Month: March 2012

Street Art

Bansky is one of the first names that come to our minds when talking about street art. According to author and graphic designer Tristan Manco and the book Home Sweet Home, Banksy (pseudonym)  "was born in 1974 and raised in Bristol, England.The son of a photocopier technician, he trained as a butcher but became involved in graffiti during the great Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980s."

If you'd like to see more of his work you can visit his website.

A Manifesto

While looking around for inspiration we found this manifesto and wanted to share it with you!

It's by Holstee, a very cool design company that we love,  and you can purchase it online


The Grand Bazaar Istanbul by Assouline Books

Here's a great work of the Grand Bazaar, the stories will take you to the past, the pictures will make you want to go the Bazaar and spend not hours but days.If you want a piece of Istanbul, get this book; you'll get lost in it. The texts are by Serdar Gulgun, a prominent Ottoman art expert and collector, the images are by renowned photographer Laziz Hamani.

National and Religious Holidays of Turkey

It’s always important to know a country’s religious and national holidays when planning an event or a trip there. So here’s Turkey’s 2012 holiday dates;

2012 Public & Religious Holidays in Turkey

Sunday, 1 January

New Year’s Day– National Holiday – First day of the new year.

Monday, 23 April

National Sovereignty and Children’s Day– National Holiday – (Commemoration of the first opening of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara 1920). Dedicated to the children.

Tuesday, 1 May

Labor and Solidarity Day– National Holiday

Saturday, 19 May

Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth & Sports Day – National Holiday – (The arrival of Atatürk in Samsun in 1919, the beginning of the War of Independence.) Dedicated to the youth.

Saturday, 18 August

Sugar Feast’s Eve– Religious Holiday – ½ day

Sunday, 19 – Tuesday, 21 August

Sugar Feast – Religious Holidays – Three-day festival to celebrate the end of fasting (Ramadan).

Thursday, 30 August

Victory Day– National Holiday – (Victory over the allied forces during the final battle in Dumlupınar in 1922, ending the War of Independence.) Dedicated to the armed forces.

Saturday, 6 October

Liberation of Istanbul– Regional Holiday –( Anniversary of the liberation of Istanbul by Turkish armed forces during the War of Independence.)

Wednesday, 24 October

Feast of the Sacrifice’s Eve– Religious Holiday – ½ day

Thursday, 25 – Sunday, 28 October

Feast of the Sacrifice– Religious Holidays –(Four-day festival where sheep are sacrificed/slaughtered and their meat is distributed to the poor.)

Sunday, 28 October

Republic Day’s Eve– National Holiday – ½ day

Monday, 29 October

Republic Day– National Holiday – (Anniversary of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic in 1923.)

Interesting Wedding Customs

Traditions and customs are the fundamentals of a culture. Every culture has different wedding customs, here are a few that we found interesting.

Austria: A combination of red and white flowers is avoided by the superstitious because they stand for blood and bandages. The groom often chooses a flower for his buttonhole, which also occurs in the bride’s bouquet. This is a remnant of the time when a knight would wear his lady’s color to display his love.

Australia: It is customary to give a token bible as a wedding gift to the bride and the groom. Marriage bibles are treasured family heirlooms and are often passed down from generation to generation.

Belgium: One of the most important and enduring traditions of the Belgium wedding is for the bride to carry a specially embroidered handkerchief that has her name embroidered on it. After the wedding this handkerchief is framed and hung on the wall in a place of honor. When the next female member of the bride’s family is to be wed, the handkerchief is removed from its frame, the new bride’s name is embroidered onto it, and it is passed down. The wedding handkerchief is passed from generation to generation, and is considered an important family heirloom.

China: In China the men on the Bride’s side will block entry to the bride’s home, the groom and his men will attempt to gain access by singing songs, pleading and trying to show how much he loves her.

Croatia: After the traditional Croatian wedding ceremony and marriage vows have taken place, female relatives remove the bride's wedding veil and replace it with a scarf and apron while singing to her. This symbolizes the new bride's status as a wife. Then all of the guests walk three times around a well, which represents the holy trinity, and throw apples into it, to ensure the newlywed's fertility.

England: A unique Victorian wedding reception event is called a 'ribbon pull'. A sterling silver charm is purchased for each of the bridesmaids. A ribbon is tied to each one, and the baker places them between layers of the wedding cake as it is being assembled. Before the bride and groom share their first slice of cake, the bridesmaids gather so that each can pull one ribbon, claiming for her a future good promise.

France: The French have an interesting after-wedding tradition known as Chiverie. During this traditional prank, friends and family of the newly married couple gather in the evening and clang pots and pans, ring bells, and blow horns intended to startle and interrupt the couple.

Upon hearing the noise, the newlyweds are to come out, still wearing their wedding attire, and provide their tormenters various refreshments.

Germany: After the couple is married, a log is positioned between two sawhorses where both the newlyweds must saw in half working together.

This is supposedly a sign of how they will handle things together once they are married.

One of the bride’s relatives acts as “Kössenbitter”. Dressed up with a tux and a top hat, he delivers the wedding invitations. Tradition demands, the invitees have to tip him and drink one shot of schnapps for the bride and one for the groom with him.

Germans also wear their matching wedding bands on their right hands not their left.

Greece: A Greek bride may carry a lump of sugar on her wedding day to ensure she has a sweet life, or she might carry ivy, as a symbol of endless love.

Hawaii: In Hawaii the wedding tradition calls for flowers everywhere. The bride and groom are decked out in flower leis, which symbolize love and respect. Each flower lei consists of 40 to 50 fresh flowers strung on a colorful ribbon and are one of the oldest symbols of Hawaiian culture.

Both the bride and the groom dress in pure white, with the groom wearing either a red sash or a black cloth belt tied around his waist.

Ireland: An Irish bride's wedding ring is called a Claddagh ring. It is a heart held by two hands with the heart topped by a crown. The hands represent faith, the crown symbolizes honor, and the heart signifies love. The ring’s motto is: “Let love and friendship reign.”

If a woman wears a Claddagh Ring on her right hand with the heart facing outward toward the end of her finger she is signifying that she is a single woman, free to see whomever she desires. If the ring is worn on the right hand with the heart facing inward, toward the woman’s knuckle, then she is signifying that she is engaged.

And finally, if a Claddagh Ring is worn on the left hand it means that the woman is married.

During the reception, when the couple is dancing, the bride’s feet must remain on the floor. It is said that Fairies love beautiful things and their favorite beautiful thing is a bride. If the bride was to have even one foot off the ground, then she could be swept away by the Fairies.

It is bad luck for a bride, as well as anyone attending the wedding, to wear green at an Irish wedding.

India: There is gate money that needs to be paid by the groom to gain access to the bride. The groom does not look directly to the bride. Instead a mirror will be used. He will be asked “what do you see”. He has to say: Fairy!

Italy: In Italy it was customary for the groom to carry a talisman, piece of iron, in his pocket on the day of his wedding. The talisman was believed to ward off misfortune, while the bride’s veil covered and protected her from evil spirits.

When the wedding day came to an end, the newly married couple would shatter a vase or glass into many pieces. The number of pieces represented the expected number of years they would be happily married.

Mexico: during the wedding the Groom bestows his bride a gift of 13 coins, or arras, and the 13 coins symbolize the riches that the groom provides for the bride: 1 for each 12 months of the year, and 1 more to share with the poor. The coins are to be blessed by the priest and bear the groom’s promise to care for and provide for his wife. The arras are actually an Arabic tradition that has continued in Spain (and from Spain it was exported to Mexico),

The Philippine Islands: The first tradition calls for the pinning of the bride’s veil to the groom’s shoulder, symbolizing that the couple is now clothed as one. Following that a pure white cord is draped around the couple’s necks to symbolize the ever-lasting bond which now binds them together.

Poland: The "money dance" is always popular at a traditional reception in Poland. Guests pin money to the bride's wedding dress to buy a dance from her. The newlyweds might put these gifts of cash towards their honeymoon expenses. More traditionally, the maid of honor wears an apron and collects the money given by the guest to dance with the bride. After all the guests have danced with the bride, they form a tight circle around her, and the groom tries to break through the circle while the guests try hard to keep him out. Once he breaks through, he picks up his bride and carries her away from the wedding reception. The money collected during the dance is sent with them to spend on their honeymoon.

Portugal: A popular custim is the ancient custom of passing around the bride’s shoe during the reception and stuffing it with money to help the young couple with their honeymoon and to help them start their new life together.

Scotland: There is a pre-wedding tradition of “Blackening the Bride,” The bride is taken by surprise and covered with foul substances, such as eggs, various sauces, feathers, paint..

The bride to be, officially blackened, is then paraded around town for all to see.

Sweden: At Swedish wedding receptions, guests may get an opportunity to kiss the bride or groom. If the bride goes to the restroom, all of the women at the reception line up to kiss the groom.

If the groom exits the room and is out of sight, the men line up to kiss the bride.

Switzerland: Once the Swiss couple are newlyweds and are living in their new home, a pine tree is planted in their yard to represent fertility.

Turkey: It is customary for the groom to pick his bride to be from her family home with his male friends and family accompanied by traditional drum and horn players. Usually, the groom’s way is blocked by family and friends on his way to pick up his bride, he needs to bribe anyone who blocks his way. A gold coin or cash is a traditional wedding gift for the bride and the groom. Immediately after the civil ceremony, the bride and the groom is encouraged to step on each other’s foot, it is believed that whoever succeeds first will be more dominant at home.