Monday, December 19, 2016

8 New Year Customs

Just how many ways are there to usher in a new calendar year? About as many ways as there are cultures that take note of this pivotal time of year. 

Some of the customs are very unusual, others are common for several different regions of the world.

Here are eight thаt we though were pretty interesting.

 and did some research and discovered some unusual customs. 

Burma- For the Thingyan Festival people splash water on one another to start the new year with a purified soul.

Armenia- Armenian mothers bake special bread they have kneaded luck and good wishes into. 

Italy- Red underwear on New Year’s Eve is thought to bring love and good luck.

Switzerland- Dropping a spoonful of fresh cream onto the floor on New Year’s Day will bring in a rich year.

Netherlands- Christmas Tree bonfires purge the old and welcome in the new.

Russia- Wishes written down are burned. The ashes are placed into a glass of champagne that must drunk at midnight.

Austria- New year feasts of pig and chocolate shaped pigs are common fare. This animal is a symbol of good luck.

Czech Republic- Predictions for the coming year are made by reading the shape of an apple’s core cut in half.

Want to read about more traditions? Click here.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Monday, December 5, 2016

Black Pepper Visions (Revised)


Black Pepper Visions:

Original Food Stories You Can Eat (revised)

By Karen Pierce Gonzalez


Black pepper swirls that absorb anger, tortillas that mend broken-hearts, and sundried cookies that encircle a cheating spouse (again) are only three of 16 fast-paced stories in Black Pepper Visions: Original Food Stories You Can Eat (revised).  This 2016 eBook  (FolkHeart Press #978-0-9983938-0-3), written by Karen Pierce Gonzalez, captures the magic of food through a range of original folktales and contemporary stories, food lore and personalized recipes.

“Complete with its culinary wizardry and fascinating historical roots that literally span centuries and continents, food lore about how we grow, prepare, and eat our food allows us to creatively preserve important cultural traditions and beliefs. And these are what sustain and protect us,” said Gonzalez, a folklorist, journalist and author of several books including Family Folktales: What Are Yours? (FolkHeart Press).  

Karen Pierce Gonzalez is an award-winning fiction and nonfiction writer.  Her other books include Family Folktales: What Are Yours?  and Family Folktales: Write Your Own Family Stories.

She has been interested in folktales and folklore for more than two decades and has facilitated writing classes and workshops for more than fifteen years. Her writing credits include nomination for the Pushcart Prize and awards from Farmhouse Magazine, National League of American Pen Women, California Writers Association. Her work has appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, North Bay Biz Journal, Australian Trade Community Journal, Verde, Sonoma Mandala, and Zahir Tales as well as other magazines and newspapers.

Established in 2007, FolkHeart Press books also include Moose Mash and Other Stories, Three Months: A Caregiving Journey from Heartbreak to Healing and Spanish Cuisine One Region at a Time: Catalonia. 

Black Pepper Visions: Original Food Stories You Can Eat (revised) is available for $4.99 at: