Durga Navaratri – Celebrating the Goddess
Durga Navratri, or the nine (nava-) nights (-ratri) of Durga, are celebrated in the first 9 days of the bright half of the month (starting from the day after Amavasya) of Aswayuja/Asvina in the Indian lunar calendar (usually in end of September or early October). This period of nine days is the beginning of the festival season in all parts of India as the period of Navratri concludes with Dasehra (or victory day or Vijaya-Dashami) on the tenth day of the festival. The nine-day festival honors the role of three prinicipal female Goddesses in the Hindu pantheon – Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati.
Celebrating Makar Sankranti
Makar Sankranti is observed on the 14th of January every year and is (incorrectly) thought to coincide the astronomical event of the northward motion of the sun (uttarayana) from the tropic of capricorn towards the tropic of cancer. In India, it also marks the end of winter and the onset of spring and the progression […]
Chaitra Navaratri – Spring Festival of the Goddess
Chaitra Navaratri or the nine (nava-) nights (-ratri) of Durga, are celebrated in the first 9 days of the bright half of the month of Chaitra (starting from the day after Amavasya). According to the Indian lunar calendar, this usually in late March or early April. This period of nine days heralds the onset of spring and also marks the beginning of the new year for the hindu calendar in most parts of India. Read more…
Holi – The Festival of Colors
Holi or Holika, is a spring festival celebrated at the onset of the spring season, on the full moon day (Purnima) in the month of Phalguna. It is also the first day of the Hindu calendar (samvat) and a day of great joy and gaiety in the cities of Vrindavan and Mathura. Holi means the triumph of good over evil and conquest of sensual values by spiritual values.
Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi – The Bond of Love and Protection
Raksha Bandhan (the bond – Bandhan of protection – Raksha) is a Hindu festival, which celebrates the love between brothers and sisters. It is celebrated on the full moon (poornima) of the month of Shraavan. This article discusses the different ways that Raksha Bandhan is celebrated across India, the legends behind the festival and the spiritual significance of the festival. Read the complete article…)