Close

“Indian Festivals” Through the Prism Of Books

Wikipedia defines Festival as an extraordinary event celebrated by a community and centering on some characteristic aspect or aspects of that community and its religion or culture. However, we Indians have a special place for these so-called festivals. Each festival has its significance and people celebrate with zeal and happiness.

For Indians, a festival means the reflection of ethnicity, folklore, and humanism that not only brings our closest ones together but also resonates with the prominence and significance of the event plus delicacies. Being a diversified country of hundreds of stratums, echelons, lineages, and hereditary genealogy no wonder we have festivals that are almost every day of the year in any part of the Indian continent.

However, with the rise of digitization, cultural barriers, fast-paced sentience, corporate lifestyle, and lack of inquisitiveness we often fail to see the bliss and glory that festivals bring to us and this traditional clumsiness showing a bigger impact on the young and upcoming generations.

Celebration..!!

In India, we celebrate most of the festivals according to the Hindu Calendar the first month of the calendar starts with Chaitra Month which comes in April, and the last month is known as Phalguna Month which occurs in February and March. However, there are a few festivals about religion that fall as per celestial calculation and a few as per the stipulated date of the Gregorian calendar. 

With this motive of encouraging and making them aware of festivals and their prominence to our present and upcoming generation, I feel literature plays a major role. Be it a good book that talks about festivals or a blog/vlog that reflects the festival’s motives. I am sure readers will agree with me that most of the Indian authors through their literature threw light on India’s major festivals and the secrets behind celebrating those.

Festivals Through Prism Of Books..!!

In my reading journey, there are plenty of books that spoke and illustrated about the festivals and their noteworthiness. I always treat those books as a blessing in disguise, authors at least spreading awareness to connect back to our roots with their writing abilities. With this propulsion, I am here presenting the works of two of those authors who presented themselves paraphrasing about Indian festivals.

Book One..!!

Festival Stories By “Rachna Chhabria” ..!!

Rachna Chhabria was born in Raipur and grew up in Bangalore. She has a fascination for words, she is at her happiest when she is writing her stories and creating fantasy worlds for her books. Animal stories are her favorite. She has traveled the world in her imagination. She is a columnist with Deccan Chronicle and The Asian Age. Her children’s stories appear regularly in Young World and Open Sesame She also taught creative writing in a college for a few years. As a child, she loved listening to stories, and now she loves writing them.

Rachna Chhabria: Author

While the blurb of her book “Festival (Through the Year) Stories” says:
India is a country of myriad festivals! Not a month goes by in which we don’t have something to celebrate. This book invites you to rejoice in India’s rich culture through the simple stories of two young twins, Natasha and Nikhil, as they experience an entire year of festivals and celebrations – starting with Lohri in January and ending with Christmas in December!

The detailed descriptions and wealth of detail about each festival that Natasha and Nikhil record in their blog and journal will make this a book to treasure and return to every time a festival comes by. So come celebrate with us!

My Thoughts..!!

Protagonists Natasha and Nikhil are twins hailing from the US, who travel along with their parents to their grandparents’ place for a yearlong stay and experience the celebrations of every major festival not only by participating but also by blog/journaling. The duo got to learn the essence and essentiality of every festival plus understanding the theme and motive behind the celebration.

Rachna in this book spoke about 30+ festivals emphasizing the gatherings of grandparents, neighbors, friends, and family thereby giving the notion of integrity and togetherness. She also added the emotions of sharing, ritualistic blends, incisiveness, empathy, kindness, and so on that we often see as a festival motive. Her writing was complimented with excellent illustrations and simple vocabulary. She also didn’t miss adding the aspects of fun, harmonic backgrounds, and enthusiasm throughout the read.

Unlike the market-available children’s books, Rachna brought in the concept of blogging/journaling in the plot portrayal that ensures the habit of literature inculcation from childhood. I equally recommend this to adults, and parents as a bedtime retelling book for their loved ones.

Book Two..!!

Celebrate With Me Series…!! By “Shoumi Sen“..!!

Shoumi is a Marketing executive at a leading energy management company and currently lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband and daughter. Her childhood in Paris, Mumbai, and Dubai provided her with opportunities to appreciate how Indians preserve their cultural connectedness even while living abroad.

Shoumi Sen: Author

I am here to talk about three books in her “Celebrate with Me Series”..!!

  • Celebrate Durga Puja with Me!
  • Celebrate Holi with Me!
  • Celebrate Onam with Me!

On the same lines as the previous book I spoke about, Shoumi in her three books of the
Celebrate with Me” series presented her readers with three important festivals that are being celebrated majorly in INDIA. Little Protagonist Riya walks us through three major festivals in this series with ample information about the respective significances and interesting facts.

My Thoughts..!!

All these three books are knitted with the illustrations of Abira Das (Holi and Durga Puja) and Rudra Bose (Onam). Both the illustrators did a decent job of reflecting the words and meanings that Shoumi wished to convey to her readers through Riya.

She packed these extremely small yet informational books with decent vocabulary, socio-emotions, religious fervor, poetic elucidations, excitement, and enthusiasm. This book is the wealthiest possession for your kids and can serve as an adorable birthday present or as a bedtime book for your loved ones.

My special appreciation goes to Shoumi, a resident of Los Angeles, her thoughts always reflect on India and Indian roots as she strongly believes our local festivals stand as inspiration for many Riya’s in India. Also commendable effort by blending the regional connect and its colloquial epithets with respective festivals.

Additional Recommendations..!!

I also take the opportunity to introduce a few more authors who spoke about the Indian festivals in their writing style so that readers can also relish, apprehend, and acquaint themselves with Indian festivals. After all, festivals are mediums for reinforcing togetherness, strengths, and emotive bonding repose.

  • The Palace of Illusions by “Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni”
  • The God of Small Things by “Arundhati Roy”
  • Nine Nights Of The Goddess By “Moumita Sen”

I strongly believe in the practice of introducing our rituals, festivals, and culture from the early days of childhood and helping them to carry out the traditions, morale, and etiquette which in turn make them exemplary in building modern India enriched with heritage and civilization.

Links & FootNote..!!

My HandleKiran_Kumar_Adharapuram
Author HandleBrianna Wiest
You can also explore my works -> Here

Let me know in the comments if I missed any book(s) that spoke about the plot with the festival as a backdrop. I am happy to read, review, and appreciate the respective author for his/her good deeds.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘BookishCafeBloghop2024
hosted by Rakhi Jayashankar & Samata Dey Bose

Regards
Kiran Kumar Adharapuram


 

12 thoughts on ““Indian Festivals” Through the Prism Of Books

  1. In this digital era, the enthu and joy while celebrating festivities have drastically reduced. Even in the native villages they have comparatively reduced I feel. It’s through stories one has to retain the cultural heritage. Until it’s written it cannot be remembered; this is what I feel. Wonderfully penned article ♥️

  2. You have included two wonderful authors and both of them are new to me. Looking at festivals from a perspective of a person residing outside India must be so refreshing. We, living in India, get used to all the festives and pomp and show but people who visit India during festivals have an entirely different take on the festivals. I will surely give these a try. Thank you for recommending them.

  3. I think when we see festivities from another country, we realise how beautiful Indian celebrations are. They are so vibrant and colourful and I guess both the authors have caught this aspect well, going by your recommendations. I personally enjoy illustrated books, so even though there are no children at home, I would like to keep these books with me.

  4. The Wikipedia thing is something new to me given by you which will be a bucket of knowledge that I would like to add to my storehouse. And, the concept of Festivals given by Wikimedia that says a festival is an exceptional occasion that is held in honour of a community and revolves around one or more defining features of that community’s religion or culture truly enchanted me.

  5. You have highlighted on such cute books. I think today s children are moving away from festivals and books. These are a great way to make them aware and learn more about the history and essence of the festivals.

  6. I think books are a great way to introduce kids to the myriad festivals we Indians celebrate. There are so many! On the day I celebrate Vishu, my friends in tamil nadu and punjab celebrate different festivals of their cultures. I totally love this about our country – how we celebrate soooo many festivals, yet we share sooo many things in common being the citizens of India.

  7. I appreciate getting a different viewpoint on Indian festivals as it is refreshing to read about them from a foreign perspective. Thank you for sharing such fresh reads and I believe these stories are as unique as they appear.

  8. In this digital era, we are no longer staying in a joint family where celebration would be fun with cousins. Also with grandparents staying away children have no one to teach them the rituals. So these books are a boon to let the next generation know our culture . I like the way you have written the post with elaborate description. I will save these books to gift my niece. Thanks for sharing.

  9. The series by shoumi sen that you’ve introduced here sound an interesting read for me and my kids. I absolutely love the book covers.Festivals through the year is one of our favourite reads. Indeed these books help out little ones to connect to our roots

  10. What a delightful exploration of Indian festivals through the lens of literature! The intricate portrayal of festivals in books not only preserves our cultural heritage but also educates and enchants readers of all ages. Kudos to the authors like Rachna Chhabria and Shoumi Sen for beautifully weaving the essence of festivals into their stories, fostering a deeper appreciation for our traditions. Your insightful commentary and thoughtful recommendations inspire readers to dive into these literary treasures and embark on a journey of celebration and enlightenment. Can’t wait to explore these festival-themed books and delve into the rich tapestry of Indian culture they offer!

  11. The books that you have mentioned showcase the essence of India through its festival and I can resonate with the Festival stories as I myself was staying abroad and when I moved to India and experienced the varied festivals 1st hand, it was simply amazing.

  12. I love that you are a fan of Brianna West because I am too! Great recs. I would love to read the books by Shoumi sen and Rachna Chaabria. Festivals are such an incredible topic to read !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blogarama - Blog Directory Discover latest Indian Blogs