24 February 2011

Martenitsa, celebrating Spring the Bulgarian way

On March 3 Orkestar Bez Ime and Mila Vocal Ensemble will be collaborating in a celebration of Spring at the Acadia Cafe in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The event will bring Bulgaria and Macedonia to the West Bank area of the University of Minnesota. Martenitsa! For more information on the concert, visit http://www.rogaria.com/shows.html

I learned this about 'Martenitsa' from Wikipedia........

"This is an old pagan tradition and remains almost unchanged today. The common belief is that by wearing the red and white colours of the martenitsa people ask Baba Marta for mercy. They hope that it will make winter pass faster and bring spring. Many people wear more than one martenitsa. They receive them as presents from relatives, close friends and colleagues. Martenitsa is usually worn pinned on the clothes, near the collar, or tied around the wrist. The tradition calls for wearing the martenitsa until the person sees a stork or a blooming tree. The stork is considered a harbinger of spring and as evidence that Baba Marta is in a good mood and is about to retire.

The martenitsa is also a stylized symbol of Mother Nature. At that early-spring/late-winter time of the year, Nature seems full of hopes and expectations. The white symbolizes the purity of the melting white snow and the red symbolizes the setting of the sun which becomes more and more intense as spring progresses. These two natural resources are the source of life. They are also associated with the male and female beginnings.
Wearing one or more martenitsi is a very popular Bulgarian tradition. The martenitsa symbolizes new life, conception, fertility, and spring. The time during which it is worn is meant to be a joyful holiday commemorating health and long life. The colors of the martenitsa are interpreted as symbols of purity and life, as well as the need for harmony in Nature and in people's lives."

23 February 2011

Stolen Night Out

One of my favorite pictures from 2009 is on the right, it is of a 'stolen night out' away from the duties of the accordion festival we all were attending.  It is rather a historical picture as all three of us were presidents of accordion associations at the time.  On the left is Linda Soley Reed (American Accordionists Association),  Kevin Friedrich, (The Confederation Internationale des Accodeonistes), and myself, Dee Langley (Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International). The club was  "BB King's Blues Club" on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. Good times with good friends.

22 February 2011

New Zealand, thinking of you.

Typical shopping street in North Shore City.
 Guess I've been in a reflective mood these last 24 hours as New Zealand struggles to rescue survivors of the recent earthquake.  The epicenter of the quake was on the South Island, in Christchurch, which I've not visited. These pictures are from the North Island where I stayed for a week in August of 2009 while attending the Coupe Mondiale as a representative of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International. My thoughts are now with New Zealand and her people in their time of need.
Silver Fern frond unfurling in the wild at a
park we visited. It is rare to find one
within viewing distance from
the ground, they are usually high at the
tops on the trees. The frond is a symbol of
new life, growth, strength and peace.

Cape Reigna at the northern tip of New Zealand, this
is the specific point where the Tasman and Pacific Oceans meet.

View of Auckland across the bay  from
my hotel room balcony in North Shore City

21 February 2011

Snow Day

There is no doubt in my mind that the band did indeed play as the Titanic sank.....we all know 'the show must go on'. The StarTribune had this to say about today's weather,  'A storm bearing heavy snow and fierce winds pounded southern Minnesota, including much of the metro area.'. I hate it when they're right.

I managed to make the first rehearsal scheduled for today but missed a party in the late afternoon. Thank goodness the evening rehearsal was canceled, so far I had managed to stop the car when needed.

David Joles, Star Tribune
From my email in response to the cancellation......
An excellent call.  I had a 1:00 rehearsal that I got to late after falling on the ice with the accordion and I'm now home, 2 hours later than planned.  It was an interesting drive, saw a car wrapped around a light pole, an SUV stuck 4 feet off the ground facing backwards on a snowdrift....oh, I could go on and on but you get the driving picture.

Tomorrow is President's Day, Monday.  I'm sleeping in and having cocoa before I get out the snow shovel to dig a path out of the house.  The car is not going anywhere; it's a bona fide snow day!