Teachers' blog


【Indian Holidays】   *要点説明あり

(Contributed by Ian)
India is a country so rich in culture where people of various religions live harmoniously with each other. We have 25 odd states in India with each state having its own language, dress, and state folk dance. Needless to say in all this amalgamation of culture and diversity, we always have time to celebrate… a lot!!! In fact every month of the year has at least one festival. I will be giving you a little insight as to what these festivals are and why they are celebrated.
Pongal(Pohn-guhl) or Sankranthi(sah-kran-thi): This festival is celebrated all over the country from the 13th to the 16th of January. It is called the harvest festival. India, being a farming nation, owes a lot of its revenue from farming produce. So back to the festival-the three days start with giving thanks for the crop of the previous year and to hope for a good harvest in the coming year. People decorate the front of their houses with beautiful colored chalk arrangements called rangoli. This is done by the ladies of the house as a mark to welcome people who visit and bless them. Woodfires are lit in the evenings amidst cheering, dancing and singing. This marks the triumph of good over evil. Another highlight of the festival is flying kites. The kite sales start from early January and continue until a few days after the festival is over. Bright kites of myriads colors are seen flying high in the sky. Kite competitions are organized and like in a video game if you spot a kite flying nearby you can cut it down by attaching a glass dust coated thread to your kite. All done in a friendly spirit and the kite which has been lost is given back to its owner. Foodwise a variety of sweets and rice dishes are prepared. A flavorsome tamarind rice along with a milky desert called Pongal(from where the festival gets its name)is prepared.



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