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Thankful

On this rainy day, who wouldn’t love a cup of hot chocolate with a dash of pumpkin spice, the most autumnal spice ever?! And it’s precisely the flavors of autumn that lead us today to thank and feel appreciated for the year that is almost over. History takes us today to Thanksgiving, the holiday that traditionally starts the festive season in United States.

The most popular day in US is set on last Thursday of November and, obviously, it is a national holiday. The tradition of giving thanks to nature at the end of annual crops has been a tradition of many cultures. Celebrations like Dankdag in Holland, Erntedankfest in Germany that has its modern translation in Oktoberfest or even the Japanese Kinro Kansha in Hi, all are occasions to commemorate the hard work, cultivation and appreciation of each other. However, Thanksgiving itself has a very special beginning.

Its history begins at the first farewell celebration in 1621, at the Plymouth Plantation, where religious refugees from England, popularly known as the Pilgrims, invited Native Americans to a harvest feast after a particularly successful season.

The harvests of previous years were very poor and so the winter of 1620 was particularly difficult, causing half of the pilgrims to starve to death. Fortunately, members of the local Wampanoag tribe taught pilgrims how to grow corn, beans and squash (the Three Sisters), as well as how to catch fish and collect seafood.

There are only two contemporary recordings of the “thank you” of 1621 and surely the turkey was not on the menu. However, it is known that the celebration of a successful collaboration lasted three days and that the guests savored wild goose, lobster, cod and deer.

And as we are also very grateful to have accompanied so much during this fruitful year, as our thank you, during next December all the shipments of our online shop will be free!!! Also, follow our promotions and some exciting news that we have to offer next year.

Keep on ECO.

Anúncios

St. Patrick’s: Made In USA?

St. Patrick’s Day is this Thursday, March 17. Millions of people will dress up in green and celebrate with parades, good cheer, and perhaps a glass of beer the biggest Irish holiday. However, the modern celebration of St. Patrick’s Day really has almost nothing to do with the real man who originated this tradition. So who was the man behind the St. Patrick’s Day?

To begin with, the real St. Patrick was not originally Irish. He was born in England around 390 in an aristocratic Christian family with a house in the city, a country house and plenty of slaves. Contradictorily, Patrick did not professed any interest in Christianity as a young boy.

At 16, Patrick’s world crumbled: he was kidnapped and sent abroad to take care of the sheep as a slave in the cold mountainous landscape of Ireland for over seven years. And it was during this period that he had a religious conversion and became a deeply devouted Christian.

According to folklore, a voice came to Patrick in his dreams telling him to run away. And the next day he found a passage to a pirate ship back to Britain, where he met up with his family. A few years later the same voice told him to return to Ireland. This time the voice ordered to then Father Patrick to returne to Ireland and spend the rest of his life trying to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity.

Patrick’s work in Ireland was difficult, he was constantly attacked by bandits, harassed by the Irish royalty, and warned by his British superiors. After his death, on March 17th, 461, Patrick was largely forgotten. But slowly, the myths grew around Patrick and few centuries later, he was honored as the patron saint of Ireland.

According to one legend, Patrick used the three leaves of a shamrock to explain the Christian holy Trinity to pagans. Today the clover is one of the greatest symbols of both St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland. But many argue that even with the clover on their side, the country has had little luck.

Another myth of St. Patrick is the claim that he drove the snakes out of Ireland. The truth is that nowadays there are really no snakes on the island, but science confirms that they never existed there. Ireland, after all, is surrounded by very cold ocean waters to allow snakes to migrate from Britain or anywhere else. And taking into account that since long ago the snakes represented evil in literature, so when St. Patrick supposedly drove the snakes out of Ireland, is symbolically saying he took away the old and harmful pagan customs of Ireland and brought a new era.

Now returning to the party, until late 70s St. Patrick’s Day was a small religious holiday in Ireland. A priest would acknowledge the holiday and families would celebrate it with a great meal, but it would end there.

Some say that St. Patrick’s Day was basically invented in USA by Irish immigrants. The experts say that the story is that Irish charitable organizations originally celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with banquets in places like Boston, Massachusetts, Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston South Carolina. And when Irish soldiers fought among the British during Revolutionary War they made the first parades on St. Patrick’s Day. Some soldiers, for example, marched through New York City in 1762 to reconnect with their Irish roots. Other festivities followed few years later, including celebrations in Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago. This holiday has become not only a way to honor the saint, but also an ethnic identity confirmation and creating bonds of solidarity.

Somewhere in the 19th century, as the celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day were flourishing, the green color has become a demonstration of commitment to Ireland, the emerald island. Then in 1962, this show of solidarity took a spectacular turn in Chicago when the city decided to dye a part of the Chicago River green. The tradition began after the parade organizer, Steve Bailey, who was head of the union of plumbers, had stained the uniform of a colleague with the dye used to trace possible sources of pollution in the river that was a brilliant green. Some say the idea came from there. They are still doing it every year as the environmental impact of the dye is minimal compared to the pollution and the view is really stunning.

But now talking about the most important part of St. Patrick’s Day which is nothing less than beer. And not just any beer, but specifically Guiness. The average world consumption in one day is 5.5 million pints, but on St. Patrick’s Day, that number rises to more than double, to the phenomenal 13 million liters!

Guiness, like many other traditions that have been relocated to the US by Irish people, added popularity to St. Patrick’s Day and the important outcome is that it was an amazingly good way to increase tourism during the spring time.

So do not forget to wear your green piece today and if you have the opportunity, enjoy your happy hour with a nice pint of Guiness. Meanwhile, take a look at some green products from our store.

Keep on Eco.

For you, lovely

Mothers, sisters, friends and girlfriends … what would we do without them? No one can honestly say how much we owe to a huge amount of women in our lives. Mothers who made us soup when we were sick as children, sisters who helped us decide what to wear on a first date and heard our ridiculous stories keeping the secret and wives that somehow manage to combine both a career and family , never losing pace. Women’s Day is all about the celebration of incredibility and importance of these people.

This holiday is perhaps especially important in those parts of the world where women are still forced to deal with a shocking inequality daily and is intended to raise awareness of the challenges and struggles faced by these women. Women’s Day celebrates women’s history, highlighting major events, goals and achievements, and aims to promote and raise awareness of women’s rights, to achieve equal status of opportunities in all spheres of life.

Today may come as a sad surprise that Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time only on 28 February 1909. Two years later, the German socialist, Luise Zietz proposed that this holiday should become international to celebrate several women’s issues, such as suffrage, in order to promote equal rights for women.

The first Women’s Days were celebrated in a very different way than they are today, with hundreds of demonstrations that were taking place in Europe. During these events, the women demanded that finally they were given both the right to vote and hold public office, as the resolution of issues such as discrimination in employment.

In 1917, the statements of Russian feminist group in St. Petersburg helped initiate the February Revolution. When women marched through the city demanding the end of the First World War, even the greatest revolutionary leaders were not expecting such a stir that these caused at social level and the great consequences that those had in the final result of the revolution.

Until 1977, the Women’s Day was celebrated mainly in socialist countries. In Russia, for example, the holiday was celebrated always on last Sunday of February. And only after the decision of the General Assembly of the United Nations to proclaim the day of the International Women’s March, March 8, the holiday has gained popularity around the world and got a fixed date.

And on this special day we present you 10 amazing facts about women. Here we’ve compiled a list of some surprising facts we think you need to know:

1 – The researchers say that women speak about 20,000 words per day on average. There are only 7,000 for men.

2 – According to care.org, women produce half the world’s food but they own only one percent of agricultural land.

3 – It is the Mary Queen of Scots who have been assigned to create the world’s first golf course.

4 – Currently, there are 17 countries with women as heads of government, heads of state, or both. According to the UN, it is more than double in comparison to 2005.

5 – Of total population of women worldwide, about half (54%) are mothers.

6 – Generally considered the world’s first novel, The Tale of Genji was written in Japan around the year 1000 by Murasaki Shikibu – a woman.

7 – A woman has on average more than 25 pairs of shoes.

8 – Research has shown that the probability of a woman giving birth to a girl instead of a boy significantly increases the closer she lives to equator.

9 – According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 39 million girls worldwide are not enrolled in school and are denied secondary education.

10 – The two highest IQ ever recorded in a pattern test belong to women.

And now that I’ve already spent 700 words of my daily 20.000, let me also remind you not to forget to congratulate the important women in your life. And to help them solve some of the day to day problems, we leave you the best deals from our online shop.

Keep on Eco.

Frozen

With the weather events that occurred last weekend, we can think that after seeing snow in Algarve we have seen everything.

Even though it’s quite rare here in Portugal, there are many countries where the white precipitation is very usual. But today we’ll talk about a place where the snow is the only “dish of the day” every day, if you know what we mean. We present you with The 10 Facts About Antarctica.

Being it a continent so distant and mysterious, many of us have no opinion about Antarctica as far as we think it’s only ice and penguins. And indeed perhaps it is, because the average temperature on the mainland is -30C and the lowest temperature ever recorded was -89C! But if we have freshened your curiosity and you think to visit or even live there, we let you know that to live on the icy continent you must remove your wisdom teeth and appendix. This is because no surgeries are made on Antarctic stations, so you have to remove those parts even if they are perfectly healthy.

Interestingly, even if we think that there is no large population in the Antarctic, but it’s still enough to have a fire station. It belongs to McMurdo Station and employs professional firefighters. And while those wait for the next incident, they can have some fun at the southernmost bar in the world, Club 90 South.

In fact, even with all that ice the average width of which reaches 1,6km, the driest place on the planet is located precisely in Antarctica and is called The Dry Valleys. And even if it is so now, some 53 million years ago the average temperature on the continent was almost tropical, of + 20C degrees.

And maybe thinking about global warming that in January 1979, Emile Marco Palma became the first modern human being born on the Antarctic continent. This, however, was an action planned by Argentina to claim a part of Antarctica. The country sent a pregnant woman there on purpose.

In addition to other extraordinary things, technically Antarctica also contains all time zones on the planet. And actually, all longitude lines that we use to define time zones pass through the south pole which is located right in Antarctica.

And for those who still think that life in Antarctica must be anything but fun, the truth is that if you are adventurous enough it is the only place where you can go around the world by foot. But if you don’t want to go that far, take a spin on our website and see the new products.

Keep on Eco.

Gummy Bears

Small, colorful, tasty bits of wonder – these are the jellies. As today is their day, we have the opportunity or the perfect excuse to eat as many as possible (in moderation though, considering our precious teeth, sugar levels and general health).

Did you know that the first jellies were made in 1922 in Germany by Hans Riegel, the founder of Haribo, and were neither more nor less than its best-known product – Gummy Bears! These jellies became so popularized in the 50s and 60s that there were lots of vending machines everywhere only for different flavors of Gummy Bears.

But as perhaps it’s not a treat for everyone, take some time to see our best deals this week.

Keep on Eco.

Unmasked

Everyone or at least most of us know that old story about Carnival. But if you’ve never heard how and where did the tradition of this impending holiday began, we’ll recapitulate briefly.

Hundreds of years ago, the followers of the Catholic religion in Italy started a tradition of holding a festival with outlandish costumes on the eve of the first day of Lent. As Catholics should not eat meat until Easter, they called this Carnevale festival – which means “leave the meat aside”. As time passed, the Italian carnivals have become quite famous and the tradition spread to France, Spain and other European countries. With the arrival of the discoveries, several European countries began to take control of the Americas and other parts of the world, which eventually led to the implementation of their traditions, including celebration of Carnival.

Today this is a huge party, with more or less dedication or importance, present on every continent. But the purpose of this article is not to mention the Carnival we all know, but the most interesting traditions that take place in different countries.

One of the first and most famous Carnival celebrations in North America is the Mardi Gras Festival in New Orleans. The two are so intertwined that you can’t imagine one without the other. Normally, the festivities begin two weeks before “Fat Tuesday” and involve parades of cars decorated where people throw trinket shaped beads to the public. The original idea of the beads was launched in 1872 by the King of Carnival of New Orleans and was influenced by the meaning of the color of the beads. Purple was justice, golden was power and green was humility. The idea was to throw the beads of same color to the person who showed characteristics of such significance. On the current Mardi Gras festival though, we all know that the amount of beads does not depend on “spiritual” characteristics.

Even though spanish are our neighbors, have you ever heard of the tradition of “sardine funeral”? The truth is that a funeral for this fish is probably the last thing that comes to mind when you think of Carnival, however, it is exactly what happens in villages and cities across Spain. The celebrations of this holiday are as much or more colorful as all the other, but it is “O Enterro de la Sardina” that marks the end of Carnival on Ash Wednesday. The “funeral” involves a complete procession with black-dressed mourners parading one sardine model in a coffin through the streets before being finally burned symbolizing rebirth and regeneration.

But among all European people, Greeks have the strangest tradition for Carnival. From Monday before Carnival, the so called celebrations Burani combine a pagan festival of fertility in honor of the god Dionysus with the onset of the Greek Orthodox fasting period before Easter. With its roots in antiquity, the first written record of Burani dates the distant 1898. The festival has faced its share of criticism from governments and the church from the early 20th century, calling it an offense against the moral standards of the people, but even baning carnival did not prevent people to celebrate it secretly until 1980, when the custom was reviewed. Today, Tirnavos Carnival is the largest in Central Greece, but what exactly is so offensive about Burani? Well, you’ll have to visit it to see. But we have to say that the celebrations involve the typical soup of spinach and shots of tsipouro, local alcohol, and many dances and funny costumes.

And even if it’s Carnival, do not disguise your problems. Check out our solutions and enjoy the holiday.

Keep on Eco.

Discovered

You know that feeling when you look at the street at 5 PM and is still daytime and it seems that some sun rays are still lost somewhere on the horizon? Well, that is the feeling that brings back the hope that spring will not take much to arrive, especially on a sunny day like this.

Although not too long and not too hot, these days are the best to plan and make those small trips to enjoy the good air and maybe rediscover some old new things.

The curiosities that we’ll speak about here today are, for some of us, realities that pass by underestimated daily. For residents of the northern capital of Portugal especially dedicated – The list of the top ten places to visit in Porto.

Starting with Douro River, which during its long journey has more than enough fantastic places to be enjoyed. From the vineyards to the bridges, from the river beaches to restaurants with unforgettable regional treasures. We should not even consider this as one place alone, but lets not get lost.

Here are some quick ones: Dom Luis Bridge, Bolsa Palace, House of Music (Casa da Musica), Clerigos Tower, St. Francis Church, Lello & Irmão library, São Bento da Vitória Church, Episcopal Palace of Porto and many many others. Do not forget also the fabulous Sea Life Center, have you visited? If not, then save few hours of your free time and be a tourist in your own city or in new one, because even if that habitual landscape that has become so monotonous, all we know is that without these places this city would not have the same magic touch.

And since you are going for a walk be sure to stop by on so well neighbored Soares dos Reis garden and visit our store.

Keep on Eco.

Movie nights

Simpliest food but still an international snack for movielovers around the world. Sweet, salty, with butter or caramel, vary from healthy to sickeningly sweet. Have you guessed what are we talking about? The popcorn!

At a time when most of the important film ceremonies happen, it’s more than appropriate to talk a bit about that appetizer without which no theater on earth survives.

It is not difficult to guess how someone discovered popcorn, just put the corn on some fire and let the heat do the effect. And what effect! In addition to the pleasant pops, who was never delighted with that wonderful smell of popcorn disperse in the air.

But have you ever heard that in addition to food, popcorn was and sometimes still is used as a decorative element? We get you to know that from long ago native americans used popcorn for hair decoration and also home ornament. As evidence of it, more than thirty years ago in the Peruvian mountains historians has discovered an urn with a drawing of god of corn wearing a crown made of popcorn.

As much as this sounds ridiculous, it’s hard to think of a food that is more American than corn or popcorn and there is a very intelligent reason that explains why. The popcorn in its composition has twice the iron as in meat and four times more fiber than in potatoes. Furthermore, it is a great bread substitute for people following diet.

And if you are still not convinced, we must say that a museum in New Mexico has an exhibition with popcorn more than 5600 years old. And if you want to see your favorite snack as well saved, here’re best promotions for our products.

Keep on Eco.

Chocolate

As you may have noticed it is a habit here to talk about strange, curious or funny things, but today we prepared something delicious just for you. Creamy, aromatic and tasty this superfood is widely worshiped and it has its reasons.

Today we’ll talk about chocolate and not only because January has a very special day that is totaly dedicated to an irresistible mix which is cake and chocolate, and both of them together form one of the most magnificent things ever – chocolate cake! Soft, creamy and delicious, from rolls and croissants with cream to delicious petit gateaux, chocolate is that one thing for all sweet tooth aroud.

But as much as our will is to eat chocolate every day forever, unfortunately, since 2010 the chocolate or its raw material – cocoa, is, still unofficially, declared endangered. At the speed at which we are consuming chocolate, in two decades it will be a rare delicacy. The Cocoa Research Association of England says it will not only be difficult to have chocolate for all but also it’ll be much more expensive. It will be like caviar, so expensive and scarce that the average person will not spend means to buy it.

But do not get discouraged, because in twenty years there is still plenty of time to eat all chocolate you want. And to protect the dearest sweetfood see some of the best products from our online shop Ecoced.

Keep on Eco.

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