Potpourri is defined as, “a mixture of things” and after a series of fits, I’ve decided that’s what I have for you today. The whole middle section is about me and my family, so feel free to skip ahead to the happenings in La Canada!
First, let’s start with a super cool video on the origins and history of Memorial Day.
Isn’t that keen? Qwiki is the new millenium encyclopedia and it culls information from all over the web, in real time, and generates a visual presentation with out any human effort.
So , as you saw, Memorial Day started out as a way to honor the military dead and has morphed into a day to remember who have passed before. The Chinese have a similar day of remembrance called Bai-San (those funny Mandarin speaking people call it Qingming). On this day the we, as families, gather at the graves of our ancestors and we take care of their graves and spirits. We clean the markers, trim the grass and set out displays of oranges, incense, tea and food. Each item has meaning and each is meant to enhance the situations of our ancestors in the afterlife. We bow in front of the graves three times to show respect and filial piety and then we proceed to eat the food and generally enjoy the spring weather.
My family has been in America since the late 1800’s and most of these traditions have been bred out of us, but our many of our in-laws are more old school. They have reintroduced a connection to our heritage and I very grateful to them for this gift.
Here is a picture of our first Bai-San for both my Mom and Dad:
On to other things: La Canada’s Fiesta Days is happening this weekend. This event, more than anything else, really cements La Canada’s small town heritage. The weekend kicks off with a community breakfast, and winds it’s way through a car show, live music, a race (5k, 10k and Fun Run) a community dinner, fireworks and, of course, a parade.