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Navratri

The celebration of the Indian festival, Navratri or the �nine nights� goes on for nine days.
The nine-day long festival starts on the first day of Ashwina (the bright fortnight). It usually occurs in October.

The nine Goddesses worshipped during the nine days are Durga, Bhairavi, Amba, Bhadrakali, Sarvamangala, Bhavani, Lalita, Chandika and Annapurna.

Significance Of Navaratri

The first day of Navratri witnesses the sowing of barley seeds into a small mud bed. Three days are each devoted to the worship of Maa Durga (the Goddess of Valor), Maa Saraswati (the Goddess of Knowledge) and Maa Lakshmi (the Goddess of Wealth). A yagna (holy fire) is performed on the 8th day.

The celebration culminates in Mahanavami, when the Kanya Puja is performed. This day witnesses the worship of nine young girls depicting the nine forms of Goddess Durga. Each of the nine forms of Durga creates the part of a new creation on each of the nine days of Navaratri.

Celebration During Navaratri

During Navratri, the Gujaratis are engaged in traditional dances like the Dandiya-Raas and Garba.

The women dance in a circle and sing the traditional songs or Garba. The Dandiya Raas is played with �dandiyas� or wooden sticks. Many cultural societies, youth social groups and housing committees play the dandiya and garba. For this, adorned mandaps are set up. Garbas are also performed at Mumbai. Navratri is the largest Hindu festival of Nepal.

There is color all around during Navratri. Certain parts of India perform the �Ram-Leela�, which is a stage play of Ramayana (the saga of Lord Rama) during the festival.

The tenth day that falls after the nine-day celebrations is the �Vijaya Dashami�, the victory day over all evil. It is believed by the Hindus that Lord Rama killed Ravana, the demon on Dassera. This day is marked with the burning of the effigies of Ravana all through India.

There are devotees who observe fasts on Navratri. Prayers are also offered for the protection of property and health. This entire festive period is a time for purification and introspection. This can be an auspicious time for beginning new ventures. The festival generates happiness to all. Navratri is an exciting festival for the youth and is full of devotion for the old.

FACT # 235

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Posted by on October 16, 2012 in Festivals, General Facts

 

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FACT # 234

SOME FACTS ON NAVARATHRI FESTIVAL

The festival of NAVARATHRI is celebrated in different forms and names in our country.In Tamilnadu it is celebrated as NAVARATHRI GOLU
Here the dolls are arranged in steps on Puratasi Amavasai.This festival is also known as SHARADHA NAVARATHRI.The nine days are divided into sets of three days to adore three different aspects of the Goddess.

The first three days is for Goddess DURGA ,the next three days for Goddess LAKSHMI and the last three days for Goddess SARASWATHI .The tenth day on which the goddess kills MAHISHASURA is celebrated as VIJAYADASAMI,as the victory of good over the evil.

In Tamilnadu the tenth day is known as AYUDHA POOJA .On this day people worship books,instruments,machineries,vehicles….On VIJAYADASAMI it is considered auspicious to start anything new.Here we can find lot of children joining schools,music classes and dance classes.

The 10 DIVINE FORMS of the Goddess are known as

1.Kali
2.Thirupurasundari
3.Thirupurabairavi
4.Thumavathi
5.Bhuvaneswari
6.Chinnamastha
7.Rajamathengeswari
8.Tharambigai
9.Balamugi
10.Kamalatharini

In India the NAVADURGA TEMPLES are found in Tamilnadu and North India

1.Siva Durgai-Pateeswaram,Tanjore
2.Vishnu Durgai-Thirukovilur,Cuddalore
3.Raagukala Durgai-Thiruvarur,Tanjore
4.Vana Durgai-Kadhiramangalam,Tanjore
5.Kanaga Durga-Vijayawada,Andra Pradesh
6.Sulini Durga-Kollur,Karnataka
7.Rawthra Durga-Kolkata,West Bengal
8.Saantha Durga-Chandigarh,Punjab
9.Mangala Durga-Ujjaini,Madhya Pradesh

All the above informations are my collections from religious magazines and books.Iam indeed very happy to share it with you all.

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2012 in Festivals, General Facts

 

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FACT # 233

History of Navratri

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Navratri is a very important Hindu festival celebrated in India, which is devoted to Goddess Durga. The festival is celebrated with great reverence and faith across the country. It stretches over a period of nine days, with each of the nine days being dedicated to one of the nine forms of the Goddess. Talking about the history of Navratri festival, it can be explained through the stories mentioned in the Hindu scriptures. In case you want to know more about them, explore the information given below

History & Origin Of Navratri
In different parts of India, different legends describe the history of Navratri:

North India
The legend in North India goes that Mahishasura, the mighty demon, worshipped Lord Shiva and obtained the power of eternity. Soon, he started killing and harassing innocent people and set out to win all the three lokas. The gods in swargaloka appealed to Lord Shiva, to find a way to get rid of the demon. To protect the world from the atrocities of Mahishasura, the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva united their powers and created a divine female warrior, known as Goddess Durga. Mahishasura, when he saw the divine beauty of Goddess Durga, got mesmerized.

So fascinated was Mahishasura by Goddess Durga’s beauty that he approached her with the intention of marriage. The goddess agreed to marry him, but put forth a condition – Mahishasura would have to win over her in a battle. Mahishasura, proud as he was, agreed immediately! The battle continued for 9 nights and at the end of the ninth night, Goddess Durga beheaded Mahishasura. The nine nights came to be known as Navratri, while the tenth day was called Vijayadashmi, the tenth day that brought the triumph of good over evil.

Eastern Belief
As per the legend prevalent in East India, Daksha, the king of the Himalayas, had a beautiful and virtuous daughter called Uma. She wished to marry Lord Shiva, since her childhood. In order to win over the Lord, she worshipped him and managed to please him as well. When Shiva finally came to marry her, the tiger-skin clad groom displeased Daksha and he broke off all the relationships with his daughter and son-in-law. One fine day, Daksha organized a yagna, but did not invite Lord Shiva for the same.

Uma got so angry at her father’s rude behavior, towards her husband, that she decided to end her life by jumping into the agnikund of the yagna, where she was united with eternity (since then, she came to be known as Sati). However, she took re-birth and again won Shiva as her groom and peace was restored. It is believed that since then, Uma comes every year with Ganesh, Kartik, Saraswati and Laxmi and two of her best friends or ‘sakhis’, called Jaya and Bijaya, to visit her parent’s home during Navratri.

Another Legend – Ram and Ravana
Yet another legend of Navratri relates to the Hindu epic Ramayana. It goes that Lord Rama worshipped Goddess Durga in nine aspects, for nine days, in order to gather the strength and power to kill Ravana. He wanted to release Sita from the clutches of powerful demon king Ravana, who had abducted her. Those nine nights became to be known as Navratri and the tenth day, on which Lord Rama killed Ravana, came to be called Vijayadashmi or Dusshera, signifying Rama’s (good) triumph over Ravana (evil).

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2012 in Festivals, General Facts

 

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FACT # 215

Facts On Ganesh Chaturthi

 

  1. Ganpati festivities are about to kickstart and so in.com brings to you some interesting facts about Lord Ganesh and the festival…
  2. Stories say that Lord Ganesha was created by goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. Parvati created Ganesha out of sandalwood paste that she used for her bath and breathed life into the figure. She then sent him to stand guard at her door while she bathed. Lord Shiva returned and as Ganesha didn’t know him and so didn’t allow him to enter. Lord Shiva became angry severed the head of the child and entered his house. Upon realisingthat he had beheaded his own son, Lord Shiva affixed the head of an elephant in place of Ganesha’s head.
  3. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesh is considered as “Vigana Harta” (one who removes obstacles) and “Buddhi Pradaayaka” (one who grants intelligence). This festival is very important for students who appeal to Lord Ganesh to sharpen their minds.
  4. Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations were initiated in Maharashtra by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja, the great Maratha ruler, to promote culture and nationalism.
  5. In 1893, freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak transformed the annual festival into a large, well-organized public event. He recognized the wide appeal of the deity Ganesh as “the god for everybody” and popularized Ganesh Chaturthi as a national festival in order to generate nationalistic fever among people in Maharashtra against the British colonial rule.
  6. Fables say that on a chaturthi moon day, the lord of the stars happened to make fun of Ganesh for his bulging belly and laughed at him. Ganesh got angry and placed a curse on whoever looked at him knowingly or unknowingly on the night of Shukla paksha chaturthi day. The curse would attract scandals and unfounded allegations. Hence, the legend goes that one shouldn’t look at the moon on the night of Ganesh chaturthi.
    Ganesh
  7. Ganesh figures with only two hands are taboo. Hence, Ganesha idols are most commonly seen with four hands, which signify their divinity. Some figures may be seen with six, eight, ten, twelve and some with fourteen hands, with each one carrying a different symbol. There are about 57 symbols in all, according to the findings of research scholars.
  8. The physical attributes of Ganesh are rich in symbolism. He is normally shown with one hand in the abhaya pose of protection and refuge and the second holding a sweet (modak), symbolic of the sweetness of the realized inner self. In the two hands behind him, he often holds an ankusha (elephant goad) and a pasha (noose). The noose is to convey that worldly attachments and desires are a noose. The goal is to prod man to the path of righteousness and truth. With this goal, Ganesh can both strike and repel obstacles. His pot belly signifies the bounty of nature and also that Ganesh swallows the sorrows of the Universe and protects the world.
  9. Ganesh is supposed to ride on a little mouse, that represents our wandering, wayward mind, lured to undesirable or corrupting grounds. By showing the mouse paying subservience to Lord Ganesha, it is implied that the intellect has been tamed through Ganesha’s power of discrimination.
  10. Lalbaugcha Raja in Mumbai is one of the most popular Ganesh mandals. During the Ganesh festival, it draws an average of 1.5 million people a day! People believe that this Ganesh idol can fulfill their wishes.
  11. In 2010, two idols from Vishakhapatnam were measured at 76 feet tall. The Ganeshas were made out of soil imported from West Bengal. However, they were too big to be immersed. Instead, they had to be doused with hoses during immersion time.
 
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Posted by on September 4, 2012 in Festivals, General Facts

 

FACT # 214

Independence Day in India
Quick Facts
India’s Independence Day is an annual gazetted holiday on August 15 to commemorate the day India became an independent nation.
Name
Independence Day
Independence Day 2012
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

India celebrates Independence Day on August 15 each year. India became an independent nation on August 15, 1947, so a gazetted holiday is held annually to remember this date.
Happy Indian Independence day…August 15th 1947

India’s Independence Day is celebrated nationwide on August 15. ©iStockphoto.com/Anantha Vardhan
What do people do?

Independence Day is a day when people in India pay homage to their leaders and those who fought for India’s freedom in the past. The period leading up to Independence Day is a time when major government buildings are illuminated with strings of lights and the tricolor flutters from homes and other buildings. Broadcast, print and online media may have special contests, programs, and articles to promote the day. Movies about India’s freedom fighters are also shown on television.

The president delivers the ‘”Address to the Nation” on the eve of Independence Day. India’s prime minister unfurls India’s flag and holds a speech at the Red Fort in Old Dehli. Flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programs are held in the state capitals and often involve many schools and organizations.

Many people spend the day with family members or close friends. They may eat a picnic in a park or private garden, go to a film or eat lunch or dinner at home or in a restaurant. Other people go kite flying or sing or listen to patriotic songs.
Public life

Independence Day is a gazetted holiday in India on August 15 each year. National, state and local government offices, post offices and banks are closed on this day. Stores and other businesses and organizations may be closed or have reduced opening hours.

Public transport is usually unaffected as many locals travel for celebrations but there may be heavy traffic and increased security in areas where there are celebrations. Independence Day flag raising ceremonies may cause some disruption to traffic, particularly in Dehli and capital cities in India’s states.
Background

The struggle for India’s Independence began in 1857 with the Sepoy Mutiny in Meerut. Later, in the 20th century, the Indian National Congress and other political organizations, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, launched a countrywide independence movement. Colonial powers were transferred to India on August 15, 1947.

The Constituent Assembly, to who power was to be transferred, met to celebrate India’s independence at 11pm on August 14, 1947. India gained its liberty and became a free country at midnight between August 14 and August 15, 1947. It was then that the free India’s first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru gave his famous “Tryst with Destiny” speech. People across India are reminded of the meaning of this event – that it marked the start of a new era of deliverance from the British colonialism that took place in India for more than 200 years.
Symbols

The sport of kite flying symbolizes Independence Day. The skies are dotted with countless kites flown from rooftops and fields to symbolize India’s free spirit of India. Kites of various styles, sizes and shades, including the tricolor are available in the marketplaces. The Red Fort in Dehli is also an important Independence Day symbol in India as it is where Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru unveiled India’s flag on August 15, 1947.

India’s national flag is a horizontal tricolor of deep saffron (kesaria) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. The ratio of the flag’s width to its length is two to three. A navy-blue wheel in the center of the white band represents the chakra. Its design is that of the wheel which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. Its diameter approximates to the white band’s width and it has 24 spokes.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2012 in Festivals, General Facts

 

FACT # 212

 

FACTS ABOUT JANMASTAMI

 

Janmashtami facts are quite interesting to know. People all over the world would find these facts informative and exciting. Know about the different Janmashtami facts on this page of fact file. It will provide you most fascinating information on Janmashtami and its celebrations. This page will serve as a snapshot of information for you. Check out some of informative Janmashtami facts here:

 
  • Janmashtami is celebrated on ashtami of Krishna Paksh or the 8th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadon.
  • According to some scholars, Krishna was born on 19th July 3228 B.C.E.
  • The term Krishna in Sanskrit means ‘black’.
  • Lord Krishna belonged to the clan of Yadavas.
  • Janmashtami is celebrated around eight days after Raksha Bandhan.
  • South India celebrates Gokulashtami with fruits, ‘prasadam’ and devotional songs.
  • Maharashtra celebrates the festival by breaking of ‘dahi handi’.
  • Janmashtami is also known as Gokulashtami and Krishnastami
  • Lord Krishna with Radhaji is worshipped on this day.
  • Besides, some people also worship Shri Krishna’s brother Balaram as well as sister Subhadra on the day of Janmashtami.

  • Lord Krishna was born in Mathura but was brought up in Gokul
  • Mathura has around 400 temples dedicated to Nandgopal.
  • Lord Krishna is known by around 108 names in the world.
  • Raas Leela is the most famous dance performance of Lord Krishna that is still observed in India.
  • Krishna’s teachings are world famous and can be found in the book called Bhagavad Gita.
  • Lord Krishna assisted Arjuna one of the Pandavas for the battle of Krukshetra.
  • Since 1966, the devotion of Lord Krishna spread to other countries like America, Europe, Africa, Russia and South America.
  • The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) was instrumental in creating awareness among people.
  • A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was founder of the ISKCON movement.
  • In fact, his guru— Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura instructed him to write about Shri Krishna in English and to share the philosophy of ‘Gaudiya Vaishnava’ with people in the Western world.
 
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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Festivals, General Facts