Category Archives: Festivals

Churches, Cakes and Carols- Merry Christmas from Jaipur

Standard
All Saints Church Jaipur

All Saints Church Jaipur

It is the time of year to snug ourselves in woolens and delve into the chill that is embracing us but more so, it is the season of the birth of Lord Jesus Christ, the source of the Christian Religion and savior in the Christian faith, which means it’s the season to be merry again!

With Christmas around, spotting people in red, pretending to be Santa is a treat to eyes. What fills the air is the sweet rhythm of ‘Jingle Bells’ and the aroma of freshly baked cakes. But is Christmas just about Carols, Candles and Cakes? Jaipur beat dropped in a few Churches covered in red and white of our pink city to plunge into the festivity.

Torch in All saints Church

Torch in All saints Church

The believers start practicing for the celebration when the sun waves goodbye. They participate in skits based on the birth of Christ and the story that revolves around it, While Carols fill the heart with pure symphony, sermons fill the soul with love for God.

 

Preparations at the St Xavier's Church

Preparations at the St Xavier’s Church

Roohamah Maitey, member of the Bible Chapel, a church situated in C-scheme shared her excitement for the festival. “Christmas is full of zest! I wait for it all year. It’s so heartening to sing carols with the dear ones for everyone in the neighbor. The week goes by so fast and then there is a new year to look forward to”, she said.

Rajasthan Bible Institute

Rajasthan Bible Institute

The Rajasthan Bible Institute situated on Ajmer road was nothing less than a happy place to be at. Babulal ji, the gray haired caretaker who had trouble walking found no trouble reciting the verses fluently. He handed over a Bible and marked his favorite verse with a leaf that he plucked from a plant nearby. Still filled with thrill, he asked us to visit again.

Babu lal ji

Babu lal ji

It is these little things that keep the warmth of the festival intact even under the cold temperature of Jaipur. What kept the warm fuzzies going was the next place we visited. In the Heart of the city lies the 140 years old, All Saints Church. The antique beauty is open for all to visit and indulge in the serene aura that the place offers.

All Saints Church

All Saints Church

“Christmas is just the best time of the year. We get together, meet all our friends and family and the atmosphere is that of gleefulness. What I love about Christmas is that all members of my church bake plum cakes and bring it to the Church. The cakes, from each family, are then put in a large tray. They are then served with coffee to all the members and so everyone gets to eat and share each others’ cake”, said Cyrus Derek Edwin, a member of the St Andrew’s Church situated in the bustling Chandpole of Jaipur. The decoration on this Church is one of the best decorated Churches of the city and a must visit place.

All Saints

All Saints

Along with this, Churches organize games, stalls, gift exchange programs, midnight prayers, mass and other such arrangements.

Roxanne Daniel, a young girl with gleaming eyes and galvanization about Christmas asked us to visit St. Xavier’s Church on the auspicious day to indulge in the absolute joys of the festival.

Stained glass-All saints Church

Stained glass-All saints Church

We’re definitely going to be there and hope the same from you too. Until then, keep yourselves warm and have a great season. Jaipur beat wishes you a very merry Christmas!

Advertisements

Festivals you really should not miss in Rajasthan this December

Standard

Rajasthan is the land of fairs and festivals. Tourists specially look upon to this time of the year for soaking themselves into the colors of the state as the festivals and fairs are the right time to experience the full fledged glory of the vibrant Rajasthan.  So we are here with a list of exciting festivals and fairs that should totally be in the bucket lists of all the tourists visiting Rajasthan in December.

  1. RAJASTHAN HERITAGE WEEK (7-10 DECEMBER):

 

Rajasthan Heritage week is the event presented by the khadi board and government of Rajasthan. It showcases the traditional textile art of Rajasthan from talented designers all around the world. The festival is going to be held at the famous Diggi Palace,Jaipur. All those who want to explore a new side of fashion industry should surely attend the festival.

  1. MAGNETIC FIELD FESTIVAL (15-17 DECEMBER):

 

Photo credit - Neville Sukhia

Photo Credit Nevilla Sukhia for Alsisar Hotels

The festival is a good mix of music, food and fun and is aimed at showcasing the India’s rich and vibrant creative music community to the world. It is held at the Alsisar Mahal and observes participation from best musicians from around the world. It attracts an audience of young and adventurous urbanities every year, so give it a try once and you would also be a regular visitor year after year.

  1. SHREE THE SACRED FESTIVAL ( 16-17 DECEMBER):

This festival is a religious festival of music, yoga and meditation which is to be held at Pushkar. The soulful musical performances take the onlookers on a sacred journey.  Hymns and religious songs would be the major highlights of the festival .All those interested should definitely not give it a miss

  1. RANAKPUR FESTIVAL ( 21-22 DECEMBER):

Ranakpur is one of the five most important pilgrimages of Jainism. The famous Ranakpur Jain temple attracts large number of tourists from all over the world.

Ranakpur festival is organized with an aim of giving ultimate fun and enjoyment to its attendees. The activities range from yoga, hot air ballooning, visiting the Ranakpur temple, classical performances and what not! So pack your bags and participate in the festival.

  1. TAALBELIA FESTIVAL( 23-25 DECEMBER):

Music would be on your mind when you visit the three day Taalbelia festival at Mandawa town in Jhunjhunu. The patrons will have the taste of three types of music contemporary, classical and folk; in addition to that there would be adventurous activities, Rajasthani art and scrumptious food.

 

  1. WINTER FESTIVAL MOUNT ABU (29-30 DECEMBER):

 

100_3000

Mount Abu is the only hill station of the Desert state Rajasthan. Its cool and pleasant weather makes it the must visit in every season and winters make the city more beautiful. The winter festival of Mount Abu is aimed at portraying the beauty of the hill station and presenting the warm hospitality and traditional values of the people in front of the tourists. Talking about its USP it is the only festival in Rajasthan that engages the participants in the game of cricket, apart from that it has poetry recitations, rowing and kite flying and many more. A must visit for all those who want to see the beautiful oasis in the desert state.

Happy Traveling to Rajasthan 🙂

 

 

Jodhpur RIFF 2017 Begins Today

Standard
Jodhpur RIFF 2017 Begins Today

The 5 day annual cultural extravaganza, Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) starts today. The festival is organized to coincide with Hindu festival Sharad Purnima which is a full-moon night. The imposing Mehrangarh Fort of Sun City Jodhpur is the venue of the event like every year. Jaswant Thada will also host some of the events.

RIFF1

2017 is the UK and India cultural year. To celebrate this, The Spree (Paisley) Twins will perform tomorrow. Many foreign artists are collaborating with local performers to present never seen before acts. More than 350 international artists will grace the event with their unforgettable performances. Traditional folk music by Bhil tribe will be one of the highlights.

jodhpur riff

Today, the festival started with a Children’s Folk Morning which was meant for school groups only. The real fun will begin at opening night tonight. Tonight you will get to witness traditional Rajasthani folk performances from 8:30 pm to 10 pm.

Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF 2012)

The weekend is close so don’t miss this much awaited folk festival!RIFF4

The Grand Dussehra Celebrations at Kota

Standard
The Grand Dussehra Celebrations at Kota

Dussehra is celebrated with great fervour in many parts of India. Each celebration has something different but dussehra celebrations in Kota city of Rajasthan are the most well-known. In Kota Dussehra is celebrated for 25 days every year. At the occasion, a fair is organized which starts on the first day of Navratri and goes on till a day before Dhanteras festival which marks the beginning of Deepawali.

dusherra

The tradition of Dussehra fair was started in 1723 AD by Maharao Durjanshal Singh Hada. Those days, the celebrations used to last 3 days. Maharao Ummed Singh II (1889-1940 A.D.) was the one who made Dussehra Mela what it is today.

dussehra3

The effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarana and Meghnad are more than 75 feet tall here. A child dresses as Lord Ram does the honour of burning the effigies with an arrow of fire. Cultural programmes are organized and popular artists from all over India come to perform at the fest. Not only locals, but people from other parts of the country also come to witness the grand celebrations. International tourists also come to immerse in Dussehra Mela in Kota.

You can also become a part of this well-known celebration of victory of good over evil. Here’s the schedule-

kota dussehra mela

 

 

Immerse in the nine days of Navratri festivities in Rajasthan

Standard

Navratri Festival

Navratri begins tomorrow!
Pujas and nine days rituals at home,  holidays on the cards, so many typical traditional outfits, dandiya & garba plans, fasting for peace and prosperity and a lot more is what these nine days indeed promise. When it comes to celebrating traditions and making the most out of these happy times one should never lag behind.

navratri

Navratri is a festival devoted to the worship of Goddess Durga. The word ‘Navratri’ literally means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit; Nav – Nine and Ratri – nights. And hence the merriment takes place for 9 days. All through the nine nights and ten days, various forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped.

This year, Navratri is commencing from Thursday, September 21st and will end on Friday September 29th. On Saturday September 30th  Dusshera will be observed to celebrate the victory over evil.

navratri-3

Each of the 9 days in Rajasthan will start with first seeking blessings from the goddess and then moving on to celebration. Several places in Rajasthan will be lit up during this time with everybody gushing with energy throughout. People get dressed in colorful attires and participate in Garba folk dance and Dandiya-Raas in which people match their steps to the rhythm of music and dance using dandiya (wooden sticks) with their partners.

 

navratri1

Navratri festival does bring people closer to each other and soak everyone in its joyous colors! This festival is especially popular among tourists because it gives them an opportunity to get closer to the rich culture of Rajasthan.

So, now that the festival is this close, get ready to participate this year in the enthusiastic and vibrant festival of Navratri! After all this is the exact time to meet locals of town and know more about the state’s culture ;). You just have to know the right place to be!

‘Jaipur By Night’ concludes on the glittering notes

Standard

Jaipur by Night 2017_2

The 5th edition of the three-day cultural festival ‘Jaipur by Nite’ concluded on Saturday late night with a unique night marathon. Around 1500 runners participated in the marathon. It was flagged off by brand ambassador for the marathon Maharaja Padmanabh Singh of erstwhile Jaipur royal family at 10 pm.

Jaipur by Night 2017_1

‘Jaipur By Nite’ was jointly organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Young Indians (YI), Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and the Department of Tourism (DOT), Government of Rajasthan. Rajasthan Khadi & Village Industries Board and the Department of Archaeology & Museums also supported the initiative.

On the occasion Swaraag Band performed the musical programme while Ms. Neela Singh performed scintillating ‘Zumba’.

Jaipur by Night 2017_6

The unique night marathon began from the City Palace. There were two categories – for 10 kms run (with timing chip) and for 5 kms (without timing chip). The route for the 10 kms run was from City Palace to Gandhi Circle on JLN Marg and back and that for the 5 kms run was from City Palace to SMS Hospital Gate No. 6 and back. The marathon, like last year, was a distinct activity and unique initiative wherein the participants joined from various parts of the country to witness and promote beauty and heritage of Pink City at night. Ambassadors of Fiji, Poland; three senior diplomats from Greece; diplomats from Kongo and Uganda as well as participants from Indore, Gurgaon, Mumbai and many other places took part. IAS officer Kuldeep Ranka and his wife Poornima Ranka participated in the 10 km marathon while Ashwani Bhagat and his wife participated in the 5 km run.

Jaipur by Night 2017_3

The winner of the 2nd edition of Jaipur By Nite Marathon was Mr. Ajay Kumar (34.39) while Mr. Abhimanyu Gurjar (36.22) and Mr. Shivendra Singh (36.47) finished second and third, respectively. In female category, Ms. Kiranjeet (51.02) finished first.

Jaipur by Night 2017_5

Members of the Indian National Polo team Mr. Angad Kalan, Sidhant Sharma, Pranav Kapur including National Coach Uday Kalan and Fitness Coach Ajay Singh also participated in the marathon.

The two-day food festival entitled ‘The Bite Fest’ concluded yesterday. The fest had stalls from Burger Farm, Decked up by ‘Garden Café’, Fat Lulu’s, Crunchy Gourmet, TGIH, Papa Cream, Keventers, What a Patty, Liquido, Zarpar, Clarks Amer, Hilton and Chokhi Dhani.

The other attractions for the evening were Rajasthani troupe performances like Kachhi Ghodi, Bhope Bhopi, Dhol wale, Ghoomar dancers, Kaalbelia, astrologer and mehendi artists,etc.

Jaipur by Night 2017_4

Festivities of Eid-al-Fitr in Jaipur

Standard

Eid Jaipur Beat

You can smell festivity in the air and devotion on faces because it is the festival of Eid after the month long fast of Ramzan! Observed annually by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (sawm), Ramzan is followed by the entire Muslim community in order to get closer to God and to remind them and live the life of the less fortunate ones.

Did you know that the word Ramzan comes from a translated version of Ramadan, which is derived from the Arabic root ramida or ar-ramad, which means scorching heat or dryness ? Because the time right now is of peak summer and that makes this fasting even more difficult and challenging to follow.

Though Ramzan is followed and celebrated in all the areas of Jaipur, the festival’s real sheen is seen in the walled city, especially Ramganj Bazaar. The market was named Ramganj after Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II who was the one to bring modernization in the architecture of Jaipur. The name Ramganj, Ram + Ganj (meaning area) reaffirms that this area is the soul of the city as it houses the oldest mosques that smoothly blend in the wise architecture of the walled city of Jaipur. Along with a plethora of mosques, the city’s most authentic Mughal cuisines are found in Ramganj Bazaar and the nearby lanes (galiyan). Ramganj Bazaar is equivalent to the Char Minar of Hyderabad & Jama Masjid of Delhi.

But how exactly do they go about the fasting?

Every Muslim, mostly after he/she turns 12, considers it their farz (duty) to fast during Ramzan but are excused in case of special circumstances like illness, pregnancy, travel etc. Ramzan is the ninth pillar of Islam and is practiced in reverence of Allah. The month generally consists of 29-30 days depending on the visual sightings of crescent moon and all the followers follow the timetable of Mecca. They eat before 4 a.m. and post that, they don’t eat or drink anything throughout the day, including water. The meal that they have in the morning is called Sehri. As the day proceeds, they recite namaaz at mosque (masjid) in the evening and at around 7:15 i.e. after sunset, they open their fast with something natural like fruits, dates (khajur), milk, water – basically anything which isn’t cooked over fire. Dates are popularly eaten to open the roza for their distinguishing quality of providing instant energy after a day full of fasting. The meal served in the evening is called Suhoor or Iftaar.

After Iftaar, the devotees visit Masjid at around 9 p.m. where Quran is recited for around 1.5 hours and all the people sit there listening to it. After 29 or 30 days, i.e today, the Eid-Al-Fitr celebrations are in full swing when mosques are decorated, the lanes are dazzling in lights and folks visit each other to wish and exchange sweets especially Sevayian Kheer as it’s also known as Meethi Eid. The night of spotting the moon and ending the fasts is known as ‘Chaand Raat’ or the night of the moon 🙂

Sevayian Kheer Jaipur Beat

eid jb

Eid Mubarak 🙂