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PAGE 4 POST-GAZE'FrE, AUGUST 26, 2016 Year in Italian Folklore Almanacs: A Hidden Treasure by Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz child born on a particular day. In this month of August, for by Sal Giarratani L'Anno Bello: A folldoristic, astronomical, and fun fact information pertaining to the upcoming day -- birth- days, history, recipes, notable quotes, you name it[ Even saying the name in my mind conjures images of cozy dark evenings spent curled up on my couch at home, listening to the zany music announce the details of the next day. I just love almanacs because they celebrate seasonal time and tradition, which anyone reading this column knows I wholeheartedly embrace. Italian almanacs, whether in the form of the aforementioned television show or quick write-ups in local newspapers, are especially use- ful for anyone trying to find out more about the customs, beliefs and values that characterize his or her heritage. In Italian alma- nacs, you will almost always find the foUowing: I) The Saint of the Day:The calendar of saints is very impor- tant to Italian culture. Until not too long ago, this calendar often determined the name of the If you stepped into my par- ents' old home on any given day, you would most likely have heard the television tuned in to the Italian language channel. I no longer bat an eye, for I have been used to this since practi- cally the day I was born. Due to my father's love for the Italian channel, practically every day of my life has consisted of some variation of a silly variety show, hour-long quiz game, soccer match, Italian soap opera, or news program. While I used to find these shows rather goofy when I was little, I now appre- ciate them for helping me learn the Italian language and about Italian culture -- I especially love the travel and science pro- grams. However, my favorite show on the Italian channel has not aired for seven years, though I watch it regularly on- line. It is called Almanacco di Domani, or Tomorrow's Alma- nac, and like most good things in my life, it was introduced to me by my dad. This quaint little fifteen-minute show provided 8 SITES OPEN FOR FREE EACH FRIOAY .... ........ t0 FRIDAYS. 100% FREE. Franklin Park Zoo C Old Sturbridge Village Freedom Trail Foundation C Museum of African American History Norman Rockwell Museum -'4 Berkshire Museum Venffort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum Cape Cod Museum of Natural History Public Insurance Adjuster 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 example, you could have babies named Lorenzo (St. Lawrence's Day, August 10th), Assunta or Maria (Assumption of the Vir- gin Mary, August 15th), Elena (St. Helen's Day, August 18th), Bartolomeo (St. Bartholomew's Day, August 24th), or, as is the case in many a family, Rocco (St. Roch's Day, August 16th). The feast days of saints are also interesting for the holiday and seasonal lore associated with them. The Assumption, for ex- ample, acquired many customs related to the start of the grain and first-fruits harvest, which, like the feast day, occurred around mid-August. 2) The Sun and Moon: Like American almanacs, Italian al- manacs will also tell the rising and setting times of the sun and the moon. In olden times, farmers would have found this information very useful. Su- perstition parceled out various agricultural tasks to certain phases of the moon, such as planting crops during the period when the moon grows in the sky to ensure a similar result. Of course, nights with a full moon promised magic and mischief of all kinds. I like checking the rise and set of the sun in order to gauge seasonal changes. When the sun no longer sets after eight o'clock, as is happening now, I know autumn is on its way. Similarly, I love watching the sunset time progressively grow longer after the winter solstice with the anticipation of the coming spring. 3} Household Hints: Trust me, Italians seem to have more practical uses for everyday household items like rubbing alcohol, baking powder, lemon juice and candle wax than I have ever heard. These little hints are cheap, environmen- tally sound and just like hav- ing a wise grandmother next to you dishing out advice[ They definitively represent the more whimsical side of almanacs, true to the Italians' tradition of never taking themselves too seriously. I love almanacs because they remind me that every day is special. Each day arrives laden with its own lore, history and curiosities. Almanacs teach us to always look forward, to keep hope and to always count even the smallest pleasures that a day can bestow. Now that I have been bitten by the almanac bug, I know that I will continue to pore over these olden bundles of wisdom and humor, whether in the form of Almanacco di Domanio or 7he Farmer's Alma- nac website. So thanks to my dad for introducing me to these cultural curios, and happy (al- manac) reading to all! P.S. Se qualcuno dalla RAI sta leggendo questo, si prega di riportare Almanacco di Domani. Mi offro volontariamente come conduttrice. GrazieI Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz is a Graduate Student in History at the University of Massachu- setts Boston. She appreciates any comments and suggestions about Italian holidays and folk- tore at "'When They (The People) See Me, They See Themselves." The above is a quote from President Ronald Reagan on the eve of his upset victory over President Carter in 1980. Any president that can accomplish what is in that quote can't fail to win the support of the people. It has been far too long since an American president who simply wanted to be the voice of the people and make America as Reagan often said, "A shining City on a Hillf As I look back over the last 50 years or so, I have not seen enough of the optimism that America can always improve and reach well beyond its grasp. We get the same thing from presidential candidates end- lessly. All of them get an A-plus for the politics of platitudes. Mostly all make or made great sound bites and don't forget the photo-ops, too. In the end, does it really mat- ter which party wins? Aren't they all the same at the end of the day? There is a power struc- ture in this country, the elites who control everything. Often, all we see are empty promises and a game of charades. This year things seem dif- ferent. The Democrats have once again come up with their reliable candidate, Hillary Clinton. She sounds like Presi- dent Obama, Bill Clinton, A1 Gore, Joe Biden, and all those other reliable Democrats out there feeding the same (exple- five] to voters every four years without end. Amen. Democratic officials take African-American and all people of color for granted. They hand out freebies, EBT Cards, Obama Phones, etc ... and think they own them all. Think about this for a second. Back during the Civil Rights Era, it was Demo- crats who held those fire hoses and police dogs. It was Demo- crats who created segregation, separate bathrooms, counters, you name it. Before President Johnson strong-armed the 1964 Civil Rights Act into law, Democrats opposed it like they opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 signed into law by President Eisen- hower who was a Republican. Trump spoke the truth the other night in West Bend. I hope he meant everything he said. I think he does. Over the last 50 years, Mrican-American and other minorities have voted Democrat more than any other segment of society. In return what do they get? More of the same, endlessly. I grew up in Roxbury. Are the people who live in Grove Hall, Uphams Corner, Fields Corner, Bowdoin Street, and Blue Hill Avenue that much better today then back in the Sixties? Families are living in fear. The streets are killing grounds. There's a lack of jobs and good schools. Is there a chance at a good future for children? Government hasn't fuxed the dysfunction because it can't. Folks don't want handouts and they shouldn't be happy with the reality that Democrats like Clinton think they own Black people or any people. The last Republican presiden- tial candidate to get a healthy share of African-Americans was Richard Nixon in 1960. I was 12 years old then. Part of the blame belongs to the African-American com- munity leaders who think we live in a one-party government; the other part of the blame belongs to folks being taken for granted. Government is our business. If we don't run it, it will run us. This is still America, of, for, and by the people. We need to take back our government from those in the Ruling Class in government, business and the media. It is a new day if we do, or just another day of no change ff we don't. Trump says Make America One Again, and that will keep us great. Known for Stretching the Boundaries of Color & Design Cataldo Interiors Home offers a treasure chest of accessories that make wonderful gifts and additions to anyone's home. Along with a select line of jewelry & women's fashion. ataldo fTteriors 42 Prince Street - Boston's North End Email design 857-317-6115 Boutique Hours: Monday - Thursday 11:30-7:00 Friday - Saturday 11:00-8:30 - Sunday 12-6