The fact that National Hispanic Heritage Month began on September 15 rather than the month’s first day may seem strange.
However, the timing makes sense when you consider that a number of the countries where Hispanic Americans were born celebrate their independence days in the middle of September: The dates are as follows: September 15 for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua; September 16 for Mexico; September 18 for Chile; and September 21 for Belize.
There will be a variety of events in North Jersey to commemorate the four-week period recognizing the accomplishments and influence of Hispanic Americans, which runs until Oct. 15. These events range from culinary tastings to art exhibitions.
The U.S. Census estimates that 22% of people in New Jersey are Hispanic or Latino. People who identify as Hispanic have roots in Spain and other Spanish-speaking nations in Latin America. People from Latin American nations that were formerly colonies of Spain and Portugal are referred to as Latinos.
Unless otherwise noted, the majority of the activities mentioned below are free and open to the public.
On September 15 at 6 o’clock, a Hispanic Heritage Celebration will be held at La Taberna Steak & Tapas Bar, 31 West Madison Avenue in Dumont. There will be a cash bar, domino tables, live DJ music, and dancing classes. In addition, donations of rice, beans, tomato paste, and olive oil will be collected for the Dumont Food Pantry.
On September 30 from 2 to 3 p.m., the Johnson Public Library, 274 Main St. in Hackensack, will host a Hispanic Heritage Fiesta. There will be food, music, and dancing while learning about Hispanic and Latino cultures.
On October 7 from 8 to 9:30 p.m., the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company will present a performance at the Berrie Center For The Arts, 505 Ramapo Valley Rd. in Mahwah. The Mexican states of Jalisco, Veracruz, and Nayarit will be featured in the presentation.
Hispanic Heritage Month will be observed by the Montclair Public Library in collaboration with Latinos of Montclair through teen and adult activities. On the library website, a complete schedule of the programs is available. Unless otherwise stated, registration is necessary at montclairlibrary.org/events. Here are a few examples:
Ages 6 and up are welcome to attend the Masks of the Americas Workshop on September 16 at 12 or 1:30 p.m. at the Main Library, 50 South Fullerton Ave., and on October 7 at 3 p.m. at Bellevue Ave. Branch, 185 Bellevue Ave.
The Main Library (Plaza), September 16, 4:30 p.m., Folk Music of Colombia (all ages).
Pandemic, the Post-Castro Era, and a New Cold War? Changing Caribbean: Prospects on September 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Main Library.
The Main Library (Plaza) will host La Placita: Latine Music & Poetry Showcase on September 21 at 6:30 p.m.
Panpipe Workshop: A Window to Andean Traditions, Saturday, September 27, 5:30 p.m., Main Library.
The Main Library will host an evening showcase of Peruvian music and dance on October 9 at 6:30.
On October 10, at 6:30 p.m., the Main Library will host Broken Promises: Puerto Ricans and Urban Development in Mid-20th Century New York.
On September 16 from 12 to 5 p.m., the Newark Museum of Art, 49 Washington St., will be open for Community Day: Fiesta Latina. The general public can listen to music from Mexico, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, and other countries.