A Visual Journey Through an Unusual Indian Festival

The small, sleepy town of Pushkar in Rajasthan, India, awakens every year around October/ November as it welcomes roughly 50,000 camels and 200,000 people to the spectacular camel fair. In 2014, the fair will be held from October 31st to November 6th. As locals are busy preparing for the upcoming Mela, we wanted to share 8 stunning images from the past years. Kids will enjoy learning about this traditional and unusual festival of India!

Pushkar fair_1

Camels converge on the tiny desert town of Pushkar

Pushkar fair_2

A mustache competition is just one of many peculiar exhibitions at the Pushkar camel fair

Pushkar fair_3

The beautiful ghats of Lake Pushkar – where visitors bathe on the day of the full moon

Pushkar fair_4

Believed to be about 2000 years old, this temple is one of very few existing temples dedicated to Lord Brahma

Pushkar fair_5

It is possible to avoid the crowds and have a bird’s eye view of the goings-on from a hot air balloon

Pushkar fair_6

Desert beauties pose for the camera

Pushkar fair_7

Sunset over the fair

Pushkar fair_8

Proudly parading at the camel beauty contest

Happy Birthday, Ganesha!

The elephant God Ganesha brings the letter G
Celebrate his birthday on Chaturthi
Ten days of festivity, a colorful procession!
His idols are immersed at sea, on the day of Visarjan

As we launch ‘Celebrate Your Name,’ we are excited to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi (also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi)! This ten day Hindu festival marks the birthday of the lovable Lord Ganesh who is also widely worshipped for auspicious beginnings. Celebrated all over India, Lord Ganesh is prayed to as the lord of beginnings and the remover of obstacles.

Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi will be observed throughout India, beginning this year on August 29th. Special prayers, devotional chanting and singing are performed for all 10 days. Delicious sweets are prepared and distributed on this joyous occasion. Months ahead of the festival, skilled artisans prepare eco-friendly clay models of Lord Ganesh, to be installed in homes and temporary structures (pandals) all over the country. The size of these models vary from ¾ of an inch to over 70 feet! After ten days of prayers, singing and lots of sweets, on the 11th day, the statues are taken through the streets in a procession with great fanfare, to be immersed in a river or the sea. Let us know in the comments below how you will celebrate this festival in your home this year!

Sources

  • “Ganesh Chaturthi.” BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 10 Aug. 2014.
  • Raushenbush, Paul Brandeis. “Ganesh Chaturthi 2013: Hindus Celebrate Birthday Of Lord Ganesh For Auspicious Beginnings (PHOTOS) (VIDEOS).” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 09 Sept. 2013. Web. 10 Aug. 2014.