India being a diversified country has always been filled with spirited holidays and festivities. There is a continuous flow of celebration in the country, be it in a religious festival or a local celebration.
These bright, colorful, and cheerful festivals have always been the reason for attracting various tourists and travelers here in our country. There is a story about the history of each of the vibrant festivals which unite people all over the country.
Some of the most famous festivals of India are Diwali, Durga Puja, Holi, Eid al-Fitr, Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam, and Janmashtami.
Diwali or the festival of lights is a Hindu celebration where it is believed that Goddess Kali comes down on Earth to diminish all the evil present. During this bright and magnificent festival, people happily celebrate the ascendancy of light over darkness.
Lots of colored and decorated clay lanterns, also known as diyas, are lit in every house. Children along with their families enjoy the day by lighting and burning firecrackers.
The festival of lights takes place between late October or early November. The whole country gets decorated with colorful diyas. There is light everywhere bringing positivity to people’s minds. People all over the country celebrate this wonderful festival but places like Jaipur, Delhi, and Kolkata add a little apart to it and become the most visited cities.
It is believed that Holika was killed by Prahlada, a devotee of Lord Vishnu. This destruction is celebrated the day before on a full moon night by burning down a Holika statue. From here the festival name came – Holi.
The victory is celebrated grandly with colors as the symbol of the victory of good over evil. This colorful event is celebrated in March. People all over the country rejoice and relish themselves fully in this sparkling and flamboyant festival.
This glittering and scintillating festival of India attracts lots of people together and spreads happiness and positivity everywhere.
Durga Puja and Navratri – The Glorious Festivals
Durga Puja is one of the largest festivals to take place in the country. Being a five-day celebration, people come together and enjoy to the fullest the victory of Maa Durga over the demon Mahishashur.
Pandals are created everywhere in Kolkata and other states namely Mumbai. Each neighborhood competes to make the most beautiful and amazing pandal. The festival is celebrated between September and October. The auspicious dates of the festival are decided by referring to the Bengali lunar calendar.
In the Eastern and Northeastern parts of the country, Durga Puja is known as Navaratri. People there also celebrate the triumph of the spiritual and seraphic Goddess Ma Durga and her children. Unlike Durga Puja, Navratri is celebrated across the whole country.
Though the mythological story remains the same, the celebration differs where the devotees fast and pray for the protection of their family and their good health.
The beginning of Navaratri is done by a ritual – Ghatasthapana where the energy of the Goddess is invoked. It is an important period for people to introspect and purify themselves by cleansing the negativity inside.
The tenth day of Navaratri is known as Dussehra. Also known as Vijayadashami in West Bengal. On this day, the idols are taken out of the pandals and submerged in waters symbolizing the return of Maa Durga to the Kailash mountain with her sons and daughters.
Onam is a grand harvest festival of Kerala which goes on for four days. It happens between August and September. If anyone visits Kerala during this festival then that person will explore and witness the remarkable and impressive exhibit of the culture and heritage of Kerala. This festival is ceremonialize to celebrate the arrival of the legendary King Mahabali.
These four days are filled with various cultural events like the elegant and bewitching Kathakali dance, energetic and engrossing boat races, and competitions. The whole of Kerala gets illuminated in these four ceremonial days.
Every family in Kerala designs a ‘pookalam’ which is decorated with flower petals and rice on the floor at the front door. A large festival feast named Onam Sandhya where dishes are distributed on banana leaves is also organized.
The most important day of Onam is known as the Thiru Onam and this is the day when all the competitions, boat races, and dances are organized. All together this splendid and resplendent festival spreads positivity, happiness, and warmth.
A festival celebrated all over the world by the Islam people. It happens in May every year. Eid is celebrated to mark the end of Ramadan which is a holy month of fasting. As Eid breaks the fast it is celebrated with delicious meals and amazing street foods.
During this time one will witness many Islamic families in the Chandni Chowk bazaar in Delhi coming out of the Jama Masjid after completing their morning prayers. The streets are filled with mouth-watering delicious street food stores. Everything is arranged from the morning.
This grand festival starts from the sunset of the night the crescent moon is first sighted. After seeing the moon, the glorious and luxurious celebration starts. People visit friends and families and pray together. Along with finger-licking food and sweets love, warmth, peace, and happiness are spread.
Pongal – Southern Spring Celebrations
A grand festival of Tamil Nadu goes on for four days, where people celebrate the end of the second season of harvest along with grand feasts with family and friends. This festival also indicates the coming of the Sun in the Northern Hemisphere and also the returning of the warm seasons.
It is known that farmers harvest the crops – rice, sugar, and many more which they have been growing throughout the year. They also clean their houses and offer to the Sun God praying for good health and wealth.
The third and the fourth day of this festival are marked as the celebration of the cows and the birds. On the third day, the cows are beautifully decorated with colorful flowers called marigolds and corn stalks. They are then made to parade the whole village. Food is distributed all over the village for the birds thanking them for assisting the farmers in the harvesting process.
The travelers and the tourists who visit Tamil Nadu during the mid-January time get the splendid opportunity to witness this huge celebration and also enjoy the special dish called Venpongal.
A very famous festival of the Hindus who grandly celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna. They believe that Lord Vishnu reincarnated himself as Lord Krishna and came on the Earth to make people believe in love and hope and diminish the demons and evils that lurked around. It happens either during late August or early September.
Vrindavan (now in Uttar Pradesh) which was the place where Lord Krishna spent his childhood gets all decked up beautifully and gloriously to celebrate this magnificent festival. There is an innumerable number of Radha Krishna temples that are decorated with bright lights and beautiful flowers. Devotional songs and prayers are played and the devotees sing and dance merrily. Lord Krishna devotees from all over the country visit Vrindavan and witness the grand ceremony.
This is a two-day celebration. On the first day, the devotees fast and bathe Lord Krishna with all their devotion and decorate Him with new clothes and ornaments. The main highlight of this festival is the breaking of the Makhan Handi. People of all the localities make human pyramids to reach the clay pots full of butter which are hung from the tall buildings. This happens on the second day.
This gorgeous and exquisite festival is celebrated with utmost love, warmth, and devotion spreading the blessings of Lord Krishna everywhere.
India is the one country that is full of diversity. People of all religions stay harmoniously and celebrate together. Festivals bring joy, happiness, and well wishes. Every religion has some vibrant festivals to celebrate so from Durga Puja of West Bengal to Pongal in Tamil Nadu and Onam of Kerala, India is always celebrating. There are countless festivals but some of the prominent ones are mentioned.