With the festival season still in progress, this has been another noisy and colourful week. The main road which runs parallel to my street is decorated with red and yellow Karnataka flags and colourful garlands of lights which hang down in a vertical pattern across the facades of the shops and buildings. Next to the Hanuman temple, an image of Hanuman the monkey god has been outlined in colourful lights and the words, Hanuman Jayanthi – this is a holiday which celebrates the birth of the god Hanuman. I remember this being celebrated a few months ago… sure enough some Internet research revealed that this festival was already celebrated in April this year. I don’t know why it is being celebrated again… perhaps any excuse for a party is a good one?
This morning there was a huge crowd in front of the temple so today must be the pinnacle of this festival which started over a week ago. Of course there were the usual noisy processions with loud frenetic drumming, bursting fireworks and the more soothing sound of temple priests chanting in the early morning hours.
On Sunday afternoon I went to the stationery shop and came across a colourful and noisy procession of camels, people wearing colourful masks and costumes, men on stilts wearing tall hats, followed by frenetic dancers being worked up by the energetic street drummers, and a float pulled by a tractor which carried a female deity covered with garlands.
I asked the shopkeeper what the fuss was all about. He told me it was to celebrate Kannada Rajyotsava (the founding of the state of Karnataka), a holiday which was already celebrated on November 1st! This left me even more confused… Anyway, whatever the occasion was, it was celebrated with much pomp and fanfare and as I write this, I can still hear the drumming! I was able to film some of the noise and commotion happening outside my window – well, around the corner… Have a look and experience some of the sounds and colours of India: