Sunday, November 2, 2014

When the Future Becomes the Past

Today is when this moment of the future stands still to become the past.

Today is when even countries become divided within themselves.

Today is when the world goes from up to down.

Today is when yesterday becomes the new now.

Today is when the bottom and the top work side by side.

Today is when the sun shines for one more working hour.

Today is the when the seasons welcome the next.

Today is when autumn wards off winter.

Today is when spring lets the summer come earlier (antithetical of today).

Today is when the hands of a clock are dictated by the spinning of a globe.

This day (or to be exact, within a week or so) is unique, well, twice a year it is unique. Today is known as Daylight Saving Time. This is when time falls back and subsequently when time springs forward late March (or to be exact, within a week or so).

This time change is known as Daylight Saving Time. Working hand in hand with both the Southern and Northern Hemispheres of the world, today exchanges one full hour into either the past or the future.

Known as the way to make better use of the natural daylight by setting your clocks back by one hour in the fall and by setting your clocks forward by one hour in the spring. Please note that it does not actually ADD an hour of daylight to the day but it gives a more usable hour of daylight. Thusly the saying of 'spring ahead and fall back'.

Daylight Saving Time originated in Germany, well, Germany was first to implement this unparalleled change to time. It was actually first proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 but it wasn't until George Vernon Hudson from New Zealand in the year 1895 when today's modern Daylight Saving Time become the norm. It took another 21 years for the first country to implement this amazing shift of time. On April 30, 1916 the hands of a clock was set forward at 11:00 pm (23:00).

The one hour time change was never set in stone throughout the ages. There has been a full gamut of documented shift changes from 20 minutes all the way up to 2 hours.

Those countries that participate in this remarkable phenomenal jump can be divided by the strangest standards. Even different sections of these countries do not recognize this change of time.
In Australia, Canada and the United States, uses a different name for these special hours in today's society. The DST - Daylight Saving Time is ofter referred to Savings with an 's'. It is perceived that this extra 's' became the norm as it is a common expression in our vocabulary, for example - a savings account. In the United Kingdom these hours are commonly referred to BST, British Summer Time, or 'Summer Time'. They term Winter Time, is used for standard time, or the time without DST. The term Summer Time can even be seen in various bills and Acts, including 'Summer Time Act of 1916, the Summer Time Act of 1925 and the Summer Time Act of 1972.

There are approximately 70 countries that utilize Daylight Saving Time. Japan, India and China of the major industrialized countries do not observe some form of the DST. In China itself, they had in place a single time zone until 1980, when they adopted DST during the years of 1986 to 1991. They once again returned to the single time zone that is used today. 'Sommerzeit' is the term used for 'Summer Time' in Germany. April 1916, the German Federal Council decreed the DST be instituted as a wartime measure.

The countries nearest to the equator or tropical countries do not generally exercise this change of time. Since the hours of actual sunlight cannot be observed to change dramatically between seasons there is really no advantage to moving the hands of a clock.

The use of DST can be dissolved even within a country itself. In Canada for example, the province of Saskatchewan established The Time Act of 1966. Even though this province is located within the Mountain Standard Time (MST) that runs between the prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan to Manitoba. Previously the question of 'time' was the responsibility of each municipality under the Cities Act and the Towns Act of the day. This new Time Act of 1966 brought together all of the uses of MST, CST and DST into one time. The time of Central Standard Time which does not recognize any changes of time itself. Now if you were to look to the province of Manitoba, even though it is within the Central Time Zone, it acknowledges the use of CST and CDT, Central Standard Time and Central Daylight Time.

When looking at an actual chart from all of the countries world wide, some do not only observe DST but they have adopted different dates, even months of when these changes take place. Making DST a unique change of time worldwide.

So if you live in a country, a state, a province that uses the time unit of Daylight Saving Time...I hope you celebrate that one full extra hour of useable sunlight, even if it is that nice feeling of being able to snooze in bed before your alarm goes off when you have to start your day.

As the Night Takes Over

A bit of history for night of October 31st.

A bit of history...The Spelling...Halloween; Hallow's Eve; Hallowe'en; All Hallows; All Hallows Eve; All Hallows Even; Hallowed Evening...

A bit of history...The Name....All Saints' Day (derived from the Catholic Church); All Soul's Day (again derived from the Catholic Church); Samhain (derived from the Celtic Islands); The Festival of the Dead (derived from the Celtic tribes); The Feast of Samhain (derived from the celebrations of witches); All Hallows (derived from the Catholic to honour all the saints); All Hallows Even (derived from the Irish Catholic peasants)....

A bit of history...The Samhain (pronounced say-wen).... comes from the Irish Gaelic word samhuinn, meaning 'summer's end' and was recognized as the biggest and most significant holiday of the Celtic year.

A bit of history....The Hallowed.....sanctified or holy.

A bit of history...The 'All Hallows' Ireland was a time for fairies to dance.

A bit of history....The Otherworld....was the time of the end of the harvest, the summer's end, the time with the veil to the 'otherworld' is at its thinest allowing fairies, banshees, puka and other spirits to roam freely upon the earth.

A bit of history...The Mumming.....stemmed from the dressing up to represent demons and dreadful creatures as if the souls of the dead. These creatures would then roam around and perform antics in order to offered food and drink.

A bit of history...The Costume.....can be traced back to this mumming ritual which is still celebrated world wide by the Druids. The dress of the demons are now represented through costumes such as witches, ghosts and skeletons.

A bit of history...The Bonfire....was named after the sacrifices of animal and humans and the ashes and bones could be found once the fire died down, hence the reference from the name 'bone fires' or the 'fire of the bones'. This is now where people wear costumes, ugly masks and disguises in order to confuse and ward off evil spirits.

A bit of history....The Hawthorn or Whitethorn bush....were the favourited place to set out offerings in an attempt to appease bad spirits and fairies.

A bit of history...The Mardi the adults version of today's Halloween celebration that is practiced by children. This day involves magnificent masquerade balls.

A bit of history....The Dead...the celebration of the Day of the Dead by the Celts.

A bit of history....The Druid...the wearing of costumes that would keep these people safe from the spirits.

A bit of history...The Jack-o'-Lantern....become a pumpkin in the late 1800's when it was originally a turnip that had been made into lamps. These lamps were placed in windows to help guide the spirits along their journeys. The carving of scary faces on turnips and placing them near the entry of the home was again a way to ward off evil spirits.

A bit of history...The Embers....these were the embers that were carried home from the great bonfire, usually in a carved out turnip that wore a face in order to scare away evil sprites, to which they were to relight the hearth fire for good luck.

A bit of history...The Ashes....from the bonfires were spread across the fields to protect them against the spirits who would cause the next season's crops to fail.

A bit of history...The Offerings....were actually food, drinks or even gifts that were placed out a part of the ritual to remember and honour the dead. Today, these offerings are the candy that is handed out.

A bit of history....The fruit, apples and nuts are set out as a representation of the end of the harvest.

So between the myths, the legends, the practices, the meanings, the spellings, the 'bits of history'.... the celebration from the past through to today....

But in my wee mew mew, Lady Isabella has her own way to celebrate posing with the candles that are left out in the window (and yes, these are the lighted candles and the wax burning ones...but can you see in the candles...that even today...the ghost, the ghouls, the fairies, the souls of the dead still rise to roam free for the evening. May they pass by to ward off the evil spirits.