There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

Definition of Walkabout :

a short period of wandering as an occasional interruption of regular work
Showing posts with label culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label culture. Show all posts

28 May 2017

The Ritual of the Voladores

As I'm walking around the Chapultepec Park in Mexico City, I look up to see the most bizarre sight....men hanging upside down spinning around a pole while a flute is being played.

I see this again and again throughout my travels in Mexico, and finally learn that this is an ancient tradition of the Totanac people.
A long time ago, there was a severe drought in the region. The elders decided that a ceremony should be performed to ask the Gods to return the rain and bring fertility to the soil.

From this ceremony of old comes the practice that is continued today, as the people are thankful to the God Xipe Totec, God of agriculture and fertility, for the rain and land that he has continued to provide for the people that reside and flourish here.

29 April 2017

Swashbuckling Spanish Pirates & Muddy Wyld Men

The final weekend of the Arizona Renaissance Festival was here. My Saturday Huzzah was filled with two hilarious shows, the Spanish pirates and the muddy Wyld men.
I've come to really appreciate "live theatre" more than ever before while attending the AZ Renfest. It's truly an art form that stands the test of time, and an artistic gift that these actors pass down to their children, which makes me think their talents have been in their families for generations.

Perhaps going all the way back to the original Renaissance times.
In so many ways these performances showcase the truest and simplest form of entertainment, which makes it all the more real.
and what's not to love about that?

28 February 2017

All Hail! The Arizona Renaissance Festival

For the past twelve years (give or take a year or two), I've been driving past the "Renaissance Festival" sign at the base of the Superstition mountains in the east end of the valley. I would look out into the vast desert and wonder what truly happens here for six weeks.

This past weekend, I finally made it myself, and it was, in one word, glorious.
As soon as I entered the gates, I felt transported back in time to the Renaissance era of yesteryear. Busty corseted women and lanky knights sauntered past me, wizards and pirates strolled across the courtyard, executioners donning black capes and elf children scampered through the trees.
I'm pulled into a comedy show of irreverent nuns, a man with a mean fiery whip, three guys and some drums, belly dancers, fire eaters, and a spectacular carnevale.

This was only the tip of the iceberg though. You can try you hand wielding an axe as you attempt to throw it at a target, practice your archery skills, or perhaps show your strength as you lift the mighty mallet to impress your lady.

I go grab a leg of tasty meat with a dark pint of ale, sit back and enjoy.
So much to see and do, I'm thrilled that I decided to get a season pass so I can return for more adventures all throughout March, as there is still so much awesomeness to be found.

Be prepared, as there will be more to come over the next few weeks, but until then you wenchs, spires, kings and wizards....
Huzzah!

08 January 2017

Lights of the World

Going back to the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC to AD 25), the Chinese have celebrated a Lantern Festival each year marking the declining darkness of winter.

This tradition is being continued with a modern 21st century twist, bringing the largest lantern festival ever produced to Phoenix for the first time.

So how could I not go?
The US-China Cultural and Education Foundation (UCCEF) was established in 1978, bringing together the people of these two countries to share cultural experiences.

The money raised from festivals such as this helps to promote the continuation of this Foundation.
On a perfect January evening in the Arizona desert, I marvel at the beauty on display, the craftsmanship from around the world, and the joy on the faces of couples, families, and children as we all take part in the Lights of the World festival in Chandler.