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Fleur-de-lis
by. Dolvin ≈ May 27, 2008
hmmm... I often found the word "fleur-de-lis" at hidden object games.. actually I know how the is it looks like.. but.. what is fleur-de-lis? 

Fleur-de-LisThe fleur-de-lis is a decorative royal symbol of France, Quebec and even part of Switzerland. Also, a variety of the fleur-de-lis is the symbol of Florence. AND it's the symbol of New Orleans. And speaking of the Big Easy, the fleur-de-lis is also the symbol which graces my favorite coffee cup, which Rachel made me a couple years ago.

Legend
The English translation of "fleur-de-lis" (sometimes spelled "fleur-de-lys") is "flower of the lily." This symbol, depicting a stylized lily or lotus flower, has many meanings. Traditionally, it has been used to represent French royalty, and in that sense it is said to signify perfection, light, and life. Legend has it that an angel presented Clovis, the Merovingian king of the Franks, with a golden lily as a symbol of his purification upon his conversion to Christianity. Others claim that Clovis adopted the symbol when waterlilies showed him how to safely cross a river and thus succeed in battle.

Heraldry
In the twelfth century, either King Louis VI or King Louis VII (sources disagree) became the first French monarch to use the fleur-de-lis on his shield. English kings later used the symbol on their coats of arms to emphasize their claims to the throne of France. In the 14th century, the fleur-de-lis was often incorporated into the family insignia that was sewn on the knight's surcoat, which was worn over their coat of mail, thus the term, "coat of arms." The original purpose of identification in battle developed into a system of social status designations after 1483 when King Edmund IV established the Heralds' College to supervise the granting of armor insignia

source: www.fleurdelis.com
Category :  General Info    Comment : 3 Comment
Wesak - Buddha Day
by. Dolvin ≈ May 20, 2008
Wesak is the most important of the Buddhist festivals and is celebrated on the full moon in May. It celebrates the Buddha's birthday, and, for some Buddhists, also marks his birth and death.
Wesak
Buddha literally means 'one who is awake' and has become enlightened. It is a term that denotes a person who has attained the supreme wisdom and compassion of Enlightenment.

To Buddhists Enlightenment is a blessed state in which the individual attains Nirvana - the transcendence of desire and suffering.

Buddha's disciples


Many of Buddha's disciples have attained Enlightenment, and there have been many other Enlightened teachers.

The celebration of Wesak is a chance to remember the story of how the Buddha gained Enlightenment, and to reflect on what it might mean for individual Buddhists to move towards Enlightenment themselves.

Celebrations

The festival is celebrated with much colour and gaiety. Homes may be cleaned and decorated. In Thailand, for example, special Wesak lanterns are made of paper and wood, and often there a large ceremonial releases of caged birds.

In many countries during the festival, Buddhists will visit their local temple for services and teaching, and will give offerings to the monks of food, candles and flowers.

Chanting and praying are an important part of Wesak. The 'Bathing the Buddha' ceremony is also often included. Water is poured over the shoulders of the Buddha and serves as a reminder to purify the mind from greed, hatred and ignorance.

Chinese Buddhists incorporate elements of their country's culture into their religious celebrations like the traditional dancing dragons.

Gifts are taken to an altar to be offered to the Buddha statues. This shows respect and gratitude to the Buddha for his life and teachings.

If there is food it is usually vegetarian as Buddhists try not to harm animals.

source: www.bbc.co.uk
Category :  General Info    Comment : 0 Comment
Gemini Constellation
by. Dolvin ≈ March 25, 2008
The Twins

Gemini ConstellationThe Seduction of the Queen
The Twins represents the two brothers, Castor and Polydeuces (in Latin, Pollux). Their mother was Queen Leda of Sparta, who was seduced by Zeus in the form of a swan. That same night she also slept with her husband King Tyndareus. As a result she bore the Twins, one of whom was mortal, and the other immortal.

Twins? Quads? And What About the Egg?
Castor was the mortal Twin and the son of King Tyndareus. Polydeuces was immortal; he had been fathered by Zeus. According to other stories, there were two girls born as well - Helen, who was implicated in the Trojan war - and Clytemnestra. And the children are usually portrayed as coming from an egg - probably because of Zeus seduced the queen in the form of a bird.

The Inseparable Twins
Castor and Polydeuces were identical twins, in spite of the fact that they had different fathers. They were inseparable and devoted to each other. Both twins excelled at the hunt and at the arts of war. Polydeuces was a champion boxer and Castor was a famous horseman. He was skilled with the sword as well and taught the art of swordfighting to the young Hercules.

Castor Dies in a Fight
The Twins sailed with Jason and the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece. They had many adventures together on the voyage. Castor's life ended as the result of an encounter with another pair of twins, Idas and Lynceus. Some say that the quarrel was over women, others, over cattle, but in the ensuing battle Lynceus ran Castor through with the sword, whereupon Polydeuces killed Lynceus. Idas attacked Polydeuces, but Zeus killed him with a thunderbolt.

The Mercy of Zeus
Polydeuces was inconsolable at the loss of his twin. He prayed to Zeus that he might share his immortality with his brother. Zeus took mercy upon the twins and set them together eternally among the stars as the constellation of the Gemini.

Source: Astronomy Lab Home
Category :  General Info    Comment : 2 Comment
Easter Bunny & Colored Easter Eggs
by. Dolvin ≈ March 23, 2008
a hopping life-size bunny with a basket full of colorful eggs is the quintessential image of Easter.
Easter Egg
The original Easter bunny was probably associated with the Pagan equinox festival that predated Easter. The Saxons devoted the month of April to celebrating their goddess of spring and fertility, who was, not coincidentally, named Eastre. Eastre's sacred animal was the hare - not surprising since the rabbit is one of the most common symbols of fertility and rebirth.

The colored eggs carried by today's Easter bunnies have another, even more ancient origin. Eggs have long been associated with fertility and springtime festivals - for so long, in fact, that the precise roots of the association are unknown. Ancient Romans and Greeks utilized eggs in festivals celebrating resurrected gods. The egg also featured prominently in the Jewish rituals of Passover - and still today the roasted egg has prominence on the seder table as an essential symbol of springtime and rebirth.

Scholars believe that the pairing of the hare and the egg together in Easter may also have Pagan roots. During springtime, when days and nights were equal length, the hare was identified with the moon goddess and the egg with the sun god. Pairing the two together offered a kind of ying and yang to spring equinox celebrations.

The next historical entry under Bunny & Egg is found fifteen hundred years later in Germany. There, children would eagerly await the arrival of the Oschter Haws, a rabbit who delighted children on Easter morning by laying colored eggs in nests. This was also the first known time that the rabbit and egg were iconoclastically linked together.

The German tradition of the Oschter Haws migrated to America in the 1800s, likely accompanying German immigrants, many of whom settled in Pennsylvania. Over the past 200 years, the Oschter Haws or Easter Bunny has become the most commercially recognized symbol of Easter.

Today American children squeal with delight when they see the bunny-whether he's headlining their neighborhood Easter egg hunt or greeting visitors at the local mall. The Easter bunny and his ubiquitous basket of eggs has surely become the most adored and recognized symbol of the Easter season.

Happy Easter, guys...
Category :  General Info    Comment : 1 Comment
Saving Money in Japan
by. Dolvin ≈ March 11, 2008
One of my friend, Inge who work in Japan said she need an article to plan her money..  and from google, I found Flea Market. ^^

Flea Market in Japan

Flea Market sell some used clothes, accessories, toys, shoes, books, potteries, pictures, and lots more. You might be able to find good souvenirs at good prices. Flea markets are held at parks, parking lots, department stores, shrines, temples, and so on. Many large flea markets are organized by associations like Japan Garage Sale Association (06-6362-6322), Japan Flea Market Association (06-6531-8417), Tokyo Recycle Campaign Citizen's Association (03-3384-6666), and Recycle Campaign Citizen's Association (03-3226-6800).

Most of the flea markets are held irregularly, so make sure to check schedules before you go. Also, flea markets aren't usually open when it rains.

Flea Markets in Osaka:

Tsurumi Ryokuchi Flea Market
Location: Ryokuchi Koen Tsurumi-ku Osaka-city
Access: Subway Tsurumi Ryokuchi Station
Admission: 300 yen (adults) / 100 yen (elementary students)
Open irregularly.

Nankou The Flea Market --- about 300 booths.
Location: Cosmo Square
Access: New Tram Tecno Port Line Cosmo Square Station
Admission: 300 yen
Open: The second and forth Sundays

Minoo Kayano Hiroba Flea Market
Location: Kayano Hiroba Minoo-city
Access: Take a bus from Hankyu Minoo Station to Kayano-chuo Bus Stop.
Free Admission / Open the second Sundays

Minatomahi River Place Flea Market
Location: 1-3-1 Minatomachi Naniwa-ku Osaka-city
Free admission / Open irregularly.

*Schedules and locations are subject to change without notice.

Yeah..  in there, they sell used items but it have a good price. So, if you want to save your money.. you can go there, nge.. do you already visit it? hohoho...
Category :  General Info    Comment : 0 Comment
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