Sunday, January 7, 2018

kids! smoke 'em if you've got 'em

VALE DE SALGUEIRO, Portugal (AP) — The Epiphany celebrations in the Portuguese village of Vale de Salgueiro feature a tradition that each year causes an outcry among outsiders: Parents encouraging their children, some as young as 5, to smoke cigarettes.
Locals say the practice has been passed down for centuries as part of a celebration of life tied to the Christian Epiphany and the winter solstice — but nobody is sure what it symbolizes or exactly why parents buy the packs of cigarettes for their children and encourage them to take part.
Kinda makes me wonder about other revered traditions that Christians and others of other persuasions DO claim certainty about. Is crucifixion or enlightenment really good for you? Who says so and why? It's a funny old world.


  1. Few years back took a trip to Americ’s earliest tobacco country, Jamestown, Virginia.

    A former tobacco plantation was set up as a historical park.

    I saw some tobacco plants growing and a young man tending to those plants. I asked some basic questions which he answered. I returned later for the full talk. Tobacco cultivation and use was quite well understood by the 1600’s. It was known to be addictive which made it an excellent cash crop.

    The Spaniards, Portuguese, English, French and the Dutch all understood this.

    While I can’t say for sure, it is quite likely that someone in authority in Portugal knew that starting the kids on smoking would both be a thrill for them _and_ get them addicted early on.

    Note: While not associated with the holiday, in India there is a similar situation where cigarettes have been and likely still are being made available to minors.

  2. As to the religious component, I feel there’s too much flippancy in the post.

    However, beyond freedom of expression, I support the questioning.

    Yet, the flippancy reflects just as much or even more on the questioner than on the flaws in Christianity and Buddhism as they have come down through the centuries.