Festivals with Sara

“Fasting during Navratri- Can kids do it?” answers 10 year old Yashwi from Mohali

2-7 |8+ |

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Hey everyone, your best friend Sara here…Holi, Onam, Eid, Durga Pooja, Christmas…the festivals are endless and pep us up, even in the dullest of times!

Here is a fun read by 10 year old Yashwi from Mohali on the trials and tribulations of keeping fast as a kid,  during Navratri 🙂

Navmi Festival with Sara Fasting Yashvi Mohali Bookosmia

 Yashwi lives in Greater Mohali. Her passion is writing and she also enjoys art and craft. She studies in The Knowledge Bus Global School, Mohali.

This festival season reminds me of Navratri 2019. That is when I kept fasts for the very first time!
My fasting had to start in 3 days and that is all I could think about. I told my mum and guess what? She agreed! I hurried to my dad, told him to get me food that can be eaten while fasting.
He asked me, “Why?  Are you fasting?”
” Yeah,” I replied.
He went to the shop and brought yum-yum food! I was eagerly waiting for  Navratri!
It was the evening before Navratri. I had my dinner way before my regular time and slept at 7:00 pm!
Finally, the day came!  It was my first fast!  I was hungry and woke up even  before 6! I went to my parents’ room and woke mum up. In a sleepy way, I told  her that I was hungry. My mom gave me chips (fast-friendly). I almost forgot that it was my fast!  She smiled at me and went back to her room. I went to mine too. I jumped on my bed but couldn’t fall asleep… I just woke up and read a book. It was 7:00 and my mom and dad woke up .
They asked me, “Woke up so early?”
“Nah, just 45 mins ago,” I replied.
Mom asked me if I were hungry. I replied no.
Rest of my fast went eating more fast- friendly food and so as day 2.
Day 3
I woke up and asked mom to give more chips to me! She gave me and continued her chores. I woke up really late : at 8:45! I then read my book. It was 10 am and my friend called me to play at her house. My mom permitted me  and I went there. Her mom made sandwiches and gave two to me also. I forgot about my fast. I ate them without realizing!
After coming home, I forgot that I had eaten sandwiches. My mom gave me fast- friendly breakfast on the dining table. I started crying. Mom came there and asked me why I was crying.
“Mom, I broke my fast!” I answered crying.
Mom asked me, “How? You have eaten fast -friendly food only since 3days..”
I told her what had happened.
Mom said, “Dont worry and stop crying. You have broken your fast already, now we can do nothing. Can we?  Stop crying and wash your face. I will give you fast friendly food if you’d like to continue till Ashtmi.”
I said that I would. I continued my fasts.
It was Ashtmi, I was called for Kanjak. The next day, It was Navmi , we called for kanjak that day… I broke my fast!
 I enjoyed a lot. But I learnt a lesson that fasts aren’t for kids!!!
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Hey, your friend Sara here again! Enjoyed reading?

Do you want to find an easy read to explain the significance of Durga Puja to your child and get them interested in the festival?

Pick up a copy of Durga And The Demon: Indian folk tales by Bookosmia https://www.amazon.in/…/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_M0cIFbC7JV8QS

“What I like about Durga Poojo? Shhh, dont tell Mum,” by 9 year old Rijoy Goswami (Orko) from UK

8+ |

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Hey everyone, your best friend Sara here. With Durga  Pooja in the air, I am excited to publish one write up by kids on the theme every day.

Today I am sharing the writing of 9 year old Rijoy Goswami (Orko) from UK who has kept his Bengali roots alive. Grateful to the Little Writers Studio, UK for not only sharing the write up in English and Bengali, but also the beautiful Bengali Potochitro art by the talented artist Parul, who lives in Pingla with her family.

Durga Pooja with Sara Rijoy UK Bookosmia

When he is not swinging from a tree or kicking a ball, Rijoy enjoys reading,  designing the most intricate Lego feats of engineering, imagining about fearful battles and exotic legends of the past, playing videogames on his ever changing plethora of electronic gizmos and of late has taken a shy to writing  poetry. He also goes to school at Babraham CEVC, near Cambridge where he  studies in year 5.

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What I like about Durga Poojo is offering prayers, the cultural events but what I like the most is the delicious food, that I can eat everyday during poojo!
Shhhhh! please don’t tell mum! She will be really angry 🙂

Durga Pooja with Sara Bengali story by kids with kids Bookosmia

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Hey, your friend Sara here again! Enjoyed reading?

Do you want to find an easy read to explain the significance of Durga Puja to your child and get them interested in the festival?

Pick up a copy of Durga And The Demon: Indian folk tales by Bookosmia

https://www.amazon.in/…/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_M0cIFbC7JV8QS

“Poojo for me is an end to the year long wait” says 14 year old Oishani Goswami (Olie) from UK

8+ |

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Hey everyone, your best friend Sara here. With Durga  Pooja in the air, I am excited to publish one write up by kids on the theme every day.

 

Today I am sharing the writing of 14 year old Oishani Goswami (Olie) from UK who has kept her Bengali roots alive. Grateful to the Little Writers Studio, UK for not only sharing the write up but also the beautiful Bengali Potochitro art by the talented artist Parul, who lives in Pingla with her family.

Oishani durga pooja essay from UK festivals with Sara by Bookosmia

Oishani has just turned 14 and is in the throes of navigating teenage years with a myriad circles to square. She likes to read, write occasionally and has a passion  for dance and music. Alongside figuring out the vagaries and paradoxes of life, she is determined to bridge both  the worlds she belongs to a bona-fide Biliti-Bangali/ Brit-Bong in spirit. She studies in year 9 at Sawston Village College, near Cambridge, UK.

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Poojo for me is an end to the year long wait for unlimited fun and merriment, music, dance ,offering prayer and new dress !

Potachitra BEngali Art for Durga Pooja festivals with Sara by Bookosmia

 

Durga Pooja stories for kids by Oishi UK Festivals with Sara Bookosmia

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Read with Sara icon Bookosmia

Hey, your friend Sara here again! Enjoyed reading?

Do you want to find an easy read to explain the significance of Durga Puja to your child and get them interested in the festival?

Pick up a copy of Durga And The Demon: Indian folk tales by Bookosmia https://www.amazon.in/…/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_M0cIFbC7JV8QS

Maa Durga destroys greed and hate-Poem by 11 year old Hitansh Kedia from Kolkata

2-7 |8+ |

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Hey everyone, your best friend Sara here…Holi, Onam, Eid, Durga Pooja, Christmas…the festivals are endless and pep us up, even in the dullest of times!

With Durga Pooja in the air, I am excited to publish one write up by kids on the theme every day.

Today 11 year old Hitansh Kedia from Kolkata shares this adorable poem about Durga taking on greed, hate and of course COVID.

Read with Sara stories for kids by young writers Hitansh Kolkata Bookosmia

Hitansh loves to read stories as much as he likes to write them. He find space very intriguing and is  perplexed by the vastness of the universe. He loves to  eat chocolate. Some of his other hobbies are playing  basketball and listening to music. Hitansh is a student of The Heritage School, Kolkata.

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If Maa Durga came alive,
It would be great.
She harbours love and peace,
And destroys greed and hate.

 

A buffalo-demon she once finished,
And COVID’s next in line.
Oh, how great it would be,
If she walked out of her shrine.

 

All the evil in this world,
Would desperately run away.
And Maa Durga would run after them,
Wanting to slay.

 

I wish this would come true,
What a joy that would be.
Nobody would be sad anymore,
All smiling in glee!

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‘”Where can I park my vaahan (Tiger)?” asked Maa Durga’ Story by 5 year old Jeevasini Patnana from Bhubaneswar

2-7 |

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Hey everyone, your best friend Sara here…Holi, Onam, Eid, Durga Pooja, Christmas…the festivals are endless and pep us up, even in the dullest of times.

 

 

5 year old Jeevasini Patnana studies in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

Read with Sara stories for kids by kids Jeevasini Bhubaneswar Bookosmia

Jeevasini loves making up stories often and Lord Krishna is her favourite play mate. She absolutely loves playing with Legos and colours. Jeevasini is a student of Darshan Academy, Bhubaneswar.

 

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One day I was playing with two of my good friends, Rani and Shumi in the small park near our colony.

Just then we saw a very beautiful lady walking towards us. She was wearing a  red saree and had a big red dot on her forehead.

 

She came near and asked us, “Dear kids, I need a small help. Would you help
me?”

 

We looked at each other and nodded our heads.

 

She said, “I have come here for some important work. But I am finding it  difficult to find a parking space for my vehicle.”

“Oh! That’s no problem at all. We have many empty spaces in our parking lot,” I said. My other two friends didn’t seem very happy to share this information  with a stranger.

“But you see my problem is a little different. Let me show you and you would understand.”

The moment she said this, a huge and ferocious tiger came and stood near her. We started shaking with fear.

 

She smiled and said, “Do not be afraid. He won’t harm you.” We now  understood that the lady is none other than Goddess Durga, who rode a tiger.

“Now you understand why I cannot park my ‘vahana’ in your parking lot?  People will be scared to find him there, right?” Maa Durga asked.

 

Just as we were discussing, the lion ran away from the place at a great  speed.

 

We could not understand anything. “This silly creature has the habit of running away. Would you like to help me find him?” she asked.

“Let’s go,” we jumped with joy.

The three of us friends,  sat on one of her hands each and she started flying high in  the sky. We went to the city’s busy bazaar full of shops, people and vehicles. We offered to ask people about the tiger on our own. We approached a vendor and asked, “Have you seen a tiger?”

 

He said angrily, “What nonsense!! Go away, naughty kids.”

Next we asked a toy shop owner, “Do you have a tiger?”

“A toy one?” he asked.

“No, a real one,” I said. “Then go and search in Chandaka forest kids.” he shouted.

We came back to Durga Maa, feeling sad. She said, “Don’t lose heart. Let’s go to that forest. In no time, we were in the middle of a deep forest. And there,  sleeping peacefully under a tree was the tiger.

 

“You naughty tiger! It is time I teach you a lesson. Next time I will turn you into a deer,” warned the Goddess.

The tiger looked sorry. The loving mother forgave him and said, “Now give these kids a ride back home.”

We were thrilled to ride with Durga Maa on a mighty tiger. After she got us home, we requested her to stay.

She said, “Now I have to go. But I promise I will be back soon,” and disappeared. We stood there for a long time and returned home happily.

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‘When Durga comes alive..’ Poem by 9 year old Sruthika Murali from Kerala

2-7 |8+ |

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Hey everyone, your best friend Sara here…Holi, Onam, Eid, Durga Pooja, Christmas…the festivals are endless and pep us up, even in the dullest of times.

Such a special entry today- While Durga Pooja is celebrated with great gusto mostly in West Bengal,  9 year old Sruthika Murali from Kerala shares this creative poem on what would happen if Durga were to come alive.

Festivals with Sara Durga Pooja by Sruthika Murali from Kerala Bookosmia

Sruthika is an ardent reader and quite imaginative. She jots down few lines once in a while in her diary. She likes to observe things around us.
Shruthika goes to BMCMI Palakkad School and is a student of much loved, The Hobby Place.
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When Durga comes alive,
She will kill the evil ones and give us peace.
When Durga comes alive,
The trees will shiver and the floor will shake.

When Durga comes alive,
She will be strong and very big,

But really she is calm and quiet.
When Durga comes alive,
We should join our hands and pray.

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If Durga Came Alive- Story

2-7 |8+ |

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Hey everyone, your best friend Sara here…Holi, Onam, Eid, Durga Pooja, Christmas…the festivals are endless and pep us up, even in the dullest of times.

11 year old Krishank Jain from Kolkata weaves this fantastic tale of what would happen if Maa Durga came alive now.

Durga Pooja festival with Sara by Krishank Kolkata Bookosmia

Krishank Jain is a student of South City International School, Kolkata. He loves to read, reread and then repeat. He is fascinated by the Mahabharata and fond  of collecting more and more facts about the epic.  He likes to play cricket and chess.

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One day as Maa Durga woke up, she found that she was born on Earth again.

She said, “I am on Earth, again?”

 

She thought maybe Lord Vishnu had sent her to demolish evil on earth again. She thought it would be a matter of a day or so but she was totally wrong. She  saw with her divine powers that there was evil and only evil on earth.

 

She did not want to harm anyone on earth. Then an idea struck her mind, she  thought that she would tell the people that she, Maa Durga  was here and the people would of course obey her. People would think many times before doing something evil.

 

But her plan backfired and when she was out telling people that she was Maa Durga, people shooed her off saying, ”Really you are Maa Durga? There was  another one here ten minutes ago.”

 

She tried this with each and every person on earth! But only one person  understood that she was the real Maa Durga-The chief priest of the Durga Temple in Kolkata.

 

He was a very celebrated man in Kolkata and had vowed to never lie so  everybody trusted him but we also know that everybody lies on the earth these days. So all the people still thought that the girl had made an alliance  with the priest to continue the prank.

 

But then she thought of a foolproof plan.

 

She showed the world her divine form and lo! All the people began to believe  in her and in a blink of your eye the earth turned evil free!!!!!

Sometimes we really need a reminder that shakes away our evil thoughts.

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‘Warrior Durga AKA The Female Alpha’ by 12 year old Vania Jain from Kolkata

2-7 |8+ |

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Hey everyone, your best friend Sara here…Holi, Onam, Eid, Durga Pooja, Christmas…the festivals are endless and pep us up, even in the dullest of times.

Here is 12 year old Vania from Kolkata keeping our spirits high in the Durga Pooja festival, with her fantastic tale! 

Festivals with Sara stories for kids by kids Vania Kolkata on Durga Pooja Bookosmia

Vania is a student of Modern High School For Girls, Kolkata. She is an avid reader and loves writing. During this lockdown, she has also published two books on Amazon Kindle.

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Adorned with gold accessories, I leaped down to earth on my beloved pet tiger, ten weapons in my ten hands- each weapon symbolizing a different trait- the sword for wisdom, trident for peace and so on.

But…. silence greeted me- no one was out! There was no hustle bustle of the  early Puja crowd and not even the cawing of a crow.

Something had to be done, I decided. I called together a meeting.

“We need to do something about this virus,” said Lord Brahma.

“I will make the oceans churn and froth till then,” Lord Indra claimed.

“And I will make it rain,” said Lord Indra.

“No, no! That will ruin the humans’ life even more!” objected Parvati.

“What shall we do? Without making people miserable?” Lord Shiva added as an afterthought.

I fiddled with my arrow. It had been more than half a year since this  coronavirus had entered the humans’ life, inflicting damage and misery all around.

And worse? Durga Puja, my festival was just around the corner!  Durga Puja is supposed to be a time of strength, joy and unity. Not a time of sadness and torture!

And even worse? Brahma, Vishnu, Shakti, Shani, Indra- all had tried. But they failed.

“We’ve got to put an end to this,” I agreed.

“How Durga? You can’t kill a virus with your trishul!” Vishnu, my brother said.

It was true- but if Mahishasura could be killed, then why couldn’t this virus?

“What if we do it together? It might be possible then..,” I suggested.

“Yes… I agree. We should give it a try..” Saraswati said.

Slowly the Gods rose up from their thrones. I knew then that coronavirus would have to look out now.

#DurgaPooja

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Mahalaya by the Ganges – Essay by 10 year old Shantanu Kothari from Kolkata

2-7 |8+ |

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Hey everyone, your best friend Sara here…Holi, Onam, Eid, Durga Pooja, Christmas…the festivals are endless and pep us up, even in the dullest of times!

Happy Mahalaya, everyone!  I cant get enough of the excitement around this festival, especially from my lovely friends from West Bengal.

10 year old Shantanu Kothari from Kolkata sharing with us his experience of walking by the Ganga as people immersed themselves into the festivities.  Shantanu is a student of South City International School, Kolkata.

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A walk by the Ganges in Kolkata is our favourite thing to do on weekend.

 

Last year, around this time, while approaching the walkway very early in the morning, I was surprised to see thousands of people taking a dip in the Holy Ganga and chanting some mantra.

While I was feeling lost in the crowd, my mom was happy capturing photos on her phone. It was a chaotic scene. I asked my mother what was going on and she explained to me,“It is Mahalaya, the day when there is no moon at night and  when Goddess Durga descends on earth with her family.”

 

This day is very sacred, especially for Bengalis as it marks the beginning of  Durga Puja. Also on Mahalaya, they wake up really early to offer prayers and  homage to their ancestors and departed souls of dear ones. They do puja and tarpan in near by water body.

 

That explained this huge gathering of people on the ghat I have never seen before. After this ritual in the Ganges, they feed pandits and the needy.

 

I learned that Mahalaya happens in the Ashwin month of Hindu calendar on Amavashya (no moon night) which is the 15th day of the month. Mom also  mentioned about mantra chanting that plays on the radio at 4am on Mahalaya, celebrating the arrival of the goddess.

 

Normally, Durga Puja starts after Mahalaya but this year there is an extra month (Adhik Maas) in hindu calendar and so Durga Puja will be held 30 days after Mahalaya.

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Know about the Mahalaya festival- Essay by 8 year old Agneesh Raj Banerjee from Kolkata

2-7 |8+ |

Read with Sara icon BookosmiaHey everyone, your best friend Sara here…Holi, Onam, Eid, Durga Pooja, Christmas…the festivals are endless and pep us up, even in the dullest of times!

 

 

8 year old Agneesh Raj Banerjee from Kolkata supplies us with all the details we need to know more about the Mahalaya and of course, some much needed excitement.

Read with Sara Agneesh Raj Banerjee Kolkata Bookosmia

Agneesh is a student of La Martiniere for Boys, Kolkata

 

 

 

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Mahalaya is on 17th September this year. Goddess Durga starts her journey from Kailash with her children Ganesha, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Kartikeya to  visit her father’s home on earth. This time, her vehicle is a boat which is supposed to mean there will be rain.

Mahalaya happens in autumn when the skies are blue with white clouds  floating around. Kaash and Shuili flowers bloom all over making the  surrounding picturesque. Dew falls on the leaves. Lord Rama worshipped Ma  Durga in autumn before going to Lanka to fight with the King Ravana.

Devi Paksha starts from Mahalaya and many people come to the bank of river Hooghly to pray for their ancestors who have passed away. The poor people  are given food.

On this day, in Kumartuli, where Durga idols are made, the painters paint the  eyes of the Ma Durga idols, which is called Chakshudan.

Very early in the morning, my father plays holy verses on the radio called Mahisasur Mardini which prays to Ma Durga to come to the Earth to kill the evil demon Mahisasur. It means the victory of good over evil.

Durga Puja starts seven days after Mahalaya and ends on the 10th day. This  year, there is a long gap since there are two new moons in this month.

 

I feel  very excited since Durga Puja isn’t far away from Mahalaya and I can go  to the park to take rides in the ferris wheel and jump on the trampoline, which I love very much.

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Hurray! Dugga Ma is coming- Poem by 8 year old Atreyo Bhattacharyya from Kolkata

2-7 |8+ |

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Hey everyone, your best friend Sara here…Holi, Onam, Eid, Durga Pooja, Christmas…the festivals are endless and pep us up, even in the dullest of times.

Many of us have a day off from schools in India today. When did we ever complain about a holiday? But its also super fun to know about festivals from different parts of India.

#SaraReads #GratitudeDuringCovid Young Authors Atreyo

Here is 8 year old Atreyo Bhattacharyya from Kolkata sharing with us the excitement of a festival.

Atreyo is a student of The Heritage School, Kolkata.

 

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Hurray! Dugga Ma is coming
“Jago Tumi Jago” people are humming,
The nature surrounding us is beautiful
We will all wear new dresses that are colourful.

 

The white clouds are fluffy and thick
Dugga Ma is coming from Kailash so quick,
Today is the day when Pitri Paksha finishes
On Devi Paksha everyone’s dream accomplishes.

 

Dugga Ma gives us power we require
Saraswati Ma gives us knowledge to inspire,
Lakshmi Ma gives us wealth we need
To go through the path that will make us succeed.

 

Good always triumphs over evil
As God will always win over devil,
Bengalis celebrate Mahalaya with a ‘pujo – pujo’ feel
As we go on the road of truth, with determination and skill.

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Know Onam better- Essay by 14 year old Ritwik Vastani from Ooty

2-7 |8+ |

Onam was celebrated earlier this month, but how much do we know about this fantastic festival from Kerala? Here is 14 year old Ritwik Vastani from Ooty giving a thorough account of all you need to know about it. Weekends are perfect for a festive feel, isn’t it?

Read with Sara stories for kids, by kids Ritwik Vastani Ooty Bookosmia

Ritwik is a student of The Lawrence School Lovedale, Ooty. Ritwik is a Ninth grader studying in Lawrence school , Ooty. He is a simple, friendly , organized and peace loving boy. He loves to play all kinds of outdoor sports, however his forte is cricket.

 

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Onam is an annual holiday and festival celebrated in the state of Kerala, India. This festival is one of the most joyful occasions in Kerala and the entire  state is filled with happiness during the celebrations.

 

Many tourists also visit  Kerala during this time to know more about the  culture of the people living  there and to be a part of the celebrations. Kerala  which is also known as the ‘God’s own country,’  is altogether transformed  during Onam.

Onam is a harvest festival celebrated by all people in and from Kerala, irrespective of religion. The date of Onam is based on the Hindu Panchangam and falls on the 22nd nakshatra, Thiruvonam in the month Chingam of  Malayalam calendar, which in Gregorian calendar overlaps with August and September.

 

According to legend, it is believed that Onam is celebrated to honour the kind-hearted and much-beloved demon King Mahabali, who is believed to return to Kerala during this festival. According to Vaishnava mythology, King Mahabali was a demon king of the Asura tribe who defeated the Gods and began ruling over all three worlds, and won over the hearts of his subjects.

 

Onam is a ten-day festival which begins on Atham and ends on Thiruvonam. During the ten-day festivities, devotes bathe, offer prayers and wear  traditional clothes. Women wear a white and gold saree called the ‘Kasavu’ saree. They also participate in dance performances, draw flower rangolis called “Pookkalam” and cook traditional feasts called ‘Sadya.’

 

Sadya is served on banana leaves during Onam and is a 9-course meal consisting of 26 dishes. It includes Kalan (a sweet potato and yam coconut curry dish), Olan(white gourd prepared in coconut curry), Kootu curry(a dish made of chickpeas), Rasam(a soup-like dish made with a base of tomato and pepper,eaten with rice and other preparations) and the much-beloved dessert, Parippu payasam(a rice kheer preparation)

People also participate in the world famous boat races called ‘Vallam,’ tiger dances called ‘Pulikali,’ tug of war, Thumbi Thullal or women’s dance  ritual, mask dance or Kummattikali, Onathallu or martial arts, Onavillu/music, Onapottan(costumes), folk songs among other fun activities.

Onam is celebrated with a number of cultural elements. This is the most  important harvest festival of Kerala. Keralites all over the world celebrate this  festival with pomp and gaiety to welcome their beloved King Mahabali.

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Happy Onam! – Poem by 11 year old Aparna Rajesh from Sharjah

2-7 |8+ |

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Hey everyone, your best friend Sara here…Holi, Onam, Eid, Durga Pooja, Christmas…the festivals are endless and pep us up, in the dullest of times!

 

 

Happy Onam! Lets tap into the festivities and joy of  this lovely festival.

Read stories with Sara Aparna Sharjah Bookosmia

11 year old Aparna Rajesh from Sharjah gets all of us in the festive spirit for Onam! Lets join in the fun.

Aparna is a student of Our Own English High School, Sharjah.

 

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Ten days of happiness, love and care
Beautiful set attires I wear
Fragrance of flowers everywhere

When this beloved festival arrive
Poverty does not thrive

 

The festival is Onam
The sun above the land shines with joy
We arrange different flowers in different designs and enjoy

Boat racing, Tug of war is some games played
The inviting taste comes from the sadya made

Onam comes straight from the god’s own home town
It has the power to make people smile and to erase away that frown

My family and friends happily celebrating together
All these memories always in my heart forever.

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