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I’m so sorry for the delay. I’ve been so busy lately. In fact, a new year has started on March 16 for Malagasy people.
I have to admit that I don’t know much about Malagasy culture. And thanks to blogging, I’m interested in knowing more about Malagasy culture and customs now.
Youngsters are fascinated to the ‘new culture’ that western countries are bringing. But this is not the only reason. Also, we lack books and documentation about our own history, culture and traditions. And the school programs don’t deal much on them.
When I wished ‘Happy New Year’ to my peers, they thought I was crazy. Some knew about the celebration in Andohalo or in Ambohimanga but they were not willing to attend them.
As I knew nothing about how Malagasy people celebrate the New year’s eve ‘traditionnally’, some friends and I went up in Andohalo. The pics below will show you more what we have lived up there.
The ceremony started at 8 p.m. with a short ‘kabary’ (speech). Then, the organizers lit the fire which is called ‘Afo tsy maty’ cuz the fire won’t go out till the morning. A guy lit a candle from the fire and shared it to one of the young guys who were lined up in a big ‘fanorona’ (Malagasy chess). Turn by turn they went and lit the candles on the fanorona. When all the candles were lit, all these young people went and lit the candles of the ‘arendrina’ (lanterns) that the public had brought. This “fire sharing’ is called ‘mizara hafanana’ (sharing heat) or “mizara hazavana’ (sharing light). (I wish I brought my lantern :( )
The kids with their lanterns were invited to make a big line and follow a troup of youngsters to make a tour of the neighborhood. Wow, it was so nice to see happiness in these kids face. It was nicer to see all the lanterns shining the dark night.
‘Angano’ (tales) and games were prepared for all these kids as well. Mmmh the tale of ‘I Faramalemy sy i Kotobekibo’ made me remember my childhood. Then, it was time for everyone kids and adults to dance and to clap during the different shows of ‘Hira gasy’, ‘Vakodrazana’ (typicall Malagasy song and rythm). It had rained but none cared. They kept on appreciating the ceremony. Yet some of the organizers managed to keep the fire on :)
Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay long cuz we would have to work the next day which is a very sad thing for me. Why do we work on such day? I hope that in future, the government will work on it and all Malagasy people will celebrate it together as it should be.
The ceremony was organized by Mamelomaso and Ortana.
This link may interest you, texts in French talking about Malagasy calendar. - Le Calendrier malgache -ASARAMANITRA – NOUVEL AN MALGACHE