top-report-festivalEver since we are old enough to read and write we are fed over and over with the knowledge that ours is a secular country where people of hundred different languages and religions live together harmoniously. However, what we are not taught in schools is the miraculous ways in which this statement is made true in the natural course of our lives – how the festivals of three major religions decide to unite the people in a mood of festivity and coincide in a span of three-four days, the way it happens this month, or rather, this week. While the Christians are celebrating Feast of Nativity of Mother Mary, Eid-ul-Fitr and Ganesh Utsav have embraced each other by falling on the same day – making it not just a celebration of festivals but a celebration of communal harmony. It’s not often that such a phenomenon takes place in our country. Even though we celebrate some or the other festival almost every other day it is not usual for festivals of all the three major religions to fall in half a week’s time with two falling on the same day. There have been occasions in the past when Eid-ul-Fitr and Diwali came around at the same time, but rarely have Feast of Nativity of Mother Mary, Eid-ul-Fitr and Ganesh Chaturthi bedecked our nation with such a festive atmosphere. * FEAST OF NATIVITY OF BLESSED MOTHER MARY The Feast of Nativity of Mary was the first of these festivals. The beginning of the week itself Christians around the world got busy with the celebrations. The Feast originated in Jerusalem, and in fifth century was celebrated as the feast of the basilica Basilica of Saint Anne. It signifies the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and since then the tradition has continued. Her birth is said to mark the end of darkness and the beginning of human salvation. In Christianity she is known for her purity, piety and as God’s chosen one to bear Jesus without sin. * EID-UL-FITR AND GANESH UTSAV And as God had it, Eid-ul-Fitr embraced Ganesh Utsav as both the festival fell on the same day. Eid-ul-Fitr, marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. On this day Muslims across the world offer special Eid prayers in congregation at Idgah or a mosque and wish each other with the traditional greeting of

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