LYAC's desire to enhance cultural understanding resulted in a December 7, 2013, community gathering to highlight ten (10) December holidays: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Saint Nicholas Day, Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Lucia Day, Las Posadas, Boxing Day, Omisoka, and Bodhi Day. Apparently word reached far and wide about the multi-cultural celebration, as the Philippines band “Balonge” arrived at the event and offered to do a surprise finale, sharing traditional Philippines holiday music... a fitting ending to the event! Balonge had performed at Schooner Estates earlier in the day.
LYAC had undertaken the “December Holidays Share, Show and Tell” event to provide information about multiple holidays, as well as provide an opportunity for audience members to share their personal favorite holiday memories. Doris Bonneau, who attended, shared her Lewiston memories of midnight mass and family gatherings. Another audience member, Betty, shared how a single mom and her children traditionally reached out to others during the holiday season.
The event also featured traditional foods for the various holidays highlighted to include fresh fruit quesadillas eaten for Las Posada and St. Nicholas Day gingerbread cookies. Cultural outreach continued around the food table, as a Maine French instructor spoke in French to many of the LYAC members who are also fluent in that language.