Tag Archives: henna tattoo

Sharwan Sankranti

Shrawan is the fourth month in the Nepali Hindu calendar. The word Sankranti means transmigration of the Sun from one Rashi (zodiac in Nepali astrology) to another and is also the beginning of the Nepali months. The day when the sun begins to move southwards is called Shrawan Sankranti.

My Facebook wall is painted with my friends’ photos with mehendi (henna ) and green and yellow chura (bangles) on their hands from the 1st of the Sharwan (17 July).

Shrawan month is considered as the holiest month of the year for Hindus and each Somvar (Monday) of this month known as Shrawan Somvar is a special day in Shiva temples. For women this month is all about Mehendi (henna tattoos) and green/yellow chura.

According to a legend, Sanat Kumar asked lord Shiva why Shravan Monday is his favourite day. So lord Shiva Mahadev told him that Sati devi did Sankalpa that to get Mahadev as husband in every birth before her spirit left her body in her father’s house with the power of Yoga. In another of her births, Sati devi took birth in Himachal as Parvathi as the daughter of Queen Menka. Parvati fasted the whole month of Shravan and pleased Mahadev and so was married to him. Due to these reasons it is regarded as the main month for worshiping Lord Mahadev.

During this month Hindu women wear red attire with green and yellow bangles, pray for the long and prosperous life for their husbands. For married women, along with green/yellow glass bangles on their wrists, they also wear strings of green pote (glass beads) around their necks. It is believed that green glass bangles are worn for fulfilling one’s desires and wishing a happy and prosperous life to families.

On the other hand, unmarried girls of marriageable age also wear bangles in hopes of getting a handsome guy, and for those who already have boyfriends, making them husbands.

In addition, women perform rituals for Lord Shiva, the god of destruction, at the Pashupati temple and other Shiva temples like in Makhan, Hanuman Dhoka in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal.

Another important facet of Sharwan month is “Bol Bam” pilgrimage. Thousands of devotees visit the Bol Bam Dham, a pilgrimage to offer their worship to Lord Shiva. The pilgrims shout ‘Bol Bam’ or ‘Bol Bam’ meaning ‘Say Shiva’ during the pilgrimage. The devotees run or walk barefooted for kilometers to reach the Pashupatinath Temple for their good health, wealth and happiness.

It looks like everyone is excited to follow the tradition, both young and old, who paint their hands and wear green/yellow chura. I am so glad that everyone is excited on this month and is helping save the tradition and culture.

Happy Sharwan Sankranti !!!

Take care everyone!

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

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Desert safari in Dubai

This was one of the best things we did in Dubai and I highly recommend it to anyone going to Dubai. We booked our’s through Arabian Adventures but there are other companies as well who do the similar tours.

It consists of safari drive with dune-bashing, camel ride, eagle show, belly dancing, henna tattoo, barbecue and much, much more.

As it was Sundowner Desert Safari Tour, we were picked up from the hotel around 4 pm in a four wheel drive, then we picked up 3 more people from different hotels and were driven to somewhere deep into the desert. There we were met by rows upon rows of four-wheel drive SUVs full of excited tourists like us for the safari.

All the four-wheel drives then followed each other to the first stop where we sat down for an eagle show. The place was still very hot and humid as the sun was still up but I didn’t mind much as the cold desert breeze was making sure we didn’t get too hot. We were given a cold bottle of water to drink which helped us cool down as well. The guy doing the eagle show was an Aussie and he explained his eagles and showed us how the birds do the show for food. Overall, a nice stop over.

Then we were back in the vehicle to go to the next stop. The safari takes place in a conservation area. Each company has their own spot and the range of service differs from each other. The driver explained that we will have one more stop in the middle to see the sunset before the dinner stop.

While driving, we saw lots of wild animals. After 5 minutes drive, the driver asked us to fasten our seat belts as the ride get bumpy from that point forward. He assured us we would be safe. He then raced into the steep dune, swung around and slid down the slopes. It was like being in a rollercoaster as it is coming down. I was amazed at his driving skills as the car didn’t fall over. We could see the cars in front jumping up and down and knew that is exactly what ours was doing as well. Once we realised we would be safe we enjoyed it. Over the course of the next hour or so, we were tossed about in every possible direction, things were moving in different directions, heads banged together and I could hear screams of “aahh’ and “ wow”. Definitely, the highlight of the tour was the dune bashing. If you enjoy the thrills of safari rally driving, this is the best attraction.

Then we stopped to watch the sunset. It was one of the beautiful sites to see such an amazing view with your loved one by your side. Watching the sunset in the desert was very romantic. We took some nice photos and some silly ones too  🙂 .

Then we were back in the car for our final stop at the desert camp where we were to spend the rest of the evening. Camel rides and henna tattoos were available at no extra charge so we joined the queue to ride the camel. It was really fun. I had done a camel ride before in India but this was a bigger camel than that. We took photos perched atop the camel.

After that we stopped over to take photos with an eagle. I was a bit scared at the first but once it was in my hand, I felt better. It was so amazing to have the bird so close knowing how powerful it can be.

Finally we went to a desert camp for dinner and a display of traditional and belly dancing. The food was good and plentiful. There were wines and lots of soft drinks. While we were having dinner a belly dancer entertained us. I was a bit disappointed with the belly dancer as she was nothing close to the ones I have seen on TV but that might be just me.

After we finished dinner we went and got henna tattoos. AS got a tattoo of snake on his upper arm and I got flowers on my hand. The lady who did the henna was nice enough to do both my hands.  It was almost 10pm at night and they announced that we were going to leave soon so we gathered our things and went to the parking lot to meet our driver. It was almost a one and a half our drive back to the hotel so I rested until we got off and ran to the comfy bed.

It was a great desert safari that gave us the opportunity to experience the local traditional culture, enjoy the fascinating sights, have an adventurous drive, a camel ride and above all enjoying the delicious barbecue with ceremonious belly dancers dancing to the feel of Arabian music. It was a unique experience for a lifetime.

Please click here are some more photos.

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Reliving our Big day

It is 95 days since our wedding. I know it is funny I am counting days and I hope to count them in years as time pass by. We had big wedding (Big, Loud, Crowded, Nepali wedding) and I enjoyed every minute of it. It involved lots of culture, tradition and people I never knew. So I decided I should write about my experience before it goes fuzzy in my head. We had Nepali Newari wedding. I am going to write about our engagement and will continue with all the steps of our wedding. The steps were as follows:

  •  Engagement ceremony –  The day we were officially engaged.
  • Mehendi” ceremony – The day where all girls including Bride get henna tattoo on their hand.
  • Supari” ceremony (from Groom to Bride) – The day when Groom’s family send lots of gifts like jewellery, Saris, cosmetics, shoes, bags, fruits, Nepali Roti , Masala and much more.
  • “Swayambar” ceremony -The day where all the marriage ritual happens and groom put Sindoor (Vermilion) on bride’s forehead and parting of her hair.
  • Bride side Reception – Reception from bride and her family for all their relatives and friends.
  • Janti -The day groom and his family come to bride’s home to take her to their home.
  • Groom side “Supari – The day where Bride is officially introduced to Groom’s family and they give bride jeweller or money.
  • Groom side Reception Reception form groom and her family for all their relatives and friends.
  • Mukh herne” ceremony – The day when Bride’s family come and meet Bride with lots of gifts like jewellery, Saris, cosmetic, shoes, bags fruits, Nepali Roti , Masala and much more
  • WanjalaThe newly married couple visit the temple (Kul Deuta)
  • “Jwain Bhitraune” ceremony – Days when Groom is invited to close relative of Bride for Sagun.