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Attitude

'Tude. Att-it-tude. That's everythin'. I use it in the ring. I say to


myself, I'm gonna work this sucker. I'm knockin' him down. I'm
knockin' him out!
Round three. I smashed his head usin' a right---made him grunt like the pig boy he
was. He shook it off before goin' for me. Sucker swung wild. Knew I had him, though,
when that stream of blood spurted out his jaw as my fist mashed up 'gainst his chin.
Be bringin' it home to mama now, baby!
I slammed him, hard like, an' his face bended---his eye swelled up black too. He came
on like a bull. I got in another shot to his nose. That made him groan, but he lunged
into my arms.
He's 'gainst me, I smelt him, he's so close, and he had me blocked---had to punch wide
'gainst his shoulders---gloves slid off the sweat like nothin'.
That's when I says to myself, "my ear!" like he squeezed in a punch and smacked it
against my head bone. Mama, I pushed him! But them gloves slid off like nothin'. And
I go to myself, "my ear!" again, but it's the other ear.
The ref jumped in, all wavin' an' shovin' an' callin' the fight an' sayin' it's over.
I touched my ear and winced. My glove came back bloody. S'up wit' that? But I knew
right off. That sucker bit me! I was poundin' him---poundin' him in a fair fight---an' he
bit me. Holy God! Ws'up wit' that?

"Almost Heaven" as in "Falling Short of"


Moving to West Virginia was not what I envisioned would actually
happen when I read the contest rules---an essay-auction by mail--and the prize---a totally free house precariously perched above
Tallmansville Lick. "Send a photo of yourself and your spouse with
your essay of no more than 256 words, describing why you would be
the perfect person(s) to own this house."
How could my story about Beth's terrible childhood have been what would touch the
owners---so horribly graphic and all?
Very desperate to get immigrants I thought, as I drove down to the licensing office to
trade my Texas plates for those of the "Almost Heaven" state. I had two ten-year old
cars, the 1974 Oldsmobile that Beth said was the last of the body-slammers, and my
'74 Corvette, the remnant of my youth---fading color, like my proud hair.
The ordeal took two hours. State law says that cars brought into West By God Virginia
are levied a sales tax as if new---using current book value. "Double Taxation!" I
protested to the clerk, busily popping her Doublemint.
"Six hundred-twelve Dollars," she said, clicking her abused nails on the rubbed-raw
Formica counter.
"Let me see the head guy," I demanded.
"No head guy. Fishing at Stonecoal," she said. "Caught six big trout Monday."
"Did he fillet them?" I asked, hoping chumminess might lessen the penalty for
bringing in previously-taxed cars.
"Nope---he was using worms I think," said the woman who had just used finger-math
to figure my tax.

An Awkward Silence
I watched her draw while the dust from the country road billowed
around the passenger seat window. She held the red felt-tipped pen
in her slight hand like it was an extension of her self. Small squares
of yellow memo pad paper were scattered in her lap. It was all I
could scrounge up in hopes of keeping a four year old sufficiently
occupied for the drive to her grandmother's house. Red suns,
smiling faces and sunflowers bobbed gently with the moving car. Her
face was somber and serious. I continued to drive on, glancing
periodically at her as she sketched and ripped and arranged her tiny
canvasses of art. Not a word was said and I was beginning to feel
uncomfortable with the silence. I felt it was my obligation to
entertain her somehow and tried to engage her in conversation.
"So tell me sweetie," I asked, "what's your favourite colour?"
"I love all the colours," she said, not taking her eyes from her work.
"Okay. What's your favourite food then?"
"I love all the food," she replied.
I was intrigued and pressed on.
"What's your favourite day?"
She stopped for a moment and looked at me. Her eyes were clear green skies
surrounded by flecks of yellow.
"I love everyday," she said and returned to her work. I watched her as she put the final
strokes on what looked like a dog or cow.
I let her draw, uninterrupted, and listened to the lyrical ping of pebbles resonate off the
underbelly of my car.

Banished to My Room

I did absolutely nothing wrong, yet here I lay, staring at the


shadow of my swaying foot, pretend-kicking invisible invaders on
the wall. Somebody is going to incur my wrath, even if it is an
imaginary scapegoat. At least he, she or it can't fight back; that is
about the only comfort I take right now.
There is no television in my room, only a stereo with a handful of tapes to listen to.
I am not allowed to play them, though. I have been commanded to lie here in
subdued silence. For some reason I can't explain, it has been deemed that I am to
be punished and confined to my bedroom. My friends are outside, and I know they
are laughing and mocking me. They aren't locked up like a caged rat with nothing
to do save for quietly reading the same crappy books over and over again. If it is
punishment my overseers want, then they've succeeded. This solitude is more like
torment.
What did I do to deserve this? Scream out loud occasionally, use a little profanity
that slaps expressions of shock on my benefactors? Big deal! Of course, if they
would tend to my needs when I ask for them, I'd be content and as restrained as an
altar boy.
Oh, I'm selfish, you say? Spoiled, even? Try it in my shoes, friends, and tell me
how you like being eighty-three and treated like a helpless infant!

Before the Hermitage Threshold


I reached for the doorknob, but my hand shook. I pulled back and
held my palm in front of my face.
What was I afraid of?
A gust of wind encircled me and leaves shuffled about---dry leaves, as ancient as the
Hermitage itself. They scraped along the stone steps with a crackling that interrupted
the deepening dusk.
I turned around---into the wind---and gazed down the walkway. Grass sprawled
toward the distance, broken by the winding path and scattered oaks. Beyond my view,
the path led to a road, the road led to a highway, and the highway led to a city---my
home.
I cocked my head and listened for sounds I knew. Cars revving and honking. The
clatter of subways and trolleys. The footfall of a multitude. All these and more--noises that filled my daily life like a friend I could always depend on. But none of
them reached me here at this secluded retreat. My friend had abandoned me.
"Five days," I said aloud. But even my voice seemed far away, as if it too had
remained in the city. It would probably feel that way for the whole of my sabbatical.
Five days of solitude. Five days of silence.
Silence. How was I going to deal with the silence?
I held my hand before my face. It still shook.
Silence. What would I find there?

I blew a sigh.
Turning back toward the door, I twisted the knob. As quietly as possible, I crossed the
threshold into the Hermitage.

On Being Watched

She arrives alone. Her coach, our interpreter, delayed by storms,


leaves us three to toss our languages across a canyon.
In one week she'll compete at Symphony Hall. Twenty years old, a celebrity of her
island nation. Leo and I are her volunteer parents with a baby grand and a room for
rent where she unpacks her animist religion, a shrine of rocks on the dresser top.
But downstairs she freezes at the brim of the music room, eyes wide to the pine
planks. She's unwilling to meet the instrument until another day has passed.
When she steps toward the piano at last, she avoids the knots like a child in a
sidewalk game. Her music is clutter, the sound of a biker avoiding the pedals. She's
spooked.
One morning I see her kneeling, the scores face-down about the room as if tossed
by wind. We gather the scattered staves, unspeaking. I leave her seated stiff-backed
as a Shaker, not sure she is grateful.
But after three days of tension she quits waiting for the coach. She talks to the wall
and bows to the room. Then fluent as bird song she blooms, strikes lightning
chords and breaks the dawn.
At the competition her flawless passion earns her a spot with the Boston Pops.
"We'll work on your stage fright," the coach says, present at last. But this girl for

whom spirits haunt all things explains with a triumphant smile: those people will
not daunt her more than the thousand eyes in our wide pine floor.

Berry Perfume

She slept on the grass, and the skunk's nose twitched while it
explored the books spilling from her backpack. Had someone
happened by at that moment, no doubt they would have
hesitated, faced with the illusion that the little creature was
contemplating "Philosophy," "World History," and "An Approach to
Physics."
But, as it was, the only thing that passed was a breath of wind, and it wafted over
her, carrying her perfume into the skunk's busy nostrils. Berry perfume. He
scampered up to her flowing hair---slipping as he crossed the philosophy text---and
shook his head in an attempt to determine the source of the scent---for surely
nothing he saw here resembled a patch of berries.
Snuffling at her neck, his wet nose brushed the exact spot where she had applied
the perfume that morning. The slight touch caused her to inhale loudly and lift her
arms over her head in an exaggerated stretch. She rubbed her eyelids and rolled
onto her side.
Nose-to-nose, they faced each other---student and skunk.

The skunk simply twitched, while she, still in a slumber-induced haze, simply
stared. Emboldened by her stillness, the skunk resumed his search for the berries,
poking his nose into her hair. She giggled. The skunk's ears perked, convinced that
she was not a patch of berries after all, and, with one final twitch, he waddled
away.
Gazing beyond her textbooks at his retreating form, all she could think was that,
somehow, she had come closer to a skunk than anyone she'd ever known.

The Big Blue Shirt

She was not what anyone would call pretty. The face was sad,
pixie-like. Blonde curly bits attempted scraggly escapes from
beneath the beat up baseball cap. She sat, thin shoulders
hunched like she was trying to hide the girlie parts beneath that
big blue shirt. I couldn't take my eyes off her. I feared she would
disappear into the caverns of the mega-mall where I had first
begun to follow her.
Now, perched across from her at the crowded coffee bar, I sipped my latte--peeking upwards and sideways though wary eyelashes so watching would not be
obvious. Had she been warned about not speaking to strangers? Should I risk it?
Would she make a scene? How much should I offer her?

I caught the eye of a matron. She pursed her lips and gave me the squinty-eyed "I
don't approve of you pervert types" glare. Then, the girl spoke first, " Mister, can I
bum a smoke?"
My chance. I had to be tactful. "Sure," I mumbled. "But first I have to ask you a
question?" I breathed deeply. "That blue shirt you're wearing... did you, ah, get it at
the Salvation Army?"
Her eyes widened. The thin neck snapped back as if smacked by the poverty
police. Before she could scream or run away I blurted, "It was mine, a favorite--won it bowling. See, my name, Chuck, on the sleeve. My wife, she accidentally
donated it. I would really like to buy it back."

Black Death

I am a transmigrant, a restless soul doomed to walk from place to


place and from body to body unceasingly. My soul is so
zygomorphic that even Death is incapable of allowing it to cross
the great divide.
The Gods in their ironic wisdom have arranged for me to suffer many indignities.
In the 20th century alone, my tired old soul has been housed within a reluctant
concubine as she writhed under the amorous attentions of a middle aged Flemish
cockalorum.

And this same soul has been encased in the tortured body of a young airman in a
prisoner of war camp.
I have also been propelled from the dying body of the esteemed inventor of
advanced Zen meditation into the pimply abode of a shallow youth with the
distinguished reputation of tossing the highest flapjack ever at the local pancake
house.
In earlier times my soul has inhabited the diverse personalities of a Roman
gladiator, an African pygmy and a medieval minstrel. I have been imbedded inside
an ugly old hag who sat knitting at the foot of the guillotine as she watched the
beheading of the French aristocracy. I led one life captaining a pirate ship, where I
ordered insubordinate scruffy crewmembers to walk the plank or be keelhauled
under the ship.
The burden of these multiple lifestyles appalls me. If there are lessons to be
learned, I seem incapable of learning them. And so, as I lay here on yet another
deathbed, once again I plead with Black Death to break the cycle.

Bless Me Father
"Bless me Father, for I have sinned."
I heard the words and resisted the temptation to slide the screen shut. Without
noticing, my confessor continued to speak. Head drooping, I listened to his
whispers. He spoke of lustful thoughts and infidelity---things that should be
whispered.

I pushed against the arms of my chair, holding myself up.


Sometimes the parishioners would come in and feed me falsehoods. Noncommittal
sins like lying, or swearing, or being angry---things children confess when they
don't know what else to say. Which were harder to hear? Those made-up sins? Or
the real ones? Ones like my confessor struggled through now? Choices he made;
choices that hurt him and hurt his family.
And hurt me.
I instructed him in his indulgence, which he received in silence. My shoulders
ached as I forced my hands through the sign of the cross.
Steps echoing into the sanctuary, he went to perform his penance. Presently, echoes
resounded again in his departure.
My knees popped as I stood to leave the confessional. Hand on my lower back, I
hobbled to the front pew.
The kneeler bent from the burden I placed on it---my weight, and the weight on my
shoulders. I heaved a thick breath. So many sins---real and false---they crushed me
like I crushed the kneeler. I only had strength to raise my eyes, but I met those of
my savior upon the cross. Holding his gaze, I spoke a word of thanks that I did not
bear these burdens alone.

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu was probably built by Pachacuti Inca as a royal estate and religious retreat in
1460-70. After his death, it remained the property of his allus (kinship groups) who were
responsible for maintenance, administration and continuing building. As a remarkable sacred

site (location as well as buildings), it surely was visited by Topa Inca and the last great ruler,
Huayna Capac, although each in turn built their own estates and palaces. Few outside the
Inca's retainers would have know of its existence as travel was restricted except by Inca
decree.
Huayna Capac and an estimated 50 percent of the population died of small pox in 1527?
Inca governmental capability must have suffered greatly resulting in a period of turmoil. The
empire then fell into civil war over Inca secession. Machu Picchu is thought to have been
abandoned at this time because cost of maintenance was prohibitive while epidemic and war
depleted the remaining male population.
Machu Picchu as a ceremonial site ,had no administrative or commerce use and was located
on a remote secondary road in near impassable terrain in the high cloud forest. It had little
military value located high above an impassable section of the Urubamba River canyon. Any
movement in that direction to or from Cusco and the Sacred valley up river would have been
mainly by other Inca roads, either the high road near Salcantay or by the Lucumayo valley
road.
It is difficult to understand from our knowledge of Greek, Egyptian and other great early
civilizations with written records how such a magnificent site could not of been discovered by
the Spanish. Yet I can see how it could have happened. The Inca were a completely ordered
an regimented society .Although great numbers of people were moved around for corporate
state projects (mit'a) and resettlement, once at a location, they did not move. The royal
roads were reserved for official travel. Machu Picchu (surely not its name) as a isolated
ceremonial site was even more restricted, probably to the Inca and other high persons. Of
course it would have required a steady supply of outside goods. Machu Picchu like most
Inca sites was undergoing continuing construction and must of had a resident crew of
builders as well as attendants, planters etc.
The Incas were apparently able to control their remarkable state system through a pyramidal
hierarchy with information and direction flowing down through 10 overseers to 100, to a 1000
and so on. We know from historical writing and the archaeological record that they did not
possess an alphabet i.e. written language. Although, they certainly must have utilized some
symbols and perhaps diagrams. We know that the Quipu ( collection of colored strings and
knots) was extensively used as an accounting and record keeping device. This required a
trained interpreter/programmer to accompany it. It is interesting that the Spanish were
unable to locate or interrogate even one of these specialists. The Inca also maintained a
class or guild of verbal historians. What records of the state that were kept and how remain a
mystery.

Colosseum
The suicide of emperor Nero, in 68, was followed by eighteen
months of civil war, the first Roman civil war since Mark Antonys

death in 30 BC. During this period, Rome witnessed the successive


rise and fall of three emperors until the final accession of Vespasian,
first ruler of the Flavian Dynasty.
The first task of the new Emperor Vespasian was to rebuild Rome
after the civil war, to stamp his own identity on the city and to wipe
away the memory of Nero. He rebuilt the Temple of Jupiter and
constructed a vast new Temple of Peace. The Roman Colosseum was
to become the showpiece of the new Flavian dynasty of Vespasian
and his sons Titus and Domitian. The location chosen for the new
amphitheater was most significant. It was built on the site of the
infamous Golden House of Nero. This grandiose palace, complete
with its own lake and parkland setting, had been built in the very
heart of Rome. The lake was filled in and the land reused as the
location for the new Flavian Amphitheatre.
Vespasians decision to build the Colosseum on the site of Neros
lake can be seen as a gesture of returning a part of the city to the
people which emperor Nero had appropriated for his own use.
Ironically, the modern name for Vespasians great amphitheater is
one that makes it more of a memorial to Nero than to the dynasty
that replaced him. The word Colosseum is derived from the colossal
statue of Nero (the Colossus) that stood nearby, commissioned by
him for his Golden House.
Vespasian did not live to see his amphitheater completed. After he
died in 79, his oldest son Titus continued construction on the
Colosseum. Titus opened it to the public in AD 80. During the
dedication of the Flavian Amphitheater 9,000 animals and hundreds
of gladiators were participating in a hundred days of games on an
unparalleled scale. After Tituss untimely death the following year,
Domitian, Vespasians youngest son and Tituss young brother, built
the underground caverns and finished the decorative work.

Flood
Flood is one of disaster that usually happens in Indonesia, especially in
Jakarta and Semarang. This disaster can happen because of human or
nature. It usually happens because humans attitudes that havent keep the
environment well.
They throw trash in the river or drain and cut trees in forest illegally. Meanwhile
flood thats caused by nature are tsunami and tide sea water. Human custom
that usually throw trash in the river or drain makes flood can happen. Trash
settles in the bottom of river. It makes volume of water decrease.
So when heavy rain happens, the water will overflow to the place around river.
The second cause of flood is illegal logging. Human usually cut trees in the
forest illegally for necessary of industry, whereas the roots tree can absorb
water into the ground well. The lack of trees make rain water doesnt absorb,
so flood can happen.
Flood can happen because of nature, it is flood caused by tsunami. Tectonic
earthquake in the bottom of sea makes sea water up into the land, so flood
can happen at coasts place. This flood will take lot sacrifices, if the scale of
tectonic earthquake and tsunami are too big. Flood that caused by tide sea
water mostly happens in Semarang, especially in the old city.
This flood happens because sea water is seeping up into the ground. If sea
water on the ground is too much, flood will happen. In addition to it, snow melt
due to global warming may also cause flood. The temperate of earth increase
because we use fossil fuels too much. It can cause snow ice melt. That melt
can make flood happens and make people around it in danger.
Flood can happen because of humans attitudes that usually throw trash in the
river, cut trees illegally, global warming, and nature, for examples flood caused
by tsunami and tide sea water. Flood is disaster that makes a lot of people
loses, so we must prevent it. Dont throw trash in the wrong place, stop illegal
logging, and stop global warming. If there isnt flood, we will live comfortably.

ThanksGiving
Giving thanks for the Creators gifts had always been a part of Wampanoag
daily life. From ancient times, Native People of North America have held
ceremonies to give thanks for successful harvests, for the hope of a good
growing season in the early spring, and for other good fortune such as the
birth of a child. Giving thanks was, and still is, the primary reason for
ceremonies or celebrations.
As with Native traditions in America, celebrations - complete with merrymaking
and feasting - in England and throughout Europe after a successful crop are
as ancient as the harvest-time itself. In 1621, when their labors were rewarded
with a bountiful harvest after a year of sickness and scarcity, the Pilgrims gave
thanks to God and celebrated His bounty in the Harvest Home tradition with
feasting and sport (recreation). To these people of strong Christian faith, this
was not merely a revel; it was also a joyous outpouring of gratitude.
The arrival of the Pilgrims and Puritans brought new Thanksgiving traditions to
the American scene. Todays national Thanksgiving celebration is a blend of
two traditions: the New England custom of rejoicing after a successful harvest,
based on ancient English harvest festivals; and the Puritan Thanksgiving, a
solemn religious observance combining prayer and feasting.
Florida, Texas, Maine and Virginia each declare itself the site of the First
Thanksgiving and historical documents support the various claims. Spanish
explorers and other English Colonists celebrated religious services of

thanksgiving years beforeMayflower arrived. However, few people knew about


these events until the 20th century. They were isolated celebrations, forgotten
long before the establishment of the American holiday, and they played no role
in the evolution of Thanksgiving.

Machu Picchu
Machu picchu is tangible evidence of the urban Inca Empire at the peak of its
power and achievementa citadel of cut stone fit together without mortar so
tightly that its cracks still cant be penetrated by a knife blade.
The complex of palaces and plazas, temples and homes may have been built
as a ceremonial site, a military stronghold, or a retreat for ruling elitesits
dramatic location is certainly well suited for any of those purposes. The ruins
lie on a high ridge, surrounded on three sides by the windy, turbulent
Urubamba River some 2,000 feet (610 meters) below.
Scholars are still striving to uncover clues to the mysteries hidden here high in
the eastern slopes of the Andes, covered with tropical forests of the upper
Amazon Basin. Machu Picchu appears to lie at the center of a network of
related sites and trailsand many landmarks both man-made and
mountainous appear to align with astronomical events like the solstice sunset.
The Inca had no written language, so they left no record of why they built the
site or how they used it before it was abandoned in the early 16th century.
Landscape engineering skills are in strong evidence at Machu Picchu. The
sites buildings, walls, terraces, and ramps reclaim the steep mountainous
terrain and make the city blend naturally into the rock escarpments on which it
is situated. The 700-plus terraces preserved soil, promoted agriculture, and
served as part of an extensive water-distribution system that conserved water
and limited erosion on the steep slopes.
The Incas achievements and skills are all the more impressive in light of the
knowledge they lacked. When Machu Picchu was built some 500 years ago
the Inca had no iron, no steel, and no wheels. Their tremendous effort
apparently benefited relatively few peoplesome experts maintain that fewer
than a thousand individuals lived here.

In 1911 a Peruvian guide led Yale professor Hiram Bingham up a steep


mountainside and into the history books as the first Western scholar to lay
eyes on the lost city of Machu Picchu. While indigenous peoples knew of the
site, Perus Spanish conquerors never dida fact which aided Machu
Picchus isolation, and preservation, over the centuries.

Colosseum
Even today, in a world of skyscrapers, the Colosseum is hugely impressive. It
stands as a glorious but troubling monument to Roman imperial power and
cruelty. Inside it, behind those serried ranks of arches and columns, Romans
for centuries cold-bloodedly killed literally thousands of people whom they saw
as criminals, as well as professional fighters and animals.
Indeed, it was the amphitheatre's reputation as a sacred spot where Christian
martyrs had met their fate that saved the Colosseum from further
depredations by Roman popes and aristocrats - anxious to use its once
glistening stone for their palaces and churches. The cathedrals of St Peter
and St John Lateran, the Palazzo Venezia and the Tiber's river defences, for
example, all exploited the Colosseum as a convenient quarry.
As a result of this plunder, and also because of fires and earthquakes, two
thirds of the original have been destroyed, so that the present Colosseum is
only a shadow of its former self, a noble ruin.
The Colosseum was started in the aftermath of Nero's extravagance and the
rebellion by the Jews in Palestine against Roman rule. Nero, after the great
fire at Rome in AD 64, had built a huge pleasure palace for himself (the
Golden House) right in the centre of the city. In 68, faced with military
uprisings, he committed suicide, and the empire was engulfed in civil wars.
The eventual winner Vespasian (emperor 69-79) decided to shore up his
shaky regime by building an amphitheatre, or pleasure palace for the people,
out of the booty from the Jewish War - on the site of the lake in the gardens of

Nero's palace. The Colosseum was a grand political gesture. Suitably for that
great city, it was the largest amphitheatre in the Roman world, capable of
holding some 50,000 spectators.

Flood
A flood is an overflow of water that submerges land which is usually dry.
The European Union (EU) Floods Directive defines a flood as a covering
by water of land not normally covered by water In the sense of "flowing water",
the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide.
Flooding may occur as an overflow of water from water bodies, such as
a river, lake, or ocean, in which the water overtops or breakslevees, resulting
in some of that water escaping its usual boundaries or it may occur due to an
accumulation of rainwater on saturated ground in an areal flood. While the
size of a lake or other body of water will vary with seasonal changes
in precipitation and snow melt, these changes in size are unlikely to be
considered significant unless they flood property or drown domestic animals.
Floods can also occur in rivers when the flow rate exceeds the capacity of
the river channel, particularly at bends or meanders in the waterway. Floods
often cause damage to homes and businesses if they are in the natural flood
plains of rivers. While riverine flood damage can be eliminated by moving
away from rivers and other bodies of water, people have traditionally lived and

worked by rivers because the land is usually flat and fertile and because rivers
provide easy travel and access to commerce and industry.
Some floods develop slowly, while others such as flash floods, can develop in
just a few minutes and without visible signs of rain. Additionally, floods can be
local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire
river basins.

ThanksGiving
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in Canada and the United
States. It was originally celebrated as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of
the harvest and of the preceding year.
Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among
almost all religions after harvests and at other times.[1]The Thanksgiving
holiday's history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from
the Protestant Reformation. It also has aspects of a harvest festival, even
though the harvest in New England occurs well before the late-November date
on which the modern Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated.
In the English tradition, days of thanksgiving and special thanksgiving religious
services became important during the English Reformation in the reign
of Henry VIII and in reaction to the large number of religious holidays on the
Catholic calendar. Before 1536 there were 95 Church holidays, plus 52
Sundays, when people were required to attend church and forego work and
sometimes pay for expensive celebrations.
The 1536 reforms reduced the number of Church holidays to 27, but
some Puritans wished to completely eliminate all Church holidays,

including Christmas and Easter. The holidays were to be replaced by specially


called Days of Fasting or Days of Thanksgiving, in response to events that the
Puritans viewed as acts of special providence. Unexpected disasters or
threats of judgement from on high called for Days of Fasting.
Special blessings, viewed as coming from God, called for Days of
Thanksgiving. For example, Days of Fasting were called on account of
drought in 1611, floods in 1613, and plagues in 1604 and 1622. Days of
Thanksgiving were called following the victory over the Spanish Armada in
1588 and following the deliverance of Queen Anne in 1705. An unusual annual
Day of Thanksgiving began in 1606 following the failure of the Gunpowder
Plot in 1605 and developed into Guy Fawkes Day.