Powerful Symbols And Meanings of Celtic, Viking and Japanese Culture


Viking-ships

Cultures all over the globe are filled with meaningful and magical symbols that most of the time attract our curiosity. Find out about the powerful symbols and meanings of Celtic, Viking and Japanese culture, that you have seen for sure but don’t know what they actually stand for.

The Celtic mythology is a realm marked by misterious and  strange looking signs. Here are some of the Celtic symbols and meanings that you might find interesting.

Triskelion

triskelion

The word is a Greek term, which means “three legged”, and if you look closely at the sign, it does look like three legs running. The meaning of this Celtic symbol stands for competition  and the progress of man.

Triquetra

triquetra

The word comes from Latin and means “three cornered” and it represents a holy symbol with many meanings. It is a symbol composed of three interlocked pisces, stressing on the intersection of three circles. Most often it used as a symbol for the Holy Trinity, used by the Celtic Christian Church and sometimes it can be found as three interlaced fish.

 Triple Spiral

spiral

The triple spiral is a symbol found in many Celtic tombs, and is drawn as one continuous line, implying rebirth or resurrection. The theory of its meaning comes from the fact that many of these drawings have been found in places where they catch the first sun rays on the solstice, and  they appear to have been placed there intentionally.

Celtic Tree of Life


tree good

The Tree was an important part of the early Celtic spirituality. For the Celts, the tree was a  a source of living, a bearer of food, a shelter and fuel provider for cooking and keeping warm. Without the existence of trees, living  would have been almost impossible.

Celtic stories, say that trees were the ancestors of mankind, beings of wisdom who created the alphabet, the calendar and the entrance to the land of the Gods.

 Shamrock

shamrock

Today is considered a good luck charm but the shamrock has a much deeper meaning. The Druids, believed that is represented a three in one concept, of the three dominions on the planet, sky and sea and the ages of humans and the stages of the moon. In the Celtic folklore, the Shamrock stands as a symbol against evil, a belief that has been carried on till present days,as the four leafed clover is used as a good luck charm.

Crosses

CELTIC CROSS

A Celtic cross represents a cross with a ring which surrounds the intersection. The symbol is associated with the Celtic Christianity even though it has much older origins. Crosses like such are part of a large Celtic art. A Celtic cross, standing, made out of stone and usually with lots of ornaments, is called a high cross or an Irish Cross. In Ireland, a popular myth says that the celtic cross was brought by Saint Patrick or maybe Saint Declan while he was converting the pagan Irish people.

The Green Man

greenman

The Green Man is believed to be an ancient Celtic symbol. In the Celtic mythology he is the God of Spring and Summer. He is believed to disappear and come back every year, century after century, enacting death and resurrection and the circle of life.  The  legend of Sir Gawain, The Green Knight, is an obvious image of the Green Man from the Middle Ages. Gawain is wearing a green helmet, green armour and a green shield but also a green horse. After he was beheaded he continued to live on.

Symbols and meanings belonging to Vikings

Vikings have had a lot a lot of symbols with plenty of sacred or mystical meanings and many of them have very interesting looks.

 The Triple Horn of Odin

horn

The symbol is made out of three interlocked drinking horns and is usually worn or displayed as a proof of commitment to the modern faith Asatru.

 Yggdrasil

tree 2

Yggdrasil, the Norse World Ash, is the giant mythic tree that holds together the Nine Worlds or lands of existence.  The World-ash stands for the Nine Worlds and is protected by the Jormungadr serpent. Yggdrasil is one the of plenty variations of the Universal World Tree, known to all the human cultures.

 The Julbock

Straw Goat - 4" julbock (1)

The Julbock also known as the Yule-goat is a universal symbol of the winter holidays in the Scandinavian countries.  Going back in the pre-christian times, the Julbock is yet another Pagan Yule symbol, that was taken by the Christian holiday holiday customs. In the pagan Norse religion, a goat represented the conveyance of the gods-early representations of Odin in a goat drawn cart, strangely similar to further portrayals of Santa Claus.

 Troll Cross

troll

The troll cross is some sort of amulet consisting of a circle of iron crossed at the base. The charm has been worn by early Scandinavian people to protect themselves against trolls and elves. Iron and crosses were believed to be a combination that casts away evil spirits.

Valknut

VALKNUT

The symbol it is known as the Valknut, meaning “a knot of slain”, and it has been found in stone funerary carvings, which most probably was meant to represent the after life. The signs is often found in the art portraying god Odin, and it may represent his power over death.

 The Helm of Awe

helm

The Helm of Awe, is a protection against spells used by early Vikings. Some legends say that, when worn between the eyes, this protective symbol, was meant to offer invincibility to the one who was wearing it or make the enemy fearful.

 Thor’s Hammer

Thor__s_Hammer

Thor’s Hammer, stands for an ancient Norse symbol, and represents the legendary magical weapon of Thor. Also known as Mjolnr, which means “lightning”, symbolised Thor’s power over Lightning and Thunder. The Hammer or Thor, was said to always come back after it has been thrown.

A Thor Hammer amulet has been often worn by believers who thought that it would protect them, and the practice continued even after the Norse population had converted to Christianity. Modern times use it as a sign of recognition of members belonging to the Asatru faith, and is symbolic of Norse heritage.

 Japanese symbols and meanings

Japan is another country with many symbols that are related to its national culture and magical beliefs.

 Japanese Dragons

DRAGON

Japanese symbols of dragons are very similar to Chinese dragons, with the exception that the Japanese dragon has only three claws or toes, while the Chinese dragon has five and the common dragon ahs four claws. There are two types of Japanese dragons, one lives in the sky or clouds and the other is found in water or rain. It is believed that dragons are controlling rain, fire and Earth. Most known Japanese words for dragons are ryu and tatsu.

 Butterflies

buttefly

Japanese culture sees butterflies as the souls of the living and the dead and are considered to symbolize happiness and longevity.

Carp

koi

The carp(koi) represents perseverance and is also a symbol of faithfulness in marriage and good luck. It is often shown in motion, arched upwards with water sprays. This suggests the virtues of a great warrior and is usually associated with the qualities desired in young men.

 Cherry Blossoms

cherry_blossom_

Starting from the Heian Period, cherry blossoms have been revered by Japanese culture.The brief blooming of the flowers and the fragility of its blossoms has been associated with the transience of life.

 Dragonflies

DRAGON FLY

In the Japanese symbolism, dragons flies are an emblem of martial success, as several names for the insects are homonyms for words which mean victory. Dragonflies are also a symbol for late summers and early autumns.

 Turtles/Tortoises

Tortoise

Turtles are a complex motif of Japanese culture. Taoism, Hinduism, Confucianism and Buddhism are all beliefs that promote understanding and are all claiming that the turtle helps prop up the world, is a guardian of the northern quadrant of the Universe, together with the snake, and carries its sacred carapace inscriptions.

Chrysanthemums

flower

Many symbols of the Japan have been assimilated from China, and Chinese symbols and meanings, are widely present in the Japanese culture. Chrysanthemums were believed to have healing powers for excessive drinking, nervousness and debilitating diseases. Chinese culture associates the flower with integrity and endurance.

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Do It Yourself Wedding Invitations Unique Ideas For A Fabulous Wedding

Picture-Perfect-Cake

 

Do it yourself wedding invitations are a trend every bride has to try when it comes to having everything close to perfection,  for the most important day of her life.

Every bride wants her wedding to be perfect and lets not talk about unique. Every little detail has to be thought in an original and personalised way and future brides are always very picky. If you don’t have a lot of money in your pocket and your wedding budget is quite limited, maybe do it yourself wedding invitations would be the perfect idea.

First of all you have to know what you are looking for and what you are trying to transmit. Once that is settled the internet is your source of inspiration and help. The idea of a do it yourself wedding invitation is to add your creative touch to the wedding invitations concept.

If you are looking for new and elegant details to add to your wedding invitations there are lots of free templates and wedding invitation kits, on the internet that could inspire you. There are plenty of styles to chose from, depending on your likings you can adopt :

A romantic approach

romantic

 

 

More simple and rustic

rustic
Or, you can pick a vintage look

vintage-wedding-invitation

 

And if you envision you wedding on a warm sandy beach, the suggestions are limitless.

-beach-wedding-invitation-

The options are so many, this is why you should know exactly what you want, otherwise you will want them all. But if you feel you sure on your hand kraft skills, you can create your own handmade DIY wedding invites without asking the help of anybody, plus like this it would be much more inexpensive and it would have more meaning, after all that is your passport taking you to the wedding of your dreams.

do-it-yourself-wedding-invit
It sounds a demanding task but it can be a very fun and exciting process and the results could turn out stunning. No matter if you wish to wrap your invites into a stylish pocket fold or emboss them with ribbons or lace or even peacock feathers, DYI wedding invitations could be an amazing way to add your personal style to the whole event and you can ornate them as your heart wishes.

peacockinvitations

 

Everything has to be perfect, even the size and shape of the envelopes, that is if your invites will be in a an envelope. Apart from envelopes a glass jar plain or layered with lace could also be a wonderful idea, or, if having the wedding on a beach, you can create your own bottle with a message, its is really up to you and how creative you are.

wedding jar
The calligraphy shouldn’t be an issue as there are thousands of fonts to choose from, but if you have a nice handwriting why not put more love into it and write them with your own lovely hands.

calligraphy-wedding-invitations
If you have little time until the wedding and you get stressed about not finishing on time, and you wont be able to send all of them, maybe you should give all your ideas on the hands of professionals, who would be faster and still create them as you wish.

wed
If you wish your cards to be extra thick and have a more sophisticated look, a simple trick is to include a layer of thicker paper to the back. This should provide your DIY wedding invitations a thin border and make look more dense.

luxury-wedding-invitation

Never worry again that your wedding invitation will look like everyone else’s know that DIY wedding invitations is the sure way of to avoid that from happening. They will portray your own thoughts and desires and no one else’s.

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8 Countries Celebrating their Version of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is almost here but what other countries celebrate it? And when?Well, here is a top 8 list with countries celebrating their version of Valentine’s day.

Although some countries have other dates in which they celebrate their most filled with love day of the year, different names for it or different customs, one things remains the same: Valentine’s Day is a day in which people express their love for one another.

1. Finlandversions of Valentine's Day

Image source

The Finnish have started celebrating Valentine’s Day only since the 80s but it has grown into a beloved annual event. The Finnish word for Valentine’s Day is “Ystävänpäivä” and it translates into the day of friendship. Finland focuses more on giving postcards or sweet, small things to everyone you consider a friend rather to just one loved one.

2. Slovenia

In Slovenia, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the 12th of March and it marks the day in which work at the vineyards and on the field starts. Following almost the same principles as Norwegians, as you are about to see below, Slovenians consider their most filled with love day of the year to be the day in which birds declare love or even propose to each other. Yes, birds.

3. Romania

Romanians celebrate their own take on Valentine’s Day on the 24th of February and it is called “Dragobete”. However, despite having their own day to celebrate love, Romania has recently started celebrating the westernized take on Valentine’s Day as well. Many people who still like to live by the old Romanian traditions refuse to celebrate the American Valentine’s Day though.

4. Norwayversions of Valentine's Day

In Norway, the legend says that if you see birds mating on Valentine’s Day, it is a sign of spring and love so Norwegians are always busy trying to catch birds doing sexual stuff to each other on the 14th of February. Since Norway is considering Valentine’s Day as an annual event, you can also spot window displays and event dedicated to this day filled with love.

5. China

In Chinese tradition, Valentine’s Day happens on day 7 of the 7th lunar month in the traditional Chinese calendar. On this day, all kind of people but especially young women go to the local temple and pray to the god called Zhinu for wisdom and love. The Chinese Valentine’s Day is celebrated through several rituals and prayers.

6. Japan

Japanese people always find a way to step out of the ordinary and Valentine’s Day makes no exception. During the Japanese Valentine’s Day which is on the 14th of February women and girls give either store bought or handmade chocolate to men and boys. One month later, on the 14th of March, they celebrate the “White Day” during which men offer gifts back to the women. Typical gifts for White Day are marshmallows, sweets, jellies and even white pieces of clothing such as white lingerie.

7. France

versions of Valentine's Day

 

Image source

Talking about a bit out of the ordinary, French people used to have a tradition in which women were allowed to cheat on their husbands or boyfriends during Valentine’s Day. Moreover, the man was almost obliged to go with it and not take any sort of revenge on the woman.  Another weird custom was one in which single women and men gathered together and paired off. If the man didn’t like his chosen Valentine by the end of the date, he could desert her and all the deserted women were able to light up a bonfire during the night and burn the pictures of the guys they hated.

8. Brazil

Brazilians celebrate their day of love on the 12th of June. On the day before the day of love, women write down their crushes’ names on pieces of paper which they then fold and place in a container such as a jar or a hat. On the 12th of June, each woman has to pick one piece of paper and the name they pick supposedly belongs to the man they will eventually marry or at least choose to go for.

Some countries such as Saudi Arabia have banned Valentine’s Day and they punish severely whoever tries to celebrate it so lovers have to buy each other small gifts or flowers in secret. No matter how much you hate or love this holiday, be grateful that there is no one out there who prohibits you from celebrating it.

10 Fabulous DIY Phone Cases to Make your Phone Stand Out

 

We live in a world where being original is more and more difficult and expensive. However, this is where the world f Do It Yourself comes to our aid and makes us more creative. There is nothing more original than your own mind so why not put it to some good work?

Here are 10 fabulous DIY Phone Cases to make your phone stand out by adding decoration, a touch of color and creativeness to your old, dull phone case.

Most of these ideas do not require a lot of money or materials to be created so there is nothing stopping you now. The only thing you need to have to get things going is a plastic r silicone phone case suitable to your phone model.

1. Studded Phone Case with Neon Colors

Add a bit of a an 80s vibe to your phone cases by gluing neon colored studs onto it. Choose whatever pattern you want or prefer and get busy! Do not be afraid to mix and match, so feel free to add whatever colors or studs you want.

DIY phone cases

Supplies:

Three packs of different colored neon studs

a blank Phone case

E3000 glue

Source

2. Studded Phone Case with iron Studs

Think ahead before starting to work on your studded phone case. Where do you usually keep your phone? if you keep it in your pocket, make sure the studs will not bother you or if you keep it in your purse, do not choose pointy studs as it may ruin either your purse or the other stuff you keep in it.

DIY phone cases

Supplies:

Phone case

Iron on studs (make sure they have no “legs”)

Krazy glue

Ruler

Pencil

Source

3. Tribal Phone Case with Sharpies

Although this particular design requires a little bit of work and patience, the end result is certainly a stunner! If you do not want to make a very complicated design, simply make the lines bigger, so that they will take up more space.

DIY phone cases

Supplies:

Blank Phone Case

Permanent Markers in as many colors as possible

Ruler

Source

4. Nails Polish Phone Case

Make sure you have enough nail polish to cover up the entire surface you want to cover, you do not want to end up having to use other colors simply because you ran out of your favorite one.

DIY phone cases

Supplies:

Blank Phone Case

Nail Polish in different colors

Source

5. Leather Geometrical Design for your Phone case

This phone case design does not only look good but it is also meant to keep your phone safe. Try different geometrical shapes and different patterns to achieve your perfect leather phone case.

DIY phone cases

Supplies:

Pencil

Ruler

A piece of leather large enough to cover your phone case

Blank phone case

Scissors

Source

6. Map out your Phone Case

This is certainly my favorite DIY Phone Case design out of them all as it is both very creative and easy to do. You can use any sort of maps that may or may not have any meaning to you and create something special.

DIY phone cases

Supplies:

Map

Clear iPhone Case

Scissors

X-acto Knife

Pencil

Source

7. Phone Case with Pressed Flowers

This DIY phone case design is certainly the most complicated design featured on this list, but it is so beautifully done that it would have been a shame to not share it with you. The pressed flowers shielded by a thin layer of resin are a great picture to look at and you will surely spend a couple of hours simply gazing at your beautiful phone case.

DIY phone cases

Supplies:

You will need:

Pressed dried flowers

Flat, solid white iPhone case

Clear craft glue

A flat and level work surface

Tape

Scissors

Parchment paper

Ruler

Thin-tip permanent marker

Timer

2 clear plastic cups

2 wooden craft sticks

50/50 clear-casting epoxy resin (I used Easy Cast)

Acetone (or a nail polish remover with acetone)

Q-tips

Glitter (Optional)

Source

8. Phone Case with a nautical touch

Are you missing the summer breeze or simply have a bit of an addiction to anything involving nautical themes? Then this is the right DIY phone case for you.

DIY phone cases

Supplies:

Phone Case

Silhouette

Adhesive Vinyl

Source

9. Patterned Phone Case

Let your inner child giggle as you start playing around with different colors and textures of duct tape, in order to achieve perfection when it comes to your DIY phone case.

DIY phone cases

Suplies:

Phone Case

Scotch Colors and Patterns Duct Tape

Scissors

Source

10. Glittery Phone Case

Glitter! Glitter everywhere! If you are not specifically fond of the hombre design presented here, try mixing glitter in the color you like or just opt for a single layer of glitter, in the same color.

DIY phone cases

Supplies:

Phone case

Three colors of glitter

Mod podge

Paintbrush

Source

What’s even greater about these DIY phone cases is the fact that you can play with different colors and designs until you have reached your desired result. You can even mix up two or more different styles and see what you end up with.

What is your favorite DIY phone case design presented here?

 

 

 

 

9 Cool Christmas Crafts for Kids

When it comes to Christmas, everyone in the family should engage in an activity that can involve food, Christmas ornaments or decorations. Kids however are not as easy to handle or please so here are some cool Christmas crafts to keep them busy and entertained.

1. Hand Printed Decorations and Ornaments

cool christmas craftsPaint your hand in different colors and then touch your simple Christmas globes to create some pretty cool snowmen or reindeer designs. In terms of Christmas Arts and Craft, this is one of the prettiest and simplest ideas.

2. Snowmen out of paper rolls

cool christmas craftsWho knew something as “useless” as a toilet paper roll can be put to such a good use? I certainly didn’t! Put your small artist to work on one of these really cool kids crafts for Christmas and teach him how to make something really amazing from something as ordinary as a paper roll. Full instructions here.

3. Yummy Pasta into Cool easy Christmas Crafts for Kids

cool christmas craftsThe only things you will need in terms of Christmas tree ornaments this year are going to be pasta and different color spray paints. Follow this link to see in how many ways you can use simple pasta to create one of the most stunning Christmas ornament crafts for kids.

4. Pinecones as small Christmas Tress

cool christmas craftsAnother great Christmas craft for kids is to let them transform a simple pine cone into a miniature Christmas tree. By simply painting the cone and gluing different ornaments onto it, they can create something truly beautiful. Click here for other ideas.

5. Amazing Wreaths out of Paper

cool christmas craftsIf this Christmas you are a bit tired of the common Christmas wreaths that you can buy in shops, put your kids to work on a joyful paper wreath. By simply cutting out pieces of paper following a certain pattern, you can teach your little ones to make new shapes and introduce them to the world of Christmas craft ideas for kids. Follow the link here for detailed instructions.

6. Snowy winter in a wine glass

cool christmas craftsOne of the most beautiful Christmas crafts for kids to make is definitely this idea. Use artificial snow glued onto a piece of round cardboard with either Christmas trees, animals or other things which inspire holiday cheer and place them under a wine glass. To make the assembly even more amazing, you can also put a candle on the glass’s foot. Tutorials and ideas can be found here.

7. Plastic bottle snowflakes

cool christmas craftsA great idea that you can find on Pinterest Christmas crafts for kids is using the bottom of plastic bottles to create snowflakes. Simply cut off the bottom of the bottle, and then use silver or white paint to make the outline of your snowflake and attach a string to it. It is as easy as it sounds! However, be sure to not let children use cutting tools unsupervised. Tutorial and other ideas here.

8. Reindeers out of Bottles

cool christmas craftsIf you have leftover brown bottles of beer or soda you can actually turn them into Christmas ornaments. Use a pair of googly eyes, a red nose and rain horns and make your old bottles feel new again. Follow this link for further instructions.

9. Snowmen out of bottle caps

cool christmas craftsCollect bottle caps to make snowmen out of them. Tie together three bottle caps, paint the inside of them and add different types of materials or fabric to make the snowman look more realistic. Full tutorial here.

 

By following at least one or two ideas presented in this article you do not only get to spend some quality time with your children but you can also teach them how they can use old or ordinary objects and turn them into something new, with a bit of effort.

Instead of just buying new ornaments each year, let your child express himself and create something unique.

For more Christmas crafts for kids Pinterest, follow this link.