Dussehra, also called Vijayadashmi (or Bijoya in Bengal), is the culmination of the nine-day Navaratri celebrations. It is a festival that marks the killing of Ravana, his son Meghanatha and brother Kumbhakarna, by Rama. It is seen as the vistory of good over evil
The colourful kite-flying festival of Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan, which falls on January 14 each year, marks the end of a long winter and the return of the sun to the northern hemisphere. Hence the name Uttarayan.
The Birthday of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, is traditionally celebrated on Kartik Puranmashi, or the full moon day of the month of Kartik.
According to the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Guru Nanak Sahib was born on 15th April, 1469 at Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi in the present district of Shekhupura, now Nanakana Sahib in Pakistan.
Deepavali or Diwali as it has come to be known as, means many things to many people. It means holidays from school, shopping expeditions for clothes, sweets, gifts and crackers to children. To the office-goer it means an annual bonus that can make all this happen.
Think of Diwali and firecrackers start exploding in the mind – that is how strong the association of crackers is with the festival of lights.
Legend has it that on Diwali, the sound of firecrackers resounds through the universe, announcing the homecoming of Lord Rama after a long period of exile.
March 19: Before it was Holi in India, phagua, as Holi is called by the Indo-Fijians, was already being celebrated. The Fiji Islands, in the Pacific Ocean, are six-and-a-half hours ahead of Indian time and the Indo-Fijians were already singing chautal, an oral tradition of celebration.
Janamashtmi, or the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna — the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu — is celebrated with traditional gaiety and fervour all over India. It falls on the eighth day of the waning moon in the month of Shravan in August/ September.
Did you know that the celebrations at Christmas might have nothing to do with the birth of Christ? In fact they may well lie in a feast called Sacaea that was celebrated thousands of years before Christ’s birth.
Kamla Mathur was born and brought up in Etah, a small town in Uttar Pradesh. Now, at 65, she lives in Delhi and reminisces fondly of the Holi she and her siblings celebrated at ‘home’, in the area called Brajbhoomi, the land where the Braj dialect of Hindi is spoken.
What is special about Durga Puja is that it’s a community celebration. In Calcutta, specially, almost every neighbourhood has a Puja Committee to organise the Puja in their locality, every year.
Come September and the Committee members begin to meet at each other’s houses and chalk out plans for grand celebrations over endless rounds of cha(tea) and adda (discussion).
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