- Holidays and Celebrations
India, the Land of Festivals
INDIA- THE LAND OF FESTIVALS
India is a nation with a case of solidarity in assorted variety as it contains individuals of different religions like Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain, Christian and so forth. It is the land of festivals where people of different community celebrate their festivals unitedly. The wide assortment of festivals celebrated in India is a genuine indication of its rich culture and traditions. There are several Indian festivals and celebrations throughout the year. List of them is mentioned below.
Makar Sankranti, the Hindu festival celebrated by worshipping the Sun. It is marked as the end of winter solstice and beginning of the longer days. This festival is observed by different communities with different names such as Lohri by North Indian Hindus and Sikhs, Sukarat in central India, Bhogali Bihu by Assamese in Assam, and Pongal by Tamils and other South Indians. Lohri is the Punjabi folk festival, celebrated among the Punjabis with a bonfire, performing Bhangra and Gidda dance form. The harvest festival Lohri is marked by eating sheaves of roasted corn from the new harvest. Pongal in Tamil Nadu is marked as the first-day of Uttarayan and is celebrated with Kolam, swinging and cooking of delicious dishes.
Vasant Panchami is the Hindu spring festival also known as Saraswati Puja among the Bengalis and the Odias. It is celebrated by worshiping the deity Saraswati who is the Goddess of wisdom and art.
Thaipusam is the Hindu's moon festival celebrated by the Tamil community. The word is derived from the Tamil month name Thai and Pusam which refers to a star near the location of the moon during the festival. Kavadi Attam is the dance which is performed by them while worshiping the God of War, Murugan.
Maha Shivratri is a Hindu festival celebrated in honor of Lord Shiva. Day and night fast are observed among the devotees during this festival and a ritual worship of Shiva Lingam is performed.
Holi is the festival of colours or the festival of love. At the night before Holi, Holika-Dahan is observed when people pray for their safety and perform the religious rituals in front of the bonfire. On the occasion of Holi, the Hindus celebrate it by playing with colours and worshiping Lord Krishna, the God of love along with the Goddess Radha. Shigmo is observed in Goa as one of the noticeable celebrations of the Konkani Hindu community.The fundamental celebration coincides with Holi. Not only that, Rag Panchami is celebrated just after five days of Holi. In Maharashtra and parts of Madhya Pradesh, the celebration of hues is commended five days after Holi on Rang Panchami.
Gangaur is the festival celebrated among the community of Rajasthan and Gujrat. It is one of the important festivals among the womenfolk who celebrate this day worshiping Goddess Gauri, the wife of Lord Shiva. It is the celebration of spring, harvest and marital fidelity. Both married and unmarried woman pray to her. The unmarried women worship her so that they can be blessed with a good husband, while married women do so for the health and long life of their husbands along with a happy married life.
Ram Navami is the festival of the birth of Lord Rama. Lord Rama was considered as the 7th incarnation of Lord Vishnu and was born in Ayodhya. In Andhra Pradesh, Ram Navami is commended for 10 days from the Chaitra Saptami to the Bahula Padyami that fall in the long stretch of March and April. The marriage of Lord Rama and Sita is enacted in the temples to remember this occasion, as they got married on this day.
Gudi Padwa, considered as the New Year's Day among the Marathis, Konkanis and Sindhis. It is celebrated on the first day of the month of Chaitra. Gudi Padva signifies the arrival of spring and harvesting of Rabi crops.
Ugadi is the Telegu New Year, celebrated in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana. The day is celebrated by drawing beautiful rangolis on the floor called Kolamulus, mango leaf decorations on entryways called Toranalu, purchasing and giving endowments for example; new garments, offering charity to poor people, having special bath followed by oil treatment, preparing and sharing a special food called Pachadi, and visiting the Hindu temples. The Pachadi is a striking happy nourishment that joins all flavors – sweet, sharp, salty, and bitter.
Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated among the Jains as the birth anniversary of Mahavir. Mahavir was the 24th and Last Tirthankara who had founded the Jainism. All the holy places and temples related with are enriched with blooms, banners and so forth to commend this unique event. At this day, the Mahavir idol is given a ritual shower before celebrations.
Ratha Yatra or the Chariot festival is celebrated in Puri in Odisha. The Hindu God, Lord Jagannath is being worshiped in this festival along with a huge public procession. The attractions of this procession are the wooden chariots with deities Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra.
Onam, is the famous Hindu festival celebrated in the Indian state of Kerala. It is the National Festival of Kerala that is celebrated for ten days, begins on Atham (first day) and ends on Thiruonam (tenth day). Individuals of Kerala demonstrate the rich culture of their state while commending the jamboree with exercises like feasts, dances, folk songs, lively amusements, elephants, boats and blooms, and so forth.
Raksha Bandhan is the annual festival performed by the Indians, irrespective of caste and creed. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the lunar month and is also called Rakhi Purnima, Nariyal Purnima, or Kajari Purnima in different states, celebrated differently. On this day the sisters tie a sacred thread on the wrist of her brother as a sign of love or the bond of brother and sister that is the bond of protection.
Janmashtami, also known as the Gokulashtami, is the festival observed as the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. This grand festival is celebrated by keeping fast by the individuals, singing reverential melodies, performing Dahi Handi, Raas Lila, and other exercises in the respect of Lord Krishna.
Ganesh Chathurti is observed as a ten-day continuous celebrations on the honor of Lord Ganesha. It is also popular by the name of Vinayaka Chaturthi in India. The celebration is observed in different parts of the country mainly in Maharastra, Telangana, Karnataka, UP including other parts of Western and Southern India. Devotees offered coconut, modak, jaggery, flowers in front of the idol. It is known as the grand festival of Maharashtra.
Durga Puja is the grand festival celebrated among the Bengalis of West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, and Tripura. It is a continuous four-day festival celebrated with lots of excitement. The city decked up with lights, beautiful pandals containing the idols of Goddess Durga with Goddess Lakshmi, Saraswati, Lord Kartick and Lord Ganesha. Wearing new clothes and pandal hopping is mandatory among the Bengalis. In the eastern and northeastern states of India, the Durga Puja is synonymous with Navratri. It is a nine-nights festival. Dandia and Garwa are the preferred dance form performed among the Gujaratis during this festival. On the 10th day after Navaratri or the 4th day of Durga Puja, Dusshera is observed. On this day, in some states, the idols are immersed in the water body or alternatively in some places of the country the evil statue is being burnt with fireworks marking evil's destruction.
Karva Chauth is the festival celebrated among the Hindu women. Married women keep fast for their husband's long life from dawn till the moon rises. Whereas the unmarried women keep fast for getting the desired husband.This is celebrated in the states of Rajasthan, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab.
Dhanteras marks the festival of Diwali. On this day Goddess Lakshmi, the God of wealth and treasure, is worshiped. There is a custom that on this day the Hindus have to purchase gold, silver or new utensils.
Diwali is the festival of lights and happiness. It is celebrated by decorating homes with lights, candles, diyas, and wonderful rangolis. No Hindu festival completes without puja. Worshiping Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi in the evening, lightening the houses, exchanging gifts, and playing with crackers are the major attractions in this festival.
Diwali ends up with Bhai Dooj festival. It is the festival of brother and sister, in which the sisters pray to god for their brothers' safety and long life. It is also called Bhau Beej in Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka; Bhai Tika in Nepal; Bhathru Dwithiya, Bhau-Deej, Bhai Phota in Bengal; and Ningol Chakuba in Manipur.
Apart from all these Hindu festivals, there are also Muslim and Christian festivals which are celebrated in India. Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid or Eid Ul-Adha), Id-ul-Fitr (Ramzan Eid), Shab-e-Barat, Shab E Miraj, Jamat-Ul-Vida are the Muslim festivals celebrated by the Muslim community in India. In the month of December, the Indians eagerly wait for the Christmas festival and the New year eve. The whole country dressed up with lights. Irrespective of caste and creed this festival is celebrated with lots of amusements.
India is notable everywhere throughout the world as a nation of social and customary celebrations as it has many societies and religions. One can appreciate the celebration festivity in India consistently. As it is a mainstream nation loaded with assorted variety in the religions, languages, societies and positions, it is constantly swarmed with the general population engaged with the fairs and festivals. Individuals from every religion have their own social and customary celebrations and everyone celebrate these festivals with lots of enthusiasm.