Kalpataru Utsab, marks the metamorphosis of Swami Ramakrishna Paramahansa into a Kalpataru or magical tree. This festival is celebrated every year to commemorate the divine transformation of the great soul of India, Swami Ramakrishna Paramahansa, who is also famous as the Guru of Swami Vivekananda. A large number of devotees move in to the Dakshineswar Kali temple to celebrate the Kalpataru Utsav every year. The Dakshineswar Kali temple is located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River and it is devoted to the Goddess Kali as well as Lord Shiva. Swami Ramakrishna Paramahansa passed a considerable amount of his life, serving the deity Kali, in this temple.
Ratha Yatra is the largest festival in Puri a festival of renewal which ushers in the monsoon months of June-July. This festival rejuvenates the deities. The temple servants stand in a kinship relationship to the deities. These are the daitas and the Devadasis. The daitas are the 'blood relatives' of Lord Jagannath and the Devadasis are the wives of Jagannath.
Chhath Puja is an ancient Hindu festival dedicated to the Hindu Sun God, Lord Surya. This festival is celebrated since time immemorial. Although it's unique in Bihar it is also celebrated in some parts of West Bengal, Orissa, Assam, Mauritius among the Bhojpuri and Maithili peaking people. Chhath is also important for Nepalese worshippers of the Sun god as well as in eastern Uttar Pradesh. Chhath Puja is performed to thank Sun God for providing the bounties of life on earth and for the fulfilment of wishes of believers. Chhath fesival promotes well-being, prosperity and progress. The Sun God is also believed to cure the variety of diseases, including leprosy, and helps ensure the longevity and prosperity of family members, friends, and elders.
The rituals of the festival are rigorous and are observed over a period of four days. They include holy bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water (Vratta), standing in water for long periods of time, and offering prashad (prayer offerings) and aragh to the setting and rising sun.
Jhulan Yatra, an Indian religious festival, celebrates the divine love of Lord Krishna and Radha. It is known as the swing festival, is celebrated in the month of Shravan and on the day of Pavitra Ekadasi. This festival is usually observed for five days till the Balaram Purnima or the Shravan Purnima. There are several temples in Brajabhumi where this yatra is observed for a longer or shorter duration. There are also temples where the festival of Jhulan Yatra is celebrated with lot of pomp and glory only for a single day whereas in various other temples the same is observed on all the five days, starting from Ekadasi till Purnima.
Jhulan Yatra festival is not a mere ritual. Besides commemorating the divine love of Lord Krishna and Radha, it also celebrates the love of the devotees towards them. It is believed that Sri Krishna is the ultimate enjoyer and that he only arranges several situations wherein he could incorporate his different parts and parcels into his service which is regarded as the natural condition of human beings in the spiritual environment.
(Last Updated on : 15-07-2013)
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