Thiruvonam (14th September 2016)
Thiruvonam is a very popular and important festival in the gods own country of Kerala. According to Malayalam calendar Chingam is the first month and the onam is celebrated on this month. Festival rituals and traditional cuisine brings out the rich cultural heritage of Kerala.
Pookalam is a colourful decoration of flowers on the floor. Onam pookalam was traditionally made with dasapushpam but these days many flowers are used. They will also conduct pookalam competitions on this days.
The onam Sadaya is served on the plantain leaf and it consists of all traditional Kerala cuisine. It has about 26 varieties of the spread. After the traditional meal, people gather for recreational activities and enjoy the festival.
Events like Snake boat race, Puli kali and Kummatti kali are the very famous events on that day. There will be dazzling display of fireworks.
In the following link you can find some Onasadya: https://rarelicious.wordpress.com/tag/onam/
Ganesh Chathurthi (5th September 2016)
Wishing u all a happy’ Ganesh chathurthi’. Ganesh chathurthi is the birthday of lord Ganesh, the elder Son of Lord Shiva and Parvathi. It is a Hindu festival which is celebrated throughout India in a very grand manner. It is one such celebration where people in the locality gather to make clay images of God do all celebrations, Pooja and leave it in the sea after a procession. As hundreds and thousands of Ganesh idol are let in the sea, people are these days getting aware and insisting on making eco friendly Ganesh idol which will not pollute the environment.
Lord Ganesha is the Favourite God for almost all age groups….especially our school days and exams are not through without offering him prayers for good results. On the day of Ganesh chathurthi, morning we go to Ganesh temple where there will be special Poojas on that day. In the evening the Temples in the locality prepare to make a procession of the lord through the streets. People clean and draw kolam in front of their house to welcome Ganesha. We can make 21 kozhukattai as Prasad, many even make 108 kozhukattai and distribute them at the Temples.
Krishna Jayanti / Gokulashtami / Janmashtami (25th August 2016)
Krishna jayanti or Gokulashtami is the birthday of lord Sri Krishna. This year it falls on the 25th of August 2016. Gokulashtami is celebrated all over India with great devotion for the lord Krishna. In Krishna Temples there will be special Pooja on that previous evening and will go on until midnight. Devotees light lamps, sing songs, clap hands and dance.
‘Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare , Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare’ is the mantra chanted by all the devotees.
On this festival, every home is cleaned, decorated and they invite lord Krishna to their home by drawing the lotus feet of lord Sri Krishna with a raw rice batter. The baby or kid of the house would dip the feet in the batter and walk from the door step into the Pooja room, we can even draw the feet with hand. Devotees offer Krishna’s most favourite sweets and savoury as prashad.
Before this day we collect outfits and accessories to dress up kids in our home like little Krishna / Radha. Kids also go to school dressed as Krishna on the day before and celebrations are done there. Girl kids dress as Radha and boys as Krishna. It will be so cute to see all of them dressed at their ethnic best with all the outfits and accessories. The description of this festival is as glorious and beautiful as lord Krishna.
The neivedhayam is generally Pongal, Seedai, Murukku, Adhirasam, Akaravadisal, Aval payasam, Aval puttu and many more. According to the time we have, we can prepare any of them and offer to Krishna. There are sweet shops which sell the Krishna Jayanti packets which has murukku, Kara seedai, Vella seed and Adhirasam. If we are not able to make any of this we can just offer him his favourite butter and some aval with jaggery.
Varalakshmi vratham (12th August 2016)
Varalakshmi vratham is a Hindu festival celebrated on the Friday before the full moon day in the month of Saravana (Aadi in Tamil). Worshipping goddess Lakshmi on this day is equivalent to worshipping astalakshmi. Varalakshmi Vrata is performed by married woman for the well being of all the family members, especially husband, to get progeny etc.
The week before the varalakshmi vratam, the cleaning of the house and the silverware used to offer the neivedhayam is done. Also women go shopping to buy saree to keep for the goddess Lakshmi on the day of pooja, the shopping also includes buying bangles and other required pooja items. Flowers are bought on the day before the pooja and women in the family gather to make beautiful garlands for the goddess. Women who perform the ritual take bath in the morning and prepare the neivedhayam well before the pooja. They invite the neighbours to take part in the pooja .
The goddess is kept in the Kalash that has a coconut on it, the face of the goddess is done using turmeric. These days there are ready made silver face of the goddess available. The Kalash is kept on a banana leaf on which some raw rice is kept . The Kalash and the lamps are decorated with turmeric and kumkum. The goddess is decorated with saree, jewels and flowers. The neivedhayam is offered to goddess without salt and also without giving tadka. During the pooja Songs for goddess Lakshmi are recited.
After the pooja the guest are offered flowers and thambulam (betel leaves, Pakku, bangles, nombu kayir, lemon, chocolate). Also prasadham is distributed to the guests. The Kalash is kept on the Friday and the next day Saturday morning again they light the lamp before the goddess for a while then take the Prasad and all the flowers and the goddess from there.
Guru Peyarchi 2016
Guru Peyarchi, the transit of Guru Bhagawan from one astrological house to another is on Tuesday, 2nd August 2016. According to the Panchangam, Guru Bhagawan will move from the astrological house of Simma Raasi to Kanni Raasi.
Devotees of Rishabam, Simham, Viruchikam, Makaram & Meenam Raasis will benefit due to the transit of Sri Guru Bhagawan.
Raasis which require Parikaram: Mesham, Mithunam, Kadakam, Kanni, Thulaam, Dhanusu, Kumbam
Aadi Perukku is a Hindu Tamil festival celebrated on the 18th day of the Tamil month of Aadi (July – August ).
Aadi Perukku is observed mainly by people residing along the Kaver River bank. ‘Perukku’ means rising – indicating the rising water in rivers. The festival is essentially a form of Nature worship and thanksgiving to Mother Nature.
On the day, family and friends get together and pray for uninterrupted supply of water and a good harvest in the coming season. Special food is prepared on the day and is shared with friends and relatives.
Aadi Amavasya is the ‘no moon day’ on the 2nd august is considered highly auspicious for performing rituals to the ancestors.
Pilgrims take a holy dip and perform rituals to the ancestors at Rameswaram, Thriveni Sangamam in Kannyakumari and various holy spots on the banks of Cauvery River, Noyyal river.
Fasting on Aadi Amavasai is considered highly beneficial and some people only have a single meal on the day. The food is offered in a banana leaf and considered accepted if a crow will come and have the food. They break the fast by having the food in the banana leaf.