Madras Day CelebrationsWith the formation of states and new districts from time to time, we are used to celebrating foundation day of a state. However, wishing 'Happy Birthday' to Chennai nay, Madras of yesteryear is a bit different. It has more nostalgia attached to it as it takes you back in time, to the glorious past of this ancient city. You stand in the present with fun and celebrations all around and enjoy glimpses of advancement.
Time never stands still but for now, it really will - For you! Let us travel back and forth in time and know all about what Madras Day stands for the Chennites! A festival where everyone gets together and celebrates everything about their city they love so much - cuisine and culture, history and heritage!
Celebrating Madras Day - The PresentMadras Day is celebrated every year on August 22nd and commemorates founding of this city. Madras Day is about coming out, participating in motor rallies, contests and competitions pertaining to heritage and culture of this city in the form of paintings, photo exhibitions, quiz, heritage walks, lectures, food festivals etc. which last for a week.
(Picture Courtesy: Sangeet Pandey)
Glorious Days - The PastIn 1639, Francis Day and Andrew Cogan of the British East India Company acquired land from Vijayanagara King, Peda Venkata Raya and established Fort St. George and a modern city on this land after being granted permission to build a factory and warehouse for trade. St. Fort George later became the hub of trade and commerce with settlements and villages around it. The old and new towns together gave birth to Madras city, today the capital city of Tamil Nadu state in India.
The brain behind celebration of Madras day are journalists Shashi Nair and Vincent D'Souza along with Editor of Madras Musings, S. Muthiah. The celebrations commenced in the year 2004 and the enthusiasm of the denizens took over after that! Click here to read more on the history of Chennai
Surging towards Advancement - The FutureWhat's more! There are T-shirt designing competitions, multimedia presentations in schools and colleges, special radio programmes on the occasion. Do you know that there is a Madras Day website too where citizens (especially senior citizens) can record their memories about this city. In the year 2007, the Indian Postal Department even released a postal cover on Madras Day.
Fascinating Facts about Madras Day
- Running parallel is a campaign by social workers about preservation of heritage buildings - Heritage Act, the draft for which is already ready but has not been passed.
- Chennai comes from the name Chennappanaikan, the father of the Nayaks who sold the land to British. Madras was earlier known as Chennapattinam but was later renamed as Chennai by Karunanidhi Government in 1997.
- However, there are some controversies attached to the exact date. But this does not mar the celebrations because when hearts meet and sing in synchronization, when harmony and love become the underlying reasons for celebrations, when languages and region bind brethren, where is the space for disharmony? When time stands still to celebrate, how would dates matter?
It has catapulted from Madras to Chennai and has gained more vibrancy and colour, better living conditions for people. more opportunities and a city where dreams have come true. So, Chennai! Are you ready for the 'big Birthday bash' of the first city of modern India.