It’s November and that means more festival fun

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Have you recovered from Diwali yet?  Flashes, bangs and sweet eating will go on for a few days yet, but the end of the biggest festival in the Hindu calendar doesn’t signal the close of festival season.

There’s more festivals to come this month, so pick yourself up and get ready to have some more fun.

And did anyone mention to you that this month will see the start of wedding season as well?  No.  Well, get your glad rags on and get ready to party.

Bhai Dooj, 1st November

I lied, Diwali isn’t over. The 1st November is the fifth and final day of the festival.  Bhai Dooj (Duj) sees Hindus and Nepalis continue to celebrate.

Bhai means brother and Dooj means second day after the full moon.  It’s the day when sisters celebrate their brothers and wish them well.  It’s sort of a reverse Raksha Bandhan, the festival where brothers promise to take care of their sisters.

Sisters place a tilak or vermillion mark on the forehead of their brothers and offer prayers.

Chhath Puja, 6th November

Chhath Puja takes place on the 6th of November, but the festival starts on the 5th.

Massive amongst Biharis, of which there are millions in Delhi, this festival sees Hindu followers worship the sun god with great fervour.

The ghats down at the Yamuna will be jam packed.  Women stand in the water worshipping the sun as it sets on the 5th November, whilst many of the men folk will travel to the ghats on their stomachs.  Sure, that last statement does sounds strange, but that is what actually happens (see the photo at the start of this post).

On the morning of the 6th November the women, who will not have eaten or drunk for 36 hours will be standing back in the water waiting for the sun to rise.  When it does, they will come out and head back home.

Head off to any of the Yamuna Ghats to see this spectacular festival.

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Pushkar Camel Fare, 8th – 15th November

If you’re in the market for camel (or some cattle or horses for that matter) then get yourself to Pushkar.  This small village in the Rajasthan desert comes to life during the annual Pushkar Camal Fair.  Its offers everything you would expect from India and a whole lot more.

Although the tourists have arrived in increasing numbers, Pushkar is first and foremost a place for people to trade and prayer.  Find out more about all the fun of the fair right here.

Guru Nanak’s Birthday, Monday 14th November

One of the most celebrated festivals in Sikhism is the birth anniversary of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak, in 1469.  One or two days prior to Guru Nanak’s birthday a procession to Gurdwaras takes place and non-stop readings of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs, are given at temples.

Nehru Jayati, Monday 14th November

The birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru.  Nehru was the first Prime Minister of independent India. Born in 1889 in Allahabad, Nehru was Prime Minister from 1947 to 1964.  He daughter, Indira, succeeded him as Prime Minister.

That’s five festivals to enjoy over the next 30 days.  Have fun.

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