Saturday, January 14, 2017

Harvest Festivals of India

Two weeks into the New Year... and what a busy year it has been. 

New objectives at work, new assignments and show-filled weekend have kept me away from social media...

Had a holiday from work today, but was still out of home for most of the day... 

Started the day with the regular worship at the 7.00am morning Mass... Stopped for breakfast a little later at my favorite South Indian restaurant... and there was clearly a favorite order of the day... something  I haven't really tried to date... The name of the dish made with rice, jaggery and milk is the same word as milk boiled over... 


The dish has the same name as a festival celebrated today... A harvest festival down in the South of India... is called PONGAL.

If you're up in the North, the harvest festival is called Lohri... and when said in Punjabi, would be Lodi (लोहड़ी)


The first time I heard the song, I actually pronounced the name like the Punjabi name... but when I played it, it was Lo-die. 

As I played the song just now... one of the boys asked me, "What is Lodi?". My answer "I don't know..." And then whenever we don't know something... there comes Google to the rescue... Lodi to John Fogerty referred to a place where one 'does not want to be' using the name of the a small agricultural town in California that not many people know about...


We've been to North and South... In the East the harvest festival celebrated today is Bihu. In the west of India (Maharashtra) it is called Makar Sankranti and marked with the sharing of sesame balls (til gul). Got some of these sent to us earlier this week. 

If you're anywhere in the West of India, especially in the smaller towns of Maharastra, Gujarat and Rajasthan, you would see a lot of colour in the sky... the colours of kites... I know of families who specifically travel to their hometowns and spend the evening on this day with kite-flying competitions... 


As I look at the picture up there, I recall my own childhood days and most of the local shops would have this colourful display of all shapes and sizes of kites. We too would occasionally buy a kite... and head out to the terrace of our building to fly it... All the boys of the building would be up there and watching the kite as it rose higher and higher. And as another kite came close by... it would be competion time... on who had the stronger kite... The hero of our building was Dinesh... who lives next door to me now... 

The day is almost done... and I need to get out of here... with both my boys... Let's Go Fly A Kite... 


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