Indian Cultural Association of Antelope Valley Events.
Baisakhi (Harvesting) Festival.
Of the major events of Indian Cultural Association of Antelope Valley the celebration of Baisakhi comes first. Baisakhi is celebrated as a harvest festival by the large farming community in the states of Punjab and Haryana. Since Baisakhi falls in the middle of the month of April (April 13), Baisakhi marks the harvest time of the rabi (winter) crops. Farmers are loaded with cash at this time and are in full mood and spirit to enjoy the fruits of hard work as they celebrate Baisakhi Festival. Festival of Baisakhi is celebrated as a Thanksgiving Day by the farmers. People wake up early on the day and take bath in rivers or pond water and pay a visit to the temple or gurdwara (Sikh worship place). Farmers thank god for the bountiful harvest and pray for prosperity in future also. Many people also perform charity on the day as a custom.
Auspicious day of Baisakhi is celebrated in various regions of India by different names and different rituals. This is because the day of Baisakhi holds special significance for Hindus along with Sikhs. For Hindus, April 13th mark the time for New Year and they celebrate the day with rituals like bathing, partying and worshipping. Another legend associated with the day is that Goddess Ganga descended to earth thousands of years ago on this day. Many Hindus therefore celebrate the day in the honor of Goddess Ganga by taking a sacred dip in the river Ganga.
We meet in an indoor Cultural hall and spend about 7-8 hours in all including Stage performances by young children and adults with Bangra Dances etc. for two hours. The gifts and certificates to the artists will be given by a chief guest. The president will talk on the festival and the vice president will give a vote of thanks. The chief guest will also deliver a brief speech.
At the end we will have catered food to dine & dance to DJ Music for about two hours.
The Independence Day of India is celebrated on the fifteenth of August to commemorate its independence from British rule and its birth as a sovereign nation in 1947. The day is a national holiday in India. All over the country, flag-hoisting ceremonies are conducted by the local administration in attendance. The main event takes place in Delhi, the capital city of India, where the Prime Minister hoists the national flag at the Red Fort and delivers a nationally televised speech from its ramparts. In his speech, he highlights the achievements of his government during the past year, raises important issues and gives a call for further development. The Prime Minister also pays his tribute to leaders of the freedom struggle.
August 15th is India's Independence day and will be celebrated in a local park along with a community Picnic. We will arrange sports activities to children and at times for adults. We salute the flags of India and America singing the independence day songs of both the nations. Food will be served under a pot luck system. Mostly we will arrange on Week End following the 15th August.
Diwali (The festival of lights)
Diwali or Deepavali, popularly known as the "festival of lights," is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-December for different reasons. For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. For Jains, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BCE.
Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore,] and Fiji.
The name "Diwali" is a contraction of "Deepavali", which translates into "row of lamps". Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. These lamps are kept on during the night and one's house is cleaned, both done in order to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome. Firecrackers are burst in order to drive away evil spirits. During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends.
The festival starts with Dhanteras on which most Indian business communities begin their financial year. The second day of the festival, Naraka Chaturdasi, marks the vanquishing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama. Amavasya, the third day of Diwali, marks the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth in her most benevolent mood, fulfilling the wishes of her devotees. Amavasya also tells the story of Lord Vishnu, who in his dwarf incarnation vanquished the Bali, and banished him to Patala. It is on the fourth day of Diwali, Kartika Shudda Padyami, that Bali went to patala and took the reins of his new kingdom in there. The fifth day is referred to as Yama Dvitiya (also called Bhai Dooj), and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes.
Indian Cultural Association of AV will have some indoor activities of stage performances by the young and old, distribution of gifts and certificates by an invited guest and brief talk by the chief guest and the president & vice president about the festival and other activities of the Association.