A prayer ritual for the water and all its inhabitants will open the First Hilo Mermaid Festival at the Hilo Farmers Market at 9 a.m. on Friday, March 7, at the corner of Mamo and Kamehameha streets.
“This is an invitation for everybody to celebrate what is the ocean, all water and the mythical spirits, which are associated with water in all known times and cultures,” said spokeswoman Susanne Oppong.
There will be an exhibition and a contest of art, poetry and music concerning mermaids, nixes, sirens and nymphs.
There will be island music for dancing. After sunset, see videos about the water, the oceans and the various mythical water spirits of different cultures.
Vendors will have the opportunity to sell everything pertaining to the ocean — from seafood and fishing gear, to jewelry and garments with patterns of sea and water life.
“We want to specially invite all non profit organisations engaged in protecting the ocean and all waters,” said Oppong.
This festival will be linked to the March 8 International Women’s Day, to point out that the element of water is traditionally regarded as a female element, just like earth, opposed to the elements of fire and air.
“The oceans are the womb water of our planet. and as nobody has not been born out of water, it is time to respect and protect this element within and without our bodies, and what it stands for, live itself,” said Oppong.
More cultural information can be found at www.facebook.com/first.hilo.mermaid.festival
For more information, contact Adah Glasser at Hilo Tobacco at 118 Kamehameha Ave No. 3 in downtown Hilo. Call 769-0324 to reserve vendor booths.