Posts Tagged ‘sarees’

Toronto in the summer means street festivals every weekend.   One of the festivals this past weekend was the 15th annual South Asian Festival in ‘Little India’.   Gerrard Street East was closed to traffic between Greenwood and Coxwell for the occasion.

below: Shopping, strolling and playing games.  Try your skill at cricket or buy some jewellery or some clothing.

street scene at South Asian festival. a man hits a ball with a cricket bat, two women in head scarves are talking, men behind a table are selling jewellery and clothes

a woman leans on the top of a rack of clothing for sale, sidewalk sale, as part of the South Asian Festival on the Gerrard Street.

three women are looking at a blouse (dress?), red and white pattern, on a hanger at an outdoor sidewalk sale, as part of a street festival. They are looking at the same piece of clothing

mother and daughter look at bangles, jewellery, for sale outside, at street festival. Both are wearing sunglasses

an older man sits behind a small table covered with a white cloth. on the table are toys that he is selling. he is holding an orange Nemo shaped bubble maker plastic toy. behind him, a man is standing smoking a cigarette

Like all street festivals, there was lots of food and drink available.

below: Extracting sugar cane juice.

a man shreds sugar cane in a machine to extract the sugar cane juice which he is then selling, outside, street festival, Little India

below: Fresh baked naan, straight from the oven.

a man removes freshly baked naan from a tandoori oven

There were many photo ops provided.  For instance, there were cut outs for faces in pictures of Bollywood actors.

at a street festival, two people are putting their heads through cut outs while others take their picture, cut outs are on faces of Bollywood actors and actresses.

… and a richly decorated cart (What is it’s proper name?)

an older couple pose for a picture while they are sitting in a decorated cart, purple velvet, and many colourful tassles

and mannequins in traditional costumes.

two young boyus pose with a manniquin dressed in traditional Indian (South Asian) costume

below: There was also entertainment.   In this case, a rapper in Hindi and English.

a man with a black shirt with the word security on the back watches a performance of a rap artist who is on a stage with many people watching him

one woman adjusts the floral headband on another woman, both are dressed in traditional South Asian clothing

young kids lean over a yellow barricade as they watch a performance a girl is giving a thumbs up sign

a woman is airbrushing black paint onto a stencil on the upper part of a small girls arm, temporary tattoo

a woman with shiny bangles, bracelets, on her wrist puts her hand on her boyfriend's lower back

… and there was even a large elephant parked beside Victoria Whole Foods!  It looks a bit tacky with the big advertising  banner on its side but it was still a popular place to take selfies.

a couple, man and woman, each with a dog on a leash, is taking a selfie in front of a large elephant sculpture

road losed sign and yellow metal barricades, street festival going on behind the sign & barricade. Also racks of sarees for sale and in the distance, a large fake elephant

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