A colorful celebration of Hungary’s culture!

Hungarian folk dance on stage at the House of Hungary lawn program in Balboa Park.
Hungarian folk dance on stage at the House of Hungary lawn program in Balboa Park.

This afternoon I caught a bit of the House of Hungary’s lawn program at the International Cottages in Balboa Park.

While I didn’t sample any of the Hungarian food (having previously eaten a big lunch), I did feast my eyes and ears on Hungarian culture, including traditional music, singing, dance, costume, and even a short but fascinating talk about fashion, for which Hungary is historically famous.

This annual celebration takes place on or about August 20, a national holiday in Hungary that memorializes the first King of Hungary, King Stephen I. Stephen was canonized by the Catholic Church, and his feast day is celebrated on the same day.

The Karpatok Hungarian Dance Ensemble entertains the audience with a traditional bottle dance.
The Kárpátok Hungarian Dance Ensemble entertains the audience with a traditional bottle dance.
The proud flag of Hungary could be spotted here and there in the crowd.
The proud flag of Hungary could be spotted here and there in the crowd.
A fashion designer and beauty queens await their turn on stage as a young man sings a Hungarian folk song.
A fashion designer and beauty queens await their turn on stage as a young man sings a Hungarian folk song.
Hungarian food at the program included sausage sandwiches, crepes (palacsinta), fried dough (lángos) and authentic Hungarian pastries.
Hungarian food at the program included sausage sandwiches, crepes (palacsinta), fried dough (lángos) and authentic Hungarian pastries.
People enjoyed eating sweet Kürtőskalács, which is also known as chimney cake.
People enjoyed eating sweet Kürtőskalács, which is also referred to as chimney cake.
San Diego Continuing Education fashion instructor Tammie Pontsler talks about an award-winning dress she made for the Salk design challenge.
San Diego Continuing Education fashion instructor Tammie Pontsler talks about an award-winning dress she made for the Salk design challenge.
Violinist from the Lux Ensemble entertains everybody with happy Hungarian music.
Violinist from the Lux Ensemble entertains everybody with happy Hungarian music.
The culture of Hungary is celebrated in Balboa Park at the International Cottages!
The culture of Hungary is celebrated in Balboa Park at the International Cottages!

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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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!

A fun Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park!

A speaker at the festival talks about his experiences aboard the Sakman Chamorro, an outrigger canoe once based in San Diego, but now in Guam.
A speaker at the festival talks about his experiences aboard the Sakman Chamorro, an outrigger canoe once based in San Diego, but now in Guam.

I enjoyed my walk today through the First Annual Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park. The event was sponsored by the House of Chamorros, member of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. Those who spent the day had much to experience, including Chamorro food, music, dance, crafts and cultural demonstrations.

I personally enjoyed listening to a talk about the outrigger canoe Sakman Chamorro and its crew of misfits. This traditional Chamorro canoe, built from a northern California redwood tree, used to be based in San Diego’s South Bay, but is now in Guam. I remember seeing the vessel docked by the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and also at the 2015 Pacific Islander Festival in Mission Bay, which I blogged about here.

It appeared to me that everyone at today’s event was having a lot of fun! Hopefully this is the first of many Chamorro festivals in Balboa Park!

Many families gathered for the Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park. Chamorro culture was celebrated on the lawn among the International Cottages.
Many families gathered for the Hafa Adai Arts Festival in Balboa Park. Chamorro culture was celebrated on the lawn among the International Cottages.
Food served up at the festival included red rice and barbeque chicken.
Food served up at the festival included red rice and barbeque chicken.
Traditional woven baskets, beautiful seashells, and other aspects of life in the Mariana Islands are displayed.
Traditional woven baskets, beautiful seashells, and other aspects of life in the Mariana Islands are displayed.
A detailed model of an ancient village A-frame hut. Archaeological records and historical accounts show Chamorros inhabited the Micronesia and Mariana Islands since 2000 B.C.
A detailed model of an ancient village A-frame hut. Archaeological records and historical accounts show Chamorros inhabited the Micronesia and Mariana Islands since 2000 B.C.
A fun, humorous demonstration of how to crack open a coconut.
A fun, humorous demonstration of how to crack open a coconut.
The flag of Guam flies at the Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park!
The flag of Guam flies proudly at the Hafa Adai Cultural Arts Festival in Balboa Park!

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!

Christmas on the Prado returns to Balboa Park!

On Saturday, November 26, from 2-9, the public is invited to the 3rd Annual Christmas on the Prado. The charity event benefits Toys for Tots. Santa will be there!
On Saturday, November 26, from 2-9, the public is invited to the 3rd Annual Children’s Coalition Christmas on the Prado. The charity event benefits Toys for Tots. Santa will be there!

Many long-time residents of San Diego remember Christmas on the Prado, before the beloved event was altered a bit and renamed December Nights.

But how many people realize that Christmas on the Prado is returning this year to Balboa Park?  It’s true!

This next Saturday, November 26th, from 2-9, the 3rd Annual Christmas on the Prado (which is unrelated to December Nights) will be held in Balboa Park. The event will feature lots of family friendly entertainment, Christmas music, colorful lights, traditional food and drink, the beautiful Nativity Display at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion that so many love, and Santa! This joyful new Christmas on the Prado is put on by the San Diego Children’s Coalition and San Diego Community Christmas Center.

Think you might go? Check out the Christmas on the Prado website. And bring an unwrapped toy. The event benefits Toys For Tots!

The coffee and cookie shack in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion will be open providing holiday cheer.
The coffee and cookie shack in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion will be open during Christmas on the Prado providing holiday cheer.
A look at the old Community Christmas Tree in Balboa Park. The venerable old cedar was a part of many past Christmas On The Prado events. But it became sadly misshapen and is no longer used.
A look at the old Community Christmas Tree in Balboa Park. The venerable old cedar was a part of many past Christmas On The Prado events. But it became sadly misshapen and is no longer used.
Plaque at base of the old Community Christmas Tree, dedicated to the people of San Diego on December 25, 1981. For many years it was strung during the holidays with beautiful lights.
Plaque at base of the old Community Christmas Tree, dedicated to the people of San Diego on December 25, 1981. For many years it was strung during the holiday season with beautiful lights.
I took this photo a couple years ago during December Nights. The elaborate Nativity Display in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion is fully restored and set up for 2016. It will be a c part of Christmas On The Prado!
I took this photo a couple years ago during December Nights. The Nativity Display in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion is fully restored and ready for 2016.  It includes many traditional religious scenes leading to the birth of Christ.  It will be a central feature of Christmas on the Prado!

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!