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Festivals

Hindu Festival Dates 2011 - 12
Ekadasi Dates 2011 - 12
Sankashti Dates 2011 - 12
Navaratri Festival
Deepavali Festival
Tulasi vivah Festival or Uttwana Dwadashi Tulasi Habba
Makara Sankranti
Maha Shivaratri
Ugadi

Hindu Fetival Dates Sep 2011 - Apr 2012:

1st September 2011 - Ganesha Chaturthi

12th September 2011 - Pitr Paksh Starts @ 11h26, But offer the 1st water oblations(Tarpana) on the morning of the 13th after sunrise. 

27th September 2011 - Pitr Paksh Ends @13h07

28th September 2011 - Navaratri Starts

3rd October 2011 - Sarawati Pooja 

4th October 2011 - Durga Pooja

6th October 2011 - Vijay Dashmi 

6th October 2011 - Madhva Jayanthi

25th October 2011 - Naraka Chaturdasi

26th October 2011 - Deepavali/Lakshmi Pooja

27th October 2011 - Govardhan Pooja

5th January 2012 - Vaikunta Ekadashi

14th January 2012 - Bhogi

15th January 2012 - Makar Sankranthi

30th January 2012 - Ratha Saptami

1st February 2012 - Madhva Navami

20th February 2012 - Maha Shivaratri

8th March 2012 - Holi

23rd March 2012 - Ugadi/Gudi Padwa

31st March 2012 - Sri Rama Navami

14th April 2012 - Tamil New Year/Vishu

24th April 2012 - Akshaya Tritiya

26th April 2012 - Sankara Jayanthi







 Ekadasi:

Ekadasi is a Sanskrit word, which means 'the eleventh'. It refers to the eleventh day of a fortnight belonging to a lunar month. There are two fortnights in a lunar month—the bright and the dark. So, Ekadasi occurs twice in a month, in the bright fortnight and the dark fortnight.

The special feature of Ekadasi, as most people know it, is a fast, abstinence from diet. This is how it is usually understood.

Ekadasi Dates:  Sep 2011 - Apr 2012

September 8, 2011 - Parivartini Ekadashi - Parsava Ekadasi

September 23, 2011 - Indira Ekadasi  (Smarta)

September 24, 2011 - Indira Ekadasi  (Bhagavath)

October 7, 2011 - Pasankusa Ekadashi

October 23, 2011 - Rama Ekadasi

November 6, 2011 - Prabodini Ekadasi - Uttahana Ekadashi

November 21, 2011 - Uttpatti Ekadashi

December 6, 2011 - Mokshada Ekadasi

December 21, 2011 - Saphala Ekadasi

January 5, 2012 - Shattila Ekadashi - Satila Ekadasi - Vaikunta Ekadasi

January 19, 2012 - Putrada Ekadasi

February 3, 2012 - Jaya Ekadasi - Bhoumi and Bheeshma Ekadasi

February 17, 2012 - Vijaya Ekadashi

March 4, 2012 - Amalaki Ekadasi - Amalki Ekadashi

March 18, 2012 - Papmochani Ekadasi 

April 3, 2012 - Kamda Ekadasi - Kamada Ekadashi

April 16, 2012 - Varuthini Ekadashi

Sankashti:
    Sankasti Chaturthi is the most auspicious vatra dedicated to Lord Ganesh. "Sankashti" is the fourth day of the second fortnight of the Hindu Calendar Month.This is a special day with the significance to the Moon.The fast is ended by eating the 'Prasada' food, only after witnessing the moon-rise.

    Sankashti Dates: Sep 2011 - Apr 2012
     
    September 16, 2011 - Friday

    October 16, 2011 - Sunday

    November 14, 2011 - Monday

    December 14, 2011 - Wednesday

    January 12, 2012 - Thursday

    February 10, 2012 - Friday 

    March 11, 2012 - Sunday

    April 9, 2012 - Monday


    Festivals:

    Navaratri or Dasara:

    'Nav' means 'nine' and 'ratri' means 'night'. Thus, 'Navratri' means 'nine nights'. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped. The 10th day is commonly referred to as Vijayadashami or Dussehra. Navaratri represents celebration of Goddess Durga, the manifestation of Deity in form of Shakti [Energy or Power].

    A Kalasha is kept in front of the Pattada Gombe and lights are lit and the dolls are worshipped on all the 9 days. The Royal Wedding dolls are called Pattada Gombe. This Pattada Gombe signifies Lord Srinivasa and Goddess Padmavathi. Pattada Gombe is carved out of the rare red sandalwood, are gifted to the girl on her wedding day by her parents. An Aarathi is performed in the evening after all the people invited assemble in the hall accompanied by devotional songs. Delicious snacks are prepared and offered to the dolls and are distributed among the children and ladies.

    Pattada Gombe: Click to view full size

    navaratri dolls

    Navaratri Dolls Display: Click to view full size 

    navaratri dolls   navaratri dolls

    Deepavali/Diwali:

    Diwali, popularly called Deepavali in some parts of India, is a festival which we all long for every year. The preparations for Deepavali start long before the festival date. The major excitement for Deepavali is the bursting of crackers and fireworks. The victory of Good over Evil is the reason for this celebration also the festival is to mark the return of Rama to Ayodhya after his defeat of Ravana. Deepavalli is celebrated for four days.

    The first day is called Dhanatrayodashi/Dhanteras - Dhanteras  is the first day of the deepavali festival. The festival, also known as "Dhantrayodashi" or "Dhanvantari Triodasi", On this day people buy new utensils or anything in gold or silver. Puja will be performed in the evening. Water pots used for bathing are cleaned, decorated with flowers (marigolds), mango leaves and filled with water in readiness for dawn. They are heated next morning and the hot water is used for ritual baths.

    The second day is Naraka Chaturdasi/ Choti Deepavali - This day is dedicated to the victory of Lord Krishna over the wicked demon king Narakasur. People light fireworks, which are regarded as the effigies of Narakasura who was killed on this day. Almost every house and street is decorated with lamps, and lights.

    The third day is Lakshmi puja - The third day of the festival of Diwali is the most important day of Lakshmi-puja and is entirely devoted to the propitiation of Goddess Lakshmi. On this very day sun enters his second course and passes Libra which is represented by the balance or scale. The day of Lakshmi-Puja falls on the dark night of Amavasya.

    The fourth day is 
    Bali Padyami festival is in the remembrance of Chakravarthy (Emperor) Bali who was the grand son of Prahlada, the greatest devotee of Vishnu. We do baleendrana kote. Light crackers to indicate baleendra that we are enjoying in his kingdom. Kote is put out of cow's dung. A central square and 4 squares adjacent to this central square such that each outer sqaure shares a side with that of the central square. then Conical shaped structures are done and kept on the circumference of this fort and also little bigger ones representing commandos are kept inside. See the picture of the Bali Kote.

    Click to view full size

    bali kote  Deepavali Bali Kote

    Tulasi Vivah or Uttwana Dwadashi Tulasi habba:

    Tulasi Vivah or Uttwana Dwadashi Tulasi habba is a popular Hindu ritual observed in the month of Kartik (October -November). Tulasi, or Tulsi, is holy basil and is an important religious symbol in Hinduism. In front of every Hindu home there will be a tulasi katte in which a plant grows round the year. Tulasi vivah is performed on the day after Ekadasi - that is Dwadashi day. Tulasi Katte is decorated like a bride. Amla branches are deocrated with tulasi plant. Tulasi Vivah we need Tulsi plant, Amla branches and Shaligram or Salagram - Stone representing Lord Vishnu. If Shaligram is not available an image or idol of Lord Krishna or Lord Vishnu is used. Tulasi Habba is celebrated late in the evening.

    ತುಲಸಿ ನಮಸ್ಕಾರ - तुलसि नमस्कार - Tulasi Namaskara

    ತುಲಸಿ ಶ್ರೀಸಖಿ ಶುಭೇ ಪಾಪಹಾರಿಣಿ ಪುಣ್ಯದೇ |

    ನಮಸ್ತೇ ನಾರದನುತೇ ನಾರಾಯಣ ಮನ:ಪ್ರಿಯೇ |


    Click to view full size
    tulasi pooja

    Makara Sankranti

    makara sankrati

    Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious occasions for the Hindus. Makar Sankranti is the day when the glorious Sun-God begins its ascendancy and entry into the Northern Hemisphere and thus it signifies an event wherein the Sun-God seems to remind their children that 'Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya', may you go higher & higher, to more & more Light and never to Darkness.

    The festival of Makar Sankranti is highly regarded by the Hindus from North to down South. The day is known by various names and a variety of traditions are witnessed as one explores the festival in different states. Traditionally, this period is considered an auspicious time and the veteran Bhishma of Mahabharata chose to die during this period. Bhishma fell to the arrows of Arjuna. With his boon to choose the time of his death, he waited on a bed of arrows to depart from this world only during this period. It is believed that those who die in this period have no rebirth.

    In karantaka, this is the Suggi or harvest festival for farmers of Kaveri basin of Karnataka. On this auspicious day, young females (kids & teenagers) wear new clothes to visit near and dear ones with a Sankranti offering in a plate, and exchange the same with other families. This ritual is called "Ellu Birodhu." Here the plate would normally contain "Ellu" (white sesame seeds) mixed with fried groundnuts, neatly cut dry coconut & fine cut bella (Jaggery). The mixture is called "Ellu-Bella" (ಎಳ್ಳು ಬೆಲ್ಲ). The plate will also contain sugar candy molds of various shapes (Sakkare Acchu, ಸಕ್ಕರೆ ಅಚ್ಚು) with a piece of sugarcane. There is a saying in Kannada "ellu bella thindu olle maathadi" which translates to 'eat the mixture of sesame seeds and jaggery and speak only good.' This festival signifies the harvest of the season, since sugarcane is predominant in these parts.

    sakare achchu

    In some parts of Karnataka, a newly married woman is required to give away bananas for a period of five years to married women (muthaidhe) from the first year of her marriage, but increase the number of bananas in multiples of five. There is also a tradition of some households giving away red berries "Yalchi Kai" along with the above. In North Karnataka, kite flying with community members is also a tradition. Drawing rangole in groups is another popular event among women during Sankranti.

    An important ritual is display of cows and cattle in colourful costumes in an open field. Cows are decorated for the occasion and taken on a procession. They are also made to cross a pyre. This ritual is common in rural Karnataka and is called "Kichchu Haisodhu."

    In Tamil Nadu, Makar Sankranti is known by the name of 'Pongal'. It is very popular particularly amongst farmers. Rice and pulses cooked together in ghee and milk is offered to the family deity after the ritual worship.

    In Andhra Pradesh, it is celebrated as a three-day harvest festival, known as Sankranthi.

    In Maharashtra, on the Sankranti day, people exchange multi-colored tilguds made from til (sesame seeds) and sugar and til-laddus made from til and jaggery.



     Maha Shivaratri

    shivaratri

    Maha Shivaratri is celebrated with great devotion and religious fervor by Hindus, in honor of Lord Shiva.  Maha Shivratri falls on the 14th day of the dark half of 'Margasirsa' (February-March). The name means "the night of Shiva". The ceremonies take place chiefly at night. According to one of the most popular legends, Shivaratri is the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati. It is also believed that Lord Shiva performed ‘Tandava’, the dance of the primal creation, preservation and destruction on this auspicious night of Shivaratri. According to another popular legend, described in Linga Purana, it was on Shivaratri that Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of a Linga for the first time. Since then, the day is considered to be extremely auspicious by the devotees of Shiva and they celebrate it as Maha Shivaratri - the grand night of Shiva.

    Shiva - the word meaning auspicious - is one of the Hindu Trinity, comprising of Lord Brahma, the creator, Lord Vishnu, the preserver and Lord Shiva or Mahesh, the Destroyer and Re-Producer of life. Shiva is known by many names like "Shankar", "Mahesh", "Bholenath", "Neelakanth", "Shambhu Kailasheshwar", "Umanath", "Nataraj" and others.

    He is the most sought-after deity amongst the Hindus and they pray to him as the god of immense large-heartedness who they believe grants all their wishes. Around him are weaved many interesting stories that reveal His magnanimous heart. Not only this, but these stories and legends also enrich the Indian culture and art.

    People observe a strict fast on this day. Some devotees do not even take a drop of water and they keep vigil all night. The Shiva Lingam is worshipped throughout the night by washing it every three hours with milk, curd, honey, rose water, etc., whilst the chanting of the Mantra "Om Namah Shivaya" continues. Offerings of Bael leaves are made to the Lingam as Bael leaves are considered very sacred and it is said that Goddess Lakshmi resides in them.

    Ugadi or Yugadi

    Yugadi or Ugadi or "Samvatsradi" is the New Year's Day for the people of the Deccan region of India. The name Yugadi or Ugadi is derived from the name "Yuga Adi", which means 'the beginning of a new age'. It falls on the different day every year because the Hindu calendar is a lunisolar calendar. The Saka calendar begins with the month of Chaitra (March–April) and Ugadi marks the first day of the new year. Chaitra is the first month in Panchanga which is the Indian calendar.

    While the people of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh use the term Yugadi/Ugadi for this festival, the people of Maharashtra term the same festival, observed on the same day, Gudi Padwa. Sindhis, people from Sindh, celebrate the same day as their New Year day Cheti Chand. Manipuris also celebrate their New Year (Sajibu Cheiraoba) on the same day. It is observed as Baisakhi in Punjab and Puthandu in Tamil Nadu. However, it is not celebrated on the same day as Yugadi in Tamil Nadu because the Tamils follow a solar calendar. It is also celebrated in Mauritius.


    The day, begins with ritual showers (oil bath) followed by prayers.

     Symbolic Eating of a Dish with Six Tastes

    The eating of a specific mixture of six tastes called Ugadi Pachhadi in Telugu and Bevu-Bella in Kannada, symbolizes the fact that life is a mixture of different experiences (sadness, happiness, anger, fear, disgust, surprise) , which should be accepted together and with equanimity through the New Year.

    The special mixture consists of:

      -  Neem Buds/Flowers for its bitterness, signifying Sadness
      -  Jaggery and ripe banana pieces for sweetness, signifying Happiness
      -  Green Chilli/Pepper for its hot taste, signifying Anger
      -  Salt for saltiness, signifying Fear
      -  Tamarind Juice for its sourness, signifying Disgust
      -  Unripened Mango for its tang, signifying Surprise

    Special dishes
    obbattu or Bhakshalu/Holigey -prepared on Ugadi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

    In Karnataka a special dish called obbattu or Holige, is prepared. In Andhra Pradesh, a special dish called Bhakshyalu or Bobbatlu (Polelu) (Puran Poli) are prepared on this occasion. It consists of a filling (gram and jaggery/sugar boiled and made in to a paste) stuffed in a flat roti like bread. It is usually eaten hot/cold with ghee or milk topping or coconut milk at some places of Karnataka.

    Leave Your Comment


      
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    sanju on September 15, 2011 said:

    Hi, Thanks for putting in the festival & Ekadashi dates

    Reply
    Admin-Savitha on September 26, 2011 said:

    Thanks
    Reply



    ravi on September 15, 2011 said:

    good ones

    Reply


    Harshala Rajesh on September 29, 2011 said:

    Saw the info about various places.. Ekadashi and festivals ! Very nice... .. It would be great if you could add a section for all traditional adige which were passed on from ajji to kumuda aunty/jatu aunty

    Reply


    Harshala on September 29, 2011 said:

    6th October 2011 - Vijay Dashmi This is also the auspicious day of Madhva Jayanthi.

    Reply


    asha on November 7, 2011 said:

    nicely decorated for the tulasi pooja. thankx for the nice view. happy utana dwadashi.

    Reply
    Savitha on November 7, 2011 said:

    Hi Asha, Thanks, We appreciate your valuable feedback/comment.
    Reply



    nagu on January 14, 2012 said:

    hi friends

    Reply


    M Dhanesh on July 10, 2012 said:

    Really informative and I wish to publish this kind of traditional value based articles which reminds our Hindu culture and life. Thanking the contibutors

    Reply