Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 in Culture, Indian | 0 comments

Festivals in India are an integral part of people's life. Festivals of India portray the rich cultural heritage of the country. Here is a spectrum of Indian festivals/fairs and their significance.

India is well known all over the world as a country of cultural and traditional festivals as it has many cultures and religions. One can enjoy the festival celebration in India every month. As it is a secular country full of diversity in the religions, languages, cultures and castes, it is always crowded with the people involved in the fairs and festivals celebration. People from each religion have their own cultural and traditional festivals. Some of the festivals are celebrated by the people of all religions in the entire nation. Each and every festival is celebrated uniquely in different ways according to the rituals, beliefs and its significant history behind. Each festival has its own history, legend and significance of celebration. Indian origin people in the abroad also celebrate their Cultural festival with the immense passion. All festivals are cultural in one way or another.  There are many types of cultural festivals such as National, Religious and Seasonal.

Diwali

Diwali is probably one festival that is celebrated across India with a difference of 1 day depending on region. It lasts 5 days in total that represents the win of good over evil and represents the start of Hindu’s new year. It is commonly known as the ‘festival of lights’ both locally and internationally, for the reason that fireworks are carried out across the country. It is also a time when people receive their annual bonuses and they spend lavishly on buying new things for their homes from electronics to cars as it is considered auspicious during that time. Apart from buying goods, people exchange gifts with each other.

Durga Puja

People worship Devi Durga on this day. Durga Puja is the most popular in West Bengal. An idol of Devi Durga is placed in various pandals. Devi Durga is seen holding weapons in her ten hands to kill Mahisasura (evil demon). The priest worships the idol of Devi Durga and chant traditional mantras. People wear new clothes and move out of their homes to see the beautifully decorated Pandals.

Baisakhi

Baisakhi or vaisakhi is celebrated by Sikhs and some sects of Hindus too. This harvest festival is celebrated especially in Punjab region by the Sikh community. For Sikhs, this festival celebrates for the new harvest and also the birth of Khalsa. Baisakhi is generally celebrated either on 13th or 14th April. People usually go to Amritsar to visit The Golden Temple. The folk dance of ‘bhangra’ is also performed by the people as a marker of their joy and happiness.

Holi

Holi, also known as the festival of colors, is celebrated as per Hindu calendar on the Purnima i.e. Full Moon of the Phalgun season. The survival of a holy figure in Indian mythology, Prahlad and burning of Holika, is celebrated as Holi. Among the Hindus, Holi is also celebrated to bid farewell to winter season. People celebrate Holi by playing with colors and water with family and friends. This festival brings in colorful joy and a new refreshing sense.

Dussehra

Being one of the major festivals of India, Dussehra meaning ten, refers to Lord Rama’s victory over evil lord Ravana. The festival is symbolic of victory of good over evil. Ramleela, the portrayal of Rama’s story is staged at nights for ten days before the festival. On tenth day, the actor impersonating Rama throws fiery arrows on the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkarna and Meghnath. All are then set on fire and people celebrate by buying sweets and gifts for each other. It is also celebrated in certain cultures as Goddess Durga’s victory over the Demon Mahisasur which is popularly known as Durga Puja. People get together in a carnival to rejoice the victory of Good over Evil.

Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi, also famous as Vinayaka Chaturthi, honors the birth of Elephant headed God, Lord Ganesh, the son of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. The festival is celebrated from 4th to 14th day of bright fortnight in the Hindu Month of Bhadrapada (August-September). The festival is celebrated with the installation of Statues of Lord Ganesh in the homes and podiums. The Idol is then worshiped for 3 to 11 days and then immersed in the ocean or huge water bodies. Offering of special sweet called “Modak” is made to Lord Ganesh.

Eid-ul-Fitr

Eid-ul-Fitr also meaning breaking of fast, is one of the most widely celebrated religious occasions in the world. Celebrated in almost every part of the world, this festival marks the most important day for the Islamic World. The day celebrates the commemoration of 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. On the 29th night of Ramadan, the moon is prayed to and is also called Eid ka Chaand (The Moon before the Eid). Among the celebrations, exchanging gifts, buying new clothes is popular in the Asian context. Another tradition involves for children to be given small sums of money, also called Eidi, by their elders.

Christmas

Christmas, the annual celebration is a feast central to the Christian liturgical year. This festival is celebrated all over the world by Christians on December 25th. Family reunions and the exchange of gifts are the stock features of the festival. Apart from this, religious parades are also popular in many countries in the days preceding Christmas. Christmas carols, cards and Santa Claus are some of the popular derivatives of the festival that have developed across the globe and have become a crucial part of Christmas celebrations.

Raksha bandhan

Importance of Holi Celebration

Importance of Holi Celebration

As the name suggests, Raksha Bandhan means, The Bond of Protection. This festival marks the celebration of the bond between a brother and sister. Observed by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs, this festival is celebrated widely across the country. This day is marked by a ritual of tying a sacred thread onto the wrists of the brothers by the sisters, asking them for the promise of protecting them throughout their lives. This is a symbolic gesture of the strong bond between a brother and sister.

Pongal / Makar Sankranti

In Tamil Nadu, 14th of January is celebrated every year as the Pongal Day. In many part of India, this day is celebrated as Makar Sankranti. This festival is marked with prosperity and abundance. On this day, freshly harvested cereals and foods are cooked. On the day of Makar Sankaranti, people worship the Sun God.