It is our intent to celebrate the following at HCO Liverpool in 2012 besides other events that may be declared from time to time by the organising committee:

1. Lohri (13th January 2012)

Lohri marks the end of winter on the last day of Paush, and beginning of Magha (around January 12 and 13), when the sun changes its course. It is associated with the worship of the sun and fire and is observed by all communities with different names. Lohri is an exclusively Punjabi festival. In other parts of India , Makar Sankranti and Pongal is celebrated. Makar Sankranti is celebrated and devotees bathe in the holy water of Ganges at Sangam also known as Triveni.

2. Maha Shivratri (20th February 2012)

Maha Shivaratri is celebrated throughout the country; it is particularly popular in Uttar Pradesh. Maha Shivratri falls on the 14th day of the dark half of 'Margasirsa'. The name means "the night of Shiva". The ceremonies take place chiefly at night. This is a festival observed in honour of Lord Shiva and it is believed that on this day Lord Shiva was married to Parvati. This night marks the night when Lord Shiva danced the 'Tandav'.

3. Holi (8th March 2012)

The festival of Holi is celebrated on the day after the full moon in early March every year. A festival to celebrate good harvests and fertility of the land, Holi is a symbolic commemoration of legends from Hindu Mythology. This exuberant festival is associated with the immortal love of Krishna and Radha. Celebrated with fun with coloured powder and water, Holi is marked by vibrant processions which are accompanied by folk songs, dances and a general sense of abandoned vitality in Vrindaban & Mathura.

4. Vaisakhi (13th April 2012)

For people in northern parts of India, especially the Sikhs, Baisakhi is a mega event - it is a religious festival, harvest festival and New Year's Day all rolled into one. In April, this day marks the beginning of the Hindu solar New Year. For the Sikh community, Baisakhi has a very special meaning. It was on this day that their tenth and last Guru - Guru Gobind Singh - organized the Sikhs into Khalsa or the 'pure ones'. By doing so, he eliminated the differences of high and low and preached equality.

5. Hanuman Jayanti (05th April 2012)

Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Hanuman, the monkey god widely venerated throughout India. It is celebrated during the month of Chaitra. Hanuman is an ardent devotee of Lord Rama. Hanuman is the symbol of strength and energy. Hanuman is said to be able to assume any form at will, wield rocks, move mountains, dart through the air, seize the clouds and rival Garuda in swiftness of flight. He is worshipped in folk tradition as a deity with magical powers and the ability to conquer evil spirits.

6. Shree Krishna Janamashtmi (10th August 2012)

Janmashtami is the joyful celebration of Lord Krishna's birth. Major celebrations of Krishna Janmashtami takes place at midnight as Krishna is said to have made his divine appearance in that hour. Fasting, bhajans, pujas and many other rituals mark Janmashtami celebrations in India. Sri Krishna is considered to be one of the most endeared human incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Born more than 5000 years ago in Mathura city, the revered God of Hindu religion and his teachings hold immense relevance till date

7. Ganesha Chaturthi ( 19th September 2012 )

Ganesh Chathurthi is a hindu festival of Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, who is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees. It is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi. It is the birthday of Lord Ganesha. The date usually falls between 20 August and 15 September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi. Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, is widely worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.

8. Navratri (16th October 2012 )

'Nav' means 'nine' and 'ratri' means 'night'. Thus, 'Navratri' means 'nine nights'. There are many legends ,all are related to Goddess Shakti (Hindu Mother Goddess) and her various forms. The first three days of Navratri are dedicated to Goddess Durga (Warrior Goddess) dressed in red and mounted on a lion. Her various incarnations - Kumari, Parvati and Kali - are worshipped during these days. Next three days are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity), dressed in gold and mounted on an owl and finally, last three are dedicated to Goddess Saraswati (Goddess Of Knowledge), dressed in milky white and mounted on a pure white swan.

9. Durga Ashtmi (22nd October 2012)

Durga Ashtami is third day of main Durga Puja celebrations and the ninth day of the Navratri festival. A fast is undertaken on the day by many devotees. Other important rituals on the day include Astra Puja, Sandhya Puja and also Kumari Puja. The day is also known as Virashtami and Maha Ashtami. Legend has it that Goddess Kali appeared from the forehead of Goddess Durga to kill Chanda and Munda and Rakthabhija on the Ashtami day.

10. Dasshera (24th October 2012)

The tenth day after Navratri is called Dussehra, celebrated throughout the northern India, burning effigies of Ravana. It is also called “Vijayadashmi” as this day marks the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana. The 'Ramlila' - an enactment of the life of Lord Rama, is held during the nine days preceding Dussehra. On the tenth day (Dussehra or Vijay Dasami), larger than life effigies of Ravana, his son and brother - Meghnath and Kumbhakarna are set to fire

11. Sharad Poornima (29th October 2012 )

The night of Sharad Poornima holds its own significance. It is believed that on this night the Moon showers on earth, the cool nectar of peace along with the eternal nourishing power. The night of 'Sharad poornima' is described as the night of the Raasotsav(raas celebrations)of the incarnation of Lord Krishna on the earth, because unlike the moon showering the cool nectar Lord Krishna too, showered 'Bhakti ras ' on the earth.

12. Karva Chauth (3rd November 2012)

Karwa Chauth is a traditional Hindu and Barelvi festival of married women, and is celebrated in India and some parts of Pakistan. Karwa means clay pot and chauth means fourth night after the full moon. Married women start their fast at night just after the appearance of the moon, within sight of their husbands. They then wait until the next night's moon to begin the fast breaking ceremonies, without consuming any food or drink. On sighting the moon, they look and offer prayers and worship to it, and then receive their first bite of food and water from their husbands. Great social event.

13. Diwali (13th November 2012)

Diwali is one of the biggest festivals of Hindus in India. ek divine blessings of Goddess of Wealth. For all Hindu people, the festival marks the return of Lord Rama's to Ayodhya as King to the kingdom from 14 years of exile along with his wife Sita & brother Laxman after killing the demon, King Ravana.

14. Anna Koot (14th November 2012)

Govardhan Puja, also called Annakut, is a festival to worship Lord Krishna and Govardhan Parvat or Mount Govardhan. Celebrated as the day Krishna defeated Indra. Lord Krishna taught people to worship nature, as mountains bring rains to earth. That was the reason to stop worshiping Indra. This is the fourth day of Diwali and is celebrated in commemoration of lifting the mountain Govardhan by Lord Krishna on his finger tip. The day is to worship Govardhan mountain which is said to have saved its’ inhabitants from incessant rains. It symbolizes the importance of nature in our lives.

15. Bhai Dooj (15th November 2012)

Bhai Dooj is observed as a symbol of love and affection between brothers and sisters celebrated in India with great enthusiasm. On this festival, the sisters put the teeka on the forehead of their brothers with vermilion, sandal paste, roli or kumkum (red turmeric) and pray for them. Brothers give gifts to their sisters. Bhai Dooj Gifts signifies the feelings of a brother, expresses the gratitude for sharing such a wonderful relationship, reflects all the love shared and fills the heart of a sister with unmatched happiness.

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