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Festivals

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Waking Windows 2019 Lineup Announced

Posted By on Tue, Feb 5, 2019 at 2:19 PM

!!! (Chk Chk Chk) at Waking Windows 2017 - FILE: LUKE AWTRY PHOTOGRAPHY
  • File: Luke Awtry Photography
  • !!! (Chk Chk Chk) at Waking Windows 2017
Strap in, folks. The Waking Windows music-and-arts festival has just revealed its 2019 lineup. The highly anticipated three-day indie-music bonanza kicks off in Winooski on Friday, May 3, and concludes on Sunday, May 5.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2019: First Look

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2019 at 1:40 PM

Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2015 - FILE: BRIAN MACDONALD
  • File: Brian MacDonald
  • Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2015
The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival unveiled its initial 2019 lineup on Monday. The 10-day celebration of all things jazz takes over the Queen City from Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 9. Scores of local, national and international acts perform all around the city, from the Church Street Marketplace to small clubs to large performing arts venues.

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Monday, January 28, 2019

Magic Hat Cancels Mardi Gras Parade, Relocates Festivities to Church Street

Posted By on Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 5:54 PM

Mardi Gras Parade 2016 - FILE: MATTHEW THORSEN
  • File: Matthew Thorsen
  • Mardi Gras Parade 2016
Magic Hat Brewing Company has canceled its annual Mardi Gras parade in Burlington. The local craft brewery will still throw a weekend-long Mardi Gras party this year. But for the first time in 24 years, those celebrations will not include a procession downtown. The 2019 festivities will take place from Friday, March 29, through Sunday, March 31, at Burlington's Church Street Marketplace and nearby establishments.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Burlington City Arts and Signal Kitchen Team Up to Replace First Night on New Year's Eve

Posted By on Tue, Sep 18, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Highlight publicity image - STEPHEN MEASE/BURLINGTON CITY ARTS
  • Stephen Mease/Burlington City Arts
  • Highlight publicity image
Maybe it's much too early, but, to quote an old song, "What are you doing New Year's Eve?"

In Burlington, at least, that's a question many have pondered since the news broke in April that First Night Burlington was ending after 35 years of producing its citywide NYE celebration. Would-be revelers might find some, ahem, resolution in the form of a new partnership between two local organizations that hope to rekindle end-of-year magic in the Queen City.

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Bhutanese Community Prepares to Host Major Kirat Rai Festival

Posted By on Mon, Apr 23, 2018 at 1:10 PM

Sakela dance rehearsal at the Old North End Community Center - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • Sakela dance rehearsal at the Old North End Community Center
For the past three years since he resettled in Vermont in 2014, Harka Rai was unable to perform ceremonial rituals to celebrate Ubhauli Sakela. On that day, members of the Kirat Rai community ask Mother Nature for healthy crops and protection from natural calamities.

Last week, the octogenarian was at the Old North End Community Center in Burlington to watch a dozen people practice a dance that they'll perform on Saturday, April 28, to mark Ubhauli Sakela. "It's good. This is the way," Rai said of the dance rehearsal.

And Rai will lead the day's rituals, as the local chapter of the Bhutanese Kirat Rai Organization of America hosts the festival in Vermont for the first time.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tibetans Honor Longtime Activist at New Year Festivities

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 4:15 PM

Grace Spring (center, first row) with representatives from International Campaign for Tibet and Tibetan Association of Vermont, and her daughter, Cassandra Corcoran (far right) - TSETEN ANAK
  • Tseten Anak
  • Grace Spring (center, first row) with representatives from International Campaign for Tibet and Tibetan Association of Vermont, and her daughter, Cassandra Corcoran (far right)
Last Saturday, about 150 people gathered at Faith United Methodist Church in South Burlington to honor  Grace Spring, an artist and a longtime activist and Tibetan supporter. The award ceremony was held in conjunction with Losar — the Tibetan New Year — celebrations.

Spring, 84, is arguably best known for staging a vigil every Friday outside the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., for more than two decades to protest Chinese rule in Tibet. She moved to Middlebury last April, said her daughter, Cassandra Corcoran.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hop Jam Canceled Due to Slow Ticket Sales

Posted By on Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 10:27 PM

Hop Jam is canceled - FILE
  • File
  • Hop Jam is canceled
Hop Jam, a beer and music festival scheduled for August 19 at Bolton Valley, has been canceled, according to the festival organizer. Meg Schultz told Seven Days that she is calling off the event due to poor ticket sales. News of the cancellation was posted on the Hop Jam website.

Fewer than 200 tickets to Hop Jam had been sold as of Thursday afternoon, Schultz said. Last year at this time, 700 tickets had been sold — more than half of the 1,300 in total sales to the daylong festival, according to Schultz. She'd hoped to sell 1,000 tickets for this year's event.

"The numbers are not encouraging," she said. "There's only so much debt I'm willing to take on, and we were way out of my threshold."

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Nepali Communities Celebrate Sansari Puja and Buddha Jayanti

Posted By on Tue, May 16, 2017 at 12:07 PM

Saransari Puja at Battery Park in Burlington - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • Saransari Puja at Battery Park in Burlington
Last Saturday at Battery Park, a group of Burlington's Nepali residents celebrated Sansari Puja, or Mother Nature worship. The annual event organized by the Kirat Rai and Limbu communities is intended to thank the gods of nature and to ask them for future prosperity, explained Kathleen Haughey of the Vermont Folklife Center, which sponsored the celebration.

In Nepal or Bhutan, devotees typically gather in the jungles or near rivers. Sansari Puja is also usually held during the Nepali month of Baishak, or April in the Gregorian calendar. "It's a special day," said Chatur Rai of Burlington
A Nepali man erecting representations of the gods of nature - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • A Nepali man erecting representations of the gods of nature
.

Hours earlier, the attendees had erected structures made with bamboo, wire and strips of cloth. The rocks installed beneath them represented gods of nature taking shade under the trees. Devotees placed fruits, flowers, incense and dollar bills on banana leaves as offerings. A sewasaba, or priest, read from the Kirat's holy book.

"It's very interesting," commented Abdillahi Hassan. He lingered to chat with members of the non-Nepali community who had been invited to join the festivities.

One of them was Mark Sustic, executive director of Young Tradition Vermont. "I'm just here to be helpful [and] celebrate an important time of the year for the Nepali community," he said. It wasn't the first time Sustic joined the group's activities. Together with VFC, his organization is trying to support Nepali immigrants in preserving their music and dance.

Other members of the larger Nepali community pitched in to help with the festivities. Among them were Sita Poudel and sisters Krishna and Durga Adhikari. They made tea, peeled potatoes, and chopped onions and tomatoes to cook curry and aloo gobi (a dish made from cauliflower, potatoes and spices).
About a five-minute walk from Battery Park, another festival was simultaneously taking place at the former St. Joseph School on Allen Street. That space is usually used by pandits, or priests, from Vermont Hindu Temple to lead Hindu prayers.

But on that day, Lama Guru Samten read Buddhist scriptures as part of celebrations to mark Buddha's birthday, also known as Buddha Jayanti. The lama sat beside a makeshift altar with statues of Buddha, surrounded by tapestries of Hindu gods and Buddha. When the lama took short breaks, the attendees, most of whom are members of the Vermont Hindu Temple, sang bhajan, or devotional songs, praising  Buddha.
Lama Guru Samten presiding over Buddhist rites - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • Lama Guru Samten presiding over Buddhist rites
The Gurung Community of Vermont had invited the South Dakota-based lama to lead the celebrations, said Prati Gurung, secretary of the Gurung Community of Vermont. Although Buddha Jayanti was on Wednesday, the gathering was held at the weekend because "most people can attend it," Gurung pointed out. "Everybody has a job. They have to pay rent."

Hindu-Buddhist joint celebrations were common when they lived in refugee camps in Nepal, Gurung explained. Now that Bhutanese Nepali families have settled in Vermont, that tradition continues.

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