Nelson Mandela’s inaugural address: Times reporter Emily Alpert put together a collection of notable videos from Mandela’s life, including a clip from the day he was released from prison; a montage of speeches assembled by the UN; an early TV appearance; and more.
Russian Imperial Palaces → The Peterhof Palace
The Peterhof Palace is a series of palaces and gardens located in Saint Petersburg, Russia, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great. These palaces and gardens are sometimes referred as the “Russian Versailles”. Peter the Great was fascinated with the Western culture and wanted to built a palace similar to what Peter saw during his frequent trips to France, Germany, and Austria. In 1884, Emperor Nicholas II and his wife Empress Alexandra, met as teenagers at the Palace.
The Peterhof Palace is known today for the extravagant water fountains. All of the fountains operate without the use of pumps. Water is supplied from natural springs and collects in reservoirs in the Upper Gardens. The elevation difference creates the pressure that drives most of the fountains of the Lower Gardens, including the Grand Cascade. The Samson Fountain is supplied by a special aqueduct, over four km in length, drawing water and pressure from a high-elevation source.
Peterhof, like Tsarskoe Selo, was captured by German troops in 1941 and held until 1944. Employees were only able to save a portion of the treasures of the palaces and fountains before the occupying forces of the German Army invaded Peterhof. Many of the fountains were destroyed, and the palace was partially exploded and left to burn. Restoration work began almost immediately after the end of the war and continues to this day. The Palace is painted white and gold today. However, back in the Romanovs’ time, the roof was painted green and the walls wine-red.
David Tennant on Broadchurch: Episode 1
It’s December 5th, which means that Krampus Tag is here again. In Alpine countries, like Austria, Krampus is a beloved part of Christmas, just like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is here, and the Krampus-Laufen is the must-attend event of the Christmas season, kind of like Marti Gras. Except you don’t want the prize for flashing Krampus…
He looks like this:
And apparently when Santa’s feeling like a bad ass, he rolls with Krampus:
Basically, Krampus is like the Christmas Boogieman. Remember how if you were bad, you’d get coal in your stocking? Well, in Austria, Krampus comes and whips you with chains. I’m not shitting you. The Krampus-Laufen is literally a bunch of guys dressed up in these elaborate Krampus outfits and masks whipping people. And if you’re a pretty girl - or any girl at all, by the end of the night, they don’t really care - you better really watch out, because you’re really going to get whipped. Like hard enough to leave bruises.
In Salzburg, where I lived, the Krampus-Laufen culminated in the city center, where the Christmas Market was. The Krumpuses (Krampi?) converged here to raise hell, before St. Nicholas came at the end of the night to banish them for the rest of the year. As a friend of mine remarked, “I’ve never felt such a sense of peace when Santa came in my life!”
I can’t imagine being a child in Austria, seeing this every year:
What sort of nightmares do these kids have?
But seriously, I love Krampus Tag, possibly because it’s so strange. I mean, it’s LEGAL to go around whipping people with chains once a year. I mean, that’s ASSAULT. Straight up assault. You’d never see an event like this in the US - it’s about 20,000 lawsuits just waiting to happen. But it’s also perversely fun. And at the very least, it’s provided me with an entertaining story (and a lovely inside joke) to tell every December the 5th. I even get a little nostalgic for the Krampus-Laufen this time of year. :)
So Happy Krampus Tag, everyone. May the chains of Krampus bring you good luck (and minimal bruising) this holiday season!
It’s Krampus Tag once again. Hell yes I’m bringing this back!