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Archive for the ‘Kolkata (Calcutta) Festival’ Category

Sachin Mukherjee’s Fanush 2015 and a Fanush Makers get together

December 2, 2015 14 comments

Sachin Mukherjee’s Fanush 2015

Fanush Makers get together

Also see: My compilation on Fanush

Twinkle twinkle little star,

How I wonder what you are!

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

The Star (Nursery Rhymes) by Jane Taylor

A star shaped fanush above the Belgachia (Milk Colony) skyline in North Kolkata

A star shaped fanush above the Belgachia (Milk Colony) skyline in North Kolkata

On the late evening of 29 November, a bright star was seen in the late afternoon sky above Belgachia (Milk Colony), in North Kolkata.

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Happy Street, Fun and Games on Park Street, Kolkata

March 25, 2015 22 comments

Happy Street, Fun and Games on Park Street, Kolkata

An Initiative of Times of India

I am no stranger to Park Street as I had spend a decade and half in St. Xavier’s School and College, which has been a second home for me.

Happy Street, Park Street, Kolkata, a Times of India initiative

Happy Street, Park Street, Kolkata, a Times of India initiative

But on 22 March 2015 I entered Park Street from the Chowringhee end and was greeted by a a totally unfamiliar scene.

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Blessing of the Grapes, Festival of Calcutta Armenians

August 20, 2014 18 comments

Blessing of the Grapes

Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Tangra, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Also see: Armenians of Calcutta (Kolkata)

Held on the Sunday closest to the 15th August, the Grape Blessing Ceremony is one of the most important festivals of the Armenian calender.

Blessing of the Grapes, Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Tangra, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Blessing of the Grapes, Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Tangra, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Although a Christian festival the Blessing of the Grapes originally dates back to the days of Paganism. Mid August was harvest season in Armenia and it was also the new year for pre – Christian Armenians.

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Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Tangra, Calcutta (Kolkata)

April 30, 2014 6 comments

Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Tangra, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Sunday Mass

Also see my blog posts on Armenians of Calcutta (Kolkata)

Tangra, Calcutta’s (Kolkata’s) Chinatown known for its tanneries and Chinese restaurant is also the home of the Armenian Church of Holy Trinity.

L: Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Tangra, Kolkata. R: Graveyard with the church

L: Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Tangra, Kolkata. R: Graveyard with the church

The Armenians claimed to have settled in Calcutta (Kolkata) much before the arrival of Job Charnock. A vibrant commercial community they wanted to reestablish their socio – cultural activity in Calcutta and Bengal.

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Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival, Chinese All Souls’ Day

August 14, 2013 5 comments

Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival

Chinese Equivalent of the All Souls’ Day

Also see: My blog post on Calcutta (Kolkata) Chinatown

The gates of Hell have opened and the ghost are out to dine on the exotic feast laid out in makeshift tables in front of their horse – shoe shaped graves. Its the the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival, the Chinese version of the all souls’ day.

Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival, Choong Ye Thong Cemetery, Tangra (New Chinatown), Calcutta (Kolkata)

Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival, Choong Ye Thong Cemetery, Tangra (New Chinatown), Calcutta (Kolkata)

According to ancient Chinese tradition the seventh month of the Chinese calender is known as the Ghost Month. The gates of Hell are said to be open through out the month. Ghosts and spirits are said to roam the earth looking out for food and entertainment.

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Eid – ul – Fitr Namaz (Prayer), Calcutta (Kolkata)

August 7, 2013 4 comments

Eid – ul – Fitr Namaz (Prayer)

Nakhoda Masjid and Red Road (Maidan), Calcutta (Kolkata)

“Islam has always been an urban faith, ill at ease with the wilderness; its civilization has always flourished most successfully in the labyrinths of the ancient bazar towns of the East. Certainly there can be no doubt that Islam looks at its most impressive in a great urban cathedral mosque, especially on an occasion like Id.”

William Dalrymple, City of Djinns

Eid - ul - Fitr, Nakhoda Masjid (Mosque), Calcutta (Kolkata)

Eid – ul – Fitr, Nakhoda Masjid (Mosque), Calcutta (Kolkata)

Eid – ul – Fitr, also known as the “Feast of Breaking the Fast” is an important Islamic festival celebrated by Muslims worldwide to mark the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. This is a day when Muslims around the world try to show a common goal of unity.

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Armenian Good Friday, Calcutta (Kolkata)

April 3, 2013 4 comments

Burial of Christ ~ Armenian Good Friday

St. Gregory, the Illuminator, Armenian Chapel, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Also see my blog post on Armenians of Calcutta (Kolkata)

The coffin bearers slowly carried the black coffin, beautifully stacked with flowers outside the small chapel adjoining to the Lower Circular Road Cemetery in Calcutta (Kolkata). Strangely it was not a funeral and nor the black coffin contained any dead body !!!!

Armenian Good Friday, St. Gregory, the Illuminator chapel, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Armenian Good Friday, St. Gregory, the Illuminator chapel, Calcutta (Kolkata)

It was the Good Friday service of the Armenian Christian community at the St. Gregory, the Illuminator Armenian Chapel at Park Circus.

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Lascar War Memorial, Calcutta (Kolkata)

February 6, 2013 13 comments

Lascar War Memorial

~ Napier Road, Calcutta (Kolkata) ~

See also: Compilation of WWI Memorials in Calcutta (Kolkata) and Indian Naval Band Performence

Lascar War Memorial, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Lascar War Memorial, Calcutta (Kolkata)

“He had thought that the Lascars were a tribe or nation….. he discovered now that they came  from places that were far apart, and had nothing in common, except the Indian Ocean; among them were Chinese and East Africans, Arabs and Malays, Bengalis and Goans, Tamils and Arakanese.”

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh

Sandwiched between the two buildings of the Navy House in Napier Road in Hasting region of Calcutta (Kolkata) stands a towering structure built in the honor of 896 Lascars, who died fighting for the British Navy during the Great War of 1914 – 18 (First World War).

The 100 ft memorial built in the Indo-Mughal style has prows of an ancient galley projecting from each side and is capped by four mini minarets and a large dome. Along the facade are undulating lines symbolizing waves.

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Armenian Christmas Celebration, Calcutta (Kolkata)

January 9, 2013 5 comments

Armenian Christmas Celebration

6 January 2013, Armenian Church, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Also see my blog post on Armenians of Calcutta (Kolkata)

Armenian Christmas Celebration, Armenian Church, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Armenian Christmas Celebration, Armenian Church, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Yes you have read it right “Christmas on 6 January !!!!!” It is the Armenian Christmas. The Armenian Orthodox Church  celebrates the birth of Christ on January 6 (also known as Old Christmas).

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Fanush Making ~ Making of paper made hot air balloons

November 14, 2012 60 comments

Fanush Making

~ Making of Paper Made Hot Air Balloons ~

The following documentation is made at the Dutt family at Bholanath Dham, Beadon Street, Calcutta

Also see: My compilation on Fanush

Fanush Making at Bholanath Dham ~ Ajoy Dutt and P K mullick

Fanush Making at Bholanath Dham ~ Ajoy Dutt and P K Mullick

Fanush (ফানুস, also spelt as Phanush or Phanus), paper made hot air balloon, was once the integral part of North Calcutta (Kolkata) “Babu” Culture. Today the art of Fanush making is a dying art as the new generation has shifted its attention into other sources of entertainment.

The Fanush operates in the same principle of a hot air balloon. The air inside the Fanush is heated by a cloth rag ball (locally called Luti) soaked in spirit. The Luti is attached to the base of the Fanush.

Apart from the conventional balloon shape the fanush also came in a host of different shapes, like pitchers, stars, footballs, ducks, kettles and even the planet of Saturn.

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