Archive for the ‘Winter’ Category

December 29, 2016

December 29, 2016

Valleyview Park, Oshawa, c. 1950

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December 23, 2016

December 23, 2016

The following appeared in the Ontario Reformer, December 23, 1922 (page 12)

The Christmas Spirit in Northland

To-day I looked upon a world that is fair to see; its virgin-white drapery, is green and grey mottled woodlands, clear skies welcome sunlight, the cheerful song of chickadees and blue-jays, the antics of the scolding squirrels. Underfoot the snow scrunched and squeaked, signifying it was just cold enough for a comfortable ramble, and so I visited the deer “yard” and was glad to see the wolves had not yet molested them, their criss-cross runaways along which I surprised several who peered at one with large, pathetic eyes and then walked into the deeper shade of the cedars. How picturesque the beaver-house looked, miniature like mosques among the tamarac from which a lone Arctic Wood-pecker tapped for its dinner. Along the glare ice I walked and slid a crossing the slithering like trail of three otter and a mink. I had seen and enjoyed nature in her true shape. And now I lean back in the old rocking chair and the flickering spluttering fireplace awakens memories. And my thoughts drift back towards civilization and crowed cities and I remember that on this the 25th day of December, the world that we know of becomes a veritable brotherhood of man, on this day at least the disparity in the class distinction is wiped away in a common emotion of good-will. It stairs up our dormant feelings, it makes us forget our cares and troubles for this one day at least we are happy. Why cannot we live more days in the year in the same spirit, why confine all our goodness, charitable inclinations and good will to one day?  Humanity is strangely ignorant of its simplest emotions. In a vague way we know that happiness and pleasure comes from our consciousness of doing right, but we don’t always live up to this precept, excepting perhaps this one day of the year. Who knows but from the well spring of this most memorable time that brotherhood of man may arise to glorify in truth that old, old saying, “Peace on earth, good will to men”. And here buried as it were in the depths of the Northland woods, far removed from the sound of the church bells and close fellowship of men, one still feels that happy, contented-like infection that Christmas brings. It is good to live and be contented with your lot and look forward to the coming year with the same spirit that this day of days brings to come.
-Miskokway.

December 21, 2016

December 21, 2016

Tonight marks the first day of winter, or the winter solstice.  This is the astronomical phenomenon marking the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

Yule and yuletide, other common names for this holiday season, are thought to be derived from the Scandinavian ‘Jul,’ the pagan celebration of the solstice.  Yule/Jul was a twelve day celebration, often interpreted as the reawakening of nature.  Many traditions we celebrate today, including, the Christmas tree, wreath, Yule log, and other, are believed to be descendants from these ‘Jul’ celebrations.

Happy First Day of Winter!

Robinson House.JPG

December 13, 2016

December 13, 2016

If you visit the National Capital Region in Ottawa/Gatineau during the holiday season, you will be able to enjoy Christmas Lights Across Canada.  First launched in 1985, this program was created to highlight landmarks and sites along Confederation Boulevard, including Parliament Hill, national museums, monuments, embassies and other prominent institutions.  Christmas Lights Across Canada also helps to add vibrancy to the Capital during the winter months and it kicks off the holiday season in Canada’s Capital Region. This year, the program started on December 7 and will continue through the month of December.


Information from http://canada.pch.gc.ca/eng/1445434981160 

December 30, 2015

December 30, 2015
Lakeview Park, Oshawa, 1937

Lakeview Park, Oshawa, 1937

December 29, 2015

December 29, 2015

If you’re enjoying a break between Christmas and New Years and are looking for a winter activity, why not build a snowman.  This photograph from Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Library of Wales can be your inspiration.  It is the oldest known photograph of a snowman, dating to the 1850s.

From

From Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Library of Wales

December 22, 2015

December 22, 2015

Winter Solstice

Tonight marks the first day of winter, or the winter solstice.  This is the astronomical phenomenon marking the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

Yule and yuletide, other common names for this holiday season, are thought to be derived from the Scandinavian ‘Jul,’ the pagan celebration of the solstice.  Yule/Jul was a twelve day celebration, often interpreted as the reawakening of nature.  Many traditions we celebrate today, including, the Christmas tree, wreath, Yule log, and other, are believed to be descendants from these ‘Jul’ celebrations.

Happy First Day of Winter!

Winter at Henry House

Winter at Henry House

December 21, 2015

December 21, 2015

Holiday Greenery

Have your halls been decked with boughs of holly? Wonder why the halls are decked as such? Greenery was brought into the house during the holidays as it symbolized new growth and hope in the cold, dreary winter.

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Wintergreens and cedar were used to decorate homes. In 1853 holly was available to rich families living in Toronto; c. 1872 was the first report of the use of ivy in decorating.

December 13, 2015

December 13, 2015

Jack Frost

Jack Frost is the personification of frost, ice, snow, sleet, and freezing cold weather, a variant of Old Man Winter, who is another personification of the winter season, held responsible for frosty weather, for nipping the nose and toes during the cold winter months, colouring the leaves in autumn, and leaving fern frost on cold windows on chilly winter mornings.

Starting in late 19th century literature, more filled-out characterizations of Jack Frost have made him into a sprite-like character. He sometimes appears as a sinister mischief maker or as a hero.  He may be portrayed as an older man, a young adult, or even a teenager.

He may originate from Anglo-Saxon and Norse winter customs. In Russia however, he has taken on a different form as Grandfather Frost, and in Germany there is instead a different entity altogether. There are various other mythological beings who take on a similar role yet have different folklore to them.

From the Oshawa Community Archives Collection

From the Oshawa Community Archives Collection

January 1, 2015

January 1, 2015

It’s New Year’s Day! Did you know that in the Victorian Era, Fathers wold invite wealthy single men into their houses to meet their daughters in hopes of marrying them off? The men would try different foods of all kinds at the house and stay for a small party before leaving.

Happy New Year from the Oshawa Community Museum!  Thank you for visiting the 2014 Victorian Advent Blog, and we hope you’ll visit again in 2015!