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He is one of the world’s most dangerous predators. But meeting his newborn cub for the first time, this fearsome lion appears as gentle as a tabby cat.
The heartwarming first encounter between the adorable lion cub and his father was captured on camera in a series of stunning images.
At first the seven-week old cub appeared nervous as he approached his father, but the youngster quickly forgot his initial shyness and began playfully scratching and biting the adult lion, before appearing to reach up and plant a kiss on his head.Photographer Suzi Eszterhas spent months tracking the pride of lions on the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya in order to capture the touching first meeting between father and son.After catching sight of the newborn cub and his two siblings at around three weeks old, she followed them as they grew.When they reached seven weeks the lioness decided her cubs were old enough to be introduced to the rest of the pride – including their father – and the 36-year-old Californian was there to capture the special moment.The photographer said the protective lioness kept a close watch on all interactions between the cubs and their father to ensure the adult lion was not too rough with her brood.But the breathtaking shots show the mighty lion was tender in his treatment of the vulnerable cub.‘Newborn animals are always difficult to photograph,’ said Miss Eszterhas.‘You spend a lot of time just waiting while they are tucked away, completely hidden in long grass, deep brush, or a cave.‘But if you put in enough hours, you will be there when the mother brings them out into the open.’Nice to meet you: Father and son lay eyes on one another for the first time, as the cub’s protective mother keeps a close watch nearbyFatherly pride: The adult lion places a protective paw on his cub’s back as the pair meet for the first time on the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Playful: The excitable cub may have been a little too eager with his claws judging by the expression on his father’s face
Ouch: The adult lion bares his impressive teeth as the cub appears to playfully bite his father, watched by a sibling
‘In this case, I followed the pride for three months, every day from sunrise to sunset, from the time the cubs were only three weeks old.‘In these scenes the mother brought them out of the den to meet the pride for the first time, including their father.’Miss Eszterhas said of the first meeting between father and son: ‘The cub was a bit shy and apprehensive but the father was very gentle.‘In the other photos, the cubs are more familiar with the father and are playing with him.‘The father reacted by gently playing with them and often growling.‘In both situations, the mother was sitting nearby, watching very closely, ready to pounce on the father if he got a bit too rough with her cubs.’The photographs have been published in a children’s book series, Eye on the Wild.‘In total, I worked with two different prides for about six months to get the material from the book,’ said Miss Eszterhas.‘And seeing the cubs meet their father for the first time is one of the most memorable wildlife experiences I have ever had.‘Working with lions means that you are coping with a lot of downtime, since they sleep about 20 hours a day.‘But it makes it all worthwhile when you get to witness and capture incredible moments like this.’(contributed by : SN on 10.09.2012)
Circulated note of two rupees, eight annas was issued by Government of India in 1918.Circulated note of two rupees, eight annas was issued by Government of India in 1918.
Sardarji went hunting one day on Ontario and bagged three ducks. He put them in the back of his pickup truck and was about to drive home when, he was confronted by a game warden, who was not fond of Sardars.
The Game warden ordered the Sardar to show his hunting license and the Sardar pulled out a valid Ontario hunting license.
The Game warden looked at the license then reached over and picked up one of the ducks, sniffed its butt and said, “This duck ain’t from Ontario, This is a Quebec duck. Have you got a Quebec hunting license, boy??”.
The Sardar reached into his wallet and produced a Quebec hunting license.
The Game warden looked at it, then reached over and grabbed the second duck, sniffed its butt and said ” This ain’t no Quebec duck. This duck’s from Manitoba. You got a Manitoba license??”.
The Sardar reached into his wallet and produced a Manitoba hunting license.
The Warden then reached over and picked up the third duck, sniffed its butt and said ” This ain’t no Manitoba duck. This here duck’s from Nova Scotia. You got a Nova Scotia hunting license??”.
Again the sardar reached into his wallet, keeping calm and patience and brought out a Nova Scotia license.
The Game warden was extremely frustrated at this point and he yelled at the sardar” Just where the hell are you from??”,
The sardar smiled , turned around bent over, dropped his pants showing his butt and said ” You tell me, you are the expert””.(contributed by: Mohan Rao on 15.09.2011)
The Harmandir Sahib (Punjabi: ਹਰਿਮੰਦਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ, IPA: [həɾməndəɾ sɑhɪb] or IPA: [həɾɪməndəɾ sɑhɪb]) also Darbar Sahib (Punjabi: ਦਰਬਾਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ, IPA: [dəɾbɑɾ sɑhɪb]), also referred to as the Golden Temple, is a prominent Sikh gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab (India). Construction of the gurdwara was begun by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru, and completed by his successor, Guru Arjan Dev. In 1604, Guru Arjan Dev completed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, and installed it in the Gurdwara.
In 1634, Guru Hargobind left Amritsar for the Shivalik Hills and for the remainder of the seventeenth century the city and gurdwara was in the hands of forces hostile to the Sikh Gurus. During the eighteenth century, the Harmandir Sahib was the site of frequent fighting between the Sikhs on one side and either Mughal or Afghan forces on the other side and the gurdwara occasionally suffered damage. In the early nineteenth century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh secured the Punjab region from outside attack and covered the upper floors of the gurdwara with gold, which gives it its distinctive appearance and English name of “Golden Temple”.
Located in Amritsar, Harmandir Sahib is considered holy by Sikhs because the eternal guru of Sikhism, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, is always present inside it and its construction was mainly intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religion to come and worship God equally.The Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the holiest literature in the Sikh religion, the tenth guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh, in 1708 at Nanded made it the eternal Sikh Guru and the leader of Sikhism. Anywhere in the world where the Guru Granth Sahib is present is equally holy and precious to Sikhs.
Its name literally means Temple of God.The fourth guru of Sikhism, Guru Ram Das, excavated a tank in 1577 CE which subsequently became known as Amritsar (meaning “Pool of the Nectar of Immortality”), giving its name to the city that grew around it. In due course, a splendid Sikh edifice, Harmandir Sahib (meaning “the abode of God”), rose in the middle of this tank and became the supreme centre of Sikhism. Its sanctum came to house the Adi Granth comprising compositions of Sikh gurus and other saints considered to have Sikh values and philosophies, e.g., Baba Farid, and Kabir. The compilation of the Adi Granth was started by the fifth guru of Sikhism, Guru Arjan Dev.
Construction of the Harmandir SahibDukh Bhanjani Beri & Ath Sath Tirath
Originally built in 1574, the site of the temple was surrounded by a small lake in a thin forest. The third of the six grand Mughals, Emperor Akbar, who visited the third Sikh guru, Guru Amar Das, in the neighbouring town of Goindval, was so impressed by the way of life in the town that he gave a jagir (the land and the revenues of several villages in the vicinity) to the guru’s daughter Bhani as a gift on her marriage to Bhai Jetha, who later became the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das. Guru Ram Das enlarged the lake and built a small township around it. The town was named after Guru Ram Das as Guru Ka Chak’, Chak Ram Das or Ram Das Pura.
During the leadership of the fifth guru, Guru Arjan Dev (1581–1606), the full-fledged Temple was built. In December 1588, the great Muslim Sufi saint of Lahore, Hazrat Mian Mir, who was a close friend of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, initiated the construction of the temple by laying the first foundation stone (December 1588 CE). A mason then straightened the stone but Guru Arjan Dev told him that, as he had undone the work just completed by the holy man, a disaster might come to the Harmandir Sahib. It was later attacked by the Mughals.
The temple was completed in 1604. Guru Arjan Dev, installed the Guru Granth Sahib in it and appointed Baba Buddha Ji as the first Granthi (reader) of it on August 1604. In the mid-18th century it was attacked by the Afghans, by one of Ahmed Shah Abdali’s generals, Jahan Khan, and had to be substantially rebuilt in the 1760s. However, in response a Sikh Army was sent to hunt down the Afghan force. They were under orders to show no mercy and historical evidence suggests the Sikh Army was decisively victorious in the ensuing battle. Both forces met each other five miles outside Amritsar; Jahan Khan’s army was destroyed. He himself was decapitated by commander Sardar Dayal Singh.
The Harmandir Sahib Complex and areas in its vicinity
The temple is surrounded by a large lake, known as the Sarovar, which consists of Amrit (“holy water” or “immortal nectar”). There are four entrances to the temple, signifying the importance of acceptance and openness. Inside the temple complex there are many shrines to past Sikh gurus, saints and martyrs (see map). There are three holy trees (bers), each signifying a historical event or Sikh saint. Inside the temple there are many memorial plaques that commemorate past Sikh historical events, saints, martyrs and includes commemorative inscriptions of all the Sikh soldiers who died fighting in World Wars I and II.
In 1988, after Operation Black Thunder, the government acquired a narrow peripheral strip of land (including buildings) in order to use their space as a security buffer. The acquisition process involved the displacement and relocation of a large number of residences and businesses. However, the project met with a strong resistance from both moderate and militant Sikh organisations and had to be abandoned following the murder of a senior government-employed engineer connected with the project. The project was revived only in 1993 by the Deputy Commissioner Karan Bir Singh Sidhu, who was also appointed as the project director of what became popularly known as the Galliara Project. He changed the concept of the periphery from that of a security belt to that of a second parikarma and created a serene landscape that was fully consistent with the ethereal beauty of the Harmandir Sahib. This was done in quiet consultation with the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC). Present-day pilgrims can travel by foot in the Galliara; no vehicles are permitted.
In keeping with the rule observed at all Sikh temples (Gurdwaras) worldwide, the Harmandir Sahib is open to all persons regardless of their religion, colour, creed, or sex. The only restrictions on the Harmandir Sahib’s visitors concern their behavior when entering and while visiting:
- Maintaining the purity of the sacred space and of one’s body while in it:
- Upon entering the premises, removing one’s shoes (leaving them off for the duration of one’s visit) and washing one’s feet in the small pool of water provided;
- Not drinking alcohol, eating meat, or smoking cigarettes or other drugs while in the shrine
- Dressing appropriately:
- Wearing a head covering (a sign of respect) (the temple provides head scarves for visitors who have not brought a suitable covering);
- Not wearing shoes (see above).
- How to act :
- One must also sit on the ground while in the Darbar Sahib as a sign of inferiority to both the Guru Granth Sahib and God.
First-time visitors are advised to begin their visit at the information office highlighted in the map and then proceed to the Central Sikh Museum near the main entrance and clock tower.(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmandir_Sahib)The Harmandir Sahib (Punjabi: ਹਰਿਮੰਦਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ, IPA: ), also referred to as the Golden Temple, is a prominent Sikh gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab (India). Construction of the gurdwara was begun by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru, and completed ...
- Maintaining the purity of the sacred space and of one’s body while in it:
Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. December 25–Christmas Day–has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870.
An Ancient Holiday
The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight.
In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule from December 21, the winter solstice, through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which they would set on fire. The people would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days. The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year.
The end of December was a perfect time for celebration in most areas of Europe. At that time of year, most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter. For many, it was the only time of year when they had a supply of fresh meat. In addition, most wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking.
In Germany, people honored the pagan god Oden during the mid-winter holiday. Germans were terrified of Oden, as they believed he made nocturnal flights through the sky to observe his people, and then decide who would prosper or perish. Because of his presence, many people chose to stay inside.
In Rome, where winters were not as harsh as those in the far north, Saturnalia—a holiday in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture—was celebrated. Beginning in the week leading up to the winter solstice and continuing for a full month, Saturnalia was a hedonistic time, when food and drink were plentiful and the normal Roman social order was turned upside down. For a month, slaves would become masters. Peasants were in command of the city. Business and schools were closed so that everyone could join in the fun.
Also around the time of the winter solstice, Romans observed Juvenalia, a feast honoring the children of Rome. In addition, members of the upper classes often celebrated the birthday of Mithra, the god of the unconquerable sun, on December 25. It was believed that Mithra, an infant god, was born of a rock. For some Romans, Mithra’s birthday was the most sacred day of the year.
In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. Unfortunately, the Bible does not mention date for his birth (a fact Puritans later pointed out in order to deny the legitimacy of the celebration). Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring (why would shepherds be herding in the middle of winter?), Pope Julius I chose December 25. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century. By the end of the eighth century, the celebration of Christmas had spread all the way to Scandinavia. Today, in the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger.
By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced, but gave up the ability to dictate how it was celebrated. By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion. On Christmas, believers attended church, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today’s Mardi Gras. Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the “lord of misrule” and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorize them with mischief. Christmas became the time of year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined “debt” to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens.
An Outlaw Christmas
In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday.
The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.
After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.
Irving Reinvents Christmas
It wasn’t until the 19th century that Americans began to embrace Christmas. Americans re-invented Christmas, and changed it from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia. But what about the 1800s peaked American interest in the holiday?
The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil. During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. In 1828, the New York city council instituted the city’s first police force in response to a Christmas riot. This catalyzed certain members of the upper classes to begin to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America.
In 1819, best-selling author Washington Irving wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, gent., a series of stories about the celebration of Christmas in an English manor house. The sketches feature a squire who invited the peasants into his home for the holiday. In contrast to the problems faced in American society, the two groups mingled effortlessly. In Irving’s mind, Christmas should be a peaceful, warm-hearted holiday bringing groups together across lines of wealth or social status. Irving’s fictitious celebrants enjoyed “ancient customs,” including the crowning of a Lord of Misrule. Irving’s book, however, was not based on any holiday celebration he had attended – in fact, many historians say that Irving’s account actually “invented” tradition by implying that it described the true customs of the season.
A Christmas Carol
Also around this time, English author Charles Dickens created the classic holiday tale, A Christmas Carol. The story’s message-the importance of charity and good will towards all humankind-struck a powerful chord in the United States and England and showed members of Victorian society the benefits of celebrating the holiday.
The family was also becoming less disciplined and more sensitive to the emotional needs of children during the early 1800s. Christmas provided families with a day when they could lavish attention-and gifts-on their children without appearing to “spoil” them.
As Americans began to embrace Christmas as a perfect family holiday, old customs were unearthed. People looked toward recent immigrants and Catholic and Episcopalian churches to see how the day should be celebrated. In the next 100 years, Americans built a Christmas tradition all their own that included pieces of many other customs, including decorating trees, sending holiday cards, and gift-giving.
Although most families quickly bought into the idea that they were celebrating Christmas how it had been done for centuries, Americans had really re-invented a holiday to fill the cultural needs of a growing nation.
Each year, 30-35 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States alone. There are 21,000 Christmas tree growers in the United States, and trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.
Today, in the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger.
In the Middle Ages, Christmas celebrations were rowdy and raucous—a lot like today’s Mardi Gras parties.
From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was outlawed in Boston, and law-breakers were fined five shillings.
Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States on June 26, 1870.
The first eggnog made in the United States was consumed in Captain John Smith’s 1607 Jamestown settlement.
Poinsettia plants are named after Joel R. Poinsett, an American minister to Mexico, who brought the red-and-green plant from Mexico to America in 1828.
The Salvation Army has been sending Santa Claus-clad donation collectors into the streets since the 1890s.
Rudolph, “the most famous reindeer of all,” was the product of Robert L. May’s imagination in 1939. The copywriter wrote a poem about the reindeer to help lure customers into the Montgomery Ward department store.
Construction workers started the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition in 1931.