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.  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Gangasagar Mela, One of the Most Religious Pilgrimages of Hindus in India


http://westbengaltourism.gov.in/web/guest/bakkhali
Sagar is an Island located on the Muriganga River. This island is cut off from the mainland with this river. At present, the island is not linked with any road bridge and the visitors have to cross the distance with the help of ferry services that are available from the mainland. After reaching the island one has to travel some distance in order to reach the southernmost part of the island, where the holy shrine and the ashram of the renowned saint, Kapil Muni is placed. Gangasagar Beach holds vast and shallow water.

History
Gangasagar is a holy place where the sacred river Ganga meets the sea, Bay of Bengal. A dip in the place, where the Ganga River merges into the sea is regarded to have a religious significance, especially on the Makara Sankranti day when the sun makes a transition to Capricorn from Sagittarius. During this time, the town, Sagar holds huge fair, drawing visitors from all over India, which is one of its kinds. Many legends are associated with this fair, the most common one that the locals believe in is that the girls who take a holy dip during this time get good looking grooms and the boys will get pretty brides. After the ritual obligations are completed, they head to the nearby temple, Kapil Muni, to worship the deity as a mark of respect. Another legend that is associated with this mela is that before merging into the sea, Ganga River watered the human remains of King Sagar’s 6,000 sons, freeing their souls for eternity. The King’s sons were believed to have been burned by the rage of Kapil Muni, who got angry on getting disturbed during his meditation. The King’s sons had come to this place in search of their father’s Sacrificial Horse. The horse was stolen by Devraj Indra and tied it beside the hermitage of Kapil Muni. When they saw the saint at this place, they started blaming him for stealing the horse and thus, interrupting his meditation.

Time of Celebration
At Gangasagar, thousands of visitors take a holy dip annually during the time of Makar Sankranti, which generally falls on 14th or 15th of January. Gangasagar Mela or fair is arranged yearly but people from all over India come to this place throughout the year. There is a common believe among the Hindus that by taking a bath at this place will relief them from all curse and sins, thus, earning blessings from the God. The place is the ‘Punya Tirtha’ for Hindus.

How It Is Celebrated
GangaSagar Mela or fair is the second largest Mela after the Kumbh Mela in India.  Gangasagar Mela is one of the most popular Hindu pilgrimage centres in West Bengal. Every year, thousands of Hindu pilgrims come to this place to take a holy dip into the holy river of Ganga. A long fair is held from January to February annually. The fair is hoarded by large number of devotees on the Makar Sanskriti day. The popularity of this fair can be assumed with the involvement of more than million pilgrims, without any formal or informal invitation, endorsement and organizing authority.  Besides the general devotees, the fair also witnesses the attendance of Naga Sadhus.

Main Activities
The entire journey to this fair is tough, but this does not dishearten even the weakest. Large numbers of devotees hoard the beach night and day to occupy a space on the sandy beach. People move with the huge crowd along with the sounds of bells, blowing conch shells and chanting prayers. Several devotional songs can also be heard during this time. Huge number of stalls and shops are lined along the pathway, selling different varieties of vermillion, rudraksha, colorful beads, saffron clothes, conch shells and other religious items. The mela is not complete without the sight of Naga Sadhus, who sit naked in their little huts close to the temple, enjoying a chillum of ganja.

Almost every devotee takes their turn to take a dip on the auspicious day on the holy river, to purify their mind, body and soul from all the sins and receive the blessings of the God. A considerable number of marriages are also conducted on the beach on this day. As well as, many young girls get married to the sea on this day, as it is believed, that by doing so, they will never become widows, even if their men go through the roughest time in their life.

Every year, the fair is witnessed by millions of devotees in Sagar Island, which makes it quite tough for the pilgrims. Still they come to this place, to celebrate Makar Sanskriti with joy and devotion in their eyes.          

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Kerala Village Fair – Displaying the Rich Culture and Tradition of Gods own Country

Celebrated with huge gaiety and fervor, Kerala Village Fair is an amalgamation of cultural and traditional events conducted around the verdant villages of Kochi and Kovalam every year in mid January for a time period of ten days. During this festival, traditional houses (Nalukettu) are festooned with beautiful decorative and these decorated houses also serves as the venue for all these events. Thousands and thousands of tourists from across the globe visit Kerala during the time of this festival. This is the best time to visit Kerala to witness the grandiose cultural events and the bygone era of rich Keralite history.  

A typical traditional Keralite house which is known as ‘Grammam’ houses many conventional Nalukettu houses and tea shops. Nalukettu are the traditional thatched and decorated houses and are the main backdrop of all the festivities that are conducted during the festival.

Annually in the beach of Kovalam and the Marine Drive in Ernakulam this festival is celebrated with huge enthusiasm and participation by all the people of Kerala irrespective of their caste and political affections. The basic concept of this festival is to recreate the entire Keralite village in the traditional Keralian style. Houses and huts depicting both of the higher and the lower class are made.

Celebration: The traditional Nalukettu are ornamented with ancient paintings, Mahogany, sandalwood, priceless furniture in teak, spice bowl, ethnic jewelry, swords and shields. The traditional house is further bejeweled with household utensils, Palmyra fans, musical instruments; majestic wooden beds which make it even more attractive drawing large number of tourists. The Nalukettu looks captivating with a floral decoration known as ‘Pookalam’ and the village girls exhibiting ‘Thiruvathirakali’ around a tall brass lamp attired in a gorgeous traditional dress.

Main Highlights: The main highlights of this festival are the large number of astrologers, sorcerers, and artisans who provides glimpse of the Kerala rich history and its bygone era. In true sense, this fair recreates the charm and the nostalgia of the bygone era that symbolizes the simplicity and the richness of old Kerala. Ritualistic art forms such as Pulikali, Theyyam, Kakkarisi, Panchavadyam, Villapattu, Bhajans and Thullal are also performed.

Culinary Delights: At the Chyakada or the village tea shop the visitors and guests are welcomed in every Grammam with tender coconut and refreshing tangy lemon juice. Culinary delights such as steamed tapioca and fish curry (meen and kappa) or pounced rice cakes and lentils (Puttu and Kadala) are also served during the festival. The festivity is further enhanced by the wide range of South India dishes which include mixed vegetable avial, fish stew with coconut milk, theeyal, mutton biryani, lacy idiappam, Malabar porotta and many more.

Visitors can buy various souvenirs and other handicrafts at Kamalgramam to take back home as a memorable gift from Kerala.

Tourists must visit this place during the celebration time of this festival if they want to witness what Kerala used to be in yester years.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pongal, the Joyous Harvest Festival

Introduction
Pongal which is also known as Thai Pongal is celebrated by Tamils in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the most significant festivals of Tamil celebrated at the end of the harvest season. This festival is celebrated annually during the month of January.  Pongal is considered as the most auspicious one and mark it as the beginning of sun’s movement towards the zodiac Capricorn. Other than Tamil Nadu, this auspicious festival is celebrated in the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry and Sri Lanka.

History
The history of this festival is over 1,000 years old although some say that the festival is much older than that. Still, the history of this festival can be marked from the Sangam Age, from 200 B.C. to 300 A.D. Pongal actually initiated as the 'Dravidian Harvest Festival'. During that period, young girls used to worship God for prosperity and rain and they avoided taking milk and milk products during the festival. They also used to create idol of Goddess Katyani out of wet sand and worship it. Though there are many legends associated with this festival, one of the legends say that once Lord Shiva told his bull 'Basava' to visit the earth and meet the human beings living on it. Lord Shiva had also asked his bull to tell the human beings to take oil massage and bath daily like they eat food every day. On the way to the earth the bull forgot the message and told the human beings to eat daily and to take oil massage and bath once in a month. When Lord Shiva came to know about this, he became angry with Basava and punished him to live on the earth itself and asked help the human beings by ploughing their fields to harvest more grain. Thus, traditions and rituals of ancient period started to be celebrated as Pongal.

Celebrations and Rituals
The festival is celebrated with lot of vigor and joy in the state of Tamil Nadu. Almost every inhabitants living at this place actively participates in its preparations. The celebration of Pongal festival initiates from 13th January and lasts till four days. The festival initiates with 'Bhogi' and concludes with 'Kannum’. The festival is mainly of great significance for the farmers. On the first of the festival, people start with the celebration which is known as 'Bhogi' that includes cleaning of their houses and preparing attractive Kolam at the entrance of their houses.  Late in the evening of the first day, they worship Lord Indra and burn the unwanted things of their houses in a bonfire. After which they sing and dance happily around the born fire. According to the people who celebrate Pongal, this is the sign of the end of old things and beginning of new and good things.

The second day of the festival is called ‘Sury Pongal’ as it is dedicated to Sun. On this day, people worship Sun in the morning and prepare a sweet dish made of new rice, milk and jiggery. This sweet dish is known as 'Sakkarai Pongal'. It is prepared in an earthen pot and when it gets cooked; people will say 'Pongalo Pongal'. The third day of the festival is called 'Mattu Pongal'. On the third day people wash their cattle's like cows and bulls and decorate them beautifully by painting their horns with attractive colors and  by hanging bells around their neck. After completing the decoration of the cattle, they worship them and thank them in helping them in harvesting and ploughing. The last or the fourth day of Pongal is 'Kannum Pongal'. On this day people enjoy to their fullest content. During this day people meet their relatives and friends and exchange gifts, wishing each other 'Happy Pongal'. The entire festival is celebrated with lot of delight.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Lohri Festival Marks the Harvest Festival of Punjabis

Lohri which is the most celebrated festival of Punjab and Haryana region is feted on the month of January during the month of Paush or Magh, a day before Makar Sankranti.

This festival is connected with Solar year and marks farewell of winter season. As before it used to be prime festival for Punjabis only but now with its growing popularity it is celebrated throughout the country as harvest festival.

People calls this festival with various names and some examples are Pongal- in Tamil Nadu,Bihu and Assam, Bhogi in Andhra Pradesh and the Sankranti in Karnataka, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

For Punjabi people this festival is most important as it regards a time of merry making after the process of harvesting. Beside that they celebrate this festival in order to show the colors and their culture.
After the completion of cutting and gathering of the grains and other food crops, they all gather at one place and start to celebrate the festival by singing folk dance and perform their local traditional dance, which they call Bhangra.

History of Lohri
History 0f Lohri is marked with an equatorial phenomenon because it is on this day we witness farewell of chilly winter and arrival of spring and at a same time it s marked with the longest night and after Lohri, the days become longer and the nights shorter.

It is celebrated to commemorate Dulha Batti, who was a Muslim robber and lived during an era of Akbar. It is believed that he was a hero amongst Punjabis. As he used to steal wealth from rich people and distribute it among the poor.

Beside that he rescued girl who were being taken away brutally. He used to arrange marriages of young girls and paid the dowries. So to remember and to respect his deeds Lohri is being celebrated.It is also celebrated to worship sun God, Water and Fire.

When It Is Celebrated
It is feted on the month of January during the month of Paush or Magh, a day before Makar Sankranti.

How It Is Celebrated
Like other festival, family gathers in, they exchange sweets, shares gestures. As it is mainly an agricultural festival and people celebrates it after they are done with harvest process.
On this day people lights bon fire and dance around it. People throw rewaries, sugar-candy, popcorn, sesame seeds, gur, etc into the fire and sing and dance around it.
On this day people wears traditional colourful dresses and celebrates it throughout the night.

Main Attraction
As it is a festival of lights and colors, so we can witness vivid culture of Punjabis as they wear their traditional attire and lights bonfire and around it they perform folk songs and dance Bhangra on the beads of Gidda.

Where It Is Celebrated
Lohri is celebrated every year on 13th of January and on this day people of Punjab worship Sun God, Water and Fire. It is mainly celebrated in Punjab but this festival is also celebrated in other regions of India like Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
As festival is privately celebrated within their own sphere, where all the family members gathers in exchange sweets and lights bonfire and enjoys night singing traditional folk songs and performs Bhangra.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Amazing Shilpgram Crafts Mela


http://www.shilpgram.in/

Held to promote an art and craft of Rajasthan this festival is celebrated at a beautiful field of Udaipur where mass number of people gathers to enjoy a tradition, which is reflected through their beauty of hand works.
Often termed as craftsmen’s fair this fair allows brilliant chance for a travellers to witness a beauty of Rajasthan art and culture.

Rajasthan is quite famous for its exclusive art and handicrafts and Shilpgram Crafts Mela is the significant it bring everything together and displays to the world on one platform. So come and witness the marvel that is done with painstakingly and intricately by the people of Rajasthan.

When it is celebrated
The festival is celebrated during a season of winter where local crafts men gathers here and displays their art and handicrafts, mirror works, hand woven clothes, embroideries, hand woven clothes and camel leather items are some of the basic things they display at a fair.

Where it is celebrated
Udaipur of Rajasthan host this beautiful fair which looks to encourage a rural art and craft works of a locals that means a visit to Rajasthan during a season of winters would allow you to take one step closer in terms of understanding a beauty of their work.

November/December is a right time to visit a beauty of Udaipur because during this month they celebrates a beauty of this festival which longs for a 10 days and it is during this season where people lures into Udaipur to enjoy a beauty of environment which is well complimented by the festival of Shilpgram.

How it is celebrated
People from every corner of Rajasthan stall their booth and displays a beauty of their works like art and handicrafts, mirror works, hand woven clothes, embroideries, hand woven clothes, camel leather items and various other items and buyer lures into their shop to buy a goodies they wish to buy.

An extraordinary works inflicts a rich culture of Rajasthan and their art gallery are filled with a beauty their works which gets an all around attention from buyers and what makes it more amazing as the winter season is a pick hour of tourism here so that offers brilliant opportunity for local artist to expose the beauty of their works which in turn goes worldwide as the people from around the globe comes to enjoy a beauty of ambiance.

Activities and Attraction
While you engage your mind in shopping a beautiful works of local craftsmen and weavers a singers here looks to entertain you with their melodious scale and singing. So far as attractions are concerned the gallery which they set up in Udaipur is a main attraction as the varied art and craft works looks to obtain a beauty a festival.

Here you would see a magnificent of their works from embroidery to handworks, from art and craft to weaver’s beauty all are lined up to encourage a rural work of local crafts men. Since art and craft and tourism are building necessary income for a government so this fair is hosted to uplift the same as the state is renowned for the same.

 So come here during a month of November and December and be a part of a fair and take something home as a memento of your journey.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

19TH INDIA INTERNATIONAL SEAFOOD SHOW - THE COUNTRY’S LARGEST SEAFOOD EXPOSITION

You would be amazed to know that the largest Seafood Fairs of whole of Asia includes the India International Seafood Show (IISS). It is a medium that provides common platform to the Exporters, Importers, Industries, Aqua-culturists and seafood processors so as to strengthen the mutual seafood trade. The IISS mainly concentrates over signifying the potential of India in the fisheries sector on an international platform.   



HISTORY

It was in the year 1973 that the very first IISS was held in the city of Mumbai with an objective of expanding the trade of fisheries sector of India in the foreign market and there by highlighting the potentials of India in the respective sector.

WHEN IS THE SHOW CELEBRATED
This year that is in 2014 the 19th edition of the show will be conducted from 10th to 12th of January. However, this year it will be celebrated in the Chennai Trade Centre which is spread over 6100 sq meter.

OBJECTIVE OF THE SHOW
The main objective of IISS is to provide a platform so as to make India more easily accessible with the seafood buyers, whole sellers, importers, exporters, distributors which are spread all over the world.

WHY EXHIBIT
It is because of the India International Seafood Show that the scope of new avenues has widened in India as much of the advanced fisheries technology and products in the country is been introduced. And it is because of the IISS that India has successfully increased the production of the Litopenaeus vannamei. The exhibition also helps in expanding the mutual relationship for trade in fisheries sector among the already existing sectors or the newly introduced sectors.

The IISS has successfully increased the potentials of exports of India in a statistics of 5 years and you will be amazed to know that in the year 2011-2012 India could export seafood worth US $ 3.50 Billion and in the year 2014- 2015 India is expected to do a business of US $ 5 Billion, thereby such growth story is only because of the India International Seafood Show. Besides it has also increased the education of sustainable fishing methods which in turn resulted in producing increased aqua culture, to be specific it has immensely helped to increase the production of L. Vannamei.

WHY SHOULD YOU VISIT IISS
Today India has become one amongst the leading suppliers of good quality seafood to the fisheries sectors spread in the whole wide world. It is an amazing fact that India is in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th largest position in terms of exports of Shrimps to Europe, Japan and US respectively that is because of the encouragement of India International Seafood Show to the fisheries sector of India. If we talk about the seafood processing plants then India has got seafood processing plants which are not less than any other country as IISS provides solutions to complaints regarding quality control and helps to strengthen regulatory international requirements.

It is in the year 2014 that IISS has given importance with reference to India so as to produce “Guilt free seafood “, as it has educated the fishermen of India to handle the aquaculture in a sustainable manner.
 
It is the result of such measures of IISS that today India is producing world class seafood.