December 24 – January 1
386 A.D. (After the ______)

For nearly 250 years, the Black people who were forcibly abducted from Asila Bara. The original mainland were enslaved in America, this land would become their land of nativity, and they over time became Americanized and disassociated from their long-standing African social, religious and cultural traditions.

They were forbidden to sing, dance, and worship in the tradition of their ancestors. They sought to return to the original mainland by any means to be with the ancestors, if not in this life, then in the after life.

When means to escape were closed, they sought refigure on the Underground Railroad and came to regard the North and Canada as their Heaven on Earth.

During this period of enslavement, they were forged into an indigenous seminal culture shaped by their environment and the intermingling with the White-ruling class and the Native American people.

Though enslaved, they were able by their sheer will to survive to form a way of life with unique characteristics that have been culturally transmitted from generation to generation. Under these circumstances and conditions, they whole-heartedly welcomed the freedom, which came with the relaxed grip of the White ruling class during their Christmas and New Year’s season. To them this was the time of the year they could unite with king and seek and pursue opportunity to gain a measure of freedom.

DAY I: Christmas Eve – December 24th
Lighting of the Star: A symbolic North Star should be displayed over the threshold of your domicile.

DAY II: Christmas Day – December 25th
Raise the Kinship Tree: A tree with symbols to honor family members should be raised and decorated with kinship and family memorabilia.

DAY III and IV: December 26th and 27th

DAY V: December 28th
Clandestine Meeting: In the days of enslavement, it was customary for the oppressed to hold clandestine meetings (Brush Harbor) away from the oppressors to offer prayer and supplications to their ancestors for safe passage to those likely to flee seeking a safe haven on their way to freedom.

A symbolic meeting should be held in the house or community. Those present should form a circle and light a torch and greet each other with handshakes and words of support and endearment.

DAY VI: December 29th
Raise the Spirit – Ring Dance and Shout: As the time would draw near for some to break away, they gather and perform the “Ring Dance and Shout” to raise their spirit.

DAY VII: December 30th
Raising the Forbidden Instruments – Drum and Spear: At the midnight house, those filled with courage would “raise the forbidden instruments” the drum and spear as they approached the point of no return.

DAY VIII: New Years Eve – December 31st Watch Meeting: Midnight supplications awaiting telegraphic message of the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Gather together in the house, church or school, to await the coming of the message of freedom at the midnight hour.

DAY IX: New Years Day – January 1st Roundtable Feast of Traditional Foods

In the beginning, (1619) and thereafter, during the formative years of the seminal Black American Negro culture, the enslaved populous only knew work and hard times. They were only granted leisure time from work when approved by their owners and the authorities.

Inasmuch as they were disenfranchised and chattelized, they had no social, religious or culture underpinnings sufficiently powerful enough to establish and declare either a High Hold Day or secular holiday on their own voilition.

Although some often met clandestinely and gathered together in prayer, song and dance to lift their spirit and strengthen their resolve, they still has to return to their quarters under the watchful and menacing eyes of the overseer and his minions.

Despite these stark and bleak circumstances in which they found themselves, they were able to join in on the Holiday celebration of their owners.

Then as now, Christmas and New Years were the most celebrated holidays. It is hard to fathom an enslaved person partaking in and enjoying the holiday celebration of those who regularly has their foot on your neck and often applied the whip to your backside. But they soon came to discern that any day that you were left alone was a good day to celebrate.

Though unlettered and without knowledge of Christian heritage, under whose banner they were enslaved, the longer they remained in American, they bean to take on “bits and pieces” of the culture and lifestyle of their environment.

The first generation from Africa wanted nothing more than to return to the familiar land of their ancestors. To them, this was heaven.

When this dream was shattered by the realities of their enslavement, they became consumed with the passion and fire to “Break their Yoke” for oppression and flee Northerly towards Canada, a heavenly home on earth away from the long arms of the authorities.

The holiday season represented the best time of the year for the enslaved, unless they fell to prey to the vices offered up by the enslaver, to over indulge in food, wine, liquor, and games , and lose their desire for freedom for themselves and their kinfolk.

Those who were driven to improve their lot in life and were stout-minded enough to rise above their conditions of the their enslavement and the stumbling blocks placed in their way, were fore leaders by virtue of natural acts they committed and the humanistic deeds which they performed in the name of their fore bearers, to obtain a measure of freedom at any cost.