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Winter in India

***** Location: India
***** Season: Winter
***** Category: Season


Winter called Shishir - in the months of Magh and Phalgun
English calendar months are Jan and Feb [approximately]

Winter in India is never as severe as in the western countries. Snow is unknown to us unless we go to the Himalayas or to Jammu!
But even then, our winter can be freezing cold with temperature dropping extremely low and the very poor and the homeless have a difficult time coping with winter.

January 14th is Sankranti or Pongal - the harvest festival celebrated all over India.
Fresh sugar-cane would be transported in vans and carts.
In Chennai – the December music season spills into the Pongal dance festival.
All over India – music mahotsavs are held.

With our hearts brimming in aesthetic emotion - we await the arrival of spring . . .

Kala Ramesh


Ritusamharam by Kalidasa


More possible kigo for the WINTER
by Kala Ramesh




razaai [ quilts]

woolen vest


music [sangeet] conferences

Sangeet utsav

Pongal dance festival [Chennai]

college fests


fresh mango-ginger [manga-inji in Tamizh and aam halad in Marathi]

tumeric, fresh

bunches of green pepper [used for pickle- tamizh preparation]


sugar-cane juice


Called Vasudev in Maharastra, men dressed in a peculiar fashion – a frock type of shirt with dhoti [lose cloth tied around their waist] with a cone like hat. - Come around early winter mornings singing bhajans and Marathi abhangs- devotionals . . .

If you go to give alms or old clothes, they will predict your future just looking at your face!!


snow - up North

cold waves


extreme dryness

warm afternoons

sun bathing


English New Year

Sankranti or Pongal – harvest festival

Kanu- Pongal [feeding the birds mainly the crows – in south India]


January end - mango leaves begin to sprout

February end - Small mango – called maavadu – is available in the markets for

preparing a special pickle called – vadumaangai – [in Chennai]


coming of spring – phalguni



hot rasam [Indian soup]


hot stuffed parathas -

milk and paper begins to arrive late!

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


indian dance recital:
long plaited hair in step
with her hips

Haiku Harvest 2005 - Vol. 5, No. 1

... ... ...

bleak winter
the stray dogs
look thinner

winter smog.
villagers huddle around
the early morning fire

Kala Ramesh

ooo ooo ooo

wintry winds -
the anklet sounds
her dancing steps

For many years I wondered why Indian classical dancers, before getting on to the stage, bent to touch the stage with their hands and touch their hands to their eyes - a way of showing reverence.
Yes -- but why do they do that?
Were they praying that their concert should go off well?

Earth - Prithivi - is considered sacred for we consider her and call her as Mother Earth - so a dancer before stepping on to the stage- asks Mother Earth’s forgiveness because, as a dancer, she will be trampling on her.

A thought so sacred . . . to think that the Indians inherently gave so much importance to nature is something worth remembering and what is heart warming is that this is just one of the many things that Indians hold sacred even to this day

Kala Ramesh, January 2006


early winter dusk
the only sound
wind through the pines

winter silence
the flames in brandy glasses
and our eyes

winter dusk
from last year's diary
a pressed maple leaf

winter logging
a tree charred by lightening
alone in graveyard

Angelee Deodhar (Chandigarh)

Read a lot more Indian Haiku here:


Related words

***** Ritusamharam

***** Winter (fuyu, Japan) worldwide kigo

***** . Winter Seclusion

***** . Winter Solstice

***** Sheperds Winter, Romania

***** Harvest Thanksgiving (Christian communities) Harvest Festival



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1 comment:

Den Relojo said...

I didn't know that there is Winter in India until I came across with your blog.