Thursday, 14 April 2016

Navaratri, Ram Navami and a happy New Year!




Oh I wish I had studied more at senior school! Well I did, but, when it came to my O Levels and completing my Religious Studies, which were on various different religions, Hinduism and all the many, many gods and goddesses being a major portion, there were just too many to remember and I failed miserably (in fact it was the one O Level my mother actually got!!) There are just too many different forms of all the gods and goddesses for my tiny brain to take in and so many festivals and celebrations all over this huge country.

Anyways.... Apologises in advance for any incorrect information!! Tomorrow is a public holiday here in Delhi. It's is Rama Navami. The day celebrating the birth of Lord Rama, the 7th incarnation of Vishnu (didn't I say it's confusing) Homes will be thoroughly cleaned, family shrines will be spring cleaned and offerings of food and flowers placed on them. 

If I've understood correctly it's also the beginning of the Hindu New Year and marks the end of Vasanta/Chaitra Navaratri. There are 5 Navaratri throughout the year, with the dates varying slightly due to the moons cycle. The Hindu year, like so many religions follows the lunar year. 

The current Navaratri is a significant celebration as it cumulates with the New Year (it's also New Year for Thailand and Myanmar and I'm sure others) It's celebrated over 9 days, each day celebrating a different form of the goddess Shakti the mother goddess. 

Each day has a different colour with a different meaning and represents that day's form of Shakti. 

Day 1) Shailputri (red)
Day 2) Brahmcharini (royal blue) 
Day 3) Chandraghanta (yellow)
Day 4) Kushmuda (green)
Day 5) Skandmata (grey) 
Day 6) Katyayani (orange)
Day 7) Kalratri (white) 
Day 8) Maha gauri (pink)
Day 9) Siddhidatri (sky blue) 

As I passed by our 2 local temples today there are the flower garland sellers outside and tented areas dishing out food to those visiting. 

To find out more on this Spring festival take a look at this link http://hinduism.about.com/od/festivalsholidays/a/vasantnavaratri.htm

So to all those celebrating - Happy New Year, happy Ram Navami, happy extended weekend and just generally I hope you all find some reason to be happy! 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

An experience TOO be missed!

Well it's been over a week since I went exploring. No, Delhi Tales has not gone AWOL but instead I've been 'confined to Barracks' but yes, even though I've been climbing the walls, trying to dig an escape tunnel, planning my 'Great Escape' although it wouldn't be Steves Triumph but more likely a Royal Enfield which I ride off into the distance on.

But even though you can see bloodied fingernail marks gouged into our freshly painted walls, days marked off as if in a prison cell, written in the self same blood, I've still been able to become acquainted with an Indian experience. The world famous Delhi Belly!!!! Now don't worry I have no intention of detailing the highs and lows of the past week, that will be left to ones imagination. One has always to look on the upside :/ I guess you can say it's another thing to tick off the Bucket List... even though I hadn't realized that it was even on it!!! 

One thing it has given me, is the opportunity to read and research and now, needless to say, my list of places to visit has grown enormously. From the 'most haunted places in Delhi' temples, mosques, gurdwaras, tombs and parks. Also the 'pattern' of the many cities that were here before Delhi itself was in existence, is beginning to make sense in my head. It is said there were 7 cities of Delhi but as you delve deeper there seem to be even more. I've already inadvertently explored the remains of one, last week, Jahapanah, but others still to explore are Qila Rai Pithora, Siri, Tughlaqabad, Firozabad, Dinapanah (Shergarh) and Shajahanabad. 

Next week I'm determined to visit Old Fort (Purana Qila) although built a mere 500+ years ago by Humayun the 2nd Indian Mughal Emperor, legend has it that it's the site of Indraprastha which was in existence around 3000 years ago. Until fairly recent times the fort was home to the village of Inderpat, similar in name giving weight to this legend. 

Equally as exciting next week is, joys of joys, our container of belongings, our 'life' will arrive on Tuesday and with it we can really start living. We can also invite friends finally and start repaying the hospitality we've been shown by so many. I'll also have the computer YAY! And will no longer have to squint and strain my eyes writing on the phone and can start using my camera again.

So I'm up and running again (well I was last week just not in the right direction...oops too much info...sorry!) and raring to get out there. STAY TUNED