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Cultural Festivities and Traditions: BIPOC Events

Asheville, North Carolina is known for its vibrant arts and cultural scene, and this extends to its celebrations and traditions as well. The city is home to a diverse community, including many Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals who bring their unique customs and festivities to the city. In this article, we will explore some of the BIPOC events and traditions that take place in Asheville.

Goombay Festival

eating chips At the festival

Originating in the Caribbean, the Goombay Festival is now a popular event in Asheville that celebrates African and Caribbean culture. The festival features lively music, delicious food, and vibrant costumes, all of which showcase the rich heritage of BIPOC communities in the city. It is a joyful and colorful event that takes place in August and is not to be missed.

One of the highlights of the Goombay Festival is the lively street parade, which features costumed dancers and musicians dressed in traditional Bahamian attire. The parade winds its way through the streets of Goombay Village, creating a festive atmosphere and inviting spectators to join in on the fun. The parade is a perfect representation of the fusion of African and European influences that make up Bahamian culture.

Apart from the parade, the festival also offers a variety of cultural performances, including Junkanoo, a traditional Bahamian street festival filled with music, dance, and colorful costumes. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of Bahamian dishes, such as conch fritters, fried fish, and Johnnycakes. These delicious treats are a staple in Bahamian cuisine and are a must-try for any food lover.

Pow Wow on the Mountain

festival

Every year in October, the Cherokee Nation holds the Pow Wow on the Mountain event at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds in nearby Cherokee, North Carolina. The event is a celebration of Native American culture and traditions, with traditional dance performances, storytelling, and craft vendors. It is a great opportunity to learn about and experience the history and customs of the Cherokee people.

The Pow Wow on the Mountain is a family-friendly event, and there is something for everyone to enjoy. From traditional dance competitions to a variety of food vendors offering delicious Native American cuisine, there is no shortage of activities to take part in. Visitors can also browse through a marketplace filled with unique handmade crafts, jewelry, and artwork from various Native American artists.

Aside from the main pow wow event, there are also various pre-pow wow activities, such as a golf tournament, parade, and a Miss and Jr. Miss Indian Pageant. These events help to build excitement and anticipation for the main event and bring the community together in celebration.

Mountain Dance & Folk Festival

Mountain Dance & Folk Festival

For over 90 years, the Mountain Dance & Folk Festival has been a staple in Asheville’s cultural calendar. Held in August, this festival celebrates the traditional folk music and dance of the Appalachian region, including many BIPOC performers. It is a lively and entertaining event that showcases the diverse cultural influences that have shaped the music of the area.

One of the highlights of the Mountain Dance & Folk Festival is the clogging and square dancing competitions. Clogging is a type of percussive dance that originated in the Appalachian mountains, characterized by intricate footwork and lively rhythms. It has evolved over the years to incorporate elements of other dance styles, but its roots in Appalachia remain strong. The square dancing competition brings together teams of dancers who perform various traditional square dance routines, adding their own twists and flair to the movements.

 

In addition to the live performances and demonstrations, the Mountain Dance & Folk Festival also includes workshops and seminars on various aspects of Appalachian culture. These workshops cover topics such as traditional music and dance, storytelling techniques, and the history of the region.

Juneteenth Celebration

Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, and Asheville hosts a vibrant celebration every year. The event includes a parade, live music, and a variety of educational and cultural activities. It is a time to reflect on the struggles and accomplishments of the Black community and to celebrate their resilience and achievements.

Educate yourself and others

Take the time to learn more about the significance of Juneteenth and its impact on African American history. Share your newfound knowledge with your friends and family. With increased awareness, we can continue to move towards a more just and equal society.

Support Black-owned businesses

Juneteenth is the perfect opportunity to support and uplift Black-owned businesses in your community. Whether it’s through purchasing products or services, leaving positive reviews, or simply spreading the word, showing support for Black-owned businesses is a meaningful way to celebrate this holiday.

Attend virtual events

Many organizations and communities are hosting virtual events to celebrate Juneteenth this year. From online concerts and panel discussions to film screenings and art exhibitions, there are plenty of ways to participate in the celebration from the comfort of your own home.

Donate to organizations supporting racial justice

This past year has highlighted the urgent need for racial justice and equality in our society. Consider making a donation to organizations that are working towards this cause, whether it’s through promoting education, advocating for policy change, or providing resources to Black communities.

Have conversations about race and racism

Juneteenth is an opportunity to have open and honest conversations about race and racism in America. Use this day to engage in meaningful discussions with your friends and family, and to reflect on ways we can all work towards a more inclusive and equitable society.

Hola Asheville Festival

Each September, Hola Asheville celebrates the Latino community and their contributions to the city. The festival features Latin American music, dance, and food, and also includes educational workshops and cultural displays. It is a great way to experience the vibrant and diverse Latino culture in Asheville.

Day of the Dead Celebration

In October, Asheville honors the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead, with a vibrant celebration that includes a procession, altar displays, and traditional music and dance performances. The event is a testament to the city’s embrace and appreciation of cultural diversity.

Conclusion

Cultural festivities and traditions are a vital part of the human experience. By embracing and celebrating these events, we can deepen our understanding of ourselves and others, fostering greater empathy and connection. At Resilient Mind Counseling PLLC, we believe that cultural diversity is a strength, and we are committed to supporting individuals from all backgrounds in Asheville, NC.

 

If you’re looking to learn more about cultural festivities and traditions or would like to explore ways to incorporate these practices into your mental health journey, we invite you to reach out to us at Resilient Mind Counseling PLLC. You can contact us at (828) 515-1246 or visit our website to learn more about our services and expertise.

 

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