Comparison Between Egyptian and Mesopotamian Religions and Beliefs!

The religious beliefs of the ancient Egyptians were the dominating influence in the development of their culture. The Egyptian faith was based on a collection of ancient myths, nature worship, and innumerable deities. Sumerian lives were spent serving the gods in the form of man-made statues. There was no organized set of gods; each city-state had its own patrons, temples, and priest-kings. The Sumerians were probably the first to write down their beliefs, which were the inspiration for much of later Mesopotamian mythology, religion, and astrology. Sumerians believed that the universe consisted of a flat disk enclosed by a tin dome. While the Mesopotamian’s didn’t have anything quit to scale with the pyramids, they did use and build ziggurats for religious purposes.

Both civilizations were centered on religion. Egypt believed in many gods. The gods Mesopotamia believed in tended to be absolute rulers to whom the people owed total devotion. In both civilizations religious leaders were given very high status and held in high regard. Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt are two religions that believed in monotheism. Both Egypt and Mesopotamia were polytheistic, that is, they believed their worlds were ruled by more than one god. Both civilizations believed that the gods created them. Both cultures also believed that they themselves were created for the purpose of serving their gods. Both worshipers took their names from the numerous gods and the cults that honored the deities, and priests in both religions were no special clothes, and made daily offering in the temples and held annual festivals open to public.

Mesopotamian religion saw humans as the servants of the gods, who had to be appeased for protection. Egyptians believed that the gods created all humans but were also controlled by the principle of maat, or order. Unlike followers of Mesopotamian religion, the Egyptians had a strong belief in the afterlife, which they expressed by building elaborate tombs such as the pyramids. The Sumerian afterlife involved a descent into a gloomy netherworld to spend eternity in a wretched existence as a Gidim (ghost). Egyptians believed that their gods had created Egypt as a sort of refuge of good and order in a world filled with chaos and disorder. The major god for much of Mesopotamia was the sky god Enlil; later th e worship of Enlil was replaced by the worship of the Babylonian god Marduk. For Egyptians, Amen-Ra was the most powerful deity, chief of the pantheon. Statues of winged bulls were a protective symbol related to the god Sin Mesopotamia, while the ankh, a kind of cross with a loop at the top, was a prominent representation of life in ancient Egypt. The Enuma Elish tells the Mesopotamian story of creation and explains how Marduk became the chief of the gods. The Egyptian Book of the Dead was a guide for the dead, setting out magic spells and charms to be used to pass judgment in the afterlife. Ancient Nippur was the site of the chief temple to Enlil, while Babylon was the location of Marduk’s sanctuary. Thebes and the temple complex of Karnak were home to the worship of Amen- Ra. In the modern world the remains of these early religions can be seen in Egypt’s pyramids, tombs for the pharaohs, and in Mesopotamia’s ziggurats, temples to the gods. The New Year’s Festival was a major event in Mesopotamian religion, while Egypt’s most important festival was Opet. Because Egypt was the “gift of the Nile” and generally prosperous and harmonious, Egyptian gods tended to reflect a positive religion with an emphasis on a positive afterlife. In contrast, Mesopotamian religion was bleak and gloomy. Ancient Mesopotamian prayers demonstrate the lack of relationships with gods and goddesses who viewed humans with suspicion and frequently sent calamities to remind everyone of their humanity. Such was the message found in the Gilgamesh Epic.

Although the religions of both civilizations shared many similarities, the differences were vast. The most notable ones are the importance and belief of afterlife and the relationship between Gods. Because of these differences, we believe, the civilizations were different because in early times, civilizations revolved around their beliefs and values but unfortunately, there was an end to these great civilizations.

A Brief History Of The Traveling Funfair

Fairs in this country have a long and ancient history, deeply rooted in tradition.

The word fair is derived from the Latin 'feria', meaning a holiday and at one time the Romans were credited with the introduction of fairs.

It is now generally accepted that their origins are from pagan customs of the people who first settled this land; their seasonal gatherings held for the purposes of both trade and festivity, contained within them the essential elements of the fair.

The Romans did much to promote fairs by improving trade and communications throughout the country.

During the centuries following the departure of the Romans, many fairs and other festivals were incorporated into the calendar of the growing Christian Church. Charters granted by the sovereign gain the fair legal status and an increasing importance in the economic life of the nation.

Merchants and traders from Europe, the Middle East and beyond were drawn to the great chartered fairs of the Middle Ages bringing with them a wealth of goods.

The sheer number of these fairs, no fewer than 4860 were chartered between the years 1200 and 1400, drew not only merchant but entertainers as well: jugglers, musicians and tumblers – the ancestors of today's showmen.

The Black Death of 1348-49 thought about a new kind of fair. In order to stem the rise in wages caused by the shortage of workers, Edward III introduced the Statue of Labourers. This compelled all able bodied men to present themselly for hire at a stipulated wage. These gathering or burning fairs were held mainly around Michealmas, the end of the agricultural year.

By the early eighth century the trading aspects of the charter fairs had waned and most fairs consistently almost entirely of amusements, acrobats, illusionists and theatrical companies all plied their trade on fairgrounds.

Around this time the first fairground rides begin to appear, small crudely constructed out of wood and propelled by gangs of boys.

In 1868, Frederick Savage, a successful agricultural engineer from Kings Lynn, devised a method of driving rides by steam. His invention, a steam engine mounted in the center of the ride was to transform the fairground industry. Freed from the limitations of muscle power, rides could have made larger, more massive and more heavily ornamented. The showman's demand for novelty was matched by the ingenuity of Savage and other engineers.

In the wake of the steam revolution an amazing variety of new designs and rides appeared. These rides were the forerunners of today's amazing thrill rides, over time innovations such as electric lighting, electric motors, hydraulics etc. allowed rides to evolve into the amazing devices that are seen today at any local fairground.

The New Wedding Chic – Wedding Favor Designer Trios

Times are changing. Bridal gowns are more colorful, bridesmaid’s dresses don’t have to match, destination weddings are in vogue and wedding favor trios are bursting on the scene. But what exactly is a wedding favor designer trio?

So many weddings are themed: beach weddings, black tie, fairy tale, heart themes, and the list continues forever. Everything in that wedding points to who the bride and groom are and what they love. So many times while consulting on a wedding, the bride would turn to me and say, “But why do I have to do it that way?” I never had an answer for her, because most of what we do at weddings follows tradition. Then who’s to say that tradition can’t be changed.

This exact situation happened just recently. The couple’s theme was “love.” From the ceremony to the honeymoon, they planned it around this word and showed it in every area of the day. Then we came to the final decision; what wedding favors were they going to choose, considering there are so many with their specific theme. That’s when she turned and asked me that question which has changed the way we look at wedding favors.

We went through every favor we had: love coasters, love bottle stoppers, love candles and the list seemed to continue forever. She liked too many of them. Suddenly, I had an idea. Why not mix and match the wedding favor to coordinate with the love theme of the wedding? She was so excited she could hardly contain it. She turned to me and said, “I can do that?”

So happily we chose a trio of wedding favors that coordinated perfectly with each other and with the couple’s theme. That day, for us, the wedding favor designer trio was born. And since that day, wedding after wedding – even the ones I had no part in – have trios of favors gracing the tables of the guests.

I’ve said it many times before and I’ll keep repeating myself; it’s your wedding. You have to be happy with your day. Hopefully it will be the only one you’ll ever have. So break the rules. In this case, overturning that wedding favor tradition is now the chic thing to do!

4 Motorcycle Accessories to Add Your BMW GS Motorbike

The BMW GS series of motorbikes is seen as one of the most popular range of motorbikes in its class – the dual sport / adventure bikes. They are even extremely popular outside of their class, possibly losing out only to Japanese racing bikes and Harleys. If you own a BMW GS bike and have not yet taken it on overnight (or longer) trips, it's high time you do so because this is what they were built for. This article suggests five common accessories you can add to your bike, which you'll certainly appreciate regardless of whether or not you are already a seasoned adventure motorcyclist.

Motorbike Luggage carriers / panniers

Motorcycle luggage carriers are probably the first type of BMW GS accessories you should be looking at. Not much point in taking overnight trips if you can not carry any substantial amount of luggage with you, right? There are several options available:

Tankbags are placed just in front of you, between your seat and the handlebars. These are usually quite small bags, very convenient for storing items you need to get to quickly like your wallet or camera. Topcases are another option which are mounted on the back of the bike. You may or may not need to install a rack or adapter plate to hold the case, especially if you're installing a non BMW topcase.

BMW GS panniers or "side bags" as they are commonly called hang off the sides of the bike, at the back. Soft panners offer less protection to its contents, hold smaller volumes but are less bulky. Hard panniers are manufactured from metal (usually aluminum) can be costly and are definitely heavier and bulkier but usually offer excellent protection from crashes, water and dirt. They can sometimes hold up to 40L each, which ads the same capacity as a very large backpack right on the rear of your bike – get 'em if you can afford' em. If you can not fit all your stuff in a pair of these panners, a rollbag and tank bag then you seriously need to reconsider the amount of stuff you are taking.

Motorcycle Lights

Motorcycle lights are a useful addition which adds an element of safety to your riding experience. You can see better, and you're also seen better. Xenon headlights are available and these make your bike stand out more when you appear in other driver's mirrors – the extra visibility could save your life one day. Several companies manufacture additional light sets that are mounted on the front of bike, to be used in foggy or other low visibility conditions. These are ultra bright lights which allow you to see the road in front of you and any possible obstacles better.

Perhaps they should not be used only in low-vis conditions: I've heard car driver sympathetic to us motorcyclists say that (while being as attentive as they can) "I just do not notice bikes on the road. notice ONE light at all ". Anyone who drives a car through cities should be able to confirm this – a single light just does not stand out. A set of extra lights on the side of your bike results in a "triangle" of lights shining out of your bike: one main light with two extra lights below and to the side of it. If you've ever seen a big GS bike kitted out with this kind of setup you'll know what I mean. Although a little extravagant, these extra lights DO make you more visible in the rear view mirrors of car drivers. Hopefully they will realize a motorbike is approaching before the swerve out of their lane and nail you.

Finally, aftermarket brake lights are available that shine brighter and can be configured to blink or flash quickly when you brake. I'm not sure if they are legal, and they may be annoying to car drivers but they allow motorists driving behind you to notice you quick – very useful in case traffic slows down abruptly and you're worried about getting rear ended by inattentive drivers .

Aftermarket exhausts

Motorcycle exhausts are toys for the boys. They rarely offer practical improvements, other than a great rumbling sound for that extra satisfaction when you're revving the engine at a red light. It has to be said that aftermarket exhausts are usually also lighter than the OE ones and may save a couple of pounds in weight – who does not want a lighter bike? These exhausts usually also give you a little bump in horsepower – not as much as with aftermarket car exhausts, but maybe noticeable nonetheless. One thing to look out for is that exhaust does not get in the way of any panniers or pannier racks you have hanging off the side of the bike. Exhausts are not cheap but will only widen your grin and give your bike more of an individual character.

Fairing & windscreens

Motorcycle fairing is the "shell" that's placed over the frame at the front of the bike and is designed to reduce air drag. It improves the aerodynamics of the bike and protects you from wind blast and debris flying your way. Assuming you have not mounted a fridge sized box on the back of your BMW GS, its aerodynamics are probably good enough for overnight trips. However, the protection from wind and debris offers a substantial improvement. Modifying the fairing on BMW GS bikes is usually done by the real pros and in rally conditions, but casual travelers can seriously benefit from an extended windscreen which can save strain on your body and neck when driving at moderate to high speeds during highway cruising.

For the real fanatics, Touratech is able to convert your GS motorbike in to a fully fledged Paris – Dakar clone. Their "desertio" range of bikes renders the original GS bikes almost unrecognizable. Conversions like this come at a price, but if the environment is appropriate you'll appreciate these full on make-overs.

It's clear that adding BMW GS accessories to your bike are a great way to make your bike safer, unique, better looking and more travel-worthy.

Happy trials and ride safe!