Diwali 2015

Diwali Display at Hornby Library
Diwali Display at Hornby Library, HO-Diwali-2015.DSC2090.jpg

Diwali is one of the major Hindu festivals. It is celebrated in all parts of India, where it is a national holiday, and in Hindu communities worldwide.

Diwali takes its name from “Diyas” (lamps) which symbolically remove the darkness and awaken the light. Clay lamps traditionally filled with mustard oil, or candles of different colours like red, green, and yellow are lit and placed around the entrances of houses.

Families spend days cleaning and decorating their homes in preparation for Diwali. The idea is to fill the houses with lights and remove the gloom and darkness. The preparation of traditional sweets to share with families and friends makes the festive spirit even merrier.

The first thing we do on Diwali day is get up early, wear nice new clothes, and offer fruit and sweets to family members. Later we visit friends to exchange greetings and sweets. The concept is to get everyone one in a festive and relaxed mood. The celebration generally concludes with spectacular displays of fireworks – these play a significant role in increasing the charms of Diwali among all age groups.

Diwali 2015 posterDiwali in New Zealand is known as the Indian Festival of Lights, and has become of the biggest regular yearly events in Christchurch.

This year the official celebration will take place on Saturday 24 October at Horncastle Arena from 3pm till 9pm (and probably later!). It will be an event where you can expect lots of entertainment showcasing the culture and arts from various states of India. There will be food and trade stalls, and of course fireworks so that all the people in Christchurch can enjoy experiencing the Diwali festive spirit.

Hope to see you there!

Hornby  Library

2012 Body Festival

Image: DancerChristchurch is currently hosting the 2012 Body Festival of Dance and Physical Theatre.  The programme attracts a large number of people, with a steadily increasing participation every year.  It showcases a variety of dance performances ranging from classical to contemporary, as well as other performance arts such as puppetry and circus.  The Body Festival is being held from 21st September to 14th October at various locations – check out the events calendar on its website.

One of the dance performances in the classical genre which I am particularly looking forward to is the Bharatanatyam, a highly intricate Indian dance requiring several years of practice to perfect.  The dancers, Vivek Kinra and the Mudra Dance Company, will be performing  a piece called Satvika, narrating stories of the romances and battles of Hindu gods and goddesses. In the dance, the performers truly use the body as a medium of communication,  depicting the stories’ various characteristics through subtle expressions, gestures and emotions.

If you are inspired to learn more about Bharanatyam, you can find the details about the Bharatanatyam Group of Christchurch in CINCH, our database of community information.

Christchurch City Library also holds a number of informative books on the physiological, anatomical and emotional aspects of dance, which can help you gain a general understanding of the biomechanics of movement and body-mind conditioning, and learn exercises to attain flexibility and control of movements.

Cover: Conditioning for Dance     Cover: The Anatomy of Exercise and Movement     Cover: Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology

Hornby Library