Natural Diamonds are a unique and rare find in the wild world that is Nature, and are known to be one of the hardest substances on our planet. Diamonds are said to provide the wearer with better relationships and a boost to their inner strength. Wearing diamonds is said to provide other benefits such as clarity, increased balance and abundance. Derived from the Greek word Adamas, meaning "invincible", Diamonds come naturally in a range of colors. Black, blue, green, yellow, pink, red, purple, orange, and the more common white/clear. Diamonds can also have color introduced artificially. The natural colors that occur are dependent on the type of impurities present in the stone. In the Encarta, sanskrit texts that date back before 400 B.C. found that people associated significant value and wonderment with crystals. Research from the year 1330 links diamond cutting to have been occurring in the city of Venice. The diamond trade began to flourish around the 15th Century due to the opening of Eastern Trading Routes. There are many ancient theories touting the prevalence of diamonds containing magical powers. Some thought lightning bolts formed diamonds, others believed them to be the tears of the gods. During the Middle Ages, diamonds were thought to have healing properties, and to cure ailments stemming from the pituitary gland and brain. By heating the crystal and taking it to bed, it was thought to remove all of the harmful toxins that were crippling the body. As April's gemstone, Diamonds have garnered the hearts of many and is the most coveted crystal to date. No wonder it is commonly referred to as the "King of Birthstones"!
St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on March 17 by Irish communities around the world. Although shamrocks, leprechauns and Guinness are synonymous with the holiday, there's more to the day. We take a look at some of the most popular myths about this day.
Born around A.D. 390, and the main patron saint of Ireland, Patrick was not actually Irish. He is believed to have been born into a wealthy Christian family in Wales or Scotland. St. Patrick had no interest in Christianity as a young boy. But at the age of 16, he was kidnapped and sent to Ireland by Irish raiders who enslaved him as a shepherd for many years.
The myth that St. Patrick exterminated all the snakes from Ireland is not true, because Ireland never actually had snakes. Scholars suggest the tale is symbolic. Serpents are symbols of evil in Judeo-Christian tradition, and this story may be a nod to St. Patrick's Christianizing influence. Because the color green is associated with St. Patrick’s Day, people wear green clothes, drink green beer and even dye the Chicago River green to celebrate. However, the earliest depictions of St. Patrick from the 18th century show him wearing blue clothing. In fact, King George III created a new order of chivalry for the Kingdom of Ireland, the Order of St. Patrick, its official color was a sky blue, known as "St. Patrick's Blue".
St. Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the Christian Holy Trinity. The shamrock has been linked with him ever since. The color green has become associated with Saint Patrick because of Ireland's rich green landscape. Until the 1700s, St. Patrick’s Day was considered a Roman Catholic feast. It was celebrated only in Ireland, where people would pray at home or in the church. The tradition of parades started in the United States, not Ireland. The first parade to honor St. Patrick took place in Boston in 1737. Ireland started their own parade tradition in Dublin nearly 200 years later in 1931. On this day, revelers fill their plates with traditional Irish foods like corned beef and cabbage, battered sausages and baked beans, or colcannon, a side dish made with potatoes, cabbage or kale and often onions. The dish is also known as "bubble and squeak".
Early references to griffins are found in ancient Persian and Egyptian mythology dating back as far as 3300 B.C. and were often used as statues in Persian palaces. Ancient Persepolis was covered in stone carved depictions of griffins all across its walls, and towering statues throughout the city.
The griffins are popular mythical creatures used extensively in the movies and fiction novels. The griffin is a chimera or hybrid mythical creature. These legendary creatures have the body of a lion and the wings and head of eagle; thus representing the kings of both animals and the birds. They may also bear the ears of a horse. Traditionally known for guarding treasures and possessions, griffins are protectors from evil, slander and witchcraft as well. Sculpted in some churches, the griffin is known in Christian symbolism and depicts both the divine and the human. In heraldry, griffin stands for courage, leadership and strength. Pictured as fierce, they have gained respect over ages too. They appear regularly on the coats, arms, and flags of the noble and highly respected important families in Europe. The roots of this fascinating mythological creature reach from Western Europe to the Eastern edges of Indian subcontinent and beyond.
Powerful and majestic, the griffins guarded gold and treasure. In the medieval era, they came to be regarded as symbols of monogamous marriage and discouraged fidelity. Known to be strictly loyal to its partner, in the event of the death of one partner, the other griffin never mated again. They started representing Jesus as they were able to traverse in both air and earth with equal ease, which symbolized the human and divine nature of the Christ.
The griffins represent both power and wisdom. They are commonly associated with strength during war. The Genoa Republic used griffins as symbols to all its seafaring ships in the Middle Ages.
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Nowruz (Persian: نوروز, literally "New Day") is the name of the Persian New Year, and has been celebrated by Iranian peoples worldwide as the beginning of the new year for over 3000 years.
Nowruz is the day of the astronomical vernal equinox (or northward equinox), which marks the beginning of Spring in the northern hemisphere and usually occurs around March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed. The moment the sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year and families gather together to observe the rituals.
Although having Persian and religious Zoroastrian origins, Nowruz has been celebrated by people from diverse ethnic communities and religious backgrounds for thousands of years. It is a secular holiday for most celebrants that is enjoyed by people of several different faiths, but remains a holy day for Zoroastrians.
Before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Iran was the only country that officially observed the ceremonies of Nowruz. When the Central Asian and Caucasus countries gained independence from the Soviets, they also declared Nowruz as a national holiday. The UN's General Assembly in 2010 recognized the International Day of Nowruz, describing it as a spring festival of Persian origin which has been celebrated for over 3,000 years. During the meeting of The Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage of the United Nations, held between 28 September – 2 October 2009, Nowruz was officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
According to Persian scholar Abu Rayhan Biruni, it is the belief of the Persians that Nowruz marks the first day when the universe started its motion.
Zoroastrians worldwide celebrate Nowruz as the first day of the New Year. Parsi Zoroastrians of Central Asian origin celebrate it as "Nowroj", "Navroz", or "Navroj" on the fixed day of March 21, while Zoroastrians of Iranian background generally celebrate, like other Iranians, on the actual Spring Equinox date. Because different Zoroastrian communities in India/Pakistan and Iran have evolved slightly different calendar systems, there is some variance. Adherents of the Fasli variant of the Zoroastrian calendar celebrate Nowruz in March, but today, most other Zoroastrians also celebrate on this day.
Zoroastrians of Iranian origin generally put up a Haft Sheen table while Muslim Iranians put up Haft Seen table. The difference is because Muslims can not put wine (Sharab) on the table. Zoroastrians of Parsi (South Asian) origin do not traditionally use a Haft Seen. They set up a standard "sesh" tray – generally a silver tray, with a container of rose water, a container with betel nut, raw rice, raw sugar, flowers, a picture of Zarathustra and either a floating wick in a glass filled with water topped with oil for fuel, or an "afargania", a silver urn with a small fire nourished by sandalwood and other fragrant resins.
Aquamarine is the birthstone for the month of March. This stone ranges in color from a pale translucent blue, to blue green, and teal. The most prized coloring is that of a Deep-Blue Aqua. The Aquamarine is derived from Latin, and was said to calm the waves, and ensure safe passage for sailors across the seas. Certain cultures believe that the Mineral Beryl gives the wearer protection against foes in battle, in litigation, quicken ones intellect, and endow the wearer with foresight, courage, and happiness.