Indian Culture & Art in USA, a Blog

Fun & modern Indian boutique for the entire family

Archive for the ‘Holidays & Festivals’ Category

Thanksgiving with Kids & Other Tips

leave a comment »

Tips for the season*:
“If you have time and energy, get kids to help prepare a simple dish. This will acclimate them to cooking and bestow a sense of pride when “their” dish is served.”

“Modern technology has not yet replaced the handwritten thank-you note—rather it has made it more precious”

*Credit Bon Appetit magazine – A modern etiquette guide to Giving & Thanking Nov 2014

Get the kids to help with Chota Chef

With step-by-step pictorial illustrations to make it easy for young readers; Each recipe is printed double-sided (one side for the adult, and one side for the child) on a thick laminated board for easy clean-up. 
Each of the cards also contains a fun fact about the state or region where the recipe is from.


Send a handwritten note to the host

Show your appreciation by writing your thank you note on these one of a kind handmade scrolls featuring a an Indian Saloka design.  The paper is created using dispersed cotton fibres that gives it a unique texture and sheen

Written by Redpatang

November 12, 2014 at 10:30 am

India Republic Day – January 26th

leave a comment »

64 years ago India adopted a new constitution making it a republic, a country of the people, for the people, by the people.  Republic Day is more than just a holiday.  It is a celebration of the freedoms and opportunities afforded to all Indians.  The Constitution, among other things, includes the following Fundamental Rights for ALL citizens: 

  1. Right to equality
  2. Right to freedom (speech, expression, life and liberty)
  3. Right against exploitation, prohibiting child labor and human trafficking
  4. Right to freedom of religion
  5. Right to conserve one’s culture, language or script.
  6. Right to constitutional remedies for enforcement of Fundamental Rights.
  7. Right to education.

A lot of progress has been made despite many challenges.  But India is, at best, a work in progress and a lot more still needs to be done.  We believe in India’s immense potential created by the huge human capital – a population of more than one billion citizens – who together will make India truly incredible.  We applaud Aamir Khan for creating and promoting ‘Satyamev Jayate’, which exposes the state of India’s rights and freedoms.   This hard hitting series from 2012-13 is a must watch.  It is available at

Watch. Feel. Act. For those who are unfortunate and helpless…

To freedom…

Written by Redpatang

January 21, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Indian Holidays 2014 (National)

leave a comment »

India has so many traditions, religions and cultures, that it can sometimes be hard to track whether a certain festival is a holiday or not.

Below is a list of official holidays for 2014 (as published by the Government of India), observed nationally.

Date National Holidays in India Week Day
Jan 14 Id-E-Milad Tuesday
Jan 26 Republic Day Sunday
Mar 17 Holi Monday
Apr 08 Ram Navmi Tuesday
Apr 13 Mahavir Jayanthi Sunday
Apr 18 Good Friday Friday
May 14 Buddha Purnima Wednesday
Jul 29 Id-Ul-Fitr Tuesday
Aug 15 Independence Day Friday
Aug 18 Krishna Janmastami Monday
Oct 02 Mahatma Gandhi Jayanthi Thursday
Oct 03 Dussera/ Vijaya Dashami (Maha Navmi) Friday
Oct 06 Bakri Id (Id-ul-zuha) Monday
Oct 23 Diwali Thursday
Nov 04 Muharram Tuesday
Nov 06 Guru Nanak Jayanthi Thursday
Dec 25 Christmas Thursday

In addition, individual states/ regions may have additional holidays for festivals and local celebrations.  Key regional holidays and festivals are listed below.

Date Other regional holidays/ major festivals in India Week Day
Jan 01 New Year’s Day Wednesday
Jan 07 Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti Tuesday
Jan 14 Makar Sankranti Tuesday
Jan 14 Pongal Tuesday
Feb 04 Vasant/ Shree Panchami Tuesday
Feb 14 Guru Ravidas Jayanti Friday
Feb 19 Shivaji Jayanti Wednesday
Feb 24 Swami Dayananda Saraswati Jayanti Monday
Feb 27 Maha Shivratri Thursday
Mar 16 Holika Dahan Sunday
Mar 31 Chaitra Sukladi/ GudiPadava/ Ugadi/ Cheti Chand Monday
Apr 14 Vaisakhi/ Vishu/ Mesadi/ Mashadi Uczadi Monday
Apr 15 Vaisakhadi(Bengal)/ Bahag Bihu (Assam) Tuesday
Apr 20 Easter Sunday
May 09 Guru Rabindranath’s Birthday Friday
May 13 Hazarat Ali’s Birthday Tuesday
Jun 29 Rath Yatra Sunday
Jul 25 Jamat-Ul-Vida Friday
Aug 10 Raksha Bandhan Sunday
Aug 18 Parsi New Year’s day Monday
Aug 29 Vinayaka Chaturthi/Ganesh Chaturthi Friday
Sep 07 Onam Sunday
Oct 01 Dussehra (Maha Saptami) (Additional) Wednesday
Oct 02 Dussehra (Maha Ashtami) (Additional) Thursday
Oct 08 Maharishi Valmiki’s Birthday Wednesday
Oct 11 Karva Chauth (Karaka Chaturthi) Saturday
Oct 22 Narak Chaturdashi/ Deepavali – South India Wednesday
Oct 24 Govardhan Puja Friday
Oct 25 Bhai Duj Saturday
Oct 29 Pratihar Sashthi or Surya Sashthi (Chhat Puja) Wednesday
Nov 24 Guru Teg Bahadur’s Martyrdom Day Monday
Dec 24 Christmas Eve Wednesday
Dec 28 Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti Sunday

PS: Local names/ spellings of these holidays/festivals may differ.

What is Diwali?

with one comment

Diwali is the Indian Festival of Lights.  Also known as Deepavali (which literally means ‘row of lamps’), Diwali is usually celebrated in October-November on the darkest moonless night.  The festival starts on the thirteenth day of waning moon and there are 5 days of Diwali.  Each day is of special significance.

The first day is called Dhanteras :  Dhan means wealth and Teras is the thirteenth day of the Hindu month.  This is the birthday of Lord Dhanwantari and is considered a very auspicious day for businesses!  On this day, people pray to Lord Dhanwantari for money and success.  Dhanteras is also called the day of Yamadeepan.

The second day of Diwali is called Naraka Chaturdashi or ‘Choti Diwali’.  According to legend, this is the day Lord Krishna destroyed the demon Nakasura. The fireworks that we light during Diwali are supposed to represent the weapons that Lord Krishna used to defeat Nakasura.

The third day of Diwali is the real Diwali.  This is the only day in the year when Goddess Laxmi comes down to earth and bestows prosperity and good fortune.    We light diyas to invite Goddess Laksmi and drive away darkness.  People perform Lakshmi puja and ask for blessings of prosperity. This is also the day that Lord Ram (who is said to be the avatar of Lord Vishnu) returned home after killing the Lankan ruler Ravana.  Fireworks also represent the victory of good over evil!


The fourth day of Diwali is Govardhan Puja.  Lord Krishna saved Gokul from flooding by using the Govardhan mountain as an umbrella

The last day of Diwali is bhai dooj and is a symbol of love between brothers and sisters.  Legend has it that Yamraj the lord of death visited his sister (the river Yamuna) and she put a tilak on his forehead.   So on this day, sisters apply a tilak on their brothers forehead and get gifts and blessings in return.

This year Diwali (the third and main day) falls on Sunday November 3rd.  For a full list of Indian festivals and holidays check out our blog post Indian festival list 2013

Question aides for parents:

Q1) When is Diwali?

Q2) Why do we light diyas during Diwali?

Q3) How many days of Diwali are there?

Q4) What do the fireworks represent?

Written by Redpatang

October 30, 2013 at 9:33 am

Diwali gift ideas

with 4 comments

Diwali is around the corner and your gifts are a click away!  Check out some fun ideas to get you inspired

Funny ‘Indian’ Mugs

These ‘Indian’ mugs come in a series of 3You know you’re Indian, Always Indian, Still Indian
You know you are Indian if’….’10 kg rice bag’….’you dont use measuring cups when cooking’…’you love bollywood’…’Maybe because everything you eat is savored in tomato, garlic and onion :)’

Always Indian coffee mug

Always Indian coffee mug

Amar Chitra Katha – The Complete Collection

Calling all Amar Chitra Katha fans!  This gift set is one to be treasured.  The entire collection in a beautifully packaged box set

Amar Chitra Katha - The complete collection

Amar Chitra Katha – The complete collection

Ravan T-Shirt

A modern rendition of an Diwali iconic symbol

Ravana T Shirt


Sand Art Rangoli Kit

Back in stock – this popular kit is a lovely way of holding onto the Rangoli art form even after the Diwali season! Rangoli creations can be framed

Sand Art Rangoli kit

Sand Art Rangoli kit

Take $5 off your order of $50 or more by using coupon DWL5 at checkout (valid till Oct 31st 2013).

108 Names of Ganesha: Categorized by Theme

leave a comment »

Lord Ganesha's mural at Fort Meherangarh Palace, Jodhpur India (Courtesy: Dalbera via Flickr)

Lord Ganesha’s mural at Fort Meherangarh Palace, Jodhpur India (Courtesy: Dalbera via Flickr)

Ganesha… Ganapati… Siddhivinayaka… Mangalamurti… Elephant God

Did you know that Lord Ganesha is worshiped using 108 names!  We got curious and wanted to sort them by their meaning.  Some names refer to him as the God of all, powerful and warrior-like yet forgiving, with strong family connections.  Of course, there are several names that describe his appearance and other qualities.  And there are 22 names for Him as bestower or knowledge and success as well as remover of all obstacles.

Lord Ganesha’s 108 names (by theme):

Lord of all
1 Avaneesh Lord of the whole World
2 Bhupati Lord of the Gods
3 Bhuvanpati God of the Heaven
4 Devadeva Lord of All Lords
5 Sureshwaram Lord of All Lords
6 Ganadhakshya Lord of All Ganas (Gods)
7 Ganapati Lord of All Ganas (Gods)
8 Ganadhyakshina Leader of All The Celestial Bodies
9 Maheshwaram Lord of The Universe
10 Pramoda Lord of All Abodes
11 Vinayaka Lord of All
12 Vishwamukha Master of The Universe
13 Vishwaraja King of The World
Read the rest of this entry »

Ganesh Chaturthi – a few gift ideas

leave a comment »

Ganesha Single comic - Amar Chitra Katha

Ganesha Single comic – Amar Chitra Katha

Ganesh Chaturthi is coming up on September 9th.  Looking for a way to celebrate?

Here are some gift ideas that you can find right in the redpatang store!

Ganesha fun magnet

Ganesha fun magnet

Traditional Ganesha Magnet

Traditional Ganesha Magnet

Written by Redpatang

September 2, 2013 at 9:45 pm

%d bloggers like this: