The Punjabis celebrate this festival as Baisakhi. The Assamese call this festival Bohag Bihu. In Kerala they usher in the new year with Vishu. For Tamilians it is Varasha Porupu, while Gudi Padva is important for Maharashtrians.
Go out into the market on Easter and you cannot miss the Easter egg on the shop counter – filled with sweets and chocolates, it is irresistible. Several people also paint eggs or emboss chocolate eggs with sugar flowers to gift to friends and relatives.
Durga Puja is the most important festival for the people of West Bengal, the Eastern Indian state that has been home to three Nobel Laureates – Rabindranath Tagore, Amartya Sen, and Mother Teresa – as well as Oscar awardee Satyajit Ray.
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.
Come Independence Day and the markets are flooded with kites. The sky looks like an ocean swarming with tiny tadpoles swimming across from one place to the other. Colourful tadpoles, though!
Although kite flying has been popular in India for hundreds of years, historians believe that kite flying originated in China almost 3,000 years ago.
Can you imagine a Christmas without lights? And no brightly illuminated shops, their racks groaning under the weight of colourful packets of cakes, wine, dolls and every other gift item you could possibly think of? Impossible?
It was a children’s dance-drama festival with a difference. At New Delhi’s LTG Auditorium recently, a group of ‘disabled’ children left the audience spellbound with their natural, joyful performances. Some of the children could not hear, others could not see or had difficulty walking.
At the age of 18, Akbar had been emperor of the Mughal empire for four years. This was 440 years ago, in the year 1560. But the king still had many desires that any ordinary young man would have at his age.
Why have a particular day to tell your mother that you love her and respect her, some of us might ask.
Why indeed? We could do that everyday.
Right. We could.
But, do we?
So, is it such a bad idea to have a day to honour mothers?
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