Earth Day first started in 1977 as a world wide event to demonstrate support for environmental protection. The first Earth Day brought out over 20 million people into the sunshine for peaceful demonstrations of environmental reform. Today, Earth Day 2016 is observed in 192 countries and is celebrated by more than one billion people.
I attended the Earth Day celebrations in Sacramento, which was host to over 150 vendors. They ranged from political for elections, environmental, water conservation, composting, bats (this one was cool), California and Sacramento departments and agencies which relate to the environment, as well as craft and goods vendors. A goal of the event coordinators was to educate the community on methods to reduce carbon footprints and live sustainably. In Sacramento, the nation’s Farm-To-Fork community, they had a receptive audience. The food was mostly plant based and sustainably sourced. Mexican, South American, Indian, Ethiopian, and juices were front and center.
Earth Day 2016 Musical Performance – Danza Azteca Quetzalcoatl-Citlalli
Serving as the event kickoff, Danza Azteca Quetzalcoatl-Citlalli provided a 45 minute performance of ceremonial pre-Columbian dance. Vibrant and powerful, the group’s dancing brought in the festival-goers for swaying, clapping, and foot stomping to the beat of the drums.
The group of 16 consisted of both adults and kids. The younger kids hilariously became bored several songs in and walked to the songs instead of dancing. Their energy was revitalized upon being called for their own special dance.
Arms raised in the air, bright multi-colored feathers brilliant and adorned dancers’ heads moved in unison, stomping on the ground to the beat of the lone drummer. Ritualistic dancing reminiscent of days gone by. Burning incense surrounded by large seashells fills the nostrils, bringing the audience ever closer to feeling the performance in celebration of Earth Day 2016. The crowds circled the dancers, applauding and cheering, feeling the music and performance.
The second to last dance brought audience members into a giant circle which slowly revolved and changed shape. As the circle moved and dances around, the people moved closer and intertwined, without ever displaying a start nor end to the “circle.” The performance ended with a warrior dance and spectacular display of energy for the earth.