Posts Tagged ‘festivals’

India Festival Tours

 

India has countless festivals that attract tourists with colour and noise. Here are some tips for witnessing and attending India’s festival celebrations.

One of the most famous of India’s festivals is Diwali, the festival of lights. It could just as well be called the festival of noise. This event, between mid-October and mid-November, celebrates the return of the Hindu god Rama from his exile and his victory over the evil King Ravana. Oils lamps are lit to show Rama the way home. The goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, is also celebrated.

Diwali lasts five days and is mainly celebrated by setting off millions of incredibly loud firecrackers. Festivals in India

Dasara (Dussehra) Or Durga Puja

Durga is the fierce Hindu goddess who slayed the evil demon Mahisashura. The Durga Puja festival celebrates her victory every year around October.

Celebrations are especially triumphant in the South Indian city of Mysore, where the festival is known as Dasara (Dussehra) and Durga is known by the name Chamundeswari. During the ten days of Dasara there are daily concerts, performances and other events, and the festival highlight is a parade that includes elephants trained specifically for this occasion. The parade usually attracts a crowd of millions to the streets of Mysore.

Those who don’t like large crowds should stay at home and watch the show on TV instead, and lone females may feel very uncomfortable in a large festival crowd.

Holi, Or Getting Doused In Colour

Holi is celebrated at the end of winter, and is usually much more lively in North India than in the South, although holidaymakers in beach resorts such as Goa usually get their share of the Holi experience. During Holi, usually celebrated in March, colourful powder, or a mix of colourful dye and water, is thrown liberally at any unsuspecting passer-by. Crowds of young men and boys are happy to douse each other and especially passing tourists in colour.

Unfortunately, the colours used during Holi are often far from natural and are definitely not allergy tested, and tourists have complained about skin reactions or worse. Holi is also celebrated with a lot of alcohol and bhang (marijuana), and female tourists especially should think twice before venturing out alone. Those who want to experience Holi should wear something old that can be thrown away after being covered in all colours of the rainbow. India Tours

Ganesh Chaturthi Or Ganesh’s Birthday

The elephant-headed god Ganesh, the remover of obstacles, is one of India’s most loved gods. The Ganesh Chaturthi is the birthday of Ganesh and is celebrated in August and/or September. During the ten-day festival, giant clay statues of Ganesh are installed inside homes and out on the streets. The statues are worshipped for ten days, and on the eleventh day they are carried through the streets and immersed in a river or in the sea. Many tourists witness the celebrations in Mumbai, where figures of Ganesh are carried through the city in large processions to the sea. India Tour Packages

Holidays Time

I haven’t always hated the Holidays. when I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas…..any excuse to have a few days off from school…the anticipation of new toys…..snow!!! It was all great fun, as it should be for any kid.

No. It wasn’t until I got older that I grew to dread the entire last 2 months of the year. I can’t pinpoint exactly when the change occurred, and it wasn’t just ONE event that changed my outlook on what should be a joyous occasion. It happened gradually, over many, many years. But-if I had to pick 10 reasons why I hate theholidays-they would be as follows:

1.Too Much Food:
Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Yams, Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, Bread Pudding, Homemade Noodles, Giblet Gravy— A heart attack begging to happen. We don’t need all that food-but we eat it!!! Every last bite. And don’t forget the cranberry sauce, and eggnog!! It doesn’t matter where you go…..it’s always the same……too much food.

2. Christmas: Have Your Gifts Become a Measure of Your Love & a Tool to Manipulate Your Perceived Status and Worth?
Don’t get me wrong. I love my family. Each and every dysfunctional one of them. I love seeing them and spending time with them. But….my family is huge!!! There are over 50 of us when we all get together….and, who has a place big enough to sit 50 people down to eat a meal??? Nobody in MY family, that’s for sure. We rented out the Lion’s Den one year….but it was cold and uncomfortable. So now we all crowd into my sister’s house…..because she’s the only one of us with a big enough open space for all of us…..though most of us are left standing all night or sitting on the floor. But hey….it’s all about family…right??? Yeah, well…..all I can say is….Thank God it only comes once a year!!!

3. Too Commercial
What the hell is the deal with Walmart putting out Christmas decorations before we’ve even dealt with Halloween!!! I’ve heard so many Christmas Carols before November 1st, that by Christmas, they make me want to puke!!! And ….I love Christmas Carols!!! Well, used to, anyway.

4. Something Always Happens to Ruin It
The turkey gets burnt… someone doesn’t show… somebody gets hurt…someone says something to piss off somebody else Never fails. You just know… even if you do muster up some vacation spirit… it’s not going to last… because Something always happens.

5. Someone Always Ruins It
Yep, if not something, then someonecan always be counted on to screw things up for everyone else. The kids getting yelled at by Dad for being too noisy…..it’s Christmas for Pete’s sake-kids are supposed to be loud….they’re excited!!! Shut the hell up and let them have some fun! Or else, they’ll end up like me…..hating the luxury vacations !!!

6. Lonely
This is a new one. How can you feel lonely surrounded by all that family? Well…..get a divorce. You don’t know lonely until you wake up on Christmas morning, alone, with nothing under the tree for you….except the gifts you bought for yourself, from Santa…..so the kids don’t ask why Santa didn’t bring Mommy anything? Yeah…..it sucks!

7. Nephew died
On New Year’s Day, 1988. We were all gathered at Mom’s for Spare Ribs and Black Eyed Peas… a family tradition….when my brother showed up and gave us the news. My nephew was dead. We don’t get together at Mom’s on New Year’s anymore.

8. Brother Died
1:45 am New Year’s Day, 2006. Same brother… he’d been in failing health for years….really, since his son died….and it’s like he picked that day to give up. We were all called to the hospital… I was the only one who didn’t get the call that he had died before anyone got there…so I was the only one who saw him after he died. And I’m the only one who has to remember him the way he looked then… SO not fair. Try getting that image out of your head!!

9. Another Birthday is Coming Up
My birthday is in February….and I’m not getting any younger… so the holidays are just a reminder that I’ll be OLDER soon. I keep thinking I’ll quit having birthdays….but then, I guess they ARE better than the alternative!! But it really sucks being 40 something and single. Never thought I’d be in this situation. I thought I’d be married for 50 years…at least. Well… fat chance of that now. I don’t think I’ll live to be 90 something. That is, if I were to get married again….and even fatter chance of that! Been there, done that, bought the T-Shirt. No thanks!

10. People Have Forgotten Why We Celebrate
Schools don’t call it Christmas break anymore… it’s winter break. They shortened Christmas to “Xmas”. The most important thing to just about everyone is getting to the stores the day after early enough so you don’t have to wait in line forever to exchange that ugly sweater Aunt Norma gave you. Might as well erase John 3:16 from the Bible….”For God so loved the world that He gave his only Begotten Son…..” Come ON people…..Christ was born……the savior of the world….the messiah… The reason we have Christmas!!! The tradition of gift giving dates from the time of Christ’s birth and the Wise Men giving him gifts of gold, frankincense and mir… duh!!! Whatever happened to “It’s better to give than to receive”? That is the number one reason why I hate the holidays!!! You spend half the year trying to find that perfect gift…just to find out it’s not what he wanted….or it doesn’t fit….or it doesn’t work….or it’s the wrong color… Argh! I want so badly to go back to the times when gifts were homemade…and you only got a few… if that many….and they were made with love….and you knew you were going to love it….whatever it was….because it was made just for you. Maybe we should pass a law……no gift shall be bought….or bigger than a bread box.

I don’t know……maybe when I have grandkids, the joy will come back into the holidays for me……but I doubt it. I think I’m doomed to be a Scrooge forever. Makes me want to just crawl under the covers and not wake up until Spring!

Festivals Of Tibet

Join festive events during your Tibet tours and it will surely add more to your memory of the snowland.

Tibetan New Year is the most important festival in China’s Tibet. It is an occasion when the families reunite and expect that the coming year will be a better one. Known as Losar, the festival starts from the first to the third day of the first Tibetan month. Preparations for the festive event are manifested by special offerings to family shrine deities, painted doors with religious symbols, and other painstaking jobs done to prepare for the event. Tibetans eat Guthuk (barley crumb food with filling) on New Year’s Eve with their families. Eating Guthuk is fun since the barley crumbs are stuffed with a different filling to fool someone in the family. The Festival of Banishing Evil Sprits is observed after dinner. Signs that the New Year is approaching when one sees lit torches, and people running and yelling to get rid of evil spirits from their houses. Before dawn on New Year’s Day, housewives get their first buckets of water for their homes and prepare breakfast. After breakfast, people dress up to go to monasteries and offer their prayers. People visit their neighborhoods and exchange their Tashi Delek blessings in the first two days. Feast is the theme during the occasion. On the third day, old prayer flags are replaced with new ones. Other folk activities may be held in some areas to celebrate the events.

@ img.tootoo.com

Monlam, the Great Prayer Festival, falls on the fourth up to the eleventh day of the first Tibetan month. The event was established in 1049 by Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama’s order. It is the grandest religious festival in Tibet. Religious dances are performed and thousands of monks gather for chanting before the Jokhang Temple. Examinations taking form of sutra debates for the Geshe degree, the highest degree in Buddhist theology, are also held. Pilgrims crowd to listen to the sermons while others give religious donations.

Monlam festival@ west-saga.com

The Butter Lamp Festival, Chunga Choepa in Tibetan, falls on the fifteenth day of the first Tibetan month. The event was also established by Tsong Khapa to celebrate the victory of Sakyamuni against heretics in a religious debate. Giant butter and Tsampa sculptures varying in forms of auspicious symbols and figures are displayed on Barkhor. People keep singing and dancing throughout the festive night. And it’s great experience for visitors in their itineraries of Tibet China tours.

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