Dance and culture at the House of Spain.

Flamenco dancing during the House of Spain lawn program in Balboa Park.
Flamenco dancing during the House of Spain’s lawn program in Balboa Park.

Today the House of Spain in Balboa Park hosted the lawn program at the International Cottages. The cultural event featured music, folk dancing, tasty food and many welcoming smiles. Flamenco dancers strutted and whirled on the stage, adding life to an already wonderful day in the park.

Here are some photos…

Getting a big pan of tasty paella ready. I had some and it was really good.
A big pan of tasty paella. I had some and it was really good.
Many flowers and interesting exhibits can be seen inside the House of Spain's cottage.
Many flowers and interesting exhibits can be seen inside the House of Spain’s cottage.
A model of a Spanish galleon, very much like the one Cabrillo sailed in when he discovered San Diego Bay in 1542.
A model of a Spanish galleon, much like the one Cabrillo sailed in when he discovered San Diego Bay in 1542.
Art on the wall shows a bird's-eye view of Fort Guijarros. The old Spanish fort was built in 1797 on Ballast Point where it guarded San Diego Bay.
Art on the wall shows a bird’s-eye view of Fort Guijarros. The old Spanish fort was built in 1797 on Ballast Point where it guarded San Diego Bay.
Beautiful ceramic artwork on display inside the House of Spain's cottage in Balboa Park.
Beautiful ceramic artwork on display inside the House of Spain’s cottage in Balboa Park.
The featured entertainment during the cultural event was Spanish folk dancing.
The featured entertainment during the cultural event was Spanish folk dancing.
A dance of fuego--fire. This powerful, very expressive dance mesmerized those watching in the audience.
A dance of fuego–fire. This powerful, very expressive dance mesmerized those watching in the audience.
Fluidity and passion.
Fluidity and passion.
A colorful whirl of life.
A colorful whirl of life.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

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Philippine folk dancing in Balboa Park!

Today I walked around Balboa Park. The House of the Philippines was having a lawn program at the International Cottages, so I paused for a bit to watch Philippine folk dancing.

The performers, I believe, were all from the Samahan Philippine Dance Company. They have two dance and music schools in San Diego. During the lawn program, youth and adult groups wearing colorful dress performed a variety of traditional folk dances.

I didn’t write the name of each dance down. Many contained gentle humor. Every dance and dancer radiated life. I’ll simply present some photos:

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Joy and tradition at Balboa Park Pow Wow!

Joy and tradition. Mother's Day intertribal dancing at the Balboa Park Pow Wow.
Joy and tradition together. Mother’s Day intertribal dancing at the Balboa Park Pow Wow.

Here come some colorful photos!

The annual Balboa Park Pow Wow was held this Mother’s Day weekend. I swung on by to absorb some of the event. To feel the power.

What did I see?

Native American costume adds color and meaning to a sacred dance.
Native American costume adds life and meaning to a sacred dance.
Many vendors at the Balboa Park Pow Wow had Native American crafts and related gifts for sale.
Many vendors at the Balboa Park Pow Wow had Native American crafts and gifts for sale.
A drum group provides resonant rhythm. A strong, beating heart.
A drum group provides resonant rhythm. A strong, beating heart.
A young lady needed a bit of assistance due to a medical situation.
A young lady at the Pow Wow needed a bit of assistance due to a medical situation.
The crowd converged to fill a blanket with donated money.
The crowd converged to fill a blanket with donated money. (I took this photo toward the end, when the blanket had a nice heap of bills.)
Many young people were participating in the Pow Wow.
Many young people were participating in the Pow Wow.
A large tipi had been set up on the grass nearby. At the time I took this photo, nobody was around it.
A large tipi had been set up on the grass nearby. At the time I took this photo, nobody was around it.
More color at the very popular annual Balboa Park event.
More color at the very popular annual Balboa Park event.
The line for Kumeyaay Bread was super long! Must be super good!
The line for Kumeyaay Bread was super long! Must be good!
Joyful life. A generous spirit. A close family. Rich culture and sacred traditions.
Joyful life. A generous spirit. A close family. Rich culture and sacred traditions.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Vikings invade Balboa Park at House of Denmark!

Playing a once-popular medieval northern European game called Hare and Hounds in Balboa Park.
Playing a once-popular medieval northern European game called Hare and Hounds in Balboa Park.

This afternoon’s lawn program at the International Cottages was presented by the House of Denmark. I swung on by about an hour before the music and dance began, but lingered for a bit to check out several exhibits concerning Viking culture and history. I learned a lot!

Read the photo captions for explanations!

People enjoy a sunny San Diego afternoon outside the House of Denmark among the International Cottages.
People enjoy a sunny San Diego afternoon outside the House of Denmark among the International Cottages.
Poster inside the House of Denmark. Royalty in this oldest kingdom in the world has descended in a straight line for a thousand years.
Poster inside the House of Denmark. The royalty of this oldest kingdom in the world has descended in a straight line for a thousand years.
The House of Denmark had its lawn program this Sunday. Inside their cottage, many treats could be enjoyed by visitors to Balboa Park.
The House of Denmark had its lawn program this Sunday. Inside their cottage, many Scandinavian treats could be enjoyed by visitors to Balboa Park.
This very friendly gent was showing everybody how woodworking was done by Norse craftsmen. The Vikings controlled a large area of Europe and used local materials. He was using our own native Toyon for wood.
This very friendly gent was showing everybody how woodworking was done by Norse craftsmen. The Vikings controlled a large area of Europe and used local materials. He was using our own native Toyon for wood.  Soaking the wood in water makes it easier to carve.
All sorts of handmade wooden utensils. Good steel was somewhat rare back in the Viking days, so carving tools were prized possessions.
All sorts of handmade wooden utensils. Good steel was somewhat rare back in the Viking days, so carving tools like weapons were prized possessions.
Some Viking helmets on display along with chainmail hauberks!
Some Viking helmets on display along with chainmail hauberks!
A ceremonial drinking horn, axes, and other fascinating objects collected or created by Viking enthusiasts at the event.
A ceremonial drinking horn, axes, swords, and other fascinating objects collected or created by Viking enthusiasts at the event.
The gentleman with the shield told me all about Norse customs, mythology and history. He is a member of the Guardians of Midgard!
The gentleman with the shield told me all about Norse customs, mythology and history. He is a member of the Guardians of Midgard!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Fun photos of Balboa Park Halloween Family Day!

A dog that resembles a lion with a wild mane is a crowd pleaser during Balboa Park's very popular Halloween Family Day.
A dog that resembles a lion with a shaggy mane gets a lot of attention during Balboa Park’s popular Halloween Family Day.

Please enjoy these fun photos that I took this afternoon during Balboa Park Halloween Family Day!

As you can see, thousands of people turned out, and I spotted a variety of colorful costumes. There was plenty to see and do throughout the park. Trick-or-treating and having a good time at the annual Halloween celebration in Balboa Park has become a family tradition for many!

A young Princess Leia walks past a sign announcing the Halloween Costume Contest in Balboa Park.
A young Princess Leia walks past a sign announcing the Halloween Costume Contest in Balboa Park.
Two trick-or-treaters check out one of the many attractions on Balboa Park's El Prado. The third does a candy inventory.
Two trick-or-treaters look at one of the attractions along Balboa Park’s El Prado. The third does a candy inventory.
A fun Halloween crafts booth in Balboa Park's Spanish Village Art Center.
A fun Halloween crafts booth in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center.
Kids in Spanish Village decorate trick-or-treating bags with Halloween designs and their name.
Kids in Spanish Village decorate trick-or-treating bags with Halloween designs and their name.
The artists of Spanish Village also had a colorful Halloween display on El Prado.
The artists of Spanish Village also had a colorful Halloween display on El Prado.
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum created a tiny but spooky train layout.
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum created a tiny but spooky train layout.
The San Diego Natural History Museum had a paper-bat-making table that appeared to be quite busy.
The San Diego Natural History Museum had a paper-bat-making table that appeared to be quite busy.
A bone-tired skeleton and his four-legged pal rest for a bit during Balboa Park's annual Halloween celebration.
A bone-tired skeleton and his four-legged pal rest for a bit during Balboa Park’s annual Halloween celebration.
Beauty queens with hula hoops hang out beside Frankenstein's monster.
Beauty queens with hula hoops hang out beside Frankenstein’s monster.
Every year a huge crowd enjoys the family friendly Halloween activities in Balboa Park.
Every year a huge crowd enjoys the family friendly Halloween activities in Balboa Park.
The San Diego Zoo had a slithery snake on display. These kids were fearless!
The San Diego Zoo had a slithery snake on display. These kids were fearless!
Families had a safe trick-or-treat experience among the International Cottages, where goodies were plentiful.
Families had a safe trick-or-treat experience among the International Cottages, where goodies were plentiful.
Kids could snag Halloween surprises with a fishing pole in front of the House of Sweden.
Kids could snag Halloween surprises with a fishing pole in front of the House of Sweden.
Not sure why a drummer is sitting alone on the grass. Perhaps the witch is a singer, and the band is resting during intermission.
Not sure why a drummer is sitting alone on the grass for Halloween. Perhaps the witch is a singer, and the band is resting during intermission.
A spontaneous Dia de los Muertos smile. Just some of the fun caught by my camera during Balboa Park Halloween Family Day.
A spontaneous Dia de los Muertos smile. Just some of the fun caught by my camera during Balboa Park Halloween Family Day.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

A fun peek at the Tartan Day San Diego festival.

Gentleman at Tartan Day San Diego gets help putting on his kilt. The festival took place in Balboa Park on the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages lawn.
Gentleman at Tartan Day San Diego gets help putting on his kilt. The festival took place in Balboa Park on the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages lawn.

Yesterday morning I walked through Balboa Park before heading to the San Diego Padres FanFest downtown. At the International Cottages, folks were preparing for Tartan Day San Diego, an annual festival and celebration of Scottish heritage.

In addition to displays within the House of Scotland, many tables were being set up in the large lawn area for afternoon visitors to enjoy. I took a few photos that provide a fun peek!

Welcoming banner above one tent proclaims Scottish Clan and Tartan Information Center. The Stewart Society, Edinburgh.
Welcoming banner above one tent proclaims Scottish Clan and Tartan Information Center. The Stewart Society, Edinburgh.
The standard of Clan MacDuff, with their crest and motto Deus Juvat.
The standard of Clan MacDuff, with their lion crest and motto Deus Juvat.
The standard of Clan Grant, with their crest and motto Stand Fast.
The standard of Clan Grant, with their flaming crest and motto Stand Fast.
This smiling Scot informed me the clans buried the hatchet long ago. Everyone is on a friendly basis now!
This smiling Scot informed me the clans buried the hatchet long ago. Everyone is on a friendly basis now!
A variety of colorful woolen tartans on display. Each pattern represents a different clan.
A variety of colorful woolen tartans on display. Each pattern represents a different clan.
One table for Tartan Day is dedicated to Scotland's great national poet Robert Burns.
One table for Tartan Day is dedicated to Scotland’s great national poet Robert Burns.
Lots of Scottish gifts on one table include plush bears with tam o' shanters and dolls wearing Scottish dress.
Lots of Scottish gifts on one table include plush bears with tam o’ shanters and dolls wearing Scottish dress.
Two Scottish gentlemen in kilts pass the time at Balboa Park's International Cottages before the Tartan Day festivities begin in earnest.
Two Scottish gentlemen in kilts pass the time at Balboa Park’s International Cottages before the Tartan Day festivities begin in earnest.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!