What does it mean to imagine your own future? We continue to wait for some politician or some social justice savior to make the changes we seek or we are entranced by political rhetoric and whipped up into … Continue reading
The Umayyad or Omeya dynasty was one of the many caliphates that ruled the Iberian peninsula for over seven centuries. The Umayyad dynasty ruled from Cordoba in the 9th and 10th century. Under their reign, Cordoba became the capital of … Continue reading
Azulejos aka Spanish and Portuguese ceramic tiles are one of my favorite things in the world. While ceramic tiles had been in the Iberian peninsula for centuries, it was the Islamic empire that raised them to the level of art … Continue reading
Have the winter blues got you down? Never fear! In the next couple of weeks, things will be looking brighter with two upcoming winter celebrations. Carnival and Valentine´s Day are just around the corner and they have much more in common than the proximity of their dates.
The Roman Catholic church created both Carnival and Valentine’s Day from a single pre-Roman winter festival. Lupercalia was a Spring fertility ritual whose highlights included whipping women with bloody goat hides and community-wide partner swapping. Carnival, in its celebration of unbridled passion, is much closer in spirit to the original festival of Lupercalia than Valentine´s Day. However, Valentine´s Day couches it´s passion and sex in the socially prescribed space of romantic relationships while Carnival allows participants to unapologetically go crazy. These celebrations are two sides of the same coin. However, what really brings them together is wine! Wine is a magic elixir that unleashes our pent up emotions to shake us out of our winter slump and prepare us for the joy and wildness of the coming Spring.
We will pay homage to Lupercalia with a celebration that combines the best of Carnival and Valentine’s Day. Come join me on Saturday, 17 February at Opalo Gastropub as we chase away the winter blues with great wine, food, and fun!
To be aligned with the seasons is to do what the weather requires us to do in that moment. Winter, in the north, is dark and cold it is a time to cuddle up by the fire and wrapped in a warm blanket dream your future or contemplate your past with a glass of wine.