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 of mud splattered with cowdung, rangolis were made every…

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…

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 full moon…

The story of Ram’s birth and the celebration!

Festivals and holidays are a part of our lives.  Almost every week we have a major or minor festival. Festivals are so woven in the fabric of our lives that their celebration and ritual is what contributes to our vivid culture.  On 28th of March this year we celebrate Ram Naumi or Ram’s birthday. The…

Story of Holika-

Holi Celebrations have a number of legends related to it.  The most popular is the story of Holika and her nephew Prahlad. Once upon a time there was a King called Hiranyakashap. This is a story from the Puranas.  Hiranyakashyap’s brother was killed by Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashyap was very angry at this. He wanted to…

Maha Shivratri- The night of Shiva

We all celebrate the festival of Mahashivratri with fasting and cooking food which I feel is related to the crops harvested at this time. Don’t forget these festivals have been celebrated for centuries  and the rituals and cultural practices vary from region to region. The variation may be slight but it is there as one…

Suraj Kund Mela 2015

The yearly Suraj Kund Mela is in full swing and I had an absolutely wonderful time visiting all the stalls and eating great food. This year the partner Nation is Lebanon and the theme state is Chattisgarh. There are crafts and textiles from all over India as well as from some African Nations, Buganda, Rwanda,…

Celebrating Basant Panchmi/ Saraswati Puja

Saraswati Puja or Basant Panchami as the name suggests, is celebrated on the fifth day of Maghi Shukla Paksha, which usually falls in February. This year it falls on 25th January . It signifies worship of Goddess Saraswati or the Goddess of Learning and Music as She holds the Veena in her hand. The puja…

Celebrating Makar Sankranti.

Makar Sankranti is the first  Hindu festival to be celebrated in a New Calendar Year. It is usually celebrated on 14th January. It is said that Kharmas is prevalent before that date which ends on that day and the sun enters Makar Rashi which is considered auspicious . It is called by different names in…

Lohri

Lohri is celebrated on 13th of January every year. Actually on this day the Sun enters the Capricorn Zodiac  known as Makara.  Growing up in various cantonments all over India we celebrated all festivals with equal gusto. It never occurred to us whether a particular festival was Punjabi, Hindu, Muslim, North or South Indian. So…

Tanjore Painting

Possessing a Tanjore painting is a matter of pride. It is a great painting technique and the pleasure of creating your own painting is immense. Starting a painting right from sketching, executing to finishing is time consuming and a lot of hard work. Tanjore Paintings originate from the southern part of India. They developed around…