Category Archives: Activities

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Navdurga, Navratri and Nine colours

Navratri is one of the most auspicious Hindu festivals. Navratri means “Nine Nights”, and celebration of Goddess Durga in her nine different forms on the scheduled nine days. The Navratri festival celebration is very colourful. People keep fast for these 9 days and enjoy with full enthusiasm.

Navdurga which means Nine Durga is the manifestation of Durga in nine different forms. The concept of Navdurga originates from Goddess Parvati. Conceptually Navdurga is the life phase of Goddess Parvati who is considered supreme power among all Goddesses. Navdurga are worshipped during all Four Navrati in the year.

List of Navdurga

  1. Devi Siddhidatri – In the beginning of the universe Lord Rudra worshipped Adi-Parashakti for creation. It is believed that Goddess Adi-Parashakti had no form. The supreme Goddess of Power, Adi-Parashakti, appeared in the form of Siddhidatri from the left half of Lord Shiva.

 

  1. Devi Kushmanda – After taking form of Siddhidatri, Goddess Parvati started living inside the center of the Sun so that He can liberate energy to the universe. Since then Goddess is known as Kushmanda. Kushmanda is the Goddess who has the power and capability to live inside the Sun. The glow and radiance of her body is as luminous as that of the Sun.

 

  1. Devi Brahmacharini – After Kushmanda form, Goddess Parvati took birth at the home of Daksha Prajapati. In this form the Goddess Parvati was a great Sati and her unmarried form is worshipped as Goddess Brahmacharini.

 

  1. Devi Shailputri – After the self-immolation as Goddess Sati, Goddess Parvati took birth as the daughter of Lord Himalaya. In Sanskrit Shail means the mountain and due to which Goddess was known as Shailputri, the daughter of the mountain.

 

  1. Devi Mahagauri – According to Hindu mythologies, the Goddess Shailputri at the age of sixteen was extremely beautiful and was blessed with fair complexion. Due to her extreme fair complexion she was known as Goddess Mahagauri.

 

  1. Devi Chandraghanta – Goddess Chandraghanta is the married form the Goddess Parvati. After getting married to Lord Shiva Goddess Mahagauri started adorning her forehead with half Chandra and due to which Goddess Parvati was known as Goddess Chandraghanta.

 

  1. Devi Skandamata – When Goddess became the mother of Lord Skanda (also known as Lord Kartikeya), Mata Parvati was known with the name of Goddess Skandamata.

 

  1. Devi Katyayani – To destroy demon Mahishasura, Goddess Parvati took the form of Goddess Katyayani. It was the most violent form of Goddess Parvati. In this form Goddess Parvati is also known as Warrior Goddess.

 

  1. Devi Kalaratri – When the Goddess Parvati removed outer golden skin to kill demons named Shumbha and Nishumbha, She was known as Goddess Kalaratri. Kalaratri is the fiercest and the most ferocious form of Goddess Parvati.

 

People follow different traditional norms and rituals during these auspicious 9 days to get the blessings of Goddess Durga. You would never want to miss even a single chance to be part of this auspicious and colourful festival. Here, in this article we are sharing the different colours and dress you can wear during the nine days to enjoy the spirit of the Navratri festival celebration.

 

 


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Golden Milestone project celebration – 50 years of golden memories

Category : Activities

GHS Milestone project celebration

The project is to record the history and memories of Gujarat Hindu Society over a period of 50 years closely linked with cultural, traditions and their settlement in Preston and a huge success as a social enterprise recognized throughout the region.

GHS main hall was decorated with vibrant flowers and there were more than 20 huge panels with photographs given by various people from the year 1965 to 2015. Various workshops were held to capture life from the 1960s and 70s until present date. All the collected photo and information were captured in the panels displayed during the celebration.

Display of Indian culture, Hinduism, their gods, traditional cloths and musical instruments were eye catching.

 

After tasty Indian refreshments, President Ishwar Tailor invited VIPs including representatives from LCC, Lancashire constabulary, Media and other dignitaries who supported GHS to light up special lamp to start the celebration.

Celebration included special displays of Indian classical, Bollywood, fusion dancing and a very cute Balkung group dance where children from year 3-12 showcase traditional dance in local language.


Thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and assistance from the Harris Museum the society has now traced and recorded its history.

Video captured for the Golden Milestone were also displayed during the celebration followed by demonstration of GHS Website, where all the information related to Golden Milestone is captured including Gallery, timeline etc.

Celebration ended by inspirational speeches from dignitaries, President, Secretary and cake cutting.

Project Sponsors:

Heritage lottery fund

Supported by –

  • Harries museum art gallery & library
  • Lancashire county council records office

Project initiator & Co-ordinator:

Mr Ishwer Tailor MBE JPDL

Project Manager:

Abhinandana Kodanda

Graphics designer and admin support:

Shreya Ghodke (Arteecraft)

Video support:

Nick Butterworth (Butterworth creative production)

Webdesign and development support:

Rakesh Ghodke (WebnMore Solutions)

Volunteers:

Joshi, Purnima, Hema, Shivam, Dev, Khushalbhai, Prahladbhai, Chandubhai

Many thanks to people who have shared their experiences, stories, and photographs

 


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Know More About South Meadow Lane Community Project – GUJARAT HINDU SOCIETY, Preston

Category : Activities

A CASE STUDY

Background

Gujarat Hindu Society is a registered charity, established in 1965. They have a membership of 600 Hindu families residing in the Preston and district. The Society bought an old school in 1974 for the purpose of socialising and creating a place of worship. The building was bought for £17,500 with £900 in the bank. A bank loan was obtained with the help of security given by the trustees.

The official opening took place in August 1975 and the centre became a focal point for the Hindu community both locally and nationally. Within two years, the bank loan was repaid. Plans were put in place to build an extension for the provision of teaching of Gujarati Language. In 1981, HRH Prince of Wales officially opened the Gita Hall.

HRH Prince_1981

The centre continued to provide various activities functioned by the committee members and volunteers. The youth initiated and hosted Youth Festival for three consecutive years.

In 1988 with the co-operation of all other Hindu organisations in the North West the Society organised the first Ramayana recital by Pujya Morari Bapu, a renowned and revered high priest. The nine day programme attracted 8000 devotees and accommodated 2500 in Preston. The event raised £108,000 net for the water relief programme in remote villages in India. The Society actively organises events and have raised and distributed £10,000 to local charities.

Yr_1975

In 1992 when unemployment was rising the Society made a decision to tackle this issue by making an application to Home Office under the section 11 Ethnic Minority Grant. This was the beginning of the new phase and in its core activities and established the Gujarat Training and Resource Centre, providing adult guidance and customised training. The project with support from the then Lancashire Area West Training and Enterprise Council, has helped many members from the community, from all cultural background, to obtain employment, receive guidance and support towards further and higher education and enterprise opportunities.Yr_1992

As activities and provision augmented, the Society created a vision to expand the accommodation to meet these needs. In 1995 a feasibility study was conducted and ventured to redevelop the whole Centre and provide a new purpose-build facility for the new millennium. The Management had a vision of creating a Centre of Excellence to promote the Hindu culture, provide recreational, leisure and healthy lifestyle facilities together with temple for the Hindu community of Preston and District.

At the end of 1996 Enterprise plc was appointed as consultants to submit an application to the millennium Commission for a capitol grant towards the redevelopment of the new Centre. The application was successful and a grant of £1.64 million was awarded towards the total project cost of £3.28 million. The project commenced on 23rd March 1998 and was completed on 22nd November 1999. During the redevelopment phase the office and activities transferred to a site on 48 West Cliff purchased by the Society. The Centre was officially opened on 4th December 1999.Yr_1998-1

From the beginning to the end of the redevelopment stages, auspicious religious ceremonies such as land purification, stone laying and inauguration were performed keeping within the conformity and principles of Vaastu Shashtra to provide mental and spiritual peace, prosperity and progress for the users of the Centre.

The complex covers 24,500 square feet floor space. A purpose built temple features carved and sculptured Shikhar (spire), Gopuram (dome) and pillars in marble and pink stone. The main multi-purpose hall with a capacity to seat 800 is used for conferences, weddings and other events. On the first floor, the Centre offers a range of meeting / training rooms varying in size from 200 sq. ft. to 400 sq.ft. One of the room contains a tailored ICT suite with 18 computers. A dedicated PA control room provides sound and media facilities. A large customised kitchen provides catering facilities during major functions.

The Society, with a management committee of 15 volunteers who manages the day to day management of the Centre is supported by  a full time manager, a care taker and two part time administrative staff.

The key to fulfilling the vision and attaining a Centre of Excellence, the success of the South Meadow Lane Community Centre / Temple project was a combination of dedication, commitment and professionalism of the voluntary committee members, the Hindu community and the support from the local agencies, operating within the constraints and issues of a voluntary and charitable status. Jay Shree Krishna..


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Celebrate Festival of Colours – Holi

Category : Activities , Religious

One of the most popular festivals in India is the Holi Festival; held every year on the day of the full moon in the Hindu calendar month of Phalgun (March). Also known as the Spring Festival, Holi marks the end of the cooler winter months and the beginning of spring, a celebrated season as it brings warmer days, new produce, love and joy. Like many other festivals in India, Holi also signifies a victory of good over evil. As per ancient mythology, there is a legend of King Hiranyakashipu with who Holi is associated.

holi-fire

 

History of Holi

Hiranyakashipu was a king in ancient India who was like a demon. He wanted to take revenge for the death of his younger brother who was killed by Lord Vishnu. So to gain power, the king prayed for years. He was finally granted a boon. But with this Hiranyakashipu started considering himself God and asked his people to worship him like God. The cruel king has a young son named Prahalad, who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Prahalad had never obeyed his father’s order and kept on worshiping Lord Vishnu. The King was so hard hearted and decided to kill his own son, because he refused to worship him. He asked his sister ‘Holika’, who was immune to fire, to sit on a pyre of fire with Prahalad in her lap. Their plan was to burn Prahalad. But their plan did not go through as Prahalad who was reciting the name of Lord Vishnu throughout was safe, but Holika got burnt to ashes. The defeat of Holika signifies the burning of all that is bad. After this, Lord Vishnu killed Hiranyakashipu. But it is actually the death of Holika that is associated with Holi. Because of this, a pyre in the form of bonfire is lit on the day before Holi day to remember the death of evil.

But how did Holi_kele_nanda_lalacolours become part of Holi? This dates back to the period of Lord Krishna (reincarnation of Lord Vishnu) . It is believed that Lord Krishna used to celebrate Holi with colours and hence popularized the same. He used to play Holi with his friends at Vrindavan and Gokul. They used to play pranks all across the village and thus made this a community event. That is why till date Holi celebrations at Vrindavan are unmatched.

Holi is a spring festival to say goodbye to winters. In some parts the celebrations are also associated with spring harvest. Farmers after seeing their stores being refilled with new crops celebrate Holi as a part of their happiness. Because of this, Holi is also known as ‘Vasant Mahotsava’ and ‘Kama Mahotsava’.

Celebrate with colours

Great excitement can be seen in people on the next day when it is actually the time for the play of colours. Shops and offices remain closed for the day and people get all the time to get crazy and whacky. Bright colours of gulal and abeer fill the air and people take turns in pouring colour water over each other.

Children take sholi-colourspecial delight in spraying colours on one another with their pichkaris and throwing water balloons. Women and senior citizen form groups called tolis and move in colonies – applying colours and exchanging greetings. Songs, dance on the rhythm of dholak and mouthwatering Holi delicacies are the other highlights of the day. Parties are often organized where people dance to music and greet each other with colors.

The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair ruptured relationships.
Some families hold religious ceremonies, but for many Holi is more a time for fun than religious observance. After a fun filled and exciting day, they spent the evening in sobriety when people meet friends and relatives and exchange sweets and festive greetings.

 

Holi festival may be Holi1celebrated with various names and people of different states might be following different traditions. But, what makes Holi so unique and special is the spirit of it which remains the same throughout the country and even across the globe, wherever it is celebrated.

Come and celebrate Holi and colours at Gujarat Hindu Society this year on March 12 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. http://www.ghspreston.co.uk/calendar/hutashani-holi/

 


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GHS Highlights of the Year 2016!

Category : Activities

Get ready to welcome 2017. Forgive and forget old grudges make a fresh start in 2017. Wishing everyone a very happy new year and pray to load Krishna to bring prosperity to all and peace in the world.

2016 has been a truly fantastic year for all of us. We have seen so many great festivals, events, programmes throughout the year and it was not possible without all of your participation, encouragement and help. GHS is proud to participate in fund raising events during year 2016 and we are happy to announce that we have raised more than £4500.

We thought that we’d use this post to look back at some of the highlights of the past year, as there’s been quite a few!

  • Kite making workshop

kite_making_2015
 

 

 

 

  • Republic day Flag hosting

republic-day-2016

 

 

 

 

  • Variety cultural show January 2016

republic-cultural_show_2016

 

 

 

 

 

  • Rudrabhishek

rudhabhishek-2016

 

 

 

 

  • Holi Celebration

holi-2016

 

 

 

 

 

  • Youth Festival

youth-festival-2016

 

 

 

 

 

  • Hindola Mahostav

hindola-mahostav-2016

 

 

 

 

 

  • Independence day celebration (15th Aug)

independence-day-2016

 

 

 

 

 

  • Ganesh Puja

ganesh_pooja-2016

 

 

 

 

  • Raas Garba competition: GHS Raas team won 1st prize in Raas-Garba competition at Manchester and Garba & Raas teams won 1st prize for best Costume


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Diwali party

diwali-2016

 

 

 

 

 

  • Rangoli and Aarti Thali competition

rangoli-2016

 

 

 

 

 

  • Annakut

 

 

 

 

 

  • Diwali Fireworks

diwali-fireworks-2016

 

 

 

 

 

Fund Raising Events:

 

  • Bhajan Samelan – £3000 raised for Sanatan Seva Mandal, India

bhajan-samelan-2016

 

 

 

 

 

  • Sponsored Walk by Youth club – £550 raised towards Pujya Archanadidi Swararswati Ashram in Chanod, India

sponsored_walk-2016

 

 

 

 

 

  • Sharad Purmina Garba- £1001 raised for St. Catherine’s hospice care

sharad-purnima-2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are some of your best memories from the past year with GHS? Please share your comments and memories, Thank you..