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  • Day Five: Top Ten Photos

    Whether it’s some larb loving, hymn humming, or square-dance swaying, there’s something for everyone at the Folklife Festival!

    On the penultimate day of our first week, visitors gathered to hear stories of justice and resistance, sing songs in community across multiple faith traditions, and try their hand at a variety of artisan crafts. We closed off the day with a beautiful rainbow over Smithsonian Castle after a light summer rain.

    We hope you’ll share your own Festival memories and photos on social media with #2023Folklife.

    A chorus of fifteen singers stands in a horseshoe on the Ralph Rinzler Main Stage, one man standing slightly ahead to lead the audience in song.
    Members of Mennonite churches in the D.C. area as well as the Brockwell Gospel Music School from Arkansas led a makeshift chorus of visitors in hymns.
    Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A man in a hat with the American flag smiles and shakes the hand of a woman in a blue and white striped hat.
    Marshallese master canoe builder Liton Beasa greeted visitors after sharing his powerful story of loss following the detonation of twenty-four nuclear weapons in tests by the United States on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
    Photo by Phillip R. Lee, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A man uses two tools to pour a yellow line of sand in concentric circles of blue, yellow, green, red, and pink flower designs.
    If you zoom in close enough, you can see each individual grain of sand. You can help the Venerable Losang Samten and Soo Kyong Kim finish this one at the Tibetan Buddhist Mandala tent in the Creative Encounters area.
    Photo by Julie Byrne, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A woman threads a multicolored thin tapestry across a loom, with pink, dark red, blue, and beige zigzags.
    “Weave” loved having Cherokee finger weaver Danielle Culp at the Festival! Come learn about and participate in various Indigenous crafts across the Festival.
    Photo by Grace Bowie, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    White, yellow, pink, blue, and green ribbons with different names written on fly in the wind, tied to a multi-layered structure of strings.
    Visitors are invited to tie a ribbon as a marker of memory in the Remembrance Space.
    Photo by Josh Weilepp, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A man plays a guitar on the left, looking toward the tuning pegs, while a woman closes her eyes and sings into a microphone, playing the banjo.
    Watch Missouri folk duo The Creek Rocks croon over at The Front Porch or the Pickin’ Parlor!
    Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A photo of a mirror where a woman sprinkles cilantro over a plate of lettuce and sliced beef, all on top of a wooden table.
    We love larb here at the Festival. Mother-and-daughter duo Shoua Vue and Xue Lee-Vang talked about preserving traditional Hmong cultures as farmers in the Arkansas Ozarks.
    Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A man hands a tray to another by an atlar underneath a green umbrella.
    Members from the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago showed Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch their daily rituals of reverence for Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu god.
    Photo by Joshua Davis, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A woman ducks underneath the arms of two visitors raised above her head. The photo is shot in black and white.
    Grab a partner and make your way under your fellow visitor’s arms! Whether you have no experience or are a square-dance master, you’re bound for a good time in dance caller Bob Zuellig’s workshop.
    Photo by Vivianne Peckham, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A double rainbow with a view of the Capitol Building, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival trailer, and Smithsonian Castle.
    Nothing like a double rainbow to cap off another beautiful day at the Folklife Festival!
    Photo by Josh Weilepp, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives

    Tomorrow, spend your Fourth of July with us on the National Mall! Try some Revolutionary War-era New Jersey tea, find out how the 2023 Arkansas Best Overall Pie was made, learn about the various uses for Ozark plants, discovery the history behind Indian tacos, listen to both traditional and contemporary Indigenous songs, learn the recipe for delicious Oaxacan barbacoa, watch captivating Persian dances from nomadic folk dancers, witness an exciting blend between mariachi and bluegrass, and cap off the evening with a rocking performance from The Ozark Mountain Daredevils before the fireworks at 9 p.m.

    Daniel Zhang is a media intern for the Folklife Festival.

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