Friday, January 16, 2009

Celebrate Las Octavitas in the Barrio

Navidad criolla

Christmas is not over yet for many boricuas pues estamos en las OCTAVITAS.

Join the Comite de la Fiesta de San Juan Bautista for


Dedicated to Rudy Vargas

6:30-10:30 p.m., Sunday, January 18

Julia de Burgos Cultural Center
2nd flr. Theater
1680 Lexington (btwn. 106 & 105th Sts.)
NYC's El Barrio

As we celebrate
"La Fiesta de San Juan Bautista."

Zon del Barrio
Estampas De Borinquen
with a "controversia" (vocal duels)
by Trovadores Boricuas
Admission: $15
Bring your instruments
There will be food, raffles & refreshments.

A recent study found Puerto Ricans to be the happiest people on earth. Some say it's because we celebrate
the Christmas season (Las Navidades) longer than any one!
Puerto Rico's holiday season begins with Thanksgiving and ends with Octavitas, the last holiday of the season, beginning 8 days after the Epiphany (Jan. 6, 3 Kings Day) and lasting for 8 more days! In Puerto Rican tradition, if you received a visit from a friend or relative on Three Kings' Day, you return the visit eight days later.

The traditional festivities of San Juan Bautista are a form of cleansing in tribute to St. John the Baptist. In Puerto Rico and other islands, people take to the beaches in a communal cleansing ritual completed by music, dancing and food.

The festivities will begin with songs to the Three Kings followed by a "controversia" where troubadors compete with one another to see who can improvise the best. Zon del Barrio will follow with aguilnaldos, bolero, plena, bomba, boogalu and Salsa Navideña for the dancers! ¡Wepa!

In N.Y. we celebrate with music, dance, song and food at this time when people everywhere want to "renew" themselves making "resolutions" for a better year and a better life. Celebrate this life with us on Sunday and bring your instrument, voice and just plain good cheer one last time as we celebrate the end of the holidays with Zon del Barrio.... in el barrio, of course.

-- Aurora Flores

(photo of Aurora Flores and Zon del Barrio at the 'Mis Banderas' concert at Hostos Community College in the Bronx last December; photo by Clarisel Gonzalez)
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