Celebrating with a different kind of holiday star: The unexpectedly pagan side of Christmas

Sharp smells of pine needles and holly, twinkling lights, and heaps of food spread out at parties, are just a few things that come to mind once December hits Canada every year. Widely known as a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas is one of the biggest North American holidays. But despite the holiday having primarily Christian roots, a lot about Christmas as we know it today, has unexpectedly pagan origins. While Christianity emerged as a monotheistic religion during the Roman Empire, experts say many of its holiday customs were influenced by the dominant Western polytheistic pagan religions around them. And even with the dominance of Christmas’ Christian narrative, some still appreciate and believe in the pre-Christian pagan […]

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Food and Drink Blog: The time I made pierogies with Mom

Sometime back in the fall I was on the phone with my mom. We were talking about food (typical), and she mentioned she wanted to try making pierogies. Over Christmas the conversation continued, and we tentatively said in January, before I was due to leave for an exchange, we’d make the delicious dumplings. Then one day, she came home and asked, “Do you feel up to making pierogies today?” I grunted briefly, tempted to say no because I was in full hibernation mode, but alas I motivated myself to commit. Today was the day. And actually a perfect day to stay in and cook. Winter had finally arrived and I had done most of my exchange prep minus packing (ughhhhhh). Once […]

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Food and Drink Blog: Beer pairings for leftover gingerbread

My quest over the holidays was simple. It was framed with one question, and in my ample research, the answer was yes. The question: Does this beer go with gingerbread cookies? In my household there are a lot of cookies passed around at Christmas time. On average, we make 20 different varieties. And as we all know, I love beer, so naturally I had to find a way to have my two favourite things at the same time. There were naysayers. My mom is of the opinion that tea and hot chocolate are better accompaniments to cookies.  My dad, a fellow beer-lover, had doubts. But those were silenced when time and time again my instincts were right. So which beers […]

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Winter farmer’s market won’t be held at Carleton

Carleton will not be hosting the annual winter Ottawa Farmer’s Market due to an additional cleaning cost being added to the rental fee, according to farmer’s market board. The market, which was supposed to be held in the Fieldhouse on campus, is one of the biggest of its kind in Canada, according to Robin Turner, the president of the farmers’ market board of directors. The space is rented at a cost of around $2,000 per day, with the total price negotiated up front with Carleton. The university, however, added an additional $3,000 cleaning fee which forced the farmers to find another venue. Turner said the farmer’s market is a unique part of the Carleton community as well as the greater […]

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