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Celebrate the Tradition of San Juan and San Pedro at Nos Zjilea Saturday

by | Jun 26, 2024 | Activities, Culture, Events

Celebrate San Juan and San Pedro at Nos Zjilea

Let the fire of San Juan and San Pedro purify your soul.

The San Juan and San Pedro festivals are celebrated on June 24th and 29th, respectively. On these dates, everyone named Juan or Pedro, or with names derived from them, such as Juanita, Johana, Wancho, John, Pedro, Peter, or Petra, receives visits at home. There is always someone who walks ahead to inform the homeowner that the group of musicians is on their way. The musicians, who use string instruments such as the cuatro or guitar, lead the group. Upon arrival, the homeowner offers them bread, sweets, coffee, and rum. Finally, there is the jumping over the bonfire, which takes place to purify the soul.

What to expect

This Saturday, June 29th, will be the next edition of the cultural event ‘Nos Zjilea’ at the Cultural Park Mangazina di Rei with the theme “Let the fire of San Juan and Pedro purify your soul.” The event will start at 10 AM with the podcast ‘Butishi’, which will discuss different topics related to this Nos Zjilea. The podcast will also be broadcast through Facebook, YouTube, Radio Voz di Boneiru 94.7 FM, and MiTV Telbo Channel 74 VdB TV.

The tradition of celebrating San Juan and San Pedro has been ongoing for decades. Someone deeply involved in this tradition is Mr. Freddy St Jago. Freddy will explain what homeowners prepare for these celebrations and how the serenades are conducted. Mr. Wesley “Wewe” Sintjago will explain the importance of this tradition for our cultural heritage and why it must be preserved. He will also talk about the meaning of various songs we hear during this season, such as “Buchi Marti,” “Madua Ban Kas,” “Dina Baro,” and many others. Come listen to the beautiful stories behind these songs.

One of the people who receives visits every year during the Juan and Pedro period is Mr. Juan “Nochi” Coffie. He will share his experience with jumping over the fire during the celebration at his house. If you come to jump over the fire at Mangazina di Rei, make sure you don’t get burned!

Papiamentu is sweet, but sometimes when you don’t know a word in Papiamentu, you mix it with Dutch or English. To stimulate pure Papiamentu, Mangazina di Rei, along with Akademia Papiamentu will hold the “#retapapiamentu” contest once again. Participate and help us elevate our sweet Papiamentu.

Don’t miss the cultural market with its fresh local products such as local natural juices, herbal teas, delicacies, and art. The kitchen opens at 10 AM with a wide variety of soups, various local Creole dishes, and a delicious grill. All this in a cozy atmosphere with “LIVE” performances by the new band “Tio” and “Ritmiko Timon.” The folkloric dance couple “Duo Mirasol” will also be present.

Experience ‘Nos Zjilea,’ the monthly cultural event of Bonaire, this month on Saturday, June 29th, from 10 AM to 3 PM at Cultural Park Mangazina di Rei. It doesn’t get more local than this. The entrance is free. Keep up to date by visiting our Calendar of Events page.

(Source: Mangazina di Rei)

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Tanya Deen has been living in Bonaire since December 2016. She is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Instructor and enjoys underwater and bird photography. Tanya is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.
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