Friday, October 21, 2011

The Month of October in India=FESTIVALS GALORE - Durga Puja

Hi everyone! I'm sorry I havn't been able to post anything for a while with starting school here.  It is very busy also with the  huge amount of festivals and poojas/weddings that comes with the month of October here :).   I lost so many good pictures from  my Fuji camera as it is hard to focus.  Fortunately my family in US sent a replacement and now I am back taking better visual memories.   That.....and my little brother Pratyaksh is still potty training and one day "sprung a leak " on my Fuji,  so I couldn't use it as much.  ( Thanks for the new camera , Pratyaksh !!)  

I'll post these in sequence :

                                                                     Durga Puja

I will begin with the first festival I encountered here. It’s called Durga Puja. This puja is one of the most famous in the country and is especially celebrated in the Northern and Eastern states of India. The festival of Durga Puja is celebrated for ten days including the last day when the idol of the Goddess is immersed in a sacred body of water (ocean/rivers usually) The puja is also known as Navratra or Durgostab. The last six days are the days of actual celebrations with elaborate rituals and intricate ceremonies as well as social get togethers. The puja begins from the very first day when the ‘Kalash’ is installed in a home. The person who takes the charge of the Puja fasts for nine days (I tried the first two days, but I started to get sick from not eating correctly so I had to break my fast early :/ )  The intricate Puja ceremony begins from the day of Mahalaya when the Goddess is invoked. The real celebrations also begin from this day onwards. I found a little chart on the web which shows the days that actual celebrations are held for the Goddess Maa

Durga Puja Calendar 2011
The calendar or samay suchi for Durga Puja, along with the timings, is as follows:
1st October 2011 - Panchami
2nd October 2011 - Shashti
3rd October 2011 - Saptami
4th October 2011 - Ashtami
5th October 2011 - Navami
6th October 2011 - Vijaya Dashmi
On Durga Puja the President of our chapter in Dehli organized for all of us exchange students and we all went to her colony where there was a celebration being held for the puja inside of the colony. We all came dressed in traditional Indian wear and all of us girls wore sarees:) After making sure everyone had arrived we left Sudha's apartment and headed over to the Durga Puja tent where we watched the ceremonies held by the residents. One part of the festival was a dance where a person would dance with cups of hot burning coconut shavings in their hands. Sudha participated and she held four with two in one hand, one in another and one with her mouth! After watching the show and learning some history behind Navami and what that day represents, we went to get some food in the tents set up nearby that were full of all types of Indian cuisine. Living in a vegetarian family I couldn't help but have a few amazing chicken kabobs and a chicken roll. :) We spent the rest of the night hanging out in the food area and I met all of the other exchange students here in Dehli. It was a lot of fun and I had brought my whole family with and everyone (especially my counselor Anuj) was playing with my little brother Pratyeksh. I think the kid got about 7 or 8 ice-creams from everyone doting on him so much! Sadly the Americans couldn't make it, but later in the week I got to see them on another outing with everyone. I'll talk about that later in the post.


No comments:

Post a Comment