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Land Of Festivals And Culture : INDIA

Updated on April 22, 2017
RANGOLI MADE ON ALMOST EVERY OCASSION
RANGOLI MADE ON ALMOST EVERY OCASSION

India's rich heritage has been built over the centuries and this has led to a huge variety in Indian life, soul and festivals. There is a great diversity in the Indian regions and these diversities have brought about an assortment of rituals and festivals too.Each religion follows its own calendar for deciding the day on which the festival is to be celebrated. For example, the Hindu festivals are determined by the lunar Hindu calendar. Thus the dates of the Hindu festivals do not match with the solar Georgian calendar. We celebrate festivals of each religion with equal zeal and vigor, and this also proves each time how our unity lies in diversity. Indian fair and festivals are the major attraction and best way to explore India. Every day of the year there is a festival celebrated in some part of the country. Each Indian festivals has their own significance to celebrate. Since India has a large hindu population, it is natural that most of its festivals are Hindu festivals. Since the Hindus personify nature and human feelings, they have about 3.3 millions gods and goddess, and thus a number of festivals to worship them.We often see that some festivals are more popular in a particular region.A festival may be observed with acts of worship, offerings to deities, fasting, feasting, vigil, rituals, fairs, charity, celebrations, Puja, Homa, Aarti etc. The festivals typically celebrate events from Hindu mythology, often coinciding with seasonal changes. There are many festivals which are primarily celebrated by specific sects or in certain regions.

India is famous for a lot of things around the world from yoga to its diversity from its travel destinations to its rich past but one thing that this country is better at doing than most is celebrating festivals, lots of festivals. A country with diverse religious and cultural backgrounds India as a nation gets to celebrate festivals of different types, tastes and colors and that is what makes festivities in this country so special to experience. Below i am listing out the best cultural and religious festivals in India, we believe one has to experience and celebrate if in India :-

  1. PAINKUNI FESTIVAL:-


Venue: Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple
Location: East Fort
District: Thiruvananthapuram

In India, there are many temples and historic places and among them, Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple with its rich history is among the most famous temples in our country. A major festival at this temple which sees huge participation of devotees from across the state is the Painkuni Festival. Painkuni is a ten-day festival in which special rituals are offered every day. It is a visual delight where in colossal figurines are set up. These huge fibre glass figures of the Pandavas (the five sons of Pandu in the Indian epic Mahabharata). The festival starts with kodiyettu, which is the hoisting of the ceremonial flag. The ninth day has the head of the Travancore Royal Family performing the palli vetta (royal hunt) ritual, near the Vettakorumakan Temple in the Fort area. The arattu (holy bath) ceremony of the idols in the sea at the Shanghumugham Beach marks the end of the festivities. The head of the royal family of erstwhile Travancore will lead the procession for the arattu carrying the ceremonial sword and wearing the traditional green cap. The male members of royal family of Travancore will escort the deities in the procession and devotees line up to offer their prayers to the deities. The idols are then taken back to the temple. In Kerala, festival dates are decided in accordance with the Malayalam calendar and the local traditions and customs. The festival is celebrated in the month of April.

PAINKUNI FESTIVAAL
PAINKUNI FESTIVAAL

TULIP FESTIVAL :-

Type: Nature and wildlife
Location: Srinagar
Venue: Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden

Festivals of flowers are very popular among the people of India. There are a number of festivals held in various parts of the country. Tulip festival is one of the most popular flower festivals in India. The festival is a great way to capture the flowering tulips of Kashmir as Srinagar has Asia's largest tulip garden. The Festival displays a large variety of tulips. Large number of tourists visit this place to catch the sight of these beautiful tulips. The festivals also feature a number of cultural programs, sale of local handicrafts, Kashmiri folk songs and other forms of arts. On visiting this festival, you will also be able to taste traditional cultural Kashmiri cuisine. I n simple words, this festival is a blend of nature, culture, traditions and food. The Tulip Festival is held in Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden in Srinagar, Kashmir. It is located in the foothills of Zabarwan range, it overlooks the Dal Lake and offers a breathtaking sight.The time to visit this festival is in the month of April.

TULIP FESTIVAL
TULIP FESTIVAL

VAISAKHI:-

Type: Punjabi festival
Location: Punjab
Observances: Prayers, processions, raising of the Nishan Sahib flag

Baisakhi is one of the major festivals of Sikhs and is celebrated with lot of enthusiasm and gaiety in the state of Punjab and all throughout the world where there is a significant Sikh population. For the large farming community of Punjab, Baisakhi Festival marks the time for harvest of rabi crops and they celebrate the day by performing joyful bhangra and gidda dance. For the Sikh community, Baisakhi Festival has tremendous religious significance as it was on a Baisakhi Day in 1699, that Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru laid the foundation of Panth Khalsa-the Order of the Pure Ones. It is observed in the month of April.

VAISAKHI FESTIVAL
VAISAKHI FESTIVAL

BIHU :-

Type: Regional Folk
Location:
Assam
Observances:
Asamiya people

Bihu is the chief festival in the Assam state of India. It refers to a set of three different festivals: Rangali or Bohag Bihu observed in April, Kangali or Kati Bihu observed in October, and Bhogali or Magh Bihu observed in January. The Rangali Bihu is the most important of the three celebrating the Assamese new year and the spring festival. The Bhogali Bihu or the Magh Bihu is the one that is all about food. The Kongali Bihu or the Kati Bihu is the sombre, thrifty one reflecting a season of short supplies.The term Bihu is also used to imply Bihu dance otherwise called Bihu Naas and Bihu folk songs also called Bihu Geet.

BIHU FESTIVAL
BIHU FESTIVAL

MOPIN FESTIVAL:

Location: Arunachal Pradesh
Observances:
Galo Tribe

The tribes in Arunachal Pradesh, the remote hilly state in North Eastern India adore to their age old customs. For tourists, it can be quite fascinating to observe their lifestyle and various customs. Most of their festivals are related to harvest and social aspects. The Galo tribe for example celebrates the Mopin festival every year. Galo people dress up in their finest white traditional clothing for the festival. A local drink called Apung/Poka is generally distributed among the participants in a bamboo cup and a variety of meals are served, made of rice which is known as Aamin which contains meat and bamboo shoot. It is also celebrated in the month of April.

PARYUSHAN:

Type: Relegious Festival
Observances: Jainism

The Paryushan Parva also known as Dash Lakshan Parva is one of the two most important festivals for the Jains, celebrated for self-purification and uplift of oneself. The 8-day festival that connects you religiously and spiritually to the almighty.

PARYUSHAN FESTIVAL
PARYUSHAN FESTIVAL

NAVRATRI:

Type: Relegious Festival
Featured in Relegions:
Hinduism
Observances:
Goddess Durga is worshipped

Navratri is a nine night’s festival, celebrated in the honor of Goddess Maa Durga. The 9 nights festival of Navratri is one of the greatest Hindu festivals, symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. Navaratri is the longest Hindu festival celebrated all over India, specially in the state of West-Bengal., Beautiful clay idols of Goddess Durga are worshiped every where.

NAVRATRI IMAGE
NAVRATRI IMAGE

DUSSEHRA:

Type: Relegious Festival
Featured in Relegions: Hinduism
Observances:
Putting tika on forehead, prayers, religious rituals like burning an effigy of Ravana

Dussehra also known as Vijaya Dashami is a Hindu festival that denotes the victory of truth over evil. This is one of the most important festivals of India,celebrated on the 10th day of the holy Navratri. The festival of Dussehra marks the triumph of Lord Rama over Demon king Ravana. Dussehra celebrated in various forms across India, Nepal, even Java and Sri lanka.

DUSSEHRA FESTIVAL
DUSSEHRA FESTIVAL

MAKAR SANKRANTI AND PONGAL:

Type: Relegious, Cultural Festival
Celebrations:
Kite flying, bonfires, fairs, surya puja in river, feast, arts, dance, socialization
Observances:
Hindu People

Celebrated in the second week of January, they signify the end of the harvesting eason in the country when farmers put down their tools and come together in joy and harmony. The Sankranti festivities are marked in different ways across north India such as through kite flying in Gujarat and parts of Rajasthan. Pongal is a four day long cultural festival in India primarily celebrated in Tamil Nadu. On the second day of Pongal the festivities are marked by boiling milk in new clay pots during sunrise and when the milk boils over shouting “Pongalo Pongal”. It is an important festival in the state when people pray for abundance in wealth and health and best time to visit Tamil Nadu.

MAKAR SANKRANTI FESTIVAL
MAKAR SANKRANTI FESTIVAL
PONGAL FESTIVAL
PONGAL FESTIVAL

HOLI:

Type: National Festival
Location:
UP, Uttrakhand, most parts of India
Observances:
Hindu People

One of the most colorful festivals celebrated in the world, Holi, is representative of India’s essence and vibrancy. The beautiful cultural festival celebrated with colors and water in the month of March is a special festival marked all across the country. Celebrated across two days; the night before the color playing family and friends gather to burn a bonfire to commemorate the sacrifice of Holika and the next day people come out and play with colors and water in the spirit of joy. Among the famous places to celebrate Holi in India, Mathura, Vrindavan, Dwarka and Kumaon region of Uttarakhand are best.

HOLI FESTIVAL
HOLI FESTIVAL

EASTER:

Location: Goa, kerela, Eastern region
Observances:
Christian people

A very special and auspicious day for the Christians, Easter Sunday is celebrated in April to mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ upon his death on Good Friday. The day holds lots of religious importance for the Christians and is celebrated with great fervor. People buy new clothes, decorate eggs and prepare tasty lamb dishes to mark the celebration of the day. The Easter Basket is prepared filled with chocolates, decorated eggs and many other things and brought to the church to be blessed by the Father. Goa and Kerala are the best places to observe this festival.

EASTER FESTIVAL
EASTER FESTIVAL

MAHA SHIVRATRI:

Type: Relegious Festival
Featured In Relegions:
Hinduism
Observances: Fasting, worship of Lingam

Among the biggest days in a Hindu calendar year, Maha Shivratri is celebrated as the day Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati. This religious festival in India is celebrated on the 14th/15th day of the month of February with devotees flogging to the temples to offer their prayers. The festivities are marked with all day fasting and all night vigils through singing and dancing.

MAHA SHIVRATRI FESTIVAL
MAHA SHIVRATRI FESTIVAL

EID-AL-FITR:

Type: Relegious Festival
Featured in Relegions:
Islam
Observances:
Zakat al-fitr charity, Eid prayers

One of the biggest religious festivals in India, Id and the month long fasting prior to that which is known as Ramzan is fervently celebrated by millions of Muslims all across the country. Iftar Parties every evening during Ramzan and gorge upon some delicious sweet dishes on the day of Id. Cities such as Lucknow, Delhi and Hyderabad see joyous celebrations and fanfare during Eid. It symbolizes brotherhood and cultural harmony.

EID-AL-FITR
EID-AL-FITR

BUDDHA PURNIMA:

Type: Relegious Festival
Featured In Relegions: Buddhism
Observances:
Meditation, observing the eight precepts, bathing the Buddha

The biggest day in the life of a Buddhist, Buddha Purnima is celebrated across the Buddhist world as the day of birth, enlightenment and death of Gautam Buddha. India, the land of Gautam Buddha’s enlightenment and death sees great celebration of his life and teachings by the Buddhist temples and followers in the country. Devout Buddhists gather around at their nearest temples with flowers and candle sticks, offering prayers and singing hymns. Bodh Gaya in Bihar is the best place to witness the enchanting celebrations of Buddha Purnima in India.

BUDDHA PURNIMA
BUDDHA PURNIMA

LOSAR FESTIVAL:

Type: Tibetan Cultural Festival
Featured In Relegions: Buddhism

Losar Festival is the celebration of the New Year by Tibetan Buddhists in the country. It is believed that this festival pre‐dates the emergence of Buddhism in India and is one of the most culturally stimulating festivals in the country. Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh are the best places to celebrate Losar festival. Losar celebrations go on for fifteen days with the first three days being the most important. The festival is usually celebrated during February‐March with folk dancing, music and local beverages part of the festivities.

LOSAR FESTIVAL
LOSAR FESTIVAL

JANMASHTAMI:

Type: Relegious Festival
Featured In Relegions: Hinduism
Observances:
Fasting, Praying

Krishna Janmashtami, also known simply as Janmashtami, is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu. The Krishna temples all across the country are decorated beautifully and see crowds of thousands turn up to offer their prayers to the god. The twin cities of Mathura and Vrindavan become a place of great festivities during this time with many famous temples such as ISKON and Bake Bihari decorated beautifully and are full of devotees late into the night. This religious festival is usually marked in the months of August or September.

JANMASHTAMI FESTIVAL
JANMASHTAMI FESTIVAL

DEEPAWALI:

Type: Relegious Festival
Featured In Relegions: Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism
Observances:
Diya and lighting, home decoration, shopping, fireworks, puja (prayers), gifts, feast and sweets

The festival of festivals, Deepawali is one of the most widely celebrated cultural festivals in India, marked across communities and regions. The festival of light marks the home coming of Lord Ram from his exile to his kingdom. The festival sees households decorated in beautiful electronic lights along with diyas and rangolis. In the evening there is a grand puja of Goddess Laxmi the harbinger of wealth with crackers burnt after it to mark the end of the festival. Deepwali celebrations are best seen in the northern parts of the country such as UP, Rajasthan, Punjab and Delhi. Diwali or Deepawali is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year in autumn in the northern hemisphere.

DEEPAWALI FESTIVAL
DEEPAWALI FESTIVAL

CHRISTMAS:

Type: Relegious Festival
Featured In Relegions: Christian People
Celebrations:
Gift-giving, family and other social gatherings, symbolic decoration, feasting etc.

Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed most commonly on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. The decorated churches, the Santa Claus and the Christmas Eve gifts are part of the whole experience of celebrating Christmas by not only Christians but people from other religion too. The best place to experience the beauty of Christmas is in Old Goa, Meghalaya and Cochin where one can visit beautiful churches and witness the excitement on the streets.

CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL
CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL

SHIGMO:

Shigmo parade is a street festival filled with colors, music, dance and float parade. The life of a Goan is depicted in elaborate folk performances by local men and women who dance tirelessly in huge processions along with the parade. Shigmo Festival was celebrated as spring’s biggest festival which honored the homecoming of the warriors who had left their homes and families at the end of Dussehera to fight the invaders. Traditional folk dances and enactment of mythological scenes is the major highlight of this parade. People in Goa dress up in colorful outfits, holding multi colored flags and playing large musical instruments like the Dhol Tasha and flutes in processions across the cities. The mesmerizing larger-than-life celebration brings fantasy and folk to form a fusion in the floats that parade through the streets.

SHIGMO FESTIVAL
SHIGMO FESTIVAL

ONAM:

Onam is the harvest festival of Kerala. Though Onam is traditionally a Hindu festival celebrated in Kerala, contemporarily Onam is celebrated by the Kerala diaspora across the globe. Onam commemorates the rule of Mahabali, an Asura(demon) king who loved his subjects. During his rule people were happy, honest and full of righteousness. Legend says Lord Vishnu took the incarnation of Vamana, a dwarf Brahmin who visited Mahabali seeking three steps of land for sitting in self denunciation. Cleverly Vamana defeated Mahabali and sent him to the netherworld. Onam is the annual homecoming of the legendary Emperor Mahabali. It falls during the month of Chingam (August–September) and lasts for ten days. The festival is marked by various festivities, including intricate flower carpets, elaborate banquet lunches, snake boat races, Onappottan, Kaazhchakkula in Guruvayoor, Puli Kali, Kaikottikkali etc. These festivities make Onam a unique festival on the earth which is embellished by most number of cultural elements and it can be undoubtedly said that these elements constitute the colorfulness, diversity and richness that no other festival can claim.On Onam day people conduct special prayers in Hindu temples.Although Prayers in Hindu temples are important part of the festival, non-Hindus are not allowed to enter temples.

ONAM FESTIVAL
ONAM FESTIVAL

SOCIAL AND CULTURAL VALUE OF FESTIVALS

The Indians keep celebrating festivals through out the year. Each festival has its own unique way of celebration and thus adds to the excitement and break the drudge of daily life. Not only does this make this beautiful land all the more appealing to the world, it proves, how the Indians are truly capable of innovating ways of celebrating the joyous occasion called life. In this way Indian festivals have a great religious and social significance. They teach a moral lesson to the people and unite them. People forget all their differences and observe these festivals with a sense of togetherness. The festivals teach them how to forget their enmity, narrowness and bitterness and join hand with each other for the sake of their religion and their society and for the sake of friendship and universal brotherhood.It is our sacred duty to celebrate these festivals with a sense of purity and sanctity. We should keep it free from communalism, narrowness and nasty politics.


FESTIVALS OF COLOUR, HAPPINESS, FUN AND GOODLUCK

MAHA SHIVRATRI CELEBRATION
MAHA SHIVRATRI CELEBRATION
DIWALI CELEBRATION
DIWALI CELEBRATION

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    • kanaujiamonu profile image
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      kanaujia monu 8 months ago from India

      thanzz.........@loriane