Diwali goes Mainstream

What does it mean when ancient holdidays, grounded in ethnic identity and religious belief and celebrated by cultural insiders for centuries, are brought to mainstream, high profile venues to be shared, celebrated, and interpreted? Who benefits? What is gained and what is lost when a festival moves from private space (a temple, a home) to a public space (a state house, city hall, or museum)?  How is cultural meaning negotiated?

diwali_statehouse

For the last five years, Amit Dixit, the leading light behind the South Asian Arts and Cultural Council, has organized an annual Diwali lighting ceremony at the Massachusetts State House.

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The invitation to attend describes Diwali, popularly known as The Festival of Lights, as  “. . . the most sacred of Indian holidays celebrated by Hindu communities throughout the world, including those in the Indian diaspora together with worshipers of Hinduism in Nepal, Singapore, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka. The holiday is the embodiment of the supremacy of divine light over spiritual darkness, of knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. Diwali is associated with great optimism, generosity and, most importantly, new hopes for the future.”

Those attending the State House event on October 29, 2016  were a mixture of cultural insiders, government employees, and members of the general public.

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An official from The United States Postal Service was present to help unveil the Diwali forever stamp.

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Diwali is celebrated for seven days every autumn. This year Diwali officially began on Sunday, October 30 and ran through Saturday November 5. Mid-way through, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston held its own celebration of  the Festival of Lights. On offer was a splendid variety of South Asian expressive traditions including music, dance, Madhubani and Mithila art making, and a moderated discussion about Diwali in Boston and around the world.

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Having the MFA celebrate Diwali helps legitimize the expressive traditions of lesser known cultural communities. As Saraswathi Jones (second from left), who grew up in one of the only Bengali families in Grand Rapids, Michigan put it,  “It’s meaningful. It’s validating.”

panel-discussion

In writing about Washington DC’s Latino Festival (1991), Olivia Cadaval says, “The festival transforms physical space into a means to cultural identity. As a temporary center of power, the festival brings together large numbers of Latinos, unifies space, and generates action, during which symbols and traditions are manipulated, cultural forms are given expression, relationships are negotiated, and new social identities are forged.”

Although it’s a vastly different culture and a different time, I believe Cavadal’s observations still hold true. In addition to introducing cultural outsiders to Diwali, the public acknowledgement of  an ancient holiday rooted in Sanskrit and prayer trumps linguistic, regional, and national differences, creating solidarity among South Asians who make Massachusetts home.

boston-skyline

Things work best when ethnic self-representation and institutionally curated presentations are done collaboratively. It’s a win win.The MFA’s event planners are to be commended for working with cultural insiders to interpret and present expressive traditions that might otherwise be little understood by cultural outsiders.

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Snapshots from a Festival: Folk Craft & Foodways Celebrate 30 Years

Watermelon carving of festival logo by Ruben Arroco

It’s not every year that you see a festival’s logo carved into a watermelon. Indeed, this was a very special year for the Lowell Folk Festival. We celebrated 30 years of presenting the best in traditional music, craft, and foodways. Here are some images from the Folk Craft & Foodways area which featured a sampler of traditions.

Signage for folk craft area

Fruit carver Ruben Arroco of Lowell, was a generous presence, creating stunning carvings in melons and continuously handing out refreshing watermelon slices to parched festival goers.

Carving of John Lennon's portrait by Ruben Arroco Ruben Arroco carving watermelon

The craft area featured a few other ephemeral arts, including the daily ritual of kolam that adorns the thresholds of homes, temples, and streets throughout India. The practice is carried on here in New England by members of Tamil Makkal Mandram, Inc.

Display of kolam by Tamil Makkal Mandram, Inc.

Sridevi Karthikeyan and Karthigai Priya Govindarayan doing kolam

In addition to demonstrating kolam using colored stone dust, the artists provided an opportunity for visitors to try their hands at it.

Festival goers trying their hand at making kolam

Traditions of folk beauty from around the globe were on display. Festival goers could get their hair braided in cornrows or have their skin temporarily tattooed with henna. Sellou Coly, a native of Senegal, and her niece Aissatou-Ba Dieme, and Margy Green, and her niece KK braided hair. Lujuana Hood of the Pan African Historical Museum in Springfield, shared her wisdom about hair culture from Africa to America.

Sellou Coly braiding a young worman's hair

Sellou Coly and Inuit throat singer Samantha Peoyuq Kigutaq

Late morning on Sunday, two young Inuit girls from Ottawa sat down to have their hair braided. They were due to perform Inuit throat singing at St. Anne’s stage at noon. Their aunt explained traditions of Inuit hair braiding, while Lujuana regaled us with stories and folklore about African American hair culture dating back to the time of slavery in this country. As a way of thanks, the girls gave a private performance of throat singing for the hair braiders and then they all posed together for a picture.

Hair braiders and Inuit singers

Noureen Sultana and her 13-year old son Danish Khan shared their skills in applying mehndi, also known as henna. This ephemeral art form is customary for brides in India, Pakistan, and parts of the Arab world. When applied, the henna is 3-dimensional. After a few hours, it flecks off, leaving a rust colored stain which lasts for up to two weeks. Danish’s younger brother also pitched in. The line of people waiting to be adorned never let up. In fact, late on Sunday, when Noureen and her family was packing up, a father came by with his four-year son in his arms. The boy’s mother and sister had gotten henna tattoos earlier in the day. It was well after 5:00 p.m. Noureen and her sons, who must have created over 200 henna designs, had pretty much packed up their tools and supplies. The father told his son it was too late to get henna and he broke into tears. Noureen, a mother and dedicated artist, kindly made an exception, giving the boy a floral henna design on his tiny hand.

Noureen Sultana and Danish Khan applying henna

Noureen Sultana applying henna to child

In the realm of more permanent art forms, stone carver and letterpress printer Jesse Marsolais demonstrated the age-old craft of carving letterforms in stone.

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Stephen Earp, a redware potter from Shelburne Falls, demonstrated turning plates, vases, and bowls on his hand built treadle wheel. In addition to working at the wheel, he shared his vast knowledge of the history of pottery production in New England.

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The musical instrument maker’s tent featured the work of luthiers William Cumpiano and Chris Pantazelos. They displayed cuatros, guitars, requintos, ouds, and bouzuokis in the making, as well as finished instruments.  An added treat was having musicians Kacho Montaluo, Brian Ausbigian, and Kinan Adnawi playing music in the back of the tent.  Throughout the weekend, a few musicians from the audience joined in the informal jam session.

LFF2016_Musical instruments tent

LFF2016_Kacho Moutaluo   LFF2016_Kinan and Kacho

With any luck, the next generation will be inspired to play.

LFF2016_Cumpiano instrument with little girl

With exception of redware vase, all photos by Maggie Holtzberg, 2016

Today’s Native American Art in New England

Guest blog by Dawn Spears,Program Manager, Native Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) 

The Native Arts program at NEFA has partnered with the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center(MPMRC) on Native New England Now, an exhibit featuring many of New England’s Native American artists who have been supported through NEFA’s Native Arts program. The exhibit is up through January 4, 2014.

Cradleboard by Julia Marden, 2007.Photo by Doug Currie Spoon carved by Annawon Weeden, 1998. Photo by Doug Currie

This is a rare opportunity for an organization to be able to showcase the work it supports, and we are grateful for the partnership and expertise of MPMRC. It allows the visitor a quick immersion into our world, to showcase our artists and the work that is happening now. The work here and the work supported in our program represent our master artists, our elders, our youth, our emerging artists, and those in between.

The exhibit of NEFA-supported work, which has been a goal of mine for a while, was the result of a conversation with MPMRC. Fast forward through a lot of work by the museum and NEFA staff together: contacting grantees, other museums, working on image collection and object curation, and collecting the artist statements.  It’s been a true community effort that would not have happened without the support of our artists, the museum, and those who have loaned from their collections (the Abbe Museum, the Hood Museum), or their own private collection. It was an intense and exciting period, but with an amazing team and eyes focused on the opening, I could not be more proud of the result.

Decorative covered vase basket, 2007 by Jeremy Frey. Photo by Jeremy Frey

Personally, I can’t say enough about the art that is happening in New England. It’s our home, and what you see in this exhibit really represents the love of our land and its gifts. The work that is happening represents this connection to our land, our resources, our cultures and heritage, and, in reality, to our future.

It was such an honor that so many of the exhibited artists attended the opening reception , along with  program advisors, funders, museum officials, NEFA board members, and my own NEFA colleagues. I’m hopeful that we will have similar participation at the artist panel discussion on November 16 and the holiday artisan market on November 30!

Native artists posing on the stairs at museum. Photo by Ann Wicks

This exhibit shows the work of 28 of the over 80 artists and organizations – representing over 35 tribes – that have received grants from NEFA’s Native Arts program. You can learn more about the artists in the companion book we  published, but the best way for you to really understand the work that has come from this love – and really see the talent and creativity of our amazing artists – is to see it in person.

NEFA’s Native Arts program supports projects that nurture artistic exchange, community development, youth engagement, environmental resource research and preservation, cultural preservation, and artistic innovation. Special thanks to the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the six New England state arts agencies, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and other Native Arts program funders.

Blessing ceremony for kiln building

A blessing ceremony for the new Cambodian wood fire kiln took place in Lowell on June 28. In order to ensure a successful project, the potters Yary Livan and Proeung Kang made offerings and prayed to the designer of Angkor Wat, King Suryavarman II, whom Yary calls “the hero of construction.” Proeung just arrived from Cambodia where he teaches at the Secondary School of Fine Arts. He and Yary both grew up in the same village along the Mekong Delta and have known each other since childhood. 

Two Buddhist monks in bright orange robes from the Wat Khmer Temple in Lowell came for the occasion. On the altar, Yary prepared offering of grapes, apples, cherries, and a whole roasted chicken (complete with dipping sauces!), next to a vase of freshly picked flowers. 

 

Marge Rack, professor of art at Middlesex Community College  (MCC), gave a welcoming address, translated by Tooch Van, International Student Advisor at MCC, to the approximately fifteen people attending. She said that this project was “a dream come true,” and it was her vision to build a ceramics community that not only included Lowell but Cambodia as well.

Celeste Bernardo, the new Superintendent of Lowell National Historical Park, said that “heritage is made strong by the many cultures in our community,” and that the Lowell community helps spread and continue traditions of the Cambodian people.

 

A clergyman, or achar, lit three tall white candles placed on an orange brick, and gave an introduction in both Sanskrit and Pali, the liturgical language of Buddhism. The two monks chanted the Dhamma in Sanskrit while dipping flowers into pottery bowls of water and sprinkling water over the kiln’s foundation.

 

 

At the altar, Yary lit a candle,while Proeung poured pinot grigio over the chicken. Holding a bundle of incense sticks, Yary prayed and chanted over the offerings, then placed one burning incense stick each into an apple, a grape, a cherry, and the chicken.

  

Cambodian customs are a mix of animism, Hinduism, Buddhism. The altar incorporated the symbolically important Hindu number of seven. Yary said traditionally the altar holds seven different kinds of food and seven kinds of fruit, what he called “seven times seven.”

 

The art department of MCC had generously presented Yary and Proeung with a hand truck so they wouldn’t hurt their backs! They will be helped by Samnang Khoeun, an architect and Yary’s former apprentice, and Vanny Hang, a sculptor from Lawrence who is a specialist in Khmer ornamentation. The artisans collaborate together in their studio in the Western Studios building in Lowell.  To follow progress on the kiln project, click here.

Photos by Maggie Holtzberg. Group shot by Samnang Khoeun.

Lithuanian Summer Solstice

I’m delighted to be working with state folklorist Maggie Holtzberg in Lowell this summer.  On the summer solstice, Maggie and I went to visit Jonas Stundzia at his home in Lawrence to learn about Rasos Svente, the Dew Festival, and the ways Lithuanians celebrate the longest day of the year. He will be demonstrating how to make floral head garlands at this year’s Lowell Folk Festival. Garlands, or wreaths, are an important part of this solstice festival, also known as the festival of Saint John.

Jonas is a wealth of folklore. When we got to his house, he welcomed us with a traditional Lithuanian greeting. From a decorative ceramic pitcher, he poured water over our hands, and held out a woven Lithuanian cloth to dry them. He then offered us cucumbers dipped in honey and small cups of samagonas (rye moonshine). He said that cucumbers dipped in honey are eaten as a summer treat only in the northeast area of Lithuania.

Jonas showed us his garden blooming with plants native to Lithuania, including wild sorrel, used in making soup; ruta (rue), the national flower; wild onions; and lavender. His garden also had winter rye, used for Christmas decorations; parsley; mint; wild straw; and wild dahlia. He showed us a large oak garland he had made. Oak is considered a male tree and oak garlands are usually reserved for men. We tried it on anyway, and it was heavy! In Lithuania, garlands made of wild flowers, healing herbs, and grasses are used in the solstice festival to adorn the head, decorate the homestead, float candles on the water, and burn in the bonfire.

Jonas had made another large circular garland with linden and yellow flowers which symbolize the sun. Lithuanians consider linden a female plant; this wreath could be worn by a woman, or decorated with lit candles to be floated on the water on the evening of the Rasos Svente festival. The points of light guide the sun back home to earth. Wreaths symbolize the circle of life. Circles and wheels are important in Lithuanian mythology. In one pre-Bronze age myth the sun travels across the sky pulled by a goat. Jonas told us that Lithuanian rituals and language go back to proto Indo-European times. They still survive today because Lithuania was geographically isolated far up north on swampy land that nobody else wanted. Lithuanian is an ancient language, but still living, unlike Sanskrit or Latin.

On the summer solstice, Lithuanians give kupole staffs to friends and neighbors to protect and bless their homes. Jonas showed us a kupole staff he had made with healing herbs: nettle (good for healing arthritis and a relaxation); wormwood (good for the nerves); southern wort (a nerve relaxant used to make absinthe liquor); mountain ash (considered a male plant, used in the celebration of St. John); and belladonna (a medicinal nightshade).

Next, he showed us decorative iron saule, which means “sun.” One had a circle, which represents the sun; branches which represent the tree of life; jagged thunderbolts; curved snakes; and roots representing the earth. In Lithuania, snakes are symbols of life. Gyvate means snake; gyvas means life. The first animals to appear from Mother Earth in the spring are the toad and the snake. Thunderbolts allude to the god of thunder who creates rain, and therefore gives life.

Other saule he showed us had Christian crosses. He said that Roman Catholics had adopted and reinterpreted the form of the saule and used them in cemeteries to decorate gravestones.  In the same way, the pre-Christian kupole staff transformed into a similar, but smaller and more compact staff used on Palm Sunday. The rituals of the Rasos Svente festival also were adopted into Saint John’s Day celebrations. We look forward to hearing more of his stories at his demonstration tent at the folk festival in July.

All photos by Maggie Holtzberg.

In search of a hat maker: notes from the field

Back in March, I had attended “Crowning Glories: Hat Show and Contest” in Roxbury. I was hoping to see some fancy hats, the kind traditionally worn to church by African American women. The event was hosted by the Friends of Dudley Street  Branch Library and it was the first hat show they had organized. It appeared to be modeled on traditional African American hat shows and contests. Nearly all of the 30 or so women who attended came wearing a hat. Some were crocheted, others were adorned with brooches or feathers, but all in all, they were rather modest. As for seeing more elaborate hats, several folks suggested observing what women wear on Easter Sunday. “Try New Hope Baptist Church in Boston’s South End.”  Folklorist friend Kate Kruckemeyer, who grew up in the South End, also suggested United Methodist on Columbus Avenue. “It’s the home church for many. There are so many cars that the police let people double-park in the middle of Columbus Avenue.”

The website of Union United Methodist indicated that Easter Sunday services would let out at 12:30.  So I made my way there, arriving at 12:30 p.m. on Easter Sunday. Everyone appeared to still be inside. 

 

There was a temporary wooden crucifix draped with a long narrow white cloth, whipping around on this windy day. The faint sound of organ music indicated that the service had not ended. A young girl entered the building so I decided to follow her inside. People were shaking each other’s hands, giving hugs, carrying Easter lilies, and generally making their way out of the sanctuary. I looked around to see a mostly black congregation, but there were some white folks too. Amidst the crowd, I spotted only one woman wearing a fancy hat. I slowly wound through the crowd and left to stand on the sidewalk outside.

About ten minutes later, the doors opened and parishioners began to trickle out. First to leave was a woman and a young boy, talking about how much they had enjoyed the service.

A few others emerged, and then the woman with the large white hat exited. I admired her outfit and asked her if I could take her picture. She smiled and agreed. Though she’d bought her hat in Baltimore, she did recall there being several hat shops in Roxbury, near Dudley station.

The lack of headwear at Union United Methodist was a bit of a disappointment. I thought I’d try to find New Hope Baptist Chruch, even though I didn’t know their Easter Sunday schedule. Got a little lost driving around the South End. Finally, as I circled around back toward Tremont, I saw a woman on her way to a large granite stone chuch, which turned out to be New Hope Baptist.

 

Several women were exiting the church and they were wearing large, fanciful hats.  So I risked double-parking on a side street and made my way to the door. A man was about to enter and he motioned for me to go first. In the foyer were an older seated couple and an older woman on her way out. Both women were wearing hats, so I began a conversation with them, letting them know I was looking to find anyone who might make hats locally. The gentleman knew of someone names Sykes. He offered to bring me inside to try to find her. More women came out of the sanctuary wearing hats and I asked them where they got them. One answered, “Oh honey, I got this online.”  As she was leaving she offered the name of several websites that sold hats. The older gentleman spoke up, with a touch of impatience in his voice saying, “No, she’s looking for a local maker.”

I was delighted to see he had taken interest in my quest. We walked into the hallway that separates the sanctuary from the function hall. The service, led by Rev. Willie Dubose, Jr., was still ongoing – I think I came in during the offertory prayer/doxology.  The band consisted of a guitar, bass, keyboard and drums and they were rocking. 

The service ended and people slowly began to make their way out. White was the predominant dress and hat color. No one seemed to mind my presence. Many seemed eager to pose for photographs. 

 

  

I left after most others had gone outside. It was chilly for April and people didn’t linger.  Several older women were boarding a van. Others walked. I took a few more photos.

Just as I was starting to leave, I noticed a lovely outfit on a woman who was about to get into her car. After commenting on her outfit, I asked to take her photograph.

I was fully expecting  her to tell me she had bought her hat online, but asked anyway, “Do you happen to know who made your hat?” “Yes,” she answered. “I did.” Turns out, she is Ms. Sykes, the woman who several people had mentioned. I told her I’d been looking to find a local hat maker and asked for her email. 

A few days later I sent her an email telling her about my interest in African American hats, my wish to learn more, and the “Head to Toe” theme of this summer’s folk craft area of the Lowell Folk  Festival.  I attached the photo I’d taken of her, which showed off her lovely pink hat and matching blouse.

Dear Ethel: It was a pleasure meeting you (ever so briefly) on Easter Sunday.  I had admired your hat and asked you about it. Attached is the photo I took.  I’d come by New Hope Baptist Church at the suggestion of several women who had organized the hat show at the Dudley Street Branch Library on March 17th. I’ve been wanting to learn more about the African American tradition of wearing fancy hats to church — and was delighted to see so many beautiful hats this past Easter Sunday at New Hope Baptist Church. Many of the women I spoke to told me they had bought their hats online or in a shop. So I am thrilled to meet you and hear you say you had made your hat yourself!

I curate the Folk Craft area of the Lowell Folk Festival ( www.LowellFolkFestival.org). This year our theme is “Head to Toe” and I am in the process of identifying traditional artists who craft a variety of head gear (hats, Caribbean carnival headdresses, crowns, head wraps, etc.) and foot wear (handmade shoes of all kinds).

I’d like to be able to learn more about your hatmaking and perhaps see if you might consider participating as a craft demonstrator at the festival. If you think you might be interested, let me know how and when I can reach you be telephone.

Regards,

Maggie

 

Ethel wrote back right away.

Dear Maggie:

You are very good at what you do. I will be looking forward to talking with you.

Thanks again,

Ethel

 

In all my years of doing folklore field research, I’ve never had anyone tell me that.

I phoned Ethel at work on 4/12/12.  She’d be happy to meet with me in her home studio, as long as I can come by on a weekend. Ethel makes hats for herself, as well as for others, and still has a few hats on hand which she made for a hat show for the Shriners. She mentioned that she would be traveling to Tennessee for a school reunion, after that would be fine. 

 To be continued . . .

 

 

Gateway Cities: When Neighborhoods Change

Many of Massachusetts’ de-industrialized mill and manufacturing towns are known as “gateway cities.”  Home to close-knit communities of immigrants who initially came seeking work in the state’s once thriving mill and manufacturing sectors, gateway cities have been hit hard by job loss and poverty. Average household incomes remain below the state average as do educational attainment rates.

Gateway cities are often the starting place for new immigrants, who are drawn by the affordable housing and competitive business opportunities. In cities like Lawrence, Lowell, Springfield, and Brockton, and Fall River, it is not uncommon for aging Irish, French-Canadian, Greek, and Polish populations to live alongside a new generation of newcomers, emigrating from places like Nigeria, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

When it comes to the practice of faith, this globalization means that once mono-cultural parishes are now multi-cultural, with multi-lingual masses. The 2009 documentary film Scenes from a Parishis a window into this world.

The   Lowell Folklife Series invites you to a screening of this powerful  film, with special guest  James Rutenbeck, the film’s director. Shot over four years in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the film sensitively captures the ethnic working class tensions of a multi-cultural Catholic parish in a hard-pressed former mill town.

Come see this award-winning documentary and join the discussion about how communities adjust as neighborhoods change. Free and open to the public.

Date: April 11, 2012 at 7:30

Place: Visitor Center Theater, Lowell National Historical Park, 246 Market Street, Lowell, MA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Native American Woodlands Folklife Talk by Dana Benner

Curious about the Native peoples who once lived along the banks of the Merrimack River? The Lowell Folklife Series invites you to a talk by Dana Benner on Saturday, November 5 at the Event Center of the Boott Mills MuseumWhen most people think of Native peoples at or around the time of contact with Europeans, they think either of Thanksgiving or fierce warfare. Many people are unaware of the extensive social traditions, trade relations, and industrious nature of the Native nations. The area along the Merrimack River that we define as Lowell was home to the Pennacook people.  Just to the south were the Massachusett, who were direct trading partners with the Pennacook.  Mr. Dana Benner will explore the rich traditions of the Pennacook nation, leaving the audience with a greater appreciation of the people who once called this area home.

Dana Benner is of Micmac/Penobscot/Piqwacket descent and is a member of the Inter-Tribal Council of New Hampshire.  He has been studying Native history and culture his entire life and has been writing about it for over 25 years.  He holds a BA in Liberal Arts with a concentration in U.S. History and Native Culture from Granite State College and he is working on his M.Ed in Heritage Studies with a concentration in Native History and Culture from Plymouth State University.

This talk is free and open to the public.

2:00 p.m @ 2nd Floor Event Center, Boott Mills Museum

110 John Street, Lowell, MA

For more information: 978-275-1719

Event sponsored by the Lowell National Historical Park and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

 

 

 

 

Rains Retreat Ceremony on Oct 16

Come learn about the annual Rains Retreat Ceremony, which marks the end of Buddhist lent. The Lowell Folklife Series has organized a guided visit to the Wat Buddhabhavana  led by the Head Abott, Venerable Ajahn Mangkone on Sunday, October 16, 2011. 

The End of Rains Retreat ceremony, which is held close to the first full moon of October, marks the end of a 3-month period of time coinciding with Asia’s rainy season. Traditionally, it is a time when monks must refrain from traveling and remain at the temple. It has evolved into a time of intense spiritual practice for the monks, as well as a time when the laity has more access to the monks.

During the ceremony, lay people bring offerings to the temple, in gratitude for a good harvest. Attending the End of Rains Retreat ceremony is both a chance to make offerings to the temple and to receive blessing from the monks. People bring offerings in the way of home cooked food, fruit, packaged food, candy, gifts, donations, and money.

 

As outside guests, we will be invited to observe the ceremony, which includes chanting, an offering, a potluck lunch, and blessings from the monks. We are also invited to end the day with a walk on the beautiful grounds which include a bird sanctuary. Participants are encouraged to bring a donation of food, money, or gift for the temple.

Schedule: October 16, 2011  

9:45 am     Welcome and overview of ceremony by Venerable Ajahn Mangkone

10:00 am  Auspicious chanting and taking Three Refuges and Five Precepts

10:30am     Thuk Baht (offering food to the monks) followed by a Dhamma talk (sermon) and the monks commence to eat their meal

12:00pm     The lay people select their lunch (buffet style) and can eat either in the Hall or, weather permitting, outside

Due to limited space at the temple, reservations are required. Wat Buddhabhavana is located at 25 Milot Road in Westford, MA. Transportation is not be provided.

Reservations and directions, contact David Blackburn at 978-970-5055

The Lowell Folklife Series is co-sponsored by the Lowell National Historical Park and the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Folk Arts & Heritage Program.