Category Archives: holidays

Saint Patrick’s Day Celebrations throughout the Years

Saint Patrick’s Day is a cause for celebration. People throughout North America, Ireland and other parts of the world honor this holiday. They wear green, visit pubs and host parties with friends and family. But how many of us know who Saint Patrick is and how this holiday came to be?

The historical significance of March 17 may surprise you.

The Patron Saint of Ireland

March 17, now a day of celebration, signifies a sorrowful event. It is believed that Saint Patrick died on this day sometime in the fifth century. Not long after his death, Irishman began observing this day as a holiday as a “Feast Day.”

Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. He was born in Roman Britain and was taken to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. After escaping, he returned to Ireland as a free man and missionary. He is known and remembered for spreading Christianity throughout Ireland.

Celebrations throughout the Years

People of Ireland have recognized March 17 as a day to celebrate Saint Patrick for the past 1,000 years. During this time, Irishmen honored Saint Patrick with a “feast day.” Ironically enough the tradition of “St. Patty’s Parties,” as we know them today, began in the United States.

It is said that Irishmen serving in the English military first marched the streets of New York City on March 17, 1762. This allowed them to feel connected to their culture while away overseas. At this time, however, it could not be predicted that the number of immigrants would soon surge. In less than a century the Great Potato Famine would hit, forcing many families to flee to America in search of jobs and sustenance. By the early 20th century, it was common to see many different nationalities present in American enfolded into Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Holiday Traditions

Today, Saint Patrick’s day is celebrated throughout many parts of the world, including the United States, Canada and Australia. US megacity Chicago goes all out by dying their river green.

It is said that American celebrations influenced Ireland’s holiday traditions. Before the 1970s pubs were closed throughout Ireland on March 17. It is said that American celebrations influenced Ireland’s holiday traditions. In fact, before the 1970’s pubs were closed throughout Ireland on March 17. However, in recent years government began recognizing how the international holiday increases tourism; they decided to keep bars open so Irish culture could be on display for all to see.

Now, about one million people celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day festival in Dublin ever year. With parades, concerts and fireworks it is somewhat reminiscent of the United States’ Fourth of July. For Ireland, it is one of the largest national holidays. Saint Patrick gives Ireland and all the world reason to celebrate.

Read more Segmation blog posts about the color green: 

Have a Fun Saint Patrick’s Day!

Green Represents Saint Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick’s Day www.segmation.com

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St. Valentine and the History of Romance

Valentine’s Day greetings come in many shapes and sizes. On February 14, people in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia can be found expressing their affection by sending cards, flowers, chocolates, and other special treats. These Valentine’s Day traditions are rarely disputed but the story of how the holiday came to be has many interpretations.

There is, however, one fact which all sources agree on: Valentine’s Day has evolved over the course of nearly 2000 years. Like many holidays, it was inspired by a noble man who was named saint by the Catholic Church. To understand the fullness of this holiday, get to know the person and traditions that are celebrated each year on February 14.

Saint Valentine

Before his sainthood, Valentine was a priest who protected young lovers’ right to marry in third century Rome. It is said that Emperor Claudias II banned marriage around this time because he believed that “single men made better soldiers than those with wives and children” (History.com). During this authoritarian ruling, Valentine defied the law and continued to marry couples in secret. He was later killed because of these actions.

Considered a martyr, the Catholic Church recognized Valentine as a saint and, in 5th century AD, Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as a holiday to celebrate him.

February 14

There is some debate about why February 14 was declared Valentine’s Day. One thought is that this date was an anniversary of St. Valentine’s execution by Claudias. It is also believed that Pope Gelasius wanted to implement a religious celebration that could negate a long held pagan festival called Lupercalia, which was held annually on February 15.

Adding Romance

The holiday hasn’t always been known as a romantic affair. According to public record, it took nearly 1000 years for the first Valentine’s Day card to be written. However, by the 18th century it was common place for people to exchange written notes and presents in the name of love. With the advent of the printing press, cards were created in mass quantities, which encouraged people to send “ready-made” cards.

Valentine’s Day has grown into a widely celebrated and beloved holiday in many countries, and knowing the history behind February 14 adds richness to the date.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day by partaking in something you enjoy and sharing it with others. Express your love through art by creating a beautiful picture. Not an artist? Become an artist in minutes by using Segmation, the only virtual paint by numbers game. Choose a pattern today: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=VAL.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Segmation.

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Celebrating Over 100 Years of Christmas Lights

Celebrating Over 100 Years of Christmas LightsCan you imagine celebrating the holiday season without Christmas lights? In North America, it is expected that festive strings will illuminate trees, homes, and city centers throughout the month of December. But the Christmas lights we have today have been a long time coming. Its evolution began in 18th century Germany and continues to progress each year.

Candles in Germany

It is said that Christmas trees were reserved for wealthy citizens of Germany in the 1700s. Those with exorbitant amounts of money would lavish their trees with candles – an expensive and hazardous decoration.

Thomas Edison and his String of Lights

Some time after Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he strung together a series of electric lights. In 1880, during the holiday season, he hung the strand outside his laboratory near a railroad line. Those traveling by train could see the first illuminated Christmas display.

Celebrating Over 100 Years of Christmas Lights 1Edward Johnson Introduces Colored Lights

Shortly after Edison began stringing lights together, a partner of his, Edward H. Johnson, wound a strand around his Christmas tree. He also colored the electric bulbs red, white, and blue.

General Electric Brings Lights to the People

Still, Christmas lights were reserved for wealthy families. It is estimated that lighting a Christmas tree in 1903 would have “cost $2000 in today’s dollars”. This prompted General Electric to offer Christmas light kits that contained strings of colorful lights.

Christmas Aglow for Everyone

In 1917, making Christmas lights common and accessible was a priority for the Sadacca family. They owned a novelty lighting company and began offering colorful stands of Christmas lights at their store. They became known as NOMA Electric Co., a popular name in Christmas lights that dominated the market for over four decades.

Today’s Christmas Lights

Today, Christmas Lights come in all shapes and sizes. People in North America, and throughout the world, choose to don their homes with festive lights. Now a days, it seems the holiday season officially begins when houses are aglow. Millions of Americans celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza and other holidays with creative lighting. They take holiday decorations to a new level, becoming inventive with one of the world’s greatest inventions.

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Colors Solve the “Monster Mash” Mystery

Segmation 5The “Monster Mash” caught on in a flash, but is it really a Halloween hit? Nowhere in the song does it mention Halloween buzzwords like “Trick or Treat,” “Ghosts and Goblins,” or “A witch and her broomstick.” All we know about the song is that it was a graveyard smash.

This month, Segmation is on a mission to find out if “Monster Mash” was a Halloween hit or a Frankenstein inspired tune. Was the song released in August 1962 so it could reach the top of the Billboard charts by Halloween, or was it just a coincidence?

A reason why Bobby Pickett’s song, “Monster Mash” provokes this question is because the lyrics do not mention anything about Halloween. More so, traditional Halloween colors aren’t apparent in the single’s album cover.

To explore this mystery, Segmation is using colors to solve the case.

Halloween Colors

What colors come to mind when thinking of Halloween? Orange and black, of course.

It is believed that these colors have been put in place because of what they represent. Orange is the color for autumn – leaves turn orange and seem to cast this shade throughout neighborhoods and countryside. This is most prevalent when the sun shines. If the sun is not out then skies are overcast. With summer over, dark days are approaching. Halloween black is used to represent this reality.

The History of Halloween Colors

Two historical sources also confirm that orange and black are Halloween colors.

Celtics and the Druids ­used to conduct after life ceremonies by burning orange, beeswax candles and using black cloths to cover caskets.

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice that, when applied to a living environment, brings peace and solace. According to Feng Shui, orange and black exist at opposite ends of the energy spectrum. Orange is warm and full. Black, on the other hand, is mysterious and empty.

According to tradition and history, the colors represented on the “Monster Mash” album cover do not promote Halloween at all. There are some additional colors to explore before confirming this graveyard smash was just another Billboard 100 hit.

The Other Colors of Halloween

If orange and black were the only colors of Halloween, the holiday season would seem dull. This is the day of the dead, after all. Colors that symbolize death include: red for blood, green as the eerie color of decay, purples to signify mysticism and supernatural happenings, and white to reflect life after death in ghost and mummies, as well as the full moon.

Taking the other colors of Halloween into account, it seems completely appropriate to consider “Monster Mash” a Halloween song. While not using the obvious colors of Halloween, the album cover proves that this is, in fact, a holiday tune.

Snap your fingers, get in costume, and listen to the graveyard smash. Common’ everybody – do the Monster Mash.

Happy Halloween, from Segmation.

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Make Labor Day Special, Celebrate with Art

The United States was a nation built from the ground up. It began taking shape in the latter half of the 18th century. This is when people started pursuing missions that would create a great society. As a result, 12 hour work days became the backbone of American spirit.

This dedication and determination gained recognition in the late 19th century. Citizens of the United States started celebrating Labor Day in 1882. The idea was adopted from Canada. The North American neighbor began celebrating Labour Day a decade prior.

Until present day, the United States has been consistent in honoring social and economic achievements on the first Monday in September. Most businesses are closed on this day and hardworking American citizens are offered a long weekend. During this time, barbecues and festive parties are the norm. In fact, the United States celebrates Labor Day with the same spirit that fills Fourth of July.

This blog offers five artistic tips that celebrate the “155 million men and women who are in the U.S. workforce.”

TIP 1- Recycle Old Crafts

Celebrate hard work with fun décor. Labor Day is the perfect opportunity to use red, white, and blue decorations. Dig up the patriotic crafts created for the Fourth of July.

TIP 2- Festive Party Invitations

For those planning Labor Day parties, invite family and friends with unique invitation designs. This is a great resource for anyone wanting inspiration for festive ideas: http://www.examiner.com/article/celebrating-labor-day-with-martha-stewart

TIP 3- Fun for the Kids

Teach children why the nation celebrates Labor Day. This can be done with a fun craft. One suggestion is to use old magazines and have kids cut out pictures of people working. Make a collage of the images. Click on this link for more artistic and educational craft ideas: http://familycrafts.about.com/od/holidays/p/LaborDay.htm

TIP 4- Printable Projects

Teachers and parents who want to convey the important of Labor Day can explore creative ideas here: http://homeschooling.about.com/od/holidays/ss/labordayprint_8.htm. There are many crafts and games that can be downloaded and printed out. This webpage has everything from themed puzzles to festive knickknacks (door hangings and bookmarks too!). In addition, there are quizzes for older kids and adults.

TIP 5- The Perfect Centerpiece

When thinking about this year’s Labor Day party, think about a theme that can celebrate the holiday and excite those who plan to attend. Is it possible to have a party focus on a family member’s career achievements? Find ideas that can mix up traditional themes: http://labor-day-weekend.com/parties/centerpieces.htm

Enjoy celebrating the nation’s achievements and hard work by keeping art at the heart of this holiday. There are plenty of DIY crafts that can make Labor Day special. Be sure to relax and spend time doing something fun.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Celebrating Holidays with Art:

Green Represents Saint Patrick’s Day

Hanukkah, Christmas, Happy New Year’s – Season’s Greetings as Beautiful Art Paintings

The Meaning of Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Art

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Green Represents Saint Patrick’s Day

green,color,saint patrick's day,colors,holidays,parade

Have you ever noticed the tremendous role that color plays in representing and enriching certain holidays? For example, can you imagine Christmas without red holly berries and green pine trees? Or Halloween without orange pumpkins? Chanukah would certainly not be the same if white and blue were not its representative colors. There is no doubt that erasing traditional colors from holidays would change the depth of meaning of those special days, as well as our feelings toward them.

Green is the unforgettable color that has forever marked Saint Patrick’s Day and made it distinct and memorable. Saint Patrick’s Day, which began being celebrated by Irish immigrants to the U.S. in the 1700’s, was originally linked to the color blue. Green was adopted as the holiday’s main color later, in honor of “the Emerald Isle.” The clover, which Saint Patrick himself would use to his illustrate his teachings about Catholicism, is another of Ireland’s symbols that inspired the color green.

Most everyone wears green clothing on Saint Patrick’s Day. Those who don’t know they are in danger of being pinched. This tradition came from the Irish belief that wearing green renders one invisible to leprechauns, who will apparently pinch anyone they are capable of seeing (i.e., those not in green).

Today’s Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations are characterized by the color green. They often feature green drinks, green food, and green decor. The city of Chicago even dyes its river green each year for the Saint Patrick’s Day green,color,saint patrick's day,colors,holidays,parade Parade! The parade is a festive affair, with individuals from all over the world in attendance. Last year’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade goers enjoyed “unseasonably perfect” weather in Chicago, and were reported to have had an excellent time.

What would Saint Patrick’s Day be like without the color green? It would still hold the same historical meaning, but would not have that special feeling that the much loved holiday evokes. Do you feel that colors “make” a holiday? What colors represent what holidays to you? Segmation would love to hear your thoughts on the connection between holidays and color. Feel free to share your ideas with us in the “comments” section below. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/18/st-patricks-day-in-chicag_0_n_1357073.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/15/st-patricks-day_n_1348003.html

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Norman Rockwell’s Artwork Inspired by the Christmas Holiday

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Christmas is a holiday that is special to hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world. This holiday is celebrated in many different countries with numerous traditions. Time with family, gifts under the Christmas tree, and contemplation of the important things in life are hallmarks of this wonderful time of year. What is your favorite aspect of Christmas?

Throughout history many artists have been inspired by the Christmas season to create seasonally themed works of art — Norman Rockwell is one of those individuals. Perhaps more so than any other American artist, Norman Rockwell truly was a master at capturing the spirit of Christmas in his art. As ABC news states it, “Norman Rockwell and the Christmas holiday had a deep and lasting relationship.”

Normal Rockwell was born in New York City on February 3, 1894. He was a student at the New York School of Art. Interestingly, Rockwell’s first commissioned art was for Christmas cards when he was only 15 years old. The Christmas card art was just the beginning of the American artist’s journey into holiday themed artwork.

An issue of the Saturday Evening Post that was released on December 25, 1948, featured one of Norman Rockwell’s famed Christmas pictures known as “Christmas Homecoming”.  The image displays over a dozen individuals standing in front of a Christmas tree; two of the people in the image are embracing enthusiastically. While there are “minimal references to Christmas” in this picture, the season is still somehow clearly represented.

Another of Rockwell’s Christmas themed pieces of art is titled “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas”. The Unknownoilpainting was finished in 1967, 10 years after it was begun. It was painted for McCall’s magazine and displays a quaint, picturesque street that is lined by snow-covered automobiles, a church, and other buildings. This image is just another example of the amazing way Norman Rockwell captured the Christmas holiday in his artwork.

Make this Christmas season more memorable by creating your own seasonally themed works of art. Segmation offers a SegPlayPC Christmas pattern “paint-by-numbers” collection that makes it easy and fast to uniquely celebrate your favorite time of year. Learn more about Segmation’s Christmas pattern collection by visiting http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternsets.asp#CHR

Sources:

http://www.arthistory.net/artists/normanrockwell/normanrockwell1.html

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/slideshow?id=9321605

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