Sunday, February 26, 2012

365.242199 days to be exact.

The 29th of February is a date that occurs every four years; also known as leap day.  Leap years are considered necessary because the actual length of a year is 365.242199 days (also known as a tropical year).  And they are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the Sun.  If we didn't add a day on February 29th nearly every four years, we would lose almost six hours every year.  After 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days.

Julius Caesar was behind the origin of leap year in 45 BC (Julian Calendar).  The early Romans had a 355-day calendar. To keep festivals occurring around the same season each year, a 22- or 23-day month was created every second year.  Caesar decided to simplify things and added days to different months of the year to create the 365-day calendar . . . calculations that were actually made by Caesar's Astronomer, Sosigenes.  Every fourth year following the 28th day of Februarius, (February 29th) one day was to be added, making every four year a leap year.

The Julian Calendar was refined in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.  A new rule that a century year is not a Leap Year unless it's evenly divisible by 400 (Gregorian Calendar or Christian Calendar).

The Gregorian Calendar (AKA Western Calendar or Christian Calendar) is today's internationally-accepted civil calendar.

There are also several traditions and superstitions for leap year.  Some examples of those are as follows:

  • There is an old Irish Legend stating that St. Bridget struck a deal with St. Patrick to allow women to propose to men . . . every four years.  It is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap Day balances the calendar.
  • People that are born on February 29th are all invited to join The Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies.
And lastly some famous people born on February 29th:
  • Pope Paul III, (1468 - 1549)
  • Gioacchino Rossini, Italian composer {EX: The Barber of Seville} (1792 - 1868)
  • Morarji Desai, Former Indian Prime Minister (1896 - 1995)
  • Dinah Shore, American Singer (1916 - 1994)
  • Al Rosen, American Baseball Player (1924 - )
  • Carlos Humberto Romero, Former President of El Salvador (1924 - )
  • Tony Robbins, American Motivational Speaker (1960 - )
  • Lyndon Byers, Canadian Hockey Player (1964 - )
  • Antonio Sabato, Jr., Italian-Born Actor (1972 - )
  • Ja Rule, American Rapper and Actor (1976 - )
  • Chris Conley, American Musician and Songwriter/Composer (1980 - )

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Prince Philip is a Duke; and a God!

There is a tribe on the southern island of Tanna in Vanuatu that has caught my eye . . . particularly for whom they worship as a God.

The Prince Philip Movement is a religious sect followed by the Yaohnanen tribe.  The tribe believes that the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, is a divine being.  They display portraits of the Duke and hold feasts on his birthday.

The Yaohnanen people believe he is originally from their island and is the son of an ancient spirit of a local volcano.  The legend states that a white man emerged from the volcano and traveled abroad to marry a powerful Queen.  The Yasur volcano is still active to this day and discharges ash and fire daily. 

In 1974 Her Majesty, along with  her husband, briefly stopped in what was then called New Hebrides during their voyage abroad the Royal Yacht Britannia.  Local men (including the chief (Chief Jack) of the Yaohnanen tribe) rowed out to meet them.  And it appears that was when the connection with Prince Philip was made.

Chief Siko has been quoted stating: "He is a God and when we talk about him and believe in him, it gives us life.  We are sure that one day he will come back, and when he does we will organize a toka dance for him."  (Chief Siko is the grandson of the late Chief Jack).

Their village has many photographs of the Duke, most strewn across a clothesline-type display area in the village.  There is also a particular photograph of the Duke displayed in the village’s shrine.  Apparently, there were doubters amongst the tribe, 30 some years ago.  So Chief Jack arranged for a traditional club to be sent to Buckingham Palace as a gift.  Prince Philip responded to this gift by posing with the club for a photograph.  He then signed the photograph and it was sent to the tribe.  Since receiving this photograph, it has been the centerpiece for the shrine in the village.

What fascinates me most about this tribe is how happy and blessed this group looks and feels.  They live in an entirely different World then what most of us know and/or care about.  This group of men, women and children spend their days worshiping Prince Philip, smiling and having so much fun___loving life.  These people are poor (so to speak); none of them can read or write … they live in a village in amongst nature.  We could all learn a lesson from this tribe about beliefs, worship, community and true happiness.

Here is a two-minute video from YouTube that shows the tribe celebrating Prince Philip:

May 2012 bring you a World of true happiness  . .