Category Archives: Holiday Lore

Giving Tuesday — Planting Seeds of Kindness

Celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday is an annual opportunity for everyone to commit to supporting a charity that speaks to your heart. Support can come in many forms — some of your time, a donation, or the power of your voice to share the good works.

The #GivingTuesday website has many resources and suggestions for getting involved. You can also refer to the Charity Navigator website to find global, as well as, local organizations to support.

Here at Amber Lotus, we’ll be supporting our long-time partner Trees for the Future. TREES is celebrating 28 years of service. They are dedicated to ending extreme hunger and poverty across Sub-Saharan Africa by revitalizing degraded lands. It has been our honor to support them since 2008. As of July 2017, we had funded the planting of 650,000 trees. For #GivingTuesday, we have pledged to fund the planting of an additional 10,000 trees. And we have committed to planting another 90,000 by the end of 2017. Please visit the TREES website to learn more about their wonderful programs.

No matter what type of seed you decide upon — your time, your financial support, your voice to share, or actual seeds with organizations like TREES — we know that these acts of kindness will flourish.

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Happy October Full Moon!

Today is also the Mid-Autumn Festival. Read more from Waverly Fitzgerald >>


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International Day of Peace 2017

Peace Now

Peace Now holiday greeting card. Click for more info.

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The first official observance of the day was in September 1982.

The theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”

The theme honours the spirit of TOGETHER, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life. TOGETHER unites the organizations of the United Nations System, the 193 Member States of the United Nations, the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and individual citizens in a global partnership in support of diversity, non-discrimination and acceptance of refugees and migrants. It was initiated during the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September 2016. Continue reading

Happy Summer Solstice! — Eratosthenes’ Inspiration

Seasonal changes are such a delight to the senses. The summer solstice marks longer days, if you live in the northern hemisphere, and ushers in fragrant blooming plants, delicious summer fruit, and adventures with friends and family. But the summer solstice also shares an anniversary of a scientific achievement. Here’s an excerpt from “Summer solstice: the perfect day to bask in a dazzling scientific feat” by Stuart Clark posted on The Guardian: Continue reading

World Environment Day — June 5th

Image from our Call of the Wild 2018 wall calendar featuring photography by Chris Burkard. Click image for more info.

World Environment Day is a chance to reconnect with nature and celebrate the places that matter most to you.

How will you celebrate World Environment Day? Here’s some wonderful information from the UN website about this international celebration and the 2017 theme: Continue reading

National Bike Month — Bike to Work

Bicycle Bliss 2017 wall calendar

Images from our Bicycle Bliss 2017 wall calendar. Top to bottom credits: Russ Roca, Stephen St. John, Jef Maion

To me the bicycle is in many ways a more satisfactory invention than the automobile. It is consonant with the independence of man because it works under his own power entirely. — Louis J. Halle, Jr.

Our hometown of Portland, Oregon, is a wonderfully bike-friendly town, so the celebration of National Bike Month is a big deal here. The Bike More Challenge is among the tons of activities around town this year. As of today, the Bike More Challenge has 902 organizations and 13,225 people registered to see who can log the most miles for the month!

The League of American Bicyclists originated Bike to Work Day (3rd Friday in May) as part of Bike to Work Week in 1956. Here’s more from their website:

National Bike Month includes an ever-expanding diversity of events in communities nationwide — but the biggest day of the month is Bike to Work Day. In 2017, Bike to Work Week will be May 15-19, with Bike to Work Day on May 19.

40% of all trips in the U.S. are less than two miles, making bicycling a feasible and fun way to get to work. With increased interest in healthy, sustainable and economic transportation options, it’s not surprising that, from 2000 to 2013, the number of bicycle commuters in the U.S. grew by more than 62 percent.

Hundreds of American communities have been successful in increasing bicycle commuting by providing Bike to Work Week and Bike to Work Day events.

In fact, among the 51 largest U.S. cities, 43 hosted Bike to Work Day events in 2010. The City of Denver reported the highest rate of participation with one out of every 28 adults participating in its 2010 Bike to Work event. That effort makes a difference: Many people who participate in their Bike to Work Day promotion as first-time commuters become regular bike commuters.

But Bike Month is more than one day — or week! From fashion shows to group rides, local groups find unique ways to celebrate their diverse bike cultures and community pride.

We hope you join in the fun by searching for events in your area or even just by dusting off your bike and going for a joy ride. #ridemore Continue reading

Beltane — The Dance of Spring

Celtic Mandala 2017 wall calendar

Image from our Celtic Mandala 2017 wall calendar featuring artwork by Jen Delyth.

Ceilidh – The Dance
Excerpt by Jen Delyth from the Celtic Mandala 2017 wall calendar — Within ancient and modern spiritual traditions, dance is a metaphor for life, an ancient choreography moving with the rhythm of the earth to the music of the cosmos. Within Celtic tradition, the Ceilidh is a gathering to celebrate music, storytelling, and dance. The long winter nights are passed to the music of the fiddle, the whistle, and the beat of the bodhran drum. Traditional Celtic dances weave intricate patterns of circles, spirals, and squares in arrangements of threes and fours – a dynamic expression of the eternal knot. In ritual dances such as the annual Beltane Maypole dance, men and women weave ribbons in ancient spiral patterns around the sacred tree to raise and manifest the fertile earth energies. Morris dancers continue the tradition of shaman dances. They wear antler headdresses and costumes of red and white representing the colors of the Otherworld. Their clogs, sticks, and bells stamp out rhythms in circular and square patterns in celebration of the ancient Horned God of fertility and strength. The Lord of the Dance is one of the oldest gods of the natural world. Within the Christian religion, he is still honored as the force at the center of our spiritual and metaphysical lives. Continue reading

Arbor Day — A Time for Celebration and Action

Wanderlust 2017 wall calendar

Image from our Wanderlust 2017 wall calendar featuring photography by Chris Burkard.

Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees. — Karle Wilson Baker

On April 28, communities across the country will to come together to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. What is the origin of this celebration for this natural wonder?

Julius Sterling Morton (1832-1902), one of the earliest American conservationists, settled on the treeless plains of Nebraska in 1855, where he edited the Nebraska City News and developed a lifelong interest in new agricultural methods. Believing that the prairie needed more trees to serve as windbreaks, to hold moisture in the soil, and to provide lumber for housing, Morton began planting trees and urged his neighbors to do the same. On April 10, 1872, when he first proposed that a specific day be set aside for the planting of trees, the response was overwhelming: a million trees were planted in Nebraska on that day alone. Continue reading