India is a land of great diversity. It described as a land of many religions and innumerable languages, it might well be described as a land of festivals as well. Indians love celebrating. Every little occasion from the harvesting of crops, welcoming the spring or rain, to seeing the full moon lends itself to joyous celebrations splashed with colors, music, folk dances and songs. Even the birthdays of divine beings are celebrated by connecting them with particular festivals.
The Indian calendar is one long procession of festivals. These are as varied in origin as they are large in number. India is a multilingual, multi-religious, multi-cultural nation.
The homes are neatly decorated, new dresses are worn for every occasion, prayers offered to Gods, and lot of sweets and goodies are cooked. Most of these festivals are common to most part of India however they may be known by different names in different parts of the country. Different cultures also mean that different rituals are followed.
Indian festivals are celebrated according to the solar and lunar calendars. Consequently, dates & months may vary accordingly.
Lohri : Lohri marks the culmination of winter, and is celebrated on the 13th day of January in the month of Paush or Magh, a day before Makar Sankranti. For Punjabis, this is more than just a festival, it is also an example of a way of life. Lohri celebrates fertility and the spark of life. People gather round the bonfires, throw sweets, puffed rice and popcorn into the flames, sing popular songs and exchange greetings.
Makar Sankranti / Pongal :
These are celebrated predominantly
in the southern part of India. This harvest festival marks the commencement of
the sun's journey to the Northern Hemisphere. People take dips in rivers and
worship the sun In Gujarat, Makar Sankranti is celebrated by the flying of
Maha Shivratri :Maha
Shivaratri This is a day of fasting dedicated to Lord Shiva, the third deity of
the Hindu trinity. Religious people stay awake and chant prayers the whole
night. Processions to the festivals are followed by chanting of mantras and
anointing of lingams.
Ram Navami : is
the day of Rama's birth and is celebrated as a day of great piety, with the
chanting of prayers and the singing of ballads.
Easter and Good Friday : Good Friday is observed in India in April every year, broadly on the pattern adopted worldwide. Christians from all stratas of society visit the Church to attend the Mass held on this occasion. Easter Sunday, which follows Good Friday is celebrated with much joy and gaiety. Processions are taken out in some parts of the country.
celebrated with joyous music and dancing, is New Year's Day in Punjab. It falls
on April 13, though once in 36 years it occurs on 14th April. It was on this day
that the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, founded the Khalsa (the Sikh
brotherhood) in 1699. The Sikhs, therefore, celebrate this festival as a
May - June :
Buddha's birth, enlightenment and his reaching nirvana are all celebrated on
this day. The Buddha is supposed to have gone through each of these experiences
on the same day, but of different years.
festival is dedicated to Ananata, the serpent whose coils Lord Vishnu rests
between universes. Offerings are made to snake images. Snakes are supposed to
have the power over the monsoon rainfall and keep evil from homes.
Raksha Bandhan : is an integral part of the Hindu family structure whereby a woman ties a rakhi or decorative thread on the wrist of her brother to remind him to protect her if the need arises.
: The birth of lord Krishna, the eighth
incarnation on earth of Lord Vishnu, is celebrated throughout India. Devotees
celebrate it by fasting and prayers, which is followed by feasting and
Gandhi Jayanthi :
A solemn celebration marking the birth
date of Gandhiji, the father of the nation, includes prayer meetings at the Raj
Ghat where he was cremated.
Guru Nanak Jayanthi is
celebrated as the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion.
Christians in India celebrate their festivals broadly on the pattern adopted
worldwide. However some influence of local Indian tradition has been
absorbed into the festivities. . Christmas is a major event in all Indian
Christian households and one can see Goa come to life at this time of the
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