We thought it would be fun to compile a few songs from a handful of the countries we’ve visited as a way to celebrate the past 11 years. You’ll find everything from traditional Hungarian folk songs to contemporary music from Norway. Now turn it up and start dancing!
Horses have played a major role in the development of all cultures, maybe because they proved reliable creatures and friends. For the past three holiday seasons, we have featured horses on our girls’ tees. Take a trip down memory lane with us.
Menzel traveled around the world to shop, cook, and eat with families in their homes, taking note of each and every piece of food consumed during a week. Each image in the book describes a little bit about the family featured, and outlines the average cost of weekly groceries. Above, the Aboubakar family in Chad.
The Ahmad family of Cairo
The Batsuuli family of Mongolia
The Casales family of Mexico
I’s interesting noticing how much food that can be grown regionally plays a part in people’s meals. Some families eat mainly grains, others eat a lot of fruit. The families above seem to consume very little packaged food, in comparison to the average American family. To see more photos click here. What would a photo of your family’s weekly groceries look like?
Illustrated by Lizzy Stewart, this little 16-page book is filled with intriguing and detailed drawings of animals, half in color, half in black and white. Some of the images resemble beautiful children’s book illustrations with little villages in the background, and others are more surreal:
Want a copy of your own? I do too! But they won’t last long – there were only 1000 copies made. You can find them here.
I can’t believe it’s December already. Really starting to feel like the holidays around here. Wanted to share some beautiful crafts and traditions from our current destination, Old World Hungary (which includes Croatia and Romania too).
Licitar is a beautifully decorated, edible ornament that most commonly comes in a heart shape. The heart shape is a traditional symbol of the city of Zagreb – it represents the warmth of the city and its people. They are given as a symbol of love for Christmas, birthdays, weddings, Valentines Day and other holidays. Making the ornaments is highly involved and extremely time consuming (it can can take over a month). The tradition dates all the way back to the 14th century.
Traditionally, Hungarian women used reverse felt applique to decorate clothing. Eventually they adapted the technique to make beautiful applique ornaments. Ornaments have a variety of motifs which can represent different regions. Learn to make your own appliqued heart ornament here.
I’ve been shooting since I was about 10 years old and was super excited when I saw that Katy was developing an archery graphic. I can’t help but smile whenever I see archery references pop up (except in Lord of the Rings because Legolas’ form is so awful it makes me cringe every time I watch him shoot). One of my friends from college always joked that I could learn how to ride a horse and be a horseback archer, but I always laughed it off. Little did I know that horseback archery is an art form and competitive sport in Hungary!
The Kassai School of Horseback Archery, founded by Kassai Lajos about 25 years ago in Hungary, is the inspiration behind the Archery Tee. Lajos also founded the Horseback Archers World Association and developed modern horseback archery competitions. In a short amount of time, his teaching style has spread to various countries throughout Europe and North America. Lajos has extensive training grounds in Hungary called “The Valley” in the village of Kaposmero where people from all over the world travel to attend his training camps, history lessons including bow making, and martial arts seminars.
There are different skill degrees that horseback archers can test into, much like martial arts, and different colored kaftans and belts represent the skill level. For example, a blue kaftan and black belt means someone is a beginner that has demonstrated competency in both shooting and riding. Here are some horseback archers of varying skill degrees:
Competitions are about shooting as quickly and accurately as possible within a certain amount of time. Each archer gets 9 passes or gallops along the 99m course. The archer receives points for hitting the different rings on the target, and also for how quickly he/she can ride through the course. Rides are timed; each person has 20 seconds to complete the course. After all passes, the person with the highest point total wins.
In modern target archery competitions, archers shoot at different distances depending on their age/gender. The official Olympic distance is 70m for both men and women. While each end is timed, the archer has a set number of arrows to shoot so there’s no pressure to shoot as many arrows as possible. I have a lot of respect for horseback archers. It’s hard enough to shoot a target while standing still, I can’t imagine the amount of skill required to shoot a target from a moving horse while the distance to the target constantly changes, and especially without an aiming device!
Check out the results of our inspiration from the Kassai School of Horseback Archery:
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest spans the Danube river, connecting the Western and Eastern parts of the city. Opened in 1849, the bridge is named after Count István Széchenyi, who financially and politically supported its construction. Made of beautifully intricate wrought iron, the bridge was greatly damaged during the Siege of Budapest during World War II , and was partly rebuilt.
While exploring Budapest our designers came across a magnificent lion gracing the abutments at the end of the bridge.
He is a smaller stone replica of the famous bronze Trafalgar lions, guarding Nelson’s Column in London. and was installed on the bridge in 1852. Inspired by his noble features, our designers created this stylish shirt:
Know any little lions in your life? You can find this shirt here.