Saturday, December 17, 2005

Feast of Babulu Aye, December 17

In Cuban tradition, today's feast of San Lazaro also honors Babalu Aye, the being who protects against fearsome diseases. He is honored with African drumming and special offertory food. Anderson Allen has a charming report yesterday for Public Radio International's program The World (link here for the audio), about the song "Babalu." This song became famous in the United States through the television show "I Love Lucy," but it actually has a rich Cuban tradition. Anderson is a Washington, DC, area musician -- especially a Cuban drummer -- and an old friend from a group house on P Street in the early 1990s, where we cooked communally and hence shared many dozen a vegetarian meal together.

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