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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(from Portuguese lavrador, “farmer”), a peninsula in northeastern North America, in Canada. It is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Hudson Strait, and Hudson Bay. To the north and west its coasts are primarily low-lying, with skerries in places. The eastern shore is high and is cut by fjords; in the south the shoreline is rectilinear. Area, more than 1.6 million sq km.

Labrador is made up of Precambrian rocks, including granites, gneisses, and gabbro. Geologically, it is part of the Canadian Shield; orographically, it is the eastern region of the Laurentian Upland. The surface is hilly, with traces of Anthropogenic glaciation. The eastern part is elevated (Torngat Mountains, 1,621 m), and the vast “lake plateau,” with elevations of 500–800 m, is in the center. The Labrador iron ore belt, one of the largest ore-bearing zones in the world, stretches from north to south.

The climate of the peninsula is subarctic and temperate and is strongly influenced by the Arctic Ocean (Hudson Bay) and the cold Labrador Current. The mean January temperature ranges from — 28°C in the northwest to — 12°C in the southeast; the July temperature, from 7°C in the north to 18°C in the south. Precipitation ranges from 250 mm a year in the north to 1,200 mm in the south. Permafrost prevails over much of Labrador. Rivers are full of rapids and are unnavigable, the Churchill being the largest; there are many lakes, such as Mistassini and Michikamau, as well as swamps. The predominant flora consists of forest tundra and sparse forest of black and white spruces, balsam fir, and larch. In the south there are taiga forests, mixed in places with leaf-bearing species. There are good reindeer moss pastures. Labrador has considerable fur resources, including marten, fox, lynx, and muskrat. Most of the population lives along the coast. Iron ore is mined, and there is fur trapping and fishing. The most important cities are Schefferville and Sept-Iles, which are joined by railroad, Fort-Chimo, and Labrador City.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Epiphany (Germany) (Dreikšnigsfest)

January 6
Boys dressed up as the Three Kings go from house to house caroling on Epiphany in Germany. Because they take with them a long pole from which dangles a star, they are known as Starsingers, or Sternsinger ( see also Epiphany in Sweden and New Year's Day in Germany). In western and southern Germany, salt and chalk are consecrated in church on this day. The salt is given to animals to lick, while the chalk is used to write the initials of the Three Kings— C.M.B. for Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar—over the house and stable doors to protect the household from danger and to keep out the evil spirits.
According to folk belief, a mysterious witch known as Frau Perchta (also Berchta or Bertha) wanders about the earth causing trouble between Christmas and Epiphany. In Upper Bavaria, according to tradition, peasants wearing wooden masks go around cracking whips and symbolically driving out Perchta, who is actually an ancient German fertility goddess and custodian of the dead. It is for this reason that Epiphany is also known as Perchtennacht . The Perchta masks, which can be terrifying in their ugliness, are often handed down from one generation to the next.
See also Perchtenlauf
BkFest-1937, p. 131
EncyChristmas-2003, pp. 56, 221, 282
FestSaintDays-1915, p. 9
FestWestEur-1958, p. 54
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 17

Celebrated in: Germany

Epiphany (Labrador)
January 6
The naluyuks that visit children on Epiphany in Labrador, Canada, are a combination of Santa Claus and the bogeyman. They go from house to house on January 6, their bodies covered in bearskin or an oversized coat with a mask over their faces and a stick in their hands along with a bag of gifts that has been donated ahead of time by parents. Children regard the coming of the naluyuks with great trepidation; Eskimo parents tell tales of a bogeyman figure, the naluyuk, to frighten them into good behavior.
When the naluyuks enter the house, the children perform a Christmas carol or hymn for them, and the naluyuks show their approval by pounding their sticks on the floor. After the singing, the children are asked various questions regarding their behavior over the past year. If the naluyuks are pleased with the answers, they hand each child a gift from their bag.
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 16

Epiphany (Portugal) (D’a de Reis)
January 6
Epiphany plays and pageants are common in Portugal, particularly in rural areas of the country. Bands of carolers go from house to house singing and begging for gifts. Sometimes family groups visit one another, standing at the door and asking to come in so they can sing to the Christ Child. After they sing their carols, the guests are entertained with wines and sweets.
It is common for parents to give parties for their children on Epiphany Day. The Epiphany cake, or bolo-rei, is a favorite tradition at these parties. Baked in the shape of a crown or ring, the cake contains many small trinkets and a single dried bean. Whoever finds the bean is crowned king of the party and must promise to make the cake the following year. At adult parties, the person who finds the bean is expected to pay for the following year's cake.
Epiphany is also a time when the traditional Portuguese dances known as mouriscadas and paulitos are performed. The latter is an elaborate stick dance in which the dancers, who are usually male but may be dressed as women, manipulate sticks or staves (substitutes for swords) in two opposing lines.
Portuguese National Tourist Office
590 Fifth Ave., 4th Fl.
New York, NY 10036
800-767-8842 or 212-354-4403; fax: 212-764-6137
BkFest-1937, p. 266
DictFolkMyth-1984, pp. 346, 1082
FestWestEur-1958, p. 160

Celebrated in: Portugal

Epiphany (Russia)
January 19
On January 19th, members of the Russian Orthodox Church ritually bathe in a river or lake. The day marks the baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan, an event called the Epiphany. Bathing outside on that day, Orthodox Catholics believe, washes away sin. As believers cut holes in the ice with chainsaws and plunge into the frigid water, priests chant prayers to bless the water. Altars and crosses made of ice and snow are sometimes constructed near the bathing site.
Authorities advise against the practice, especially in the freezing temperatures of a Russian winter. Still, in 2006, some 2,000 persons were said to have participated in the ritual in the Moscow area alone.
Cathedral of the Epiphany in Elokhovo
Spartakovskaya ul. 15
Moscow 107066 Russia

Celebrated in: Russian Federation

Epiphany (Spain) (D’a de los Reyes Magos)
January 6
Epiphany is the day when Spanish children receive their gifts, and it is the Three Kings, rather than Santa Claus, who bring them. On Epiphany Eve the children fill their shoes with straw or grain for the Three Kings' horses to eat and place them on balconies or by the front door. The next morning, they find cookies, sweets, and gifts in their place.
In many cities throughout Spain, the Three Kings make a spectacular entry on Epiphany Eve, to the accompaniment of military bands and drummers in medieval dress. The Kings themselves usually ride horses, although in the Canary Islands they arrive by camel. One custom was for groups of people to walk out toward the city boundary to meet the Kings, some carrying ladders and some making a huge racket with horns, bells, and drums. Occasionally, those with ladders would pause in the procession while someone climbed a ladder to look for the Kings.
Tourist Office of Spain
666 Fifth Ave., 35th Fl.
New York, NY 10103
212-265-8822; fax: 212-265-8864
BkFest-1937, p. 297
DictFolkMyth-1984, p. 1063
EncyChristmas-2003, p. 733
FestWestEur-1958, p. 188

Celebrated in: Spain

Epiphany (Sweden) (Trettondag Jul)
January 6
The Night of the Three Holy Kings was celebrated in Sweden during the Middle Ages with ecclesiastical folk plays commemorating the Magi's finding of Jesus in the manger. It is still customary for Stjärngossar, or Star Boys ( see also Epiphany in Germany), to present pageants dramatizing the journey of the Three Kings to Bethlehem. They wear white robes and cone-shaped hats with pompons and astronomical symbols on them. They carry paper star lanterns on long poles, illuminated from within by candles.
In rural areas, the Star Boys go from house to house, accompanied by other children dressed in costumes to resemble biblical characters, singing folk songs and hymns. The group almost always includes someone dressed up as Judas, wearing a huge false nose and carrying a purse or money bag jingling with the 30 pieces of silver he received for betraying Jesus.
BkFest-1937, p. 307
EncyChristmas-2003, p. 735
FestWestEur-1958, p. 210
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 18

Celebrated in: Sweden

Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.


1. a large peninsula of NE Canada, on the Atlantic, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Hudson Strait, and Hudson Bay: contains most of Quebec and the mainland part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador; geologically part of the Canadian Shield. Area: 1 619 000 sq. km (625 000 sq. miles)
2. a region of NE Canada, on the Atlantic and consisting of the mainland part of Newfoundland and Labrador province
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Labrador identified the suspects as Leizel Inojardo and Jayson Inojaldo, both Filipino nationals.
The UK findings may not hold in Australian Labradors, he said, but warrant investigation.
The next section, Trailblazers, discusses and demonstrates the work of the second generation of Labrador Inuit artists.
Leading up to closing of the acquisition, the company will work in conjunction with Labrador Cobalt Corp.
As it happens, silver fir (Abies alba) does not grow in Labrador or, indeed, in North America--I wonder if Cartwright might have been referring to balsam fir (Abies balsameaj!
Legge provides another lens through which to consider the province in "With 'High hearts': Women Travelers to Newfoundland and Labrador." A meticulously researched piece, Legge's chapter reminds readers that not all artists burst, pop, or otherwise erupt from the landscape but that there has been an extensive but "largely unacknowledged" tradition of "courageous," "unconventional," and "restless" "wayward women," who were undeniably "pioneers in establishing a literary tradition upon which modern and contemporary writers would build" (51).
But the Labrador retriever, the golden retriever, the French bulldog and the Rottweiler have never won Westminster's top honour, according to Westminster spokeswoman Lisa Peterson.
MOST POPULAR DOG BREEDS 2005-2014 BY AREA Breed and Number of dogs as a % of all dogs registered since 2005 NE postcode 1) Retriever (Labrador) 17% 2) Spaniel (Cocker) 8.3% 3) Spaniel (English Springer) 5.8% 4) Border Terrier 4.9% 5) Staffordshire Bull Terrier 4.8% DH postcode 1) Retriever (Labrador) 15.3% 2) Spaniel (Cocker) 8.3% 3) Spaniel (English Springer) 6.5% 4) Staffordshire Bull Terrier 5.7% 5) Border Terrier 5.7%
As many as 12.9% of pedigrees registered in the TS postcode district between 2005 and 2014 were labradors according to new figures - the highest for any breed.