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Festival

  • Maha Shivratri

    Maha Shivratri, translated as the great night of Shiva, is a festivity observed once every year to honour the God Shiva. Among the dualist Tantric Shaiva exegetical traditions, the festival is referred to as Har-Ratri or Herath for simplicity. There is a Shivaratri in every solar-luni month of the Hindu calendar system. This starts on the 13th night and continues to the following day. Each year towards the end of the winter season, just before the arrival of spring, Maha Shivratri is celebrated.

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    It is a significant event in the Hindu religion, this particular festival is characterised by solemnity and is meant to signify the triumph over darkness and ignorance in the world and in life itself. The festival is commemorated through fasting, yoga, chanting prayers and remembrance of Shiva. Believers also meditate on virtues and ethics like the discovery of Shiva, forgiveness, honesty and self-control.  Truly passionate devotees remain awake for the entire night. Others may embark on pilgrimages to jyotirlingas or pay a visit to one of the temples of Shiva.

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    Festivities

    The celebration includes the maintenance of a Jagran, a vigil and prayer for the entire night because Hinduism marks it a period of transcendence from ignorance and darkness in the world and in one's self through Shiva. Devotees make offerings of milk, fruits, sweets and leaves to the god Shiva, some take part in fasting with a Vedic worship of Shiva. In temples dedicated to Shiva, the revered mantra of Shiva is recited for the whole day. The Maha Shivaratri festival actually lasts for three or ten days depending on the Hindu solar-luni calendar.

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    Significance

    Scholars believe that Maha Shivaratri was the day that Shiva consumed the world's poisonous negativity to save it from destruction. This festival is mentioned in many ancient Indian texts especially the Linga Purana and Skanda Purana. These texts present varying explanations for the festival, but all call for reverence and fasting in remembrance of Shiva. There are different legends that explain the importance of the Mahashivratri festival.

    According to Shaivism, it marks the day that Shiva performed the celestial dance of preservation, destruction and creation. The sacrifices and prayers offered by worshipers join with this dance and commemorate Shiva everywhere. Another legend suggests that the festival marks the night that Parvati was wed to Shiva. A third account states that making sacrifices and offerings serves as atonement for previous sins and creates a new chance for individuals to walk a path of virtue so that they can reach liberation.

    Poompuhar wishes all our readers a very blessed Maha Shivratri. Check out our collection to select your favourite Shiv Pratima to celebrate this auspicious festival.

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  • Creative Craft Ideas for Pongal

    As Pongal festival is approaching near, everyone is excited and the festivities are in full swing. And why not!! Pongal is celebrated in South India and it is one of the most popular festivals in India. It is known as the harvest festival and is also called as Makar Sankranti. Like all festivals, Pongal also brings the family together for celebration, preparations, cooking festival recipes and decorating houses and so on.

    Craft ideas for Pongal Image Credit - Poetry, Pinterest

    Pongal or Makar Sankranti holds the same significance as other cultures’ New Year’s celebrations. On this day people clean the house and celebrate the new beginnings. Houses are cleaned and decorated with decorative earthen mandalas in the front yard or patios. Families and friends get together to celebrate and eat Pongal special sweet rice recipe. The rice is customarily boiled in an earthen pot which is also decorated with mandalas, sun, wheat grains and cows as they symbolize new life and food. Lord Sun and Lord Indra are worshipped for abundance and good harvest. Cows are worshipped by people to pat their respect for the help in the field.

    Pongal decorating the house Image Credit - Pavithra Siva,Pinterest

    Kids really like a family get-together and festivals as they get so much love from elders. Kids also like to create beautiful crafts to contribute in decorating the house or lending a hand in preparing that delicious meal.  So let us discuss some fun ideas to celebrate Pongal this year with the help of handmade crafts-

    Best wishes Card

    Kids and parents can indulge in creating beautiful best wishes cards using paper art. This will be a unique way to wish others on this auspicious day of Pongal. Check out this innovative greeting card if you are looking for some inspiration to get started –

    Gift Card Ideas for pongal Image Credit - godlyindianmom.com
    Gift Card Ideas for makhar sankranthi Image Credit - Daydreams
    Pongal Gift Card Ideas Image Credit - Pinterest

    If you wish to gift your loved ones with something other than a beautiful greeting card, you can also check put Poompuhar collection for more gift idea on Pongal.

    http://tnpoompuhar.org/blog/pongal-significance-of-this-beautiful-harvest-festival-and-amazing-facts-related-to-pongal/

    Beautiful Rangoli designs

    Kolam for pongal celebrations Image Credit - Shanthi Sridharan

    Rangoli or Kolam is an important ritual of Pongal. Colourful rangolis are created using rice flour or flowers, at the entrance of the house or on the patio as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Parents can involve the kids to help them out with the decoration of the house. In this way, they will also feel connected and inspired by their artistic self. You can refer below link to get some idea about the unique designs for your Rangoli this year –

    Pongal Golu Dolls Image Credit - ASHA LATHA

    Pot decoration

    You can also check out these amazing ways to paint and decorate the pots for Pongal. Small pots are used for decoration purposes and large earthen pots are used to cook rice dishes on Pongal.

    Pongal Pot Decoration Image Credit - Nithya
    Pongal Pot Decoration Designs Image Credit - Ramblerwithoutborders

    Kite making

    In many states, Kite flying competition takes place to celebrate Makar Sankranti like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh etc. Pongal is celebrated all over India with regional variations, for example, Makar Sankranti, Lohri, Bihu, Hadaga and Poki. Kite making and flying is also one of the many traditions followed on this auspicious day. Below are some of the easy ways to create your own kite and stand out from the crowd –

    https://in.pinterest.com/pin/218846863112856115/

    https://in.pinterest.com/pin/843087992714726419/

    Makar Sankranti kite flying Image Credit - Making different

    You can also teach your friends how to make a kite and enjoy this festival with them.

    Home decoration

    On the day of Pongal or Makar Sankranti, Prayer room and open area is decorated with Mandapa, Cow, Harvest, Sun, adorned pots with mango leaves and so on. All these drawing are made to celebrate the harvest festival and to offer thanks to God for His blessings and prosperity.

    Pongal House Decorations Image Credit - ArtsyCraftysMom
    Pongal House Decorations Floor Image Credit - Home makeover

    Wish you all a very happy and creative Pongal….

  • Pongal: Significance of this beautiful harvest festival and amazing facts related to Pongal

    Pongal is a famous Hindu festival celebrated India and is observed as a harvest festival in South India. The festival is celebrated for four days where people offer their thanks to Mother Nature for peace, happiness, blessings and prosperity. “Pongal” is a Tamil word which translates into “to boil”, which symbolically signifies abundance. Hence, new rice is cooked in new earthen pots till they overflow to welcome prosperity on this auspicious day. Pongal festival is celebrated as per solar calendar. In 2018, it will be celebrated from 14th January to 17th January. The four days are known as Bhogi, Perum Pongal or Surya Pongal, Mattu Pongal and Kaanum Pongal. Each day of this four-day celebration holds a distinct religious significance; however, many people also often consider the second day as the main festival and celebrate on that day. On this day people interchange best wishes among friends and family for good luck, peace and fortune.

    When is Pongal celebrated?

    Pongal festival is celebrated in the month of January and the dates are decided as per the solar calendar. The solar calendar reads the astronomical details and tells the exact date of this enthralling and opportune festival which is celebrated all over India under different names. In South India, it is celebrated as Pongal and in rest of India, it is celebrated as Makar Sankranti, Lohri, Bihu, Hadaga and Poki. The second day of Pongal is the start of Tamil month called Thai, and it represents the start of spring season. The Sun returns to the northern hemisphere from this day and the length of the day starts increasing and winter season is considered over.

    Significance of Four days of Pongal Festivities -

    Pongal festival is celebrated for four days and each day represents a religious belief. Following is the significance of each day of Pongal –

    Bhogi Festival: 14th January

    Bhogi is the first day of the Pongal festival. It is celebrated to offer tribute to Lord Indra who is the God of Rain. As this is a harvest festival, thanks are offered to God of Rain for a good season and good harvest. On this day, people clean their homes and all the useless items are discarded in a bonfire made of cow-dung bars and wood.

    Perum Pongal or Surya Pongal: 15th January

    The second day of Pongal is known as Perum Pongal and is considered as most important day as most people celebrate only this day. It is also called Surya Pongal as Sun God is worshipped on this day. As per custom, new rice is boiled in the earthen pot in the open area as an offering to Sun God. Oil baths are custom on this day and people shop for new clothes during the festival and celebrate with family.

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    Other harvests are also offered to the God such as sugarcane, coconuts, and fruits and so on. Homes are decorated with rice flour rangolis which are called “Kolam” on this day. These drawings are considered to attract good fortune and are made at the entrance of the house.

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    Maatu Pongal: 16th January

    Maatu Pongal is the third day of the celebration and is dedicated to the cattle as they help in the farm and fields. Cattle are bathed, dressed beautifully with bells and worshipped with flower garlands. On this day of Pongal common attractions are the bull and bird fights, especially Jallikattu game in Madurai. Jallikattu is the fierce fight of bulls and it also happens in many villages also in Tamil Nadu.

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    Kaanum Pongal: 17th January

    Kaanum Pongal is the last day of Pongal festivities and on this day women ask blessings of their brothers and ask for prosperity. Another ritual which is performed on this day includes keeping the Pongal sweets on turmeric and betel leaves on the patio with sugarcane and betel nuts.

    Legends

    There are many legends associated with Pongal festival, such as -

    It is said that Lord Krishna has lifted the Govardhan Mountain on his little finger on the first day of Pongal or Bhogi, to save the people and cattle from the anger of Lord Indra.

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    Another legend associated with the third day of Pongal suggest that Lord Shiva had sent his bull ‘Nandi’ on earth with a message to have an oil bath daily and eat only once a month. However, Nandi misspoke the message and told people of earth to eat daily and take oil bath monthly. This mistake angered Lord Shiva and He ordered Nandi to stay on Earth forever to help mankind and harvest more food for them.

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    Pongal Special Recipe –

    The most famous Pongal dish is known as Venpongal. The preparation of traditional Pongal dish is the important part of festivities. The dish is made with rice and Moong pulse with Ghee and dry fruits. Another dish is known as Sakkarai Pongal which is a sweet variant of the traditional dish and is prepared with Jaggery. The Pongal food is cooked on attractively decorated earthen pots and stone stoves.

    Poompuhar Pongal Special Gift collection

    Check out our popular Pongal gift collection for your loved ones below –

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  • The 5 Most Popular Hindu Festivals in India

    India is known as a country of many festivals as it has many traditions and customs. Festivals are in the hearts of the people of India. Regardless of the diverse traditions, there are festivals that are shared and celebrated across the country. Below is a glimpse of five most popular Hindu festivals celebrated across India -

    • Diwali
    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    This is the biggest festival in India. It is also called the Festival of Lights. It is a five day festival in celebration of the victory of light over darkness, good over evil. It usually falls in in the October or November month. It is called the festival of lights as people light small clay lamps, candles, and fireworks during the festival.

    In North India, it is celebrated to remember the arrival of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after victory over Ravana. In South India, it is a celebrated to honor the victory of Lord Krishna over Narakasura demon.

    • Holi
    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    Holi is a two-day festival and is popular among foreigners. It is referred to as the Festival of Colors and is usually celebrated in March. It celebrates the abundance of the spring harvest season.

    People engage in throwing colored powder and water all over each other. They light bonfires, have parties, and dance while drenching each other with water balloons and water sprinklers. Holi is the festival to participate in if you don’t mind getting wet and dirty. It is great fun.

    • Ganesh Chaturthi
    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    The Ganesh Chaturthi festival honors the birth of the Hindu elephant-headed god, Lord Ganesha. Elaborately crafted idols made from clay and metal of Lord Ganesha are installed in homes at the start of the festival.

    People then worship the idol for eleven days. After which they are paraded through streets in extravagant processions and then submerged in the river or ocean.

    • Mata Shivaratri

    Shivaratri means the Great Night of Shiva or the Night of Shiva. Devotees gatherat Shiva temples to offer Bael leaves to the God. Some devotes follow fasting for the whole day while some take only one meal.

    People gather around the Shiva temples and putholy ash ontheir bodies after bath. They then recite prayers to Lord Shiva. Singing and dancing take place all night long.

    • Krishna Janmashtami
    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    Krishna Janmashtami is a festival that commemorates the birthday of Lord Krishna. It is celebrated on the 8th day of the Krishna Paksha in August-September.

    Krishna is believed to have been a mischievous and naughty kid who loved milk and butter. Women make sweets made from milk and offer it to the Lord. One custom of the festival is ‘Dahi Handi’. A clay pot is normally filled with buttermilk and hung at an elevated height. During the festival, teams of guys form human pyramid and then try and break open Handi (clay pots) filled with curd by hitting with a blunt object. Curd or milk spilling over the group symbolizes achievement through unity.

  • SIGNIFICANCE OF DIWALI: THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

    Diwali is celebrated by people all over the world belonging to various religions to mark different ancient events and beliefs; however they all represent the victory of good over evil knowledge over ignorance, light over darkness and faith over despair.

    Diwali is an Indian festival which is also known as Deepavali or festival of lights. This festival is actually a series of festivals honouring five ceremonious events. The festival starts with Dhanteras, also known as Dhanvantari Trayodashi. Second day is called Narak Chaturdashi followed by the night of Diwali on Amavasya and Goddesses Lakshmi is worshiped. Forth day, devotees worship Lord Govardhan Parvat. The last day is dedicated to the treasured bond shared between brothers and sisters and is known as BhaiDooj.

    SIGNIFICANCE OF DIWALI THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

    Legend behind these five ceremonies

    DhanTeras – Dhanteras is a festival about celebrating wealth and fortune. This is celebrated two days before Diwali.

    NarakChaturdasi – This festival symbolize the conquering of the demon named Naraka, by the hands of Lord Krishna and his beloved wife Satyabhama.

    Diwali – Diwali is celebrated on Amavasya. Devotees believe that on this day Goddess Laxmi will fulfil all their wishes generously. There is tradition of gambling on Diwali as ancient stories suggests that Goddess Parvati and her husband Lord Shiva had played dice on this day, and she decreed good luck and prosperity for whole year to people who gambled on Diwali night.

    GovardhanPuja – The fourth day of Diwali is dedicated to Lord Govardhan. This day devotees worship of Lord GovardhanParvat. It is also believed that on Amavasya Lord Vishnu, in his dwarf incarnation defeated Bali, a tormenter, and exiled him to hell. Bali was only allowed one day in a year on earth to oust darkness by spreading the light of love and affection. On this day, Bali steps comes back to rule the earth as per the blessing he received from Lord Vishnu.

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    BhaiDooj – BhaiDooj or Yama Dvitiya is a festival of brothers and sisters. On this day, sisters invite their brothers to come to their homes for feast.

    Diwali is a festival of lights, sweets, fun and fireworks, and it celebrates the victory of truth and justice over evil. Diwali is about giving and forgiving, unity, prosperity, self-realization, and getting rid of all evils.

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  • Dussehra-Celebrating Good over Evil

    Festivals and celebrations form the mainstay of Indian society since the beginning of civilization. Indian festivals are considered as symbol of love, peace, brotherhood and unity throughout the world. Dussehra or Vijay Dashami is one such festival which beholds a lot of traditional and cultural significance. It basically symbolizes victory of good over evil.

    After nine days of celebrating Navratri, the 10th or the final day is celebrated in each and every corner of nation with full joy and spirit and is called as Vijay Dashami or Dussehra. It is believed that it is this day when Goddess Durga killed the demon Mahishasur and thus saved the world. It is celebrated in various parts of India with different historical beliefs conveying the same message of peace and harmony.In West Bengal, it is known as Bijoya where people exchange goodwill with each other. In  north India, Lord Rama is believed to have killed the demon king Ravana in Lanka by cutting off his ten heads, it is therefore celebrated as Dussehra here (dasa means ten and hara means to kill).In Maharashtra, Dussehra is celebrated very joyfully by collecting and offering the leaves of the Shami tree to elders to seek their blessings. In Gujarat, Dussehra is celebrated very enthusiastically and joyfully.People organize a special dance known as Garba where they dance on different devotional and regional folk songs. Devotees observe fast for those pious nine days of Navaratri and eat one time food during night after giving prayers to Goddess Durga.

    In south Indian states, there is a tradition of paying respects to one's Guru on Dussehra. InKerala it is known as “Vidyarambham”;vidyameans knowledge and arambham means startorbeginning. People here worship Goddess Saraswati in Dussehra. The festival is considered very auspicious and is believed to bring in prosperity and happiness. People visit temples and initiate all the new and good things in their life during this festival.

    Dussehra is a time to celebrate success, victory,triumph and good over evil.Let’s celebrate this holy festivalbynotjust associating oneself with fasting, being vegetarian,temple offerings etcbutwith full positivity and spirituality this year.All the days ofthis great festival hold a deep meaning and help in imbibing all the good qualities like charity,compassion,humility while letting go hatred,anger, ego and jealousy.

    Poompuhar offers a variety of products this Dussehra to help you remain spiritually aware and religiously more connected. Bring in home some beautiful pure brass and copper Pooja accessories this Dussehra and decorate yourhome and Pooja mandapam with these wonderful products:

    Ganesh Panel

    This 12x11x2 inch beautiful copper Ganesha Panel represents the Lord Ganesha seated amidst tastefully constructed arch. Hang it on your wall, keep in pooja room or gift it to your loved one this festive season.

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    Ashatalakshmi Deepam

    The simple yet elegant lamp depicting the Deity Ashatalakshmi (8 forms of Deity Lakshmi) is shown seated at the center with one spout. It is considered to bring in peace and harmony to your home during Navaratri.

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    Lakshmi Villaku

    Bring in home this Dussehra the auspicious brass Lamp presenting an ornamental stem at its base with 5 beautiful spouts and an Annam at the top.

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    Ashta Lakshmi Chembu

    Copper is known for its Ayurvedic and medicinal properties since ancient time. It is also used for making many household items because of its antimicrobial action and amazing healing power. This 4x4" copper AshatalakshmiChembu is used to store offerings like milk, payasam, panagametc during pooja rituals and in festive season.

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    Wall Hanging Leaf Ganesh

    The astonishing leaf shaped Lord Ganesha is a blend of ethnicity and neo modern creativity. Since Lord Ganesha is considered as a symbol of good luck, success and prosperity, go for this exquisite leaf shaped wall hanging this Dussehra.

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    Happy Dussehra!

  • Making the Chandi ka Warq (silver leaf) by Beating Silver

    It is believed that the use of gold and silver in Indian delicacies dates back to ancient times. Indian confectionery stores nowadays, are full of sweets garnished generously with thin sheets of some shiny coating. This shiny coating is nothing but “chandi ka warq” or “silver foil or “silver leaf” to render them look more elegant and auspicious. They are also sometimes used to cover idols in temples in our country. The word warq is Arabic in origin and its meaning is leaf. In Sanskrit and Ayurvedic medical literature, varaka or warq word is used to address a cloth, cloak or a thing that covers something. Scientifically, silver acts as a potent anti-bacterial and anti fungal agent and coating food products with silver increases their freshness and shelf life.

    Image Credit - picsart Image Credit - picsart

    Luck now, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh is known for making chandi ka warq. Because of the demand in Mughlai cuisine, Luck now has emerged as a major warq producing center in the country. Apart from covering sweets and desserts, silver leaves are used to cover food items like kebabs, phirni, betels, chavanprash, sewain, cardamoms, spices and dry fruits.

    Image Credit - siasat Image Credit - siasat

    The process of making these intricate silver leaves or chandi ka warq is little difficult and require great skill. Warq is made by constant beating or hammering silver into sheets, which typically are 0.2-0.8 µm thick, laid inside a leather pouch placed over granite stone They are then backed with paper for support which is peeled away before use. Approximately 165 layers of silver strips are placed between layers of leather (usually ox gut) and hammered for more than six to eight hours to produce silver leaves. Silver leaf or chandi ka warq is very fragile and breaks into smaller pieces (due to close inter atomic distance of silver metal), if not handled properly. The craft of making chandi ka warq involves a lot of precision and perfect coordination between hand and eyes during hammering. The art seems to have been passed down the generations. The people involved in this art are known as karigars, who never seem to lose the zest and passion in making these delicate silver leaves, albeit the soaring price of silver. This determination renders the art of making silver leaf so treasured and very much in demand everywhere.

  • Craft festivals of India

    From time immemorial, India has been the hub for crafts and art alike. Art work and craft work made in India has adorned the palaces of Indian royalty and their international counterparts in England, Spain, France, Portugal et al.

    Today the government of India, the states and many other organizations have taken it onto themselves to promote this extravagant culture of Art and Craft in India. A very recent example is be the development of Bunkar Marts or Weaver Marts throughout the state of Uttar Pradesh by the state government. Apart from the government backed craft festivals internationally, India is also home to some of the biggest art and craft festivals which see participation from local as well as international craftsmen.

    Here is a glimpse of some of the various festivals where India celebrates its arts and crafts:

    Surajkund Crafts Mela:

    One of the most popular crafts fair in India, SurajkundMela is held at Surajkund, Faridabad in Haryana which is in close proximity to the capital New Delhi. Celebrated in the month of February every year, this fair has been an annual affair since 1978. Set up with an intention of promoting art and craft, the fair sees participation from every state in India and also the neighbouring countries. At the Surajkund Crafts Mela, visitors can find paintings, textiles, wood carvings, bone work, pottery, terracotta, stone work, lacquer work, mirror work, cane and grass work among other specialities. The fair also includes a food festival and folk theatre.

    Image Credit- wikipedia Image Credit- wikipedia

    Kala Ghoda Festival:

    The fairly young Kala Ghoda Festival hasbeen celebrated in the Kala Ghoda area of South Mumbai since 1999. The festival is a must visit for everyone interested in visual arts, handicrafts, dance, music, theatre, cinema, literature, lectures, seminars and workshops with heritage walks, special events for children, and a street food festival. This nine day festival is held in early February and sees millions of visitors every year.

    Image Credit - en.wikipedia.org Image Credit - en.wikipedia.org

    Toshali Craft Fair:

    The thirteen day long Toshali Crafts Fair is held in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha every year in December and sees participation from the all the SAARC countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). Participants from all SAARC countries and Indian states showcase their best collections here. Artists, painters, weavers, sculptors and craftsmen specializing in any form of art wait for the fair as a perfect platform to exhibit their talents in front of a large audience. From Kanchipuram silk sarees of Tamil Nadu to the Chiki wood craft of Kashmir, everything is on display here apart from the various other events including a workshops on sand art, sculpture making and an amazing food festival.

  • South Indian Festivals-A Way to Celebrate Life

    Festivals hold an important and special place in a culturally diversified country like India. They help us to remain connected to our culture, keep the evil things away and bring prosperity and happiness in life. The wide variety of festivals celebrated in South India is a true reflection of its rich culture and tradition. Most of the South Indian festivals are based on mythology. People celebrate all festivals zestfully and whole heartedly. That is the reason festivals here are so popular all over the globe. Let’s know about some famous festivals of South India.

    Pongal

    Also known as harvest festival or Makar Sankranthi , Pongal means festivity or celebration. Tamil people refer to Pongal as Tamizhar Thirunaal. Pongal is the only Hindu festival that follows a solar calendar and is celebrated on the fourteenth of January every year. Pongal is also the name of a sweetened dish of rice that is ritually prepared on this day. The festival is celebrated for four days. The first day is called as Bhogi, where the old clothes are discarded or fired, marking a new beginning. The second day or the main Pongal day is celebrated by making Pongal dish. Celebrations include bonfires, dance, cattle races, preparing sweets and savories. The houses are decorated with Kolam designs (traditional floral design made with rice, colored powder, and flower petals). The third day or Mattu Pongal people offer thanks to the cows and buffaloes and on the last day, Kanum Pongal, people celebrate by visiting each others home and exchange greetings.

    Image credit - wikipedia.org Image credit - wikipedia.org

    Karthigai Deepam

    Karthigai Deepam is one of the most ancient festivals of Tamil Nadu. It is a symbolic festival and is known as festival of lights and as per Tamil calendar falls the festival falls in the month of Kārttikai (mid November to mid December). It is dedicated to the infiniteness of the Almighty and is an extension of Deepavali festival. On the festival day, a huge fire lamp called as Mahadeepam is lit up on a hill and in temples also, where thousands of Hindu devotees come to pray and make offerings to lord Shiva. Beautifully lit lamps or diya can be seen all around the home to bring in prosperity and happiness. The Gods and Goddesses are placed on the vehicle and carried along the road. People celebrate and rejoice with happiness, wear new clothes, exchange gifts and meet all friends and relatives during the festival.

    Image credit - commons.wikimedia.org Image credit - commons.wikimedia.org

    Onam

    Onam is the biggest and most popular festival of Kerala. Also known as the harvest festival, it is celebrated with great enthusiasm by people of all communities in Kerala. Onam falls in the Malayalam month of Chingam between August and September and is celebrated for a period of ten days. Onam celebrations start with a grand procession known as Thripunithura Athachamayam, featuring elephants marching with drum beats and music. Women wear traditional Kasavu sari. They decorate the front of their houses with intricately designed flower mats called Pookalam to welcome King Mahabali whose spirit is believed to visit during Onam. Women dance and sing and rejoice the festive spirit by cooking, dressing, greeting each other and shopping.  Kaikotti kali and Thumbi thullal are two wonderful dances performed on Onam.

    Image credit - commons.wikimedia.org Image credit - commons.wikimedia.org

    The most distinctive feature of Onam is the grand feast called as Onasadya. Served on banana leaves, it is a delicious meal comprising of 11 to 13 mouth watering dishes. Another spectacular feature of Onam is Vallamkali or the Snake Boat Race, oared by hundreds of boatmen held on the river Pampa. Among chanting of songs and cheering by spectators, snake boat race is worth watching.

    Ugadi

    The name Ugadi or Yugadi is derived from the Sanskrit words yuga and ādi, meaning beginning of a new age. Ugadi is celebrated in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka during the month of April following Holi. It is believed that Lord Brahma started creating world on this day. On the day of festival, women and girls wear jasmine flowers, woven in the form of heavy garland which is also offered to Gods and Goddesses. A variety of traditional and delicious dishes like Ugadi Pachadi are cooked on this day.

    Thaipusam

    Thaipusam is celebrated during the Tamil month of Thai in a grand manner at Palani Dhandayudhapani temple in Tamil Nadu. The most remarkable feature of this festival is the Bhaktas or devotees bearing Kavadis. The devotees prove their devotion by piercing their chest and back with needles and hooks, while some walk on fire. The idea of Thaipusam festival is to pray to God to receive his blessings so that evil traits are destroyed.

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  • Celebrate Karthigai Deepam with Fabulous Brass and Earthen Lamps from Poompuhar

    Celebrating Karthikai Deepam is a hilarious event in every home in Tamil Nadu . The brass and earthen lamps are lit during this festival and are displayed all around the homes, buildings and temples during the celebration which may extend up to 10 days.

    Thrikarthika is the festival of lights celebrated in Kerala on the Kartika Nakshatram in the Malayalam month of Vrischikam or November. Each night, the people in most homes will take a shower and light the oil lamp and start prayer together as a family. This is a beautiful occasion in that tradition.

    ‪Festivals such as this are an inseparable part of the Indian culture. They are finding their way in many religious and cultural celebrations.

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    A grand 10 days Karthigai celebration will be happening in Madurai Meenakshi Temple. The temple will stand ornate with more than one lakh brass and earthen oil lamps that are lit in the temple's premises.

    Karthikai Deepam is celebrated every year in an enormous way at the Annamalaiyar temple, Thiruvannamalai. The festival ends with the lighting of the Mahadeepam, a gigantic bonfire lit atop the Annamalai hills. The temple gopurams are adorned with thousands of brass and earthen lamp during this festival.

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    For celebrating Karthikai Deepam, Poompuhar has created many brass and earthen lamps with an artistic touch.

    One of them is Lakshmi Nagas Deepam in 8 feet height with many branches. Branch Lamp is an exquisite creation of the artisans from Nachiyar Koil production center of Poompuhar. These are most beautiful artworks from the hands of the traditional artisans.

    Annam Lamp is another creation from Poompuhar. Annam lamp is a conventional, beautiful lamp that features an Annam bird on the zenith if the structure. Annam has been a symbol of purity from ancient times. The simple design marks the integrity of the lamp.

    Ornamental Annam Lamp features the basic design of the Annam lamp itself while ensuring that the ornamental elements add a fragrance of eccentricity and virtue to its design.

    Malabar Lamp is a simple lamp that fills in the virtue of ‘elegance'. Infused with a traditional design, the Malabar lamp is conventionally integrated with the basic human values.

    Plain Prabai Lamp is a beautiful brass lamp with great finish on its surface. It is one of the best reasons as to why the piece is so appealing and very magnificent.

    The Ashtrotradeepam features a design that is peculiar in all angles. It has an unconventional design. The sprouted ‘thagali' makes the lamp look affable and attractive.

    These lamps have beautiful manifestations with religious sentiments attached to it. The lamps also provide for a beautiful dimension to the festivals such as Karthigai Deepam and Deepawali.

    On the eve of Karthigai Deepam, lamp exhibitions are taking place in all the Poompuhar sale outlets, entertainment galleries, lifestyle outlets, and many more places. These exhibitions are used to display the creative marvels of our traditional artisans and preserve our cultural heritage.

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