Friday November 22, 2019

Is October a month of celebrating Weird and Exquisite Festivals? Here is a List!

Festivals help us get rid of our monotonous life once in a while and create cultural harmony

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Fireworks near the clock tower, Canada. (Wikimedia Commons)

October 8, 2016: Festivals play an integral role in relieving ourselves from the monotony of life. They create an environment of cultural harmony. All these festivals are exquisite as well as weird. Few of them celebrated in the month of October are-
i. Nagasaki Kunchi
It is one of the most popular festivals of Japan. Dragon Dance is the most popular tradition of this festival. Each district participates once a year. The festival ends when the empty mikoshi returns to the shrine after the god has departed.

ii. Naga Fireball festival
This festival is all about the mysterious appearance of fireballs above Mekong River in Thailand. Tradition says that fireballs come from the breath of Naga, a mythical serpent that haunts the river. Though, some people believe that fireballs are actually bubbles of methane from the river.

iii. Oktoberfest
It is the largest Volksfest across the world celebrated annually at Munich, Bavaria, Germany. The festival was first celebrated as a royal event. Now, every year approximately 6,000,000 litres of beer is consumed along with some pork sausages, roast chicken and roast ox. Apart from all the eating and drinking, there are parades, traditional music and German amusements, folk costumes,etc.

iv. Tübingen Duck Race
Every year, people of Tübingen, Germany participate in the annual duck race. Anyone with a rubber duck can participate. All you have to do is stick your name and number on the duck, attach a metal to the underside and release the duck. Winner gets a €1,000 holiday voucher. So if you want to see thousands of rubber ducks floating downstream, Tübingen is the place for you.

v. Vijayadashmi
Vijayadashmi or Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day of the Hindu autumn lunar month of Ashvin. The first nine days are celebrated as Maha Navratri. Dussehra signifies the slaying of Ravana by Lord Rama.

vi. Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Also known as Nine Emperor Gods festival, it is a nine-day Taoist celebration, observed in the South-east Asian countries. It is believed that once, a Chinese opera group got sick while performing on the island. They started praying to the Nine Emperor Gods to cleanse their body and spirit and restricted to the vegetarian diet. Soon the group made a complete recovery. This festival is not for the faint heart. The celebration consists of self-mortification acts including puncturing of cheeks.

vii. Diwali
Diwali is one of the most auspicious festivals of the Hindus. People light small lamps with oil to celebrate the victory of good over evil. It celebrates the homecoming of Lord Rama after he defeated Ravana, King of Lanka, and rescued his wife, Devi Sita.

viii. Halloween
Halloween is celebrated an evening before All Hallow’s day, on 31st October. The festival is thought to be originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would wear costumes to wander off roaming ghosts. Today this festival has transformed into a child-friendly celebration with trick or treat.

by Diksha Arya of Newsgram. Twitter: @dikshaarya_53

  • Antara

    October is indeed a month of grand festivals!

Next Story

Fireworks Might Extinguish the Flame of Laxmi Puja

We can have various kind of festival enjoyments on Festivals but without ever causing problem to others and the environment

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Fireworks
There is no mention in any corners of the voluminous scriptures of Fireworks blasting during a PUJAS that “upset” the harmony of peace and tranquility of others. Pixabay

BY SALIL GEWALI

If one wants to connect Hindu culture with the senseless bursting of crackers and boisterous fun then he is absolutely wrong. There is no mention in any corners of the voluminous scriptures of Fireworks blasting during a PUJAS that “upset” the harmony of peace and tranquility of others. To disturb others’ tranquility falls under the heading of vices. Preserving the sanctity of the environment, and more importantly, inner purity of mind and heart is the “prime doctrine” of SANATAN DHARMA which is popularly known as Hinduism. This Hindu culture now seemingly run the risk of having been defined by other communities with what is not very pleasant to hear.

Fireworks
It should not be misunderstood ever that Hinduism disapproves of all kinds of fun and frolic. No, it is never so.  We can have various kind of festival enjoyments but without ever causing problem to others and the environment without Using Fireworks.

I’ve overheard many toxic comments against this blatant desecration of auspicious “puja celebrations”. During Holi festival, many people fear to move out of their homes, particularly in certain the plane areas in India. You might be blasted with a bucketful of dirty water by pranksters from the 5th floor of the building. Is this sadism the part of the puja and holi celebration? One is afraid, with each passing year, this festival of color of joy, though having strong spiritual significance, has only painted the very face of Hindu culture with vulgarity and depravity.

Fireworks
If one wants to connect Hindu culture with the senseless bursting of crackers, Fireworks and boisterous fun then he is absolutely wrong.

Matter of fact, peace in one’s life and his efforts to help bring peace in others’ lives is essentially the fundamental basis of Hindu culture and festivals. Practically speaking, there is no devotion to God without “peace”.  Therefore, “Shanti” (peace) is one of the most paramount peace mantras in Sanskrit, not “Ashanti” which, of late, is the hallmark of such Hindu puja celebrations. The profound objective behind this peace mantra, as propounded in Upanishads, inspired even one of the greatest poets of the 20th Century – TS Eliot who underlined it with the purpose of life which he brought out in his epic poem – The Waste Land. That poem finally ends with the same peace mantra — Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

Fireworks
TS Eliot who underlined it with the purpose of life which he brought out in his epic poem – The Waste Land.

It should not be misunderstood ever that Hinduism disapproves of all kinds of fun and frolic. No, it is never so.  We can have various kind of festival enjoyments but without ever causing problem to others and the environment. There are sufficient mentions of fun and frolic, merrymaking even in the spiritual activities — like Krishna LilaRam Lila…; and there exist endless nritya shashtras for healthy recreation. But they all are within the “purview of Dharma”. Ancient sages in their meditation conceived and authored a number of treatises in which we find the elaborate approaches and procedures to evolve oneself spiritually through fun-filled dances and music. There are “ragas and layas” (musical modes and rhythm), which are meant to “recharge” the mind for the meditative concentrationThe objective behind being to climb up the ladders of realization of oneness and universal uniformity.

Fireworks
There are sufficient mentions of fun and frolic, merrymaking even in the spiritual activities — like Krishna Lila, Ram Lila…; and there exist endless nritya shashtras for healthy recreation and not Fireworks. But they all are within the “purview of Dharma”.

However, there is absolutely no scope or prescription for deriving pleasure or fun by causing pain and anxieties to others? How come bursting high decibel fireworks at 2 AM or 3 AM or 4 AM is puja? In fact, it is called “adharma” or irreligion leading to self-degeneration.

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Therefore, it is DIYA, as per Vedas, which symbolizes the LIGHT to dispel the darkness of ignorance, the darkness of vices, and bring forth the light of knowledge to awake the “inherent” divinity. Goddess Laxmi is the “flame” of feminine ENERGY in the infinite cosmic creation. So, indulging in earsplitting fireworks and causing continuous problem to HER creatures, and HER environment, is totally against the fundamental principle of the devotion in Hinduism. Very sadly, with the blasting of the fireworks in the name of Goddess Laxmi we have invariably set off the tank of vices alone.

Salil Gewali is a well-Known Writer and Author of ‘Great Minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali