At the Celebration! exhibition you were immersed in the colourful traditions in celebration of life's different rites of passage. Whether it's a christening, wedding, graduation, funeral, adulthood … we tend to get together and celebrate. And in doing so we can sometimes overstep our boundaries with serious consequences.
Indeed, we have all heard of the giants' parade, the Antwerp Pride and the feast of Chrysostomos, also known as the last 100 days at school. However, the exhibition also revealed how the Hindu community launches Ganesha out onto the water in honour of their god; how the Brazilian Ticuna Indians base their most important celebration on young girls' first menstruation or how Mexicans remember their dead during Dia de Los Muertos.
The celebration wasn't complete without the exhibition's unique soundtrack, especially compiled by contemporary artists such as Coely and Pomrad. We also regularly played the sounds of nostalgic music on the Decap dance and fair organs around the dance floor.
A selection of some of the festivals that were being offered:
Antwerp Pride is a multi-day festival event in Antwerp that was organised for the first time in 2008. The festival runs for one week and consists of various activities for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders and those sympathetic to their lifestyles. The icing on the cake is the parade itself, a festive and colourful performance with floats that travel through the centre of the city.
More info: www.antwerppride.be
Dia de los muertos
On 1 and 2 November, Mexicans all around the globe celebrate Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Along with friends and family, they remember those who have died by decorating cemeteries and building colourful altars in their living rooms. Those celebrating the festival believe that the soul of the deceased returns on that day. They place food and drinks on the altars so that the soul can gather strength for the new year. Candles, small lights, flowers and incense help the dead to find their way back.
In 2008, Día de Los Muertos was added to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, and since 2012 the festival is also celebrated annually in the MAS!
The Ganesha festival is a Hindu celebration. It has become known around the world. The festival takes place in honour of Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, who is worshipped in many places as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good luck. Hindus revere him and ask him for an auspicious outcome for all new life activities such as studies, business affairs or marriages. The Hindu community in Antwerp also celebrates the festival each year with a parade through the city and by immersing a large plaster Ganesha statue in the river Scheldt.
The Ganesha festival begins every year on the fourth day of the waxing moon (sometime between 20 August and 15 September) and lasts for about ten days.
- Celebration! was on display on the 4th floor of the MAS, until 19 March 2023.