October 25, 2016 The Traveling Gals 8Comment

Halloween Horror Nights 2016 – Universal Orlando Ashley here. I went to HHN for the third year in a row this year. I wasn’t entirely sure if I’d be able to make it there this year, but I am so glad I did! Halloween Horror Nights 2016 finally brought to life the American Horror Story series. This has been the most requested haunted house since the show started, and it did not disappoint. It brought us through the Murder House, Freak Show, and Hotel. All of the favorite characters made appearances and they recreated scenes from different episodes. It was…

March 24, 2016 The Traveling Gals 3Comment

5 Easter Celebrations Around the World Seville, Spain Semana Santa is Holy Week in Spain.  Seville hosts the most remarkable processions of extravagant floats and masked Nazarenos.  Candelit floats illustrate the Easter story followed by the Nazarenos who are the penitents showing their sorrow and regret for their wrongs.   Semana Santa also marks the beginning of spring so the celebrations expand throughout the city to restaurants and bars.   Prizzi, Italy Just south of Palermo, The devil “Abbullu de Daivuli” is represented by locals running around with red robes and scary masks.  They run around on Easter Sunday to trap…

February 8, 2016 The Traveling Gals

February 8, 2016 – The Year of the Monkey The Chinese animal zodiac is shengxiao in Chinese and means “born resembling”.  It is a repeating cycle of 12 years, with each year being represented by an animal and its corresponding attributes. There are many stories about how these animals came to fruition, but common belief is the animals simply represented dates on the calendar.  It is said the Jade Emperor created a race of animals and the first twelve to win the race would be chosen.  Prior to the race, the cat and rat were best friends.  The rat promised…

December 30, 2015 The Traveling Gals 1Comment

Happy New Year from The Traveling Gals! Celebrate this year with a new tradition from around the world! Austria – Austrian revelers burn mortars which is believed to ward off all the evil spirits and negative energies of the past, and ensure everything pleasant and positive for the coming time of the New Year. Denmark – Danish New Year’s celebrations are raucous.  It is their tradition to save up old dishes and plates all year in order to hurl them at the doors of family and friends. The shattered glassware left littering a person’s front door represents how beloved they…

December 23, 2015 The Traveling Gals

Celebrating Christmas at Disney World Our family has spent Christmas at Disney World for many years. It is our favorite place to spend the holidays. We love all the decorations, music, and holiday events throughout the World. Although we are sad that our beloved Osborne Light show is gone, there are still some wonderful things to do. Because our family is small, we enjoy being able to go out of town to celebrate Christmas at the most magical place on Earth. When we lived in Chicago, we would exchange gifts and have our big Christmas dinner a few days early…

December 15, 2015 The Traveling Gals 2Comment

Holiday Traditions around the World: Christmas in Norway Land of the Midnight Sun is the perfect backdrop for the Christmas season!  Luciadagen or St. Lucia Day starts the Christmas season in Norway on December 13th.  Sicilian martyred Saint Lucia was visited by an angel and vowed to devote her life to Christianity.  Lucia is honored as a day of light at the darkest time of the year.  Children form a procession dressed in white with a crown of lighted evergreens on their heads while singing the traditional St. Lucia song.  Lussekatter are the traditional St. Lucia Day treats handed out…

December 10, 2015 The Traveling Gals 1Comment

The Nutcracker Nothing says Christmas like a performance of The Nutcracker ballet!  The Nutcracker ballet is adapted from The Nutcracker and The Queen of Mice by ETA Hoffman.  The basic story is of a young German girl who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and a fierce battle of against a Mouse King.  The first ballet was commissioned in 1891 by the Moscow Imperial Theater.   The music is by Tchaikovsky and it was originally choreographed by Marius Petipa.  The composer selections known at the Nutcracker Suite Op 71a became instantly popular, but the ballet did not achieve its great prominence as…

December 8, 2015 The Traveling Gals

Holiday Traditions around the World: Christmas in JAPAN Japan is predominately Shinto.   Shinto is an ethnic religion based in ritual practices to connect modern Japan with its ancient past.  It is said to have started in the sixth century, but there is no known scripture or founder so Christmas does not play much of a part in Japan.  The small amount of Christians in Japan celebrate Christmas with an ethnic twist.  For example, the nativity participants are dressed in traditional Japanese costume.  The Christmas tree is decorated with origami ornaments.  The Santa figure is an old man, Hoteiosho who carries…

December 1, 2015 The Traveling Gals 1Comment

Holiday Traditions Around the World: Christmas in France Christmas in France is both a religious and secular holiday as it is in most modern countries.  In French, Christmas = Noël and is a reference to the Gospel.  It comes from the French phrase “les bonnes nouvelles” which means “the good news”.  L’Avent en France (Advent) commences the fourth Sunday before Christmas.    Although the Christmas tree is not so popular, homes all throughout France display the Nativity scene “la crèche”.  The creche is often coupled with figures called little saints or “santons” which represent the Holy Family, shepherds, Magi as well…

November 26, 2015 The Traveling Gals 1Comment

First Thanksgiving – Plymouth Rock or St. Augustine, Florida? Conventional belief is that the first Thanksgiving was held at Plymouth Rock in 1621.  Over 50 years earlier in 1565, the Spaniards settled in St. Augustine, Florida and celebrated the “First Thanksgiving” with the local Native Americans.  St. Augustine has the distinction of being Our Nation’s Oldest City.  Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon discovered Florida in 1513 and claimed it for the Spanish.  He named it Florida after the Easter season known in Spanish as Pascua Florida.  In 1564 French Huguenots were able to establish a fort in Jacksonville.  King Philip…