17 January 2011

New Special Covers




SARPEX 2011 – Rajendra College,  Chhapra - 15 January 2011

Two special covers were released during SARPEX-2011



SARPEX – 2011 – Gajagrah Sonepur Fair – 16 January 2011

:Sunil Mishra, Gorakhpur

Special Covers to be numbered

Various Postal Circles were issuing a huge number of special covers. One does not have any track on special covers.  Now Department of Post has issued instructions to its Postal Circles that all the special covers should be serially numbered.

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Karnataka postal circle, Bangalore, Tharalu BO issued a Special Cover on 06-01-2011 on the occasion of 26th Scout-Guide Jamborette of Karnataka  - with the slogan of " Scouting & Guiding for a Better Tomorrow"

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6 January 2011

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Andhra Pradesh postal Circle, Hyderabad, Jama-I-Osmana PO issued a Special Cover on 31-12-2010 on the occasion of Golden Jubilee Year of National Geophysical Research Institute.

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31 December 2010

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Andhra Pradesh postal Circle, Hyderabad, Shankarpally PO issued a Special Cover on 04-01-2011 on the occasion of 16th National Jamboree and Centenary year of Guiding in India.

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4 January 2011

: Sreejesh Krishnan, Trivandrum

From our Readers….

The Pongal Festival

                       - Jagannath Mani, Bangalore

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Pongal is the only festival of Hindu that follows a solar calendar and is celebrated on the fourteenth of January every year. Pongal has astronomical significance: it marks the beginning of Uttarayana, the Sun's movement northward for a six month period. In Hinduism, Uttarayana is considered auspicious, as opposed to Dakshinaayana, or the southern movement of the sun. All important events are scheduled during this period. Makara Sankranthi refers to the event of the Sun entering the zodiac sign of Makara or Capricorn. In Hindu temples bells, drums, clarinets and conch shells herald the joyous occasion of Pongal.

To symbolize a bountiful harvest, rice is cooked in new pots until they boil over. Some of the rituals performed in the temple include the preparation of rice, the chanting of prayers and the offering of vegetables, sugar cane and spices to the gods. Devotees then consume the offerings to exonerate themselves of past sins. Pongal signals the end of the traditional farming season, giving farmers a break from their monotonous routine. Farmers also perform pooja to some crops, signaling the end of the traditional farming season. It also sets the pace for a series of festivals to follow in a calendar year. In fact, four festivals are celebrated in Tamilnadu for four consecutive days in that week.

The Pongal festival is celebrated for four days. The first day, Bhogi, the old clothes and materials are thrown away and fired, marking the beginning of a new life. 'Bhogi' is celebrated on January 13,

The second day, the Pongal day, is celebrated by boiling fresh milk early in the morning and allowing it to boil over the vessel - a tradition that is the literal translation for Pongal. People also prepare savories and sweets, visit each other's homes, and exchange greetings. 'Pongal' on Jan 14,

The third day, Mattu Pongal, is meant to offer thanks to the cows and buffaloes, as they are used to plough the lands. 'Mattu Pongal' on Jan 15.

On the last day, Kanum Pongal on Jan 16 people go out to picnic. A festival called Jalli kathu is held in Madurai, Tiruchirapalli and Tanjavur,all in Tamil Nadu, on this day. Bundles of money are tied to the horns of Pongal ferocious bulls which the villagers try to retrieve. Everyone joins in the community meal, at which the food is made of the freshly harvested grain. This day is named and celebrated as Tamilian Tirunal / 'Thiruvalluvar Day in a fitting manner through out Tamil Nadu. Thus, the harvest festival of Pongal symbolizes the veneration of the first fruit. The crop is harvested only after a certain time of the year, and cutting the crop before that time is strictly prohibited. Even though Pongal was originally a festival for the farming community, today it is celebrated by all. However, Coinciding with Pongal Makara Sankranti , Lohri and Bihu in Assam is very much the same tradition as Pongal. It just shows the unity in diversity of our country.

People are different.
Festivals are different.
But Celebration is one.

We all are one. So I wish you all a Happy Pongal !

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Special Speed Post cover prepared by Vijay Modi of Himmat Nagar Gujarat for Makar Sankranti. Flying Kites on Makar Sankranti is a special feature of this festival.  Thanks to Mr Modi for this very special cover with special date 11.1.11

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