Tag Archives: Festival market

Festival Market:The Spot, Randwick, Sydney

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Festival Market:The Spot, Randwick, Sydney

Remember those yesteryears nostalgia of countryside markets? Street Art, food trays, homemade candles and cookies and crowded streets where the playful children almost got lost! Whether it was the ice cream or foot tapping to music everyone had a good laugh and summer was a time to be outside and enjoy some market fun.

I was away from home. But happened to be in Sydney, just in time to visit the Spot Market festival at Randwick, a popular suburb in Sydney.

The Spot Festival Market, Sydney

At the end of the summer in March (in the southern hemisphere) the event takes place annually. This very residential suburb with a few heritage buildings suddenly turns into a great cultural melting pot. ‘The Spot Festival’ proudly attracts not just the local Aussies( as they are called locally)but Greeks, French, Indian, Sri Lankan, Eastern Europeans and Lebanese that make up part of Sydney’s cultural melange. It was amazing and interesting to hear so many dialects on that one street on that day!

Crowds began arriving into Perouse street, a short walk down the main street of Randwick from 11 am. The dress sense was  casual and summery: T shirts, shorts, flowing skirts, sun hat and eye shades and sandals or flip-flops. ‘The Spot’ building and adjoining restaurants and cafes became a convenient meeting place, to sit and enjoy a beer or pizza.

See here:

http://www.randwick.nsw.gov.au/community/whats-on/the-spot-festival/about-the-spot-festival

The market boasted a wide array of local craft. Home made scented candles, jars and bottles of fruit jam and tomato pickle, exotic fragrant soaps. Such markets offer a chance for women entrepreneurs and learning a new hobby. I met the lady at the candle stall, who is a nurse, and her new hobby is making scented candles.The packaging, hygiene and display were excellent, perfect for gifting. Other stalls had paintings, caricatures, French linen and Indian block print summer wear.

Exotic scented candles

Exotic things don’t come cheap. And cheap things don’t smell or taste so good! Lessons learned.

At the other end of the street a stage was erected for music, kids dance and jamboree, Karaoke.

More fun and laughter at the ‘children’s zone’ with face painting, stick Art, rainbow soap bubbles lifting into the air, whistles and tinkling bells adding to the noise of laughter and baby cries. However, for a little quiet time (if baby or pregnant mummy wanted a rest on a hot day!) there was even a nappy changing room and a mobile ‘Library on Wheels’ filled with big bright children’s books.

Photo courtesy: easternsuburbsmums.com

‘Don’t miss out on the food! That’s half the reason to be here’ nudged our friends. Fancy a burger and chips or Mexican burrito and salsa? The Turkish Gozleme (spinach and cheese pancake), Lebanese bread, South Asian sugarcane juice and Indian /Sri Lankan chicken rice and Naan all stood up for the cultural competition. In addition there were usual stalls of pancakes, ham and cheese, fries and sweet treats.

Now isn’t that a fun filled day out in the sun? vibrant colours, music, food and the company of friends and family, if any. Next year, BE THERE! The Spot Festival, Sydney 2019.

Have you been to any summer street festival? Where? What attracted your attention the most? Let’s hear and share.

 

Festival Market: Mahashivratri Celebrations, Shivo Hum

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Har har Mahadeo’ chants fill the streets in India on this MahaShivratri day. Loudspeakers  blare religious songs ‘KailashNath ki jai’ and ‘Shiv Aarti’ as Hindus gear up for  a night long celebration called Jagran. For the more serious spiritual seekers meditation groups and discourses on ‘Awakening the Inner’ are sought for.

Maha Shivratri – is the night long worshiping of Lord Shiva, (one of the three Gods of Trinity: Brahma, Vishnu,Shiva). It is the day when Shiva is said to have performed the mythical Tandav Nritya– the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction. Lord Shiva the mystical, celibate, powerful of mind, the God of the yogis has much mass appeal. Call Him Mahadeo, Bhairav, Kalanetra,Gangadhara, KailashNath, Pranava or Rudra… or any one of the 108 names, it is HE whom one’s mind should dwell upon tonight, to gather up the upsurge of energy created through meditation and prayer.

Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram. Truth, goodness and beauty.

This religious festival is marked by only Hindu community and the shops and markets cater to a particular sect and community. It is a day of austerity, peace, meditation, and fasting. It generally comes in spring time, March.

Seasonal fruits and some special ones are sold in the markets: watermelons, golden rock melon, grapes, Dates and bananas go for the fruit trays that are placed in both home and temples. For special food people partake: reddish sweet potato tubers, dates and milk and honey and variety of millets (sorghum, barley, amaranthus).

Photo courtesy:Times of India

Off to the market then. List of buys include prasad food and flowers, incense, and camphor. Wonder what others are buying? Black clay pots and Palash flowers (Flame of the forest) were specials for this day!

Street stalls selling fruits and sweet potato tubers

Red Paalash flowers – 

Special grass buds, bottles or packets of milk for pouring on the Shiv Linga, black clay pots for carrying sweet payasam (a milk and jaggery pudding), orange marigolds and white tube rose flowers, coconuts – puja items a plenty!

Black earthern Matka /claypot

Black earthern Matka /claypot

If you’ve forgotten to bring your bag …this little fellow, wants to make a quick sale. It’s a school holiday and he can earn pocket money.

Vendor boy selling plastic bags for Rupees 10/ each

Vendor boy selling plastic bags for Rupees 10/ each

Day markets, kitchen and altar cleaning all done. Await the night. Twinkling lights will decorate temples, loudspeakers will blare musical chants, people carrying pots of payasam and plate filled with coconut and flowers will stand in queues at Shiv temple entrances (famous ones like those in Kashi, RudraPrayag, Trivandrum, Somnath) have a much grander gathering and celebration). Sreet markets get brighter and busier as last minute devotees throng to buy statues, Rudra strings, photos of Shiva, water bottles, bells and other knick knacks.

Get ready for the Jagran –spiritual chanting and singing tonight.

Photo Courtesy: Internet ( Times of India)

MahaShivratri has many symbolisms and stories attached to it, explains the Isha Foundation (www.ishafoundation.org)

  • Among householders, it is considered the night when Shiva married Parvati.
  • Among the ambitious, Shiva is said to have defeated all his enemies on this day.
  • For spiritual seekers, this is the day when Shiva merged with in Mount Kailash.

So find out your own Inner Self. Sit quietly and meditate on ‘who you are? What is your role in this world? It is a day of reflection.

       Shivo Hum, Shivo Hum. The beauty of Self Realization.

Plate of puja offering

Plate filled with puja offerings

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