Celebrating Govardhan – a day after Diwali

 Krishna lifting the Govardhan mountain on his little finger. Govardhan is a mountain in Vrindavan near Mathura in India where Lord Krishna was born. The day after Diwali is celebrated as Govardhan. The story/myth behind the celebration is very interesting. A long time ago Vrindavan was a village kingdom. The inhabitants were mostly farmers and…

Why Rangoli is made – myths and legends.

Rangoli (ran-goal-i) or Floor designs are a popular art form practiced all over India. These designs are made on mud floors and walls. Before any auspicious occasion, they are a must as they are believed to ward off evil.  In earlier times when the floors were mud-splattered with cow dung, rangolis were made every day…

Navratri…. Celebrating the Girl Child

The fabric of our society and religion is woven with reverence, regard and worship for the female energy.  So what is going awry that is ripping this fabric apart……..!! Navaratri celebrates the power of the female goddess in all her manifestations. This festival is celebrated all over India in the months of October / November….

Janamashtmi – celebrating Krishna

As a child in the sixties and seventies, growing up in Army Cantonments in India I loved festival time as it meant lots of exclusive dishes cooked for the occasion.  Some of these were annual recipes and Janamashtmi also has its share of unique recipes.  Sweetmeats ( barfi) made of coconut and thickened milk, musk…

Jagannath Yatra Celebrations

In India, festivals are colorful celebrations full of rituals, legends, and myths. Food cooked is very special and distinct for every festival.  It is according to the seasons and the harvest available at the time.  On the 18th of July 2015 is the annual sojourn of Lord Krishna popularly known as Lord Jagannath from the…

Living Tradition of Lord Jagannath in Puri, India

Nabakalebara- Changing the statues of Jagannath Temple in 2015 The replacement of the Statues of, Balabhadra, Subhadra, Lord Jagannath, and Sudarshan Chakra is a ritual believed to be followed from the time of Mahabharat, after the death of Lord Krishna. This change is effected within a gap of 12 to 19 years after lunar calculations….

Happy Fathers Day

Father’s day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and this year it is on the 21st of June and is coinciding with International Yoga Day. Today we live in the age of instant information and awareness of all that is happening around the world. Within minutes news travels.  We are truly a global…

The day river Ganga came to Earth

The River Ganga is the most revered river of the Hindus and all of us are aware of its journey from Gangotri in the Himalayas through all the major cities of the plains till it finally flows into the Bay of Bengal in Calcutta.  On its journey, it flows through the holy and ancient cities…

A Weaver and the Seven Ghosts

This is yet another amusing and heartwarming folk tale from Bengal. Once upon a time, there lived a weaver in a small cottage in a village on the edge of a forest. The forest was deep and green filled with big leafy trees. Birds and animals abounded. It was a peaceful little village. The weaver…

Mother’s Day

Growing up in India within the joint family system and the extended family, one has never felt the need to designate one day in a year to make sure you give attention to your mother or father.  I don’t think I will ever wait for Mother’s Day to appreciate my mom.  As kids the moment…

Buddha Purnima

Talking about Buddha Purnima with my students I realized that we mostly associate the date with Buddha’s Birth. As there is still no agreement on his actual date of birth  Gautam Buddha is believed to be born approximately between 563-483 BC, almost twenty-five centuries ago. Buddha Purnima is celebrated on the day of a full…

Celebrating Baisakhi.

 Dress the Figure Challange Any Indian festival is a community celebration and Baisakhi is no different. Punjabis as a community are colorful, full of vigor, fun-loving, and equally brave. It is no wonder that when the last Guru of the Sikhs wanted to create the ‘Khalsa’ he asked these brave people to wear the 5…