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Old Monday, March 17th, 2008, 05:44 PM
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LocaLisa LocaLisa is offline
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Default March 18th, Dia di Himno y Bandera

Dia di Himno y Bandera is the official holiday on which we celebrate the existence of our National Anthem “Aruba Dushi Tera” and our blue, yellow, red and white National Flag. During this time you will see the Larkspur blue, which is the main color of the Aruban flag, everywhere and on everyone.

We start warming up for “Flag Day” day with several folkloric and cultural activities. Especially this year, which has been proclaimed the Year of Culture and Heritage, we made sure we started in due form with the “Feria Patriotico”. On March 6th last, this event started in the Aruba Entertainment Center, inspiring visitors to indulge in family fun, visits to museums, savoring typically Aruban cuisine, and celebrating Aruba’s music and typical dances performed by local artists.

On Flag Day, there is a lot to do throughout the island. Besides the official celebration, many community centers and sports clubs host events that are open to the public. These take place outdoors and are usually at no charge. The programs feature competitions and games for visitors, sports tournaments, lively folkloric dance performances and music presentations.

Among the competitions and games “Spel zonder grenzen” (a Dutch word meaning “games without boundaries”) are a fixed part of the repertoire during National holidays. The games are often funny challenging activities like racing against each other with an egg on a spoon without dropping it, hopping in a potato sack, or in pairs with the ankles tied to each other.

You might be able to admire the “Baile di Cinta” (Ribbon Dance), in which male and female dancers in typical Aruban costumes dance around a pole, while weaving ribbons in the colors of the national flag which are attached to the top of the pole. They dance to the music of the Caha di Orgel, too the beat of the Waltz, Danza, Tumba or Mazurka.

Many families get in their car to go “activity hopping” or touring the island while taking pictures of historical sites.
Another ever popular activity of our people on Flag Day is simply spending the day on the beach enjoying each other’s company while playing dominoes, cards or bingo. This is accompanied by good food like Keri Keri (minced shark), Pisca Tempera (pickled fish) and Cocada (a sweet treat made of sugar and coconut) and cold drinks.

The main official celebration is held on the Plaza Libertador Betico Croes. It starts on the night of March 17th at 8:00 PM. Local artists present their patriotic inspired songs, poems, paintings and dances. This night is sealed with a spectacular firework show at midnight. On Flag Day, the activities start at 10:00 with an official ceremony after which the party goes on until dark.

Next door to the Plaza Libertador Betico Croes, is the Cas di Cultura.
They will host a cake decoration contest and bake sale starting at 11:00 AM until 6:00 PM. p.m. They will also have an their own auction with many attractive articles from local artists and businesses, starting at 5:00 PM.

In the town of Tarabana, there is The Aruba Antique & Heritage Museum. The location is a bit complex to find but worth the effort and the visit. On Flag Day it will be decorated with ribbons and balloons and a live band will be playing typical Aruban music in the yard. The place is full of antiques, fossils, newspapers, archaeological findings, an Aruban sand and stone collection, old lamps and much more. The items displayed are a collection of the late Mr. Mario Odor. He collected items of everyday life from the past out of fear that these items would disappear and people would forget about them. They will be open from 8:00 AM to 8: 00 PM.

The Historical Museum at the Willem III tower in town will have a full day event featuring our tradition and culture.

The National Archive of Aruba will have musical entertainment and sampling of typical local cuisine. They are located at Sabana Blanco, almost in front of the Airport. They are open from 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM and from 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM. They have special categorized exhibitions such as old photographs, stamps, miniature model airplanes, fishing, flora and fauna, farming, music and more.

They have a very interesting display of a “Transhi” (a typical Aruban stone fence) and a “Trankera” (a cactus fence) and a replica of a "Cas di Torto" (a typical aruban house made with mud walls). They even instruct you on how to make a “Torto” wall, using twigs, sand, mud, grass and wood from the “Kwihi” and “Kawara” tree. They also feature a cleverly concocted substitute for paint using Aloe oil and a type of stone to use on the “Cas di Torto” so it would look great in another color than the murky brown of the mud.

Another interesting subject is a glass case containing a list of all the shipments exported from Aruba in 1911. All explanations are provided in English and our local language, Papiamento.

Whether you visit a Museum or join into one of the many other open air activities, this is the time to experience a one of a kind exhibition of our culture and heritage. To savour our food and get a taste of what the Aruban people has gone through to become the Aruban of today. Few other times during the year will you see so many cultural presentations, special exhibitions and be able to sample a wide assortment of traditional Aruban food and sweets.

Though attendance is quick everywhere, activities and happenings are never uncomfortably crowded. The patriotism is healthy and proud. Flag Day is a time of celebration and fun for all. Locals, tourists, immigrants; all are one, like the sun, beach and sea united in one flag. Nos Bandera!

Last edited by LocaLisa; Wednesday, March 19th, 2008 at 08:26 AM.
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