International Day of Yoga | Baghdad

Yoga is an Indian physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline. There is a broad variety of schools, practices and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The origins of Yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions, but most likely developed around the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, in ancient India’s ascetic circles, which are also credited with the early sramana movements. The chronology of earliest texts describing yoga-practices is unclear, varyingly credited to Hindu Upanishads and Buddhist Pāli Canon, probably of 3rd century BCE or later. Maharshi Patanjali compiled Yoga sutras, which forms the basis of yoga circa 400 CE.

The Book Fair | Kolkata

International Kolkata Book Fair is a late winter fair in Kolkata. It is a unique book fair in the sense of not being a trade fair – the book fair is primarily for the general public rather than whole-sale distributors. It celebrates international literature and reflects India’s much-loved reading tradition. The Kolkata Book Fair, recognised by International Publishers Association, Geneva, is also the largest Book Fair of the world in terms of visitors.

Annakoot | Mountain of Food

Annakoot — Mountain of food — is celebrated in observance of the episode in Sri Krishna’s childhood, in which He gave protection to the cowherd clan of Vrindavan from the wrath of Indra and humbled Indra in that process. The cowherd, their wives, children and cattle jubilantly surrounded Sri Krishna. They were awed by His superhuman accomplishment and celebrated Sri Krishna’s feat with a sumptuous feast. Thus began the tradition of Annakoot.

Kojagori Lakshmi Puja

People of eastern Indian states of West Bengal, Assam and Orissa worship Goddess Laksmi on Kojagori Purnima night — the full moon night in the month of Ashwin of Bengali calendar, just four days after Vijaya Dashami or Dusshera — the last day of the Durga puja in the month of October. Kojagori Purnima coincides with Nabanna or the harvesting festival or season which commences from this day when the harvested grains are consumed in households.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. The modern Mother’s Day has been assimilated into Indian culture. Indians do not celebrate the occasion as a religious one, but do their best to thank their mothers for care and love.

Maha Kumbh Mela | In Search of the Divine Nectar

Kumbh derives its name from the immortal Pot of Nectar, which the Demigods (Devtas) and Demons (Asuras) fought over, described in ancient Vedic scriptures known as the Puranas. It is these Vedic literatures that have stood the test of time, out of which the tradition has evolved into the one that the world now knows as The Kumbh Mela or The Kumbha Mela. The festival is one of the largest peaceful gatherings in the world, and considered as the “world’s largest congregation of religious pilgrims”.

Karma Puja | Sacred Festival to Celebrate Nature

The Karma Puja is a festival of agriculture and is very sacred to the indigenous peoples in the Indian states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal and Assam. Tribes like Baiga, Oraon, Binjhwari, Munda, Majhwar, Ho, Khortha, Korba, Santhal, Nagpuri and many more tribal communities celebrate this festival.

The Gangtok Flower Show

The tiny state of Sikkim in Northeast India is home to 600 species of orchids! It is to showcase this wonderful bounty of nature and other exotic flowers that Sikkim hosts an international flower festival every year from March to May. The state is home to 240 species of trees and ferns, 150 varieties of gladioli, 46 types of rhododendrons along with a variety of magnolias and many other foliage plants.