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KARTIK PURNIMA

Kartika Purnima is a Hindu, Sikh and Jain cultural festival, celebrated on the Purnima (full moon) day or the fifteenth lunar day of Kartik (November–December). It is also known as Tripuri Purnima and Tripurari Purnima. It is sometimes called Deva-Diwali or Deva-Deepawali, the festival of lights of the gods. Karthika Deepam is a related festival celebrated in South India and Sri Lanka on a different date.

Tripuri Purnima or Tripurari Purnima derives its name from Tripurari – the foe of the demon Tripurasura. In some legends of Kartik Purnima, the term is used to denote the three demon sons of Tārakāsura. Tripurari is an epithet of god Shiva. Shiva in his form as Tripurantaka (“Killer of Tripurasura”) killed Tripurasura on this day.[citation needed] Tripurasura had conquered the whole world and defeated the gods and also created three cities in space, together called “Tripura”. The killing of the demon(s) and destruction of his/their cities with a single arrow – by Shiva overjoyed the gods and they declared the day as a festival of illuminations. This day is also called “Dev-Diwali”—the Diwali of the gods. Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights.

Kartik Purnima is also the birthday of Matsya, god Vishnu’s fish-incarnation (avatar). It is also the birthday of Vrinda, the personification of the Tulsi plant and of Kartikeya, the god of war and son of Shiva. This day is also considered special for goddess Radha, the lover and eternal consort of god Krishna. It is believed that Krishna and Radha danced rasa and Krishna worshipped Radha on this day. This day is also dedicated to the pitrs, dead ancestors.

Underhill believes that the origins of this festival may lie in ancient times, when a sacrifice called Shakamedhah was performed to attain victory over enemies.

The festival has even more significance when the day falls in the Nakshatra (lunar mansion) Krittika and is then called Maha Kartik. The nakshatra is Bharani, the results are stated to be special. If it is Rohini nakshatra, then the fruitful results are even more. Any philanthropic act on this day is supposed to bring benefits and blessings equal to the performing of ten yajnas (sacrifices).

Kartik Purnima is closely associated with Prabodhini Ekadashi which marks the end of Chaturmas, a four-month period when Vishnu is believed to sleep. Prabodhini Ekadashi signifies the awakening of the god. Chaturmas penance ends on this day. Many fairs that begin on Prabodhini Ekadashi end on Kartik Purnima, Kartik Purnima usually being the most important day of the fair. Fairs that conclude on this day include Prabodhini Ekadashi celebrations at Pandharpur and Pushkar Fair. Kartik Purnima is also the last day to perform Tulsi Vivah ceremony that can be performed from Prabodhini Ekadashi.

Also, it is believed that Vishnu, on this day, returns to his abode after completing his stay in Bali. Hence, the day is known as Deva-Diwali.

In Pushkar, Rajasthan, the Pushkar Fair or Pushkar mela commences on Prabodhini Ekadashi and continues till Kartik Purnima, the latter being the most important. This fair is held in honour of god Brahma, whose temple stands at Pushkar. A ritual bath on Kartik Purnima in the Pushkar Lake is considered to lead one to salvation. It is believed circling the three Pushkars on Kartik Purnima is highly meritorious. Sadhus gather here and stay from Ekadashi to full moon day in caves. About 200,000 people and 25,000 camels assemble in Pushkar for the fair. Pushkar fair is Asia’s largest camel fair.

A ritual bath at a tirtha (a sacred water body like a lake or river) at a pilgrimage centre is prescribed on Kartik Purnima. This holy bath is known as “Kartik snana”. An holy bath at Pushkar or in the Ganges river, especially at Varanasi is deemed as most auspicious. Kartik Purnima is the most popular day for bathing in the Ganges at Varanasi. The devotees also take a bath in the evening during moonrise and offer worship by way of six prayers such as Shiva sambuti, Satait and so forth.

Annakuta, an offering of food to the deities, is held in temples.[citation needed] People who have taken vows on Ashvin full moon day, end them on Kartik Purnima. God Vishnu is also worshipped on this day. Any form of violence (hinsa or himsa) is prohibited on this day. This includes shaving, hair-cutting, cutting of trees, plucking of fruits and flowers, cutting of crops and even, sexual union. Charity especially donation of cows, feeding of Brahmins, fasting are religious activities prescribed for Kartik Purnima. Giving gift of gold is said to fulfill all desires of people.

Tripuri Purnima is only next to Maha Shivaratri, amongst festivals dedicated to Shiva worship. To commemorate the killing of Tripurasura, images of Shiva are carried in procession. Temple complexes in southern India are lit up throughout the night. Deepmalas or towers of lights are illuminated in temples. People place 360 or 720 wicks in temples, to secure escape reaching hell after death. The 720 wicks symbolizes the 360 days and nights of the Hindu calendar. In Varanasi, the ghats come alive with thousands of diyas (brightly lit earthen lamps). People gift lamps to priests. The lamps are kept throughout the night in houses and Shiva temples. This day is also known as “Kartik Diparatna” – the jewel of lamps in Kartik. Lights are also floated in miniature boats in rivers. Lights are placed under Tulsi, Sacred fig and Amla trees. The lights in the water and under trees are believed to help fishes, insects and birds who saw the light to attain salvation.

In Odisha, on Kartik Purnima, people celebrate Boita Bandana(Odia: ବୋଇତ ବନ୍ଦାଣ) by heading for the nearest water body to set afloat miniature boats, originally made out of banana stem and coconut stick, lit with Deepak(lamps), fabric, betel leaves. Boita stands for boat or ship. The festival is a mass commemoration of the state’s glorious maritime history when it was known as Kalinga and tradesmen and mariners known as sadhabas traveled on boitas to trade with distant island nations that share borders with the Bay of Bengal like Indonesia, Java, Sumatra and Bali.

People in Odisha celebrate Kartik Purnima by setting afloat miniature boita (boats) made from banana stem to remember the historical significance of the day.

In Tamil Nadu, Karthika Deepam is celebrated where the Purnima corresponds to the Krittika nakshatra. People light rows of lamps on their balconys. In Tiruvannamalai, a ten-day annual festival is held to celebrate Karthika Deepam.

In Telugu households of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karthika Maasalu (month) is considered very auspicious. The Kartika month starts on the day of Deepawali. From that day till the end of the month, oil lamps are lit every day. On Karthika Puranam (full moon of Kartheeka month) oil lamp with 365 wicks, prepared at home, are lit in Lord Shiva temples. Apart from that, Kartika Puranam is read and fasting is observed till sunset, every day for the whole month. Swaminarayan Sampraday also celebrates this day with faith and fervour.

Source: wikipedia

Happy Kartik Purnima!


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IT’S BLACK FRIDAY TODAY

Black Friday is an informal name for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. The day after Thanksgiving has been regarded as the beginning of the United States Christmas shopping season since 1952. The term “Black Friday” did not become widely used until more recent decades, during which time global retailers have adopted the term and date to market their own holiday sales.

Many stores offer highly promoted sales on Black Friday and open very early, such as at midnight, or may even start their sales at some time on Thanksgiving. Black Friday is not an official holiday, but California and some other states observe “The Day After Thanksgiving” as a holiday for state government employees. It is sometimes observed in lieu of another federal holiday, such as Columbus Day. Many non-retail employees and schools have both Thanksgiving and the following Friday off. Along with the following regular weekend, this makes Black Friday weekend a four-day weekend. Additional days off is said to increase the number of potential shoppers.

Black Friday has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States since 2005. Other news reports have described it as the busiest shopping day of the year for a much longer period of time. Similar stories resurface year upon year at this time, portraying hysteria and shortage of stock. This creates a state of positive feedback.

Source: wikipedia

Happy friday happy shopping …


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NATIONAL MILK DAY

National Milk Day (India) : 26 November

Verghese Kurien (26 November 1921 – 9 September 2012), known as the “Father of the White Revolution” in India, was a social entrepreneur whose “billion-litre idea”, Operation Flood, made dairy farming India’s largest self-sustaining industry and the largest rural employment sector providing a third of all rural income. It made India the world’s largest milk producer, doubled the milk available for each person, and increased milk output four-fold in 30 years.

He pioneered the Anand model of dairy cooperatives and replicated it nationwide, based on various “top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches, where no milk from a farmer was refused and 70–80% of the price by consumers was paid in cash to dairy farmers who controlled the marketing, procurement, and processing of milk and milk products as the dairy’s owners. An invention at Amul was the production of milk powder from buffalo milk instead of from cow milk, which was in short supply in India.

He also made India self-sufficient in edible oils and fought against the “oil kings”, who used underhanded and violent methods to enforce their dominance over the oilseed industry.

More information at: http://drkurien.com/

Happy National Milk Day!


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NATIONAL PRESS DAY

National Press Day – The 16th of November – is symbolic of a free and responsible press in India. This was the day on which the Press Council of India started functioning as a moral watchdog to ensure that not only did the press maintain the high standards expected from this powerful medium but also that it was not fettered by the influence or threats of any extraneous factors. Though there are several Press or Media Councils world over, the Press Council of India is a unique entity in as-much-as this is the only body to exercise an authority even over the instruments of the state in its duty to safeguard the independence of the press.

Recommending the establishment of Press Council in 1956 the Ist Press Commission had concluded that the best way of maintaining professional ethics in journalism would be to bring into existence a body with statutory authority, of people principally connected with industry whose duty it would be to arbitrate. To this end the Press Council of India was established and the body that was evolved since November 16, 1966 has not belied the objective.

November 16 therefore personifies a responsible and free press in the country. All those who cherish it, so commemorate the day. The National Press Day on November 16 every year is commemorated in befitting manner by the Council.

Information Source: Press council of india – http://presscouncil.nic.in/


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BHAI DOOJ

Bhai Dooj, Bhaubeej, Bhai Tika, Bhai Phonta is a festival celebrated by Hindus on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) in the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar or of Shalivahan Shaka calendar month of Kartika. It is celebrated during the Diwali or Tihar festival and Holi festival. The celebrations of this day are similar to the festival of Raksha Bandhan. On this day, elder brothers give gifts to their younger sisters. In the southern part of the country, the day is celebrated as Yama Dwitiya.

On the day of the festival, sisters invite their brothers for a sumptuous meal often including their favourite dishes/sweets. The procedure may be different in Bihar and central India. The whole ceremony signifies the duty of a brother to protect his sister, as well as a sister’s blessings for her brother.

Carrying forward the ceremony in traditional style, sisters perform arti for their brother and apply a red tika on the brother’s forehead. This tika ceremony on the occasion of Bhai Bij signifies the sister’s sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother and treat them with gifts. In return, elder brothers bless their sisters and may treat them also with gifts or cash.

As it is customary in Haryana, Maharashtra to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Bhau-beej, women who do not have a brother worship the moon god instead. They apply mehendi on girls as their tradition.

The sister whose brother lives far away from her and can not go to her house, sends her sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother through the moon god. She performs aarti for the moon. This is the reason why children of Hindu parents affectionately call the moon Chandamama (Chanda means moon and mama means mother’s brother).

Source: wikipedia

Happy Bhai Dooj!


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DEEPAVALI / DIWALI

Diwali (Deepavali or Divali) is the Indian festival of lights, usually lasting five days and celebrated during the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika (between mid-October and mid-November). One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolizes the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”.

The festival is widely associated with Lakshmi, goddess of prosperity, with many other regional traditions connecting the holiday to Sita and Rama, Vishnu, Krishna, Yama, Yami, Durga, Kali, Hanuman, Ganesha, Kubera, Dhanvantari, or Vishvakarman. Furthermore, it is, in some regions, a celebration of the day Lord Rama returned to his kingdom Ayodhya with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana after defeating Ravana in Lanka and serving 14 years of exile.

In the lead-up to Diwali, celebrants will prepare by cleaning, renovating, and decorating their homes and workplaces with diyas (oil lamps) and rangolis. During Diwali, people wear their finest clothes, illuminate the interior and exterior of their homes with diyas and rangoli, perform (Lakshmi puja) – worship ceremonies of Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and wealth, light fireworks, and partake in family feasts, where mithai (sweets) and gifts are shared. Diwali is also a major cultural event for the Hindu and Jain diaspora from the Indian subcontinent.

The five-day long festival originated in the Indian subcontinent and is mentioned in early Sanskrit texts. Diwali is usually celebrated twenty days after the Dashera (Dasara) festival, with Dhanteras, or the regional equivalent, marking the first day of the festival when celebrants prepare by cleaning their homes and making decorations on the floor, such as rangolis. The second day is Naraka Chaturdashi. The third day is the day of Lakshmi Puja and the darkest night of the traditional month.

In some parts of India, the day after Lakshmi Puja is marked with the Govardhan Puja and Balipratipada (Padwa). Some Hindu communities mark the last day as Bhai Dooj or the regional equivalent, which is dedicated to the bond between sister and brother, while other Hindu and Sikh craftsmen communities mark this day as Vishwakarma Puja and observe it by performing maintenance in their work spaces and offering prayers.

Source: wikipedia

Sand art by Sudarsan Pattnaik

Happy Deepavali ….


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CHILDREN’S DAY

Children’s Day is celebrated across India to increase awareness of the rights, care and education of children. It is celebrated on 14 November every year as a tribute to India’s First Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Fondly known as Chacha Nehru among children, he advocated for children to have fulfilled education. Nehru considered children as real strength of a nation and foundation of society. On this day, many educational and motivational programs are held across India for children.

The celebration of Children’s Day in India dates back to 1956. Prior to the death of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, India celebrated Children’s Day on 20 November (the date observed as Universal Children’s Day by the United Nations). After the death of Jawaharlal Nehru, his birth anniversary was deliberated to be celebrated as Children’s Day in India. It was done so because he was very popular with the kids as Chacha Nehru, hence, a resolution was passed in the parliament to give a befitting farewell to the first Prime Minister of India.

Source: wikipedia

Happy Children’s Day!


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DHANTERAS

Dhanteras (Hindi: धनतेरस), also known as Dhanatrayodashi (Sanskrit: धनत्रयोदशी), is the first day that marks the festival of Diwali in India.

It is celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik. Dhanvantari, who is also worshipped on the occasion of Dhanteras, is considered the God of Ayurveda who imparted the wisdom of Ayurveda for the betterment of mankind, and to help rid it of the suffering of disease.

The Indian ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy, announced its decision to observe Dhanteras, as the “National Ayurveda Day”, which was first observed on 28 October 2016. Usually, Gujarati families will enjoy a meal of daal baath and malpura to ring in the new year.

Dhanvantari is the god of health.

Dhanteras is the worship of lord Dhanvantari. Lord Dhanvantari, according to Hindu Mythology, emerged during Samudra Manthan, holding a Kalasha full of Amrit (an Ayurvedic herbal mix bestowing immortality) in one hand and the sacred text about Ayurveda in the other hand. He is considered to be the Vaidya of Gods.

The festival is celebrated as Lakshmi Puja which is performed in the evenings when lamps of clay (Diyas) are lit. Bhajans, devotional songs in praise of Goddess Lakshmi, are sung and Naivedhya of traditional sweets is offered to the Goddess. A peculiar custom in Maharashtra exists where people lightly pound dried coriander seeds (Dhane in Marathi, for Dhanatrayodashi) with jaggery (cane sugar) and offer the mixture as Naivedhya.

On Dhanteras, homes that have not yet been cleaned in preparation for Diwali are thoroughly cleansed and whitewashed, and Lord Dhanvantari, the god of health and Ayurveda, is worshiped in the evening. The main entrance is decorated with colorful lanterns, holiday lights and traditional motifs of Rangoli designs are made 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 house. On the night of Dhanteras, diyas (lamps) are ritually kept burning all through the night in honor of Lakshmi and Dhanvantari.

Hindus consider this an extremely auspicious day for making new purchases, especially of gold or silver articles and new utensils. It is believed that new “Dhan” (wealth) or some item made of precious metal is a sign of good luck. In modern times, Dhanteras has come to be known as the most auspicious occasion for buying gold, silver, and other metals, especially kitchenware. The day also sees heavy purchases of appliances and automobiles.

On this night, the lights are set out every night both in the sky lamps and as offerings at the base of a Tulsi plant and also in the form of diyas, which are placed in front of the doorways of homes. This light is an offering to Yama, the Host of Death, to avert untimely death during the time of the Diwali festival. This day is a celebration aimed at increasing wealth and prosperity. Dhanteras engages themes of cleansing, renewal, and the securing of auspiciousness as embodied by Lakshmi.

In the villages, cattle are adorned and worshiped by farmers as their main source of income.

Source: wikipedia

Happy Dhanteras!


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WORLD KINDNESS DAY

World Kindness Day: 13 November

World Kindness Day is an international observance on 13 November. It was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of nations’ kindness NGOs. It is observed in many countries, including Canada, Australia, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates. Singapore observed the day for the first time in 2009. Italy and India also observed the day. In the UK, it is fronted by David Jamilly, who co-founded Kindness Day UK with Louise Burfitt-Dons.

World Kindness Day is to highlight good deeds in the community focusing on the positive power and the common thread of kindness which binds us. Kindness is a fundamental part of the human condition which bridges the divides of race, religion, politics, gender and zip codes. Kindness Cards are also an ongoing activity which can either be passed on to recognize an act of kindness and or ask that an act of kindness be done. Approaches are being made to the United Nations by the peak global body, the World Kindness Movement, to have World Kindness Day officially recognized and its members unanimously sign a Declaration of Support for World Kindness.

According to Gulf News, “it is a day that encourages individuals to overlook boundaries, race and religion.”

Source: wikipedia

Have a pleasant day!


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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF RADIOLOGY

The International Day of Radiology (IDoR) is an annual event promoting the role of medical imaging in modern healthcare. It is celebrated on November 8 each year and coincides with the anniversary of the discovery of x-rays.

It was first introduced in 2012, as a joint initiative of the European Society of Radiology (ESR), the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), and the American College of Radiology (ACR). The International Day of Radiology is acknowledged and celebrated by nearly 200 national, sub-speciality, and related societies around the world.

https://internationaldayofradiology.com/

World Radiography Day marks the anniversary of the discovery of X-rays in 1895. The purpose of this day is to raise public awareness of radiographic imaging and therapy, which play a crucial role in the diagnosis and the treatment of patients and, most importantly, ensuring radiation is kept to the minimum required, hence improving the quality of patient care.

The day is celebrated worldwide by various national radiographers’ associations and societies, including Nigeria’s Association of Radiographers of Nigeria, United Kingdom’s Society of Radiographers (SoR), among others. The International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists have celebrated 8 November as World Radiography Day since 2007.