Carnival is a Western Christian and Greek Orthodox festive season that occurs before the liturgical season of Lent. The main events occur during February or early March, during the period known as Shrovetide. Carnival involves public celebrations, including events such as parades, public street parties and other entertainments, combining some elements of a circus. Elaborate costumes and masks allow people to set aside their everyday individuality and experience a heightened sense of social unity. Participants indulge in excessive consumption of alcohol and other foods that will be forgone during upcoming Lent. Traditionally, butter and other animal products were not consumed "excessively", their stock was consumed as to reduce waste. Pancakes and other desserts were prepared and eaten for a final time. During Lent, animal products are no longer eaten, individuals have the ability to give up a certain object or activity of desire. Other common features of carnival include mock battles such as food fights.
The term Carnival is traditionally used in areas with a large Catholic presence, as well as in Greece. In Evangelical Lutheran countries, the celebration is known as Fastelavn, in areas with a high concentration of Anglicans and other Protestants, pre-Lenten celebrations, along with penitential observances, occur on Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras. In Slavic Eastern Orthodox nations, Maslenitsa is celebrated during the last week before Great Lent. In German-speaking Europe and the Netherlands, the Carnival season traditionally opens on 11/11; this dates back to celebrations before the Advent season or with harvest celebrations of St. Martin's Day; the Latin-derived name of the holiday is sometimes spelled Carnaval in areas where Dutch, French and Portuguese are spoken, or Carnevale in Italian-speaking contexts. Alternative names are used for local celebrations; the word is said to come from the Late Latin expression carne levare, which means "remove meat". In either case, this signifies the approaching fast.
The word carne may be translated as flesh, producing "a farewell to the flesh", a phrase embraced by certain carnival celebrants to embolden the festival's carefree spirit. The etymology of the word Carnival thus points to a Christian origin of the celebratory period. Other scholars argue that the origin is the festival of the Navigium Isidis, where the image of Isis was carried to the seashore to bless the start of sailing season; the festival consisted of a parade of masks following an adorned wooden boat, called in Latin carrus navalis the source of both the name and the parade floats. The word Carnival is of Christian origin, in the Middle Ages, it referred to a period following Epiphany season that reached its climax before midnight on Shrove Tuesday; because Lent was a period of fasting, "Carnival therefore represented a last period of feasting and celebration before the spiritual rigors of Lent." Meat was plentiful during this part of the Christian calendar and it was consumed during Carnival as people abstained from meat consumption during the following liturgical season, Lent.
In the last few days of Carnival, known as Shrovetide, people confessed their sins in preparation for Lent as well. In 1605, a Shrovetide play spoke of Christians who painted their faces to celebrate the season: From an anthropological point of view, carnival is a reversal ritual, in which social roles are reversed and norms about desired behavior are suspended. Winter was thought of as the reign of the winter spirits. Carnival can thus be regarded as a rite of passage from darkness to light, from winter to summer: a fertility celebration, the first spring festival of the new year. Traditionally, a Carnival feast was the last opportunity for common people to eat well, as there was a food shortage at the end of the winter as stores ran out; until spring produce was available, people were limited to the minimum necessary meals during this period. On what nowadays is called vastenavond, all the remaining winter stores of lard and meat which were left would be eaten, for these would otherwise soon start to rot and decay.
The selected livestock had been slaughtered in November and the meat would be no longer preservable. All the food that had survived the winter had to be eaten to assure that everyone was fed enough to survive until the coming spring would provide new food sources. Several Germanic tribes celebrated the returning of the daylight; the winter would be driven out. A central figure of this ritual was the fertility goddess Nerthus. There are some indications that the effigy of Nerthus or Freyr was placed on a ship with wheels and accompanied by a procession of people in animal disguise and men in women's clothes. Aboard the ship a marriage would be consummated as a fertility ritual. Tacitus wrote in his Germania: Germania 9.6: Ceterum nec cohibere parietibus deos neque in ullam humani oris speciem adsimulare ex magnitudine caelestium arbitrator – "The Germans, however, do not consider it consistent with the grandeur of celestial beings to confin
Anthony the Great
Saint Anthony or Antony, was a Christian monk from Egypt, revered since his death as a saint. He is distinguished from other saints named Anthony such as Anthony of Padua, by various epithets of his own: Anthony the Great, Anthony of Egypt, Antony the Abbot, Anthony of the Desert, Anthony the Anchorite, Anthony of Thebes. For his importance among the Desert Fathers and to all Christian monasticism, he is known as the Father of All Monks, his feast day is celebrated on 17 January among the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches and on Tobi 22 in the Coptic calendar used by the Coptic Church. The biography of Anthony's life by Athanasius of Alexandria helped to spread the concept of Christian monasticism in Western Europe via its Latin translations, he is erroneously considered the first Christian monk, but as his biography and other sources make clear, there were many ascetics before him. Anthony was, the first to go into the wilderness, which seems to have contributed to his renown. Accounts of Anthony enduring supernatural temptation during his sojourn in the Eastern Desert of Egypt inspired the often-repeated subject of the temptation of St. Anthony in Western art and literature.
Anthony is appealed to against infectious diseases skin diseases. In the past, many such afflictions, including ergotism and shingles, were referred to as St. Anthony's fire. Anthony was born in Coma in Lower Egypt to wealthy landowner parents; when he was about 20 years old, his parents left him with the care of his unmarried sister. Shortly thereafter, he decided to follow the Evangelical counsel of Jesus which reads, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, you will have treasures in heaven." Anthony gave away some of his family's lands to his neighbors, sold the remaining property, donated the funds thus raised to the poor. He left to live an ascetic life, placing his sister with a group of Christian virgins, a sort of proto-convent in that time. For the next fifteen years, Anthony remained in the area, spending the first years as the disciple of another local hermit. There are various legends associating Anthony with pigs: one is that he worked as a swineherd during this period.
Anthony is sometimes considered the first monk, the first to initiate solitary desertification, but there were others before him. There were ascetic pagan hermits, loosely organized cenobitic communities were described by the Hellenized Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria in the 1st century AD as long established in the harsh environment of Lake Mareotis and in other less accessible regions. Philo opined that "this class of persons may be met with in many places, for both Greece and barbarian countries want to enjoy whatever is good." Christian ascetics such as Thecla had retreated to isolated locations at the outskirts of cities. Anthony is notable for having decided to surpass this tradition and headed out into the desert proper, he left for the alkaline Nitrian Desert on the edge of the Western Desert about 95 km west of Alexandria. He remained there for 13 years. According to Athanasius, the devil fought Anthony by afflicting him with boredom and the phantoms of women, which he overcame by the power of prayer, providing a theme for Christian art.
After that, he moved to a tomb, where he resided and closed the door on himself, depending on some local villagers who brought him food. When the devil perceived his ascetic life and his intense worship, he was envious and beat him mercilessly, leaving him unconscious; when his friends from the local village came to visit him and found him in this condition, they carried him to a church. After he recovered, he made a second effort and went back into the desert to a father mountain by the Nile called Pispir, opposite Arsinoë. There he lived enclosed in an old abandoned Roman fort for some 20 years. According to Athanasius, the devil again resumed his war against Anthony, only this time the phantoms were in the form of wild beasts, lions and scorpions, they appeared as if they were about to cut him into pieces. But the saint would laugh at them scornfully and say, "If any of you have any authority over me, only one would have been sufficient to fight me." At his saying this, they disappeared as though in smoke.
While in the fort he only communicated with the outside world by a crevice through which food would be passed and he would say a few words. Anthony would prepare a quantity of bread, he did not allow anyone to enter his cell. One day he emerged from the fort with the help of villagers, who broke down the door. By this time most had expected him to have wasted away or to have gone insane in his solitary confinement. Instead, he emerged healthy and enlightened. Everyone was amazed that he emerged spiritually rejuvenated, he was hailed from this time forth the legend of Anthony began to spread and grow. Anthony went to Fayyum and confirmed the brethren there in the Christian faith before returning to his fort. Amid the Diocletian Persecutions, Anthony in 311 went to Alexandria, he visited those who were comforted them. When the Governor saw that he was confessing his Christianity publicly, not caring what might happen to him, he ordered him not to show up in the city. However
Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922)
The Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922 was fought between Greece and the Turkish National Movement during the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire after World War I between May 1919 and October 1922. It is known as the Western Front of the Turkish War of Independence in Turkey and the Asia Minor Campaign or the Asia Minor Catastrophe in Greece; the Greek campaign was launched because the western Allies British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, had promised Greece territorial gains at the expense of the Ottoman Empire defeated in World War I. The armed conflict started when the Greek forces landed in Smyrna, on 15 May 1919, they advanced inland and took control of the western and northwestern part of Anatolia, including the cities of Manisa, Balıkesir, Aydın, Kütahya and Eskişehir. Their advance was checked at the Battle of Sakarya in 1921 by forces of the Turkish national movement; the Greek front collapsed with the Turkish counter-attack in August 1922, the war ended with the recapture of Smyrna by the Turkish forces and the Great fire of Smyrna.
As a result, the Greek government accepted the demands of the Turkish national movement and returned to its pre-war borders, thus leaving East Thrace and Western Anatolia to Turkey. The Allies abandoned the Treaty of Sèvres to negotiate a new treaty at Lausanne with the Turkish National Movement; the Treaty of Lausanne recognized the independence of the Republic of Turkey and its sovereignty over Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace. Greek and Turkish governments agreed to engage in a population exchange; the geopolitical context of this conflict is linked to the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, a direct consequence of World War I and involvement of the Ottomans in the Middle Eastern theatre. The Greeks received an order to land in Smyrna by the Triple Entente as part of the partition. During this war, the Ottoman government collapsed and the Ottoman Empire was divided amongst the victorious Entente powers with the signing of the Treaty of Sèvres on August 10, 1920. There were a number of secret agreements regarding the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I.
The Triple Entente had made contradictory promises about post-war arrangements concerning Greek hopes in Asia Minor. The western Allies British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, had promised Greece territorial gains at the expense of the Ottoman Empire if Greece entered the war on the Allied side; these included Eastern Thrace, the islands of Imbros and Tenedos, parts of western Anatolia around the city of Smyrna, which contained sizable ethnic Greek populations. The Italian and Anglo-French repudiation of the Agreement of St.-Jean-de-Maurienne signed on April 26, 1917, which settled the "Middle Eastern interest" of Italy, was overridden with the Greek occupation, as Smyrna was part of the territory promised to Italy. Before the occupation the Italian delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, 1919, angry about the possibility of the Greek occupation of Western Anatolia, left the conference and did not return to Paris until May 5; the absence of the Italian delegation from the Conference ended up facilitating Lloyd George's efforts to persuade France and the United States to support Greece and prevent Italian operations in Western Anatolia.
According to some historians, it was the Greek occupation of Smyrna that created the Turkish National movement. Arnold J. Toynbee argues: "The war between Turkey and Greece which burst out at this time was a defensive war for safeguarding of the Turkish homelands in Anatolia, it was a result of the Allied policy of imperialism operating in a foreign state, the military resources and powers of which were under-estimated. According to others, the landing of the Greek troops in Smyrna was part of Eleftherios Venizelos's plan, inspired by the Megali Idea, to liberate the large Greek populations in the Asia Minor. Prior to the Great Fire of Smyrna, Smyrna had a bigger Greek population than the Greek capital, Athens. Athens, before the Population exchange between Greece and Turkey, had a population of 473,000, while Smyrna, according to Ottoman sources, in 1910, had a Greek population exceeding 629,000. One of the reasons proposed by the Greek government for launching the Asia Minor expedition was that there was a sizeable Greek-speaking Orthodox Christian population inhabiting Anatolia that needed protection.
Greeks had lived in Asia Minor since antiquity, before the outbreak of World War I, up to 2.5 million Greeks lived in the Ottoman Empire. The suggestion that the Greeks constituted the majority of the population in the lands claimed by Greece has been contested by a number of historians. Cedric James Lowe and Michael L. Dockrill argued that Greek claims about Smyrna were at best debatable, since Greeks constituted a bare majority, more a large minority in the Smyrna Vilayet, "which lay in an overwhelmingly Turkish Anatolia." Precise demographics are further obscured by the Ottoman policy of dividing the population according to religion rather than descent, language, or self-identification. On the other hand, contemporaneous British and American statistics support the point that the Greek element was the most numerous in the region of Smyrna, counting 375,000, while Muslims were 325,000. Greek Prime Minister Venizelos stated to a British newspaper that "Greece is not making war against Islam, but against the anachronistic Ottoman Government, its corrupt and bloody administration, with a view
Cinema of Greece
The Cinema of Greece has a long and rich history. Though hampered at times by war or political instability, the Greek film industry dominates the domestic market and has experienced international success. Characteristics of Greek cinema include a dynamic plot, strong character development and erotic themes. Two Greek films and Eternity and a Day, have won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Five Greek films have received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Though Greek cinema took root in the early 1900s, the first mature films weren't produced until the 1920s, after the end of the Greco-Turkish War. Films during this period, such as Astero by Dimitris Gaziadis and Maria Pentagiotissa by Ahilleas Madras, consisted of emotional melodramas with an abundance of folkloristic elements. Orestis Laskos's Daphnis and Chloe, one of the first Greek films to be shown abroad, contained the first voyeuristic nude scene in a European film. During the Axis occupation, the Greek film industry struggled.
Following the Greek Civil War, Greek cinema experienced a revival. Inspired by Italian neorealism, directors such as Grigoris Grigoriou and Stelios Tatasopoulos created works during this period shot on location using non-professional actors. During the 1950s and 1960s, Greek cinema experienced a golden age, starting with Michael Cacoyannis's Stella, screened at Cannes; the 1960 film Never on Sunday was nominated for five Academy Awards, its lead actress, Melina Mercouri, won the Best Actress Award at Cannes. Cacoyannis's Zorba. Censorship policies of the 1967 junta and rising foreign competition led to a decline in Greek cinema. After the restoration of democracy in the mid-1970s, the Greek film industry again flourished, led by director Theo Angelopoulos, whose films captured international awards; the drift toward art-house cinema in the 1980s led to a decline in audiences, however. In the 1990s, younger Greek filmmakers began experimenting with iconographic motifs. In spite of funding issues created by the financial crisis in the late 2000s, unique Greek films such as Yorgos Lanthimos's Dogtooth and Athina Rachel Tsangari's Attenberg received international acclaim.
In the spring of 1897, the Greeks of Athens watched the first cinematic ventures. In 1906 Greek Cinema was born when the Manakis brothers started recording in Macedonia, the French filmmaker "Leons" produced the first "Newscast" from the midi-Olympic games of Athens; the first cine-theater of Athens opened about a year and other special'projection rooms' begun their activity. In 1910-11 the first short comic movies were produced by director Spiros Dimitrakopoulos, who starred in most of his movies. In 1911 Kostas Bachatoris presented Golfo, a well known traditional love story, considered the first Greek feature film. In 1912 was founded the first film company and in 1916 the Asty Film. During the First World War, production was limited to newscasts only. Directors like George Prokopiou and Dimitris Gaziadis are distinguished for filming scenes from the battlefield and during the Greco-Turkish War, the burning of Smyrna; the first commercially successful Greek film was Villar in the Women's Baths of Faliro, directed by and starring comedian Villar and Nitsa Philosofou.
In 1924, Michael Michael, a Greek comedian, presented some short film comedies. In 1926, Gaziadis tried to produce the first speaking movies; this company presented its first movie and Waves, in 1927, experienced moderate success in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The company produced historical movies adaptations of novels. In 1930, Dag produced a speaking movie, Apaches of Athens, based on a Greek operetta by Nikos Hatziapostolou. Gaziadis filmed the 1927 Delphic Festival, an idea of Angelos Sikelianos, with the support of his wife, as part of his general effort towards the revival of the "Delphic Idea"; the event consisted of Olympic contests, an exhibition of folk art, a performance of Prometheus Bound. The 1931 film Daphnis and Chloe, directed by Orestis Laskos, contained the first voyeuristic nude scene in the history of European cinema. In 1932 Olympia Films presented the movie The Shepherdess's Lover, based on a play by Dimitris Koromilas. Influential during this period was director Ahilleas Madras, whose work included Maria Pentagiotissa and Sorcerer of Athens.
During the late 1930s, a number of Greek filmmakers fled Greece due to the hostility of Metaxas Regime, which came to power following a coup in 1936. The Greek film industry reemerged in Turkey, in Egypt. In spite of German occupation during World War II, Philopemen Finos, a film producer, active in the Greek Resistance, founded Finos Films, which would become one of the most commercially successful Greek studios. One of Finos's earliest productions, Voice of the Heart, drew large audiences, to the consternation of the Germans. Another important film during this period, was produced by Finos's rival, Novak Films. In 1944 Katina Paxinou was honoured with the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as "Pilar" in the Sam Wood film, For Whom the Bell Tol
The Ottoman Empire known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire; the Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror. During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling most of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa. At the beginning of the 17th century, the empire contained numerous vassal states; some of these were absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.
With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. While the empire was once thought to have entered a period of decline following the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, this view is no longer supported by the majority of academic historians; the empire continued to maintain a flexible and strong economy and military throughout the 17th and much of the 18th century. However, during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768, the Ottoman military system fell behind that of their European rivals, the Habsburg and Russian empires; the Ottomans suffered severe military defeats in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which prompted them to initiate a comprehensive process of reform and modernisation known as the Tanzimat. Thus, over the course of the 19th century, the Ottoman state became vastly more powerful and organised, despite suffering further territorial losses in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged.
The empire allied with Germany in the early 20th century, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers. While the Empire was able to hold its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent with the Arab Revolt in its Arabian holdings. During this time, atrocities were committed by the Young Turk government against the Armenians and Pontic Greeks; the Empire's defeat and the occupation of part of its territory by the Allied Powers in the aftermath of World War I resulted in its partitioning and the loss of its Middle Eastern territories, which were divided between the United Kingdom and France. The successful Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in the Anatolian heartland and the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy; the word Ottoman is a historical anglicisation of the name of Osman I, the founder of the Empire and of the ruling House of Osman.
Osman's name in turn was the Turkish form of the Arabic name ʿUthmān. In Ottoman Turkish, the empire was referred to as Devlet-i ʿAlīye-yi ʿOsmānīye, or alternatively ʿOsmānlı Devleti. In Modern Turkish, it is known as Osmanlı Devleti; the Turkish word for "Ottoman" referred to the tribal followers of Osman in the fourteenth century, subsequently came to be used to refer to the empire's military-administrative elite. In contrast, the term "Turk" was used to refer to the Anatolian peasant and tribal population, was seen as a disparaging term when applied to urban, educated individuals. In the early modern period, an educated urban-dwelling Turkish-speaker, not a member of the military-administrative class would refer to himself neither as an Osmanlı nor as a Türk, but rather as a Rūmī, or "Roman", meaning an inhabitant of the territory of the former Byzantine Empire in the Balkans and Anatolia; the term Rūmī was used to refer to Turkish-speakers by the other Muslim peoples of the empire and beyond.
In Western Europe, the two names "Ottoman Empire" and "Turkey" were used interchangeably, with "Turkey" being favoured both in formal and informal situations. This dichotomy was ended in 1920–23, when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name. Most scholarly historians avoid the terms "Turkey", "Turks", "Turkish" when referring to the Ottomans, due to the empire's multinational character; as the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum declined in the 13th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent Turkish principalities known as the Anatolian Beyliks. One of these beyliks, in the region of Bithynia on the frontier of the Byzantine Empire, was led by the Turkish tribal leader Osman I, a figure of obscure origins from whom the name Ottoman is derived. Osman's early followers consisted both of Turkish tribal groups and Byzantine renegades, many but not all converts to Islam. Osman extended the control of his principality by conquering Byzantine towns along the Sakarya River.
It is not well understood how the early Ottomans came to dominate their
Confetti are small pieces or streamers of paper, mylar, or metallic material which are thrown at celebrations parades and weddings. The origins are with confetti the plural of Italian confetto, small sweet. Modern paper confetti trace back to symbolic rituals of tossing grains and sweets during special occasions, traditional for numerous cultures throughout history as an ancient custom dating back to pagan times, but adapted from sweets and grains to paper through the centuries. Confetti are made in a variety of colors, commercially available confetti come in many different shapes. A distinction is made between glitter. Most table confetti are shiny. While they are called metallic confetti they are metallized PVC; the most popular shape is the star. Seasonally, Snowflake Confetti are the most requested shape. Most party supply stores carry metallic confetti. Confetti are used at social gatherings such as parties and Bar Mitzvahs, but are considered taboo at funerals, due to the somber atmosphere.
The simplest confetti are shredded paper, can be made with scissors or a paper shredder. Other confetti consist of chads punched out of scrap paper. A hole punch can be used to make small round chads. For more elaborate chads, a ticket punch can be used. Most pieces of paper flats will flutter as tumblewings giving flight times because of gliding aerodynamics. In recent years the use of confetti as a cosmetic addition to trophy presentations at sporting events has become common. In this case, larger strips of paper in the colors appropriate to the team or celebration are used. For smaller volumes of confetti, ABS or PVC "barrels" are filled and the confetti is projected via a "cannon" using compressed air or carbon dioxide. For larger venues or volumes of confetti, a venturi air mover powered by carbon dioxide is used to propel larger volumes of confetti greater distances. Since the Middle Ages, in Northern Italy it was common usage for the participants of carnival parades to throw objects at the crowd mud balls, coins or fruit.
These traditions are still present in some towns in different forms, such as the "Battle of the Oranges" in Ivrea. The use of throwing objects at parades is well documented in Milan since the 14th century; the nobles used to throw candies and flowers during the parades while dames threw eggshells filled with essences and perfumes. Lower-class people mocked the nobles by throwing rotten eggs, battles among enemy factions or districts became common. In 1597, the city governor Juan Fernández de Velasco imposed a ban on the eggs throwing, along with banning squittaroli and other immoral behaviors; the custom disappeared for about a century, coming back in the 1700s in the form of launch of small candies sugar-coated seeds. The seeds used for the sugar candies were Coriander, a common plantation in the area: the Italian name for confetti is indeed coriandoli; the candies were expensive and the lower classes used small chalk balls instead, called benis de gess. Those were defined as "the only material allowed to be thrown during the parades" in an edict by the Prefect of Milan in 1808, but the battles fought with them in the 1800s became too large and dangerous, with hundreds of people involved, leading to a ban of the chalk pellets.
People circumvented the ban by using mud balls. In 1875, an Italian businessman from Milan, Enrico Mangili, began selling paper confetti for use in the upcoming carnevale di Milano, the yearly parade held along the streets of the city. At that time, the province of Milan was one of the main hubs of silk manufacturing. Mangili begun collecting the small punched paper disks that were left as a byproduct from the production of the holed sheets used by the silkworm breeders as cage bedding, selling them for profit; the new paper confetti were well received by the customers, being less harmful and cheaper than the alternatives, their use replaced previous customs in Milan and northern Italy. Scientific American recorded that the throwing of paper confetti occurred at the 1885 New Year's Eve in Paris. Paper confetti became common in all of Europe in just a couple of decades later. A recent innovation at weddings is to use natural petal confetti; these are made from freeze-dried flower petals and are biodegradeable.
In fact, many venues now require. Some wedding venues have decided that due to the mess and potential inconvenience caused by the use of confetti to ban its usage completely. One way that this restriction has been circumvented is to use soap bubbles in place of confetti; the English word confetti is adopted from the Italian confectionery of the same name, a small sweet traditionally thrown during carnivals. Known as dragée or comfit, Italian confetti are almonds with a hard sugar coating; the Italian word for paper confetti is coriandoli which refers to the coriander seeds contained within the sweet. By tradition, the Italian confetti are given out at weddings and baptisms, or graduations wrapped in a small tulle bag as a gift to the guests. For a wedding, they are said to represent the hope that the new couple will have a fertile mar
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water