Calendar Highlights: June 2008


Pineapple PartyCelebrate the Bahamas' symbol of hospitality, the pineapple. This golden-yellow fruit offers more than nutrition to the islands: It was once a top export and, when placed outside the home, it signaled that seafaring captains had returned home safely. Now,years after Hurricane Andrew devastated the industry, a huge replica of the fruit sits in Gregory Town on the island of Eleuthera, home of the annual Pineapple Festival (June 7). Enjoy marching bands, fire dancing, cooking contests and the Little Miss Pineapple Princess pageant. The crown goes to the sweetest girl, naturally.

Rice It Up Who knew rice harvesting could be so festive? Head to the Sarawak region of Malaysia (June 1) to witness a community come together in unity, aspiration and hope, all centered around a successful end to the rice harvesting season. Dress in traditional, beaded and feathered costumes while elders in the community perform ceremonial rites and make offerings of food and tuak, homemade rice wine, to the gods of rice and prosperity. Offering some to yourself as you usher in the next harvesting season is, of course, always encouraged.

Plant the Seeds Imagine a day when Hawaii will be able to grow all the food it needs. See the potential for making that vision a reality at the Hawaii Island Seed Exchange (June 21) at the Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden on the Big Island. This gathering in Kona joins farmers, gardeners and others in a free exchange of their best organic seeds - from fruits to vegetables to herbs - at a festival with educational exhibits and generous participants. This year's theme is fire, or pele, because fire creates new life and purifies nature, just what this festival aims to accomplish.