THE

FESTIVAL

HISTORY: TwinFest

From ancient Greece to Africa, twins, triplets and all multiple births have always attracted much attention and admiration. A double increase to a family was something celebrated in ancient times when populations were easily decimated by frequent wars and epidemics. The mere survival of the mother and babies in the absence of advanced medical knowledge called for cheers and gift-sharing. Multiple births, celebrated as special favors from above to mothers and their babies who were lucky enough to come through the whole process alive and unscathed, came with specific customs and ceremonies (dressing, music, dancing and drumming, meals and stories).

 

Some cultures have maintained the celebration of multiple births as part of their Thanksgiving and New Year celebrations to date.  Acknowledging population increase and health is appropriate. Among these are the Ga of Ghana, who celebrate it as part of their Thanksgiving and New Year festival, Homowo. The ceremony includes giving gifts to the twin mother, her twins and twin troupe (siblings following twins in birth order), crowning the twin mother like a queen, then parading them as trophies of society on major streets and alleys. A big feast with dancing and singing concludes the celebration.

 

Even in our present era, particular attention is paid to mothers expecting twins and any kind of multiple births by their doctors, families and friends. Multiple births have never ceased to fascinate (the biology of it and their psychological and sociological development) as survival rates have increased tremendously with medical and technological breakthroughs. Continuing to acknowledge multiple births as one of the wonders of conception is actually celebrating the survival of the human race.

 

So join the Parade and bring something old or something new, something folksy or funky, something traditional or trendy from your culture and customs to celebrate Twinfest on Whyte Ave, Edmonton's most popular street.

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