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Festivals of India September 9, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Music & Dance.

On Saturday, we enjoyed Indian Dancing, Music, Costumes and Food in air-conditioned comfort at India Fest 2014.

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The theme of the festival focused on eight major festivals in India:

Uttarayan ~ kite flying and rooftop picnics to celebrate winter’s end
Baisakhi ~ celebrated in different ways by Sikhs, Hindus, and Buddhists
Pongal ~ celebrants greet milk boiling over with shouts of “Pongalo Pongal”
Holi ~ marking the first full moon in Spring with clouds of colored powder
Ganesh Chaturthi ~ celebrating the birth day of Lord Ganesha
Onam ~ festival of rain, flowers, and rice harvest
Navratri ~ celebrated over nine nights around harvest time in October
Diwali ~ festival of lights illuminating the country with brilliance

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After a brief history of each festival, lithe and limber dancers in elaborate and elegant costumes performed traditional dances to traditional music.

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Each dance ended amid appreciative applause.

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After the dancing and music, all performers returned to the stage for the singing of India’s national anthem.

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A bejeweled Lord Ganesh watched over the festival.

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POLICE watched over Lord Ganesh and his jewels.

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After the music and dancing, attendees wandered the food stalls and the bazaar, stopping to gape at colorful plumage.

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We  sampled Spring Rolls, Samosas, and Bhel Puri (a favorite street food in Mumbai featuring puffed rice, peanuts, tomatoes, tamarind sauce, potatoes, mint, cilantro chutney, onions, cumin, chili powder, lemon juice, chaat masala, sel, papdis, etc.).

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Before leaving we stopped for a photo op with that gorgeous peacock we spied earlier ~> his plumage matched my skirt!

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Aah . . . that’s better!


1. suzicate - September 9, 2014

Love the colorful dresses!

nrhatch - September 9, 2014

The brilliant jewel tones are so vibrant. I don’t need a sari, but I loved looking at them on the dancers and attendees.

2. Val Boyko - September 9, 2014

What a wonderful festival … and way to experience an other culture 🙂
I love the colors and can feel the energy!!
Val x

nrhatch - September 9, 2014

The underlying theme was “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam ~ A Global Family,” described in the program as follows:

The concept of “This is my relative and that is a stranger” is a narrow minded approach. For the noble hearts, the entire earth is but one family. This is a tenant and integral part of the Hindu Philosophy. Through the festivals of India, today is the day to celebrate this 5000-year-old concept. These festivals bring together the various regions and cultures from all over India in celebration of mankind and our place on earth.

3. NancyTex - September 9, 2014

I had the opportunity to attend an Indian wedding a couple of years ago. What a colourful, joyous and tasty experience!

nrhatch - September 9, 2014

That would be special! Colourful, joyous, and tasty!

The closest I’ve come is watching an Indian wedding in Bollywood movies (and seeing Elaine attend Sue Ellen’s Indian wedding on Seinfeld).

NancyTex - September 9, 2014

That was a classic episode: Jug-dish!

nrhatch - September 9, 2014

When I’m old and senile, I expect that my memories and memories of Seinfeld will merge into one big happy family ~ a Festivus Maximus! :mrgreen:

4. http://theenglishprofessoratlarge.com - September 9, 2014

Thank you for this trip to the colorful festival.

nrhatch - September 9, 2014

Thanks for stopping in! We enjoyed the warmth and openness of the festival.

5. Jill Weatherholt - September 9, 2014

Looks like fun, Nancy. Our neighbors are Indian and we had the pleasure of attending a family member’s wedding. It was so extravagant and colorful…a very lively experience.

nrhatch - September 9, 2014

That sounds wonderful, Jill. I would love to attend an Indian wedding. And a Big Fat Greek Wedding!

Jill Weatherholt - September 9, 2014

Me too! That’s one of my favorite movies!

nrhatch - September 9, 2014

One of my favorite lines is, “You’re a vegetarian? You don’t eat meat? No problem. We’ll have lamb.”

We just watched Ina Garten cooking a Greek meal with a side platter of hummus, feta, pita, olives, lemons, and tzatziki.

6. Becky - September 9, 2014

It sounds wonderful. I adore Indian food and am quite fascinated by that country.

nrhatch - September 9, 2014

In grade school, I loved doing papers on India, Burma, Thailand, Tibet. Later on, we sponsored two children in Sri Lanka. Such an interesting area of the world.

7. ashokbhatia - September 9, 2014

Am happy to see this interest in our land of chaos, confusion and contrasts!

nrhatch - September 9, 2014

It was a delight! I’m glad it wasn’t scheduled in the middle of Holi ~ or I might have headed home looking like a RAINBOW.

8. diannegray - September 9, 2014

Absolutely fantastic, Nancy. I have three Indian ‘godchildren’ (for want of a better word) and have often dressed up in the beautiful saris. I also love Indian food – yum! 😀

nrhatch - September 9, 2014

How FUN! I’ve never played “dress up” in anything nearly as exotic as a sari.

diannegray - September 9, 2014

The make-up is AMAZING. My friend can have me looking like an Indian princess in no time at all 😀

nrhatch - September 9, 2014

Next time . . . please share of photo of your exotic Indian princess look on your blog.

Like you did when you won that shopping spree!

9. shreejacob - September 9, 2014

Oo…looks like a wonderful time! I actually miss India…

nrhatch - September 9, 2014

One of my favorite movies this year was The Lunch Box, set in India. I could almost smell the curries as she cooked.

10. Tammy - September 9, 2014

That food is amazing!!

nrhatch - September 9, 2014

We have some great Indian restaurants around here that we’ve never tried. (Mostly because we rarely eat out.) But we came home from the festival and cooked up a big pot of white bean curry with tons of fresh veggies (onions, celery, carrots, cabbage, etc.). Yum!

We watched FED UP tonight about the growing childhood obesity epidemic here and elsewhere.

The tag line/ mantra needs to be: Get Real & Cook.

11. Behind the Story - September 9, 2014

What fun! Music and dancing, bright colors and tasty food. A cute picture of you and the peacock. Indian food is one of my favorites.

nrhatch - September 10, 2014

Thanks, Nicki! One of my favorite meals ever (in NYC) was at a small Indian eatery, Nirvana ~ redolent curries served with fruited chutneys amid pillows and tassels and billowing fabric.

Talking about it made me do a quick google. If this is the same one, it’s still getting great reviews:

12. Three Well Beings - September 10, 2014

There is so much about the Indian culture that I both admire and find fascinating. I would have enjoyed this very much. Aren’t the colors just wonderful!

nrhatch - September 10, 2014

Yes! Jeweled tones with sparkles of gold thread to catch the light . . . with gorgeous aromas and lilting music in the air. In India proper, I’m not sure that I’d enjoy the crowds jammed together on trains/buses or jostling for position in the streets. I like some “elbow room.” :mrgreen:

nrhatch - September 10, 2014

Yes! Jeweled tones with sparkles of gold thread to catch the light . . . with gorgeous aromas and lilting music in the air. In India proper, I’m not sure that I’d enjoy the crowds jammed together on trains/buses or jostling for position in the streets. I like some “elbow room.” :mrgreen:

13. Silver in the Barn - September 10, 2014

I am almost as fascinated with this culture as I am the Chinese. Just learning to enjoy Indian food now that some outstanding Indian restaurants have opened in town. They do wonders with vegetables.

nrhatch - September 10, 2014

Ethnic cuisines are great for vegetarians ~ they often use vegetables as THE center-point . . . instead of an after thought.

Do you know about Nicki’s book, Tiger Tail Soup?

If not, here’s a link:


14. Tokeloshe - September 10, 2014

How colorful, I love festivals like these. Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines.

nrhatch - September 10, 2014

I cook curried this and that with great regularity but probably should get an Indian cookbook and expand my repertoire.

I heard about Curry & Chips for the first time today (from Ally Bean). Sounds like a great way to serve Steak Fries.

15. jannatwrites - September 12, 2014

I like the colorful clothing. So pretty!

nrhatch - September 12, 2014

I adore the tunics, saris, etc. ~ colorful, comfy, and cool. And the aromas were delicious. I picked up an Indian cookbook today ~ time to expand my repertoire.

16. Life Penned - September 16, 2014

Was Pocahontas there?

nrhatch - September 16, 2014

Not that I noticed.

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