Tag Archives: parade

Saint Peter Parades

Background: The informant is a 54 year old man. He was born in Pampanga, Philippines. The informant grew up as Catholic, later converting to evangelical Christianity and becoming a pastor. He was exposed to the tradition by living in the Philippines. 

Context: The context was, calling the informant on the phone and asking him about his religious traditions or experiences.

Text:

EM: “In every city, in every city, in the Philippines, there’s a Peter, they call, there’s a saint.”

Me: “Fate?”

EM: “There’s a saint. Like Saint Peter, Saint Paul. In every city they celebrate one saint. Like in my, like in the Philippines, remember when you were there, you saw these boats that’s like, you went around June, remember? And there were, like, boats, like, how do you call that, parading? 

Me: “Yeah”

EM: “People are so happy and then they parading on the roads also. That is Saint Peter. It’s like celebrating their birthday or whatever like that ” 

Me: “So for the city that your mother is in, it’s Saint Peter?”

EM: “It’s Saint Peter”

Me: “What city does [your mother] live in again?”

EM: “Pampanga.”

Analysis:

Informant: For the informant, it’s a communal celebration that allows people to come together to celebrate their beliefs. It’s an interactive experience that stuck with him.

Mine: Religious (Catholic) folklore is extremely popular in the Philippines, to the extent it appears to be organized by the government, given that there are parades. Assigning a Saint to every city is similar to the concept of having a guardian angel, but instead there is a guardian saint watching over their moves. It can be seen as a sign of comfort, as with a good luck charm, because it’s comforting to think that someone is watching over every single move someone takes, guiding them from harm. Celebrating their birthday is a major celebration for the entire community to come together in their belief of one saint. Interestingly, the celebration is not done in relation to church or other religious institutions, but rather by parading and boats. It could be a result of the city being so large, that the festivities need to somehow incorporate everyone. Not everyone might be able to travel to a church, but everyone can be outside and witness the parade. It’s a tradition that truly incorporates everyone. 

To see another version: Tiatco, A. P. (2010). Libad nang Apung Iru and Pamamaku king Krus : Performances of ambivalence in Kapampangan cultural spectacles. 91–102.

Cherry Festival

Main Piece:

Well in Traverse City during the summer is the Cherry Festival. Oh, my sister was the cherry princess! And I remember that cuz I was like in preschool and basically for that the parents the dads make a float. So all the cherry princesses they which is one from every school, and there are 25 schools or something. And so all the two princesses someone from a first graders have a girl and a guy Tirpitz is for prints, and the cherry princesses and princes from each school make a float, and our float was Herbie. There’s like a theme of the float, which was like Disney or something. And we did Herbie, do you remember that like the racecar? So I vividly remember like we took a car, we painted a car, like a dumpster car, and it was on a float. And then on the cherry festival parade all of the floats go through. And then they vote on like a Cherry Queen and the queen is like in high school or older. She like takes pictures with all the princesses. That’s a big deal and Cherry Festival, well there’s like a fair and there’s events that happen every every day and it’s like a very big thing a lot of fugdies, a lot of people would call fudgies people from like South Michigan who to Traverse City for the cherry festival. It’s a big deal. But none of the people who live in Traverse City actually like the festival because they make the grass dirty, without it the grass is like fluorescent green. 

Context:

My informant is one of my roommates, a 20-year-old dance major at USC. She’s from Michigan and this performance took place in our kitchen as she was cooking. 

Background:

My informant grew up with this festival and her sister was a cherry princess one year. She loves cherries and says it’s the only fruit that tastes better in Michigan than in California. 

Analysis:

I thought it was fascinating how much my informant talked up this festival and her families involvement, only to reveal at the very end that the people who live there don’t actually like the festival, that it’s much more for the people in Michigan who live outside of Traverse city than for the actual residents. So while this festival is a part of Michigan culture, it’s a yearly annoyance for the actual residents of the city.

Black Joy Parade

Context: The informant is my sister (LC) who lives in Oakland and has become an active participant in the community.

Main Text: “A celebration that I attended was this one in Oakland called ‘The Black Joy Parade’ in February. The celebration uses joy as a form of resistance to celebrate all the achievements and culture of the Black community, despite all the years of suffering and injustice. It’s this parade with cars, dancers, and different marching groups of black cultural groups. There are black entertainers and different artists who promote their work. It was an awesome experience and I really liked the idea that the black community was fighting their oppression through self-expression.”

Analysis: This celebration is interesting because it shows how the black community has created its own culture in the United States, undeterred by the oppression they have faced for centuries. By overcoming their disadvantages through joy, they change the narrative and empower themselves.

Halloween Festival

Context & Analysis

The subject is from Ashland, Oregon—a relatively small town in Oregon that is an extremely tight-knit community. She expressed to me that Ashland has a rich tradition of festivals—particularly ones that involve floats. I asked her to elaborate on a few of her favorite festivals and she brought up Halloween. The subject has a lot of pride for her town and it’s traditions and it’s interesting that this is a tradition that involved the entire town. The shut-down of the town reflects the ‘suspension of regular life’ that often is related to festivals, even more so because of the size of the town. I find it unique and interesting that stores will hand out candy.

Main Piece

“The biggest festival in Ashland is I’d say probably Halloween, um my town is really really big on parades, so there’s always like a huge parade for fourth of July, the festival of lights, Halloween. And it starts at like, 3—3:30? And, um, everybody meets at the library and they shut down, like, the main strip of town. Um and everyone dresses up in costumes, there’s always costume contests and there’s always like a run the morning of and it’s this giant parade you walk from the library all the way down to the plaza in all of your costumes and you get candy from all of the stores you get to, like trick or treat um and you go around and there’s like food and it’s fun and um everyone just has such a good time and people go all out. Like my town is just….so extra [laughs] it’s unbelievable.”