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India is rich in culture and has different festivals. There are so many festivals that we see hear and experience. There are so many festivals that we Indians celebrate. Ganpati, navratri, janmashtami and so many more all these are the Hindu festivals which are so much fun and you really feel festive. Apart from all the festivals that we see and hear is one festival also known as harvest festivals mostly celebrated by the south Indians? South Indians include the malyalies also known as keralites, tamilians who are known as madrasis, and manglorians. All these 3 south Indians celebrate the harvest festival.

The Harvest festival is all about the new harvest of crops that have grown and celebrating for the food and prosperity given by mother earth. On the 8th of September is usually when the harvest festival is celebrated by the manglorian Catholics. This harvest festival in Konkani is known as “novey jevan” which means new food. It is usually done on the 8th of September in the honour of our mother, mother Mary the mother of Jesus and she is the mother of all of us as well.

In Mangalore this harvest festival means a lot to the people and the others. In Mumbai too many of the typical manglorian Catholics celebrate the harvest festival. The small children take flowers to mother Mary on all 9 days of the novena. There is a certain happiness that these kids feel in doing this. Children being innocent and loving take flowers as an offering to mother Mary. And on the 10th day is the feast of mother Mary. The rice paddies are given and are blessed by the priest. While Rice paddies are given in church the first harvest and the new rice which is harvested is given out people go home and celebrate the harvest festival by calling all their close relatives.

The paddy rice is blessed and given then people bring it at home 3,5,7,9 any odd number of grains are being removed and put in milk, or in the kheer also known as worn. There are around 7 to 9 type of vegetables made. These vegetables taste so delicious and are specifically made only on this harvest festival day and it becomes tasty when the harvest day is celebrated. While all sit in a round circle and eat on the banana leaf. On the banana leaf all these 7 to 9 types of vegetables are served little for everyone to taste and eat.

Before all of this happening the manglorian families first gather and pray to our lady for the choicest blessing which she has bestowed upon us and also for giving us this opportunity of celebrating this harvest festival. They sing a hymn to our lady. And after prayers everyone is given a small glass with little milk mixed with rice grains in it. This is the same rice grain that is blessed and being mixed with milk and given to everybody before starting off their meal.

In the same way tamilians and malyalies also have the harvest festival. Tamilians celebrate their harvest festival called pongal while malyalies celebrate their harvest festival called onam. There are the harvest festivals celebrated just like how the manglorians celebrate except for the fact that they don’t really have these novenas. They do have their puja. Puja is the prayers they say before celebrating the harvest meal. They too have all vegetarian food. Papadaum and banana being something that is a very famous about the food.

Well that’s about it for the harvest festival. There’s one more great festival that I’ve personally felt very good about is the Ganesh chaturty festival. My friends had called me for the aarti of her Ganapati that had arrived and all join in singing the aarti. It felt so soulful and connected. Aarti to the lord Ganesh is done with so much faith and love. It always feels good when god is being worshipped in such a manner. After the aarti came the Prasad. Prasad is the sweets known as pedas or modaks given after the prayer is been done it is a blessing sweet that must be had.

However I also went for the Ganapati visarjan that happed. The Ganapati visarjan seems so grand and full of fun. Dancing and rejoicing in the lord is what is felt and experienced. Ganapati bappa leaves the house of his worshippers and is said to be going to his village. People are happy with his presence and don’t want to let him go. But when someone arrives they also have to leave. With a heavy heart they all gather and sing and dance and rejoice till they don’t dip the lord into the seas.  It feels very festive as all the people dress up in one particular coloured Kurtis and sadras. There is a lot of music and loads of colour around. They sing and dance and rejoice to the tunes of Marathi tracks. They also burst loads of crackers. This is one thing that should be banned as it creates a lot of pollution. It definitely feels good by polluting the environment is something which should be avoided. As also there is a lot of traffic created it is better not to get out with cars on this day.

Another beautiful festival is the recent one that has just gone is the navrati. 9 days of pure fasting and dancing. The Devi being the centre of the festival navratri. Worshipping the goddess and dancing and prasing her makes this festival fun and frolic. It is so colourful and beautiful lights everywhere and all the streets are filled with bulbs and lights. There is a certain kind of brightness that brings smiles on everyone’s faces. Everyone enjoys this festival as garba and dandiya is played. A popular festival of the gujratis and the marvadis. However people of all faith in India love celebrating this festival. Even if they don’t fast they at least try to be a part of the navratri festival just by being there to watch and play garba.

  • Carren bryne.

 

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