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January 31, 2014     Post-Gazette
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January 31, 2014

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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, JANUARY 31,2014 / / L anno00e,,o:A00earin,tal00n00ol, lore Spring Fever by Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz -:.  As January gives way to it is still the custom to cel- large festival that lasts February, I can feel the sea- ebrate Candlemas by mak- several days. The city is 4) __-/ son palpably shift under- ing crepes. Candlemas also illuminated with sophisti- by Sal Gmrratam neath my feet. The last day of January coincidentally also houses the Chinese New Year, a festival of good luck traditions and new be- ginnings and the Year of the Horse gallops away headfirst into the early spring days of February. Indeed, the month of February practically bursts at the seams with holidays devoted to purification rites and the celebration of new life. St. Valentine's Day will soon arrive with its plenti- ful hearts and flowers. We are also in the midst of the Carnival season, when people chase away winter with loud noises, bright col- ors and fried, sun-shaped pastries. These holidays tend to grab the most attention, there are three smaller feasts at the beginning of the month that also contain spring cleaning and the washing away of winter as their central themes. I am reminded of these three celebrations whenever I look outside and see, despite the snow on the ground, reminders of the upcoming spring: the first robin hop- ping around in the barren dirt, the golden-blue spangles of sunlight that last later into the evening, pastel- colored clothing lining shop windows. These festivals -- Candlemas, St. Blaise's Day and St. Agatha's Day -- be- gin February with the prom- ise of a new spring, a prom- ise that will only strengthen as the month rolls on. Candlemas falls on Febru- ary 2 "d and religiously it commemorates the day Baby Jesus was formally presented at the Temple, 40 days after His birth at Christmas. Churches celebrate this feast day by lighting candles, sym- bolizing the metaphorical light Jesus brings to the world. However, the origins of the holiday reach back to pre-Christian times, to when the ancient Celts knew it as Imbolc. Imbolc, which means "in the womb" according to some scholars, marked the first day of spring and hon- ored the lactation of live- stock. As such, people observed the holiday by eat- holds great importance in Italy, where it is called la Candelora. Regions across the country honor this holi- day with :raditions empha- sizing light and purifica- tion. In Montevergine, in the southern region of Campania, this day honors gay rights and is marked by candlelit processions praying for tol- erance. In Naples, people held street parties replete with torches and fireworks displays that lit up the cold night sky. La Candelora fea- tures prominently in Italian superstitions and proverbs as well. The most famous proverbs are encompassed by the saying "Candelora col sole, tarde primavera" or "sunny Candlemas, late spring." This means that if the sun shines on Candle- mas, winter's bitter chill and snow will still linger; if, however, the holiday dawns cloudy and gray, early spring weather will reign. If this sounds familiar, it is because Americans observe a similar superstition on Feb- ruary 2 nd known as Ground- hog Day, brought over by European settlers! The day after Candlemas boasts another feast, St. Blaises's Day or il Giorno di San Biagio in Italian. My father remembers walking to his small town church in Sulmona, Abruzzo, on this day, gathering with the other locals in the candlelit parish, closed in from the blustery day outside. There, the par- ish priest pressed two crossed candles against the throats of the congregants and said a blessing. This quaint ritual refers to the story in which St. Blaise, an Arme- nian bishop, helped a boy who had a fish bone lodged in his throat, thus making the saint the patron of all throat- and neck-related ill- nesses. Italians also distrib- ute small cakes, specially made for the holiday, on the feast of San B/ag/o, which are also imbued with curative properties. February 5 th is the feast day of St. Agatha or Sant'Agata, who like St. Blaise also protects people from diseases, in her ing dairy-based foods and case i11nesses of the breast. lighting bonfires, which sig- The Sicilian City of Catania, nified the growing power of which St. Agatha is patron of the spring sun. In France, saint, honors her with a Owned and operated by Pamela Donnaruma, Publisher, Post-Gazette Since 1969 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS AUTO * HOMEOWNERS * TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference 209 BROADWAY, REVERE, MA 02151 Tel. 781.284.1100 Fax 781.284.2200 Free Parking Adjacent to Building cated light displays, people parade down the streets holding statues and relics of Sant'Agata and because St. Agatha is also the patron saint of bakers, loaves of breads and other pastries are blessed and distributed. Collectively, the feasts of St. Blaise and St. Agatha epitomize the cleansing qual- ity of February. Through their emphasis on purifica- tion rites that protect people from illnesses and impuri- ties, these festivals reflect the larger purging away of winter as spring approaches. Their use of candles and light, on the other hand, pays homage to the strengthen- ing sun, which blazes the way to renewed life. Around this time of the year, I tend to feel excited and restless, eager to shed my old skin and begin again. I love the cloudy days where I am walking against the brisk wind, but suddenly look up at the bare branches of a nearby tree to glimpse tiny buds peeking out. The festi- vals of February encapsulate this desire for a new begin- ning after a long, and thus brim with purification ritu- als and glorious light. More- over, the holidays of Candle- mas, St. Blaise's Day and St. Agatha's Day provide us with opportunities to purify ourselves as well, to get rid of the old habits and worries that plagued us during the winter. By taking a cue from these olden Italian tradi- tions, we can leave behind the darkness of winter and enter spring renewed, re- laxed and refreshed a sensa- tion as warm as any candle! Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz is a Graduate Student in History at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She appreciates any comments and suggestions about Italian holidays and folklore at adicenso89@gmail, com. LEGAL NOTICE Commonwealth of Massachusetts The Trial Court Probate and Family Court Middlesex Division 208 Cambridge Street East Cambridge, MA 02141 (617) 768-5800 Docket No. MI13P6354EA Estate of ROSE MARY DOUGLAS Also Known As ROSE DOUGLAS Date of Death September 30, 2013 INFORMAL PROBATE PUBLICATION NOTICE To all persons interested in the above captioned estate, by Petition of Petitioner Jamie Douglas of North Chelmsford, MA a Will has been admitted to informal probate. Jamie Douglas of North Chelmsford, MA has been informally appointed as the Personal Representative of the estate to serve without surety on the bond. The estate is being administered under informal procedure by the Personal Represen- tative under the Massachusetts Uniform Pro- bate Code without supervision by the Court. Inventory and accounts are not required to be filed with the Court, but interested parties are entitled to notice regarding the administration from the Personal Representative and can petition the Court in any matter relating to the estate, including distribution of assets and expenses of administration, interested parties are entitled to petition the Court to institute formal proceedings and to obtain orders ter- minating or restricting the powers of Personal Representatives appointed under informal pro- cedure. A copy of the Petition and Will, if any, can be obtained from the Petitioner. Run date: 1/31/14 "'Technically, it isn't Illegal to be Illegal M Massachusetts" Remember when Attorney General Martha Coakley stated this liberal gibberish back in 2010 failed run for U.S. Senator against Repub- lican Scott Brown. Appar- ently, liberal moonbats are determined to help illegals evade the law and then reward them with all kinds of free stuff. Up on Beacon Hill and in the Governor's Office, there appears to be a move to find a way to give driver's licenses to those living in Massachu- setts USA illegally. One time liberals used to say these poor folks were hiding in the shadows, paying taxes and get treated like second-class citizens. This growing popu- lation of illegal immigrants would have to be citizens first before you can call them second-class. Massachusetts loves giv- ing away our hard-earned cash in freebies to those flouting federal law. Did you know that upwards of 25 per- cent of illegals in Massachu- setts are getting some kind of government entitlement? If you criticize such reali- ties, you are termed "mean- spirited" or worse. Thanks to the Democrats in the Legislature and Governor Patrick, illegal students are now getting in-state tuition at state col- leges and universities. Now, that same crowd wants to allow illegals the right to get driver's licenses from the RMV. Is anyone ever awake up on Beacon Hill, don't they know that a driver's license is the first state toward get- ting all sorts of identifica- tions? Don't they remember the Motor-Voter Law they ramped through the legisla- tive process? Get a license, fill out the voter registration form at the RMV and on to the voting booths where illegals will start voting in mass and I reckon, for the Democrats who will keep handing out the free stuff. Besides all this local stuff, the Republican House in Washington, DC is about to pass some sort of compro- mise immigration legisla- tion that also passed in the Senate. Doesn't Speaker John Boehner know that if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid likes the House bill, there must be some- thing seriously wrong with it? Reportedly, the House bill has a number of safeguards in it to mollify conservative Republicans like U.S. Sena- tors John McCain, Lindsay Graham and Company. Do these guys ever learn? Look at Obamacare becoming law, the president on his own without approval from Capi- tol Hill has made 14 admin- istrative changes to make it work correctly. Republicans can put in strong border security mea- sures and the White House will just ignore what it doesn't like in the bill. We have a president who seems to act as if he doesn't need no stinking Congress screw- ing up his great plans. Folks who oppose immi- gration reform and a path- way into our nation's life are called all sorts of names. I am concerned that without border security, any noble ideas by Democrats will van- ish as soon as reality sets in. We have a jobless economy. Putting more folks into a shallow pool will neither help illegals nor unemployed Americans looking for work. And the call to raise the minimum wage will not address income inequality but pit low skilled workers against each other where everyone loses. Bottom Line -- Giving driver's licenses or in-state tuitions to illegals living with us is both a very bad public and expensive policy. Remember Reagan tried Amnesty back in 1986 and the problem just got worse. Do it again and the results won't change. Liberals never learn, they just want to feel good about themselves. NORTH END00 Quality Printing for all your Commercial and Personal Needs Stationery * Business Cards * Menus * Flyers Program Books * Wedding and Party Invitations Announcements Business Forms and Documents m COMPETITIVE PRICES 617-227-8929