Summer and fair weather days are not the only desirable times of the year for folk festivals to occur.
Around the world winter is one of the most action-packed festival seasons. Historically, winter was a dormant season. People ended final harvest preparations (preserving foods, repairing equipment,etc.) and turned their attentions inwards. Wet, dark days with fewer working hours encouraged that. In was under those conditions that folk established festivals that generated opportunities for them to spend their 'free time' socializing and connecting with others.
And what better way than to do it through festivals? They were - and still are- colorful, vibrant events in which people gather together for brief periods of time in order to share favorite folklore traditions. Dance, music, art and food remain high on that list.
Here are at least three festivals that are taking place in January. Check them out and if you plan to attend any or all of them, let us know. We'd love to post your report!
== Winter Folk Festival, Oregon
The Jan. 21-23 festival helps to bring folk music into our local schools and provides free Kid's Koncerts for local school children. It includes craft demonstrations, art and craft booths, food, jam sessions and workshops. Admission to the craft fair is free. Daily performances (included in festival daily admission) include top folk performers from across the US.
== Tamar Valley Folk Festival. 20th festival, Jan. 21-23, it consists of music sessions, concerts, themed concerts children's activities, poetry and dance. The concert venues are all under cover and set in beautiful surroundings of the Tamar River and historic town of George Town.
== Ann Arbor Folk Festival: Two dynamic and different nights of folk and roots music on Friday, January 28, and Saturday, January 29. Now in its 34th year, it features a blend of renowned and up-and-coming performers, featuring popular artists and new talent. All funds raised through the Festival benefit The Ark, Ann Arbor's non-profit home for folk, roots, and ethnic music.
Photo credit: The carnivalesque Gypsy cabaret band Rapskallion.