Archive by Author | vandybandy

Festivals of India- Shivratri, Gangaur and Ramnavmi


Many festivals of India

India is a land of festivals. Our days are dotted with varied celebrations for numerous reasons. Our teeming population believes celebrating each day with pomp. After all life in itself is a celebration of myriad colors of emotions.

The many festivals we celebrate has in fact been woven in our daily life. Some may vary in their name and some are observed with different rituals. But the underlying factor is breaking the monotony daily life, enjoying the moment.

Below I have jotted down a list of some of the festivals for the following months.



Lord Shiva

Shivratri- A much awaited festival by the masses. According to the Indian lunar calendar it is celebrated on the Chaturdashi during Krishna Paksha in the month of Magha. The day before the new moon or 14th day of every lunar month is known as Shivratri, but the one occurring in month of February – March is known as Maha Shivratri.As the name symbolizes, it is dedicated to Lord Shiva, first Adi guru or dicoverer of truth and bliss. He is all powerful and originator of knowledge, the Creator as well as Destroyer.



Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva

Legend behind Maha Shivratri- There are many stories behind the celebration of Maha Shivratri.The most prominent one is the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. They got married on this day and to celebrate their marriage, the ocassion is called Maha Shivratri.


Lord Shiva drinking poison during Samudra Manthan

The other very popular belief associated with Maha Shivratri is story of ”Neelkanth”. There was a furious battle between the Gods and Demons ( Samudra Manthan). During the churning of ocean several objects were discovered like the pot of poison. Lord Shiva drank the poison to save Earth from its ill effect. The Gods danced the whole night in order to protect Shiva and keep him awake. Finally, the poison did not harmed Shiva but turned his neck blue.



Natraja dance

Another popular legend is that Maha Shivratri is the night when Lord Shiva performed the heavenly dance of creation, preservation, and destruction. Natraja– supreme God of dance is another form of Lord Shiva. Maha Shivratri is also marked by annual dance festivals at Hindu temples like Konark, Khajuraho, Pattadakal and Modhera.



Devotees performing puja at Shivlinga

This year Maha Shivratri was celebrated on 13th February with great pomp. Devotees of Lord Shiva all over the world observed fast and worhipped the Lord. They offered water, milk, curd, honey, dhatura, bhang and flowers to Shiva’s idol or the linga. Shiva is said to be the ideal husband and unmarried girls and women pray for husband like him.




Gangaur idols

Gangaur- A festival for the women and by the women, celebrating womanhood. Gana another name for Lord Shiva and Gaur is Lord Shiva’s wife Goddess Parvati. She symbolizes happiness in love and marital life. 

Gangaur is honoring the Goddess Parvati’s parental homecoming. It begins after the festival of Holi for almost 16 to 18 days. Lord Shiva with his wife Goddess Parvati is worshipped in this festival.

The unmarried girls worship Gauri to seek her blessings for life partners. The married women do for the well being of their husband and happy married life.


Gangaur in all her finery

Gangaur is avery colorful festival with the ladies and girls dressing up in their best attire. Colorful idols of clay or wood is made by local artisans. They are bought home and decorated with flowers in a basket.


Ladies dancing on occasion of Gangaur

Even today after so many years of my marriage, I feel nostalgic and excited about this festival. I sit back and remember the fun we had while worshipping Gangaur. All my friends would gather to collect flowers, garlands and sweets. We would then sing traditional Rajasthani folk songs. Our elders would bless us with gifts and new clothes. We would adorn our hands and legs with beautiful mehndi designs.



Newly wedded woman with her Gangaur

Today, as a married lady I have certain responsibilities and rituals to be performed on the last day of Gangaur. I get up early, dress in my finery and help in preparation of sweets and delicacy to be offered to the Goddess. All the ladies and girls of the house gather and worship the Goddess. Though the younger generation is not as keen cause of their other engagements. After the Puja we take Gangaur idols to a massive procession and finally its farewell or immersion time in the nearby lake or river.



Gangaur celebration in Udaipur

Gangaur is celebrated in northern part of India mainly Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and even in West Bengal. In Jaipur, a huge procession starting from City Palace and passing through Tripolia Bazar, Gangauri Bazar Chaugan stadium and finally converging near Talkatora. Decked elephants, bullock carts, palanquins, chariots are all part of the procession.

In Udaipur, a boat procession on Lake Pichola with fireworks add to the interest. It is also celebrated in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Ahmedabad and Kolkata.




King Dasharatha with Queen Kausalya and baby Rama and his brothers.

Ram Navami- An important spring festival celebrating the birth of Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was born in Ayodhya to Queen Kausalya and King Dasharatha. According to Hindu calendar Ram Navami is celebrated on the ninth day of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra Navaratri.


Lord Ramchandra with his wife Goddess Sita,  brother Lakshman and Hanuman

The main objective of Lord Rama’s birth on  Earth was to destroy the evil force specially the demons and to restore Dharma. His reign is termed as Ram Rajya. He symbolizes honesty, truth and all that is ideal. His life is an example portraying the many ideal roles the man has to play. The many important stages of his life is written in the holy books called ‘ Ramayana’ by Tulsidas.


Lord Ramchandra blessing his devoted bhakt Hanuman

On the morning of Ram Navami devotees get up early to pray Sun God. As according to Hindu mythology Sun God is the ancestor of Lord Rama. It is believed that Lord Ram was born around 12:00 in the afternoon. Devotional songs, bhajans, kirtans are performed at various temples and homes.


Ramlila being enacted

In Ayodhya the birthplace of Shri Rama devotees take a holy bath in Sarayu river. People in large number participate with great enthusiasm in chariot procession. Young children dressed like Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman are seated on the chariot. At many places Ram Lila or the life history of Lord Rama is enacted.


Children listening to Ramayana

Ram Navami for me, as a child was reading or listening to the various hymns of Ramayana. My grandmother would make sure that all children in the household take part in reciting the Ramayana. Afternoon was time to visit the Ram Mandir and have delicious prasads. Evening was meant to take part in the procession and watch Ram Lila.




Idols at Ram Mandir

Today, as a grown up I take-up the recitation of Ramayana more seriously. Previously, I just use to gobble up with words but today I try to understand its worth in everyday life. I do visit the Ram Mandir at afternoon or late evening for blessings and Prasad. The procession and Ram Lila are followed.

Festivals are a part of our childhood. They have some memories associated with them. Do share some of your memories with me.


Festivals of India- Colorful Holi


Varied colors of life

Color Thief

” Color man, color man which color do you want? I want yellow and we all would be drenched in yellow color” chirped the fourteen year boy happily. He continued excitedly,” I would throw water balloons from my balcony. Passer by would walk in haste towards the nearest shelter. It was sheer fun. While my cousins and friends would fill their water guns with colors”.

Holi-Festival (1)

Children group up to play pranks.

”We would gang up on the terrace or empty garage and smear colors on each others. By the time we had finished smearing colors on each other, the elders  played  dhap. All the neighborhood aunties and my mother would be busy in serving us the many mouth watering snacks like pakodas, chats sweet delicacy like gujias, kalakand, chandrakala and many more. My favorite was the Indian style pasta that Madhu aunty made. Not to forget the various sherbets especially the yellow thandai made with milk and laced with dry fruits and bhang. But i preferred the rose or khus one”.


A festival enjoyed by the masses with equal enthusiasm- Holi

”Once the party got over at the building complex, we would go either to the nearby Hanuman temple or the Big Park. There a much large crowd of friends and family waited to smear us with color. Singing and dancing to various folksongs accompanied by popular Bollywood and Hollywood numbers are common phenomena”.


Children enjoying Holi. Dry colors like gulal, abir are used to play. This is safe than the wet version.

”Drenched in color and dripping water is best part of this festival. Colorful faces with multi colored clothes, we resemble living beings from other planets. Cracking jokes from personal to world issues including name giving is quite common. I was given the title of,”Desi makhan in videshi package”.

“This festival is played throughout India, Nepal and many south-east Asian countries. The best is flower holi in the sacred town of Vrindavan. Devotees play with flowers in the temples of Lord Krishna. Equally famous is the lathmar holi, men protect their head by wearing special guards and their lady hit them with bamboo sticks. In Bengal it is celebrated as Basant Utsav’‘.


Playing Holi

”The not so very good part of this festival was bathing. I loved my body smeared with various colors. I loathe scrubbing and removing it. But once with soap and water I rub it to my hearts content. My mother made sure that I applied coconut oil from head to toe before venturing out to face riot of colors. This actually helps the skin from drying combined with antiseptic wash”.

“Afternoon is spend in sleeping and evening is reserved for family and friends. I sleep to my heart’s delight. There is seldom a year when final term are either on or knocking at the door. It somewhat dampens the spirit. Wish I could change this”.




“This festival stretches usually for two days. Playing with colors is reserved for second day.  The first day is for elders performing various rituals and pujas associated with this festival. The very famous bonfire or the sacred Holika Dahan is performed on the first day. The story behind it is, there was a cruel king called Hiranyakashyap. He did not believe in God. He considered himself the Supreme Power of the universe. But his son, Prahalad was a devoted believer of God. The king tried in vain to get rid or kill his son but failed. The king had a sister, Holika, she was granted a boon that fire would not harm her. She volunteered to help her brother, the king by sitting on the wooden pyre with Prahalad on her lap. The irony of her story was, she was burnt to death but Prahalad was unharmed. Thus, symbolizing good over evil”.


Holika Dahan – sun dried cow dungs with bamboo sticks.

“Huge bonfires are made that day on open grounds. Preparations of this starts much earlier. As a Hindu, we consider cow a sacred animal. The cow-dung is considered purest substance on Earth. It is sun dried to the size of small pancakes. My granny use to make it at home. But my mother has some reservations as to the smell of it. She prefers to buy it from the market. These cow dung pancakes called Goitha are also used for the bonfire”.

“The entire community gathers around the bonfire. The burning of it signifies victory of good over evil. One can feel the air of excitement and merry making”.


Lord Krishna playing Holi with Radha and her friends

”But then this was perhaps the last year or before. I have probably lost count of it” with these words there was water in his eyes. He quickly wiped it with the back of his hand. He wanted to say something but stopped. I offered him a glass of water and wished there were no such breaks in his story.

He began again,” One night there was robbery in my house. The thieves were quite smart. They did not stole material goods. But things that were precious to me. It shattered me to the core. As mortal being, I thought why me of all ? I thought I knew the answer too cause I loved it the most”.

The chirpy little boy had lost his eye sight . A severe disease of the eye had made him blind…


Eye bleeding color

The boy not only loves colors but also aspires to be an artist. His favorite festival is Holi. He continues,” I can feel the many colors of Nature. The positive vibes in colors makes my world spin”.

ZDC_AllAboutTheCloudI could not stop myself from crying for the boy. I am sure this Holi ( 2nd of March2018) when I see colors or for that matter boys playing with color, my heart will go out for the boy. I am very much sure this will happen with you too. If that happens do pray for him and many like him. The power of payer is too strong to be denied even by God.

A major cause of  permanent blindness in developing countries like India is lack of balanced diet. Ironically, but it is true. Vitamin A also called retinol is required for healthy and good eyesight. It is found in green leafy vegetables,orange/yellow fruits and vegetables, milk,liver, egg and fish liver oil are some of good sources,







Images by Google

Disclaimer: The Government of India and the Hindu community does not in any way promote any atrocities of any kind against any of its citizens.




Sand art in Goa

Literally in love with this word. I love it cause there is a sense of relaxation. It seems like all the muscles in my body are at ease. There is no worry to work or time running out. I am one with the Nature moving at my pace.

Holiday at beginning of the year might sound weird but whose bothered about sound and light. So we squeezed our little holiday in the second last week of January.


Tourist map of Goa outside Madgaon station

Goa- the much awaited destination on my list. Goa was the most preferred choice because of its Sun, sand and beaches. Moreover weather at this time of the season is at its best. The laid back attitude of this picturesque sleepy town was all we wanted.


A typical beach in Goa

We reached our dream destination with great plans. But on reaching we found there was taxi strike. OMG! How will we reach our hotel with all the luggage? Thankfully, we found an auto in which we squeezed ourselves with our luggage.



Many shades of sunset

Once inside our rooms, all of us including the kids rushed for the beach. The sea with its open arms seem to welcome us. Lights were fading with the fire ball making a plunge in the vast ocean. The feel of velvety grainular sand on our feet was a mark of friendship with the sea.


Children making sand castle

The next day was Sunday, a lazy Sunday on the picture perfect beaches of Goa. We spend almost the whole day on Varka beach. Children playing with their sand castles, myself lazing around on the beach with a nap sandwiched in between.

Day well spend on beach with evening planned by the pool. The resort we were in had many activities planned for all of us. The crowd was cheerful and we enjoyed it.

Finally, on our second day in Goa the much awaited taxi strike was over. We decided to make the utmost use of it. Morning was spend on the beach. The people at Reception were helpful and guided us to some of the must visit places in Goa. As it was our first visit plus we did not wanted to rush. Being a travel fanatic, I wanted to spend a little more time, wanted to know every minute details of the place. I have listed below some of the places we visited.


Varka beach

Varka beach– Its pristine white sand and clear sky will make you fall in love with it at first sight. The soft sand and its cleanliness makes it one of the best beaches in Goa and the world.There is a wide variety of water sports and other activities like football to indulge in.


Basilca of Bom Jesus

Basilica of Bom Jesus– When our driver turned local guide said that our first stop would be Bom Jesus Church. We were inquisitive as to what does Bom Jesus meant, it means ‘good Jesus’ or ‘infant Jesus’.

The Bom Jesus Basilica is a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is regarded as best example of baroque architecture. It is also the first Minor Basilica church in India.

The grand facade is built of black granite and is considered a marvellous combination of Doric, Corinthian and composite styles. The interior of the church is in Mosaic- Corinthian style.


Interior of Bom Basilca church

Goa’s patron saint Francis Xavier’s remains are found in the church. According to legends the saint died on sea voyage to China in 1552. When his body was brought to Goa the following year, it was said to be as fresh as the day it was buried. The embalmed body of the saint lies in an airtight glass coffin on a silver casket. Locals believe it has magical power of healing.

se cathedral

Se Cathedral

The Se Cathedral is just opposite to basilica and is considered as one of the oldest religious buildings in Goa. It is the prestigious seat of Archdiocese of Goa.

The Cathedral is built in Portuguese-Gothic style. The exterior is in Tuscan and interior in Corinthian. The bell in existing tower is referred as ”Golden Bell”. It is largest in Goa and is considered to be one of the best in world.


Pure vegetarian restaurant

Time for quick lunch.Being a pure vegetarian family, we had some reservations for our eatery. But our local guide was quick and helpful. We visited the Navtara vegetarian restaurant near the bus stand for a sumptuous meal.


Dona Maria’s house

All charged up, our next destination was equally interesting. We were to visit Dona Maria’s house. A typical Goan landlord with Portuguese influenced architecture.


Entrance to Dona Maria’s house

His house had the old world, rustic charm. Tiled roofed home, with courtyard and big open windows greeted us. The shaded portico had curved stairway leading to the entrance. It had red cemented seating. We waited there for our guide to begin our tour.

Once inside the house. foyer area had a beautiful palanquin used by the owner, hat stand, wall plates and exotic porcelain jars.

Other areas of the house includes  bedroom with fine upholstery and furniture. The dining area is big and sprawling to accommodate guest and for get togethers. So is the kitchen area, which is demarcated for storage, cooking and washing.



Quenching our thirst with sugarcane juice

It was a hot day with Sun at its peak. Once outside the house we felt thirsty. The sugarcane juice seller was a sporting guy. He helped us in using his cane crusher for extracting the juice.


Big Foot Museum

Across the road you enter the Big Foot Museum. You are bound to be enchanted by the way it is made to showcase a typical Goan village. The various statues look real. The sculpture of Saint Mira Bai in red laterite stone is amazing. It is one of the longest and is mentioned in Limca Books of record. The impression of big foot on a rock, through which the place has derived its name. The sacred legend behind is told by illuminating story is worth watching. There is a small spice garden too.


Entrance to Shanta Durga Temple

We were just in time for the Shanta Durga Temple. It is situated in foothills of Kavalaem village. The temple is dedicated to Shantadurga, the goddess mediating between Vishnu and Shiva. Locally she is called,”Santeri”. Legend has it that a fierce battle broke between Shiva and Vishnu. Lord Brahma requested Devi Parvati to mediate, which she did in form of Shantadurga. She placed Vishnu on her right hand and Shiva on her left and settled the score. She is seen as holding two serpents in each hands representing  Vishnu and Shiva.


Church of Our Lady Immaculate Conception

Next on our list was grand, serene, elegant church of Panjim, Church of Our Lady Immaculate Conception. The white landmark has multicolored interiors. You are bound to be bowled by the tranquility that this Church imparts.


Dona Paula beach

After the serenity of  Church, we went to Dona Paula beach. A small beach with lot of water sports and tragic history. It offers a lovely view of the Arabian Sea.


Cashew nuts

Now it was time for shopping some cashew nuts. I did not wanted to buy from  retail store, so I opted for some wholesalers in Panjim. After much searching I finally found that suited both my taste and pocket.


Morning view from Varka beach

The last day of our stay in Goa had come so quickly. I did not wanted to waste a minute. So I got up early , went for a walk along the beach to experience morning air. The children wanted to laze around the beach. They still had some water activities left!


Outside Madgaon railway station

Finally time to say good-bye to Goa for holiday well spend. With a promise to visit again for all the beaches and many more places.




Festivals of India- Republic Day


Indian tricolor flag

A very proud moment for we Indians as we celebrate our 69th Republic Day. Being one of the largest democratic,sovereign, republic it is a matter of pride for Indians all around the globe.

Every year 26th January is celebrated as Republic Day in India. On this day the Indian Constitution came into effect. We became independent from the British rule on 15th August, 1947. But the British monarch continued to be the head of our Government. So on 26th January, 1950 the Indian Constitution came into force replacing the Government of India Act, 1935.


Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

The Constitution of India was famously drafted by Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar as the chairperson.It took about two years, eleven months and seventeen days to frame the constitution. The constitution at the time of drafting had 395 articles in 22 parts and 8 schedules. At present it has 448 articles in 25 parts, 12 schedules, 5 appendices and 98 amendments.



Colorful Parade

Republic Day is celebrated with grand ceremonial parades held at Rajpath in New Delhi and at various capitals of the states and Union territories. The day begins with the Prime Minister of India laying wrath on Amar Jawan Jyoti. The President of India hoist the Indian tricolor or the tirangaa. It is followed by valiant display of armed forces.Colorful tableaus displaying rich cultural heritage of various states and dance, drama by school children are the major attraction.


President giving the award to Corporal Nirala’s mother and wife.

Another major event of this day is honoring our brave soldiers guarding the country borders. This year too President Ram Nath Kovind awarded 390 gallantry awards to various defence personnels.

These awards include Ashok Chakra, awarded posthumously to Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala of the Garud commando, Air Force. He died fighting terrorist in Bandipara of Jammu and Kashmir in November.

Kirti Chakra was awarded to Major Vijayant Bisht of the Army. He killed two terrorist and saved the life of another soldier during an ambush in Jammu and Kashmir’s, Uri district.

images (3)

Gallantry awards like four Uttam Yudh Seva Medals, two Bar to AtibVishisht Seva Medals, 10 Yudh Seva Medals, 49 Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, two Bar to Sena Medals(Gallantry), 86 Sena Medals, one Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry), three Vayu Sena Medals and many more were awarded.

images (1)

Indian brave hearts

The most awaited moment is when our brave children  parade not as performers but as heroes for their brave act. This year too we had eighteen brave heroes in the parade.


Celebrating Republic Day in school

As a child, I remember singing out loud various patriotic songs on Republic day for school assembly. It would be a day to be glued to television sets for watching the colorful parade.The marching of various units to musical bands is spectacular.Early morning was spend on community program for unfurling of the tricolor.


Chief guests at 2018 Republic Day with President and Prime Minister of India

Every year the Republic day is a special event. But this year, being the 69th year, was made all the more eventful. Usually, we have one state of the head as Chief guest. But this year the occasion was graced by ten heads from ASEAN countries. Heads of Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei were present.

images (2).jpeg

Schoolchildren dressed in traditional ASEAN attire

A record number of seven hundred students from these guest countries also performed at the various events.

bsf women.jpg

Newly recruited all-women BSF

In addition to this, a newly formed all-women bikers contingent of Border Security Forces, BSF named ”Seema Bhavani” or dare devils squad performed their stunts on 350cc Royal Enfield motorcycles.


Tableaus of various states

Indians have been celebrating the Republic day for the last 69 years. For me, personally Republic day might not mean much cause I was born in free India with the Constitution safe-guarding my rights. I have my own set of problems and woes with the Government. But then I am indebted to all the freedom fighters for making my country reach this zenith of glory. Jai Hind!!!

Images by Google

Festivals of India- Saraswati Puja


The name Saraswati means she who has flow of knowledge like a river. Goddess Saraswati represents intelligence,creativity, enlightenment,music, art,power and eloquence.D605786D-5CB4-41A9-869D-73146E746085

Saraswati Puja is celebrated on fifth day of Magha month according to Hindu calendar. Also popular as Shree Panchami or Vasant or Basant Panchami. Vasant means spring season and Panchami stands for fifth day of a month. It usually falls on bright sunny day around late January or early February.


According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Saraswati is the daughter of the Supreme Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Goddess Saraswati is believed to have removed the darkness of illiteracy that had engulfed the Mother Earth.Tamso Maa Jyotigamaya is a Sanskrit verse meaning O Goddess, from darkness lead me to light.  She is the Goddess of knowledge.


The festival holds great importance particularly to students and learned mens across the length and breadth of the Earth. Special pujas or prayers are organized in schools, colleges and various learning institutions. This festival is celebrated with great pomp specially in the north-eastern part of India including Bengal and Bihar.


Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of learning posses all the knowledge of Vedas, scriptures, poetry, dance and music. Goddess Saraswati showers mortal beings with power of speech(Vak), wisdom and learning. She has four hands representing the four aspect of our learning personality- intellectual, mind, alertness and ego. She holds sacred scriptures in one hand and lotus, which symbolizes true knowledge in the other. She plays her favorite musical instrument , Veena with her other two hands. She usually wears a white sari symbol of purity. She rides on white swan which denotes Sattwa Gun or purity.


Devotees dressed in white or yellow traditional dresses gather before the Goddess to seek her blessings. Girls usually wear sari or other traditional dresses. Boys too dress-up traditionally for the ocassion. Sweets, berries and flowers are offered to the Goddess. Students place their books before the Goddess and do not do any reading or writing that day.


Saraswati Puja, for me means getting up early, dressing in my mother’s favorite sari, decorating our study table either with clay image or picture of the Goddess. Books, flowers, sweets and fruits are offered to her. After finishing our Pujas at home we  go to our school for worshipping the diety. Dressed in our fine clothes and with no books we were at the top of the world.

saraswati puja

A Celebration of Life- Festivals of India

Images from Google

A Celebration of Life- Festivals of India



India is a land of myriad thoughts of people. People exist  in harmony while following their many beliefs and ideas. Their belief of living  together while following their many  ideas or religion is indeed a call for celebration of life in itself.


Unity in Diversity

In  this series of celebrating festivals of India I will try to put forward a clear picture of various festivals of India both religious and national. These festivals are celebrated with great fun, merry making of the entire community or the region and in some the country as a whole. There is usually a very interesting story behind every festival which is still heard with equal enthusiasm. In this little quest of mine, I sincerely hope you enjoy this year long journey of Indian festivals as I do.


Position of Sun in Makar rashi

To begin the year we start with Makar Sankranti or change in the movement or position of the Sun into Makar rashi  or Capricorn. Also called Uttarayan or the day from which the sun begins its northward journey. Makar Sakranti is a solar event so the date has remained constant as 14th January or occasionally 15th January. The Sun rises in Makar Rashi.


 Indian Festival 

Makar Sakranti is an agrarian festival – a festival for the farmers to celebrate their harvest. It is celebrated as Lohri in north India, Bihu in eastern region and Pongal in southern part of India. 


Surya or Sun God

According to Hindu mythology Surya or Sun God forgives his son Shaini and visits him. This visit is marked by distributing sweets of til or sesame and gur or jaggery. Sweet delicacies like ghewar sesame and jaggery laddos are made in Indian households and distributed. As this Sakranti falls in winter season eating of jaggery and sesame is considered beneficial for health.


Ghewar- popular Rajasthani sweet

Festivals in India have a unique flavor in them. No festivals is considered to be complete without distributing sweets to your neighbor and friends. A ritual so very popular even in cosmopolitan cities of India. One of the many reasons, why we stand as one even in such diversity.


Kites of various colors and shapes

Makar Sakanti is also popular as the Kite Festival. At many places kite competitions are held.People of all age groups are excited about it. Colorful kites of many shapes and sizes adorn the beautiful winter sky. 


Til or sesame sweets

Growing up in eastern metropolitan city of India with roots in western India, I have mixed memories of this festival. As a little girl, I would relish on sweet delicacies my granny and mother prepared. The many jaggery and sesame sweets with puffed rice were just mouth-watering. Not to forget the Ghewar. 

kite and manjha.jpg

Colorful kites and manjha

Kite flying holds special place in my life. We start preparing for kite competition for months in advance. Colorful kites of many shapes and sizes are bought in bulk or ordered from the best kite-maker in town. The thread or manjha was initially made by broken pieces of glasses. But this has been banned now. 


Enjoying kite flying

After finishing our daily rituals we are all set for flying kites. There are many categories in kite competition. The best innovative design and the one whose kite stays till the last is considered the winner. Mid-day lunch accompanied by variety of snacks and delicacies is grand community affair.


Holy dip in Kumbh Mela at Prayag

As grown-up Sakranti means customs and rituals. Bathing in holy water of Ganga, going for a trip to Ganga Sagar or taking holy dip in Kumbh at Prayag is considered very sacred for Hindus. Donating sweets and daily necessities to less privileged is considered auspicious on this day.


Distributing khichdi

Best Things to be done at New Year

WISHING YOU A YEAR FULL OF JOY, GOOD HEALTH                             AND ALL THAT YOU ARE !!!Travel

So holidays and parties are over, bags unpacked and back to work… pexels-photo-269561 (1).jpegIt’s now become a ritual for we, humans to complain or crib about every mundane thing even time for instance which seems to fly off. I planned and thought about doing a lot of things last year. Some, i did achieved but many like always remains incomplete.


So this year i thought of planning or making up a plan to achieve my incomplete goals. Though i am late by some days but then it is better late than never. Then these are no resolutions cause it is more popular for breaking rather than making.


pexels-photo-261763My first goal would be to write more. I have always wanted to write but could not. Surely because of my laziness. I taught my kids to practice to become like a pro but forgot myself. I must have thought myself to be a master. But i remember the saying,”Example is better than precept.”

i love readingMy next important goal is something very dear to my heart, is to read and read. I LOVE READING. It is something i am very fond of. But i  just do not have any idea of why i restricted myself to books and authors of certain genre only. I need to explore and part of me even wants but the other part is either greedy to read the complete work of that genre only. So whatever, it is i would certainly devote more time just for reading.

alps-nature-flora-sky-584368Travelling has always excited me and i had some great opportunities to travel. I would continue to do so and would like to grow in leaps and bounds. For me travelling has opened the world. It has no restrictions, limitless.  How much i wish if i just could travel the all year round or even the rest of my life!

pexels-photo.jpgTo give more time to my blog, surely is not the last but a priority this year for me. I started blogging some years back but due to lack of time and knowledge about it was discouraged. But then, this year i do plan to improve my blog by posting more articles. PROMISEBooks

So what are your New Year plans? How do you want to spend it same like the last year or something more interesting? In fact I like to do something all the more exciting than the above list. I would like to learn a new language, a new instrument, attend more rock concert, try new cuisine, explore more of myself. So do you even want to join me?



Images: Pexels