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For all that has been said of the love that certain natures (on shore) have professed for it, for all the celebrations it has been the object of in prose and song, the sea has never been friendly to man. At most it has been the accomplice of human restlessness.
At the time of the Silver Jubilee, I was a grumpy anti-monarchist. I didn't celebrate and was appalled by the celebrations. In my idiocy, I missed out! I feel completely differently now compared with that time.
Most cultures traditionally link food and spirituality directly with periodic restrictions and celebrations punctuating the year. Abstinence from particular foods or full-on fasting is part of many religious traditions and holidays.
And currently, there are four to five new works in the pipeline for upcoming celebrations such as the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Australian Federation, my 50th Birthday, and Sydney Dance Company's 25th Anniversary.
South Africa is the only place in the Southern hemisphere where Halloween is really catching on. They have a lot of sporting events that have made it more popular there. They have motocross and rave celebrations, and they're embracing it as a youth culture thing.
One of the things people don't really recognise about the similarities between country and hip-hop is that they're celebrations of pride in a lifestyle.
My early childhood memories center around this typical American country store and life in a small American town, including 4th of July celebrations marked by fireworks and patriotic music played from a pavilion bandstand.
I often imagine what it would be like if my father were still here to mark his 100th birthday, if Alzheimer's hadn't clawed away years, possibilities, hopes. What would he think of all the commemorations and celebrations?
For me, religious festivals and celebrations have become an important way to teach my children about how we can transform living with diversity from the superficial 'I eat ethnic food', to something dignified, mutually respectful and worthwhile.
My mother loved entertaining, and I've followed suit, so we have big celebrations for New Year, Passover, Thanksgiving and birthdays.
The holidays are my favorite time of year! Christmas was always one of the biggest celebrations in Sweden, and I look forward to the festivities each year.
When the soldiers came home from Vietnam, there were no parades, no celebrations. So they built the Vietnam Memorial for themselves.
The holiday season can be an especially trying time for our service men, women, and families. Military service and deployment create empty seats at holiday tables, religious services, and celebrations.
Religious celebrations, and the good will, high spirits and generosity that mark them, are wonderful occasions for understanding the potential of 'everyday multiculturalism', and how people from diverse faiths can connect and show they care, rather than go down parallel, sometimes hostile, roads.
Having cakes as a business certainly changes things for me - I don't now sit at home doing a cake for the fun of it anymore. But it's an extremely happy and pleasureable business to run because people are generally buying cakes for celebrations.
As Brits, we love a do, don't we? I adore our national celebrations. If I see a gold coach, you almost need to put me in a straitjacket, I get so excited.
The terrorist attacks of 9/11 briefly disrupted celebrations of a world globalised by capital and consumption.
A lot of my reading over the next few months will be the works of Hans Christian Andersen - I have been appointed an ambassador for the bicentenary celebrations of his birth next year.
I've lost count of the plane tickets I've had in my pocket for people's weddings and other celebrations which I've had to tear up because I was making a film. How many things like that can you miss and still be in people's lives?
They decided as part of my 75th birthday celebrations that I would be entitled to fly first class. I'll be honest, I'm not good at flying anymore. To my credit, I can stretch out on two coach seats.
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