Christmas Traditions

Christmas is the season of joy, and it is also full of beautiful traditions everyone follow without really understanding it. Lets look  at 5 of these Christmas traditions and try to explain the history behind it.

Christmas Trees – The origin of decorating pine or fir trees with apples, roses, candies and colored paper has its roots in the Renaissance and early modern Germany. Its 16th century origins seem to center around Martin Luther but its widespread popularity followed introduction by various members of the nobility. To decorate a Christmas tree became much more popular and widely accepted in the United Kingdom after Queen Victoria’s marriage to the German Prince Albert.


Christmas Stocking – There is a lot of confusion surrounding where the tradition of Christmas stockings came from but popular legends have found ways to try and explain it. They tell of an old man with three beautiful daughters who had no money to pay for their dowries and so they could not marry. St Nicholas was riding through the village and heard of this story, understanding that the old man would not accept charity he crept down the chimney that night and found stockings that the daughters had hung by the fireplace to dry. Into these 3 stockings he placed a bag of gold each, the next morning the 3 beautiful women and their father were overjoyed and soon after the women were married. Ever since adults and children alike have hung stockings by the fireplace or at the end of their beds to be filled with presents while they sleep, ready to be joyfully opened the next morning!


Candy Cane – According to popular history in 1670 a German choirmaster wished to find a way to get the children to be quiet in his church during Christmas Eve ceremonies. He asked the local sweet maker to make sweet sticks for the children but in order to justify the giving of candy during worship he had the sweet maker add a crook to the tip of each sweet (to resemble the crocks of the three shepherds) and to make them red and white (to reinforce Christian beliefs in the sinless life of Jesus). These delicious candy canes then spread through Europe while being given out at nativity plays. Now they are a popular tradition each year and come in many different flavors, not just the traditional peppermint, which the whole family can enjoy.

Christmas Candy Cane Wallpapers[HD] (1)

Poinsettia – This plant and its associations with Christmas stem from Mexico, where they tell the story of a young girl who was too poor to pay for a present to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Angels inspired her to pick weeds from the roadside to place in front of the church alter and these weeds became poinsettias when beautiful crimson blossoms sprouted from them. From the 17th century onwards friars in Mexico incorporated these bright flowers into their Christmas celebrations, as they believe the flowers have a special symbolism. The star shape of the leaf symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem and the red symbolizes the blood sacrifice through the crucifixion of Christ. Today these beautiful flowers are popular Christmas decorations, with December 12th being National Poinsettia Day in the USA.


Mistletoe – Traditionally mistletoe cannot touch the ground between being cut and its removal and it is to be the last of the greens removed from the house after the Christmas season is over. It is supposed to be hung each year to protect the house from fire and any man and woman that met each other under it were obliged to kiss. After each kiss a berry was plucked from the bush, once all the berries were plucked the privilege ceased. The use of mistletoe as a Christmas decoration was common but was not much alluded to or mentioned before the 18th century.

mistletoe Many of these traditions are old and steeped in centuries of history but that doesn’t make them any less important or special today. All five of the listed traditions are some of the most beautiful and enjoyable parts of Christmas! Enjoy it!


Holiday Gift Hunting

Holiday Season can be very stressful. There are so much to do and always not enough time.

You have to find a right outfit, come up with a menu, in case you are hosting a Holiday Party and on top of all that you have to find gifts for all the members of your family and friends.

To make your Holiday preparations less time consuming and more enjoyable we explored few Holiday Markets in the city, and found plenty of cool, affordable gift options.  You really don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on gifts, just walk around the city and get inspired by beautiful holiday lights, decorations and pop-up holiday markets with great selection of creative unique items.

One of the most popular Holiday Markets in New York City is the one in Bryant Park. Whatever you’re looking for, the Winter Village has you covered, with crafts and goods from over 125 retailers. You will find there hand-made candles, high-end teas, Christmas Tree ornaments, plenty of cute wardrobe pieces for cold winter days, hand-made interior decorations, and even unique hand-made  skin care products. Plus free ice-skating, and a pop-up restaurant overlooking the rink will make it even more enjoyable shopping experience. Winter Village at Bryant Park is going to be open until January 4 2015.

Christmas Market bryant park


Another big Holiday Market located in Grand Central is hosting 15th annual Holiday Fair with 76 vendors, from the New York Times to artisanal hat and jewelry makers. Who can turn down a break from the cold in Vanderbilt Hall? This Market will be open until December 24.


One of our favorite Markets is The Union Square Holiday Market . When the red-and-white-striped tents go up, you know it’s time to start gift hunting. Sip on steaming hot apple cider as you wander through rows of stalls filled with ornaments, spices, and practically anything that can be handmade. This Holiday Market heaven is open until December 24.

holiday union square market

For the residents of Upper West Side  Columbus Circle Holiday Market will be open until December 24. After a winter stroll through Central Park, stop off at this annual market to grab some top-notch chocolate, hot cider, or comfort food. Then check out the locally made wares, including jewelry and homemade wooden puzzles. Plenty of cute gift options can be found there.


Holiday Handmade Cavalcade is another Holiday pop-up market in Chelsea, open only for 1 weekend December 13 – 14. Here you will definitely find a gift for everyone on your list. brings its online crafts bonanza to life with a weekend in Chelsea Market. Over the weekend, 60 different vendors will sell their one-of-a-kind goods, including handmade clothing, toys, home wares, and stationery. Plus, the first hundred shoppers each day will receive a swag bag.

Happy Holiday Shopping Everyone :)

Summer in the City

Hot town, summer in the city 
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn’t it a pity
Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city
All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head
But at night it’s a different world
Go out and find a girl
Come-on come-on and dance all night
Despite the heat it’ll be alright
And babe, don’t you know it’s a pity
That the days can’t be like the nights
In the summer, in the city
In the summer, in the city


Summer in New York is full of energy. When days are longer, the nights are shorter and the heat is on, lots of outdoor happenings and activities let everyone to boast the spirit of the city even more.

Check our top 20 outdoor activities and events for summer 2014.

Ninth Avenue International Food Festival

It is the oldest and largest Food Festival in New York along 9th Avenue between 42nd – 57th Streets. The festival features local and international Food from popular restaurants. The event also showcases music, dance, children’s ride and various games.

Memorial Day Parade

The Memorial Day is in honor of all  Veterans in the military and also marks officially the beginning of summer. The Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade has been taking place since 1867 and is one of the oldest Memorial Day parades in U.S.

Taste of Times Square

The Times Square areas’ popular restaurants give visitors a taste of their exquisite culinary creations. There are over 40 booths with delicious platters in addition to street performers.

Shakespeare in the Park

Every year during the summer visitors can enjoy free outdoor theater performances in Central Park. The beloved summer tradition celebrates its 52nd season with this year’s special plays “Much Ado About Nothing” and “King Lear”.

SummerStage Central Park

The outdoor venue at Rumsey Playfield shows performing concerts since 1986 every summer. SummerStage features various music, modern dance or family program. The admission is free and is on a first come, first-served basis.

Celebrate Brooklyn

This established Art Festival of music, theater and wide variety of musical performances is broadcasted from the Prospect Park Bandshell in Brooklyn.

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

The Southern-inspired fare at Madison Square Park serves American authentic barbecue from top pit masters and live country music.

National Puerto Rican Day Parade

The Puerto Rican parade is an ethnic celebration of all people with Puerto Rican heritage who reside and live in New York. It has been taking place along the Fifth Avenue since 1958.

Museum Mile Festival

This Block Party offers free access to the museums along the famous Museum mile with outdoor activities, face painting, chalk drawing and live music.

HBO Movies in the Park in Bryant Park

The HBO Film Festival screens Blockbusters, indie films or classics on a giant screen in Bryant Park.

River to River Festival

Residents, workers and visitors celebrate the neighborhoods from Chambers Street to Battery Park and across from Hudson River to the East River including Governor’s Island with indoor/outdoor activities.

Mermaid Parade

The unique parade at Coney Island celebrates the beginning of the summer season with extravagant Mermaid and sea creatures costumes.

The Met Summer Recital Series

This is a series of Opera performances in the parks of all five boroughs.

Macy’s fourth of July Fireworks

The traditional Fireworks Spectacular will return to the East Side and will light up the Brooklyn Bridge in 2014.

City of Water Day

The Waterfront activities fair offers free ferry rides, live music, free boat tours, food and family activities on Governors Island and Maxwell Park in Hoboken, NJ.

Lincoln Center Festival

Lincoln Center Out of Doors is a spectacle of extraordinary opera, music, dance and theater in and around Lincoln Center.

4Knots Music Festival

Two stages feature live music at this all day long at this Music Festival for all-ages at the South Street Seaport.

Harlem Week

Harlem Week is a month-long celebration of the famous neighborhoods culture and heritage.

Summer Streets

On three Saturdays in the summer NYC streets are open for people to play, walk, bike, dance or stroll. It goes from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park along Park Avenue and connecting streets.

Central Park Conservancy Film Festival

Gratis movies are aired under the stars at Sheep Meadow in Central Park. Do not forget your picnic bag for a perfect summer night.

Celebrate Easter in New York


Celebrate Easter in New York and encounter adventure and fun for kids and adults around the city.

Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival

On Sunday April 20th  Fifth Avenue will be packed with a costumed crowd between 49th and 57th Street. The traditional parade started in the 19th century when the upper class were dressing up for church. The non-wealthy were watching the parade in order to see the latest fashion trends. Since then it has become a pageant of mix and match with crazy hats. The hats have satin ribbon tied in a bow around it, flowers or birds. Anyone who wants to dress to impress may participate the Easter parade. 10:00AM and 3:00PM.

Spring Eggstravaganza – Chelsea

The Trinity Grace Church welcomes everyone on Saturday, April 19 between 12:45PM and 3:00PM to a public fest featuring games, crafts and fun.

Children’s Museum of Manhattan

Little artist: watercolor Easter eggs

Children at age 4 and younger can paint eggs with a hidden message and learn Kindergarten Readiness Skills on Saturday April 19th at 10:00AM

Easter egg hunt

The egg hunt is for kids of all ages and takes places through the museum on Sunday, April 20th between 10:00AM – 12:00PM. The eggs will be stuffed with wonderful surprises.
After the hunt the youngsters can learn about Easter traditions from around the world and decorate their own egg.

The Scholastic Store: A Big Red Egg-stravaganza

An Imagination Clubhouse with Clifford and his Adventure Stories

On Saturday April 20th between 10:00AM and 5:00PM every hour

Kids can listen to stories about Clifford’s Easter at the Scholastic Store

St. Luke’s Easter Egg Hunt
Right after services at the St. Luke’s Church on Sunday, April 20th , families can follow the Easter Bunny into the garden to join in a festive egg hunt that’s open to the public.

Spring Eggstravaganza at the Queens Zoo

In addition to the usual activities, such as egg hunts, themed arts and crafts, and a photogenic Easter Bunny, the spring themed celebration features meet-and-greets with a giant Flemish rabbit.

Dinosaur Egg Decorating & Egg Hunt – Upper West Side

In the Bank Street Bookstore kids first decorate a Dinosaur “egg” and then search for the eggs among the whole store.

Sunday, April 20 at 10:30am, 1 and 3pm

Full Bunny Contact

It also known as the “Insane Easter Carnival” and is mainly an event for adults. The Clemente Soto Velez, Cultural and Educational Center offers various events, games and booths from April 17th to April 20th.

The Tribeca Film Festival


Every year in April Tribeca is host of the most important international festivals of film, art and music. For two weeks the Tribeca Film Festival presents diverse events, movies, red carpet premieres and outdoor movie screenings.

It was founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff. The festival supports emerging and established directors with a line-up of independent films, documentaries, shorts, narrative features and family-friendly films.

Between April 16th – 27th, 2014 the following events will accommodate fans, visitors and most importantly many celebrities.


This is a place for games, coders, hackers, screenwriters, futurists, directors, financiers, and anyone who has  a story to tell. It features the following:

Future of Film Live Series - April 21 – 24

11th Annual Games for Change Festival – April 22 – 24, 26

Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards – April 25

Tribeca Hacks April 25

TFI Interactive – April 26

Tribeca Sports Film Festival

Tribeca Sports Film Festival

With 9 films, 2 talks and 28 exhibits it is celebrating competition, passion and teamwork through a variety of captivating of sport-themed films, events and panel discussions.

Tribeca Drive-In

Tribeca Drive-In

An outdoor screening along the Hudson River at Brookfield Place(World Financial Central Plaza) showing classic movies.

Mary Poppins Thursday April 17th, 2014

Splash Friday April 18th, 2014

Next Goal Wins April 19th, 2014

Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair

Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair

Saturday 26th at 10:00AM is the day featuring film making activities, live Broadway performances, arts and crafts, chef demonstrations, tastings of local fare, storytelling, video games, free screenings, local restaurants, local merchants and more.

Film for all Friday April 25th

Film for all Friday April 25th

The Film for all Friday is a day of free Festival movies.



Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas

Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas

SVA Theater

SVA Theater

AMC Loews Village 7

AMC Loews Village 7

BMCC Tribeca Pac

BMCC Tribeca Pac

Tribeca Cinemas

Tribeca Cinemas

Super Bowl XLVIII

New York and New Jersey will host The NFL Super Bowl XLVIII in  2014.Logo

The biggest American sports event of the year will take place at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford (New Jersey).

It is the first time in the American football history that this event will be in an open-air stadium in a northern city.


Before the  main game on February 2, plenty of festivities in New York and New Jersey will leading up to the event to make it more exciting.

Super Bowl Kickoff Spectacular

A public live concert along the Hudson River at Liberty State Park will be the kick-off for the super bowl week.

Performances will be by Daughtry, Goo Goo Dolls and more. A fireworks will top off this evening.


January, 27th at 7.30PM

Media Day

Fans get the chance to watch the participating Super Bowl teams be interviewed by media from all around the world at the Prudential Center.

Media Day

January, 28th at 10.30AM

Super Bowl Boulevard

It will run along  Broadway between 34th and 47th Streets and will offer action and fun for visitors between 12.00PM and 10.00PM daily.

XLVIII Roman Numerals

Giant “XLVIII” Roman numerals

Toboggan run

A 58 feet high and 180 feet long Toboggan run

Vince Lombardi Trophy

Vince Lombardi Trophy display

Kick a field Goal

Kick a football goalposts

Autograph and Concert Stage

Autograph Sessions with current and former NFL players between 12.00PM and 6.00PM
Nightly concerts between 8.00PM and 10.00PM

Macy's Video Projection Show

Macy’s Video Projection Show with a 10 minutes NFL film footage about visual celebration of football

Super Bowl Gospel Celebration

It is a star line-up at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. There will be special performances from Grammy Award-Winning Musical Artists, active & retired NFL Players, and will  feature NFL Players Choir Celebrity guests.

Super Bowl Gospel

January, 31st at 7.30PM

You make the Call: Learn to an NFL Official

Kids can get a behind the scenes look at the Children’s Museum in Manhattan with special appearances by stars from the NFL champion teams.

children's museum

January 8th – February 28th

Direct TV celebrity beach bowl

Celebrities and VIPs compete against NFL Stars in this beach bowl game at Hudson River Park/Pier40.

Direct TV beach bowl

February 1st, 2.00PM

Watch the ball drop at Times Square

New Year

Celebrating New Years’ Eve in New York City is one of the trademark events worldwide. Millions of spectators gather together at Times Square and millions more watch the ball drop live on TV all around the world.

It all started in 1904 with a small celebration.In 1907 the famous ball was featured for the first time. Original made of wood and iron, it is now the symbol of this free open ceremony. The 12 feet geodesic sphere model is covered with Waterford Crystal triangles and more than 32,256 LED lamps.

Wrapped in warm clothes and comfortable shoes, the first revelers arrive in the afternoon in order to get the best spots despite the cold weather.

The Ball Drop event officially begins at 6:00 p.m. by lighting and raising the ball onto the roof of One Times Square. The hourly countdown until midnight are accompanied by live music performances. Hats, balloons and scarves create a festive atmosphere.

Sixty seconds before midnight the ball will be activated by the current mayor and a special guest. The sparkling ball descends 70 feet in sixty seconds.

At midnight fireworks, more than a ton of confetti and colorful pyrotechnic effects let the crowd welcome in the New Year. Everyone is singing the famous “Auld Lang Syne” along with Frank Sinatra’sTheme from New York, New York“. A magical kiss at midnight makes this is a memorable experience for everyone.

The pieces of the confetti are created by thousands of wishes from visitors written on the Wishing Wall at the Times Square Visitor Center. Everyone is more than welcome to write down their wishes and watch them fall down into the crowds.

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

There is nothing like Christmas in New York! Every year this spectacular wonderland attracts millions of visitors just when the Christmas spirit is taking over the city.

It is might be for some just a vacation but for others it is their biggest dream to be here during the holidays. A special Christmas guide will help visitors  get an overview about this magical city.

Click at the pictures to find more information or at the linked map below to get an overview with all activities and places:

Having a stroll down Fifth Avenue with all the window displays and decorations will enchant both grownups and kids hearts


Decorated Christmas trees which shine bright with lights and ornaments are displayed all around the City

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Bryant Park

Christmas Tree at Bryant Park


Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Origami Holiday Tree

Origami Holiday Tree at the American Museum of Natural History

South Street Seaport Christmas Tree

South Street Seaport Christmas Tree

New York Stock Exchange Christmas Tree

New York Stock Exchange Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree at Washington Square Park

Christmas Tree at Washington Square Park

Ice-skating at the different ice rinks will bring joy for beginners and experts

The Ice Rink at the Rockefeller CenterThe Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center

bryant2Bank of America Winter Village ice rink at Bryant Park

Chelsea-Piers-rinkSky Rink at Chelsea Piers

wollmanThe Wollman Skating Rink in Central Park

Brookfield PlaceThe Rink at Brookfield Place

mccarenThe Ice Skating Rink in McCarren Park Brooklyn

Lasker RinkThe Lasker Rink in Central Park

Various holiday markets and crafts tempt families and friends with their sweet and savory crafts and gifts

The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park

The holiday Shops at Bryant Park

Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market

Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market

Columbus Circle Holiday Market

Columbus Circle Holiday Market

Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair

Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair

Union Square Holiday Market

Union Square Holiday Market

Brooklyn Flea Market

Brooklyn Flea Market

Holiday shows for the season will bring glee to their spectators eyes

rockettesRadio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall

the nutcrackerGeorge Balanchine’s the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center

elfElf Musical at Al Hirschfeld Theatre

christmas storyChristmas Story the Musical at Madison Square Garden

Visit the Dyker Heights in Brooklyn and see the famous Christmas displays.

And last but not least do not miss the famous Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden while sipping a hot chocolate or warm apple cider.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a pageant of giant balloons with signature elements, floats and numerous performances. The annual tradition started 1924 when Macy’s department store employees decided to show their pride for their American heritage by celebrating American Thanksgiving Day. Dressed up in costumes, their march from Harlem to 34th Street Herald Square was successfully established since then. The first few year it was known as the Macy’s Christmas Parade and was escorted by live animals from the Central Park Zoo. In 1927 The parade featured its first balloon  which was Felix the Cat followed by popular cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse and Snoopy.

After getting more and more popular it was aired on national TV in 1952 and is watched by more than 50 Million people live on NBC.

A crowd of  more than 3 Million attend the classic opening for the holiday season on Thanksgiving morning.



The parade begins from 77th Street and Central Park West at 9 a.m. The route continues down Central Park West to Columbus Circle,then turning onto Central Park South and 6th Avenue. Heading straight down onto 6th Avenue down to 34th Street until Macy's Herald Square.


New York City Marathon


Every first Sunday in November one of the world largest Marathon is taking place in New York.

Established in 1970, it all started with a small group of runners around Central Park and is now one of the World Marathon Majors. More than 45,000 runners pass through all five boroughs during the 26.2 mile journey. Beginning in Staten Island and followed by Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, the final destination is Central Park in Manhattan.

2 million spectators along with hundreds of bands playing support and watch the big race every year.


marathon4 marathon3