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Festivals of India

October 04, 2011  by: raajh07  Points: 12   Category: Social Studies  Earning $0.75   Views: 845

Festivals and Fairs are an integral part of Indian life. The diversity of religions and communities ensures a variety of "holy" days which are celebrated all over the Indian subcontinent.


Festivals of India

Festivals and Fairs are an integral part of Indian life. The diversity of religions and communities ensures a variety of "holy" days which are celebrated all over the Indian subcontinent.

Hindu festivals range over the entire year; some are celebrated by almost all Hindu communities while others are of regional significance. Tribes also celebrate their festivals and follow elaborate rituals since time immemorial.

Sankranti : In mid January comes the festival Sankranti marking the change of season. People usually take a holy dip in the rivers like Ganga, Yamuna and Godavari. A day before Sankranti comes Lohiri , which is especially celebrated by the Punjabis. The
Lohiri bonfire is believed to take the people's message to the sun god to shine brightly and end the chill of the winter. People enjoy eating the revdi (a sweet) and popcorn while having a good time at the borfire.

Pongal : Coinciding with the Sankranti festival is the Tamil festival of Pongal. It is a harvest festival, the chief event is the boiling of a pot of Pongal - a mixture of rice, dal, jaggery and milk. It's a symbolic representation of prosperity and abundance. In Andhara Pradesh it is a dish name Pongali that is prepared and consumed during the festival season.

Vasant Panchami or Basant Panchami . It is celebrated by Bengalis in honour of the goddess Saraswati. People wear yellow clothes on this day.

Mahasivaratri : It is celebrated on the fourteenth day of Maghamasa (Jan-Feb). The festival is marked by a day of fasting and prayer dedicated to lord Siva.

Holi : In March (Phalguna masa) comes the festival of colors Holi. It marks the end of winter and the beginning of Summer. People enthusiastically throw colored water and powder on each other, exchange good wishes and sweets. This is symbolic to wish that their life should also be as colorful as the colors they play with. On the night before Holi, Idols of the demon Ravana are burnt to symbolize the destruction of evil.

Ramanavami : Chitra (March-April). The birth anniversary of lord Rama is celebrated in homes and temples. Special poojas are held at Bhadrachalam a town in Andhra pradesh where the holy couple stayed for some time during their aranyawaas.

Ugadi : A Telugu new year is usually celebrated in the month of March. A drink in which ingredients such as the water, mango, neem buds, tamarind, coconut are mixed and consumed symbolizing that life is a mixture of both good and bad times. At the same time the Nava Varsha of Bengalis and Tamils is also celebrated. Goru and Rangoli Bihu a cattle festival is celebrated by the Assamese.

Pooram : The Pooram festival is celebrated at Trichur (Kerela). The main highlight of the festival which is celebrated in May is the parade of the magnificently decorated elephants

Jagannath Rath Yatra : (June-July). The Rath Yatra of the Lord Jagannath is taken on the streets of the holy city of Puri, Orissa. The three main deities of Subhadra, Jagannath and Balarama are taken in procession on the street. The huge chariots are pulled using long ropes by the devotees.

Nag-Panchami : (July-Aug). The festival is dedicated to the serpent god Ananta, the serpent on whose coils lord Vishnu rests.

Rakha Bandhan : Shravana masa, on a full moon day the festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated throughout the nation. Females tie a sacred thread on the wrist of their brothers and seek their protection while in trouble. It's a holy vow the brother takes to protect his sister at all times from all dangers. Anthropologist Mc Kim Marriot tracing the origin of this festival observed that the custom of the serving class society tying a sacred thread to his master's wrist seeking his protection has spread to other regions as Raksha Bandhan.

Janmastami : In Sravana-Bhadra, the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna is celebrated at the holy city of Mathura and Brindavan in Uttar Pradesh and with equal fervor all across the country.

Ganesh Chturthi :(shukla Paksha in Aug-Sep) The Festival was originally started by Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak in Maharastra to unite and invoke nationalistic feeling among the people against the British, It continued to be celebrated with increased vigor every year not only in Maharastra but also across the country. Pandals (temporary Shrines) are erected and clay idols are installed and poojas are performed for days ranging between 3 to 11 days. The idols are later immersed in the local ponds or rivers.

Onam : It's a harvest festival of Kerala. The celebration lasts for ten days which comprises of boat races in the back waters in Allepy and some other places. Girls decorate their homes and making beautiful floral patterns and they also perform dance items like Kaikittikkali.

Dussehra : A ten day festival celebrated all over the country in Sep-Oct. In northern India the festival marks Rama's victory over Ravana. A stage performance called Ramlila is performed during the ten day celebrations. On the tenth day of the festival the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meganad are burnt to symbolize the victory of good over evil. The Bengalis celebrate the festival as Durga Puja while the Gujaratis celebrate it as the Navratri festival and dance during the evenings playing Dandiya dance.

Diwali : In Oct-Nov comes the popular festival of Diwali/Deepawali which falls on Amavasya or new moon. Legends interpret the festival in different versions. According to one, Lights and diyas were lit and people rejoiced Lord Rama's return to Ayodhya after the Vanvaas. Bengalis dedicate it to MahaKali while in the south it commemorates Lord Krishna's victory over the demon Narakasura. In western part of India, the festival is marked with the worship of goddess Laxmi.

Karthika Punnami is also a festival of lights celebrated on the poornami day after Diwali in the southern states of India. It is celebrated in the honor of the appearance of lord Siva at the birth of the Universe.

Bihu : The Assamese observe three Bihus or festivals. They are Bohag, Magh, and Kati Bihu.

Id-Ul-Fitr : The festivals and religious days of the Muslims are not fixed but fall about eleven days earlier each year. The Id-Ul-Fitr is a happy and festive occasion which comes at the end of the holy month of Ramzan. Muslims observe a dawn to dusk fast. On Id-Ul-Fitr every Muslim should give alms to the poor and participate in the Namaz with his fellow brethren. Other festivals include Bakr-Id and Muharram .

Christmas : (December 25th) with a sizeable number of Christian population in India, Christmas is celebrated across the country with great enthusiasm. All the churches are packed with people to offer prayers to the holy Christ.

The above are some of the major festivals celebrated in India and there are many such minor festivals celebrated across the country.
All these celebrations are a symbol of joy, to share the happiness of living and sharing of good times with our loved ones and elders.

Author: narenbabu        
Posted Date: 10/05/2011    Points:1    

Excellent potrayal and update of festivals in India , really a knowledgable information
Author: anil gupta        
Posted Date: 10/05/2011    Points:4    

India is country of festivals. We have many religions and sub religions. But for celebrating festivals we are one. We all enjoy festivals of all religions. You excellent about festivals of India. But you forgot about the festivals of Sikh religion. Sikh religion is one of the major religion of India. Sikhs are know for their bravery and sacrifice. Gurunanak Dev ji, the first guru of sikh, is the main festival of sikh religion. It is celebrated after 15 days of Depawali. For Sikh Gurunank Jaynti in important like DipawaliLike it Durga Puja is also a important festival of Bangali.
Author: raajh07        
Posted Date: 10/05/2011    Points:1    

Oh! I appologize for not including that Anil, how ever i appreciate you doing that for all of us. thanks.
Author: S. Chowdhury        
Posted Date: 10/05/2011    Points:3    

Very good article raj and very informative. I can see that you put real effort in this article. But one thing I must tell you that you should add more keywords to your article. It helps to make it search-friendly. Also check regularly where your article stands in google related to that particular search. That will give you a better idea of tweaking a thing or two I guess. I hope you excel this way here. Good luck!

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