Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lions & Mummers


To <:> YOU

It's Saturday in Honolulu

Another Glorious Day

Can you smell the holidays?
Thanksgiving approaches
then the Season really gets rolling.

Christmas, Hanukkah,
New Years, yes, even Kwanzaa

are just the lead-up
to my favorite season of all:
Lunar or Chinese New Year!

There's nothing like the sound of
gongs & drums from blocks away,
drawing me irresistibly:


Gung Hee Fat Choy,

But what could make someone from back east
such a fan of big noise, and ecstatic festival?

Then it hit me:

The Philadelphia Mummers parade has been held (almost) every
New Year's Day since 1901.

There are four divisions:
Comic, Fancy, Fancy Brigade and String Band.

Comic division clubs lampoon modern day local and national political and social themes. . .

String Band division clubs wear elaborate costumes like the Fancy and Fancy Brigade divisions, and also drill and perform playing
saxophones, banjos, accordions, violins, bass violins, and percussion.

The clubs are made up of working guys who practice after work,
many are second, third, or longer generation in the Mummers.
Each clubs is a neighborhood institution indeed.
They are known for their unique sound,
and also for their
elaborate costumes of glitter, sequins and feathers ."

Of course,
the MOST important part of the tradition
is the
Mummer's Strut.
Every Philadelphian has it in their soul.
Here it is
with the iconic song:
Oh Dem Golden Slippers.

Yo! Aloha!

more about the Mummers' History: