WHAT’S COMING UP IN VIRGINIA BEACH IN DECEMBER? W rapping U p the H oliday S eason (A nd 2019)
It’s December in Virginia Beach, and that can only mean one thing: time to dust off the holiday floats and classic Christmas songs and wish 2019 farewell. If you’re looking for more ways to celebrate the holiday season with your community, here are a few events you might want to check out!
If you’re a Christmas music lover, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra has your hookup for all your favorite seasonal tunes like you’ve never heard them
COX COMMUNICATIONS HOLIDAY PARADE AT THE BEACH When: Dec. 7, 5–11:30 p.m. Where: Atlantic Avenue from 15th to 25th Streets Ticket Price: Free!
before. From jingling jams like “Holly Jolly Christmas,” to the angelic choruses of Handel’s Messiah, you won’t want to miss any of these holiday hits performed live.
Spanning 10 city blocks and filled to the brim with 90 different units, the Cox Communications Holiday Parade is a fantastic primer for the Christmas season. Come see marching bands, performing dance groups, fire trucks — and Santa Claus himself! Don’t let this event jingle on by. Bring your family down to Atlantic Avenue for an evening of fun! HOLIDAY SEASON SHOWS AT THE VIRGINIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA When: (Jingle Bell Jam) Dec. 15, 3–4:30 p.m.; (Holiday Pops) Dec. 15, 7–9 p.m.; (Handel’s Messiah) Dec. 19, 7:30–9:30 p.m. Where: 1000 Regent University Dr., Virginia Beach, VA 23464 Ticket Price: $25–$110
LAST NIGHT ON THE TOWN When: Dec. 31, 2 p.m. to Jan. 1, 12:15 a.m. Where: 4525 Columbus St., Virginia Beach, VA, 23462 Ticket Price: Free!
Christmas may have ended, but there’s still one more day worth celebrating. Join the Virginia Beach community at Pembroke Mall starting in the early afternoon to give 2019 a proper sendoff. There will be magicians, jugglers, arts and crafts, and tons of fun for all ages — including a DJ and live music until midnight! Don’t let the last great party of 2019 pass you by.
T he L egend of Y asuke
JAPAN’S AFRICAN SAMURAI
From bonded slave to honored warrior in a foreign land ...
Nobunaga. Well on his way to unifying Japan, Nobunaga was deeply curious about the black
If you think this sounds like the plot of an action movie, you’re not alone, but Yasuke, the 16th century servant-turned-samurai, was very real. He lived a life that blurred the line between history and legend. The story of the sole recorded African to join the Japanese warrior class is surprisingly seldom-told. Although, an upcoming movie starring “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman aims to change that. FROM SHADOWS OF THE PAST Little is known about Yasuke’s early life. Historians theorize he was kidnapped from Mozambique and trained as a slave and child soldier in India, but the details are hazy. What we do know is the man who would come to be called Yasuke was purchased by Jesuit missionaries and acted as the valet and bodyguard to the leader of a delegation to Japan. The island nation was in dire straits itself, reeling from seemingly endless wars between rival clans. In this political turmoil, Yasuke found his place in history. FROM CURIOSITY TO CONFIDANT While protecting European missionaries, Yasuke was brought to Kyoto, home to Japan’s most legendary daimyo, or warlord, Oda
man who had been brought to his court. Having never encountered people from Africa, the samurai lord thought Yasuke was covered in ink and insisted he scrub his skin. But as Nobunaga got to know Yasuke, who now spoke conversational Japanese, a friendship kindled between the two men from different worlds. Contemporary records claim Nobunaga loved learning about the world outside Japan through Yasuke’s stories, and the two often conversed together. FROM SAMURAI TO ICON Nobunaga not only valued his conversations with Yasuke, but he also recognized his friend’s military prowess. The daimyo raised Yasuke to the honored rank of samurai, giving him his own residence and katana, the ceremonial sword of Japan’s warrior-elite. Yasuke fought alongside Nobunaga in battle and is even rumored to have taken the warrior’s sword to Nobunaga’s son after his death. In Japan today, the legend of the African samurai lives on through stories, such as in the children’s book “Kuro-suke” by Kurusu Yoshio, and the Emmy- nominated series “Afro Samurai: Resurrection.”
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