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Special Edition Winter Holidays


SUMAR Craiova în haine de sărbătoare .................................... 3 Christmas Traditions in Spain and Catalonia .................5 Christmas traditions in Lithuania ....................................8 It's beginning to look a lot like... Italian Christmas! .......9 Minunile lui Moș Crăciun ................................................. 11 Music & Movies New Year's Eve & Billboard ............... 12 Christmas bread in Greece .................................................. 13 Romanian Christmas Traditions ......................................... 13

Redactor Șef Andreea Melinescu

Redactori Cristina Golban Cristian Predoi Andrei Săvulescu

Art Director Andreea Melinescu PR și Publicitate Mădălina Vulpescu Claudiu Drăgan Ionuț Alexandru Lungu

Spark Magazine vă urează Sărbători Fericite!

Colaboratori: Chiara Colasanti Aiana Maria Iacob Alba Tarroc Laura Tarroc Larisa Baroniene Melahrini Papardeli


Contact ISSN 2247 – 9392 ISSN-L 2247 – 9392

Reproducerea oricărui material din această publicație este categoric interzisă în lipsa consimțământului prealabil al Spark Studio. 3

Craiova în haine de sărbătoare Iarna, orașul se transformă. Din banal, devine un oraș de poveste, plin de lumini, spiritul sărbătorilor plutind în aer. Anul acesta este mai frumos ca niciodată. Aș vrea să încerc să vă descriu, dar nu cred că aș reuși foarte bine, așa că o să las pozele să vorbească. O să închei prin a vă spune că îmi doresc să fiu iar copil, să mă bucur de Orășelul Copiilor așa cum o făceam înainte, iar fiecare lumină, pe care o văd, să cred că este un licurici. Because we have friends from other countries I must say something in English too. First of all I want to thank everybody who send us articles about Christmas in their countries. I want to thank everybody from Country Fair International Project for reading our magazine online. I am going to conclude by saying that I love my city when it is winter and here you can see some pictures of Craiova ready for Holidays. A.M.



Foto: Andreea Melinescu

Christmas Traditions in Spain and Catalonia Christmas is coming! One of the most expected holidays around the world! Families, who never join throughout the year, take this opportunity to meet. Gifts, Santa Claus, great meals ... these things are common to Christmas all around the world. Still, there are some different traditions in the different countries and continents. Today, we are going to talk about some Spanish and Catalan Christmas traditions and about how we celebrate these holidays in Barcelona. Christmas meals If you come to Spain for Christmas there are some things you can not miss! Turrones: It’s the most typical Christmas sweet in Spain. We eat it throughout the months of December and January. This sweet is made of a honey or sugar dough and has a rectangular shape. The most typical turrón is made of almonds, in its hard variant (Turrón de Alicante) and soft one (Turrón de Jijona). Chocolate and egg yolk turrones are also well known. Delicious! Polvorones: Another typical Christmas sweet. The polvoron is a small cake made of flour, butter and sugar. It crumbles when you eat it! El Roscón de Reyes: It is a round cake filled with cream or chocolate that is served on January 6th (Epiphany) in Spain, Portugal and some Latin American countries.

In recent years it has become a tradition to hide two small figures into the twisted roll: one with the shape of a king (the one who finds it will be the King of the party) and another with the shape of a bean (the one who finds it must pay the cake). You dare to try it? Escudella de Carn d'olla i sopa de Galets: It is the most traditional dish on Christmas day in Catalonia. Escudella is a kind of broth made of vegetables; celery, squash, potato, tomato, onion, leek, shawm and others. It also carries chickpeas and dried beans, and, above all, meat. Once cooked we separate meat and vegetables from the broth and we use the broth to cook the traditional Sopa de Galets, a kind of soup made with special shell-shaped pasta. Then, meat and vegetables are served as a second dish.


Curious traditions and festivities

Beside the typical traditions, celebrated all around the world: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year ... in Catalonia and Spain we have some specific and curious traditions and festivities: A trunk that shit gifts! In Catalonia and Aragon there is a Christmas tradition called Tió de Nadal. It begins on December 8th by feeding a trunk that is normally covered with a blanket to keep it warm during the night. We continue feeding the trunk until December 24th when we hit it with a stick to make it shit presents for the children while we sing a popular Catalan song: Caga Tió. El tió always shits candy and small toys for the youngest, never large objects. The tradition of El Tió is related to the Christmas tree, also a gift bearer for children. Older children and young people replace the Tió by another tradition called Amic Invisible (Invisible Friend), which consists on distributing papers with the names of all the persons in a group and everyone will have to make a small gift to the person in his paper. Jokes day On December 28 in Spain and some Latin American countries we celebrate El día de los Santos Inocentes which commemorates the killing of all Christian children in Bethlem (Judea) ordered by King Herod to get rid of Jesus of Nazareth. In Spain is traditional on this day to make all kind of jokes. The media make jokes or distort the content of the news to make them seem real. The most popular joke in Spain is to put a white rag doll in the back. El dia de los Santos Inocentes is an equivalent to April 1 ("Ziua păcălelilor.") held in Romania and in other countries such as Italy, UK and France!


New Year Traditions

On December 31th we have some special traditions in Spain. The most important one is The News Years Grapes (Uvas de año Nuevo). This tradition consists on eating 12 grapes, one for each chime, at 12 pm on December 31 to welcome the New Year. People sit around the TV which broadcast the 12 chimes from the clock in Plaza del Sol de Madrid and eat a grape every time it rings a bell. It is said that if you can not eat all the grapes you won’t be lucky the following year. Another New Years tradition that brings you good luck is to wear red underwear! So you know, if you are in Spain and you want to have good luck for the coming year, put on red underwear and eat all the 12 grapes!

Santa Claus or the Three Magic Kings? Who Spanish children wait for? Traditionally in Spain the figure of Santa Claus did not exist or had little importance, the ones who brought presents to Spanish children were the three Magic Kings who came from the East on the night of December 5. Currently the figure of Santa Claus, imported from northern Europe, has gained considerable strength and most children receive presents both days; on 25 by Santa Claus and on January 6 by the Magic Kings. Still, the Epiphany remains very important in Spain and is celebrated with the whole family with a great meal in which we serve Roscón de Reyes. On January 5, at night, is held La Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos; a parade of floats where the three kings (Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar) and their pages throw candy to the kids who watched from the street. It is also the last opportunity for children to give their letter to the kings because at night they have to go to bed early to wait for the Kings gifts According to tradition the children who have behaved badly during the previous year receive candy coal as only present. Hope to see you in Spain for Christmas and happy New Year to all of you!


Alba Tarroc, Laura Tarroc, Spain Photo: Sílvia Martínez

Christmas traditions in Lithuania Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

Christmas Eve dinner is more important in Lithuania than Christmas dinner. Although Christmas is purely Christian Holiday, there are a lot of Pagan elements in the Lithuanian Christmas tradition. Christmas Eve is closely related with the winter solstice. Christmas Eve is associated with cleanliness and light. Preparation for the holidays takes all day. Food is being prepared not only for the special dinner but also for the first day of Christmas. People fast and abstain from meat, so none of the 12 meals for the Christmas Eve dinner can contain meat. Christmas wafers (often referred to as God’s Cakes) is the first Christmas Eve dinner meal. Each family member is supposed to share his/her Christmas wafer with all the other members of the family as a ritual of continuity and sharing. The table is prepared as follows: a handful of fine hay is spread evenly on the table. This is a reminder that Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger on hay. The table is then covered with a pure white tablecloth, set with plates and decorated with candles and small Christmas tree boughs. All the dishes are strictly meatless: fish, herring, sliŞikai with poppy seed milk, kisielius (cranberry pudding), a dried fruit soup, a salad of winter and dried vegetables, mushrooms, boiled or baked potatoes, sauerkraut (cooked, of course, without meat) and bread.

It is typical to exchange presents on Christmas day. Children normally find them under the Christmas Tree and believe that they were brought by Santa Claus. If there are no children in a family, adults exchange presents among themselves. Christmas day is an extended version of a family gathering that started on Christmas Eve. On the first day of Christmas family stays together, however, it is popular to visit other relatives or close friends on the second day of Christmas.



Larisa Baroniene, Lithuania

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Italian Christmas! In Italy Christmas is one of the favorite period of the year for the most part of the population: the lights all around the cities (but it's impossible to feel the Christmas' atmosphere in the middle of November, when they start lighten the lights!), the mistletoe, the presents, the time spent with the family... it's like coming back home after a long period in which you were absent. Christmas songs all around, people who's running everywhere to find the right present (but above all, to find the presents just to have something to give to someone and make the person who receive the present think “What have I done to have such an horrible thing?”), people everywhere and a lot of fake feelings that make this period of the year my challenge. Don't misunderstand me: I clearly love, adore this atmosphere! I'm crazy about the Christmas songs, the Christmas lights, the idea that during Christmas everyone could be sweeter and could care more about the others but... I see so many fake feelings that I'm scared by them and I prefer to become a little Grinch than to feel totally desperate all the period long. In Italy there are lots of open-air market everywhere coming from everywhere in Europe and in the whole world: this is the most attractive thing in my opinion.

You can choose a city thinking about the origin of its open-air market. For example in Florence there is an open-air market that's coming from Germany; in Rome you can find lots of different open-air markets and it's so interesting to see what other people do during Christmas! Another thing that it's impossible not to notice during Christmas is the food: here we get totally crazy for panettone, pandoro and lots of other sweeties (but not only!) that are typically Italian and, moreover, typically of some parts of Italy. In Italy another important thing is the crib: you cannot feel Christmas if you don't have a crib at home. A th lot like a Christmas tree... on the 8 of December in Italy in every house there will be a Christmas tree made up to keep the presents under it. This year, with this crisis, I don't know how's gonna be this Christmas, I'm only hoping that everyone will focus on their own feelings and get a little bit more involved in the true Christmas' spirit, that is the most important thing. There is one more thing that I simply adore about Christmas: the midnight mass on Christmas Eve. I love eating the dinner rushing a little bit and then running to the church and feeling the arrival of Jesus for another year, living the night and feeling a little bit nearer to the “others”.


Then you can come back home and open the presents or wait for Santa to come during the night and wait the next morning to discover if you've been a good guy or not... Above all the discourses about fake or true feelings, presents, Christmas lights and Christmas songs... all that I can say is that I wish you a Very Merry Christmas everywhere you are and I hope that “all your Christmases can be bright!” ...and I would like to add a special wish for next year: the crisis can exist everywhere, it's not a breaking news, but we have to remember that we can do lots of wonderful things just believing in our possibilities... We have to believe in ourselves and fight for our rights... let's make this 2012 unforgettable and forget about Maya, please! Have yourself a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! Greetings from Italy, eating panettone and listening to “Christmas”, the new album from Micheal Bublé! ;) Chiara Colasanti, Italy


Minunile lui Moș Crăciun Haideți să facem o călătorie în timp... pe vremea când eram cu toții copii. Care este cea mai îndepărtată amintire a voastră? Să fie cea legata de Paște? Sau poate cea legată de ziua de naștere? NU... cea mai veche amintire, și de asemenea și cea mai frumoasă, este cea legată de Crăciun. Fiecare știm ce ne-am dorit atunci, întâia oară, cu câtă nerăbdare l-am așteptat pe Moș Crăciun, cu cât timp înainte am așezat lângă brad farfurioara cu prăjiturele și paharul cu lapte cald.... cât de mult ne-am dorit să îl vedem, cu barba lui albă și sacul plin de cadouri, coborând pe coșul casei. Ne întrebăm dacă ne-a adus într-adevăr cadoul mult dorit. Da, dar Moșul nu se rezumă numai la darurile materiale.

Adesea, în perioada Crăciunului, se întâmplă multe minuni, care mai de care mai neașteptate, dar care aduc cu ele cele mai mari bucurii din viața unui om. Oare cât timp își va aminti Caleb Teodorescu acest Crăciun? Micuțul de 2 anișori este stabilit împreună cu familia în Statele Unite. Fiind plecat la joacă de câteva ore, mama băiatului, Mihaela Teodorescu, a început să se îngrijoreze. După lungi căutări, a trăit un șoc când l-a văzut plutind cu fața în jos în piscina din curtea casei și a observat că nu mai respiră. Panicată, a sunat la salvare. Medicii nu îi dădeau copilului nici o șansă de supraviețuire. Caleb respira doar pe baza aparatelor până ce doctorii au găsit o soluție de a-l face să respire singur. După câteva zile, micuțul și-a revenit complet. Miracolul a început să se facă simțit. Caleb a început să se miște, mai apoi a deschis ochii, iar după 3 zile a fost externat. Astfel de minuni se petrec zilnic, cu ajutorul fiecăruia dintre noi. Pentru Caleb, speranța salvatoare a fost medicul său, pentru un alt copil ai putea fi chiar tu. Așa că nu sta pe gânduri, și oricând se ivește ocazia, fi tu însuți Moș Crăciun. Anul acesta, familia Teodorescu își petrece Crăciunul în familie, alături de băiețelul lor, încercând sâ îi fie cât mai aproape. Oare ce își dorește micuțul Caleb de Crăciun?


Aiana Maria Iacob

Music & Movies

New Year's Eve New Year’s Eve este o comedie romantică, fiind realizată de Garry Marshall. Poveștile personajelor se petrec în ajunul revelionului, în orașul New York. New Year's Eve are o distribuție de excepție, personajele fiind interpretate de Ashton Kutcher, Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Hilary Swank, Jon Bon Jovi , Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Lea Michele , Jessica Biel, Ashton Kutcher şi mulți alții. Filmul îl puteți vedea la Cinema Patria, în perioada 14 – 22 decembrie.

TOP 10 Music Hits 2011 TOP 10 Artists 2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Adele Rihanna Katy Perry Lady Gaga Lil Wayne Bruno Mars Nicki Minaj Taylor Swift Justin Bieber Chris Brown

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 13

Rolling in the deep – Adele Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO Firework – Katy Perry E.T. – Katy Perry ft. Kanye West Give me everytihing – Pitbull ft. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer Grenade – Bruno Mars F**k you – Cee Lo Green Super Bass – Nicki Minaj Moves like Jagger – Maroon 5 ft Christina Aguilera Just can’t get enough – The Black Eyed Peas

Christmas bread in Greece Every year on Christmas Eve we make Christmas breads. These Christmas breads are made of flour and we put a coin in one of them. Then we bake them in the stove and during Christmas Eve’s dinner the father of the family gives a bread to each of the members. The one who will get the coin is the lucky! Melahrini Papardeli, Greece

Romanian Christmas Traditions Caroling In Romania, the winter holiday season is truly in full-swing from December 24 to January 7. Highlights include: Christmas Day, New Year and Epiphany, with their respective eves. The most important feature of these celebrations is their unique variety of colorful Romanian customs, traditions, and believes, of artistic, literary, musical, and other folklore events, which make the winter holidays some of the most original and spectacular spiritual manifestations of the Romanian people. Traditionally, during the first hours after dark on Christmas' Eve is the time for children to go caroling and the adults stay home to greet them.


As they go caroling from house to house, the children receive treats like candy, fruit, baked treats and sometimes even money in appreciation of their performance and as a sign of holiday good will. The grown-ups caroling goes on Christmas evening and night. The waits young and mature people - gather in groups and they choose a leader. When they are in the front yard of a house, they perform their repertory to the host. The songs are always accompanied by dance. When the performance is over, the host invites the carolers inside the house for food, drinks and presents.


ISSN 2247 – 9392 ISSN-L 2247 – 9392

Spark Magazine Special Edition WH 2011  

Spark Magazine Special Edition 2011

Spark Magazine Special Edition WH 2011  

Spark Magazine Special Edition 2011