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Festival Stories: Through the Year by [Rachna Chhabria]

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Festival Stories: Through the Year Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 103 ratings

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Product description

About the Author

Rachna Chhabria is the author of Lazy Worm Goes on a Journey, The Lion Who Wanted to Sing and Bunny in Search of a Name. Her short story 'Ganesh's Blanket of Stars' won the Special Prize in the Unisun-Reliance TimeOut Writing Competition, 2010-11. --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN : B086Q9TTD2
  • Publisher : Harper Children's; 1st edition (8 April 2020)
  • Language : English
  • File size : 3527 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 199 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103 ratings

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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
103 global ratings
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Top reviews from India

Reviewed in India on 14 November 2018
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11 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 17 December 2018
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8 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 12 October 2019
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3 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 7 October 2019
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Reviewed in India on 11 November 2018
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Reviewed in India on 27 December 2020
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Reviewed in India on 11 November 2020
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Reviewed in India on 24 February 2019
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Elizabeth Varadan
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful introduction to life in India
Reviewed in the United States on 9 January 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful introduction to life in India
Reviewed in the United States on 9 January 2019
This is a wonderful introduction to religious festivals of India for children of all ages – including adults. My husband is from India, and while I know of some of the festivals, (Pongol and Divali) I learned so much more in this book. I’m a retired teacher, and I wish I had had this book in my 6th grade classroom as supplemental reading when we studied India.

Though informative, the writing isn't pedantic, because the author has used an engaging story frame: Eleven-year-old twins, Natasha and her brother Nikhil, are staying with their paternal grandparents, Dadu and Dadi, in Bangaluru (the local name for Bangalore). Their parents are still in the U. S., winding down jobs and arranging for transfers in a year, while sending the twins ahead, feeling it’s time for them to learn more about their culture first hand. Homesick but intrigued, Natasha begins a journal and Nikhil starts a blog.

Their first festival is Lohri, a Punjabi folk festival and one of the few Indian festivals falling on the same date every year (January 13 on the Gregorian calendar). The book ends with Christmas and a big surprise for the twins. In between are 30 more festivals the author has lovingly researched and described through the eyes of Natasha and Nikhil. They learn about the customs, clothing, and food associated with each festival as they participate. The sweets and snacks served had my mouth watering each time.

Each chapter begins with a little anecdote, often humorous, followed by one of Natasha’s journal entries or Nikhil blog’s posts. Their new world unfolds for the reader as they make friends with other kids, study for exams, play Indian games, go shopping, or stuff themselves with delicious snacks at each festival. The majority of the population practices Hinduism, but Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism also have their devotees, and the twins get invited to these festivals and learn traditional stories associated with each.

Chhabria has researched her subject well. She includes the many names for some of the festivals and the gods and goddesses who figure in them. She makes references to the Gregorian calendar months to keep a reader from the west grounded in the time frame when these festivals occur. Many holidays are shared alike (with different names) by Buddhists, Jains, and Hindus. Some are regional, and the twins attend them because they or their grandparents have made friends with characters from these regions who practice these faiths.

The author paints unforgettable characters with deft brushstrokes that don’t belabor descriptions but capture personality. Natasha and Nikhil are endearing eleven-year-olds, and Dadu and Dadi are the grandfather and grandmother everyone would want. The scenes are set so vividly, a reader is plunged into the colors and tastes and excitement of India. This was a lovely book, and I was really sorry to reach the end.
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