Daily Archives: May 7, 2011

Pinkster

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Pinkster definition Albany guidebook.pngAlbany’s current Tulip Festival has its origins in Pinkster, which was celebrated by slaves and servant. There is an excellent description of Pinkster at the Knickerbocker Ledger. This definition from an Albany guide book explains Pinkster as:
 “A negro festival which used to be celebrated on Capitol hill when slavery existed in the State. It began on the Monday following Whitsunday or Day of Pentecost, and lasted a week. The ground was laid out in the form of an oblong square, enclosed on three sides by rude booths, and here the dancing and merry-making took place. ‘Charley of the Pinkster hill,’ an old African negro, was king of the revels. After his death the festival was not so much observed, and fell into disrepute. In 1811 the common council forbade the erection of stalls on account of the scenes of disorder which prevailed, and so the custom died out.”

Pinksteren is a Dutch word for Pentecost.

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