Morning Pop Talk – Parang/Happy Boxill I Mean Boxing Day

Pop: 🎶Goooood Morning! Happy Boxing Day.🎶 Not, Happy Boxill Day. But, Happy Boxing Day. But, Happy Boxill Day too.

Me: 😳😆 Pop, What is Boxing Day?

Pop: It started in England. In Trinidad it’s a holiday where people wore costumes and steel bands played similar to carnival. I don’t know if they do that anymore. (See a description of Boxing Day below that’s related to slavery.)

Pop: On Christmas Day people would come around playing guitars and singing Christmas carols or other music. (Me: Parang. ((See description and must see video below.))) For Christmas even as children we would have wine or really good port wine. Although I didn’t have anything to drink yesterday. (Pop is still salty that he didn’t have a drink yesterday since he’s on an antibiotic.)

As Pop would say, “Have a good day. Be safe. Don’t work too hard. Love!” “Oh, and Happy Holidays!” #MorningPopTalk #CareGiversMatter

PS: Santa gave Pop an iPad for Christmas. He loves to play games like Solitaire, Mahjong, and Bridge. Although I doubt it, maybe he’ll read from it. I think he prefers the feel of the newspapers and books. Any other games you think he may like?

PSS: My bucket list is to visit Trinidad for Christmas. I love love love string instruments to now include the cuatro. I looked up Boxing Day. And, there are various and conflicting theories regarding its origin. One is below. Also, below is a nice video on Parang. So interesting and rich in history. Trinidad continues to amaze me as a very diverse country. Chinese, Indians, Venezuelans…

Boxing Day

“There’s not one agreed-upon origin story for Boxing Day — the deeper you dig, the greater the confusion. What we know for sure is that the holiday originated in Britain, back in medieval times.

Common theories all involve some variation on the theme of giving to those less fortunate. Some believe the term “Boxing Day” comes from the practice of the rich donating a wooden box of Christmas leftovers to their servants and apprentices — who would work Christmas Day, but have December 26 off to celebrate with their families. It could also refer to collection boxes set up at churches, their contents distributed to the poor on December 26 — the day of the Feast of St. Stephen, a Christian martyr known for acts of charity… In Caribbean regions that were once under British rule, the charity box exchange on December 26 wasn’t between aristocrats and employees — it was between slave-owners and their slaves. Boxing Day was likely the only day off from forced labor that slaves received all year. Among their descendants, December 26 has become a dance party, a day of artistic expression, and a celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture… The Boxing Day street parade in Trinidad & Tobago is J’ouvert, which in this case is the opening party of the larger celebration of Carnival.” —


A Celebration of Parang: The Indigenous Sounds of Trinidad & Tobago


“Parang is a popular folk music originating from Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago that was brought to Trinidad and Tobago by Venezuelan and Colombian migrants who were primarily of Amerindian, Spanish, Mestizo, Pardo, Cocoa panyol, and African heritage, something which is strongly reflected in the music itself. The word is derived from two Spanish words: parranda, meaning “a spree or fête”, and parar meaning “to stop”.

In Trinidad, traditional parang music is largely performed around Christmastime, when singers and instrumentalists (collectively known as the parranderos) travel from house to house in the community, often joined by friends and neighbours family etc. using whatever instruments are at hand. In exchange for the entertainment, parranderos are traditionally given food and drink: pasteles, pastelle, sorrel, rum and Ponche Crema (a form of alcoholic eggnog).” —

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