Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas of Pittsburgh

Hello from the always full of joy Paris...

[Here the first post from Andre, who is my friend who lost his job due to us watching the Steelers at his Store where he worked. To raise his spirits since I have made him a fan of Pittsburgh is that we shall write a Guide to Pittsburgh. This is his first attempt. I have helped with the English and enabled it to be read by you. We hope you enjoy our project!]

Celebration of The Christmas in Pittsburgh

The focus of the The Christmas celebration in Pittsburgh is a dead tree that is placed in the home for the duration of the Steelers season. It is decorated with popcorn that has been lanced on string. Then the tree is draped with aluminum foil strips called "tinsel". Every home in Pittsburgh has a creche that contains the traditional baby Christ with his Mother and Father plus a sampling of local people held in high regard such as Mr. Luke Ravenstahl or Mr. Ben Roethlesburgher. The only animal allowed in the barnyard is a donkey which represents the strong loyalties to the Democratic Party wihich is the ruling political party in the Pittsburgh area.
The children are scolded all year to be good or the Santaman (similar to Pere Noel) will leave scrape steel or iron shavings in a foot sock that each child hangs from the place of fire in the living room. The Santaman descends the chimney to gain entrance to the household and will leave presents under the dead tree. He travels with a group of deer who can fly. People do not find this strange.
On Christmas day, there is a fest of sausage in the style of sausage in Poland. Also, most people eat onion mayonaise which is dipped in to with fried chips of potato. For most of the day, most people including children drink "7 and 7" which is a drink of Canadian Whiskey and a soft drink named 7 UP. In some parts of the Pittsburgh, there is a tradition of drinking the 7 and 7s until the tounge is free for all family members to vent all the wrong doings of the others that have transgressed through the previous year. The next morning most do not remember what happened but they feel cleansed to start a new year of transgressions.
Another center of the celebration is the television which must not be turned off for the whole day. It must be tuned to college football even if no one cares about the game or is watching it.

Traditional Recipe: Pierogi
1) fry onion in butter
2) open a box of Piergoi and add to butter onion
3) stir until golden brown
4) serve on plate