‘Palaspas’ workshop on Mar. 31 in Piscataway, N.J.

‘Palaspas’ fronds on display with ‘anahaw’ fans. Flickr photo by Elmer Ng.

The Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission and the Folklife Program for New Jersey present, “Palaspas: Traditional Filipino Palm Weaving Workshop,” on March 31 at 2:30 p.m.

The workshop will be held at the East Jersey Olde Towne Village, 1050 River Road, Piscataway in coordination with the Samahan Cultural Heritage, Eastern Seaboard, Inc.

‘Palaspas’ is the palm leaf Filipinos vigorously wave to usher in Palm Sunday marking Jesus Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. The frond is usually adorned with flowers and ribbons of different colors to make them unique to the owner. It can be braided, twisted, notched, and woven into various patterns and styles. After the fronds are blessed by a priest, the owners keep them at home in a special place – usually at an altar – in the belief that will bring good fortune to the household.

Funding for this program is provided by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission, New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The workshop is offered free of charge, but advance registration is required. It will be presented in a bilingual format, with an interpreter speaking English and Tagalog, the language of the Philippines.

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