Friday, August 8, 2014

Itni Raymi as Comprehensive Festival of Peru

Inti Raymi festival which is dedicated to praise the deeds of the Sun is the second largest festival of South America and can be considered as one of the convincing and historic carnival of Peru. The celebration of Inti Raymi is marked by millions of devotee who gathers around the open space of Cuzco to offer homage to the first son of the sun who is renowned as Inti Churin. The festival in fact is a symbol of immortal sanctification of marriage between the sun and his sons.

Historical Facts
To understand the historical background of the festival traveler would require understating the Spanish oppression during its colonial days. The Spaniards during their days took an active participation to outcast the events of Inti Raymi that used occur during the solace of winter in Cuzco. It is believed that earliest method of celebration was orthodox because people during that days used to refrain themselves from any physical pleasures, used to fast for several days to please the crops of sun god. Communities of Peru during the time of festival called for a sacrifice of llamas to honor sun god.

During the call of late 15th century viceroy Toledo restricted Inti Raymi as a part of contrary to the Catholic faith and again the celebration as a part of their ancestral association was revived in 20th century. At present the rituals used during the time of ancient celebration are same and the norms again are virtue of their old tradition.

When It Is Celebrated
The festival of Inti Raymi is celebrated officially in 24th June of every year as winter solstice but the actual commemoration starts from the 21st of June.

How It Is Celebrated
Since we understand that it is one of the traditional festivals of the local people so it is marked by series of events. During day time you will witness expositions in streets like street dance and street fairs while in evening they gather to enjoy the musical concert which is performed by number of renowned local artiste.

The main part of the festival is convocation of Sapa Inca in Qorikancha after his invocation he urges for blessings and later he is escorted in golden throne to the ancient fortress of Sacsayhuamá. During this advent numbers of people follows the crowd to participate in procession. The son of sun is accompanied by high priest and jewels of his court. Once all the dignitaries are sedated in their respective throne the Sapa Inca climbs the square of the fortress and preaches the word of wisdom.

After his inspiring words the llama is sacrificed as a part of tradition and then high priest holds the heart of the llama and professes the glory of future. Once the dying ray of sun starts to sinks at its destined horizon people starts to dance around the open spaces and walks back their procession to the streets of Cuzco.

Main Activities
The magnitude of this festival is a joy of celebration which is exhibited on the streets by the local people. The festival as it marks the beginning of the New Year for the local people the enthusiasm and the energy which is carried out by the devotee is worth noticing.

Where All It Is Celebrated
The festival is officially celebrated at the streets of Peru to be more precise it is put into show from the walks of Cuzco to the open spaces of ancient fortress of Sacsayhuamá.

 


Monday, July 7, 2014

Ambubachi Mela-A Portrayal of Endurance and Sanctification


Ambubachi Mela is the most significant and famed fiesta at the Kamakhya Temple in the capital city, Guwahati of the state of Assam. Widely renowned as the Ameti or the Tantric fertility festival, the Ambubachi Mela has a close connection with the tantric rituals and customs. The Ambubachi festival is intimately linked to the Tantric sect and is also celebrated as Kamkhya Devi Puja. It is supposed that Goddess Kamakhya goes through her menstrual cycle during these days and consequently the temple remains shut for three days. The Mela is celebrated with full pomp and show for four days.

History
The Ambubachi festival is one of the major attractions of the state of Assam. It is the celebration of the annual menstruation phase of goddess Kamakhya. It is understood that the superintending goddess of the temple, Devi Kamakhya, goes through her yearly stage of menstruation during this time stretch. It is also presumed that all through the monsoon showers the innovative and fostering supremacy of the 'menses' of Mother Earth becomes available to devotees at this place during the festival. No statue or figurine of the deity exists but she is worshipped in the outline of a yoni-like stone as an alternative over which a natural spring flows.

When is it Celebrated
Devotees in bulky figures linger outside the temple as the temple will be opens on the fourth day. Sanyasins from all around the world gather at the Kamakhya temple during this period. Every year tons and thousands of devotees hover around the temple of Kamakhya during the Ambubachi Mela in the month of Ahaar (mid June).

How is it Celebrated
During the festival of Ambubachi, it is very vital to allow Mother to rest. It’s like a Mother’s Day in India. We are supposed to take great care of our Mother for her unconditional love. Ambubachi is celebrated amidst 22-26 of every month, with the beginning of the monsoons. During this period, Assam turns into a mere water body with water all around it.

On the very prime day, a piece of cloth, preferably red silk is used to cover the altar or the idol in order to give Her some privacy. At this stage, she is considered to be extremely powerful, thereby cleansing and revitalizing the entire Earth, which in practice is Her body itself.

On the 4th day, the deity is bathed to reclaim limpidness and various rituals are performed. It is only after this procedure that the doors of the temple are unfastened to the devotees. According to the myths of Hinduism, after the death of His adored Sati, Lord Shiva was in great anguish and while flying through the skies, dropped her burnt body parts on the earth. The arena where her yoni resided is known to the world as Kamakhya.

Main activities:
As soon as the temple is opened, people hurry to the temple in order to grab the propitious Prasad which in practice, is small tits and bits of cloth, which becomes soggy with the menstrual fluid of Goddess Kamakhya. It is considered very commanding and fortunate if tied to the arm.

Ambubachi Mela has acquired the position of a nationalized festival with innumerable number of devotes and followers rushing to Guwahati in order to enjoy the auspicious festival. The festival also attracts numerous people from the foreign land as well who flock to the place to witness the fiesta.

As per the myths, during the three days when mother earth undergoes menstruation, devotees are bounded by some limits such as they are not allowed to cook or perform any sort of puja or indulge in activities such as farming.

Where all is it celebrated

The Ambubachifestival is celebrated in Guwahati with huge pomp and show. Situated at a considerable distance of about 5kms from Guwahati resides the temple complex of Kamakhya which witnesses the Ambubachi Mela. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

An Exclusive Perspective of Ochira Kali Festival

Fun and frolic celebration of Ochira Temple which is commonly revered as Ochira Kali festival is amongst the most historic and awaited occasion of the Kerala People. During this traditional festival participants looks to commemorate the course of significant battle that took place between kingdoms of Kayankulam and Venad.
Historical Facts of the Ochira Kali Festival
Historical background of this festival very much revolves around the war that took place 300 years back between the two kingdoms namely Kayankulam and Venad. It is believed that both the kingdom participated furiously for two days within the field of paddy of Oachira.

This exclusive festival of Ochira Kali looks to spread an essence of the history and to make it more relevant participants from kalaripayattu groups involves in mock fight where they use sticks rather than sword to observe the glory of those days.

When It Is Celebrated
Ochira Kali festival is an annual festival which is celebrated within the doors of the Ochira Temple during the months of June. This occasion is a kind of unique in sense because it allows contestant to show their skills and the tradition it follows entices the traveler from across the world.

How It Is Celebrated
When it comes to the part of celebration than as said above it is an exclusive festival because it embellishes the days of the future past. Following the course the two kalaripayattu groups’ pays tribute to Kayankulam and Venad fighters by performing martial arts which is believed to represent the flocks of different region.

Mock battle which is performed by standing on paddy fields reflects the main character of the festival and to see them splashing water at each other would be a different experience. Traveler must understand that before they perform the traditional play of Kali they call for vratam of 41 days and during the day of the main show idol of Lord Shiva is taken out for procession by the warriors.

The mock fight between two groups happens after the procession and during evening they call of their battle and promise to return on the next day to continue the encounter. On the second day combat between two groups’ ends and winner are chosen by the evening.

Main Activities
Magnitude of this festival is defined by its traditional mock fights which are believed to be war like exercise. Two groups of kalaripayattu perform hostility which is not actual encounter but rather it exhibits the course of battle that happened 300 years before. Festival is an interesting kind because it defines the tradition of the local people and more exciting core of it relates the gestures and active participation of the local people.

Once you are done observing the battle between two traveler can take an initiative to visit the Padanilam where cattle and agricultural fair are organized by the local to compliment the Ochira Kali festival.

Where All It Is Celebrated

The annual festival ofOchira Kali is officially celebrated in a village near Kayamkulam in Thiruvananthapuram district.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cultural and Religious Manifesto of Yuru-Kabgyat Festival

An enthusiasm and energy whenever gets complimented by the radiance of color than the occasions like Yuru Kabgyat comes into picture. The Yuru Kabgyat festival which is celebrated at the divine ambience of Lamayaru monastery is one of the most significant celebrations of Ladakh people. During this festival traveler comes from all across the world especially from China, Korea, Tibet and other Buddhist dominated nation to witness the dance drama which is popularly known as mask dance and it is performed by the monks of the various monastery. 
Traveler must understand that this occasion marks the cultural aspects of the local people and would give you idea regarding the Buddhism manifesto which is followed by the mass number of people here.

Historical Facts
To understand the history related with Yuru Kabgyat festival traveler would first need to trace the glory of Mask Dance which according to mythological and chronological accounts reflects the core of Mahayana tradition.

The holy scripts of the Buddhism states that mask dance came into existence during the call of 8th century and its prominence are still very much apt within the Royal throne of the Bhutan. With the passage of time the Cham Dance became more prolific and turned out to be the most provisional aspects of their tradition.

It is believed that the sole object of the Cham or Mask dance is to please their orgy and it is also performed to resist evil spirits and to protect human body from any unnatural epidemics and anatomy’s.

When It Is Celebrated
This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm for 2 days during the months of 17th and 18th day of the 5th Tibetan month and according to our calendar it is designated during the months of July and August.

How It Is Celebrated
Traveler must understand that the festival is celebrated to commemorate the deeds and Omni-presence of Lord Yana and Lord Padmasambhava. The common ground of this festival is Mask dance you will witness monks gathering in circle and performing the same with great interest and excitement. An environment of the festival is glorified with the beats of drums, pipes and cymbals keep the momentum of the monks. You would witness monks coming from the surroundings like Lahul, Spiti, Leh to participate in a holy rituals and that’s what make the celebration worth visiting.

Main Activities
The crowd that surrounds the gates of the temple to see monks performing the ritualistic Cham dance speaks the volume of the festival and when we talk about its magnitude than consider mask dance to be a main attraction and main activity of the celebration. Beside that traveler during the time of festival would have an opportunity to learn more about Buddhism.

Where All It Is Celebrated

The festival of Yuru Kabgyat is officially celebrated within the gates of Lamayaru monastery and during this occasion traveler gathers from all across the world to praise the glory of Lord Buddha along with Lord Yana who is believed to be the lord of death and Lord Padmasambhava who is believed to be a lord of wealth.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Cultural Menifesto of Shimla Summer Festival

Nestled within the Northern ambience of Himachal Pradesh the turquoise landscape which is dominated by the slopes and adulating hills is addressed by the fury of cold weather during the entire season and it is only during the call of summer season the people living here seems to heave a sigh of relief.


A conspicuous and peculiar cultural abode of Shimla which is oriented and illustrated by the season of summer is put into show by the district administration where Land of Gods cultivates its entire prodigy to celebrate the course of mild summer.


When It Is Celebrated
Shimla Summer Festival which is organized with a bands and riots of colors is celebrated every year during the month of May/June to entice traveler from all across the world. Traveler must understand that it is an International occasion where reverie of summer season is celebrated in a grand manner.

Talking about its organizing committee than every year vigorous district administration takes a noble initiative to amalgamate grandiose of Shimla where cultural fest and vivid measures is put into manner to celebrate annuls of summer season.

This year the same festival is schedule in the month of June and general commencement of it would begin from 1st of June and would last till 5th of the same month.

Historical Facts
Since we understand that captivating landscape of Himachal is not just complimented by the glory of nature but the charismatic essence of summer has always been a season to rejoice and refill where their rich harvest and effort are painted by the brush of brilliance.

To understand the history of the occasion, first we need to understand the phenomenon of Shimla that has always attributed and manifested God as an artist of nature. The festival in fact from its very beginning have preserved its rich ancestral culture and the celebration of it is relates their method and effort to enrich the same.

Month of May that marks the days of festival can be considered as the sweetest month of the calendar year as it brings auspicious and prosperity to their life and during this month locals gather around to thank god for giving them this opportunity.

How It Is Celebrated
First of all this festival is celebrated to allure the change of season and as mentioned above during this festival the whole city buckles up to make it landmark of occasions. The first phase of celebration starts with huge gathering where both male and female participates to thank ever endowing god for his grace and blessings. Together they pray to god to bless them with another year of happiness and offer their harvest to god for his due consecration.

Now talking about its cultural aspects than vivid shows which are interlinked with their ancestral code and customary acts are put into show to entice traveler from across the world. During the season of summer the whole state is at its cultural best and complimenting the same they organized various programs and occasion where local people are put into picture to show their skills and talent.

Sports tournament, flower shows, amusement, cultural acts, photography session, poster making competition, fashion show etc are some of the integral parts of the festival.

Main Attraction
Talking about the main attraction of the festival than its cultural show and vivid activities are the magnitude of the occasion where everyone can participate and can look to be a part of this amazing summer festival.

Where All It Is Celebrated

Within the entire part of Himachal Pradesh the summer festival is celebrated but the main show occurs at the Himalayan womb of Shimla.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Prodigy and Cultural Aspects of Dragon Boat Festival


Dragon Boat Festival which is also renowned as Duanwu Festival is a cultural carnival that pays tribute to its partisan poet and famous scholar Qu Yuan. The festival indeed plays a main role to influence the educational system of China and allows traveler and participants to dispose their ailments to keep their body free from course of disease. This Dragon Boat Festival is similar to Keralas Nehru Trophy Boat Race


Historical Facts
To understand the chronological facts related with an origin and nature of Dragon Boat race first we require understanding the contribution of Qu Yuan who was a patriotic poet and great scholar of China. During his life he supported the decision of struggle against the powerful state of Qin along with the state of Qi to bring justice to all however his measure proved to be futile as he was opposed by Zi Lan and later he was executed.

His failures nevertheless were marginal because he was a great nationalist and had spent his whole life to endure his inspiring poems like Li Sao, Tian Wen and Jiu G. According to narration before he threw himself in the river to evade the scene of prejudice and annexation he compiled his masterwork name Huai Shah.

After hearing such fatal occurrence local people gathered around the river to search his body but failed to recover the same. Living in array of distress and discontentment many local people gave up their life following the same method to pay tribute to an eternal soul of Qu Yuan.  Dragon Boat racing in fact relates a commemoration to an apartheid soul of Qi Yuan which is complimented by customary eating of Zongzi.
When It Is Celebrated
Dragon Boat festival is widely celebrated throughout the China during the 5th day of the 5th month of Chinese Lunar Calendar and incidentally the sad demise of Qu Yuan occurred during the same day. In 2014 the same festival is scheduled to happen on June 2 and on that day the whole nation would pay tribute by calling a week off to celebrate the quest of festival.

How It Is Celebrated
As a customary act the festival is classified into sections and each of it bears cultural marks and importance. The Dragon Boat racing, eating zongzi, wearing a perfume pouch, tying five-color silk thread and hanging mugwort leaves and calamus are integral part of the celebration.

Dragon boat race- this particular race is the main section of festivals and during this act you will witness numbers of boats and thousands of participants fighting till the end to reach the finishing line. At each Dragon boat the solemn team is divided into two groups one would sit in front and would play a drum beat while other would row the boats to cross the line.

An idea of starting Dragon race came into picture after the death of Qu Wan and it is said that many boats went to the river to recover the dead body of the historic poet and since then the practice of boat race has become a part of Chinese culture.

Eating Zongzi- this customary acts, narrate the incidents of Qu Wan death as many people after such occurrence gathered around the site of river and threw Zongzi so that fish could feed themselves and could spare the helpless body of Qu Wan. During the time of Boat race people of China prepares Zongzi and throws it into water to recall that incident that changed the course of history.
Wearing a Perfume Pouch and Tying Five-color Silk Thread- according to historical fact wearing a perfume pouch would protect the children from evil and tying Five-color Silk Thread would heal the suffering of the children
Hanging Mugwort Leaves and Calamus- during the time of summer season local people clean their houses and hangs Mugwort Leaves and Calamus in top of their respective doors to depress the course of disease.

Main Activities
Dragon boat race can be considered as main attraction and main activity of the festival where traveler gathers from all across the world to witness the nation paying homage and tribute to great Qu Wan. Apart from Dragon Boat racing eating Zongzi, Wearing a Perfume Pouch and Tying Five-color Silk Thread and Hanging Mugwort Leaves and Calamus can be considered as major traditional acts of the festival.

Where It Is Celebrated
Being an indispensible festival of China the Dragon Boat racing festival is celebrated throughout the China and at every corner of the nation participant’s gathers in and rows till the end of the time to portray the cultural hegemony of this festival.
Important Note
Owing to its cultural aspects and long drawn history the festival is added to the list of UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Three Kings Feast – Grandiose Celebrations of Goa

One of the most popular and enthusiastically celebrated by people irrespective of their caste, creed and political affections, the Three Kings Feast is celebrated annually on the Epiphany or 6th of January in Goa especially in the Three Kings Church which is placed on the Cuelim Hill. The festival is devoted to the Three Kings or the Magi or the wise men from the east who came with their gifts to give it to the infant Jesus Christ. The feast is offered to the Lady of the Mount who is believed to be the protector of the people.   

History:
The festival is celebrated to honor the three kings who followed a guiding star that announced the birth of the king-Jesus Christ over 2, 000 years ago. The three kings brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh for infant Jesus Christ; thus the festival is celebrated depicting the three king’s visit to the Lady of the Mount with huge processions and participations from all the people. 

The Legend: According to a legend, a stone on a closely hill is stamped with footprints of two babies and of a adult, together with a furrow carved out of a rock marking the spot where the Virgin Mary rested with the infant Christ while the horse quenched its thirst. All this happened before proceeding to the hill of the remedies where she chose to remain.   

Celebrations: Three boys aged in between 8 to 12 are selected from 3 villages namely Arossim, Cuelim and Cansualim to enact as three kings and visit the chapel. But nine day before the final day, large number of Hindu and Christian devotees visits the chapel and seek blessings.  

The Nossa Senhora dos Remedios chapel popularly known as the Church of the Three Kings founded by Fr Gonsalo Carvalho in 1599 is the main venue for this grandiose celebration; the chapel is allied to the St Thomas Church of Cansualim. The lady of mount is supposed to fulfill wishes of every devotee thus the processions of this festivity are carried out for a span of 9 days ending in the Epiphany or 6th January. 

Main Attractions:
On the day of the real celebrations, attired in Kings dress with a crown on their head they travel on horseback through varied paths and meet some distance away from the Chapel of Our lady of remedies (Nossa Senhora dos Remedios) which is placed atop the hill in Cuelim. Attired like a king they are followed by a huge procession of music and dances and are led by a boy beating a kettle drum, the three boys carries the gifts of the original Three Kings – gold, frankincense and myrrh and continue to the chapel together. All of them put their gifts in the feet of the Jesus statute.

Amazing fair is held all round the week with people singing, dancing, eating, drinking and cheering from sunrise till nightfall. Visitors can purchase brassware, copper, metal, clothes, furniture, toys, trinkets, glass bangles, sweet meats and spices of all sorts.