Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Under the Harvest Moon: The Grand March

Our first anniversary is this Sunday, and while it doesn't look like I'll finish my recaps by then, I am close and I'm really happy my favorite part of the night is up next in the recaps.  It's been quite a year and I'm really glad to look back on this extremely fun half hour.

I have a feeling 'The Grand March' changes itself up for various cultures around the globe, but Mr. Moonbeam is part Czech and it's that part of his family that partakes in this fantastic tradition.

Mr. MB's Aunt and Uncle led everybody throughout the dance.  All of the ladies lined up behind Aunt Debbie and all of the gents lined up behind Uncle Mark.  (Leaders first, then bride and groom, then bridal party, then the guests).

The only real rule is to follow the person in front of you, and it's not terribly necessary that there only be ladies in the ladies line or gents in the gents line, or that there even be a pair of people in each section.  As you can see, we had all kinds of links in our chain.

They snaked us around the dance floor by simply marching to a polka beat with an occasional twirl for the ladies.

Then the ladies line diverged from the mens line and we had two lines snaking around the dance floor.  The lines got a bit tangled, but I think that's supposed to be part of the fun.

After a bit of that the two lines met up again and started making a human tunnel.  Go through the tunnel and add a piece to it, once everyone has gone through the leaders start unmaking the tunnel and going through what is left.

For those who have never done this, apparently pinching and mildly inappropriate patting is the norm, especially if you're the bride and have on a huge skirt that no one can actually feel your anatomy through.

Then a little more snaking around the dance floor until the bride and groom are pushed into the center surrounded by an inner circle of the bridal party, then an outer circle of guests.

The bride and groom dance around in the center and the circles of guests keep dancing around, occasionally raising their arms and moving inward to crowd the bride and groom for a bit before moving outward again.

At some point, the first dance song comes on and the guests stand around and allow the formal dances to start.

Photo taken by Aunt Annie (and definitely my favorite picture of the night)

The whole thing takes about 20-30 minutes and is a great way to get everyone in on the fun.  There's no real skill involved, so even non-dancers can partake, but I was still twirled a lot and was therefore supremely happy.

All photos taken and edited by John and Whitney Canales unless otherwise noted.

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