Explore China and Kenya at the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival - Creekstone Apartments
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Kenyans

Every year, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival is presented on the National Mall in DC, giving residents and visitors the chance to experience and learn more about the “living cultural heritage” of different nations.

The 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival takes place from June 25 – 29 and again from July 2 – 6 and focuses on China: Tradition and the Art of Living and Kenya: Mambo Poa. The festival is free to the public and includes daily and evening programs of music, song, dance, celebratory performance, crafts and cooking demonstrations, and much more.

Chinese calligrapherThe China program spotlights the country’s creativity, heritage, and masterful skill, which are bumping up against the incredible changes and growth currently taking place in the country. You’ll get to explore:

  • seasonal festival traditions
  • public life
  • the meaning and preparation of Chinese foodways
  • craft and performance workshops
  • contemporary artists working in some of the region’s oldest traditions, including kite-making, calligraphy, martial arts and Mongolian long song

The Kenya program explores how Kenyans are protecting their valued cultural and natural heritage while the country takes advantage of twenty-first century opportunities. You’ll find:

  • craftspeople who work with everything from clay to soapstone to recycled materials,
  • important fossil discoveries and get the chance to take part in a model dig site from the Great Rift Valley
  • Kenya’s Olympic athletes, who you can run with
  • traditional and contemporary music
  • how Kenyans live among and work with wildlife
  • what Kenyan life in the United States is like

You can download the free Festival App (available for iOS and Android) where you’ll find daily schedules, a site map, participant bios, food menus, special announcements and more.

What to know before you go:

  • Hours are 11am to 5:30pm, with many programs taking place in the evening
  • The festival is outdoors, so dress appropriately and bring water
  • In case of a thunderstorm, you are encouraged to take shelter in a Smithsonian museum
  • There are lots of port-a-potties, but bring some toilet paper and wet wipes in case supplies are low or out
  • The festival features food concessions serving Chinese and Kenyan food
  • There is a marketplace where you can purchase crafts and other items from China and Kenya

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