August 2016 Calendar printable

9:00 AM

August! The months which in Europe and US usually means the Summer is about to near its end very soon has a whole different meaning in India.

For us, this marks the return of the multiple public holidays and the nearing of the festive season. It starts with India's Independence Day on August 15th. Then it is followed by Rakshabandhan, a festival during which sisters tie a bracelet around their brother's wrist and ask for their protection. And before you know it Janmastami is here before we get sucked into September and the full start of the festive season.

For parents, this is the time of the year the kids will be at home on a holiday at least once a week until Diwali, some schools going far more overboard in the holiday department than others.

To reflect this month of festivities in the most secular way possible I decided to go with a saffron, white and green palette to honour the Indian flag, and drew a rakhi, the bracelet tied during Rakshabandhan.

Here are a few tid-bits you might want to know about August in India:

- The first two weeks of the months mark the end of the Monsoon sales in most shops, department stores and malls. It usually ends on August 15th.

- August 15th, while being India's Independence day is usually a day during which people go shopping to strike the last bargains of the season before all the prices gets inflated again during the festive period.
This is the Indian equivalent of US's Black Friday, and if you are sane enough you stay home, and if you need to shop, you shop online.
Malls are usually super crowded, and in a few of them in Mumbai there is a queue to get in at the security check point. If you enjoy crowd baths and being stampeded, then by all mean join the folly. I myself stay home and away from any commercial area.

- Rakhi make their appearance in shops by the end of July so that ladies with out of town brothers can  send them by post, it's to my knowledge the only festival where people will shop more than a week in advance for.

- Over the years, August also came to be about Friendship, and friendship bracelets are often sold along with Rakhi during that time of the year, probably to that those who have no brothers to exchange bracelets with can still do so with their friends.

Now remember to brace yourself :

The Festive Season is coming!

2016 has come and gone, and I removed the links to the files. If you are looking for a calendar printable know that my 2017 edition is up for download, find it out in this blog post.

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  1. Anonymous11:06 AM

    One important tit bit about the Independence Day is the kite flying in the evening. In our childhood, we associated Independence Day with kite flying. It marks the end of the kite flying season with a bang.

    People would go to far off places in old delhi looking for the sharpest "manja" (String for the kites). Then they would boast about it. Kites and kite flying was a way of life.

    My earliest memory of that day is to join my friends in the evening for kite flying in on the terrace. Numerous colourful kites dotting the skyline. Kite flyers like skilled warriors trying to cut each other kite string with the cry "Bo Katiya" (there I have hacked your string), when one has eliminated the rival's kite. This was followed by the excitement of catching the kites which would gently float downwards.

    No one knows who started the tradition of flying kites on independence day but I found something on it, apparently kites represented freedom from British rule


    1. There is no Kite flying going on in Mumbai on independence day. It's way too wet for anything made of paper or plastic to fly :-) I don't think I noticed it in Bangalore either, this must be a North Indian thing.

    2. Anonymous12:22 PM

      It is actually strange that we associate festival/important days with activities and not what they are meant for.

      The second memory of August for me is Janamastmi. We would start collecting sand, gravel and chalk days in advance. Returning from school, we kept a watch on places where sand and gravel were readily available. On the D Day, we would get up early and start creating a landscape infront of our house, consisting of mountains, rivers, trees etc. with idols of lord Krishna and his parents placed at specific points depicting different events of Krishna's life like birth of Krishna in a prison, Krishna's father crossing the river Yamuna carrying him in a basket on his head etc. At the edge of this landscape was a swing with little Krishna on it. People would come and pull the string attached to the swing, and put some money. All over the neighbourhood, children were using their imagination to create their own stories trying to out do each other. The idols used were prized and kept safely for their annual use. There was such pride in our work, anybody who tried to pull the string too hard was shooed away.

      At night we would wrap all this and take a round of the neighbourhood to find out what others were doing. At some places these events were organized on a large scale, complete with huge artificial rivers and mountains with children dressing up as Krishna and Radha.

      Then we would visit the temple and that would end the festivities for the day. Looking back I guess it was a creative activity which we indulged in not knowing what we were doing at that time. I don't know whether it is popular now, guess in our old neighbourhood it still is.

      I guess I go back because these memories are so vibrant and full of fun.


  2. "August 15th, while being India's Independence day is usually a day during which people go shopping to strike the last bargains of the season before all the prices gets inflated again during the festive period."

    The crowds at the sales were AWFUL 2 weeks ago in Delhi. Couple that with insane traffic because with every sporadic Monsoon downpour there's a flash flood of sorts the backs up traffic for hours.

    I've never understood the inflated prices as Diwali gets closer. Even the week before Diwali and for a few weeks after Diwali the prices do not drop. In the US they start marking stuff down a few days before Xmas the BOOM after Xmas prices are slashed. You'd think they'd do the same with Diwali stuff just to get rid of old inventory & boost sales.

    I found out what happens to all those fancy perfume gift sets that don't sell at Xmas in the US & Europe & never get marked down- they end up at Delhi's IGIA in the Duty free shops! Yes, Xmas tags razored off you can find whatever didn't sell last Xmas at Delhi Duty Free!

    1. Yeah they start discounting Christmas stuff on December 24th in Switzerland, and then on December 26th when all the stores reopen after Christmas everything is marked down. Most people go spend their gift vouchers or go exchange unwanted gifts the week after Christmas and with the discounts you get value for money.

      I wonder how stores deal with the stock excess from those festivals.


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