Date varies. Begins March 19, 2011.
It’s the day that puts the ‘holi’ in holiday. Holi literally translates to “burning”, but fire isn’t the most prominent image of the festival. Holi is all about color. Colored powders, colored waters fly through the air as celebrants young and old ‘colorize’ the world around them—by flinging powders and streams at their friends, neighbors, and any passersby.
Holi is a joyous celebration, though somehow the editor of the piece below has spliced it into a Bollywood horror film. (Are …Read more
Date varies. New moon (13th) of Phalgun.
February 20, 2012
March 10, 2013
Give it up to Shiva today. The new moon of Phalgun (that’s today) is known as Maha Shivaratri in the Hindu religion. To the adherents of Shaivism, who worship Shiva as their primary god, today is the holiest day of the year.
Shiva gets a misleading rap as The Destroyer. It sounds cool and daunting, but is only half accurate. …Read more
Today Indians recall one of the darkest days in their country’s history, while schoolchildren in Spain learn about Dia Escolar de la No-violencia y la Paz, (School Day of Non-Violence and Peace). The holiday marks the tragic assassination of Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, whose non-violent methods helped India gain independence from Great Britain, and inspired leaders from Martin Luther King Jr. to Nelson Mandela.
I believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of …Read more
5th day of the month of Magh
January 28, 2012
“India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages: she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all”.
Will Durant, The Case …Read more
Today is Republic Day in India.
Although India gained independence from Britain in 1947, the Constitution was officially adopted on January 26, 1950, marking the Republic of India as a sovereign nation with complete autonomy.
The date January 26th was chosen in remembrance of “Poorna Swaraj Diwas,” when the Indian National Congress declared independence on January 26, 1930.
Guests of Honor at recent Republic Days have included King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Russian President Vladimire Putin, …Read more
Mattu Pongal, the third day of the Pongal festival of southern India, is dedicated to the animals of the world, particularly cattle.
The legend goes, Shiva told his bull Basava, or Nandi, to inform the people of the world that they should eat once a month and bathe daily with an oil massage.
Evidently, Bull was not the best messenger. He told the people to eat daily and bathe once a month.
When Shiva heard this …Read more
Today is the first day of Uttarayan, the 6-month season which lasts from January 14 to July 14 in India.
The festivals that celebrate the changing of the season go by many names in India. Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Lohri, and so on. They coincide with January 13th/14th in the Gregorian calendar.
The reason why Makar Sankranti is celebrated more than any other is that it marks the day the Sun starts moving north and the auspicious …Read more
January 14 Pongal – Day 1
Day One of Pongal is called Bhogi or Bogi, and is dedicated to the storm god Indra. Indra is the leader of the Devas–the gods and celestial beings that watch over the heavens and control the elements–such as wind, fire, rain, and air. Indra’s weapon is the thunderbolt. In that way he is similar to the Norse Thor, though his status is higher. Indeed, Indra is the subject of roughly 250 hymns and stories …Read more