In Delhi at this time of year the days are drawing in and the weather turns very nice indeed (it is 22 – 35 C just about every day this week, for example). At this time, India comes alive with a series of festivals. The first of the big ones for this season is Ganesh […]
In Delhi at this time of year the days are drawing in and the weather turns very nice indeed (it is 22 – 35 C just about every day this week, for example). At this time, India comes alive with a series of festivals. The first of the big ones for this season is Ganesh Chaturthi, which was celebrated on September 7 this year and involves prayers to the elephant god Ganesha for luck and prosperity.
Navrati runs for ten days; this year from 4th to 12th of October. It begins with the Durga Puja, which is particularly important to Begali communities Various Garba and Dandiya dances are performed as part of festivities. and ends with the burning (and detonating) of effigies of Ravana. If I can, I’ll try to record the sound of this as the various celebrations go on around us.
Karva Chauth is celebrated this year on the 20th of October and is a North Indian festival where married women fast from food and water all day until they sight the moon at night, whereupon they accept food only from their husband. During the day they are to pray for the welath and longevity of their husbands and they will dress in robes remicient of wedding custom and apply Mendhi both as a sign of their devotion.
On the 1st of November, Diwali is celebrated. This is the biggest festival and the most important date on the Hindi calendar. I will write more about Diwali and how it is celebrated here in India as the day approaches.
The 4th of November will see the celebration of Id and the breaking of the Ramadan fast. In Delhi there are loud and joyous celebrations, particularly around the Mosques near Old Delhi. Also, it is a good time to avoid the roads around the airport as the pilgrims from Mecca return (the volume of people is so great there is a special section of the airport set aside to handle them.
The festival of this season is Sikh celebration Guru Nanak Jayanti, which commemorates Guru Nanak Dev, who founded Sikhism. This is more of a solem festivity, with a great deal of gift-giving and traditional foods.