Sunday, 31 May 2020

Dance As A Window Into Cameroonian Culture

Cameroon is a country with a rich culture and unique traditions. Dancing and music comprise a huge part of Cameroonians’ lives, whether at clubs or gathering with neighbors.

As a Peace Corps Volunteer, my goal is not only to work collaboratively on projects with my host partners, but also to learn about local culture so I can become integrated into the community and educate my family and friends in the United States and elsewhere about how people in Cameroon truly live.

When my work supervisor told me that his village was going to be hosting cultural festivals and that his wife, who grew up in the same village, could accompany me, I excitedly accepted the invitation to attend.

Village festival, Cameroon

Village festival, Cameroon

And so, two days before New Year’s Day, I took an hour-long journey to Kedjom Keku, a village nestled in the mountains where my supervisor and his wife grew up and where they both still have family members.

Once I arrived, we immediately went to the village chief’s palace, where the festival was taking place.  The primary purpose of these festivals, which normally take place at the end and beginning of the year, is to bring all the residents of the village together to showcase their dances, music and costumes on the lawn of the palace. The festivals teach younger generations about cultural rituals so they can keep traditions alive as the years go by.

Village festival, Cameroon


Village festival, Cameroon

As people stood and watched, dancers formed a huge circle around a handful of musicians playing drums, recorders and other instruments.  Many people were decked out in beautiful traditional costumes, made of black fabric with bright colorful embroideries.  Each outfit is custom-made by local artists and wearers can choose their own designs.

Village festival, Cameroon

Village festival, Cameroon

Spending several hours at the festival wasn’t enough, so I went back later in the week. I want to take every opportunity to soak in moments I wouldn't get to experience back home in the U.S.

Village festival, Cameroon

Village festival, Cameroon

Village festival, Cameroon

Village festival, Cameroon

•By Rachel Chaikof

•culled from www.peacecorps.gov


Celebrating the Hispano Folk Music Traditions of New Mexico

In their Hispanic Heritage Wing, Santa Fe’s Museum of International Folk Art tells multilayered stories of music and performance in northern New Mexico.

Tiburcio Ulibarri on violin and is brother Dionisio Ulibarri on guitar, New Mexico, early 20th century (courtesy Rob Martínez)

“In these rituals, these songs, these stories and dances, there is a world and a value system. I felt and feel strongly that this way of life, which I had known, needs to be saved and cherished. It has something for all humankind.” —Cipriano Fredrico Vigil (from exhibition label copy)

SANTA FE, New Mexico — Mimicking the organization of a traditional northern New Mexican salón de baile (dance hall), two intricately carved wooden benches, a violin, an accordion, and a guitar greet the visitor to Música Buena: Hispano Folk Music of New Mexico at the Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Running through October 2021 and co-curated by Nicolasa Chavez, Curator of Latino, Hispano, and Spanish Colonial Collections at MOIFA, and musician, author, and artist Cipriano Fredrico Vigil, Música Buena takes a close look at the diverse types of intergenerational knowledge that propels Hispano music in northern New Mexico.

Chavez describes Vigil as a “master and tradition bearer” of New Mexican music. His book, New Mexican Folk Music/Cancionero del Folklor Nuevomexican: Treasures of a People, was published in 2014 and was the inspiration for the exhibition. Chavez and Vigil worked together — along with graphic designer Susan Holmes and exhibition designer Antoine Leriche — to bring the diverse stories of Hispano music into the spotlight.  Chavez told Hyperallergic that Música Buena is particularly timely because, “for the past 50 years or so, New Mexican folk music was largely seen as dying out, while other Latino musical forms were gaining popularity. But, today, New Mexican folk music is regaining its traction, though it remains the least known type of the Hispano music. Not many people know that New Mexico has its own genre of music.”

Musician, instrument maker, and guest curator Cipriano Vigil, July 2018 (photo by Jeannette Flamm)

The region’s Hispano folk traditions are the direct result of the contested, multi-layered histories of the region. Spanish colonizers in what is now New Mexico brought not only invasive systems of government, religion, and power, but foreign forms of music, art, and architecture that were themselves not only directly linked the processes of colonial rule, but already a confluence of Arabic, Celtic, and Moorish (among many other) traditions. Over the course of the past several hundred years, the musical and performative traditions of the settlers became influenced by both Mexican and Indigenous communities in the region. These unique cultural contexts, often fraught with settler colonial violence, have resulted in a variety of uniquely New Mexican dramatic traditions, performative rites of passage, and musical genres that the curators have termed música buena.

The exhibition’s first section takes a close look some of the earliest instruments in New Mexico, as well as the materiality of music production — a violin painstakingly constructed of rawhide and leather with strings of wood, floss, and copper wire is juxtaposed with a selection of bandurrias (plucked chordophones that originated in Spain). Bandurrias, requintos, mandolins, flutes, matracas (cog rattles), violins, and accordions are all displayed and contextualized within their development in the region. Together, these instruments, often constructed from found materials, ask visitors to not only appreciate the object for its visual beauty, but to image the feeling, sound, and emotion that hearing it played would evoke.

Tranquilino Serrano, Española, New Mexico, 1966 (Photo by Mansi Kern, courtesy MOIFA and Bartlett Library and Archives, Museum of International Folk Art).

Next, visitors are asked to contemplate various Hispano rites of passage — from birth and death, to marriage, to cleaning irrigation ditches. Made in 2010 by Mario Vargas in Taos, a carreta de la muerte(death cart) teaches the visitor about the entriega de los difuntos (delivery of the deceased), or departure songs. These despediminentos (farewells) are often performed by members of the Penitente brotherhood, and carefully send the deceased into the next life. Across the gallery, Chavez and Vigil brilliantly contextualize the caretaking of acequias(irrigation ditches emblematic of collective life in northern New Mexico) as a rite of passage, in which annual community cleanings create a generative, performative space of knowledge sharing. Printed lyrics in both Spanish and English accompany a monumental grain chest, ambient videos of local acequias, and Hispano irrigation tools: “Here I begin to sing / my well-sung verses / verses that were composed to let you know / what an acequia is, / where water and earth are joined. / […] During the springtime / when the world awakens, / the steward calls the workers / to do the cleaning, / the communication between the land / begins with the man with his shovel.”

This leads the visitor into the largest section of the exhibition — dramatic traditions. Ranging from holiday plays (Los Pastores) and Christmas dances (matachines), to military reenactments (Los Comanches) and New Year’s festivities (Dar los Días), it is clear that song and dance has become integral to all aspects of Hispano celebrations. During Dar los Días, community members travel door to door, singing outside of people’s homes in a symbolic killing of the old year, and a celebration of the year to come. In Música Buena, these stories are largely told through costume, bringing a more personal, individual perspective into the exhibition, and demonstrating the integration of craft and design with verbal art and performance. Similarly, the smaller “Fiestas and Community Gathering” section looks at secular community events, such as resolanas, that provide space for performance, song, and dance.

The Character of El Demonio smiling after chasing away a group of shepherds in La Gran Pastorela, orLos Pastores (The Shepherds), a holiday play performed by the Jarales Choir Group for the Our Living Hispanic Heritage Project of the Museum of New Mexico, circa 1980 (photo by Mark Nohl, courtesy Moifa Archives)

Finally, the curators introduce visitors to contemporary New Mexicans inheriting, practicing, and innovating the traditions of this place. Bands such as Lone Piñon and solo artists such as Lara Manzanares are making the genre accessible to a younger generation. These musicians — armed with their ancestral knowledge and a reinvigorated public— are bringing New Mexican music into the foreground again. A particularly poignant video in the exhibition shows two members of Lone Piñon playing with and learning from Antonia Apodaca, the so-called “Queen of the Accordion.”

Los Comanches, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, New Year’s Day, 2019. (Courtesy library and archives, Museum of International Folk Art)

Música Buena indeed educates non-New Mexicans about local music, art, and culture, but for Chavez, the biggest impact is within the Hispano community. For many locals, seeing photographs of family members, listening to familiar songs, and feeling personal connections with performers all create a distinctive sense of community within the museum space. “On the exhibition’s opening day there was an older woman watching a video and smiling. She came up to me and said, ‘my mother used to sing that song to me every day when I was a little girl.’ When I see that type of joy on someone, and know I’ve really touched them, it’s incredibly special.”

•culled from www.hyperallergic.com


Saturday, 30 May 2020

Feature: Unique Burundian Drum Waiting for More Audience


Burundian drummers perform in Bujumbura, capital city of Burundi, on Dec. 22, 2018. The drum performance, a kind of ritual dance, was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of the UN's heritage agency UNESCO in 2014. (Xinhua/Lyu Tianran)

BUJUMBURA, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- When some 30 Burundian drummers practiced Burundi's traditional drum show in Gishora drum sanctuary in central Burundi, resounding beating drums and singing was heard from far.


Surrounded by green mountains, the drummers, dressed in clothes with the colors of green, red and white that make up Burundi's national flag, were beating drums that are made from certain types of trees and covered with cow skin.

The drum performance, a kind of ritual dance, was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of the UN's heritage agency UNESCO in 2014.

The drum sanctuary in Gitega province, about 100 kilometers east of capital Bujumbura, was established in 1903 to mark the braveness of local residents who provided refuge for the then Burundian king.

Fenced with trees and branches in a traditional way, the touristic site is constituted of small circular houses covered with straws from the top to the bottom, and a courtyard where the drum performance stages.

The Burundian drum, originally symbolizing power and fecundity and originated in the province of Gitega, particularly in the districts of Giheta, Gitega, Makebuko and Bukirasazi, said Leonard Sinzinkayo, Director General of Culture and Arts at the Burundian Ministry of Culture and Sports.


It is an original artwork of the Burundian people, which is a far cry from drums in other countries in terms of materials and playing methods, Sinzinkayo told Xinhua.

"There are norms in drum beating and that style only exists in Burundi," he said. "When Burundian drummers arrive at an exhibition place, they form a semi-circle with drums on their heads. There is a central drum beaten by all drummers one after one. And on both sides of the central drum there are drummers performing in a harmonious rhythm..." he explained.

From Gitega, the drum was spread to the rest of the country after its introduction in schools through cultural, social and even religious events, said the official.

The drum performance has been popular on important occasions in the central African country.


"It is so important as it marks the identity of Burundian people," he said, adding that it boosts social cohesion, unity, peace and national reconciliation.

Tourism operator Albatross Travel and Safaris has been organizing Chinese tourists to Burundi, watching the drum performance.

The drum performance is a typical cultural attraction, different from natural attractions like wildlife, and is highly worth visiting, said Yang He, who is in charge of the Burundi, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of the Congo region of the tourism company.


This Chinese company usually arranges the drum performance at the end of the three-country trip, which brings the trip to a climax.

"The performance is spectacular and striking, which is unimaginable unless you are watching at the scene," he said.

Currently, Gishora drum sanctuary as one of the most popular sites in Burundi, receives few tourists, according to Oscar Nshimirimana, chairman of the Gishora drummers' association and head of the sanctuary.

The site can receive two tourist groups per month, who are foreigners most of the time, he told Xinhua.

A group of Gishora drummers, who are trained from as early as five years old, are given between 100,000 Burundian francs (about 37 U.S. dollars) to 150,000 francs overall for performing at an event, he said.

Leonidas Habonimana, Director General of Tourism at Burundian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, told Xinhua the government has been exploring the tourism opportunity of the drum, since it was listed as the intangible heritage of UNESCO.

Tourism holds an important place in Burundi's economy and the country has chosen to promote cultural tourism, said Habonimana, adding that the drum is ranked first on the cultural tourism.

"It is the first opportunity that we have to explore in order to attract more and more tourists in Burundi," he said.


The government is seeking to promote the drum within the regional context of the six-member East African Community (EAC), and facilitate EAC to market Burundi as a preferential cultural tourism destination, said the official.

The government is also planning an annual international festival of the drum that brings together drummers from different countries to compete.

The ministry of culture plans to promote the drum in all forms by taking measures to sustain the drum culture through training actors, said Sinzinkayo.

The ministry also plans to set up a fund for promotion of the drum and has taken measures to plant a tree species called umuvugangoma used to manufacture the drum, he said.

The collaboration between the ministries of culture and tourism needs to be boosted in order to promote the Burundian drum, he added

By Xinhua Writers: Lyu Tianran and Apollinaire Niyirora

•culled from www.xinhuanet.com


Thursday, 28 May 2020

FESTIVALS & EVENTS IN BURKINA FASO


Bwaba dancing masks and the FESTIMA FESTIVAL, traditional celebration in Burkina Faso

The Bwa wooden masks represent different characters related to the myths of their families and clans. Some masks represent animals, other represent bush spirits. The “plank masks” are very impressive with a styled face topped by a tall, rectangular plank. Plank masks tend to be painted on both sides with awesome geometrical patterns. Like all masks of the Volta region, the Bwa masks are chromatic with white, red and black as predominant colors.

The days of the dance, everybody in their compound sweep their courtyard, do the rest of their cleaning duties and put on their best traditional outfits for the ceremony. Then, in the middle of the village, people get inpatient. The masks are coming. It is THE event. The masks represent the spirits of the village which guide the life of human beings and Mother Nature. People depend on the fields to survive, the fields depend on the Spirits for their production, and Spirits –some how- depend of the cult offered by the adepts. The Bwa masks represent the symbols relating human beings, Nature and Spirits.

All of a sudden the drums announce the dance. The Spirits arrive in the shape of wooden owls, butterflies, antelopes, buffaloes, and hyenas. The movements are fast, following the rhythm of the drums accompanied by flutes. The audience participates to the ceremony with their songs, comments and laughs. It is a form of street theatre that puts together sacred ancestral traditions and cheerful entertainment. The overwhelming heat of midday puts an end to the celebration. It is then time to rest and share the emotions of this special morning.

Every two years takes place the FESTIMA FESTIVAL at the city of Dedougou:

Great mask festival attended by around 40 villages, each of them represented by their own group of masks: For days the masks dance in the middle of hundreds of people who all came to appreciate their shapes and movements. At that point the festival turns into a collective moment of socialization. There is also the “market of the communities” as well as the cabaret nights when various “griots” (storytellers) are in competition to reveal their own talent.



FESPACO, Festival of the African cinema

The PanAfrican Cinema and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) is one of the most important festivals revealing the African cinema. It happens every two years in Ouagadougou, capital city of Burkina Faso.

According to Wikipedia, the main goals of this festival are:

• Favouring the distribution of every piece of the              African cinema,

• Allowing contacts and exchanges between Cinema,      Television and Radio professionals,

• Encouraging the blossoming, development and              protection of the African cinema as a mean of                expression, education and social awareness.

The festival was created in 1969. Next 2013, we will celebrate its 23rd edition. This is an ideal event for all those who have a passion for cinema and are looking for quality movies. Ouagadougou and its inhabitants all live to the rhythm of the festival for a week. Therefore, this event is not reserved to an elite at all but rather is a popular celebration of cinematography. It is a good reason to travel to Burkina Faso!

Jazz à Ouaga

The festival “Jazz à Ouaga” (http://www.jazz-ouaga.org) was created in 1992 in Ouagadougou. In 2014 it will celebrate its 22nd edition.

Ouagadougou is the historical center of the event. But over the past few years, Bobo-Dioulasso and Kedougou have been hosting some concerts too.

Over the years “Jazz à Ouaga” has become a major festival for all the jazz lovers. The high quality of the artistic program satisfies an always increasing international public.


Dancing masks, when the masks invoke the rain

Every year when comes the rainy season, many villages in Burkina Faso rely on the masks to get good rains. In the animistic realty, the masks are entrusted to act as intermediaries able to communicate directly with the Gods.

The masks gather to perform a great ceremony. We will recognize among them the antelope, hare, caiman, duck, monkey, snake, and tortoise. All the inhabitants of the savannah will be gathered together along with their spirits ready to perform their dance for our greatest pleasure. As Westerners, we will be fascinated by the beauty of the masks as well as by the complex choreography performed by the dancers, but to the locals this ceremony is a real cult with its share of cheerful exclamations and ovations. The masks have the power to open a breach in the present and make the village slide into another dimension, a world of transcendence.

•culled from www.transafrica.biz

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Let"s go to Mmakgodumo Heritage and Cultural Festival


Women swathed in matching traditional German print and patterned azure blankets wielding tree branches, carrying nicely crafted clay pitchers as well as sleighs drawn by a group of eight sturdy oxen are just some of the images that will conjure the minds of die-hard patrons of Mmakgodumo Heritage and Cultural Festival.


The annual traditional festivity is hosted every year in Kanye to promote, restore and educate Batswana about the Bangwaketse culture as well as foster cultural exchange with other cultures in Botswana and beyond and will take place this weekend, Saturday 29, at Mmakgodumo Dam and Bird sanctuary.


Now in its 4th year, the event is run and hosted by the Ba-Gangwaketse Cultural Association; a dully registered society working under the Tribal Authority whose purpose is to, among others, restore, promote and educate people about the Bangwaketse culture.


The Association also seeks to foster unity through cultural exchanges thereby promoting national unity as envisaged by Botswana’s national vision.

“This year the event is scheduled for the 29th October 2016 under the theme – ‘Tshwaraganyo Morafe ka Ngwao’. The event will take place at Mmakgodumo Dam and Bird sanctuary as has been custom. The upcoming occasion simply promotes the Bangwaketse culture and will feature among others; folk music, traditional dance, couture, poetry, traditional cuisine, dikgahela, mephato and bird viewing,” said Thapelo Searobi, Publicity & Marketing Manager at Ba-Gangwaketse Cultural Association.


“We will have a Cultural Dinner before that on the 28th October 2016 at Kanye Education Centre. The dinner will also be used as a pedestal to honour those companies that have supported us in the previous instalments of this festival,” Searobi added.


Tickets for the Friday banquet dubbed Cultural Couture and Cuisine Gala dinner sell for P300per person and P3, 000 per table of 10 people. The event is slated to start at 1900hrs and the dress code is cultural couture with performances by Ditiro and Banjo Mosele.


On Saturday, at the Mmakgodumo Heritage and Cultural festival, tickets for adults sell for P50 while children pay P30. Those interested in buying stalls should note that these sell for P1, 000 for corporations while food stalls sell for P400 and SMEs trade for P250. Camping for two days at the site is available for P450 only.

Jazz musician Thabang Gaarogwe
(R) attended last year’s festivities.

•culled from www.bostwanaunplugged.com

Thursday, 21 May 2020

January 10: What Happens at Benin Republic's Annual Voodoo Festival?

Tell Your Friends:

Voodoo festival procession at the Door of
No Return, Ouidah, Benin Republic [DW]

The Voodoo festival is celebrated every year on January 10 all over Benin Republic, and operates almost like other religions — with a "pope", priests and devotees.

It is basically the "Coachella" of people who practice voodoo in Africa.

Centuries before colonial masters and missionaries came to this part of the world, voodoo had been a staple practice of the people. While some countries were made to believe their voodoo religion was completely bad, some parts were left to practice their heritage.

Masquerades from Voodoo festival Benin
[Continent tours]

In Benin Republic, Togo, and some parts of Nigeria , for example, the practice of voodoo and its rituals is still rife till today.

The very revered Temple of the Pythons alone organizes the annual Voodoo festival or Fête du Vodoun, that draws over 10,000 people from all over the world — especially Haiti and Brazil — to come pay homage to the fetish.

The Ouidah Voodoo festival is celebrated annually on January 10, which is a public holiday in Benin.
Voodoo as a religion is practiced by 17% of Beninese. It was recognised as a major religion in Benin in 1996 but the first Voodoo Festival was inaugurated in 1993. It became a national holiday on 10 January 1998.

What Actually Happens:

Voodoo worshipper at Ouidah beach
[Griot Mag/ Janine Gaelle]

The central belief of voodoo is that everything is spirit, including humans.

The festival's aim is to rehabilitate the traditions and cultures of voodoo, as well as "celebrate the humanistic value of the traditional religions that form the basis of African spirituality and to reclaim the identity and dignity of black Africans."

Devout applying sacrifices to a god in Benin
[James Hopkirk]

The celebrations of voodoo are often characterised by animal sacrifices, dances in a trance and initiation. Song and dance are preceded by the ritual slaughter of a goat to honour the deities such as Gou the god of Iron, Elegbara the Messenger, Kokou the Warrior, Zangbeto the guardian of the Night, Mami Wata goddess of Water, etc.

Priest giving libation to gods at Ouidah
Festival [Stujarvis.com]

You could see the traditional chiefs, shamans, voodoo worshippers make the ancestral cult practices such as killing chickens and goats, snake worshipping, drinking lots of spirits like gin, and dances which are done when worshippers have been possessed by dead ancestors.

Devouts pouring at talcum [Griot Mag/Janine Gaelle]

The tranced worshippers usually spray their face with white talcum to indicate they are in a trance.

Voodoo Festival As A Tourist Attraction:

Ouidah, modern Benin has become known as the home of African Voodoo. Now, Voodoo Festival has become a fixture on travel itineraries of people all around the world who either want to come to celebrate, witness or just feel good.

Benin has some of the most beautiful beaches in
West Africa [The ajala bug] 

The festival holds from Ouidah to Cotonou, along the beaches and in towns. Aside from the spooky attraction of the country, Benin has all that most tourists look out for — tropical climate, palm-fringed beaches, national parks and some pretty extraordinary sites of historical interest.

In Ouidah alone, where the Voodoo festival happens, there is the famous Temple des pythons, Route Des Esclaves or "Slave Route" and Door of no return. There's also the exclusive Nature Luxury Lodge which is a lakehouse in Ouidah and Casa del papa which is full of exciting activities.

In Grand Popo, where the reclusive Voodoo village is located, there are stretches of beautiful beaches and exclusive hotels.

Voodoo Festival, which draws tourists from Haiti, Brazil, New Orleans, and around the world, is therefore peak travel period in Benin republic. Hospitality businesses are definitely cashing out from visitors with interest in the fetish, who come for the Voodoo Festivals during these periods.

•By Adaobi Onyeakagbu

•culled from www.pulse.ng

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

The Ultimate Party: Celebrating the Angolan Carnival


Africa might not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of ‘Carnaval’, but we daresay that we’ve found quite the hidden party gem. Directly across the Atlantic from Brazil (and also a former Portugeuse colony) is Carnaval (or ‘Carnival’, if you prefer), the biggest celebration of the year. Expect revelry, booze, colour and all the fun you can stomach!

WAIT, ANGOLA?!

For a long time Angola was a hard-to-visit destination. The visa was (in)famous for being almost impossible to get and once you got it, it turned out Angola was pretty damn expensive – especially its capital, Luanda. However, in the immortal words of Bob Dylan, the times they are a-changin’.

The visa restrictions have eased and the country is a bit more affordable, especially on group tours. Angola has been gradually opening the gates for tourism, but there’s still a long way to go. Dictatorship and civil war have left an incredible mark on the 7th biggest country of Africa. But to give one piece of advice: go now before it’s overrun by tourists, because Angola is bound to be one of the next big things on the African continent.

BACK TO CARNIVAL

Colours, drinks, a national day off and a Brazilian-style event, Carnaval lives up to its reputation as the biggest holiday in Angola. Luanda has its own Sambadrome and a massive parade that will be attended by the president. We all know of the fabulously flamboyant costumes in Rio, but in Africa they do it a little bit different. Expect a pollical or religious message, masks, colours, incredible costumes and a focus on the national colours of Angola; black, red and yellow.

THE HISTORY OF THE ANGOLAN CARNIVAL

The Angolan Carnival has always been heavily politically influenced, with the groups originally mocking symbols of colonial power in the early 20thCentury. Following this, the event was banned from making any political or religious statements, but even that wasn’t enough. For several decades in the middle of the 20th Century, the event was completely cancelled. In the 70s it came back but then as the Victory Carnival, commemorating the retreat of the South African army in 1976. Until the 90s this was the standard in Angola, with the parades mostly focusing on nationalistic symbols.

CARNIVAL IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Today, the Angolan Carnaval has returned to its roots. Each year a religious or political message is selected and the Carnival groups focus on that topic. Preparations for the event are taken very seriously and start almost immediately after the previous one has finished. The different groups normally have a Carnival queen or king, followed by a group of musicians, who only use traditional instruments, and then followed by the dancers. Last but not least is the nurse, a person who is dressed up in white and shown as a symbol of purity. All groups go for the win, which is a huge amount of money. That amount is needed to pay off the costumes they create every year. These costumes are a mix of traditional carnival costumes but with an African touch.

The event is a three-day event, held a few days before Ash Wednesday. The biggest day is Tuesday, which features the biggest and liveliest parade. It’s a very local event so expect to be the only tourists on the ground.

Wanna check out the Carnaval for yourself? Join us on our first tour there next year!

•By Pier Doyon

•culled from www.youngpioneertours.com

Sunday, 17 May 2020

The Traditional Strawberry Festival in Skikda.


Skikda (Arabic: سكيكدة ) is a city in north eastern Algeria and a port on the Gulf of Stora, the ancient Sinus Numidicus. It is the capital of Skikda Province and Skikda District.

The modern city of Skikda was founded in 1838 by the French under the name Philippeville on the ruins of an ancient Phoenician city which later flourished as a large Roman city called Rusicade, a Punic word which means "Promontory of fire". In the 5th century, the Roman port was destroyed by the Vandals. The current city was founded by Sylvain Charles Valée, for the French to use as a port for Constantine, the third largest city in Algeria. The Constantine-Skikda railway line was developed. During this time, Valee would also build the largest Roman theatre in Algeria. It was built on top of ruins.

The strawberry festival in Skikda is a cultural and sporting event allows residents and visitors to enjoy a host of activities.

A colorful carnival traveled the axes of the city center from the municipal stadium August 20, 1955 through the Avenues to arrive at CPA headquarters, a distance of 5km, with folk groups and scouts before a crowd numerous amassed along the streets of downtown.

The strawberry festival celebrated annually in mid-May in the ancient Rusicada was also marked by the presence of several troops of fantasia come from different wilayas, alongside local troops Skikda. The highlight of the carnival was the passage of the truck turned into a giant fruit basket with strawberries as "queen of the show."

Of strawberry cakes were distributed to the public to enhance the brilliance of the atmosphere. Strawberry distributed to passersby and artistic evenings plot Stora. exhibitions on crafts, a traditional game called el-karmouzia locally and also the contest of Miss Strawberry 2016. A competition in relation to the cutter, namely the best strawberry juice, pies, preserves, strawberry showcases the best domestic flowered balcony, the best picture of natural strawberries and the best presentation on the history of the strawberry. Artistic evenings with local and national singers enliven the evenings.

•culled from www.tunza.eco-generation.org
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