This fourth edition of LIDIA CELEBRATES AMERICA invites Lidia and viewers to participate in some diverse customs, foods and traditions celebrated by families and communities, and premieres Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS, (check local listings).
In the final story of Life’s Milestones, Lidia travels to a remote area of Utah to witness an ancient tradition: a Navajo House Blessing. An invitation rarely if ever filmed or extended to outsiders, it is especially meaningful to Lidia and she feels privileged to take part in this centuries old sacred custom.
To celebrate this rite of passage, families host a four-day celebration that includes native foods, Navajo traditional dance, music and even a medicine man. According to Lidia, the ceremony is as unique as it is moving: the singing, the ceremony, the blessing, and the meal. In fact, students in a graduate architecture program designed several of the homes; unique structures, created off the grid.
Joining Lidia are Navajo chef Freddie Bitsoie, a member of the Dine (Navajo) Tribe, and Grammy Award-winning singer Radmilla Cody, a former model and Miss Navajo Nation winner. Together, they observe the traditional Blessing Ceremony where a Navajo family receives peace, harmony, and good luck for the new home.
As tradition states, the ceremony also prevents general misfortune, hardship, bad dreams, and evil spirits from entering the home. A meal of fresh lamb with oil and scallions and fried bread and stew is prepared using traditional methods. Lidia learns the meaning of multi-colored varieties of corn meal and that all Navajo doors face east, in order to greet the sun.
More of Life’s Milestones from Lidia Celebrates America: