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If there is one festival during which every Bihari wants to be home, it is Chhath. It touches an emotional chord with Bihari populace and is more than just a festival like Diwali, Holi and Durga Puja. Chhath Puja is a festival when the entire family gets together in celebration and none wants to miss. Almost exclusive to Bihar (including Jharkhand), the four-day festival of Chhath is dedicated to the Sun God and his two consorts, Usha and Pratyusha.
In Bihar, the festival dedicated to Sun and Chhathi Maiya (Mother Shashti or Usha) is celebrated with rigorous and strict manners of preparation. The Sun is worshipped as the prime source of energy that sustains all lives on the Earth.
Usha and Pratyusha are the two wives that are considered as the energy of the Sun god Himself. Therefore, the first offering, evening arghya is offered to Pratyusha, the last ray of the Sun God; and the morning arghya is offered to Usha, the first ray of the Sun.
Both of the great epics of India, Ramayana and Mahabharata, have references of the festival being celebrated by Sita (after Lord Ram’s return to Ayodhya), and by Draupadi. It has Vedic roots as Goddess Usha is one of the Goddesses mentioned in the Vedas and there are several mantras dedicated to her.
As soon as Diwali is over, Bihar gets into Chhath mode. Every nook and corner of the state is serenaded by the Chhathi Maiya songs sung, almost every single time, by Bihar’s own daughter Padma Shri Sharda Sinha. From ‘Uga ho Suruj dev’ to ‘Marbau re sugaba dhanush se’, all the songs, if not memorised, have a subconscious connect with the Biharis.
The four days of Chhath Puja
Day one: Nahay-Khaay (literally, bathe and eat)
As the name suggests, this day the process of purification for the Vratin (the lady who does the vrat, or fasts for the festival) starts with her taking a bath and eating seasonal vegetables along with rice and dal. The dal is made of gram (or chickpea), and the vegetable is of Lauki (or Kaddu as it is called in Bihar) along with chana saag (a delicacy made of leaves of chickpeas). This food that the Vratin consumes is a prasad which the whole family eats later. Vratin’s food doesn’t have any salt in it.
This day (or the next day, as convenient) the Vratin, with help of others in the family, washes the wheat that will be used to prepare various offerings to the Sun god. The wheat is washed with utmost care and spread to dry. The kids are given the duty to see no dirty thing falls into it. They have to make sure the birds don’t eat (or poop on it while flying over!).
Day two: Kharna
In the evening, after the cooking is done, the Vratin, in closed doors does the rituals where she offers naiwedya to various deities as well as gram and kul devta. The naiwedya is prepaired from chapatis, Tasmai and bananas and spread over a banana leaf.
The Vratin would offer prayers inside as the house goes silent for a few minutes because any sound might break her concentration while praying and breaking her fast. She eats the food that was prepared by her.
When she is done eating, she will deliberately leave some food in the plate which is considered to be pious and is eaten by the family members as prasad. In fact, kids fight to eat them as it is akin to purest form of blessing one could ever get.
As she opens the door, someone would bring out the naiwedya from inside and all family eats it. Later, the food prepared by the Vratin, Tasmai and Puri, is served as supper to the family.
Day three: Saandhya arghya (the evening offering)
On the third day the Vratin starts her fast again which would last till the next morning. It is roughly 36 hours from her last meal, again without a drop of water the whole day.
The male members carry the baskets over their head from the home to ghats. The whole path is cleaned and watered and purified to maintain the sacredness of the whole process. The baskets are laid open at the ghats where the Vratin will take a dip, pray to the last rays of the Sun and Pratyusha.
Then she will take every basket in her hand with a diya (earthen lamp), and face the Sun as the family as well as community members will offer arghya by pouring water and milk in front of the basket facing the Sun god.
When this process is done the Vratin again takes a dip and comes out to perform some rituals at the ghat. This would include prayers, laying of flowers, burning dhoop (finely chopped sandalwood) and incense sticks. Meanwhile, the male members would carry the baskets back home and keep it inside the house where no one can touch or accidentally hit by legs etc.
Day four: Usha arghya (the morning offering)
As she enters the home everyone will take her blessing by touching her feet. As pious as she is, in those moments of extreme control over all the senses and organs, it is considered that whatever she says is a word from the Mother Usha or Chhathi Maiya Herself.
Apart from the prasad from the basket, the main food as breakfast (or say, brunch) is kaddu-bhat (vegetable of Lauki and steamed rice).
Significance of the offerings in basket
One can find that every family has different numbers of baskets for the arghya. Some have one, some two, some ten or even more than that. The number depends on the number of baskets that have been pledged to be offered to Chhathi Maiya by anyone in the house or, even community.
For example, if I am suffering from a disease from a long time, my grandmother would pledge a basket as an offering for a number of years (or forever) to Chhathi Maiya. The same can be done by a concerned aunt or even a grandmother from other house who cares for you.
Not only this, but in an excellent show of village harmony and love, my grandmother might pledge to offer a basket to Chhathi Maiya for the village chief who, for example has met with an accident. The usual prayer would be, “Chhathi Maiya, if this son of mine gets up from bed healthy, I will offer you a basket of fruits every year till he lives.”
Kasht Lena (to suffer)
This process is a regular sight in two days of arghya, the evening and morning. You would find people, usually males, with a nail, small knife or any metal laying down and getting up facing the sun.
What they do is this: They would start from their house with facing the sun and doing a namaste with folded hands, then they would lie down and measure that distance with their body-length.
This process is very difficult. The one who does this has either pledged to do this himself or her mother, grandmother or any other person pledged it for his well being. This is called ‘kasht lena’ which literally means, to suffer.
This is pledged in extreme circumstances like when there is no hope for being alive or someone has met with a bad accident. It is done in desperate times when only the Gods would come to the rescue.
Even the ladies have their version of taking the ‘kasht’. They would stand in the cold waters with folded hands towards the Sun for as long as the whole process of arghya is finished. This means they would be the first ones in the waters and last ones to get out of it. The water is very cold as Chhath Puja takes place, usually in November.
Belief is what binds us all. Chhath is that moment of belief. Chhath Puja is that moment when the family gets together and enjoys each other’s company. The Vratin is treated with utmost respect and there is a race among kids to take her blessings by massaging her head, feet or body as it aches from rigorous procedures and preparations.
It is a way to say thanks to the only visible God on earth who powers everything. It is a way to express our gratitude to the Sun, the absence of Whose rays, our whole system would collapse. Sun is the source of energy in the planet as well as cured of various deficiencies and diseases. With Chhath Puja we say thanks to Him and his two Consorts, Usha and Pratyusha.
By- Muhammad Usman
Moving in a straight direction to curly could be a nightmare, and when it's done to your hair that's natural, it's nearly impossible to reverse this process quickly. Additionally, the process of changing your hair's colour between light and dark may be stunning or a complete mess. The ability to alter the texture of a lace wig or paint can be an excellent solution for many people looking for new looks for their appearance. If you're thinking about dying your product, it is best to learn the kind of hair that can be dyed easily.
Remy's hair is considered to be processed, and therefore. However, they can use dyes ranging from light to dark or dark to light; it will need to be by using professional-grade products or otherwise called permanent dye. However, the hair that is naturally coloured can be dyed using light or strong chemicals as they often are natural in the shade and pose minimal or no problem in changing the hue to a lighter shade, such as blonde or red.
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However, one of the factors you need to consider when buying an entire lace wig created using Remy's hair concerns the type of dye used in the production process. It isn't easy to alter if a garment dye was employed in place of hair dye. However, with the help of hair colour removers, you will achieve the desired shade. To get the best results, apply mild shampoo closure lace frontal and deep conditioner after dips the hair in the formula for removing colour. Also, make sure not to stay in there for too long because it can cause bleaching to your hair. Lace is one of the gorgeous imitations that have ever been made of nature's fantasies, and lace has always brought to me those fantastic patterns that the leaves and branches of trees embroidered across the sky.
I can't imagine that any invention from human imagination could be more elegant or precise a source." -- Coco Chanel, 29 April 1939. Garment accessories are an essential part for dressmakers, and this is the reason for their significance. It's virtually impossible to design a prepared garment without the aid of accessories for clothing. They typically include buttons, zippers, fabric as well as labels. However, off late ribbons and laces have gained a special place in the realm of fashion design. According to the definition, lace is an openwork fabric that is patterned with holes in the work. It is generally made using machines and occasionally using hands.
Lace wigs are one of the gorgeous imitations that have ever been made of nature's fantasiesPixabay
Lace-making, which is considered an old art, is made by looping threads and twisted or braided or tied to another line without regard to the backing fabric. However, the term ribbon refers to a fragile piece of elastic material utilized primarily to connect and bond. Silk ribbons, mostly made of cloth, are typically employed to add style to clothing, but they can be used for other uses, such as florists, gift packaging, etc. There are a variety of laces, but the ones most frequently sought-after are needle, outwork tape, bobbin, and knitted.
Today, most fashion weeks (especially renowned ones) have a specific segment dedicated to garments made of ribbon and lace. Sometimes, the entire week is dedicated to these items. With more and more designers are using ribbons and laces to create new and unique designs, the ribbon and laces suppliers and makers are returning to the market with an erupting roar! Insiders in the industry say that lace and ribbon are the most popular and beautiful border decoration materials. The use of these materials adds a hint of softness and class because of the flowing nature of the materials.
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Slowly but steadily increasing demand for Indian laces and ribbons is growing, and the suppliers of ribbons and lace are expecting a better year to come. The majority of full-lace wigs are generally considered an option to replace hair for people suffering from a condition that causes hair loss or Alopecia. They appear quite natural, including a hairline that is not discernible to anyone's naked eyes. Furthermore, naturally growing hair can also be styled, parted, and put into a low, medium or high ponytail. The saying goes that hair is your reflection, and plenty of men and women will agree among the top essential aspects of a properly groomed individual is the way they dress their hair.
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London (CNN)- At five o'clock in the morning, the esteemed 86-year-old astrophysicist Jim Peebles was woken suddenly by the telephone ringing."In previous experience, the only phone calls at that time of night are bad news," he said. This one was great news. "The opening sentence from the caller was: 'The Nobel committee has voted to award you the Nobel Prize in Physics. Do you accept?'" Peebles recalled. The wording threw him. Who wouldn't accept a Nobel Prize? "You know the Bob Dylan fiasco?" he said during a phone interview with CNN. "That might have put the wind up them."The "fiasco" Peebles mentions refers to the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature, which was controversially given to an utterly unimpressed Dylan.Aside from being ever-presents on college campuses in the 1960s, little connects Peebles, an expert in theoretical cosmology, with Dylan. But one of the starkest contrasts might lie in their reactions to winning a Nobel -- and the songwriter is far from the only laureate whose crowning turned out to be an awkward affair.
The five committees are notoriously secretive, fiercely shielding their choices from the outside world -- including the laureates themselves, who are told of their victories just minutes before they are announced to the public.
Jim Peebles speaking at the Nobel Prize banquet in 2019 Image credit: CNN
That tight-lipped mantra can lead to some heartening surprises, as it did for Benjamin List -- the co-winner of this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry -- who was having coffee with his wife when he received the news.
"Sweden appears on my phone, and I look at her, she looks at me and I run out of the coffee shop to the street ... you know, that was amazing. It was very special. I will never forget," he told reporters on Wednesday after his victory was announced.It can also be far less celebratory. "I was lying in bed, and my wife woke up and heard my phone buzzing. And she yelled at me because my phone was waking her up," David MacMillan, who shared the prize with List, told BBC Radio 4 on Thursday."100% [I] missed the call. Classic Scottish person. I [didn't] believe this is happening, so I went back to bed," he added -- likely the most relatable sentence ever uttered by an expert in chiral imidazolidinone catalysts.
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And for some, the sudden ascension to Nobel laureate is an unwanted intrusion altogether. "Oh Christ," British-Zimbabwean author Doris Lessing said when reporters arrived outside her house to inform her she had won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2007. "I'm sure you'd like some uplifting remarks of some kind. "It's a wonderful thing," Reinhard Genzel, an astrophysicist who won last year's Nobel Prize in Physics, told CNN of his win and the months since. "But it's a chore as well."
What it's like to win a Nobel PrizeFew Nobel winners can honestly say their lives weren't changed when they received the phone call.As long as they believe it, that is. "These days you get these cold calls, and I thought this is another one of them," Abdulrazak Gurnah, the winner of this year's literature prize, told the BBC on Thursday."This guy said, 'Hello, you have won the Nobel Prize for Literature,' And I said, 'come on, get out of here. Leave me alone,'" Gurnah said. "He talked me out of that, and gradually persuaded me."Winners often can't be contacted at all, leaving them to find out about their wins from the news, their family, or even their next-door neighbors.
Nobel Peace Prize winners Ressa and Muratov Image source: CNNEconomist Paul Milgrom was woken in the middle of the night in California by his colleague Robert Wilson banging on his front door. "Paul, it's Bob Wilson. You've won the Nobel Prize," he shouted into the intercom. "Yeah, I have? Wow," an utterly confused Milgrom responded, in an exchange captured by a doorbell camera.
Genzel's phone call came while he was in a Zoom meeting with colleagues last October. "I had absolutely no inkling," he said. "I thought, my God ... obviously this is a fantasy."
The committee's secretary told him he "couldn't say anything for 15 or 20 minutes," so Genzel tried his best to keep the news to himself. "I walked over to our meeting room ... (my colleagues) told me afterwards I was stumbling in there, slightly gazed, telling them to switch on the TV," he said.Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel winner at 17, was midway through a chemistry lesson at a school in Birmingham, England, when a teacher interrupted to tell her she had won, she told Reuters.She later told Vogue that she modestly left the achievement off her university applications, because she "felt a bit embarrassed." But there are occasions, too, where the winner isn't quite as thrilled as the Nobel committee might imagine.
Dylan and Ernest Hemingway both skipped the Nobels' annual banquet; the latter made a point of telling the Swedish Academy that he had "no facility for speech making and no command of oratory." But arguably it was Lessing who had the most memorable reaction. She learned of her win as she stepped out of a taxi on the way back from the grocery store. "Have you heard the news? You've won the Nobel Prize for Literature!" an enthusiastic reporter told her. Her eyes rolled back in her head before the journalist had even finished his sentence. Lessing -- accompanied by a male acquaintance who stood next to her, bemused, his arm in a sling and a single artichoke in his hand -- was clearly more interested in collecting her shopping than talking to the world's media.
Also read: Abdulrazak Gurnah- The New Nobel Laureate
Asked how she felt, she expressed little enthusiasm: "Look, I've won all the prizes in Europe, every bloody one."
"Am I supposed to get excited, or elated, or what?" she remarked. "One can't get more excited than one gets, you know?"
'I was treated like a rock star'
As soon as Genzel's win was announced last year, his face was on televisions around the world. The announcement of a Nobel Prize winner makes the front pages of newspapers and websites almost everywhere, throwing a sudden spotlight on little-known scientists and their complex research. "Once the announcement is made, you lose your identity within half an hour," Genzel said. "The telephone rings all the time. "Peebles had a similar experience just minutes after his early morning phone call. "When I returned to bed my wife said, 'What was that about?' I said 'Nobel Prize,' and she said: Oh God." Within minutes, the couple had a photographer outside their door. Genzel suddenly found himself answering questions about politics on late-night German TV, angering some of his friends with his responses. Peebles, meanwhile, spent much of the day looking through emails from every corner of the world: "Please come visit us, please read my manuscript..."
Reinhard Genzel posing with his medal Image source: CNN
"It's one thing to say that the Nobel Prizes attract attention. It's another to experience it," he said. Sometimes, personal relationships change. "There is of course a lot of envy, from some colleagues -- many people who are close to me in the same field might very well say, 'Why did he get it?'" said Genzel. But before the Covid-19 pandemic scuppered plans for two years in a row, winners were also treated to a gala in Stockholm. "I was treated like a rock star ... I experienced what I expect rock stars to experience," Peebles said of his banquet in 2019. "It's a wonderful honor." "My attache had an almost endless list of things to do," he added. "'Now you must meet these influential people. Now you must go to a news conference. Now we will have dinner with some important people. And on and on.' "Genzel missed out on the festivities last year, but he enjoyed a low-key affair in Germany. "The governor of Bavaria offered us his residence, (and) we had a fairly nice event with the Swedish ambassador," he said. Two years on, CNN asked Peebles whether his email inbox has finally receded to pre-Nobel volumes. "I'd have to look at the data on that," he responded, ever the empiricist. But for both men and many other laureates, the most exciting part of the Nobel experience is simply that it gets people talking about science and culture.
"I find it almost a necessity to tell the public at large that there is truth, there is absolute truth," Genzel said. "What I hope is understood is the importance of the Nobel Prize in making people aware of the importance of curiosity-driven science or arts," he said. "I think it must be unique."
(This article is originally written by Bob Picheta)
Keywords: Nobel Prize, Reactions, Laureates
Married Hindu women are recognised by a red streak of vermillion in the middle of their foreheads. This is traditionally called 'sindoor', which is derived from the Sanskrit word sindura, meaning 'red lead.'. Sindoor is traditionally powdered turmeric and lime, sometimes red saffron, or red sandalwood. It is also called vermilion, or Kumkum.
Sindoor is traditionally powdered turmeric and lime, sometimes red saffron, or red sandalwood. It is also called vermilion, or Kumkum. Image source: Photo by Gayathri Malhotra on Unsplash
The origin of the practise of wearing sindoor is ambiguous, but historical records from the Harappan civilisation show that women wore sindoor as a sign of being married. Today's generation considers the wearing of sindoor an outdated and patriarchal ritual. However, there is still a large population of women who uphold the ritual of adorning their foreheads with vermilion every day.
Sindoor implies the longevity of a woman's marriage to her husband in the Hindu tradition. The longer the streak, the longer her husband's life is believed to be. Women wear it for the first time on their wedding day, when the husband applies it during the ceremony. As long as he remains alive, the red streak that fills the woman's maang, or hair partition, symbolises her fruitful married life.
When the finger used to apply the sindoor touches the pituitary gland every time, it arouses affection in a woman for her husband. Image credit: Photo by Amish Thakkar on Unsplash
The components of the red powder are believed to improve the sexual energy of the woman. When the finger used to apply the sindoor touches the pituitary gland every time, it arouses affection in a woman for her husband. The mixture that she wears on her head controls her blood pressure and activates her sexual drive.
These days, feminists do not take very lightly to the practice of wearing sindoor, as they view it as a sign of patriarchal dominance. They do not like being branded as 'belonging to a man'. They prefer to wear it as a style statement because it enhances beauty. Fashion designers have recently commissioned models to sport sindoor on the runway. New age feminists are making bids to allow widows and single women to adorn their foreheads with the vermilion streak.
Keywords: Sindoor, Marriage, Symbol, Women, Patriarchy