September is a month of joyful revisits and solemn prayers for the departed. First comes Lord Ganesha - the god of all beginnings. The remover of obstacles is worshipped by all but Maharashtra's eleven day long celebrations are unrivalled. Frenetic dance, beats of the Dhol Tasha (drums), glittering lights tinge the devotion and fervour of the proceedings with an inimitable vigour.
Soon after Kerala, celebrates Onam to welcome back their beloved King Bali who is believed to return from the underworld to witness the well being of his people. While Kerala revels in the festivities and digs into Onam Sadya, the muslims of India observe Bakrid or Eid-ul-Adha, in the spirit of sacrifice, learning and charity. After this comes the festival of Vishwakarma - the divine architect and god of all crafts and machinery which sees factories, workshops and smithies revere the deity.
Finally as the Sun moves into the southern hemisphere, Hindus all over the country pay homage to their ancestors during the sixteen day period of Pitr Paksh. With this festival, the month comes a full circle from the lord of beginnings to the land of the dead. For every beginning must have an end and all ends pave the way for a new journey.