Famous Festivals of India
India is a country of feasts and festivals. Hardly any country celebrates so many festivals as India. In India, a semblance of unity in diversity is especially evident on festive occasions. Here is a series of festivals and festivals throughout the year continues. There is a long list of festivals celebrated in India, of which the major festivals are as below:
Holi: ‘Holi’ is one of the greatest festivals of Hindus. It is a festival of colors. This festival falls on a full moon day in Phalgun Month of the Hindu Calender. The story behind the Holi festival is that there was a king named Hiranya Kashyap, he had a son, Prahlad, a holy spirit and highly devoted to God but Prahlad’s devotion enraged Hiranya Kashyap and he planned to kill his own son.
Diwali: ‘Diwali’ is one of the greatest festivals of Hindus. Diwali is also called Deepawali. ‘Deepawali’ in Hindi means a row of diyas. Diwali is the festival of lights. It falls in the month of ‘Kartik’ according to the Hindu calendar. On Diwali, almost every house and street is decorated with lamps and lights.
Dussehra: ‘Dussehra’ is one of the most important festivals of the Hindus. It is also called ‘Vijayadashami’. On this day Lord Rama killed Ravana. It falls on the tenth day of Ashwin month according to Hindu Calendar. It is celebrated all over India. Dussehra’s celebration spreads the message of the victory of good over sin.
Mahashivratri: ‘Maha Shivaratri’ is one of the most important festivals of Hindus. Maha Shivaratri literally means the great night of Shiva or the night of Shiva. It is the festival celebrating the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Maha Shivratri falls on the 13th night/ 14th day of Krishna paksha of Phalgun month, according to the Hindu calendar. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over India.
Janmashtami: ‘Sri Krishna Janmashtami’ is one of the holiest festivals for people belonging to the Hindu religion. Janmashtami is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Krishna. This festival is observed on the eighth day of Krishna Paksha in the month of Bhadrapad as per the Hindu calendar. Janmashtami is also known as Gokulashtami, Krishnasthami, and Srijayanti. Janmashtami is famous for Dahi Handi in Maharashtra.
Raksha Bandhan: ‘Raksha Bandhan’ is a famous festival of Hindus. It is also called the festival of ‘Rakhi’. It falls on Purnima or a full moon day in the month of Shravan according to Hindu Calendar. It is celebrated all over India. ‘Raksha’ means protection and ‘Bandhan’ means bound. Thus ‘Raksha Bandhan’ means the ‘Bond of Protection.
Ram Navami: ‘Ram Navami’ is the famous festival of Hindus. It falls on the Navami of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra Month according to Hindu Calendar. This day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ram, the son of king Dasharath. Ram is the 7th incarnation of the Dashavatara of Vishnu. Ram Navami also marks the end of the nine-day utsava called Chaitra Navaratri.
Makar Sankranti: ‘Makar Sankranti’ is a famous festival of Hindus. It is celebrated in several parts of India and also in some other parts. Makar-Sankranti generally falls on the 14th of January every year. This festival is one of the few chosen Indian Hindu festivals which has a fixed date. Makar Sankranti is the day when the glorious Sun-God begins its ascendancy and entry into the Northern Hemisphere.
Karva Chauth: ‘Karva Chauth’ is one of the most important festivals of Hindus. It falls on the fourth day after the full moon in the month of Kartik according to Hindu Calendar. It generally arrives in October/ November month as per the modern calendar. Karva Chauth is celebrated by Hindu women all over India.
Nag Panchami: ‘Nag Panchami’ is a famous festival of Hindus. It falls on the fifth day of the Krishna Paksha in the month of Shravan according to Hindu Calendar. It is celebrated all over India. It generally falls in the month of July or August according to Modern Calendar. There are many stories behind the celebration of this festival.
Basant Panchami: ‘Basant Panchami’ is a Hindu festival celebrating Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, music, and art. It is celebrated throughout India. It is celebrated every year on the fifth day (Panchami) of the Magh month according to Hindu Calander. Basant Panchami marks the end of the winter season.
Eid: ‘Id-ul-Fitr’ or ‘Eid’ is one of the greatest festivals of Muslims. It is celebrated to mark the end of Ramzan. Eid is an Arabic word meaning ‘festivity’, while Fiṭr means ‘breaking the fast. It was during the month of Ramzan that the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed. It is celebrated all over the world by all Muslims. The Muslims fast during the month of Ramzan. Read More…
Bakrid: ‘Eid-ul-Zuha’ is a famous festival of Muslims. It is also known as ‘Eid-ul-Adha’ in Arabic. It is also known as ‘Bakra-Id’ or ‘Bakrid’ in the Indian subcontinent. Many Muslims in India celebrate this festival on the 10th to 13th days of the Islamic month of Dhul Hajj. The word ‘Id’ is derived from the Arabic ‘iwd’ meaning ‘Festival’ and Zuha comes from ‘uzhaiyya’ which translates to ‘Sacrifice’.
Christmas: ‘Christmas’ is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Jesus. It is celebrated on 25th December every year. It is the most important festival for Christians. Christmas Day is celebrated as a major festival and public holiday in countries around the world. On this occasion, great preparations are made by the Christians. All houses and churches are cleaned and whitewashed.
Good Friday: ‘Good Friday’ is a great festival for Christians. It usually falls between March 20th and April 23rd. This festival is observed to mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Good Friday is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.
Lohri: ‘Lohri’ is a famous festival of Punjabi people. It is celebrated in North India, especially in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, and Jammu. It is celebrated on the 13th day of January which falls in the month of Paush or Magh according to the Hindu Calendar. Lohri festival marks the culmination of winter.
Baisakhi: ‘Baisakhi’ is also called ‘Vaisakhi’. Baisakhi is usually celebrated on 13 April, and very occasionally on 14 April every year. The Baisakhi festival is a seasonal festival. It is celebrated all over India especially in Punjab and Haryana by all classes of people. Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs all take part in this celebration. It is celebrated to mark the arrival.
Pongal: ‘Pongal’ is one of the most popular harvest festivals of South India, mainly Tamil Nadu. Pongal falls in the mid of January every year. It is the auspicious beginning of the Uttarayan – the sun’s journey northwards. This festival lasts for four days. The word Pongal literally has two connotations. Firstly it is the name of the special dish cooked on this day. Secondly, the word Ponga means to boil.
Onam: ‘Onam’ is a famous festival in Kerala, India. It is the state festival of Kerala and falls during the month of Chingam according to Malayalam Calendar. According to Modern Calendar, it generally falls in the month of August or September. The festival commemorates the Vamana avatar of Vishnu and the subsequent homecoming of the legendary Emperor Mahabali.
Buddh Purnima: ‘Buddha Purnima’ is also known as ‘Buddha Jayanti’. Buddha Purnima is celebrated to commemorate the birth, enlightenment, and death (Nirvana) of Gautam Buddha, the three important events in the life of Buddha. It is celebrated on the full moon night in Vaisakha month according to the Hindu calendar which usually falls in April or May.
Mahavir Jayanti: ‘Mahavir Jayanti’ is celebrated as the birth of Lord Mahavira, the last Tirthankara. It falls in the month of March or April according to the Gregorian calendar. Mahavira was born into royalty as the son of King Siddhartha and Queen Trisala.
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