Visit to Katraj Dairy
Children were taken to see the functioning of a Dairy at Katraj near Pune. Children were pleased to see the processes and packaging of milk. The staff at the dairy too interest in explaining everything in detail to the children.
Children were engaged in painting of Diyas, making miniature clay fort and paper lanterns for Diwali.
Diwali is also called Festival of Lights and it is celebrated in the Hindu month of Kartika which falls sometime during October or November. It is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Rama from 14 years of Exile and his victory over the Demon Ravana. In many parts of India, Diwali is celebrated for five consecutive days and is one of the most popular festivals in India. Before Diwali night, people clean, renovate, and decorate their homes and offices. They make paper lanterns which are placed outside their houses, paint diyas(lamps and candles) which they light up inside and outside their houses. A small miniature clay fort is made by the kids outside the house and decorated. People dress up in new clothes or their best outfits, prepare sweets and exchange gifts between family and friends.
Goddess Laxmi was worshipped on the evening of the Diwali day as per the local tradition. Volunteers participated in the event and engaged in the devotional songs.
Laxmi Puja is a religious festival that falls on Amavasya (new moon day) of Krishna Paksha (Dark fortnight) in the Hindu calendar month of Ashwin on the third day of Diwali and is considered as the main festive day of Diwali. According to legend, Laxmi, the goddess of wealth visits her devotees and bestows gifts and blessings upon each of them. Laxmi is believed to roam the earth on Diwali night. On the evening of Diwali, people open their doors and windows to welcome Lakshmi, and place diya lights on their windowsills and balcony ledges to invite her in. To welcome the Goddess, devotees clean their houses, decorate them with finery and lights, and prepare sweet treats and delicacies as offerings. Devotees believe the happier Lakshmi is with the visit, the more she blesses the family with health and wealth.
Children’s Fun fair was arranged by a youth club on the occasion of Diwali for the children at Shreevatsa. The children enjoyed horse riding, merry –go-round rides etc.
Bhau beej, which marks the last day of Diwali was celebrated in a traditional way at Shreevatsa.
Bhau-Beej is a festival celebrated on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) in the Hindu calendar month of Kartika. It is celebrated during the Diwali festival. On the day of the festival, sisters invite their brothers for a sumptuous meal often including their favourite dishes/sweets. The whole ceremony signifies the duty of a brother to protect his sister, as well as a sister’s blessings for her brother. Carrying forward the ceremony in traditional style, sisters perform aarti for their brother and apply a red tika on the brother’s forehead. This tika ceremony on the occasion of Bhau Beej signifies the sister’s sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother and treat them with gifts. In return brothers bless their sisters and may treat them also with gifts or cash.