Orthodox Carolers to visit Alutiiq Museum with Christmas Star - January 6, 2016
On Thursday, January 7, 2016, carolers from Kodiak’s Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Church will visit the Alutiiq Museum at about 7 pm. The Orthodox faithful will announce the birth of Christ with starring, a caroling celebration. The public is invited to experience this free event, with liturgical carols sung in Slavonic, Alutiiq, and Yup’ik. Refreshments will be served.
Starring is a beloved tradition in many Alutiiq communities. Carolers travel from house to house carrying a large, brightly decorated, twirling star that symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem. They announce the birth of Jesus with songs and receive refreshments in return. This custom combines Christian symbols with Alutiiq winter traditions of visiting, feasting, singing, and spiritual reverence. Starring falls on January 7th, Christmas day on the Julian Calendar, the calendar that charts the Russian Orthodox ecclesiastical year.
“I visited with Alutiiq Elders about starring this week, and enjoyed hearing their many fond memories”, said Alutiiq Museum Executive Director April Laktonen Counceller. “Starring has long been an important part of village life, and an event that people look forward to. We invite community members of all heritages and faiths to join us at the museum tomorrow to experience this joyful tradition.”
The Alutiiq Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the history and culture of the Alutiiq, an Alaska Native tribal people. Representatives of Kodiak Alutiiq organizations govern the museum with funding from charitable contributions, memberships, grants, contracts, and sales.