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Bengal celebrates Mahanavami with community feasts

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Mahanavami
Bengal celebrates Mahanavami with community feasts

Kolkata, Sep 29: Underscoring the festival spirit of sharing and bonding, people from all walks of life partook of sumptuous community feasts at marquees and called on friends and relatives on Friday celebrating Mahanavami — the fourth day of Durga Puja in West Bengal.

Men, mostly donning the festive attire of kurta and pyjama, and women, resplendent in bright saris, greeted friends, relatives and other acquaintances, clicked selfies and idled away time with banter and fun, soaking in the infectious carnival spirit.

At the marquees and the households worshipping the Goddess, people ate ‘bhog’ (community feast of food items offered to the Goddess first), comprising a varied spread from ‘luchis’ (deep fried puffed bread) to ‘khichuri’, vegetable items, to fish and even mutton.

The religious rituals of Mahanavami or ninth lunar day began around 10 p.m. on Thursday after the end of Sandhi Puja held at the confluence of Mahaashtami (eighth lunar day) and Mahanavami.

As per Hindu mythology, Goddess Durga killed Chando and Mundo — two ‘asuras’ (demons) at the confluence (Sandhi) of the two days. The Goddess was worshipped as the undefeated – and offered her favourite food items.

This was followed by Maha Arati. In many of the traditional households celebrating the festival, ‘yagna’ (rituals done before the sacred fire) was organised before the morning puja rituals came to an end.

The five-day carnival is the biggest annual event in this part of the world when even newspapers are not published and roads are choked with human traffic throughout day and night.

According to Bengali tradition, Durga Puja begins with the symbolic arrival of Goddess Durga on Earth along with her sons Kartik and Ganesha and daughters Saraswati and Laxmi on Sashthi and ends on Dashami, celebrated across the country as Dussehra.

Traditionally, idols of Goddess Durga depict her as slaying demon Mahishasur. She is shown astride a lion and wielding an array of weapons in her 10 arms.(ians)

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Festival of India in Brazil kicks off with Carnatic Music and Gandhi Exhibition

The exhibition on the life of Mahatma Gandhi was inaugurated by Ambassador of India in Brazil Sunil Lal

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Festival of India
Carnatic Musical. Wikimedia

September 2, 2017: In the opening of the 10-day Festival of India,  an exhibition on the life of Mahatma Gandhi and an enthralling performance of Carnatic music by renowned Indian musicians in Brasilia, that was attended by senior Brazilian government officials, ambassadors, media, culture lovers and friends of India.

The event, on August 31, was held at the University of Brasilia (UnB).

Also Read: Navratri is a Festival which can be Celebrated by all, Irrespective of their Caste or Religion

The Festival of India is being organised in Brasilia, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro by the Indian Ministry of Culture and the Embassy of India in Brazil to celebrate the completion of 70 years of India’s independence, an Indian Embassy press release said.

The exhibition on the life of Mahatma Gandhi was inaugurated by Ambassador of India in Brazil Sunil Lal. The bilingual exhibition in English and Portuguese familiarized the Brazilian visitors with fascinating aspects of the Mahatma’s life and his decisive role in India’s independence. This was followed by the soulful performance of Indian Carnatic music by Anuroop Sugathan on the violin, Govindarajan and Palakal who were the vocalists and Viswanathan on the Mridangam.

In an evening marked by patriotic fervour and invocation of the divine, the Brazilian audience were treated to renditions of Vande Mataram and devotional and classical Carnatic numbers, reaching the crescendo with a rendition of the Indian National Anthem.

The group of musicians are to perform in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

The Brazilian friends of India would be treated to another stellar evening of a Kathak performance by an 11-member group led by Nandini Singh in Brasilia on Friday. This would be followed by Kathak performances in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The widely appreciated exhibition on Mahatma Gandhi would also be on display in São Paulo.

The final leg of the festival would celebrate Indian literature with renowned Indian poets Siva Reddy Kolli, Shauq Mohammed Shafi Lone and Monalisa Jena sharing gems of Indian literature in Telugu, Kashmiri and Odia languages, with their translations, to introduce the Brazilian audience to the fascinating world of Indian poetry, in all the three cities. (IANS)

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Hindu Centre of Virginia to organise 35th ‘Festival of India’ to celebrate and Promote Indian Culture and Festivals

Indians living in Richmond, Virginia are ready to celebrate the 35th Hindu Festival on 24th and 25th September, 2016

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Folk Dance India. Flickr
  • Indians living in Richmond, Virginia are ready to celebrate the 35th Festival of India on 24 and 25 September 2016
  • The celebration began on 1981 with an aim to share and celebrate Indian culture with the non-Indians of the country
  • The event will feature music, dance, food and health session

September 23, 2016: The world has always been amazed by Indian culture and embraced India. Some special events and festivals around the globe are simply wonderful that celebrate India with pomp and vigour.

On September 24 and 25, Virginia is all set to celebrate the 35th annual ‘Festival of India’. It was started in 1981 when a few families residing in Richmond gathered together to celebrate a day with music and dancing at the John B. Cary elementary school. What was a gathering of some 20 Indian families back then, expanded up to 100 families in 1984 as reported by the chairman of the Hindu centre of Virginia, Vijay Ramnarain.

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The History

As the festival gradually became extremely popular and now is an eagerly awaited annual celebration for the Virginians, it holds the record of nearly 20,000 visitors in two days last year in the ‘Greater Richmond Convention Center’. Back in 1980, the Indian descent people that lived in the city of Richmond was about 606 as shown in the census. Now it has leapt to 13,000 Indian and that makes Virginia possess the sixth highest Indian population, by percentage, reported richmondmagazine.com.

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Hindu Festival
Representational Image. Wikipedia

From the very beginning, the festival gained quite a huge non-Indian attendance as many people flocked over and the aim has always been to showcase Indian culture and sharing that with the fellow neighbouring countrymen- stated Ramnarain.

The Event and the Celebration

The theme of the celebration in 2016 is “Festivals of India”. It is to reminisce that just like America; India is also a land promoting multiple cultures and the celebration aims to view a glimpse of the various festivals celebrated in different regions in India at different months and times in the year- explained Ramnarain.

According to the reports, the event will feature dance, music, craft, and food along with yoga and information session while focusing on health and wellbeing. Proceeds will be collected by the ‘Hindu Center of Virginia’ that is a non-profit organisation promoting and teaching Indian culture and language to the community of Richmond.

– prepared by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC