Chamorro Lunar Calendar Festival to be held Jan. 17
For approximately 4,000 years, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands have been inhabited by the Chamorro people who held the moon with much significance as the lunar movement synchronized the life cycles of the flora and fauna of the islands and ocean. The ancient Chamorro, being a seafaring people, relied on the moon phases to guide daily activities including fishing and farming. Modern Chamorro traditions and cultural values have evolved from these practices that encourage living in respect and harmony with the island environment.
The HAYA Foundation, a non-profit, Chamorro cultural community organization Linking Food, Culture, Health, and the Environment and the Guam Fishermen’s Cooperative Association, with support from the Dept. of Chamorro Affairs, Farmers Cooperative Association of Guam, Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association, Guam Organization of Saltwater Anglers, Guam Visitors Bureau, Mayor’s Council of Guam, Marianas Underwater Fishing Federation and the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, is celebrating the 7th Annual Gupot Fanha’aniyan Pulan CHamoru (Chamorro Lunar Calendar Festival) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at the Sagan Kotturan Chamoru above the Hilton Resort & Spa at the old GMH housing. The Sagan Kotturan Chamorro has been designated as a 2016 Festival of Pacific Arts site. Our event sponsors include our GUALÅFFON level sponsors Ambros Inc., Atkins Kroll/AC Delco, and Pacific Daily News; our PULAN level sponsors BankPacific, Coast 360 FCU and Southern Pacific Petroleum Corporation (76); and our Sinahi sponsors Guam Premium Outlets and Nissan Motors.
The Chamorro Lunar Calendar Committee under the auspices of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council will be distributing (1 per family) the 2015 Fanha’aniyan Pulan CHamoru (Chamorro Lunar Calendar) which features the moon phases in the Chamorro language, the Guam tide charts and fishing seasons. The calendar showcases beautiful art work from our local students who will be recognized at the opening ceremony at 9 a.m. The art contest prizes were provided by Fish Eye Marine Park, Guam Tropical Dive Station, McDonalds of Guam and Under Water World.
The theme of the calendar is “Nihi ta fameska, hagas kustumbre ginen mañaina-ta” (Let’s go fishing, a responsible and traditional activity). This theme encourages the perpetuation of traditional knowledge, cultural values and practices through actual activity to promote sustainable use of natural resources and to ensure the island’s food and cultural security. Threats to our Chamorro culture and food security can have catastrophic impacts to our natural resources and the people. The practice and perpetuation of culture and traditions has provided the people of the Marianas resiliency and ensured the availability of food through sound traditional management of natural resources.
The festival will feature exhibits, displays, demonstrations and entertainment utilizing the Chamorro language and values. Local artisans will provide demonstrations of their crafts; provide learning opportunities and have culturally crafted items for sale. Cultural performers will provide continuous visual stimulation and entertainment through chants, song and movement. Local farmers and fishermen will showcase their talents with produce and foods for taste and sale. We promote the “Buy Local” program.
Continuing this year, in line with the Chamorro value of respect for our island, AK Guam and AC Delco are paying you to keep Guam green! Bring in your old car or boat battery to the 7th Annual Chamorro Lunar Festival and receive $5! And get $1 for your old motorcycle battery! Damaged, cracked, leaking or alkaline batteries excluded. The drop off area for the batteries will be the festival entrance at the AK booth.
A major highlight of the event will be the chinahan, an ancient Chamorro method of cooking underground. The public is invited to observe the preparation of the CHåhan (underground oven) when fish and starch crops such as taro, yams, breadfruit, tapioca and sweet potatoes will be placed in the earthen oven and at 4:00 p.m., it will be ceremoniously opened with a procession of food to the feast tables. Once done, in the spirit of the Chamorro culture, the feast will be shared with those in attendance. The event is free and open to the general public.