Culture

Tusu Festival at Purulia

As our quest for all things traditional that are losing themselves to the chores of time continues, we decided to head towards Purulia this year to witness the Tusu festival. Tusu Festival or Tusu Parob is a harvesting festival celebrated in the Chhota Nagpur region of Eastern India that includes Purulia, Bankura, Medinipur in West Bengal and parts of Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha. The last days of the Bengali “Poush” month always call in for a great feast of “pithe” and “patisapta”. The month-end also called the “Makar Sankranti” also calls for a number of celebrations across rural Bengal....

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Armenian Christmas Celebration in Kolkata

With Christmas around the corner, Kolkata too is getting decked up in the mood of festivities. December 25th has now become a festival for all. Bow Barracks near Bowbazar celebrates the spirit of Christmas all through the week. But do you know, that another community that had made Calcutta its home way back in the seventeenth century celebrates Christmas on January 6th?  Yes, the Armenians celebrate Christmas on the 6th day of January and you can actually experience the Armenian Christmas celebration in the Holy Church of Nazareth at Armenian Street. During the Armenian Christmas season, the major events...

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Rhythm of Hundred Drums – Wangala Festival

I was a bit disappointed when the cherry blossoms turned out to be no show at Shillong during the Cherry Blossoms Festival. But amidst all these, another festival caught my eyes. Rather, its name caught my fancy. It was the 100 Drums Wangala Festival celebrated in the Garo Hills. There was a two-line description saying that it was a local festival where 100 drums are played together. And I decided that I would visit Tura to find out about the 100 Drums Wangala Festival. Converting my thoughts to action, I started researching about the Wangala Festival. I found very...

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India International Cherry Blossom Festival, Shillong

I actually do not need a reason to visit Shillong. The lovely hill city is etched in my heart since I read “Sesher Kabita” (The Last Poem) by Rabindranath Tagore. There is something so affable about the city that makes it a wonderful destination. And when I heard about the Cherry Blossom Festival at Shillong, I simply realized that time has come to make a visit to this lovely place once again. What is Cherry Blossom Festival, Shillong? Well, whenever we talk about cherry blossoms, we are reminded of Japan and USA. The cherry trees bloom into gorgeous blossoms...

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Pushkar Fair – An extravaganza

A kaleidoscope of colours and a chaotic cacophony greeted me when I visited the Pushkar Fair this year. I have heard and read so much about this fair that in my mind I had already visited the place, traversed its alleys, took a dip in the holy lake while marvelling at the esoteric Brahma Temple and stared at the millions of camels displayed for trade. But when I actually visited the Pushkar Fair, I clearly realized that my imagination fell short of the actual magnanimity of the event! It was an overwhelming experience of the senses, especially that of...

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Navratri Golu – a different form of Puja

Being a typical Bengali, Durga Puja has a special place. I dive headlong into all the fun and craziness during those four days. But, I also like to experience the culture of other communities and countries. So here I am, writing down about my experiences at Navratri Golu in Chennai. The idea of writing this post came to me when I saw the so many viral posts doing round the internet about how Durga Puja is so different from Navratri celebration in rest of the country. There was a post that was countered by another, and then another that...

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Tinvong, Dzongu – a village lost in time

It was almost at the end of our North Sikkim tour when we realized that we have a couple of days in hand and we do not want to visit Gangtok and Pelling. It was then when our car driver suggested that we should visit Dzongu. The place is a Lepcha Reserve Area. Well, a reserve area for a community! If that was not intriguing enough, an unexplored mountain hamlet of Sikkim was definitely inviting. So, Dzongu it is, we decided. “But, you need a permit to go there”, our driver said quite thoughtfully. And then looking at our...

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Chinese Dragon Boat Festival – Kolkata

There was a festive mood at the Calcutta Boating and Hotel Resorts near Tangra on the afternoon of 11th June 2017. Kolkata was celebrating the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival. And the whole place was filled with people of the Kolkata Chinese community as well as others. All were there to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival. The Dragon Boat Festival also called Duwanu Jie is usually held on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. This year, the date was May, 28; but in Kolkata, the festival was celebrated on June 11. The festival involves...

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Jatar Deul, the Horse Race and the Fair

Traditions and culture have always fascinated me. So when I heard about the Horse Race at Jatar Deul, I could not resist myself to witness the event. A horse race in rural Bengal – this was enough to make me visit Jatar Deul in the middle of April. Jatar Deul is located at Kankandighi near Raidighi in the South 24 parganas district. After a train, auto and motor van ride of around 4 hours, we reached the Jatar Deul. Please read my earlier post to know more about Jatar Deul and its interesting history. On the second day of...

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Basanta Utsav at Shantiniketan

Holi is one of the most popular festivals of India and is celebrated amidst much festivities and gaiety all over the country. But there are some places where the celebration of Holi are so unique that you have to be there to witness it for yourself. In West Bengal, Holi or Dol Jatra is inexorably linked with Shantiniketan. Basanta Utsav at Shantiniketan, as it more popularly called here, is an event that has to be experienced and felt. Shantiniketan is a place that is the melting pot of learning, art, culture and dance. The first thing that we are...

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The Chhapakhana Trail – A walk down the memory lanes

A century old printing technology is on the verge of dying, but still struggling to carry on the legacy. The letterpress printing in a nondescript shed in Potuatala Lane in College Street is one such printing press still printing reams of paper using the age old technology. Not everyday we come close to our past, or get to see the heritage of our city. The Chhapakhana trails organised by the “Future of the Past” in collaboration with Kolkata Bloggers aimed to make us aware of our past, our heritage. The Future of the Past is a project that aims...

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Interesting Facts about the Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year are celebrated by about one-fifth of the world’s population. Here are some interesting facts about the New Year. Chinese New Year eve is the day before the New Year also known as chúxī. It is the day of family reunions. Chinese New Year day is traditionally called the chūyī in Chinese calendar. It is the day of family visits and New Year greetings. The New Year day is the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar. It is celebrated during the winter holidays. The date is different to each year on the Gregorian calendar, but always...

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