As festive and joyous people, we Indians love commending the celebrations with our precious ones. Every Indian celebration has its own one of a kind method for festivity and celebrations. People beautify their homes with flowers and lights during the celebrations.
Indians give unique significance to their celebrations. Extraordinary plans are made for the festival of different celebrations every year. Be it the towns or the huge urban areas there is delight all around. All the places are decorated beautifully during the celebration season.
Many such bright and cheerful festivals together highlight the wide range of religions and cultures in India celebrated by all the residents with pure zeal and gusto. Let’s look into some of these festivals celebrated across the country.
Festivals of India
Here is the list of famous Indian Festivals that you can enjoy in India.
1. Makar Sankranti
The Makar Sankranti celebrated on the 14th of January, is the very first festival celebrated after the Gregorian Calendar New Year but for the North Indians and the Sikhs of India, it marks the beginning of the agricultural cycle. You can say it is the New Year for North Indian folks. Different states across the country have different names for this festival.
A major attraction for this festival is kite flying. One can witness a sky full of colorful and bright kites and eat delicacies made of Bajra or Til late in the evening.
2. Guru Purab
Popularly celebrated among the Sikhs, Guru Purab is the religious celebration of the anniversary of 10 Sikh Gurus and to honor Guru Nanak Devji. Usual practices include a procession held a day prior led by Panj Pyare. Gurbanis are held in GuruDwaras and prasad from Langar is distributed.
People independently hold langars for the poor and needy in Punjab. People light up houses and beautiful hymns can be heard from the GuruDwara all day long.
Pongal is the harvest festival of the Southern region of India. This festival is a four-day celebration of thanksgiving and welcoming the new agricultural year starting from the 14th of January.
Houses usually welcome guests and visitors with gorgeous Kolam (Rangolis made with flower petals and colored powder). Pongal also showcases cattle races and bonfire dancing through the four days.
4. Maha Shivratri
One of the greatest and most religiously celebrated festivals in India is the Maha Shivratri. In dedication to Lord Shiva, devotees celebrate this day usually by fasting and offering milk and Bel Patra (Bilva Leaves) to the Shivling.
It is believed that worshipping Lord Shiva on this auspicious day helps the devotees attain salvation. It is also said to help attain a happy married life to women, hence why it is popularly celebrated among women.
Commonly known as the festival of colors, Holi holds significance in Hindu mythology. Marking the arrival of spring, this festival signifies the victory of good over evil. It is celebrated over a period of two days. On the first day, the Holika bonfire is lit implying lighting away from the evil in and around us and welcoming new and positive beginnings.
The second day is when the colors come out in the streets. Applying dry and wet colors, carrying water guns and water balloons, Holi is a great time to experience the colors of India.
The major festival celebrated by the Islamic community is Eid. Eid or Muharram is usually celebrated 4 times in a year depending upon the sightings of the moon. However, Eid-Ul-Fitr is the most important of all. This is celebrated to conclude a month of fasting called Ramadan.
Markets and mosques are beautifully decorated and delicious milk sweets are served. The children are given Idi by their elders.
Rakshabandhan or popularly known as Rakhi is a very important festival celebrated among all the Hindus. It signifies the brother-sister bond where-in after the sister has performed the prayer rituals, the brother vows to protect the sister from all hardships and problems. The brother also presents the sister a gift after the rituals.
Another great religiously followed festival is the Krishna Janmashtami. It is celebrated annually on the birth of Lord Krishna. Celebrated with utmost pomp and glory all over India, it has some very famous attractions. It starts with people fasting throughout the day till midnight which was the time of the birth of Lord Krishna.
Later people visit the temple to pay their respects and actively participate in ‘Matki Tod’, where Indians form human pyramids and try to break in a pot of Prasad hanging high. Towns are decorated with lights and beautiful ‘Jhankis’, an exhibition portraying the life of Lord Krishna.
Celebrated with great pomp and show, Bihu is the harvest festival of India famously celebrated by the North-Eastern states. It is a month-long celebration where men and women dress up nicely in traditional Assamese clothes and perform the traditional dance of Assam – Bihu. Various feasts and fairs are held in communities where people participate with great joy.
Check this list of Best colourful festivals of- Assam
10. Ganesh Chaturthi
An amazing 11-day colorful celebration, Ganesh Chaturthi is a very important Hindu religious festival. This festival is celebrated in honour of Lord Ganesha’s birthday. People bring in handcrafted life-sized idols of Lord Ganesha and house it for 10 long days.
Pujas are performed in the day and after sunset. On the last day, the idol is immersed in a water body as a goodbye and a promise to bring him back again next year.
Primarily celebrated in Gujarat enthusiastically for 9 days, this festival is celebrated by religious devotees of Goddess Amba throughout India. People all over the nation fast through a period of nine days.
In Gujarat, people dress up in colorful traditional clothes called chaniya choli and perform energetic Garba and dandiya every night for nine days.
12. Durga Puja
Also known as Durgashtami, this festival is celebrated with extreme grandeur and gusto by Bengalis. This is a major highlight in the list of festivals in India. Devotees of Goddess Durga undergo a fast for 10 days.
During this period beautiful processions can be witnessed in the streets with people singing and dancing around the ten-armed idol of Goddess Durga. Ladies dress up in classic, traditional and elegant white saree with red and gold borders. Many pandals exhibiting beautifully crafted idols can be seen.
Dussehra or Vijayadashmi is another religious festival celebrated by Hindus across the country. The Ramleela (Enactment of scenes from the Ramayana) is performed in many cities and villages.
It is a celebration of the victory of good over evil, of the time when Lord Ram conquered Ravana in the Ramayana. Large dummies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran, and Meghnath are set ablaze to represent the victory and signify winning over evil.
The most prominent festival of India which is celebrated with pomp, glory, and splendour is Diwali. After the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana this day marks the homecoming of Lord Ram from exile.
To celebrate this, people wear new clothes, decorate houses with lights, candles and earthen lamps and burst crackers. It is the most popular festival in India.
The festival celebrated famously across the globe is celebrated with great pleasure in India too. Celebrated in honour of the birth of Jesus Christ, people across the country irrespective of their religion await this festival.
Christians follow their religious protocols and visit the Church and gatherings singing Christmas carols. Families decorate Christmas trees and put up lightings around the house. Kids from all religions enthusiastically put up stockings waiting for Santa and gifts.
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The festivals of India are famous all across the world. They are full of color and joy. Do enjoy these Festivals of India once in your lifetime and that too at their places of origin in India.