God

Pongal – The Festival Celebrating Prosperity

India is a land whose primary occupation is agriculture. Changes in season thus play a very important role for Indian farmers. Their lifestyles and celebrations are thus exclusively linked to the seasonal landmarks in an year. There are many Indian festivals which are in tune with a farmers lifestyle and also with the seasonal variations in an year. Pongal, the harvest festival of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu is one of them.

When is Pongal Celebrated?
This festival marks the beginning of the end of winter season and corresponds to the time when the sun is moving towards Uttarayanam (north) from Dakshinayanam (south). The period is referred to as Uttarayan Punyakalam and is considered auspicious. As per the Tamil calender, Pongal is celebrated four days from the last day of the month of Margazhi (December — January) to the third day of the month Thai (January — February). Thus, according to the Gregorian calender, Pongal is celebrated from 12 to 15 January of which Pongal day or the first day of Thai falls on 14 January.

Common Traditions and Customs
Some of the rituals which are a must on Pongal are cleaning the house and wearing new clothes. The young girls and women wear a lehanga and half sari respectively whereas the men are attired in lungi and angavastram on this occasion. During the Pongal season, people eat sugar canes and decorate the houses with kolam which is made using rice paste. Kolams are generally made of white colour but one may also come across kolams made up of different colours.

Another popular custom is exchanging gifts on Pongal. In villages, farm labourers get ‘Pongal Padi’ or ‘Pongal Parisu’ as Pongal Gifts. This tradition has now moved on to other occupations as well, with employers giving gifts to their employees on the occasion of Pongal. This is an opportunity to present gifts to those among your family and friends as well. Some popular yet appropriate gift ideas on Pongal include Lord sun sculptures (on Surya Pongal), decoratives (on Bhogi Pongal), new kitchen vessels, wooden handicrafts and household goods.

The Festivities
Pongal is a festival that goes on for four days. The first day of festivities is known as the Bogi Pongal, wherein people worship the sun god and earth. The dish Pongal is made by boiling rice with milk. In fact the first paddy that is harvested is used to make Pongal. The second day is Surya Pongal or Perum Pongal. It is the most important day and people worship Surya, the Sun God and his consorts, Chaya and Samgnya. Old articles are thrown in the fire and people have an oil massage and wear new clothes on this day. On the third day of the festival, known as Mattu Pongal, the farm animals like cattles are worshipped. Cattles are bathed and dressed beautifully and served Pongal. The fourth day is Thiruvalluvar day or Kaanum Pongal. People visit family, friends and relatives, women of the house perform puja for the prosperity of their brothers. Many people leave cooked rice on banana leaves for birds on this day.

The Tamil Festival
On this occasion farmers pay their respects to the rain, sun and the farm animals, all of which are essentials in any harvest. Also, since paddy and other crops depend on the availability of good rain and Tamil Nadu does not have many perennial water sources, rain and sun gods are invoked during this auspicious occasion. Pongal is also known as “Tamizhar Thirunal” (meaning “the festival of Tamils”). “Thai Pirandhal Vazhi Pirakkum” which means that “birth of the Thai month will pave way for new opportunities” is a common saying in reference to Pongal.

http://www.pongalfestival.org/pongal-festival-celebrating.html

Diwali Bash!!!

Hello guys!

Sorry for not updating my Prep’s for Diwali! Got some prob’s in updating it… Will update it soon!

This post is especially for Diwali bash at our home… The whole day of Diwali is been given in this post… 🙂

Once when the day has arouse i was late as-usual but its none other like the normal days… Its DIWALI!!!

I just got up from my bed and took oil bath and had a quick dry up and was ready for a visit to the nearby Temple 🙂 Meanwhile my sisters got ready too and I was excited how the day is gonna move 🙂 We were wearing our Diwali Dresses though 🙂 We started to temple around 6.30 A.M and drove for a 15 mins and reached the temple…

For our disappointment we could find only a very few lazy guys like us wandering around the temple and there was no pandits as its been late they have completed their pooja’s and went back 😦 So we just had a quich prayer without any rituals and had to return half-hearten which made me a bit upset too…

Coming home after a disappointed darshan i had to visit my Uncle’s home  which is quiet far from my home. So we three sisters had the breakfast with Idly, 2 type of Chutney, Sambar, and Sweet Pongal (Traditional food for each festive breakfast). Then with few munchies with Muruku and Laddu we had to finish our breakfast and got ready to move for our uncle’s home at 10.30 A.M.

Its really a hard experience travelling around on Diwali day as we could find everyone bursting crackers on streets and need a very careful attention on each of our move in making sure there is no cracker on the road. Ufff! After a big troubled driving for 25mins we reached our uncle’s home and gave our sweets and murukus to them had few of their sweets with chit-chatting and alas! it started raining… The rain lasted for about 2 hours which kept us locked in our uncle’s home itself…

When the rain slowed down we started back to home. It was more difficult to ride in wet surface when there is a pile of sand on the road side. In such a difficult turn we got slipped off and had a fall 😦 My sisters were not injured but on the other side i was injured so bad that i cant even move my legs due to the heavy weight of my scooty which was on my leg. A few people rushed in to help us as my sisters can’t lift up the vehicle. They helped me out and my legs were trembling with pain and fear. I was keen in inquiring my sisters if they are ok. After few minutes of rest we started back home which a few streets was nearer. With much of strain I managed to drive back to home without any problems…

It was a bad Diwali i thought… After reaching home i got tons of scoldings from my parents and had a pain killer and an injection in the nearby doctor’s house. I had to take a complete rest for the whole day. But how could i?? Its Diwali and i have to watch out many new program’s that is been telecasted. But failing in my arguments i had a cup of juice and went for sleep till evening 5 P.M…

With few snacks i started watching the programme and by the end of 7 P.M its time to celebrate our Diwali with Crackers! My sisters compelled me to come out and crackle few crackers. But due to heavy pain on my leg i was not able to crackle but i enjoyed watching my sisters and neighbors and their kids enjoying the day 🙂 I have added few shots of this Diwali Cracklings 🙂 🙂 🙂

Finally got back home to watch over the program’s around 9 P.M and one of my sister suddenly had a feeling of applying Mehendi…  So i had to apply her Mehendi just a little which soothed her as she started crying when i said am tired and can’t apply…

This was taken on the next Morning

Then had our dinner with Non-Vegetarian foods like Fish fry, Chicken gravy with rotti’s and chapatis.

Thus my Diwali ended up with a messy as well as quiet enjoyable one 🙂 🙂 🙂

Note: Since it was raining the whole night i was unable to put Rangoli’s which was one of the most saddest part of this Diwali :(. The clarity of my mobile might be quiet less during night time so do adjust with the picture clarity 🙂

Michelia champaka…

Michelia champaca is an evergreen or semi-deciduous, small to medium-sized tree up to 50 m tall; bole straight, cylindrical, up to 200 cm in diameter, without buttresses; bark surface smooth, grey to greyish-white, inner bark fibrous, yellow to brown, crown conical to cylindrical. Leaves simple, entire, arranged spirally; stipules adnate to or free from the petiole. Flowers on short, axillary brachyblast, solitary or rarely in pairs, large, tepals 6-21, in 3-6 usually subequal whorls, white to yellow; stamens many, anthers with a short to prominently elongated connective; gynoecium stipitate, with spirally arranged, free or connate carpels containing many ovules. Fruiting carpels dehiscing along the dorsal suture when free or fused and forming a fleshy or woody syncarp. Seed hanging from its funicle. The genus is named after Italian botanist Peter A. Michel (1679-1737); the specific epithet after the Hindu name.

(Bengali) : champa, champaka
(Burmese) : mawk-sam-lung
(Cantonese) : sampige
(English) : fragrant champaca, golden champa, orange chempaka, yellow champa
(Filipino) : champaca
(French) : Ilang-ilang
(Hindi) : chempaka
(Indonesian) : capaka, cempak, cempaka kuning
(Lao (Sino-Tibetan)) : cham pa
(Malay) : champaka, chempaka, chempaka merah
(Sinhala) : sapu
(Spanish) : champaca
(Tamil) : chambugam, chembuga, Shenbagam
(Thai) : champa, champa khao, champa pa
(Vietnamese) : ng[oj]c lan

I really love to have this flower in my hair as it gives a sweet smell of fragrance to my hair 🙂 But at times it might bring headache too as its sweet scent is so delicious 🙂 🙂

Function for Gods !!!

A few days before i happened to pass by a temple where they celebrated a grand festival for the God of that temple. Its a custom in Tamilnadu to celebrate once a year for the God in particular temple. Probably there will be a temple for each street which will be of mostly Lord Ganesha temple. He is too famous here 😀 So when i was driving i just saw this banner kept for the God and liked to click a picture. It wasn’t clear as my Mobile doesn’t support flash during night times 😦 So it wasn’t clear. After a series of pictures i found this particular one a bit okay for its display in my blog 🙂

Temple – Black & White Week

Am not used to visit the temple and the God in their places. Will just be having a glance and a short note of prayer when i happened to pass by the temple. But i realized how it felt to be a devotee to the God in his own name and obtain the peace and serenity in life as we have peace and silence in the Temples. When am obsessed with a lot of trouble i had few opportunity to visit a nearby temple which gave me a feeling of peacefulness which i lacked to be sensing it for a very long years 🙂 God really helps people 🙂 I do believe in God 🙂 🙂 🙂

This picture was taken by me in on a Bangalore visit. I don’t remember the name of the temple but quiet remember that the temple was quiet a heavenly experience with so much of peace and calmness prevailing around 🙂 🙂 🙂