Saturday Scenes

Thu 26 November 2009

Festival of Lights

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 22:16

On the 21st of November in 164 BC, a Judean priest named Judas Maccabeus restored a temple in Jerusalem which had been taken from his people and used for Hellenistic rituals. When they began to rededicate the temple, they found they did not have enough oil for the menorah to burn throughout the nights.

Jewish Virtual Library: Chanukah

According to tradition as recorded in the Talmud, at the time of the rededication, there was very little oil left that had not been defiled by the Greeks. Oil was needed for the menorah (candelabrum) in the Temple, which was supposed to burn throughout the night every night. There was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet miraculously, it burned for eight days. An eight day festival was declared to commemorate this miracle. Note that the holiday commemorates the miracle of the oil, not the military victory.

This year Chanukah begins on the 12th of December (another Saturday!). Fried foods are traditionally eaten as a celebration of the oil, which makes this festival a winner in my book!

And on the 21st of November in 2009, people all over the world celebrated life with wonderful photographs for Saturday Scenes!

Take a look:

And take a moment to pop by the Twitter streams of our participants:

You can also keep track of everyone at once by checking out the Saturday Scenes list including all of our participants.

If you’d like to join in, just take a photograph on Saturday and send it to @SatScenes with the location! We’d love to see your corner of the world.

Wed 18 November 2009

A Whale of a Time

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 14:50

On the 14th of November 1851, Harper & Brothers in New York published a thick novel which was initially entitled The Whale. The initial publication in London, known as the Bentley edition, was cleaned up “to avoid offending delicate political and moral sensibilities” and the epilogue was inadvertantly omitted, so the US edition was the first full volume of the now famous novel starting, “Call me Ishmael.”

The Writer’s Almanac: Nov. 14, 2009

It was on this day in 1851 that Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick was published, and it was a total flop. He had poured his heart and soul into the novel and he thought it was his masterpiece, but neither the critics nor readers agreed with him. His readers wanted a swashbuckling adventure story, like Melville’s earlier novels, so Moby-Dick was too heavy and allegorical for most people. Only about 2,300 copies sold in the year and a half after it was published, and in the next 40 years after that, only about 1,000 more copies were sold. It wasn’t until the 20th century that reviewers dug it up and started to take it seriously.

You can read Moby-Dick online at a number of different websites.

Meanwhile, hearts and souls were poured into these masterpieces taken on the 14th of November 2009, so be sure to click through!

Say hello to the great people who submitted this week:

This Saturday, make sure to watch the @SatScenes/ saturday-scenes list and you can see the photography as it happens! How cool is that?

If you want to get added to the list, just take part! Every Saturday, people share their photographs of their day, making the world that little bit smaller.

All you need to do is:

  1. Take a photo on a Saturday
  2. Send the link as a reply to @SatScenes on Twitter with the location
  3. Bask in the glory of representing your corner of the world

So what are you waiting for?

Wed 11 November 2009

Falling Out of the Sky

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 19:59

On the 7th of November 1492, a meteorite crashed into a wheat field in Alsace. It is the oldest meteorite with a known date of impact. You can see the surviving piece (123 pounds) at the old city hall in Ensisheim still.

Ensisheim Meteorite

Shortly before noon on November 7th, 1492 a loud explosion was heard by hundreds of people along the Rhine River within a circle with a radius of 80 miles centered in the walled village of Ensisheim, Alsace. The sole witness to the cause of this thunderous noise was a young boy who reported seeing a large stone fall from the sky and bury itself in a hole five feet deep in a wheat field near the road that ran from Ensisheim south to Battenheim. He ran to town where he told his tale to a group of villagers who followed him to the field where with great effort they removed a 280 pound stone from the small crater.

One of the interesting things about this is that we have a contemporary account as well as woodcut of the scene.

A Contemporary Account of the Ensisheim Meteorite, 1492

At this point there has to be mention of the immense portent which was seen this year in Germany: for on the seventh day of November, near the city of Ensisheim and the village of Battenheim above Basel, a great stone fell out of the sky, triangular in shape, charred, the color of a metallic ore, and accompanied by crashing thunder and lightning. When it had fallen to earth it split into several pieces, for it had traveled at an oblique angle; to the amazement of all, indeed, it flattened the earth when it struck.

On the seventh day of November 2009, we created a great historical collection of our own, using the modern-day equivalent of a woodcut. Take a look!

Hey you guys, I’ve made a list! A special SatScenes list of all of our contributors. I’m updating it week by week, so it’s starting with these lucky early-birds:

If you’d like to be added to the Saturday Scenes list, be sure to send a photograph next Saturday and take part!

It’s easy:

1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
2. Send it to @SatScenes on Twitter
3. Wait for the webpage to get updated
4. Oooh and aah over all the great submissions from all over the world!

We can’t wait to see yours.

Wed 4 November 2009

An October Festival

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 21:00

Last Saturday fell on the 31st of October so I guess it’s not that hard to guess what my intro will be about for this edition of Saturday Scenes.

That’s right! Allantide!

Allantide (Middle English: Alhalwyn-tyd, Cornish: Calan Gwaf) is a Cornish festival traditionally celebrated on the 31st of October. It is believed to be based on Saint Arlan, a “shadowy figure from early Cornish history” who is not actually listed on the saints’ calendar.

Allantide – Wikipedia

The following is a description of the festival as it was celebrated in Penzance at the turn of the 19th century:

“The shops in Penzance would display Allan apples, which were highly polished large apples. On the day itself, these apples were given as gifts to each member of the family as a token of good luck. Older girls would place these apples under their pillows and hope to dream of the person whom they would one day marry. A local game is also recorded where two pieces of wood were nailed together in the shape of a cross. It was then suspended with 4 candles on each outcrop of the cross shape. Allan apples would then be suspended under the cross. The goal of the game was to catch the apples in your mouth, with hot wax being the penalty for slowness or inaccuracy.”

So I hope you all had a wonderful Allantide with plenty of apples!

Certainly, we have a great selection of people out and about, some of whom might have been celebrating a similar festival on Saturday, 31 October 2009:

Pop by the twitter streams to find out more about the people who submit to Saturday Scenes:

Taking part is easy – just take a photo on a Saturday and tweet the url to @SatScenes to be included in next week’s round-up!

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