Indian Festivals - One for each month of the year
Dinner for two?
Celebrate Each Month
Lohri - The celebrations are held around a bonfire. Thanks is given by the farmers for the crop surving the winters. Every one sings and dances around the fire and adds lahi (puffed wheat), groundnuts and revadi(small sweet made of seseme) to the fire.
Valentines's Day - Something that's caught on in the last decade or so. You can say its in individual thing. Or rather a couple thing, for they decide how they want to celebrate it. But a lot of flowers, heart shaped objects and chocolates are usually involved.
Holi - Festival of colours. The day the whole world lets their hair down and acts like children. You throw colours on people and dump them in coloured water. And if you are in Mathura you see the women hitting their men folk with sticks. No kidding!
Baisakhi - Welcome to spring. Thanksgiving for the good harvest and a whole lot of other related stuff. Usually a trip to the temple is in order after which there is a general celebratory mood in the air.
Budhha Jayanti - Celebrate the birth of the Buddha. Not a very noisy festival. The Buddhists have prayers in the monestry.
My Birthday! The most festive day of the year ;) Just kidding.
Strangely enough there is no major festival that takes place in the month of June. I guess the onslaught of the monsoons and Sawan ka mahina is all that is celebrated by girls trying flowers to swings.
Raksha Bandhan - Sisters ask for the love and protection of their brothers by tying them rakhis (silk decorative threads) on their right wrists. Brothers solemnly promise to shelter them from hardship and pass of gifts.
Independence Day - After the flag hoisting early in the morning, there is little else to do except the normal routine all day. The evening will usually see gathering of friends and family.
Dushera - The end of Ravana at the hands of Rama is celebrated with a great Ramleela and burning of the effigy of Ravana. There are fairs and melas in all major towns. The fire crackers that come hurtling out of the burning effigy are the high point of the evening.
Diwali - The festival of lights. The whole house is lit up with Diyas and candles so that no corner of the home is dark. Children love the firecracker and adults enjoy the special sweets. There is also a tradition of light gambling in the evening.
Gurpurab - Birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. A major Sikh festival. A visit to the Gurudwara is usually followed by fire crackers, sweets and a heavy dinner.
Christmas - Cake and wine at the closest Christian Friend's home. Maybe a visit to their Church to witnessness the midnight mass if you feel like it. Definitely a gift from Santa for the kids. A tree in the room optional.
Some Other Festivals
Indians love to celebrate just about any occasion and this reflects in the many other holidays that exist. Some others include Makar Sankranti, Basant Panchami, Moharram, Maha Shivratri, Eid -a Milad and Dulhandi in the first quarter of the year.
From April to June there will be holidays for Ram Navmi, Mahavir Jayanti, Easter/ Good Friday, and Ambedkar Jayanti. Mostly celebrating birthdays of prominent historical and mythological figures.
Fom July to September Janamashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, and Eid-ul Fitra will be celebrated. And in the last quarter there is Bhai duj, Gandhi Jayanti, Eid-ul Zuha, and Govardhan Puja.
Since most religious festivals follow the lunar calender their dates tend to change every year, but these are rough estimates.
Fun round the year
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