Tag Archive | Festival

244. Raksha Bandhan

The relationship between siblings is something great. The bondage will continue lifelong. The bond of love between a brother and a sister is deepest and cannot be expressed in words.

In South India, on Garuda panchami day, sister prays for the welfare of the brother and the brother gives some gift to the sister.  In the same way, “Rakhi” or “Raksha Bandhan” is celebrated in North India.

On this special occasion the sister ties rakhi, around the wrist of the brother, after praying for his safety and wellness. Rakhi or Raksha means protection. The brother assures to protect the sister from all the evils by accepting this bond and gives her gift. The family members used to unite for this function.

This festival is celebrated in the month of shravana on the poornima day. Those who are close family friends, can also tie rakhi  to show the affection. By this, the social wellbeing is maintained.

I want to share an interesting news about Raksha Bandhan. When British were ruling India, Rabindranath Tagore tried to create a brotherhood feeling between the hindus and the muslims, so that they can fight against British unitedly. In Shantiniketan he arranged for “Rakshabandhan Mahotsava”.

This festival actually helped to create harmony and trust between hindus & muslims. Even now, it is very essential to continue this practice as this festival holds the key to peaceful existence of love and friendship among mankind irrespective of caste or creed.

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238. Janmashtami

We celebrate the birthday of Sree Krishna as “Janmashtami” or “Gokulashtami” or Krishna Jayanthi”. It falls on ashtami day after krishna paksha in the month of shravana as per madhva calender.  All the Hindus celebrate this festival very grandly as Krishna is favourite God to all. Normally we observe fasting throughout the day and prepare neivedhyam items in madi.

In the evening we decorate the house and kolam afresh in front of the house. We also draw “Putta krishna pada” from this kolam. We have to draw krishna pada in such a way that Lord krishna comes from rangoli to our puja room and sit in the plank kept in front of krishna photo. We have to imagine that He walks step by step.

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We have to put rangoli on the plank and keep krishna vigraha in a plate. We have to do pooja in the usual way with  kunkum, manjal, chandan, akshadai, gejavasthram, flowers, garlands, ghenta, dheepa, dhoopa and aarathi to the photo and vigraha. We have to say slokas, sthothrams and songs on Lord Krishna while doing the pooja. We have to keep thamboolam, cocunut, all types of fruits, milk, curd, butter, aval, murukku, cheedai and laddu varieties as neivedhya.

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After performing puja, we have to give arghya. We have to keep a lemon and a coin in our right palm and pour water, milk and again water three times. We have to keep a bowl under our right arm. We have to say the arghya manthram while giving arghya.

அர்க்ய மந்த்ரம் :

ஜாதம்  கம்சவதார்த்தாய  பூபாரோத்தாரணாய ச

கௌரவாணாம் வினாஷாய தைத்யானாம்  நிதனாய ச

பாண்டவானாம் ஹிதார்த்தாய  தர்மசம்ஸ்தாபனாய ச

க்ருஹாணார்க்யம் மயா தத்தம் தேவக்யா  சஹிதோ ஹரே

தேவகி சஹித ஸ்ரீ க்ருஷ்ணாய நமஹ

இதமர்க்யம் இதமர்க்யம் இதமர்க்யம் சமர்ப்பயாமி.

After giving arghya we can take simple tiffin along with fruits and nevedhyam items.

215. Onam festival

I worked in Palakkad for two and a half years.The onam celebrations captured my heart very much. The malayalis celebrate this festival for 10 days.

The Vamana avathara of Vishnu is being worshipped during this festival. The king Mahabali is revered by the people of Kerala, as there was prosperity and happiness prevailed during his period. The festival rituals, cuisine, dance and music are seen everywhere in Kerala during this period.

Mahabali was the grandson of Prahalatha. Mahabali was very generous and charitable. If anybody approached him with any wish, he fulfilled the wish, whatever it was. The Gods feared about his supremacy and approached Lord Vishnu asking for a solution to get rid of the dilemma. Lord Vishnu agreed to their wish and went in front of King Mahabali disguised as Vamana. Seeing His appearance, Mahabali thought that He was a poor brahmin. Vamana asked for a piece of land. Mahabali’s guru Shukracharya  tried to prevent Mahabali from giving a promise. But, Mahabali  ignoring his guru’s words, agreed to give land to Vamana. Vamana told that it was enough to grant land that could be covered by His three steps. Mahabali said OK happily. Vamana increased Himself to the size of cosmic proportions. With the first step He covered the whole earth and with the next step the whole sky. He asked raja Mahabali where to keep the third step?  King Mahabali with folded hands bowed in front of Lord Vishnu. He kept the third step on Mahabali’s head and pushed him to pathala world. Before going, King Mahabali made a request to Lord that he wanted to visit his people once in a year to make them happy and prosperous.

People of Kerala sing songs in praise of Lord Vamana and king Mahabali on these 10 days. Pookkalam(floral rangoli), Sadya (Onam feast) and boat race are other attractions. I had a happy time on seeing the Onam celebrations.

Pookalam

Pookalam

130. Thrissur pooram festival

thrissur pooram

We will get bored if we do our daily works in the same pattern. The festivals coming in between keep us lively and help us to forget our boredom. When we think about kerala festivals, the thrissur pooram festival tops the list.Thrissur pooram is known as pooram of all poorams. Many people from all states and other countries visit Thrissur to enjoy the festival.

The landmark of thrissur is vadakumnathar Shiva templeIt is believed that all the Gods and Godesses in and around this temple visit vadakumnathar temple on the day when puram star comes in the malayam month of medam(April).

An exhibition is conducted in a grand manner associated with pooram festival.The pooram processions from all the nearby temples merge in vadakamnathar shiva temple.The ceremonial flag hoisting is done seven days before the main festival and all the nearby temples are also participating in the event. The southern gopuram entrance will be opened during pooram festival. More than 200 artists participate in the panchavadhya mela carnival consisting of instruments thimila, trumpet, madhalam, cymbal and edakka.

More than 50 elephants will be decorated very grandly with nethipattam, ornaments and colourful umbrellas. Decorative bells, venchamaram and alavattam enhances the beauty of elephants.The main attraction of celebration is exchange of colourful umbrellas. The groups enter the temple through western gate and exit through southern gate of vadakamnatha temple after having the darshan of shiva. Variety of innovative fireworks will be displayed which will be a real feast to our eyes and ears. The procession of elephants and the panchavadhyam are the main attractions. Thousands of people gather and watch the celebration.