Monday, October 29, 2007

2007-10-29: Karwa Chauth (Hindu)

Karwa Chauth Origin - Karwa Chauth History- Karva Chauth History and Origin - Karwachauth Origin

Karva Chauth originated as a social and seasonal festival, but somewhere down the line the festival deviated from its original form. The word Karva Chauth, is composed of Karva - meaning a clay pot - and Chauth (from char meaning four) corresponding to the fourth day after the Full Moon in Kartik month (of Hindu calendar) following the Autumnal Equinox.

This time of the year is just after the harvest of Kharif (monsoon) crops and people are usually in a festive mood. They like to remember and meet their relatives and friends, and exchange gifts with them. Diwali is a similar seasonal festival - in addition to having religious significance - that is nine days after Karva Chauth.

The idea behind Karwa Chauth is very sweet and noble. In olden days girls were married at a very early age and used to go and live with their in-laws in other (often very remote) villages. Everyone would be a stranger there for the new bride. If she had any problems with her husband or in-laws, she would have no one to talk to or seek support from. Modes of communication/transport were not very developed and hence it was not easy for her to approach her parents and relatives.


Monday, October 22, 2007

2007-10-22: Abu Simbel Festival (Egypt)

Abu Simbel (Arabic أبو سنبل or أبو سمبل) is an archaeological site comprising two massive rock temples in southern Egypt on the western bank of Lake Nasser about 290 km southwest of Aswan. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments" [1], which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan).

The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his alleged victory at the Battle of Kadesh, and to intimidate his Nubian neighbors. However, the complex was relocated in its entirety in the 1960s, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan dam reservoir.

The Ramses II temple is angled so that the inner sanctum lights up twice a year on the: once on the anniversary of his rise to the throne and, once on his birthday. Crowds pack in the temple before sunrise to watch the shafts of light illuminate the statues of Ramses, Ra and Amon. The other date for this event is Feb. 22.

Event highlighted from STE's Multicultural Calendar

Sunday, October 21, 2007

2007-10-21: Dussehra (Hindu)

Dussehra (Hindu)

A celebration signifying the victory of good over evil

... the festival commemorates the victory of Rama, prince of Ayodhya and avatara of Vishnu, over Ravana, the ruler of Lanka who had abducted Rama's wife, Sita Devi. The festival is celebrated with much gusto. Crackers are burnt, and huge melas or fetes are organised. The Ramlila - an abriged dramatization of the Ramayana - is enacted with much public fervour all over northern India during the period of the festivities. The burning of the effigies of Ravana on Vijayadashami, signifying the victory of good over evil, brings the festivities to a colourful close. In some regions, Sikhs and Hindus celebrate Vijayadashami together.

Event highlighted from STE's Multicultural Calendar

Saturday, October 20, 2007

2007-10-20: Saraswati Puja (Hindu)

Saraswati Puja - Hindu

In Hinduism, Saraswati (Sanskrit सरस्वती sarasvatī) is one of the goddesses, the other two being Lakshmi and Durga, that form the female counterpart of the Trimurti. Saraswati has been regarded as a river goddess and in recent times a goddess of knowledge, music and the arts. She is the consort of Brahma, the Hindu god of creation.

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2007-10-20 Birthday Of The Báb (Bahá’í)

Birthday Of The Báb - Bahá’í
Born Siyyid 'Ali Muhammad in Southwestern Iran in 1819. His title, in Arabic, means 'The Gate'.

Work is suspended and Bahá'ís come together for prayer and festivities.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

2007-10-19: Chung Yeung Festival

China, Hong Kong, Taiwan
On this day, families visit the graves of their ancestors.

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2007-10-19: Durga Puja


This day celebrates the divine creative force of the universe and honours the 10-armed goddess Durga, wife of Shiva, and the destroyer of demons.
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