Gaza ~ An open air prison

“The Rocket may be above us,
but they have forgotten that
Allah is above them” ūüė•

~ A Palestinian Child.

We¬†don’t need to be a Muslim to stand up for Gaza, we¬†just need to be Human. #BeKind #Dua #PrayforGaza

Tweeting: @smileeplz

Festival of Lights – Diwali

Happy Diwali.. ūüôā

Deepavali.. a Hindu Festival celebrated in autumn every year  with great enthusiasm and happiness in India. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.

Diwali is celebrated around the world, particularly in countries with significant populations of Hindu, Jain and Sikh origin. It is celebrated in almost all the Asian countries, parts of Arab’s, Australia, New Zealand and ¬†also in some parts of Africa.

Satellite picture of India taken NASA satellite on a Diwali evening.

Satellite picture of India taken NASA satellite on a Diwali evening.

Its celebration include millions of lights shining on housetops, outside doors and windows, around temples and other buildings. In India, Diya( Oil Lamp) is decorated. Diya’s are available in nearby and are made up of clay.¬†An Indian potter paints earthenware lamps ahead of Diwali.

A women painting the diya's.

A women painting the Diya’s.

A Diya placed in temples and used to bless worshipers is referred to as an Aarti.¬†Diya’s adorn every corner of the house on this very auspicious day and add fervor to the festive spirit.Moreover, a¬†Diya also symbolizes knowledge.

Diya or Deepak, an oil lamp usually made from clay, with a cotton wick dipped in ghee or vegetable oil.

Diya or Deepak on top of a rangoli, an oil lamp usually made from clay, with a cotton wick dipped in ghee or vegetable oil.

Rangoli, a folk art from India can be seen on every doorstep. Rangoli patterns are created on the floor in living rooms or courtyards using materials such as colored rice, dry flour, colored sand or flower petals.

Colored Rice for Rangoli making

Colored Sand for Rangoli making

The purpose of Rangoli is decoration, and it is thought to bring good luck.¬†Girls, boys and women’s create Rangoli and other creative patterns on floors, near doors and walkways.

A Rangoli design with diya's on top.

A Rangoli design with diya’s on top.

Decorative materials and statue of Goddess Laxmi and Lord Ganesha are brought to home.

Decorative Materials and statue of deities.

Decorative Materials and statue of deities.

The statue are decorated by pushp(flowes) and wore cloths. Later in the evening, during the pooja (prayer ritual) performed to host, honor and worship one or more deities.

Marigold flowers sold for decorating house.

Marigold flowers sold for decorating house.

Pooja ki thali is used to do Pooja and Aarti.

A plate decorated with Diya's and Marigold Flowes for Aarti.

Puja ki Thali, a plate decorated with Diya’s and Marigold Flowes.

Statue’s of Lord Ganesha and modern day Diya’s.

Pookja Ki Thali

 

Diwali is one of the happiest of holidays in India, with significant preparations. People clean their homes and decorate them for the festivities. Diwali is one of the biggest shopping seasons in India; people buy new clothes for themselves and their families, gifts, appliances, kitchen utensils, small to big ticket items such as cars and gold jewelry. People also buy gifts for family members and friends which typically includes sweets, dry fruits and seasonal specialties depending on regional harvest and customs.

Special Sweets during Diwali.

Special Sweets during Diwali.

Girls and women go shopping. It is also the period when little kids hear ancient stories, legends, myths and battle between good and evil, light and darkness from their parents and elders.  Youth and grown ups graduate to helping with lighting and preparing for patakhe (fireworks).

Crackers are burn during  Diwali eve.

Crackers are burn during Diwali eve.

Happiness is in the air, it’s Diwali everywhere, let’s show some love and care.

Wish you all a Happy Diwali, Namaste. ūüôā

A delicate thread of love – Raksha Bandhan

India is known to the world for its spirituality. Nature is revered and worshiped in all forms‚ÄĒtrees, rivers, animals, grain even tools are all worshiped.

So, why the bond between us humans be left behind. Raksha Bandhan is one such a festival where the bond between a brother and sister is celebrated.

Sisters apply tilak on the foreheads of their brothers as they vow to take care and protect their sisters. A sacred thread is tied on the wrist. A time immemorial ritual and bond is re-ignited.

The festival is celebrated every year on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravan (August).

Deepak

On the day of rakhi, the pooja ki thali is decorated with a deepak, the sacred rice grains mixed with turmeric and kum kum. With the brother seated in front, the sister both blesses and worships him by circling the holy fir, sprinkling the sacred grains, applying the tilak and then tying the rakhi.

Fire is central to Hindu value system. It symbolizes energy and ever-lasting vigour. The tilak is always applied on the temple, between the eyebrow where the spiritual third eye, the eye of wisdom and knowledge is supposed to be located.

Rakhi

In modern times, rakhi is often tied around the arms of people who actually protect the public today. It is common sight to see women tying rakhi’s on the arms of soldiers.

In recent times the festival is being celebrated by followers of other faith too. Beyond everything, it celebrates the affection between siblings.

There’s no other love like the love for a brother. There’s no other love like the love from a brother..