Our events are organised keeping in mind about the objective of Hampshire Puja & Cultural Association. That is, to develop community cohesion by organizing a variety of multi-community cultural programmes, theme based and open to all members of public irrespective of their ethnic origin and religious beliefs. Our annual calendar of events are aimed at cultural integration, providing a platform for all ages and genders.
Our annual event calendar comprises of the following four events:
Saraswati Puja (February) / Vasant Panchami
Summer Sports Day and Barbeque (July / August)
This is the most casual event in the HPCA calendar where we make the most of summer at a picturesque location. The day includes various competitive events for children of respective age groups along with grown-ups. The only theme for this day is FUN!
The organising team along with volunteers from the community also fires up a delicious BBQ.
Durga Puja (October)
This is undoubtedly HPCA’s marquee event. The autumn festival of worshipping Goddess Durga or simply Durga Puja is usually a 10 day event. But here at HPCA, it is a three day event which is usually run over a weekend, coinciding closely with the Durga Mahotsav and Navratri festivals. Generally, the organisation of the three day festival looks like as follows:
Friday – Mahashashthi celebration. Volunteers start work from early morning setting up the stage and decorating the idol to welcome Maa Durga (Goddess Durga with Her Children – Laxmi, Saraswati, Ganesh and Kartik)
Afternoon – After the deity and stage is setup and decorated, a visit from local nursery and primary school is organised, with a view to disseminate Indian culture, art and music. Every year, over 100 mixed faith children become a part of the Indian art and Indian percussion instrument workshops at the Puja venue, where they are also shown and explained the mythological legends associated with the festival. This is an extremely popular feature of our festival.
Evening – A musical cultural event, either by an external artist or from the members followed by dinner.
Saturday – celebrate the MahaSaptami and MahaAshtami, which are the Day 7 and Day 8 of the 10 day ritual. Because of time constraints, we celebrate both the days in a day.
Morning / Afternoon: The Puja in the morning is a grand one with Anjali (offering of flowers, after chanting sacred mantras to the feet of the deity) in the afternoon and enjoy the MahaBhog (food offered to the Goddess Durga).
Evening: The evening puja is followed by a mega cultural event and dinner. Post dinner there is also a Dandiya. These events are attended by our Chief Guests such as the Mayors of Winchester and Eastleigh, who have consistently graced the celebrations as honoured guests.
Sunday – celebrates the MahaNavami and Vijaya Dashami
Morning / Afternoon: The cultural event for this day is another unique highlight and point of pride wherein we present an event solely by children. This is also the day when external artists from UK or from India have presented gripping musical performances from a wide variety of genres
Evening: The evening begins with Sindoor Khela by the ladies, who apply red vermillion to the deities and each other. Vijaya Dashami is the culmination of Durga Puja.
Kali Puja and Diwali Night (November)
This is the celebration of the Diwali festival, the festival of lights. It includes prayers offered to Goddess Kali, a fireworks enjoyed by the children and a cultural evening music and/ or dance.
In addition to the above programs, the HPCA team works around the year participating in events like the Eastleigh and Southampton meal showcasing their talent in various musical events.