Not Your Everyday News

Monday, December 25, 2006

Buon Natale

That's Italian for Merry Christmas! Or I could have said Joyeux Noel
(French), Feliz Navidad (Spanish), or even Frohe Weihnachten - wow,
those Germans have a way with words, don't they? Hope everyone will
have a nice holiday with friends and/or family, and that Santa has filled
your stocking with something other than coal! I know that for other
holidays, I have given a brief history of how that fest started, but I will
go a completely different route here, and introduce y'all to a place
where it is Christmas 365 days a year...Christmas Island! A territory
of Australia, it is located in the Pacific, actually closer to the island of
Java than it is to Aussie land. It was discovered by British and Dutch
explorers in the mid 1600's; it was named Christmas Island when
Captain William Mynors of the East India Ship Company arrived there
on Christmas day in 1643. An isolated territory, it came to be used for
phosphate mining in the late 1800's and early 1900's. The Japanese
occupied the island during most of WWII; after the war, Christmas
Island became a territory of Singapore. Australia purchased the
island from Singapore in 1957 for 2.9 million pounds. Important
initially for the phosphate mines, the island is now known for its flora
and fauna; 63% of Christmas Island is a national park now, as there
is full intention by the Australians to preserve this tropical island.
It is known for its variety of crabs, geckos, fish, natural coral reefs,
caves, and rainforests. Sounds like it would be a great place to visit
IF it wasn't so darn far away! But in any case, Frohe Weihnachten
to the natives of Christmas Island too!


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