Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dasara Navaratri

The Festival of Dasara is celebrated on the occasion of Navaratri, and the holy day also commemorates the triumph of good over evil. Forms of celebrations can take on a wide variety of manifestations, ranging from worshipping the goddess Chamundeshwari (Durga) to exhibiting colorful toys on the day of bombe habba in Kannada.

There is a legend related to the exhibition of toys that is known as Golu (spelled Kolu in some regions). Since the goddess Durga needed tremendous power, all other gods and goddesses transferred their power to Goddess Durga and they all stood still as toys. To respect the self-sacrifice of these deities during the festival days, Hindus revere toys that are in shape of particular gods and

he last day of all the celebrations is Vijaya Dashami. In Mysore there is a tradition of holding a grand procession through the streets of the city with the idol of the goddess Chamundeshwari riding in a golden Ambaari (elephant-seat). For many centuries, presiding over the 10-day festivities was an important sovereign ritual during the Kingdom of Mysore. Many cultural events are held at the main Palace in Mysore. During the post-independence period, the provincial government of Karnataka has taken over the tradition and continues the celebration every year.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesha Chaturthi (IAST: Gaṇeśa Caturthī, devanagari: गणेश चतुर्थी) or Ganesha Festival is a day on which Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees. It is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chavithi

in Sanskrit, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu, Chavath ( चवथ ) in Konkani and as Chathaa (चथा) in Nepal Bhasa. It is celebrated as it is the birthday of Lord Ganesha. The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). Typically, the day falls sometime between 20 August and 15 September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Ananta Chaturdashi. This festival is observed in the lunar month of bhadrapada shukla paksha chathurthi madhyahana vyapini purvaviddha. if chaturthi prevails on both days, the first day should be taken. Even if chaturthi prevails for complete duration of madhyahana on the second day, but if it prevails on previous day's madhyahana period even for one ghatika (24 minutes) the previous day should be taken. (Ref. Dharmasindhu and Indian Calendric System, by Commodore S.K. Chatterjee (Retd). Madhyahana is the 3rd / 5th part of the day (Sunrise-sunset).

Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, is widely worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.

While celebrated all over India, it is most elaborate in Maharashtra, Goa (Biggest festival for Konkani people all over the world) Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and other areas which were former states of the Maratha Empire. Outside India, it is celebrated by Newars in Nepal and Tamil Hindus in Sri Lanka.