Welcome to Marathi Culture and Festivals

मराठी संस्कृती, सण, आणि संस्कारविधी

Welcome to Marathi Culture And Festivals - The only marathi info site for english readers and marathi learners!

Read about current festival/ Ritual on Upcoming

Diwali Oct. 20-25 /2014 दिवाळी ऑक्टोबर २०-२५ /२०१४ 

Exclusive: एक्सक्लूझिव्ह
Solar Eclipse and Diwali pujan

There is a Solar eclipse on October 23/2014 , same day is Diwali Laxmi pujan. A lot of confusion going on whether or not one can do Lakshmi Puja on that day. All the  readers from India can disregard this information as this eclipse is not visible in India.

However it is visible in continents like: East Asia, Much of North America, Atlantic and Pacific.

Refer to these links for the reference to see what time solar eclipse starts and ends in your zone.

In Los Angeles it starts at 2.10 pm and ends at 4.40 pm, so we can perform laxmi pujan in the evening 6.0 pm to 8.0 pm.

If the eclipse starts and ends in the evening time, one can perform this in the Morning of October 23/2014

There are three stages of eclipse: Start, full and end. Starting called “ved “ वेद in Hindu religion.

It is not advised to perform any ritual/ puja during the whole eclipse time. However it is advised to chant any mantras during the Grahan ग्रहण period.

Diwali faral e-potluck
दिवाळी फराळ ई- पॉटलक 

Send us your recipe to be posted on the Culture Desk  , possibly with a picture. If the recipe is quick and easy, that will be great! Send me an email: kokatayash@gmail.com  Lets have some fun while sharing traditional recipes !

 कल्चर डेस्क  वर लावयला तुमची फराळ रेसिपी पाठवा .
ह्या ई-पत्त्यावर पाठवा kokatayash@gmail.com रेसिपी झटपट करता येयील अशी असल्यात उत्तमच आणि शक्यतो एखाद चित्र असेल तर छानच .

An Invitation to the Marathi Diaspora

मराठी संस्कृती प्रेमिकांना आवाहन 

 We are inviting articles from the Marathi community regarding the importance of preserving Marathi festivals and rituals for the younger generation. These festivals and rituals have been an integral part of our cultural heritage that has been passed down through countless generations to us.


Your articles should preferably address the relevance of this heritage to our present day lifestyles, whether presently we believe in value of our ancient rituals, and, if we do, then how we should go about transmitting those beliefs to the generations to come. All articles should be limited to between 500 and 1000 words. 


Some of the things that will be looked at and appreciated in the articles at the time of their evaluation would be first hand reporting of your personal successes and failures while imparting our ancient heritage to children.  Questions raised by the children, some of them funny, some embarrassing and some that left you helpless and unable to provide answers all these can provide you the material for writing.

मराठी सण आणि सांस्कृतिक रिवाज नवीन पिढीपर्यंत कसे पोचवावे याबद्दल आम्ही लेख मागवत आहोत. पिढ्यापिढ्यातून आपण जतन केलेले या संस्कारांचे सध्याच्या काळातील प्रयोजन, देशविदेशी पसरलेल्या मराठी बांधवांच्या आजच्या दैनंदिन आयुष्यातील त्या संस्कारांचे स्थान, आणि त्यांचे महत्त्व आपल्याला पटत असेल तर ते संस्कार आपल्या पुढील पिढीला कसे समजावून सांगावे यावरील आपले विचार जरूर लिहून या संकेत स्थळावर पाठवा. लेख ५०० शब्दांपेक्षा कमि व १,०००  शब्दांपेक्षा मोठे नसावेत. या प्रयत्नात आलेले यश वा अपयश, त्यातील अडचणींवर कशी मात केली, तसे करताना मुलांनी काय प्रश्न विचारले, तसेच काही वेळा संस्कारांबद्दल आपल्यालाच कमी माहिती असल्यास काही मजेदार प्रसंग उद्भवले का इत्यादी गोष्टींचा अंतर्भाव लेखात असावा.

आपल्या लेखातील लेखन कौशल्य, खुमासदारपणा आणि वेगळेपणा यांचा विचार करून लेख निवडले जातील .

Bhondla by Simi Valley Marathi shala Los angeles 
सिमी व्हेली मराठी शाळा ने साजरा केला पारंपारिक भोंडला 

Bhondla/Hadga is the custom celebrated as the Sun moves to the thirteenth constellation of the zodiac called Hasta'. "All sixteen days between Ghatasthapana and Kojagiri Purnima young girls celebrate the Bhondla/Hadga with gusto. A rangoli, representing a motif of two elephants with garlands in their trunks, is drawn either on the floor or on a paat (low wooden stool). The girls go around the motif in a circle, holding each other's hands and singing the Bhondla songs. All the Bhondla songs are traditional songs passed down the generations.

Today, however, a very few people have the time for this beautiful tradition. But Simi Valley Marathi shala is been doing this  almost every year.

About Simi Valley Marathi School:

This shala runs under Brihan Maharashtra Mandal North America’s umbrella. This shala opened in year 2010.  A Handful of  enthusiastic volunteers started this. With their consistent hard work and commitment, today they have 4 different levels and about over 45 kids.

I still remember the very first day when they started this initiative; they called every prospective parent to bring their kids to enroll. I went there with my kids to enroll too.

The very first day these volunteer teachers were present to help us out.

Mrs. and Mr. Sharad Dandekar

Mrs. Avanti Vaishampayan

Mrs. And Mr. Akash Gaiki

Mr. Sachin Deshpande

Mrs. Monika Joshi

Mr. Shashi Panat

Till date these committed volunteers are still there! And this is really very appreciable! Later a lot of other volunteers joined and today they have a full staff to teach all four levels of Marathi Language.

A big round of applause to these committed volunteers!

Enjoy the video clip and a few pictures of the celebration.


Why Navdurga Madkai has a tilted head?
मडकई ची देवी नवदुर्गा 
By: Ratnakar Nevrekar and Swati Kulkarni

Navadurga is the Kuldevta (family deity) of many Gaud Saraswat Brahmins (GSB's) and   Daivadnyas in India - in Goa and Maharashtra . Due to the forceful Portuguese conversion and intervention into their rituals, the Deity with all the other purushas had to be shifted from Gavasim to their present respective places. The Saraswats and Daivadnyas who left to the north of Goa, established a temple in the honours of the Goddess. The present temple along with the kulpurushas is located in Vengulara Redi(Maharashtra). The other Saraswats and Daivadnyas who left to the East of Goa along with their Kulapurushas established a temple dedicated to the Goddess. Today the magnificent temple located in Madkai  is famous for its Navadurga having a tilted head. Legend says that a wealthy Saraswat merchant when placed a flower worth Rs. 1000, the Goddess tilted her head acknowledging the merchant's devotion.As the legend goes a goldsmith belonging to Daivadnya Brahmin community living in the village of Madkai was ordered by temple authorities to fabricate a mask of the Goddess Navdurga. The Goddess appeared in the goldsmith’s dream and told him to make the mask similar to his daughter’s face. The mask was prepared resembling his daughter’s face, but after few days his daughter became weak and died. The goldsmith was very sad because of her death. The Goddess appeared before him once again and told him that she will visit his house once in a year as his daughter. Hence as a tradition goes the same mask of the Goddess is welcomed in the Goldsmith’s house on Karthik Shukla Asthami day every year. This day is celebrated by the Madkaikars(Goldsmith's family) in the same way as a married girl visiting her paternal home.

An excellent example set by Maharashtrian community Ujjain India: एक उत्तम उदाहरण 

A beautiful example of celebrating Ganapati set by Marathi Community Ujjain India.

This year Maharashtrian community decided to bring a clay idol of Ganapati, but they did not stop there, They did all the ceremonies, miravnuk for Bappa’s visarjan but instead of doing visarjan in a lake , pond or sea, they did Ganapati idol visarjan

In a big water container [ a big drum/ barrel ] They are planning to use this muddy water to plant trees around their neighborhood / city .

Following them, a lot of house -hold ganpati visarjan happened this way and the muddy water got used in plantation.

Hats off to this group for their effort to save the environment, such a beautiful idea!

 An example for all the communities who celebrate Ganpati :They still can do all the back ground decoration as big and grand as they want , but the Ganapati idol should be a medium size clay idol, which they can immerse in a portable vessel to be used for plantation.

The idea of doing a sarvajanik Ganapati was of Lokmanya Tilak, and the effort was to bring community together and not to bring a bigger/ fancier / multiple medium idols.

It’s so sad to see the after visarjan scenario, the Ganapati idols are broken into pieces

And the city administration has to remove them with the help of cranes.

The core members to take this initiative was:

Subhash Amritphale

Suhas Bakshi

Prashant Sohole.

Enjoy a few pictures of this grand celebration.

Tarana by Saili Oak Kalyanpur: साईली ओक कल्याणपूर 
Concert In Los Angeles 

An excellent performance by Saili , 15 1/2 matra tarana composition by : Mogubai Kurdikar.

Mogubai Kurdikar (Marathi: मोगुबाई कुर्डीकर) (July 15 1904 – February 10 2001) was a renowned North Indian classical vocalist of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana (school). Mogu Kurdikar was born in a "kalāwant" (entertainers) community in the village of Kurdi , Goa. When she was ten years old, her mother, Jayashreebāi, took her to the temple at  Zambavli  and arranged for a wandering holy man to teach music to Mogu for a while. Later she took Mogu to a traveling theater company, the Chandreshwar Bhootnāth Sangeet Mandali, and the company took Mogu in as an actress. 

Enjoy this video:

A 15 1/2 maatraa taraanaa, composition by Mogubai Kurdikar
Followed by a khayal in drut teentaal
Harmonium : Shri Gopal Marathe
Tabla : Shri Rahul Soparkar

Devotional singers group from konkan India : कोकणातील भजन मंडळे

Devotional Singers group from Konkan;

" Devotional songs means a music composition sung to generate positive energy and to get blessings of God."  

Konkan or the Konkan Coast is a rugged section of the western coastline of India.

The precise definition of Konkan varies, it is roughly the land between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, and between the Tapi river in the north and the Chandragiri river in the south. It includes the following districts of modern India: Thane, Mumbai, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, North Goa, South Goa.

Konkan has a lot  of devotional groups who compose and sing those devotional songs in various groups, especially around Ganesh Chaturthi . These groups follow a special format to compose and sing these songs along with dance. Gan, Stavan, Abhang, Golan, Kavvali,

Bharud are popular formats which coincides in "Gajar".

As Ganesh chaturthi is around the corner [ Aug 29 ] and they have a lot of these devotional songs in store, we will upload  selected ones for all the readers to enjoy.

कोकणातील भजन मंडळे

भजन म्हणजे भक्ती. या भक्तीत एकरूप होण्यासाठी टाळ-मृदंगाच्या साथीने रंगून जाणं, ही कोकणची खासियत. गणेशोत्सवात तर या भजनांना अधिकच रंग चढतो. गणेशोत्सवाच्या रात्री भजनाच्या साथीने सजतात, जागविल्या जातात. महिनाभर आधीच नवी गाणी, नवी बारी बसवण्यासाठी भजन मंडळांची तयारी सुरू होते. तबला, मृदंग सजवणार्‍या कारागिरांची लगबगही वाढते. चतुर्थीच्या रात्री गॅस बत्तीच्या उजेडात टाळ-मृदंगासह भल्या मोठ्या पायपेटीचं ओझं घेऊन लगबगीनं वावरणारी भजनी मंडळं बघितली की, या भजन कलेबद्दल अप्रूप वाटायला लागतं. कोकणात प्रत्येक वाडीवर आता भजनी मंडळं असतात. गावातील माहितगाराच्या मार्गदर्शनाखाली किंवा बाजारात येणार्‍या मान्यवर बुवांच्या कॅसेट ऐकून आपल्या भजन बार्‍या बसवल्या जातात.
मध्यंतरीच्या काळात काहीशी मागे पडलेली भजन कला आता वाढत्या स्पर्धांमुळे पुन्हा एकदा प्रकाशझोतात आली आहे. ही कला आता व्यावसायिक रूप घेत आहे. पूर्वी केवळ चतुर्थीतच ऐकू येणारी भजन बारी आता वर्षभर विविध कार्यक्रमांची रंगत वाढवताना दिसते. आता तर भजन कलाकार संघटितही होऊ लागले आहेत. कालानुरूप चित्रपटातील गाण्यांमध्ये बदल घडत गेले तरी पूर्वापार चालत आलेला भजनी साचा तसाच राहिला आहे. गण, स्तवन, नोटेशन रूपकामधला गजर, अभंग, गौळण, कव्वाली किंवा भारूड आणि शेवटचा गजर असं भजनाचं रूपडं तर गाणं म्हणणारा बुवा, मृदुंगमणी, चक्कीवाला (तालरक्षक) कोरस अशी भजनी मंडळी! 'जय जय राम कृष्ण हरी'ने सुरू झालेलं, उत्तरोत्तर कव्वाली, गजरात रंगत जाणारं भजन ऐकून मन तल्लीन होतं.

Gayatri Mantra:  
Oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥtát savitúr váreṇ(i)yaṃbhárgo devásya dhīmahidhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt
ॐ भूर्भुवः॒ स्वः ।तत्स॑वितुर्वरे॑ण्यं ।भ॒र्गो॑ दे॒वस्य॑ धीमहि। ।धियो॒ यो नः॑ प्रचो॒दया॑त्॥ ।

Click to listen:

Gayatri Mantra
Anuradha Paudwal (Gayatri Mantra)