Festivals of India


Festivals in India are considered with solemn importance as they have a natural tendency of bringing people together from all walks of life. These festivals have colour, happiness, spirit and the gaiety associated with them. The Indian calendar is dotted with a wide variety of festivals celebrated through out the year. Tourists come flocking to India in order to get a taste of these special days of the Indian calendar.

Some of the most popular festivals of India occupy key positions in the Indian calendar.

Bengalis residing predominantly in West Bengal along with other communities find themselves really busy in the month of September- October as they gear themselves for the biggest festival of their community. The auspicious ‘Durga Puja’ has immense popularity not only among Bengalis, but among other communities as well. The goddess Durga is worshipped with a sacred devotion.

The festival is important as it also marks the end of another festival called ‘Navratri’ - a nine days’ festival, celebrated in northern parts of India. This festival is a celebration of the symbolic victory of good over evil epitomised by the burning of effigies of ‘Ravana’ by ‘Ram’. The festival is also called ‘Dusshera’.

A favourite in all the communities – ‘Diwali’ or the festival of lights is also celebrated by all and sundry. The entire nation finds itself bathed in lights with bursting of fireworks, forming a part and parcel of the festival.

‘Holi’ the festival of colours also seems to impart a beautiful hue to the nation as all communities unite to splash colour on one another.

‘Onam’ is another festival celebrated in the southern part of India. The festival is mostly celebrated in Kerala where all Keralites unite in order to participate in sports and festivities at the famous backwaters of Kerala. The festival is celebrated for at least four to ten days. It is basically a harvest festival.

‘Pongal’ is another festival celebrated in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is a thanksgiving occasion where the offerings are made to Mother Nature and is usually spread over four days. It falls in the middle of the month of January. The homes are decorated with beautiful ‘Rangolis’ right at the doorsteps or backyards of the houses.

The festival of ‘Baisakhi’ is also celebrated with much fervour in the north eastern and western parts of India and this festival too is celebrated in order to mark the beginning of a fresh new season of harvest. Sikh celebrates Guru Jayantis by taking out processions and having langars and parsads to serve the needy.

The Muslim community celebrates their joyous occasions with a lot of aplomb and unfaltering spirit. The festival of ‘Ramazan’ comes to a close with the spotting of the full moon. Throughout the month Muslims fast during the day and eat only fruits at night.

The beginning of the holy Eid is marked by prayers and grand feasts. Throughout the nation ‘Eid’ is celebrated with much vigour and genuine enthusiasm not only among the Muslim communities but also the rest. Muslims can be seen roaming around on the roads of the nation exchanging warm ‘Eid Mubarak’ greetings and embracing one another. They visit the mosques to attend the holy prayers. They also extend some kind of monetary help to the needy and the poor.

There are many types of ‘Eids’ dotting the Muslim calendar. The ‘Ramazan Eid’, ‘Eid Ul Fitr’ and ‘Eid ul Zoha’ are the main. Eid ul Fitr is an occasion of thanksgiving.

There is another festival called the ‘Bakri Eid’ which is also immensely popular. Muslims are supposed to sacrifice a goat on this day in order to remember the numerous sacrifices made by their Prophet Ibrahim. It is also on this day that many set off for their final holy pilgrimage to Mecca. Special delicacies are prepared on this day and prayers are offered at the mosques.

The Christian community brings the festive chapter celebrated in India to a grand finale with the occasion of Christmas. The birth of Christ is celebrated in every part of the world and India too takes on a different shape when it comes to the month of December. The houses are brightly lit up and decorated with Christmas trees, stars and mistletoes. Everyone gets ready for the final run up to the end of the year, and for ushering in of the New Year. Christmas parties and celebrations keep the entire nation busy till the last day of the year.
 


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