last minute gifts to your family and friends at home with
always, from Hollis ’Flash’ Lashley, for Arious
the circumstances of Today,
am filled with the joys of my past;
in spite of the piously evil who prey,
know joys of the Spirit must last.
I think of my childhood, so simple and free,
those memories of X-mas past flow;
am happy and innocent, smiling with glee,
this Now, I can’t fear Tomorrow.
is three in the morning, the quietude reigns,
a knock on the door wakes the dead;
the quatros and voices, God’s gladness proclaims,
Love, wine and rum, and sweetbread.
thinking of Santa, except for the snow,
big people paranging as friends;
enemies talking, so you really don’t know
is who, as they all make amends.
the morning of X-mas , everything appears new,
curtains, the fresh paint, and the smells;
cake, Callaloo, Fowl, Pork and then too,
those crustaceans minus shells.
It seems that the mountains sing Hallelujah,
their multihued costumes of green;
is born and the heart beats its own Parranda;
of Love manifest are now seen.
let Christ and the prophets of all Mankind sing
Parang of the heart filled with Love,
we celebrate X-mas, in the Good we can bring
day of the year; Peace,
Greetings To All Our On-Line Family!
is upon us, so we sincerely wish you a very happy holiday
season and hope it's very joyful and prosperous for you.
those who have not received our Special Holiday Card, you will
find I have placed it below.
click On The Christmas Card
View The Special Christmas Greeting from us at
begins every year on the 25th of the Hebrew month of
25th of Kislev In 2007, is December 4th
began at sundown on December 4th.
Festival of Lights
is the most widely celebrated American Jewish holiday,
possibly because it is a fun, child-centered occasion. It
is celebrated with excellent food, exchanging gifts, and
lighting beautiful menorahs (special Hanukkah candelabras)
filled with brightly colored candles. Unlike some of the
other Jewish holidays, which require intense spiritual
reflection or elaborate preparation, it is easy to
Many Jewish holidays commemorate events invested with
historical and religious meaning, and Hanukkah is no
means "rededication," and it commemorates
the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after its
desecration by foreign forces. The celebration also
reaffirms the continuing struggle to live by God's
commandments and to lead Jewish lives.
When all is said and done, perhaps the most important
message of Hanukkah may be found in the name of the
holiday itself: Dedication. When Jews have dedicated
themselves, through faith and action, to the pursuit of
high religious and human ideals, Judaism has been strong.
That imperative, to strengthen our religion and our
people, remains an important challenge at this season, in
is celebrated traditionally from December
26th through January 1st
is an African-American cultural holiday conceived
and developed by Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga in 1966.
Each day of Kwanzaa focuses on Nguzo Saba, or the seven
principles- "matunda ya kwanza" which means
first fruits, Kwanzaa is rooted in the first harvest
celebrations practiced in various cultures in Africa, and
it seeks to (1) enforce a connectedness to African
cultural identity, (2) provide a focal point for the
gathering of African peoples, and (3) to reflect upon the
Nguzo Saba, or the seven principles, that have sustained
Africans. Africans and African - Americans of all
religious faiths and backgrounds practice Kwanzaa.
SABA - The 7 Principles of Kwanzaa
(Unity) To strive for and maintain unity in the family,
community, nation and race.
Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) To define ourselves,
name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) To build and
maintain our community together and make our brother's and
sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) To build and maintain our
own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from
Nia (Purpose) To make our collective vocation the building
and developing of our community in order to restore our
people to their traditional greatness.
Kuumba (Creativity) To do always as much as we can, in the
way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful
and beneficial than we inherited it.
Imani (Faith) To believe with all our heart in our people,
our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the
righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Two popular Traditional
Celebration of Christmas in the Islands
Trinidad and Tobago
Parrang is derived from the Spanish
word Parranda which means "the action of merry
making, group of serenaders."
is a musical style which fuses together Venezuelan
influences to create up beat tempos with a Spanish
style and is popular in Trinidad
& Tobago and various areas of Venezuela.
is celebrated during the Christmas season with Singers and
instrumentalists (musicians) traveling from house-to-house
in communities, and is often joined by friends and
neighbors using whatever instruments at hand
performing. The music is typically played with
cuatro (a four-string small guitar), maracas (locally
known as shak-shaks), and is often sung in Spanish.
Other instruments are used as well and they are
violin, guitar, claves - locally known as toc-toc,
box bass, flute, mandolin, bandolin, caja - a percussive
box instrument and marimbola). The entertainment and
performances are done in exchange for food and drink rum
or ponche de creme (an alcoholic eggnog).
called "Parranderos" roam the streets
playing this music and serenading people with both sacred
and non-sacred repertoire, including songs such as "aguinaldo"
which is related to the stories of the Nativity or
birth of Christ; "estribillo" which is a sing
along song that is very lively and is sung in a call and
answer fashion and a few other styles of songs.
the repertoire is influenced by nearby Venezuela's
traditions, it has largely developed into an indigenous
performance genre in Trinidad. While the traditional
tradition is still practiced by small groups and larger
organized groups, the music has also developed into a
season of staged performances called "parang
fiestas," held from October through January each
year, culminating in a final national parang competition.
has evolved throughout the years and many soca
music artists have generated a cross-over music called
"soca parang" which is a fusion of calypso and
soca whose lyrics are sang in English and are inspired by
the "Americanized" Christmas often referring to
such symbols as Santa
Claus. Noted parang-soca artists include Scrunter,
B. Chutney (a singing artform of the indigenous people
of Trinidad which have influences from Indian rhythms and
are sometimes sung in Hindi) melodies have also been fused
in with Parang.
practice of paranging remains an important element
of not only the Trinidadian rituals during the Christmas
season but also in the rituals of other islands such as Grenada
and the Dominican
Republic and other countries such as Venezuela. Parang
is especially vibrant in Trinidad & Tobago communities
such as Paramin,
origins of the presence of parang music in Trinidad and
Tobago is controversial, and there are two theories which
are (1) Spanish monks
who were present in Trinidad to lecture people about Catholicism
were the first individuals to introduce the music; and (2)
Venezuelans brought the first elements of parang with them
when they migrated to Trinidad to escape the Bolivian
Mornings celebration begins 9 mornings before
Christmas December 16th – December 25th
Mornings is a unique Vincentian festivity associated with
the Christmas season.
Nine Mornings before Christmas, Vincentians awake
in the early hours of the morning and partake in a range
of activities, among them sea baths, dances (or in local
parlance, fetes), bicycle riding and street concerts.
In the rural areas, the final morning of the
festivity usually ended with a steel band “jump-up”.
origins of this festivity are clouded in some mystery,
although the original tradition relates it to the
‘novena’ of the Catholic Church on the nine days
before Christmas. It
is believed that after the early morning church services
of the Catholics, worshippers began walking the streets
while others went for sea baths.
From this the popular festivity emerged.
Although popular opinion has this practice as
starting during the period of slavery, it was more likely
to have been a post-emancipation practice.
is also believed that in the 1920s, a Vincentian member of
the Dominican Order of the Catholic Church initiated a
tradition of celebrating a Christmas novena in the early
hours of the morning.
It was the procession home after the service, as
the churchgoers wandered back to their houses, eagerly
greeting friends with holiday blessings and peering in the
still-shut shop windows, which developed into today’s
it became customary for the ‘boom drum’ bands,
composed of musicians playing goatskin drums and wooden
flutes, to accompany the walkers home.
Street dancing, of course, was soon to follow, and
in time, the character of the nine mornings’ celebration
the years the number of walkers grew, and with the advent
of the steel drum band a carnival-style nine mornings
Street vendors joined the celebration, selling
drinks made from ginger and sorrel as well as holiday
cakes and sweets. A
later addition was the tradition of the ‘carolers’ who
went house-to-house singing Christmas carols.
mornings was particularly popular with young people for
whom the normal restrictions at home were relaxed, giving
them an opportunity to socialize with their friends.
At different periods emphasis was placed on
In the early period, street walking and sea bathing
seemed to have predominated.
Over the years other features took root.
, owners of bicycles decorated their bicycles with lights
and rode around town.
Persons wanting to get hot bread besieged bakeries
around town that were producing bread for the early
morning market. Over
time the bakeries catered to this demand.
Dances became popular at other times and recently
, concerts involving choirs and individual entertainers
have been attracting large crowds.
There are also fun competitions such as speech
making, beer drinking and banana eating, crying, laughing,
‘ring play’ games and story telling.
A welcomed addition in recent years is the
‘lighting up’ of towns, villages, commercial
buildings, churches and private homes.
A Parang celebration will be
taking place this Saturday. So to get the full effect of
"Parang", join Sekou Flex on Saturday, December 22nd for his 2nd
Annual Soca Parang Fete. Special Advance ticket price:
$10.00 are on sale, and you still have time to get yours, contact
Sekou right away to make arrangements at 202-607-1901 or you
can call or stop in at Crown Bakery-5329 Georgia Avenue, N.W.
Washington DC - 202-291-3009.
To all of you
our on-line family, thanks for reading, sharing your thoughts
and comments with us, and for always supporting
As you may know without you there would be no us.
So thanks very much for your support. Enjoy your Christmas
holiday, this weekend
and the upcoming week!