Max’s Journey

There was once a farmer named George. He was hardworking and cheerful. One day as he was walking back home while the sun was setting, he found an old cardboard box. Out of curiosity, he looked in the box and lo! There were a little puppy and a baby fox; they seemed very hungry and lost. So…

City of Rats

Once there was a boy named Jess. He had many pet rats. Once while Jess was in the Central Park with his rats, it began to rain. It was raining cats and dogs! He was soaked in water from head to toe. He wasn’t able to count his rats so he just took whichever one he saw…

The Clever Caterpillar

A long time ago in a far, far land in China, there was a beautiful palace. There were lots of beautiful flowers. There was a river too with lots of fish. This place had lots and lots of animals and they lived here freely. There were many caterpillars too. Everybody was very happy. One day, a…

Best Friends

Once upon a time, there was a Mr. and Mrs. Rabbit who lived near a river bank. They were living in a red coloured house. One day mother turtle, father turtle, and baby turtle were passing by the rabbits’ residence. Father turtle saw mother rabbit and asked her, ” Is this beautiful house yours ?”…

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 of mud splattered with cowdung, rangolis were made every…

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…

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…

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…