[Pictures] Christmas Celebrations in Udaipur

Old Lady Fatima Church

Christian community in India celebrates Christmas with pomp, gaiety and devotion. This festival is celebrate evening of Christmas on 24th Dec and continue till New Year’s Day. All Christians across the country mark the birth of Lord Jesus Christ in Christmas day by participate in special masses organized in churches. Celebration of Christmas is marked by carols, cakes, candles, bells and the decoration of Christmas tree. Ladies start preparations for the traditional Christmas cake which is anxiously awaited not just by the entire family but also by the neighbors.  This festival has assumed secular overtones and evening joyfully celebrated by people of all religions and community. Christmas day called “Bada Din” (Big Day) in Hindi and Christmas is a national holyday in India. People from all religions join their Christian friends to make the most of the joys celebration. Christmas in India may not be as widespread affair as in some western country but in India, this festival is celebrated by the Christian community across the country with great zeal and gaiety. People staying in different cities for job or higher studies rush back to their homes to celebrate Christmas with their near and dear ones.

Old Lady Fatima Church

Customs of Christmas celebration vary in the vast expansion of India, this varies largely because of local culture of influence. Generally, on the day of Christmas, people of Christmas fraternity gather in church for worship. Here, they attend Church services and sing carols. There is also the concept of Midnight in India. In fact, it is a very important service and holds great religious significance amongst the Christians of the country. On the night of 24th December, all the Christian families attend the Midnight mass at the local churches. The Churches in India are also decorated with the Poinsettia flowers. In South India, for instance, Christians light clay lamps on the rooftop and walls of their houses, the same way as Hindus decorate during the “Diwali” festival.  . Besides, in several states of India a popular custom is to decorate customs is to decorate customs banana or mango tree instead of traditional Pine tree. In northwest India, the tribal Christians of the Bhil tribe go out night after night for a week during Christmas to sing their equivalent of carols the whole night through. In Mumbai, which has one of the largest Roman Catholic communities in India, there is a tradition to depict nativity scenes and decorate home with big stars.

Udaipur celebrated the year with lots of joy and happiness. The celebrations though started long before the Christmas day itself. There was an Inter-Church Caroling too, held in the Pentecostal Church (situated at Rani Road) this year, on Dec 23.

Father Kulranjan Nicholas, Parish Priest, The Our Lady of Fatima Cathedral (popularly known as St. Paul’s church) said that the highlight would be the Vigil Mass on Dec 24 from 11pm to 2am, where Bishop Joseph Pathalil would be the main celebrant of the Mass, assisted by more than 10 priests. “It will be in Hindi and after the Mass, we will have refreshments as the clergy and parishioners to greet each other a blessed Christmas. It is a time for family get-togethers, praying together. There will also be cultural programmes” Fr. Ranjan said. He trusted the dedicated team of people in charge of the project will come up with a remarkable and outstanding display of the Nativity Scene. This week, Fr Ranjan (and his assistant priests) has/have also been going around this week giving sacraments to the sick and the bedridden. Fr Ranjan added that a blood donation campaign is also being planned tentatively to be held on Dec 29 in the church premises. Check out the pictures below to see the Christmas celebrations in Udaipur

In the end, Team UdaipurBlog wishes all its readers a very happy Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. 🙂

Guest Author: Aniket John

Photo courtesy: Aniket John and Mujtaba RG

Special Thanks: Father Kulranjan Nicholas

SHEPHERD MEMORIAL CHURCH
Shepherd Memorial
Old Lady Fatima Church
Our Lady of Fatima Cathedral

Old Lady Fatima Church

Old Lady Fatima Church

Old Lady Fatima Church

Old Lady Fatima Church

Old Lady Fatima Church

Old Lady Fatima Church

Old Lady Fatima Church

SHEPHERD MEMORIAL CHURCH

SHEPHERD MEMORIAL CHURCH

SHEPHERD MEMORIAL CHURCH

SHEPHERD MEMORIAL CHURCH

 

Father Kul
Father Kulranjan Nicholas
Aniket
Aniket, our Guest Author for the day

Durga Pooja: Following an Eco-Friendly Tradition

We all see too many colorful idols around us at the time of Navratri, Ganesh Chaturthi, etc. But a really true fact behind all of them is the concern to our ecology. Now a day the idols are made from Plaster of Paris (PoP), which get a nice finish due to the easy and handy spray paint, distinct shine, and easy for mass productions, as the PoP rapid hardening material, as well as casted in moulds.

But an utter truth behind the scene is that the PoP idols do nothing but harm our environment and ecosystem. As after every festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, or the Durga Pooja, the idols are immersed in water body on the last day, Plaster of Paris does not dissolve easily in water and hence the idol floats on water after immersion. Since the idol is not immersed properly, in a way it amounts to dishonouring the deity. Talking about the health factors, PoP idols may take anywhere between several months to years to fully dissolve. In addition, when chemical paints are used to decorate the idols, these paints contain heavy metals such as mercury and lead, which seep into the water as the idol dissolves. Seems I need not elaborate more on the harm that it may cause to our health, as the same water is used for consuming by people of our city.

Durga Puja | UdaipurBlog
Idols being Prepared at Bang Samaj, Udaipur

The Bengali Community, sets forth an example of following a tradition from long time, which is eco-friendly and doesn’t harm the environment. The Bengalis celebrate the Durga Pooja primarily at four places in the city, which I have already mentioned in a post few days back. Special artists and sculptors are called every year from Kolkata, situated thousands of miles away, who spend many weeks in Udaipur, and create very beautiful idols of Goddess Durga with all the bio-degradable material like mud, chaff, jute, bamboos etc. Even the colours they use are water colours. So the water where the idol is immersed neither gets polluted nor it is an environmental hazard to immerse the idol in the lakes.

“I am indeed concerned for the safety of lakes. The idols made of PoP do not dissolve in water and thus pose serious problem for the lakes. Our family has been celebrating Duga Puja in this city more than five decades ago at Bindu Bhavan, but we follow the same traditions for rituals as well as preparation of idols, as was followed since 1956. The sculptors we call from West Bengal for the same purpose put in lots of efforts and spend a lot of time in carving out each and every minute detail of the idols, which is impossible to do with the PoP idols, as it hardens too fast. Hence mud is the primary constituent of the idols prepared. Putting this on record is essential, because every year the question comes up whether the idol should be allowed to be immersed in the lake or not.”

-Apurva Bhattacharya

Bindu Bhawan

 

“We have been celebrating Durga Pooja since past 20 years, and we have always been celebrating according to the traditions. It is always an idol made from mud which is worshipped, and we spend a major portion of our annual Pooja Budget for idols itself, to ensure that they are eco-friendly.  People must learn to preserve their environment, and shall take an oath to avoid immersing the idols made from PoP in our lakes. PoP idols must not be immersed, or shall be sprinkled with water and kept.”

-Dipankar Chakravarty

President, Bangali Kalibadi Society

We all must learn a lesson from the community, and must take considerable steps to preserve our environment. Afterall we never own our nature, but we owe it.

Udaipur celebrated Jal-Jhulni Ekadashi with great Enthusiasm

According to the Hindu calendar, Gyaras, or Ekadashi is basically, the 11th day of each waxing (Shukla Paksha ) and waning moon (Krishna Paksha).  Ekadashi is the Hindi word which stands for “eleventh. “Ekadashi Upvaas, Vrata or Fasting is considered very important & beneficial for all Hindus, specially women. “Upvaas” means Up – Vaas i.e., to stay close to God. The purpose of fasting is to experience peace & bliss. Eating less enables the mind & body to function more effectively. Hindus observe 24 11th-day fasts during the course of the Hindu year, although some are more important than others. One of them is Jal Julni Ekadashi. Each Ekadashi is held in honor of a different Hindu legend and has specific religious duties associated with it.

ekadashi1

This ekadashi, known as Jal-Jhulni Gyaras, or Jal-Jhulni Ekadashi, like all other festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm on the land of Maharanas i.e. Mewar. In Udaipur, different processions start from the various parts of the city and end at one point i.e. Gangaur Ghat where people use to swing the deities of Lord Krishna in child form(Baal Gopal) in the lake pichola. These procession are called Ram Revdies.

Here are a few clicks by Mujtaba showing this year’s celebration of Jal Jhulni Gyaras in Udaipur

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Edited By: Prasun Bannerjee

Hariyali Amavasya: A Photostory of the Tradition and Celebration

Hey friends. First and foremost I would like to extend my warm greetings on the occasion of our tradition and cultural day: Hariyali Amavasya.

Hariyali Amavas

As you all might know this year it is being celebrated the 30th and 31st of July, where the 31st will be restricted for the women only. This year saw a great crowd and joy in the fair, as well as the drizzle added to the energy and worked as a stressbuster, and kept the name Hariyali worth its sake. The crowd was huge, the excitement unmatched, all stalls were ready and loaded either with eatables, toys, fancy items, women’s items, etc. People were here with the traditional pupadis or the instrument horning them all the way, and not to forget, the day’s special Malpuas.

For those who were present at the event, and want to feel the same fun again, and also, who unfortunately missed the fair, here I bring you a photostory with some of my best clicks, for the first day at the Hariyali Amavasya fair. Let the pictures speak for themselves.:)


Hariyali AmawasHariyali Amawas

Hariyali AmawasHariyali Amawas

Hariyali AmawasHariyali Amavas
Hariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmavasHariyali AmawasHariyali Amawasalso, do checkout a video of the same