Friday, 16 October 2009

Shop till you Drop on Dhanteras

Yesterday was Dhanteras the first celebration
of the five day festival of Diwali or Deepawali I went out on a short walk
to watch the eager shoppers
and take photographs.

These are street stalls selling
decorations and religious items for puja.
Everyone was in a hurry to get their bag full.

Down this post I have provided excerpts from Wikipedia
which will give you more information
about Dhanteras


A stall selling puffed rice or lie-lava
and sugar animals which are offered to deities and eaten
during this festival.

Clay idols of gods and goddesses

These are baskets of raffia grass
you can buy them for your house or as gifts.
They are very pretty

This is an attractive wall piece.

More than a 100 years ago
Dr Sam Higginbottom and his wife Ethel,Presbyterian
missionaries came to Allahabad to establish
an Agricultural college
(which is a very large university now)
Ethel taught the women of the nearby villages how
to make baskets with raffia grass so that
they could get income by selling them.
This trade is flourishing till today.

Decorative items made with clay and painted.
Little houses, pots and toys
all fashioned with clay.
Children of all religions must
have them to play with.
When we were little our parents used to
buy them for us.

These are earthen diyas or oil lamps.

Lighted shops to attract customers
This is a jewellery shop

Its raining lights.
This shop beckons you to
come and buy gold and silver from them on this auspicious occasion.
This is a short video to give you a feel
of the atmosphere.
Don 't the vehicles honk loudly?



Dhanteras is the first day of the five-day Diwali Festival. The festival, also known as "Dhantrayodashi" or "Dhanwantari Triodasi", falls on the auspicious thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Ashwin (October/November).[1]
The word Dhanteras, Dhan stands for wealth. On Dhanteras, the "Owl" form of the Goddess Laxmi is worshiped to provide prosperity and well being. Dhanteras holds special significance for the business community due to customary purchases of precious metals on this day
Preparations
To mark the auspicious day, houses and business premises are renovated and decorated. Entrances are made colorful with traditional motifs of Rangoli designs to welcome the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. To indicate her long-awaited arrival, small footprints are drawn with rice flour and vermilion powder all over the houses. Lamps are kept burning all through the nights.
Traditions
On Dhanteras Hindus consider it auspicious to purchase gold or silver articles or at least one or two new utensils. It is believed that new “Dhan” or some form of precious metal is a sign of good luck. "Laxmi-Puja" is performed in the evenings when tiny Diyas of clay are lit to drive away the shadows of evil spirits. "Bhajans"-devotional songs- in praise of Goddess Laxmi are also sung.
Celebrations
"Naivedya" of traditional sweets is offered to the Goddess. There is a peculiar custom in Maharashtra to lightly pound dry coriander seeds with jaggery and offer as Naivedya.
In villages, cattle are adorned and worshiped by farmers as they form the main source of their income. In south India, cows are offered particularly special veneration because they are thought of as incarnations of the Goddess Lakshmi.


17 Fertilize my soul:

madison said...

I spent most of tonight working on food for tomorrow. Got one chicken dish marinating and one sweet dish done. Making the sweet balls tomorrow, or trying anyway, lol. I'll try to remember to take pics of the food.
Watched the video. The background noise sounds exactly like the background noise when hubby is over there and trying to talk to me on the phone.
One year, maybe in the next two hubby wants to go for diwali and wants to take me and the boys with him. I think I would enjoy the markets set up on the street.

David said...

thank you. you and your culture enrich my life here is the mountains, far away from cities and crowds.

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

Oh Amrita, I am in seventh heaven "walking" around with you and viewing all the sights! I love the lights! Yes, "it's raining lights" as you noted, and how festive and exciting it makes it look! Such fun! The little lamps burning, the toys, the sweets, all of it! And I would love to buy a pair of silver earrings for luck!

I hope you are feeling better still...that the dark mood has abated...

Amrita said...

Hi Madison,
Our traffib is pretty noisy an chaotic too. But we are used to it.Although its relaxing to travel on a deserted street.
Your husband will miss the Diali sweets. Today is the 3rd festival day, it will be pretty noisy with the firecrackers going off.

Hi Penni,

Wouldn 't it be fun to shop in the street markets. And I wouldn 't let anyone over-charge you.
You 'd love the jewellry shops.

Ho David, i wish i lived in the mountains away from the hustle anf bustle of the city breathing pure fresh air. I lived in the Himalayas for 4 years and miss it very much.

Felisol said...

Dear amrita,
when I see all this abundance, it's then I'm unable to shop.
Too much of a good thing makes it impossible to choose.
A colorful and rich life indeed.
From Felisol

Sharodindu said...

GREAT JOB Amrita!
Seems like color riot of Diwali...So colourful and energetic. I too tried to capture some moment near Atta Market @ noida but I was overhelmed by people....It was a great experience :)

BTW...
Wishing you & your family also a very Happy Deepawali.....May the beauty of Diwali season lighten your home with happiness, joy and prosperity!
Keep blogging :)

Nicky said...

Hi Amrita, dear sister, your post is so enlightening. Imogen's best friend Rhea is celebrating Diwali too. Have a blessed week-end! Nicky x

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Amrita:)

You have done a wonderful job in this post by providing us so many colorful photos and plenty of insight about the festival. I never realized that Divali is celebrated for five long days in the north. I lived in Bhopal and I know it is a very big festival for Hindus but somehow I never understood that they celebrated it for five days. This is like Pongal in Tamilnadu or Onam in Kerala.

The photos and write up are very interesting and informative. Your evening walk was really very useful. The video is very interesting too. Many, many thanks.

Have a sparkling and beautiful day Amrita:)
Joseph

Bestemor Aud said...

Hi Amrita!
Thank you for a very informative post about hindu celebrations! I know almost nothing of it.
I can see that people all over the world have a need to pray to someone, to thank someone for life. I feel very lucky having the possibility to know, thank and pray to Jahve - the creator of heaven and earth, and the Father of our one and only Saviour!
Why is it so difficult to get this knowledge out to all people!
Could it be because of the lack of love and eager by us Christians?
God forgive us!
Enjoy the festival with your people, I'll pray for them all that they must see the Thruth and find their Saviour!
God bless!

Glennis said...

Thanks for the great video, it brought India right back to me. I toured some of the country and experienced all the sights and sounds of your very interesting country so full of people and culture so different from my home land. Enjoyed the photos and the video.
Have a happy celebration time.

Herrad said...

ahai Amrita,
Lovely post and pictures and video, really felt I was there too.
Thanks for sharing.
Love,
Herrad

Dick said...

Great post, so many things there, I guess I will drop in no time at all. It all very colorful too, nice pictures.

Saija said...

you represent your India so well ... with love and fairness ...

blessings on you!

David C Brown said...

The glorious madness of India's traffic! And all the other brightness; but the great joy is to be there with those who trust in the Lord Jesus and please God amid the idolatry.

Debra said...

Your festivals there are so beautiful and colorful. I enjoyed these pictures very much!

Crown of Beauty said...

What a good post... so informative, and full of interesting highlights.

I hope you are feeling better these days, dear friend.

Praying for you.

Love
Lidj

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Thanks for the very informative and educational post about the Diwali Festival. Your photos are very attractive and fascinating. They capture the whole essence of the Diwali Festival. We are learning and appreciating the culture and tradition of India through your lovely site. Truly it is a garden for Yesu. Thanks for the educational post. God bless you always.