Welcome 2014! Happy New Year!

Hello everyone, Now that 2013 is behind us, looking forward to brand new year, a fresh start, another 365 days. I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year 2014. I wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy, prosperous, successful year. Wishing you the best, and may 2014 be full of love, great and happy surprises, great memories and so much more. What are your plans for 2014? What are your resolutions? Do you keep up with your resolutions? What changes do you want to see? We can all make a difference in the world if we all pitch in and do our best to make this world a better place.

Are you planning to travel in 2014? lets see what 2014 has in store for all of us. I hope that everything will go well and we will go through another year. I know every year, we have our ups and downs and things always change in a year, but I hope that everything will be ups for everyone. I cannot believe 2013 is over. It went by so quickly. It seems just like yesterday we were celebrating 2013, but now onto another year. It seems like every passing year, time and the days are going by quicker and quicker.

This year I plan to attain, and accomplish many goals I have already set out. I do a lot of reflection the last week of the year thinking about what to do for the year ahead. Well, Goodbye 2013. Welcome 2014!

Wrapping up 2013 – Highlights of My Year

Wow, what a year it has been. Today is the last day of 2013, and there have been ups and downs, but mostly ups, and I have been so blessed in the past year with such incredible and beautiful Highlights, that I will never forget and I usually jot down all of my highlights in a note so that I can look back to see what I have accomplished, where I traveled, and other important days to remember. Here are the highlights of my year:

Did a Bit of Traveling by air and on the road — traveled to Dominican Republic, Boston, Massachusetts, (Had a Layover at the airport in Newark, New Jersey when I was landing I saw New York City — Yes I consider that A place I went to and saw this year), Visited Michigan, Cambridge, Ontario, and Niagara Falls.

When I visited Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo, went to the Be Live Hamaca Resort where I met incredible and lovely people and we became friends. It was a great gathering.

I had always wanted to go and eat and drink at “CHEERS” Bar in Boston, Massachusetts, It was an iconic TV Show from back in the day in the 80’s and 90’s, and I scratched that off my bucket list. Thank you to my kouyrigs/sisters in Boston for making that possible and for making that happen. Had Nachos and Beer there. Its a must to have The Cheers beer.

I visited the iconic and popular University of Harvard, touched John Harvard’s Shoe. toured Harvard Square and its vicinity, and ended up Graduating (lol)

Mastered the Boston Accent — MASTAHD THAH BAHSTAN ACCENT

Tried Sushi for the first time ever in the summer and I loved it. Now cannot get enough of it. Thank you to someone who is very dear to me, who introduced sushi, sashimi, maki rolls and so much more in the Japanese Cuisine.

Had the best lobster ever at the Lobster Pool in Massachusetts. I also dined at the Cheesecake factory

Went to a few parties here and there.

Attended Bible Studies and Conferences

Went to the Armenian Toronto Summer fest with my great friend, but I call her my sister from Montreal that I did not see for a while. It was a great reunion.

I am proud to say that this year one of my friends became a Contestant on Jeopardy and I can finally say I know someone who was a contestant on Jeopardy.

Met some of my Online Facebook friends in person, whom are like family to me now.

My Blog and Social Media and marketing success went through a roof, where I got an offer to write recipes in the Food and Drink Magazine, I have Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary, Arlene Dickensen, and Jim Treliving subscribed to my blog. They are from Dragons, Den, I have reached close to 400,000 blog hits, Famous chefs such as Massimo Capra, Jamie Oliver, and Jacques Pepin and more have followed me as well. My LinkedIn Profile has been seen and followed by Arlene Dickensen. Plus so many people around the Globe have viewed and followed my blog from places I had never even heard about. Many people have added my blog site to their websites. So many more highlights that I cannot even remember them all. Thank you all for the support, and I will continue doing my work in 2014 and beyond.

I have written over 700 Articles.

Accomplished many personal goals and achieved excellence

All My cousins and I reunited for the first time since 1999, the summer I came back from Armenia.

Here is to 2014, with many more highlights to come.
Have a lovely New Year and best wishes, Health and happiness.

Thousands Still Without Power in Wake of Ice Storm in Toronto

On December 21st, 2013 a major Ice Storm hit havoc across Southern Ontario, and mainly in Toronto and Greater Toronto Area’s, that left hundreds of thousands of Hydro Electricity Customers out of power and thousands of people are still without power at this moment. Trees and branches hit power lines which left peoples electricity crippled. This is unlike anything the City of Toronto and Southern Ontario has seen before, and in the history of Storms, this is the worst ever weather that walloped in our area. Homes have hit the all time low temperatures in their homes. some at -2 temperatures, that even blankets are not able to keep people warm. Across the cities that have been effected, have warming stations where people can come spend the night, sleep over, have some warm and hot food and beverages. Some have started to get frustrated and some have become so cold that they cannot handle it anymore. I know that it is frustrating and I know that its not a great thing, but Hydro workers are doing the best they can and are working around the clock to get these Electricity transformers working again. I know some are running out of patience, but what can you do? It will take time, but I am sure that things will get back to normal by the weekend. Do not lose hope. Things will work out for the better. Believe me.

Earlier this week, there was a loud boom like an explosion going off, and there have been many reports saying we heard a loud boom, some said that It is Santa Claus on the roofs of the houses, some thought it was a tree that hit the roof, little did people know that there was a Frost Quake that hit and that only happens at extreme cold temperatures after an Ice Storm hits or when there is extreme frost. It rarely happens, but its surely scared a lot of residents and woke a lot of people up. It was heard in the middle of the night into the wee hours in the morning. I hope everyone stays safe and if there is no urgency to go out or do things, do not go out. Stay home, be warm and I hope that those people who do not have power get their power soon and hopefully by today. Hope it can be some sort of New Years Miracle.

 

My Christmas Movie Favorites

For the past month or two, we may or may not have seen all the classic Christmas movies that have been airing on television and some of the Christmas movies stand out for me and are tradition for me to watch annually, and I never miss watching them. I enjoy watching them with having some popcorn, drinking hot chocolate, putting a blanket on me, and enjoying them with family and friends. These movies are wonderfully and tastefully done and I really enjoy them. Here are my favorite Christmas movie’s in no particular order.

1. Home Alone

2. Home Alone 2 Lost in New York

3. Santa Clause 1 and 2

4. Jack Frost

5. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

6. Four Christmases

7. Jingle All the Way

8. Miracle on 34th St

9. Christmas with the Cranks

10. Elf

11. Frosty the Snowman

12. How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

13. A Charlie Brown Christmas

14. The Muppet Christmas Carol

What are your favorite Christmas movies? What is your Christmas Movie tradition?

Would love to hear from you. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2014.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year – Love Talin Orfali

It is that time of year again. I cannot believe how quickly 2013 flew by. Just yesterday we were celebrating Christmas and New Years for 2012/2013, and now as 2013 is coming to a close, were doing it all over again with putting up the lights, the decorations, finding that perfect tree, or putting up a tree that has been in storage. I love Christmas time when everywhere is decorated with beautiful colours, beautiful Christmas lights on homes, wrapped presents, ornaments, tinsel, snow globes, candles, manger, stables, the nativity scene, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the Elves, Snowman, Mistletoe, Cookies and Milk, candy canes, the food, the celebrations, and of course and especially celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ with Mary and Joseph and the Three Wise Men and how Mary was chosen to give Birth to a King.

What are your Christmas traditions in your family? What exciting things do you do? Some families put on Christmas Sweaters, some families play games, and so on and so forth. What do you like to cook and serve to your loved ones? Christmas for me every year is always different, either we have a lot of people come over, some Christmases are spent going to other peoples homes, or going out to a party, so I cannot really say what is tradition with my loved ones, but every year is always different, but we do manage to always find a way to get together. When we do, we love cooking turkey, ham, rice, vegetables, gravy, and other things. I love baking my signature cinnamon cake which people I know love it, so they want more and more of it. It has been such a long time I have not decorated a Gingerbread house, but I think I will do that this year.

I love watching Christmas movies at this time of year like Miracle on 34th street, Home Alone 1 and 2, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Jack Frost, Four Christmases, Santa Clause, Santa Clause 2, I also love watching the Santa Claus Parade on television. I must have watched Home Alone 1 and 2 8 or 9 times this year alone on TV and I just love that movie especially. There is something about Home Alone 1 and 2, that make you get pulled into it and its so hard to flip the channel. After that Home alone 3-5 was all downhill and I did not enjoy them as much because when you change Characters, when you change the setting, it won’t be the same as the first 2. I know Home Alone 1 and 2 by heart, and if you put the movie on mute, I can say the whole script.

Anyway, lastly, I also want to acknowledge those people who are not so lucky during the Christmas and New Year Holidays, that are alone, but not really alone because there are people in this world that are thinking of them and one of them is me, people who do not have a warm home to go to, those who are less fortunate, those who cannot afford or who do not have enough to provide for their families and I’d like to reach out to all of those people around the world and tell them that I am thinking of them and they are in my heart, mind and soul and my thoughts and prayers are with them all and I wish them the best for 2014 and I hope that they too can have a nice and lovely Christmas. I want them to know that they are not alone and that I am with them all. The presents and Materialism shouldn’t matter, but all that matters is togetherness and creating memories.  I wish everyone peace, harmony, happiness, health, success, and all the great things of life. I wish everyone a prosperous, great, and lovely new year. Many blessings to all and wishing everyone all the best. With love always, Talin Orfali

Happy Thanksgiving! Love From Talin

As Thanksgiving weekend has arrived and as I am thankful everyday not just this one day, I’d like to say thank you God for everyone in my life and everything. Thankful for having such a great beautiful family, beautiful friends, beautiful fans, and giving me my talents, and the special gifts in my life that keep me going. I do not care about the material things in life, all I care about are the people in it. You all are my gifts that make my life blossom. You all are my colorful flowers that make my world a beautiful place. I am grateful. Happy Thanksgiving, as everyday should be. God bless everyone and I love you all very much. I do not know what I would do without you all. I wish everyone great health, happiness and all great things of life. I am so blessed.