architecture, art, culture, history, landscape, photography, travel, world

Visiting a stronghold

600_6369-e_wYou might have seen this stronghold above the bay entrance at Santiago bay in my last post on the island Granma. Here you can find out a bit more.

This old spanish castle was built, to defend the citizens against pirate attacks, back in the 17th and 18th century. Nowadays you can visit the castle. You can walk around and visit many of the rooms from the top down to the storage rooms, the jail and the chapel.

Every evening right after sunset (appr. 6 p.m.) a group of soldiers, dressed up like the soldiers back in the 18th century, fire a cannon as a salut. You can watch that from a balcony above. This day, the group was commanded by a capitana, a female captain.

Next stop: Santiago de Cuba!

Take care.

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art, culture, history, seasons, world

The countdown has come to his end!

dsc_3080-ec_wToday is December 24th, Christmas Eve.

Today I want to tell you a bit on Christmas and how it is celebrated here in Germany.

In case December 24th is a weekday from Monday to Saturday, it is a common working day. But, at about 2 p.m. all the shops close. Many offices, instead are already closed this day. So, the cities and shopping centers are crowded this morning. Many male shoppers are in the streets, those, who forgot to buy a suitable present for their wives.

Many women are also in the shops. They fetch the pre-ordered food: meat, bread or cakes. Butchers, bakeries and fishmongers open very early this day and often have a different counter for those people, who want to collect the usually pre-paid pre-orders.

When I was a child, the grannies went with their grand-kids to a theater or a cinema and watch a play or a movie for the kids to shorten the time until they get their presents for Christmas and, more important, to give the parents time, to prepare the living room with the Christmas tree and the gifts. Nowadays the TV took over the grannies’s role.

You might already got the point, here we don’t have Father Christmas or Santa Clause coming in the night from 24th to 25th. Here we celebrate Christmas in the evening of December 24th.

The next two days, which are holidays, are used for visiting the parents. One spouses parents on 25th and the other spouses parents on December 26th.

Visiting a service at a church is not that common anymore. Some churches start at 5 p.m. with their Christmas service others at 10 p.m. For many people visiting a Christmas service, is this the only time of the year entering a church for visiting the service.

So, I wish you a happy, peaceful and joyful Christmas time wherever you are and whatever tradition, country, religions or ethical group you belong to.

How about you. Maybe you write a bit about the Christmas traditions from where you live.

Take care!

art, culture, history, seasons, world

The countdown is on the home stretch!

dsc_3080-ec_wToday is Sunday, December 22nd. The 4th Advent.

Today I have another German tradition for you: the christmas tree.

The idea of setting up a christmas tree in the homes came also up in back in the 19th century and started to all the other countries. Although there are older documents describing similar habits, they weren’t common and had a slightly different idea.

Starting from the medieval ages December 24th was the feast day of Adam and Eve, the biblical root of all mankind. They lived in paradise and parts of the commemoration decoration were trees, leaves and apples. In Germany you won’t find any trees with their leaves in mid December, so people got the idea of taking conifers.

In the 19th century, when cultural setup in Germany changed and brought some wealth to more people because of the technical revolution during the 18th century, the people took the trees in their homes, decorated them with red balls to symbolize the apples, red bows to symbolize the blossoms and candles to symbolize the light.

So, I wish you a happy, peaceful and joyful Christmas time wherever you are and whatever tradition, country, religions or ethical group you belong to.

Take care!

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art, culture, landscape, photography, seasons, world

Weekly photo challenge: one

DSC_3454-e_wThis weeks photo challenge at “The daily post” has chosen “one” as the theme for our photos.

The one point of interest, the main part or even one of a kind. There are so many unique things to photograph.

Because of christmas I chose this lonely, wooden Santa. Merry Christmas!

Maybe you’re interested to had a look on some other posts here. There are already three other posts on Christmas habits here in my blog and the next one will be online on Sunday.

Take care!