The colourful festival of India- Holi

by on January 31, 2014
in Hindu Festivals

The colourful festival of India- HoliHoli, the prime festival of the Hindus, is one of the most awaited festivals awaited by the people in India. This festival is celebrated with thorough enthusiasm not only in India, but also in different corners of the world. On the event of Holi, people play with their relatives and friends and put colours on them. It is also known as Phagwah in many parts of the country. Generally, people wear old clothes in the morning or wear white clothes while playing with the colours. It is common phenomenon among the people and on a general basis, people play with water and wet colours in the morning. After getting wet in the water, it is not completed. The people prefer to play with the dry colours in the evening. They put the dry colours on the faces of their relatives and friends, which is also known as Gulaal, and wish them Happy Holi. After finally, playing with colours this day, the people have dinner with their relatives and have sweet dishes and desserts too. Read more..

Bali Art Festival

Bali Art festival Bali is a beautiful island of Indonesia. The island, with a predominant Hindu population, is the seat of art and culture. This land of scenic beauty hosts the Pesta Kesenian or an art festival annually at Werdi Budaya Art Center in Denpasar. The festival lasts for a month in which both local and international artists participate. A colorful opening ceremony marks the beginning of the festival in which participants from all the regions of Bali introduce themselves with a brilliant performance depicting their traditions and culture. Bali Art Festival The ceremony, usually officiated by the president of Indonesia, ends with a dance drama.

There are daily performances of dance and music which continue through out the day. Besides music and dance, various forms of art and handicrafts of this fabulous place are also displayed. Food is another thing that is representative. During the festival you can savor the mouth-watering cuisine of Bali.

Although there are many other festivals representing the performing art culture of the region, Bali Art Festival has a special place in the eyes of those who like such festivals. Bali Art festival is full of colors and life. It has everything to make it colorful and attractive for the music and performing art lovers.

Holi: The Festival of colors

Holi: The Festival of colorsThis festival of colors is celebrated by the Hindus all over the world. Holi is celebrated on the last full moon of the lunar month Phalguna which comes somewhere in February or March. Phalguna is the last month of the winter season as well and Holi is a way to welcome the spring season. However, Holi is mainly celebrated to mark the triumph of good over evil.

Although many legends are associated with its origin, the most popular one involves the demon king Hiranyakashyap, his daughter the she devil Holika and his son the pious Prahlad. Prahlad was a devotee of Lord Naarayana and had unshakeable faith in him. The demon king not happy with this situation ordered his daughter Holika to walk into a burning fire along with her brother. Holika cold not be harmed by fire but when she entered into it, contrary to everyone’s expectations, Holika was burnt to ashes while Prahlad escaped unscathed. Holi is celebrated to commemorate this victory of good over evil forces and a person’s ultimate faith in his Lord.

Holi: The Festival of colorsHoli celebrations kick off with the burning of the effigy of Holika over a huge pile of sticks collected for days on the eve of Holi. The next day, the day of Holi known as Dhuleti is a day of pure merrymaking and enjoyment. People of all ages from all walks of life throw colored powder and colored water on each other amidst the chants of Holi Hai. Singing, dancing and savoring especially made delicacies is another way to enjoy Holi.

Holi brings people together as not only Hindus but also members of other communities like Muslims and Christians take part in this joyous occasion as well.

Guru Nanak’s Birthday

GURU NANAK-03Guru Nanak was born in 1469 in Nankana a small village some 40 miles from Lahore the provincial capital of Punjab, Pakistan. Although according to the Hindu calendar his birthday falls on 14th April, it is celebrated in November in accordance with the Gregorian calendar.

Sikhism is based on the teachings of Guru Nanak and the 9 other gurus that followed him. The Sikh festivals mostly revolve around the birth celebrations of its gurus and are known as GurPurabs. Basically the birthdays of all the Gurus are celebrated in the same way only the hymns are different. These birth celebrations last for three days.

GURU NANAK-02Millions of Sikhs all over the world celebrate the GurPurab with religious fervor. The celebrations begin with Akhand Path the continuous recitation of Guru Granth the Sikh Holy Book. The recitation occurs without break for 48 hours. A team of men and women carry out the recitations for 2-3 hours each and so the process continues for till the dawn of the birthday itself. A day prior to the birthday, a procession is taken out in which the Guru Granth is carried over a float bedecked with flowers. Five men representing the Panj Piaray (the five beloved) lead the procession carrying the Sikh flag the Nishan Sahib. They are accompanied by musicians and singers singing religious songs. During the festivals the worship places of the Sikhs the Gurdwaras are illuminated and adorned with flowers, flags and banners. The big day commences with the sinning of the morning hymns known as the Asadi Var. These are followed by the Keertas the musical recital of the hymns from Guru Granth. In the end lectures on Sikhism called Kathas are delivered and poems praising Guru Nanak are also recited.

GURU NANAK-01A lunch organized by volunteers is served in the afternoon. The recitation of hymns continues till evening and the festivities usually end with a display of fireworks.

Diwali

DiwaliLightDiwali

Diwali is a very significant day for Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs. It celebrates the home coming of Rama, who was the seventh avatar of Vishnu and the legendary king of Ayodhya, after his exile in the forest for 14 years. It also celebrates Rama’s victory over Ravana, the evil king of Lanka that, as legend has it, was a brute who kidnapped Rama’s wife, Sita. Diwali is such an important day that it is recognized as an official holiday in India.
The legend states that the good people of Ayodhya, welcomed Rama home by lighting long rows of lamps. This is where Diwali gets its other name, “the Festival of Lights”, from. Diwali is derived from the two words “avail”, meaning rows, and “dipa” or “divas” meaning lamps. These lamps are lit to signify the victory of good over evil, especially within a person.
Diwali also has other significance for other religions. For example, in South India, Diwali represents the victory of Krishna over Narakasura, and in the religion of Jainism, Diwali represents Mahavira’s attainment of nirvana. The Sikhs celebrate the release of Guru Har Gobind Ji who had been held captive by the Emperor Jahangir. The Guru was welcomed home with candles.
There are many beautiful festivals around the world that celebrate Diwali. It is really a pleasure to watch, or even take part in, these wonderful traditions. Some of these celebrations have become famous in non-traditional areas. You can now celebrate Diwali as far away as such places as: Australia, Singapore, South Africa and even Trinidad and Tobago. It is truly an international celebration.

June 24: Rath Yatra – A festival to worship Karishna

June 24: Rath Yatra - A festival to worship KarishnaJune 24: Rath Yatra – A festival to worship Karishna

Rath Yatra, a major Hindu festival is celebrated with zeal in the Eastern state of Orissa in the Puri District. The festival commemorates the memories of Karishna’s return to his native town, Virndavan, after a long separation from his people. In Hindi Rath means chariot and Yatra means pilgrimage.
This festival is celebrated during the monsoon season between June and July every year. During this festival people worship Lord Karishna, Baladiva and their sister Subhadra. The worship is not limited to the temples, but takes to the streets so that everyone can see the richly decorated chariots. Devotees from all over India and beyond participate in the huge procession with a desire to touch the rope of the chariot. For them it’s a virtuous act. Temple shaped chariots are carried to the Gundicha Temple in a huge procession where devotees play religious songs with drums and tambourines.
The festival gives a unique opportunity to Non-Hindus and foreigners who cannot visit the temples during the routine rituals to get a glance of these chariots. In 2008, approximately 10 million people visited Puri to attend the festivities of Rath Yatra. This year millions of people are expected to gather in Puri to perform their rituals for Rath Yatra.

5 Most Famous Asian Carnivals and Festivals

5-most-famous-asian-carnivals-and-festivals15 Most Famous Asian Carnivals and Festivals
Asia is the largest continent in the world with hundreds of different cultures and societies living on it. It may seem obvious that there would be hundreds of carnivals and festivals all year round. Let’s look at the top five carnivals and events:The Holi Festival in India
•    The Songkhran Festival in Thailand
•    The Thaipusam Festival in Malaysia
•    The Chinese New Year festival in ChinaThe Tet Nguyen Dan Festival in Vietnam
These five are just merely a drop in the ocean of festivals throughout the continent, chosen by focusing on the crowd gathering as the main determinant factor. The Holi Festival in India is widely celebrated around the country as well as in other Hindu-associated societies. It’s also known as the festival of colors. The Songkhran Festival in Thailand is one of the largest in the region. It marks the New Year according to the Thai traditional calendar. The Thaipusam Festival in Malaysia is a Hindu Festival celebrating the birth ofLord Muruga There is a large focus on the Batu Caves temple. The festivities in that area are attended by almost 1.5 million devotees annually. The Chinese New Year in China gets extremely colorful towards the final few days. The the lantern procession and lion dancing occur during that time. Finally, the Tet Nguyen Dan Festival in Vietnam marks the New Year according to the Vietnamese calendar.

Holi- the Indian Festival of Colors

Holi- the Indian Festival of ColorsHoli- the Indian Festival of Colors
Holi is celebrated in the Northern parts of India and heralds the arrival of spring. It is also known as the Ranga Panchami, indicating the extensive use of colors in the celebration.. When baby, Prince Prahlad, started to worship Narayana (Vishnu) as his personal God Prince Prahlad’s father, Hiranya Kashyap, sent him to  be cared for by the demoness, Holika. Hiranya asked her to train the infant to worship  him as God. When she reported that the child was adamant the King ordered her to jump into a huge fire carrying the child with her. Holika died in the fire, but the child Prince escaped miraculously. To commemorate the victory of Good over Evil, Holi is celebrated on Chaitra Pratipada day, i.e. “the first day of the month of Chaitra”, as per the Hindu Calendar. There are also legends depicting Lord Rama celebrating Holi with his subjects and Lord Krishna celebrating Holi with the residents of Vrindavan.
Personal interaction between persons normally separated by rules of conduct may occur during the the application of color powders and colored water. There is a mood of gay abandon and purges the mind of pent-up tensions, without the risk of stigma. The colored face provides a kind of anonymity, and everyone smears others with color or sprays them with colored liquids.
An interesting feature of Holi is that persons belonging to non-Hindu communities  also join in the celebrations. Environmentalists have recently campaigned to ensure that only natural colors are used for Holi. This festival has interesting parallels in the Carnivals of some Latin American States and in Europe.