|Parades,Processions, Marches, Pilgrimages.....
This holiday is known for its Processions. These events having both a religious flavor and an ancient tradition are as much Pilgrimages for the participants as they are Marches. The procession is a symbol of solidarity and an oportuntiy to compose a masterpiece in the genre of Spectacle. Today in the United States the parade is truly an art form. Click here for more.
Parades as Cultural
Few observers think at all of the original signficance for example of the St. Patrick's Day Parade which was orignially conceived to demonstrate Irish dominance of the cities and to remind citizens of Irish might. Instead groups from all over from all\ backgrounds come together to be creative- to play their best to march their best and to create masterpieces of design.
We all love a parade as the saying goes!
The wonderful thing about a Parade is the many dimensions possible for its enjoyment and participation. Just as in the Holiday itself there are many dimensions which can be celebrated-the Progress of Democracy the Salvation from Tyrany the skills of Generals the Sacrifice of Lives....One can appreciate and enjoy a parade for a multitude of reasons-A chance to be outdoors, the beauty of live music, the patterns formed by marchers and the activities of performers. We need not all agree as to our reason for being there or for appreciating and enjoying the event. As such parades are great Democratic cultural masterpieces-for everyone!
Parades are also public events- every where there is a public right of way there should be a parade. Parades are open for all to see and celebrate our freedom to gather and travel as we wish. Everyone can arrange for the streets to be their "own" for a day.
What? There is a Parade you do not like?- Well then perhaps you are not looking hard enough for something to enjoy?-the fresh air the music etc... But then even if you can't find something interesting the other good thing about parades is that although they are impressive they are soon over-so relax let it pass with the assurance that many things pass by on the city streets with the same freedom and that no mater what you think a parade is not the most offensive or ugly thing you will see pass by on that street!
All too often those writing about the Parades and Marches of the Orangemen have done so with little knowledge of the tradition itself or with an axe to grind or both. Here I provide you with a direct link to the Orange Order itself-Go to the Source!-Their traditions are ancient and respectable-they have many good reasons to march and we should be able to appreciate these customs!