Posts Tagged ‘India’

Like most summer weekends in the city, this past weekend was a busy one.

below: There was a Thai festival at Yonge Dundas Square with dancers performing in front a screen that was showing a video, in real time, of them dancing.

a man in Thai costume and holding a Canadian flag does a Thai traditional dance on the stage at Yonge Dundas Square. behind him a video of another dancer is playing on a large screen

below: Women carving intricate floral shapes out of watermelon,

an older Thai woman is making an intricate carving from a watermelon

below: carrots, and other root vegetables.

a woman is carving carrots and another white vegetable into flowers

below: The colours of the Thai flag

yarn in the colours of the Thai flag wrapped around two sticks making a square of red, blue and white stripes

below: A small parade for the Festival of India made its way down Yonge street towards the ferry for Centre Island.  Sweepers cleared the streets while other people joined together to pull the floats.

a man, with back to camera, sweeps street in front of a float in Festival of India parade that is being pulled by people using two large ropes

below: This parade for Ratha Yatra is an annual event.  A more complete description of the parade, as well as some photos from 2016, can be found on a blog post that I wrote three years ago (how time flies!), or even older, is a post from 2015.

elaborately decorated festival of india float in a parade

a small boy stands behind his mother, he's wearing a blue t shirt and has a lollipop in his mouth

below: A parrot, belonging to one of the men walking in the parade,  perches on a policeman’s bike helmet to everyone’s delight.

a police man holds a brightly coloured parrot, or rather the parrot sits on his bike helmet

a man in long white robes holds an umbrella as he stands on the sidewalk talking to a woman in Southeast Asian clothing

below: With the parade and all the people on Yonge Street, traffic was slow.  This may not be unusual!

a man in an open jeep is driving down Yonge Street, people walking are passing him as he is stopped for a red light

below: Yes, I am 6 feet tall!

a young man stands by a maximum height 6 feet sign at the entrance of a parking garage, to see if he is 6 feet tall

below: Mellow Dee plays the piano outside the south entrance of the Eaton Centre.

Mellow Dee, a male musician, plays the piano outside Eaton Centre on Queen street as a woman gets out of a white taxi behind him

a man with no shirt and bare feet lies on the sidewalk surrounded by some of us stuff, people walking past him

below: Finding shade wherever they can… it was a hot one!

a group of older men and women in sun hats stands in a bit of shade cast by a little tree outside the Rex on Queen Street West

below: It appears that selling bras isn’t a very exciting job?

an older Chinese woman in a wide brimmed straw hat falls asleep sitting beside a table of bras that she is helping to sell

below: Some people sit and read, while others sit, smoke, and watch the world go by….

three men sitting on the steps, one unlocking a bike, another reading a newspaper and the third just sitting

… and others go skate boarding past….

man in spiderman suit, but without the mask, on a skateboard on a sidewalk

… and you’ll find it at the Aga Khan Museum.

a group of people walk past the front of the white wall of the Aga Khan museum, between the museum and the reflecting pool

The centerpiece of the latest special exhibition at the Aga Khan Museum is a large moon created by British artist Luke Jerram from detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface.  It measures five metres in diameter and is illuminated from inside.

a large model of the model hangs from the ceiling at the Aga Khan museum and is reflected in the railing that separates the second floor balcony area from the open high ceiling of the first floor

Since the dawn of civilization, the moon has captivated cultures and inspired people.  Along with the large moon, the Aga Khan Museum has put together an assortment of paintings, texts, and scientific objects that have been produced over the centuries that together give a glimpse into mankind’s fascination with the moon.

exhibit about the moon and the crescent shape, museum

below: An illustrated page from “A Translation of Stars of the Legend”, from Baghdad 1590-1599 (Ottoman-period Iraq).  Watercolor, gold, and ink on paper.

illustrated page, with Arabic text, from an ancient book about stars and legends

a groupof people sit on bean bag chairs under a large model of the moon, and on a carpet that looks like the night sky with stars

below: Many Indian palaces included moonlight gardens with white marble walkways and pools to reflect the moon.  Night blooming flowers such as jasmine were grown.  The illustration below is from the 18th century, Murshidabad, Lucknow, watercolour and gold on paper.

illustrated page of an old book depicting people sitting in a moonlit garden in India, two men on cushions

two people stand under a large model of the moon

below: “Jahangir Preferring a Sufi Shaykh to Earthly Kings”, painted by Bichitr, India, 1615-1618.  The Emperor’s halo combines the sun and the crescent moon – a slim crescent moon hugs most of the sun’s border and this day and night are brought together.    Mughal emperors, such as Jahangir, considered a harmonious relationship between the sun and moon to be essential for the fortunes of their kingship.  Sufi Shaykh, from the title, is the man receiving a book from the Emperor.   Small, and therefore less important, are the Ottoman Sultan and King James I of England.  The smallest man in Bichitr, the painter.  This is a large reproduction of a painting that is 18 cm x 23 cm.

old painting

below: Plaster cast of Queen Ahmose carrying a fly whisk (The original was excavated at Deir-al-Bahri in Egypt, from the reign of Queen Hatshepsut, 18th dynasty ca 1473-1458 BCE).  Queen Ahmose was the mother of Hatshepsut and her name means “born of the moon”.   In ancient Egypt, the crescent moon symbolized Isis, goddess of fertility, women, and the mother of gods.

an old stone tablet from Ancient Egypt with picture of woman's profile

below: “Tell me the story about how the sun loved the moon so much he died every night to let her breathe”

a quote is painted on a wall, with pictures of clouds

Many people walked and danced, clapped and chanted, as they paraded down Yonge Street on Saturday to start the annual Festival of India weekend.

The parade is similar to an annual procession (Ratha Yatra) that has occurred for centuries in the city of Puri, India as part of a Hindu festival associated with the god Jagannath.  Here in Toronto, as in Puri,  three chariots constructed to look like temples are pulled through the streets in a procession from one temple to another.    Each chariot carries a richly decorated representation of a god, first is  Jagannatha (another name for Krishna or God) and then his brother Baladeva and his sister Subhadra.   The chariots are pulled by people and the procession symbolizes the pulling of the Lord into our hearts.

In Puri, this Ratha-Yatra procession continues to attract over a million people every year.  In Toronto, the numbers aren’t quite that high!

a police car drives slowly in front of a parade as it makes its way down Yonge Street

people walk behind a yellow horizontal banner that reads Festival of India, Join us at Centre Island.

two women in sarees are pulling on a large rope in a parade. In the foreground, a man is pulling on another rope.

a group of young South Asian women walking in a parade. One of them has her face decorated with paint. In front of them is a group of young men in yellow tops and white bottoms, one has a drum.

South Asian, Indian, women, in long colourful sarees dancing as they move down Yonge Street in a parade

some older people dressed in white riding high in the chariot float in the Festival of India parade, others walking in front and pulling ropes to make the chariot move.

South Asian, Indian, women, in long colourful sarees dancing as they move down Yonge Street in a parade, lifting their skirts a little bit as they move

people walking in front of one of the chariots in the Festival of India parade in Toronto

a large blue wheel that is holding up a chariot float in the Festival of India parade, people walking beside and behind it as they walk down Yonge Street

lifting the red rope that separates the parade from the traffic, women dancing and clapping and walking as well as other people, pulling ropes to pull the chariot in the parade

Sunday 16th August was the 69th anniversary of India’s independence.  Celebrations here in Toronto included Panorama India, a festival at Yonge Dundas Square.

 There was a small but energetic and colorful parade on the streets around the Eaton Center.

A group of people are walking in an India independence day celebration parade, they are holding a banner and walking behind it.

people dancing in a small circle in the middle of Yonge street. They are part of a parade celebrating India's 69th year of independence from Britain. The parade has stopped for a few minutes which has given them time to dance instead of walk.

A group of people walk behind a banner that says Tamil Nadu. This is a state in India and the parade is to mark Indian independence day. The women are wearing colourful saris

A smiling woman holds a sign written in Hindu

Men and women in a parade to mark India's 69th year of independence. The women are wearing saris and the men are wearing traditional Indian clothes

marchers in a parade

A man is holding up a sign with words written in Hindi
A group of marchers in a parade all wearing white clothes and carrying signs promoting peace and love and understanding and all those good things

 

The festival also featured vendors, music and speeches.

A woman is looking at jewellry that is for sale at an outdoor vendor at Panorama India, a festival in Toronto to celebrate India's 69th anniversary of independence day

Close up of a woman's back and shoulder. Her long black hair is braided and has flowers in it. Next to her is a man selling orange, green and white striped banners that are supposed to represent the colours of the Indian flag. Only his hand can be seen.

A few protesters waved flags and and carried signs and banners protesting against the Indian army’s presence in Kashmir.  They stood on the sidewalk across the street from the festival.

A protest is held on Yonge street by Dundas subway station entrance. A group of Sikhs is protesting the presence of the Indian army in Kashmir. They have two banners and some flags including a Canadian flag. They represent the group, Freedom of Kashmir, Canada.

The 43rd Annual Festival of India started with a parade down Yonge Street from Bloor to Queens Quay on Saturday afternoon.

The parade is similar to an annual procession that has occurred for centuries in the city of Puri, India as part of a Hindu festival associated with the god Jagannath.  Here in Toronto, as in Puri,  three chariots constructed to look like temples are pulled through the streets in a procession from one temple to another.    Each chariot carries a richly decorated representation of a god, first is  Jagannatha (another name for Krishna or God) and then his brother Baladeva and his sister Subhadra.   The chariots are pulled by people and the procession symbolizes the pulling of the Lord into our hearts.

In Puri, this Ratha-Yatra procession continues to attract over a million people every year.
In Toronto, the numbers aren’t quite that high!

parade going down Yonge St. using just the southbound lanes.  A policeman on bike keeps the traffic out of the way.  A float is being pulled by people walking in the parade.   Part of the Festival of India in Toronto.

float in a parade for the Festival of India, or the Chariot Festival, a Hindu celebration, in downtown Toronto

 

below: Many people used ropes to pull the floats down Yonge Street.

people are using a long thick rope to pull a float down a city street for a parade.

below: Other people danced, walked, sang and chanted Hare Krishna mantras.

Some women in saris and men in traditional Indian clothes, dance and walk in a parade down Yonge St. as part of the Festival of India
Some women in saris and men in traditional Indian clothes, dance and walk in a parade down Yonge St. as part of the Festival of India

The back of a T shirt that a man is wearing.  It has all the words of the hare Krishna mantra on it.

 The festivities continued on Centre Island for the remainder of the weekend.