Friday, October 17, 2008

The Onset of Indian Festival Season

Can You Believe This!!..It's a Durga Puja Pandal

No matter how much people are busy all the year round or living
overseas away from their families, relatives or friends, here comes the
time for indulging into only merriment, celebrations, laughter, meetings,
eating sweets and taking blessing and good wishes from elders with the
advent of October. As the year advances its verge, the festive spree
begins in air. I am back into a cheerful and exuberant state of mind. It
is the ambiance and the surroundings that will not let you remain all
gloomy and locked up in your room. Every nook and corner is so
brilliantly decorated, streets and buildings are illuminated with
multiple colored lighted strings, perfectly giving an ambience of a
necklace well studded with ruby, diamonds, gems and all those precious
stones. All you need is a walk through the market place to encounter the
real show. Every person you come across, is busy preparing and
celebrating the festive season in his own way.

It all starts with Navaratras. This festival of nine nights generally
falls at the end of September month or the early October. But one could
see the preparations for the festival from a month ago. There were
special Pujas performed in every Indian house throughout the nine nights.
For us the main are the eighth, ninth and tenth of course. For whole nine
days there are dance drama narrating the legendary story of Ramayana. The
tenth being the Dussehra, the day when Lord Rama got victory over King
Ravana, the day when truth prevailed over injustice. Gigantic effigies of
King Ravana and his two brothers are burnt to mark the victory of ‘Truth
over Evil’. For kids, the event is not less then any eye catchy movie of
Spider Man or Snow White fairy tale. It is an unbelievable spectacle.

However, During the last 6 days, the most visible celebration is
definitely the Durga Puja. Every locality has its own grand Durga Puja
Pandal where cultural programmes are organized through the day. But it is
during the evening times, the crowd flows into the Pandals. Durga Puja is
the main festival of the Bengalis but people irrespective of their native
state, pour into the pandals to enjoy.

Just like Durga Puja, Garbha Nights are common during this period. People
all dressed up in traditional garbha dresses and dance to the tunes
of traditional folk songs. There are other shows as well where famous
personalities and celebrities perform in front of huge crowds in shows
organized by either corporates or wealthy localities.

Now that the Navaratras are over, we are all gearing up for one of the
most important Festival, the festivals of light, Diwali. It is so
beautiful just to look out of the window, a site illuminated with
thousands of lighted diyas (earthen pots) arrayed on roofs, windows,
doorsteps, magnificently decorated all official buildings, markets,
temples. And to add to the festivities, the weather is absolutely
pleasant. As it is the start of winters here in Noth India, a slight
chill is in the air during early mornings and evenings.

Oh yes...and are you a foodie. If yes, then you are certainly not at the
right place if you are not here in India during this festival season.!!
Wait for my next writings on the mouthwatering delicacies of Indian


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