Memorial Day

Upon recently glancing at my calendar I saw that Memorial Day weekend is upon us! The weather is warm, cookouts are a nightly event and we are finally able to wear our favorite summer clothing and sandals. This also means a busy weekend is ahead of us: parades, services for fallen soldiers and a family bar-be-que. Can’t wait!

Memorial Day parade

To me it’s not Memorial Day without our town parade. The first one was back in 1885, and people have been enjoying it since! I participated in it growing up whether on a float, or marching with my peers for an organization. Now I enjoy being a spectator and admiring the floats, marching bands and all the classic cars!

After the parade is a service in the town park. There is a memorial in which a veteran lays a wreath or flowers down on and the school bands play in the background. Then everyone has a moment of silence and reflects the true meaning of Memorial Day.

Many towns across America have similar traditions. What does your town do?

Services

As mentioned before, we hold a service in our town park for those who have fought for their country. There are also services at your local church. Many chaplains celebrate with a short service at a military graveyard or a local cemetery. It’s nice to know that there are different ways to honor those who have fallen during war, or those who have lost someone from their military unit. That is what Memorial Day is for.

Bar-be-que

Yes, this is perhaps my favorite part of Memorial Day weekend! I know Saturday morning I’ll be putting my fiesta beans in the crock pot, and get ready to grill all weekend long! Plenty of pasta salads, grilled entrees and lots of fresh fruit salad! It’s especially nice when you can enjoy it outside in the sunshine!

This is what Memorial Day weekend is about to me. What is this weekend about to you?

Mardi Gras: The Food before Fasting

It’s the Tuesday before Lent which means it is Mardi Gras! Mardi Gras translates to Fat Tuesday. It’s the day we use up all of the fatty, sugary foods prior to the first day of Lent. For the next 40 days, we try our best to stay away from rich foods and to fast whenever possible. Different regions of the world have different ways to use up all of their fattening foods. Parish Giving wanted to share some of theirs!

Fastnacht

This is Jill’s way to celebrate Fat Tuesday! It’s a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition which is a German word that means “Fasting Night”. What you are supposed to do is eat as much rich and delicious foods as you possibly can before the Lenten fast. Today we have Fastnacht donuts in which we enjoy. There are three different kinds:

    -Fastnachts made with baking powder

    -Fastnachts with yeast

    -Fastnachts with potato and yeast

No matter how you make these delicious donuts, they all contain butter or lard, flour, powder sugar and are deep fried. Some contain jelly or cream in the middle. Either way, they are delicious and melt in your mouth! You can see why Jill enjoys this tradition every year!

King Cakes

The traditional King Cake is usually eaten during Epiphany, but now is also seen during Mardi Gras! For Fat Tuesday, the cake is typically made of brioche colored with traditional Mardi Gras colors such as green, yellow and purple. The colors are seen in the cake and in the icing.

What makes King Cakes special is the figurine that is baked inside of it. The porcelain figurine represents Jesus, and the person who has him in their slice is responsible for next year’s cake! The lucky few who have the Jesus figurine can also be seen as the King or Queen of the party! I think I like that tradition better!

Shrove Tuesday

This is how I celebrate Fat Tuesday! For dinner, my family always celebrates with a big stack of pancakes, butter and plenty of maple syrup! We usually have bacon or sausage with it too!

Shrove Tuesday is derived from Shrovetide, which is a biblical term for the last day of the liturgical season. The eating of pancakes on this day has dated back to the 16th Century for British Christians. Many churches still ring the Shriving Bell (Church bells) to sound when people should begin frying their pancakes.

We’d love to hear how you and your family celebrate Mardi Gras each year! Fat Tuesday has so many different traditions all around the world!     

4th of July

The 4th of July is here! When America’s birthday hits, summer is about halfway over. Since both Parish Giving and John Patrick Publishing are closed the 4th, we decided to share what the holiday means to each of us. We all have different memories, and this is how we celebrate!

Continue reading “4th of July”