There is one saying “Don’t just celebrate festivals, celebrate life”. And why not, the term Life– is a grand celebration in itself. Isn’t it?? It’s a possibility for everyone to rejoice their most unique experiences of the bog-standard alley in ways of : compact and dull or colossal and adventurous as per the choices made and the inescapable circumstances that varies person to person. Human race is blessed with desires and expressions, expressions of love and bonding. Then why to get lost in the obsession of hell and heaven when life has its own charm and has so much to give if churned out efficiently yet it doesn’t come with any set standard of rules. Life is a tedious chapter to over through which can be lackluster without the spark of festivities. That fills the aura with joy and happiness in the moments, embracing the feeling of being united and togetherness. Festivals makes you feel the positive and crispness of the air in the turning season.
India is often described as the land of many religions, cultures, traditions and innumerable languages and also as the land of festivals. Every festival is a blend of some historic events that associate with separate reasons which differ the region to region and culture to culture that always hump some heroic stories or inspirational lessons to get inspired of. Diwali is one of the auspicious festival that signifies victory of light over dark, knowledge over ignorance and wisdom over pride. It always preach good over evil that somehow assist in balancing the hope in any situation. I’m fond of Diwali as it is a Festival of Lights, lights that break monotony of dark and directs us to new hope for existence.
Diwali- A week full of inner and outer’ world spark
It’s a 5 days long occasion that starts from Dhanteras, festival that holds history linked with good health but with the time people has develop the tradition of purchasing new utensils, silver or gold, new home appliances or jewelry on the day. The day follows by Roop Chaudas/ Narak Chaturdashi (commonly known as Chotti Diwali) where it has to be believed that after a month-long fatigue from hard work of cleaning homes and purchasing for the festivals, women groom themselves by dressing up in new traditional attire and in enhancing their beauty to retrieve their lost magnetism. Obviously everyone deserves to feel attractive not only on any occasion or celebration but everyday if you treat it as a fresh day, a new day start of life. Then comes the main festival Diwali/Deepawali that people celebrates with great spirit and enthusiasm. Share gifts and sweets, decorate their homes and markets with bunting and festoons, illuminate the darkest night (NO moon night) with earthen lamps and fairy lights. Pack the skies with the sparkles of numberless fire works, where children make the exciting atmosphere with bursting sounds of crackers on the other hand people love to exchange greetings and best wishes in new outfits and warm hospitality. They worship Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and Lord Ganesha. Though this year Supreme Court has banned crackers in Delhi which is an appreciable initiative, taken into consideration last year’s dense smog (post Diwali effect) that lapped the city for few days.
This carnival pursues with Govardhan Pooja, the very next day after big day of Diwali is also known as Annakoot where among plethora one of the rituals involves in making patterns from cow dung symbolizing it as Mount Govardhan (as the story linked with Lord Krishna) and then worship it with flowers in the morning. Later distribution of vegetarian food has to be organised in the temples for the deities. Last day, we all celebrates Bhaidooj which based on the popular legend of Hindu mythology related again to Lord Krishna. This is similar as another festival of sisters and brothers, Raksha Bandhan. Hindu religion is intense and congested with interconnected sagas in which anyone easily found themselves lost.
Hub of tribal culture and artistic work
Really enjoying such luxuriate silence and for having the sight of decorative flickering light’s of the city. Apart from nearby vicinity I decided to hop into Delhi Haat, INA which is famous for its open space persistent handicraft market located in one of the utter commercialized area of Delhi opposite to INA market. As an admirer of rural artwork and traditional craftsmanship that I got in hereditary from my mother, since my age of adolescence I seek untold exhibitions, art fairs, expos organised by state governments on heterogeneous time moments round the years. But with the demand of busy time schedule this appreciation of hard work of local hands, turned into not more than just the gathering products for home decor (another blog post required for that one).
So, this time I was determined to hunt down my deep awaited craving for the same by visiting Delhi Haat of South Delhi, earlier to this I’d visited Delhi Haat of Janakpuri. Beside these two, there is one more Delhi Haat in Pitampura that makes convenient and direct approach to the people of Delhi. If you love to have Kulhad (earth ware cup) Chai (Tea) in the ambiance of local Indian village market, wish to purchase authentic wares, clothes and art pieces in the form of jewelry, footwear (Rajasthani Juttis and chhappals made from skin of camel and buffaloes), creative paintings, decorative kitchen sets at nominal prices (after bargaining off course) and more in the whimsical world of Indian art and Heritage in the capital without going to any other state than Delhi Haat is the best place. This made me commemorate the culture richness of Jaipur where there is no need to check every nook and corner of the city in search of any precious art.
Timings and entry fees
Open seven days a week between 10:30 AM to 10:00 PM. For Indians- entry fees is 30/- for adults and Rs 10/- for children, for foreigners its Rs.100 per person. For such a soothing spick and span surroundings, it’s a worth watching place especially at the time of festivities. If you are coming from Delhi Airport, you can reach by bus crossing AIIMS or can take metro from Dhaula Kuan. Have an easy reachability of metro from Railway Station to INA Metro station. Carry cash if you’re a lover of small size happiness that you want to buy back to home, no cards accepted.
Indian Craft Bazaar
From its entrance anyone catch the vibes of oneness, that you’re still stick to your roots. Celebration was at the peak of the charm. I was looking for small pots of Warli Art along with quirky design of wooden stand for home decor and unbelievably I got the assorted pieces there direct from the state of Maharashtra. This is the beauty of such organised whereabouts that proves as a treasure house of crafts, food and cultural activities. A delightful initiative of government to bring closer the folk art and rural life to urban clientele by eradicating all middle levels of consumer chain. Here, you can check Madhubani paintings from Bihar, ornate artwork from tribal cultures of Jharkhand, Nagaland, West Bengal & Orissa. Embroidered clothes from Kashmir (Pashmina) , Punjab (Phulkari), Rajasthan, Assam etc. Other items like bags made from jute, Rajasthani Juttis made from camel skin, Kolhapuris. Silk stoles, scarves Chikankari suites from Lucknow and varieties in black silver tribal jewelry that suits your palate. You can pick as per your choice.
Beside this colorful bonny jaunt to your eyes and treat to your shopping bag you can indulge yourself in savoring the delicacies of different states and participate as the audience for various festivals organised round the year by almost every state of India. This open air craft bazaar and food plaza is a permanent project which is jointly set by Delhi Tourism (Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India.) and NDMC (Handicrafts & Hand looms- Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India). Here, stalls (small thatched roof cottages) are allotted on rotational basis to craftsmen who come from all regions of the vast and varied lands of India for the period of 15 days.
Earlier to my visit I’d seen day light pictures of Delhi Haat but I would like to check this in the fairy light’s decoration of Diwali and unquestionably its aura was remarkably pleasant. I tantalized my taste buds with the genuine flavors of Thukpa and sweetness of Kulfi. Had gala evening time with family after a long period, moreover I feel contented as I clicked all the night shots on manual mode without any tripod, that was quite innovative at least for me.
Is there any similar place in Delhi or any where in India that provides forum to the creativity of artisans?? Any specific artwork that you had ever purchased for any festival or just for that have you ever visit any remote area or village??
Diwali weekend has just passed, how was your experience?? I’m sure you all had a blast and were filled with enlightenment and joy. Do share with me, I would love to listen your stories of enjoyment.
Have a beautiful day.