Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Monday, November 18, 2013
Dev Deepawali is celebrated on the occasion of Kartik Poornima when the Ghats of Varanasi come alive with thousands of Diyas (earthen lamps). Dev Deepavali, celebrated on the fifteenth day of Diwali, is a tribute to river Ganga by the people of Varanasi. Dev Deepavali is held on the full moon day in the month of Kartik (also known as Kartik Purnima) and is observed with great fanfare and feasts. It is believed that on the day of Dev Deepavali, the Gods descend on Earth. It is interesting to note that the Kartik Purnima festival also coincides with the Jain light festival and Guru Nanak Jayanti.
Kartik Purnima is an important festival of three major communities in India. The Hindus, Jains and the Sikhs celebrate this holy day for their respective reasons. Kartik Purnima is also sometimes known as Tripuri or Tripurari Purnima. The most significant thing about Kartik Purnima is that it is a major festival for all the three communities and various legends make this festival all the more interesting. To start with, it is believed that Lord Vishnu took the Matsya avatar on the day of Kartik Purnima. The celebration of Dev Deepawali is conducted to mark the victory of Lord Shiva over the demon Tripurasura. Jains take a pilgrimage to Palitana to worship their lord after a period of four months. Sikhs celebrate the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev on the day of Kartik Purnima. Hence the day is equally important for all the three communities.
Let us have a look at the significance of Kartik Purnima.
Significance For Hindus Kartik Purnima marks the end of the Chaturmas period during which the Gods are believed to sleep. On the day of the Kartik Purnima the Gods are said to awaken and hence many rituals and fairs are conducted on this day. According to legends, Lord Shiva killed a demon named Tripurasura on the day of Kartik Purnima and so people light lamps to celebrate His victory. This celebration by lighting lamps is known as the Dev Deepawali and is celebrated on a huge scale in the holy city of Varanasi. On the day of the Kartik Purnima, the worship of Goddess Tulsi is also observed. People light lamps and worship the Tulsi plant for better health and prosperity. Many fairs like the Pushkar fairs in Rajasthan and other parts is also conducted on the day of Kartik Purnima.
Significance For Jains Kartik Purnima is an important day for the Jains as well. Thousands of Jain pilgrims flock to the foothills of the Shatrunjay hills of Palitana on this day to undertake the auspicious journey. This is an extremely significant yatra for the Jain pilgrims. The doors of the temple of Lord Adinath open after a period of four months. So, there is a huge gathering of devotees to worship their Lord. One has to cover a distance of 216 kms on foot through mountainous regions to worship Lord Adinath which is situated on the top of the hill.
Significance For Sikhs Kartik Purnima is also a very auspicious day for the Sikhs. Sikhs celebrate the birthday of their founder and first Guru, Nanak Dev on this day. This day is known as Gurupurab and it is one of the major festivals of the Sikhs. India is a land of diversity. Yet the unity of culture of this land remains unchanged. We can witness the celebration of three different faiths on a single day. Thus, Kartik Purnima is a major Indian festival which marks the unity of three faiths.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
Nag Nathaiya festival was first started in the 16th century by the great saint named, Tulsi Das at the Tulsi Ghat in the Benaras. Once upon a time, Lord Krishna and his friends were playing at the bank of the River and suddenly they had lost their ball in the nearest river. Everybody was asking about the ball and they had decided that may be the ball has gone into the river. Lord Krishna had jumped down into the river in order to search for the ball. In the river he was tackled by the toxic snake King Cobra, known as the Kaliya. Those days, villagers were really much afraid by the Kaliya from a long time. The conflict went for long between the Kaliya Nag and the Lord Krishna.
Finally Kaliya realized the power of Krishna and then he accepted his defeat and bent in front of the Lord Krishna. Kaliya promised that he will never harm the villagers. Then Kaliya picked up the Lord Krishna on his head and brought him outside the water. His friends were very pleased after seeing the Krishna outside the water and getting their ball. In this way Lord Krishna had saved the life of villagers from Kaliya as well as poisonous water. The whole event is known as the Nag Nathaiya.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Chhath, also known as Dala Chhath is an important festival celebrated in Bihar and many other parts of India in which setting Sun (dawn) is worshiped .This festival is also celebrated in neighbouring areas such as Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Terai areas of Nepal with a little difference. Chhath is also called ‘Suryasasthi’ as it observed after the six days of Diwali, the festival of light.
Chhath Puja takes place during 6th day ( Shasthi) lunar fortnight of Kartik month (October last to mid November). The festival lasts for four days. There is also a "Chaiti Chhath" celebrated just after Holi during Chaitra Navratri in the month of Chaitra (March last to mid April).
The festival is observed and celebrated in Bihar since time immemorial with the constant faith that the Sun God fulfils wishes if 'araghya' is offered with complete dedication and devotion.
Chhath is not just a physical attachment to the people of Bihar, infact, it presents in their hearts, and this is why the people bring the festival wherever they have migrated. Nowadays it can be easily seen at the ghats of Yamuna in Delhi and other parts of India indicating its presence across the country.
It is a festival connected with purity, devotion to the Sun God who is considered as the source of life on this earth and is regarded as wish fulfiller.
The festival is celebrated with an aim to express thanks to Sun God for offering energy to earth continuously enabling the environment suitable for the people to live.
In the evening arghya people express their thanks to Sun God for its work in growing their crops during the preceding year and morning arghya is considered as a request for a bountiful crop, peace and prosperity in the year to come.
Devotees assemble at the ghats at rivers and ponds including Ganges and take a holy dip before preparing offerings (Prasad). The main constituent of the offerings are Thekua, which is a wheat based cake.