Year-Round Holiday Traditions From Around the World

People from around the world have their own different cultures and traditions. However, one thing that everyone in the world has in common is special occasions in which families and loved ones come together to celebrate and catch up with one another. There are many different holidays celebrated at different times of the year by people around the world. Some of the customs may seem humorous or strange or fascinating to outsiders, but each is meaningful to those who participate.

1. St. Lucia Day

In many cultures, people light candles on a menorah or plug in an electric candolier as part of winter celebrations as the nights get darker and colder. In Sweden, girls take the tradition one step further, wearing a wreath of burning candles on their heads as they wake up their families in the morning by singing songs and bringing breakfast in bed. The holiday honors a saint from the third century.

2. Arapaho Sun Dance

Despite the name, members of several tribes, including Shoshone and Cheyenne, participate in the religious festival known as the Arapaho Sun Dance. It involves wishing for good fortune in the upcoming year by dancing around a pole topped with a buffalo skull. The festival takes place in Wyoming every summer.

3. Day of the Dead

Known in Spanish as Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead takes place on the first of November every year in Mexico. People can buy candy and other foods decorated with designs of skeletons and bones, and families take picnics to the graveyards to visit deceased loved ones.

4. Basanth

Boys in Pakistan hold kite fights to celebrate the first day of spring. They try to cut the strings of other kites and cause them to fall to the ground by coating their own kite strings with glue and powdered glass.
Even a holiday that is observed widely throughout the world is celebrated differently in various places. In Venezuela, people roller skate to church on Christmas Day while in Japan, where it is often not a religious observance, people order fried chicken to eat for a special family meal.
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Nighttime Is the Right Time in New York City

The bright lights of New York City beckon and bedazzle travelers like few other destinations. More than 62 million people visit the Big Apple every year, taking in towering attractions like the Empire State Building and historical landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty. Some flock to the shops on Fifth Avenue while others enjoy a restful day in Central Park. No matter how you fill your day, exciting opportunities await once the sun goes down.

Take in a Show

No trip to New York City would be complete without a visit to the Great White Way. With 41 professional theaters, Broadway is a destination for spectators the world over. Musical theater classics and daring new productions abound, but the fun isn’t limited to Broadway alone. Dozens of off- and off-off-Broadway theaters offer a variety of plays, new york city cabaret shows and other exciting productions.

Explore a Museum

New York City is famous for its museums, and access to these spectacular sites does not necessarily end at 5 o’clock. Many popular museums, such as The Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Rubin Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum, are open late at least one night per week. In some cases, the late hours come with free or reduced admission and other special events.

Go to a Club

If you prefer to get off your seat and onto your feet when nighttime comes around, there are no shortage of clubs and live music venues. Although disco may have come and gone, dancing is still alive and well in New York City. From wild to mild, countless clubs offer an eclectic mix of ambiance and entertainment. Renowned jazz and blues clubs attract discerning listeners looking for a different experience. Other legendary landmarks played important roles in rock ‘n’ roll history and continue to offer exceptional live music today.
Whatever your personal preferences, New York’s got you covered. Be sure to take in some of its nifty nightlife the next time you are in "The City That Never Sleeps."

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How to Enjoy the Best of Greece on a Family Vacation

Greece is a country famed for its beauty, ancient roots and family-friendly culture, and as such has been a firm family favorite for decades. If you’re planning on taking your family to the jewel of the Mediterranean this summer, you’ll want to extract the very best experiences from your time spent abroad. This article guides you through the must-dos and must-sees of Greece, helping you plan the itinerary of a memorable trip away to Greece with your loved ones in tow.

One of the world’s most scintillating and exciting capital cities, Athens is whatever you wish to make of it. With the Parthenon located atop the city’s acropolis the only must-see, the rest of your time spend in Greece’s bustling capital is open for improvisation. Some ideas on how to spend your days:
  • Shopping in busy local markets for European goods with Middle Eastern charm
  • Finding the most exquisite restaurants and cafes with delightful sea views
  • Walking the old town and its atmospheric narrow streets
  • Gobbling up more culture in the city’s stunning archaeological museumsOnce you’ve had your fill of this endlessly mesmerizing city, it’s time to move on to slightly less busy areas of this beautiful country.

Natural Sights
Greece isn’t exactly a haven for the world’s most exciting wildlife, but it does make up for this (and then some!) with a series of stunning natural vistas and rural communities that are well worth visiting. Renting a car to get between these is perhaps the most practical option for families, and it’s quiet and safe on the Greek roads. Look up some of the destinations that most suit your family beforehand, whether it’s those bubbling hot springs, towering mountains, or forests in which hikes acquire a mysterious and atmospheric quality.
Island Relaxation
After all that exploring, it’s time to take the tempo right down by heading off the coast and into the Aegean Sea. Here, you’ll find a generous dusting of delightful islands to satisfy your family’s yearning for solitude, peace, and relaxation. Luxury holiday villas in Mykonos are perfectly suited to the needs of a family and are situated within a walk or a short drive from small urban areas with traditional restaurants serving fresh and frightfully delicious cuisine. Book yourself in for a villa stay in the middle of your trip to build up the family’s energy before your next adventure.
After your villa stay, during which you’ll have spent plenty of time eating great food, tanning on sun loungers, and heading into the sea from your private beach, it’s time to get onto a chartered yacht to explore some of Greece’s other islands. There’s something almost exciting about sailing between outcrops of land, and it’s something the kids will find particularly beguiling, feeling like conquerors of new territories. Have your seaborne fun on tranquil turquoise waters to round off you fantastic, action-packed trip to Greece – the jewel of the Mediterranean. 
Take your family on vacation to Greece this summer to experience an ancient culture, incredible cuisine, beautiful villas and swashbuckling fun that is sure to delight grownups and kids alike.
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Lunch at O'Charley's Franklin, Tn

Cooking is not my favourite things to do. I do cook for my family. Eating outside is part of our weekend food trip or lazy days.

I've been in O'Charley many times and its closed to my home.

I love this bread. 

We started with salad.
Who doesn't love mac and cheese

Lunch is not complete with out rice and steak.

If you ask, what do I like most to eat in O'Charley's, well, its closed to my house, fast service.I like the food and they are really friendly; wanting me go back. The price is reasonable.

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A Trip Back in Time

A Trip Back in Time 

If you ask someone for the time these days, they will more than likely pull out their phone and relay the number the digital screen displays. Some houses only contain clocks in the form of microwaves and coffee makers. The digital revolution has seemingly left traditional clocks in the past. However, there are those who appreciate the art of finely crafted clocks which can be displayed on walls, desks or bedside tables. Here a few examples of clocks to be displayed as functional art pieces.

Office Clocks 

Desks can be tastefully accented with simple but elegant timepieces. A carefully chosen clock can be an instant conversation starter with clients. There are several PenduLux clocks available that fit the bill. For those interested in history, some designs have aviation and nautical themes. A heavier clock will serve a dual purpose as a paperweight.

Hang Time 

There is something to be said for an eye-catching clock that decorates a wall. These varieties can become the centerpiece of a room. An elegant choice for the wall would be a clock constructed with a pendulum and adorned with Roman numerals. Chimes are also an option for these models. There are some wall clocks on the market that display a barometer as an added feature. Cuckoo clocks offer a departure from the traditional clock in that they add a live twist on the notifications we are used to with our digital devices.

Father Time Can Be Grand 

The size and stature of a grandfather clock can add style and grace to any room. Ranging from six to eight feet tall, these timepieces can hold their value throughout the years. Most can be set to chime at multiple intervals of the hour and feature intricate designs on their cases. If space does not allow for a full-size grandfather clock, grandmother clocks are an option. These are generally shorter in height. For every space where you need to display the time, there are tasteful and unique options with which to do it.

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Galveston - Facts on the Island and City

Due to its enormity, people don't think of Texas as a coastal state. Yet, it has the sixth longest in the continental U.S. At the top of its 367-mile coastline, about an hour from Houston, is the city-island of Galveston.

The island and the city

Located in the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston Island measures 27 miles long and is no more than three miles across at its widest point. The city of Galveston, on the northeast portion of the island, is home to 50,000 permanent residents. This increases during the summer months.

How to get there
Out-of-state visitors arrive at one of Houston's two airports. From there, they can take a service like the Galveston Shuttle to transport them. Those who drive take Interstate 45 directly to the island. People who want to travel by rail can take Amtrak's Texas Eagle service from Houston into the coastal city. 

Cruising out of Galveston
In addition to being a city filled with all the amenities of a beach area, Galveston is also a cruise ship port. Royal Caribbean and Carnival are the two main lines which depart from the Port of Galveston. Their destination are the islands of either the Eastern or Western Caribbean. And, because of its mild year-round temperatures, cruises can be scheduled for any time of the year.

What to do?
For such a small area, the city-island of Galveston has a lot to offer. Some examples:

  • Camp or hike at the 2000-acre Galveston Island State Park
  • Walk along the soft sands of the Gulf-side Sunny Beach
  • Visit the aquarium and zip-line at Moody Gardens
  • Get wet at the year-round Schlitterbahn Waterpark
  • Go back in time with a visit to Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

When to go
With its location in the Gulf of Mexico, you can visit Galveston any time of year. Summer is the best as all the attractions are open. And though it can be rainy, winter is also a prime time to visit. 

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5 Reasons to Fly Business Class

There are those who dream of the luxury of first-class travel and there are those who fly business class. The difference between the two upper classes is actually negligible, yet business class is much cheaper and pound for pound, offers the better value for money. If you are a regular business class flyer, you will already be enjoying the many benefits, which include the following.

1 Priority Check In – We all know how tiring it is to check in alongside a couple of hundred others, who are all trying to get their baggage weighed and onto the belt. The veteran will arrive before the check in staff arrive, which is fine of you have a couple of hours to kill, yet you can avoid this with a business class ticket. No queues and a streamlined process sees you checked in in minutes, while the long queue next to you doesn’t seem to be moving.

2 The Business Class Lounge – An oasis in any airport, the Virgin business class lounge offers sumptuous comfort with food and drinks on tap. If you fancy a relaxing massage or nap, the amenities are there, and with free Wi-Fi, you can keep track of what’s happening in the world. For many frequent flyers, the exclusive business lounge is the main attraction, especially when you have to wait a few hours for a connecting flight.

3 Extra Baggage Allowance – It can be really tough deciding what to take, and with the extra allowance that comes with business class travel, you can be sure to take everything you might need, and the extra allowance means you can buy souvenirs for family and friends without facing an excess baggage charge.

4 Five Star Service – Once onboard the aircraft, expect 5-star service, as with first class, which includes great menus, superior audio and video, and much more. Complimentary slippers are standard, as is the blanket for those long flights, and the flight attendants are never far away in business class.

5 Priority Disembarking – The majority of passengers in economy class will have to wait it out while first and business class leave the aircraft. This means that the entry process is free of crowds (they are behind you) and therefore, much quicker. No one wants to spend a couple of hours waiting to have their passport stamped, not to mention the baggage race, which can be an ordeal. For some unlucky passengers, the arrival of 3 or 4 major flights coincides with theirs and this can test anyone’s patience, as you literally wait for hours.
Flying business class isn’t as expensive as you might think, and by dealing with an established online flight organiser who specialises in business class tickets, you can get some amazing deals. Once on the website, a series of dropdown menus takes you to where you want to go, and you can search by destination, price, dates of travel and accommodation rating, all in an instant.

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5 Things To Consider When Hiring A Motorbike

One of the best ways to tour America is on a motorbike. Before you do book one and go off on your travels, here are a few important things to think about.

1. Whether you are doing a one-way trip or a round trip

Some of the smaller, independent motorcycle hire companies insist that you return the vehicle to the same branch that you hired it from. That’s not an issue at all if you are planning on staying local or you are doing a longer ride that you can loop back on, but if you were planning to go much further afield or doing a coast to coast tour, or you are planning to make a road trip from Las Vegas to San Francisco. Before taking out a hire bike, check that you can return it to other branches or whether there is a surcharge for a one-way trip.

2. Whether you are doing a solo tour or are carrying a pillion passenger

Motorbikes that are designed for carrying pillion passengers as well are usually bigger and bulkier, to allow for more comfort and storage space. However, what bike you go for depends on where you are going. Harley Fat Boy’s look amazing for fair weather cruises with your buddy, but if you’re going high into the mountains you’re going to want to look for something a little bit more built for touring, such as a Honda Goldwing or a Harley Electra Glide. 

3. How long you are considering riding for

You need something that is going to hold all of your luggage and be comfortable, and on many bikes, the saddlebags just don’t cut it for a longer journey. Again, we recommend Goldwings and Electra Glides because they are built for those sort of trips. They have a good sized top box as well, perfect for carrying that spare helmet or that camera for those once in a lifetime snaps.”

4. The insurance that you need take out

To be able to ride a motorbike out on a public road, you have to have basic liability insurance. That is non-negotiable, but you can take on further coverage to protect you and your passenger. You can buy insurance that covers the bike should you damage it, with a small excess fee, and additional public liability insurance in case you injure someone else. Your hire company may be able to offer this or point you in the right direction. You also need to consider what sort of legal advice you may need should you have an accident or damage the bike can give you more information.

5. Whether you have the correct license and documents to prove that you can ride the bike

Lastly, there is little point in going to a rental shop to hire a bike if you don’t have the appropriate documentation. You need to take your license with you, and the vast majority of hire companies insist that the rider is 21 years old or over.

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