- 19/9/2007 <--Prev : Next-->
The wearing of the colour of the jacarandas is obligatory in Zimbabwe in September ........ I
have a dear natty little purple outfit that gets worn faithfully every year at this time.
It must be in the blood, as something strange always happens to Bulawayans in mid
September. It is a bit like watching a tennis match as one sets off into town for a "hunting
and gathering " session.
Heads twisting and turning in glee, WHO WILL SPOT THE FIRST JACARANDA BLOSSOM ?
Well last year it was Tracey, but this year it was Bruce M. from Sunningdale, who as early
as 29 August, saw the first pale lilac spring buds !!
"This morning I was on my balcony and guess what I saw ? Jacaranda blossom ! There are
some trees in front of Norvic Court next door where they are just coming out. Has spring
Up here in my Erie there is a magnificent sight each day. In the evening over 400 sacred
ibis fly into the trees opposite here and every morning just after six, against a golden sky,
they fly out for the day. Some of them pass so close that you can hear their wing-beats."
Now the tree pundits cower in horror at the thought of these frightful "Exotics" but we old
timers live breathe and eat happiness during Jacaranda blossom time, which lasts I might
add, from now until February !!
Spring time brings madness to many places in the world, they hurtle round maypoles in
England, they eat giant white asparagus and drink tart new Beaujolais in France. In China
they decorate their front doors with bright banners featuring the Chinese character
"fu" (meaning blessing or happiness) You have a bit of leeway here with your decor as you
can either hang the poster the correct way up, or upside down if you feel that way !!
In Ireland the have Morris dancing and ceilidhs, in Argentina the school kids are given the
day off from their studies.
In Zimbabwe we celebrate all year round, celebrate the finding of a loaf of bread or the
secret liaison with a butcher friend who gives you an oxtail for supper !
But in September we have traditionally celebrated the Jacarandas. Do you remember the
Jacaranda Festivals of days gone by ? When shop windows, especially Meikles, would dress
their windows in a glorious profusion of lilac, lavender, amethyst and heliotrope and
Of course Borrow Street Pool would open on the First of September and then on the
second Saturday of Spring the Jacaranda Ball would be held at the MacMurray Hall in the
Grand Hotel. Aah, that sprung dance floor made of highly polished wood, we would "trip
the light fantastic" till dawn and at midnight the Jacaranda Queen would be crowned !!
Names spring to mind of beautiful girls like Gaynor Watts, Lorna Levin and Wendy Jocks,
all Jacaranda Queens from an Halcyon Age.....
Don't forget the Jacaranda Float procession where all the big names in Business would lend
their trucks to various organisations, schools and clubs and a magnificent array of "Floats"
would parade through the city streets.
The Jacaranda Queen and her Princesses would be on the front float, sitting in gilded
thrones borrowed from the theatre club, dressed in of course the beautiful colours of the
This year I noticed a couple of Tree Wisterias, laden with their heavy cernuous garlands,
which were trying vain to outshine the Jacarandas and they were doing a very good job too