Celebrating Indian Festivals: A Great Funfilled Experience

by pateluday

Discover Indian Festivals and find how they are celebrated. Most of the festivals are celebrated during the period indicated by lunar position and celestial movements...

Many festivals in India are celebrated by gathering of masses while many are simple home affairs of fasting, prayers, and greetings. These colorful festivals are held nearly all over the country with fun and gaiety.

Some of the important festivals are Diwali, Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Dusshera, Krishan Janamastmi, Raksha Bandhan, and Navratri. The festivals have universal appeal, some are associated with seasons thereby increasing their importance in day to day lives of the people.

National Holidays are declared on the occasion of major religious celebrations. State holidays are declared for festivities that have regional importance. In many Indian States fairs and religious gatherings take place for colorful activities. For many communities, these events augur a new financial year or initiation of new ventures.

Apart from prayers, the major part of the activities is the feast that is served. The fare is vegetarian along with sweets, special dishes are cooked on these occasions. Hinduism is a colorful religion with no gender inequalities. Except for stress on vegetarianism very few bindings exist.

Dusshera

The crux of this celebration is the victory of good over evil. The festival celebrates Lord Rama destroying the evil King of Sri Lanka called Ravana. Ravana is represented as ten headed demon in order to express his power and strength. This is  a way of denoting human prowess and strength.  The fight ensues whence he abducts Sita Lord Rama's wife. In a tumultuous battle that follows the abductor is slain by the Lord and his brother is placed on the throne.      

To mark the end of Dusshera on the 10th day called Vijiya Deshmi large effigies of Ravana along with his son Meghnad are set to fire. This is done in New Delhi and other places.

Unique feature of Dusshera are a number of plays based on Ramayana called Ram Lila which take place throughout the country. These are also enacted in local and regional languages in India. The format is that of a parody and they are hilarious but do not fail to deliver the message of right and wrong besides educating believers about the holy book and its sayings. The holy book though in an epic format is relevant in contemporary World as well thanks to righteous examples and sayings. Besides Holy Gita, Ramayana is most popular among the Hindus.

Traditional Martial Arts

Martial Arts during Festivals
Martial Arts during Festivals
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Diwali Festival

This is the most popularly held festival in India and has special significance for Hindus.   The event takes place for four days or more. Diwali is a celebration of Lord Rama, Sita, and brother Laxman returning back to Ayodhya from exile after an exhaustive battle with demon King Ravana. The people lighted special lamps made of sand to guide the family while returning back. Hence Deepavali as the festival is also called is held by lighting these lamps and bursting crackers. In modern times electric fittings have replaced ancient lamps.  

Diwali is one of the most celebrated events associated with Hinduism. It is a joyous occasion whence all come together to confirm the oneness of body and soul.  It is also known as the festival of lights. Well laid out feasts full of sweets are consumed together after the prayers. All meat items, fish and eggs, and alcoholic drinks are shunned during the holy period.   

This is also the occasion to celebrate the killing of a demon called Naraksura by Lord Krisna.

Diwali in Photo

Diwali Lightening
Diwali Lightening
Neeraj Vegad

Navratri Festival Photo

Durga Immersion
Navratri Festival
Navratri Festival
Neeraj Vegad

Navratri Festival

Durga Festival

This is the festival that goes on for nine nights in India. During this period Goddess Shakti in form of Durga or Kali is worshiped. She is the consort of Lord Shiva. In many parts of the country, statues are made and then erected in tented dais or pandals and worshiped. In the evening people crowd around the pandal and chant holy verses and leave after prasad usually sweet is served.  

In Gujarat, Navratri is celebrated by the organization of dance and music. The dance also known as Raas Garba is a major event that continues for nine days. Both genders intermix and partake in the dance with religious fervor and there is no purdah. Hinduism accords equal status to women and intermixing in prayer halls and festivals is common. 

The popularity of this dance is spreading to many parts of the country. The festival ends with the immersion of Durga or Kali Statue as may be the case. In Kolkata, in West Bengal Durga Pooja as the event is known is celebrated the most. All the offices and businesses are closed officially.

Garba Dance

Festival in Rajasthan

Camels at Pushkar
Puskar Ferstival
Puskar Ferstival
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Fairs & Festivals of Rajasthan

Pushkar Fair

This event is unique because of the Brahma Temple and livestock trading. It is held for fifteen days from Kartik Ekadasi to Poornima that is the full moon day.  The festivities go on for a full day whence Lord Brahma the creator in holy trinity sprung up the lake.

Chandra Baggha Fair

The river Chandrabaggha is considered holy, and during the months of October and November, a fair is organized. The venue is at Jhalavartan about six km from Jhalawar Town in Rajasthan.  Livestock trading also takes place. The animals traded are camels, horses, elephants, cows, and goats. Bullock Carts are also sold here. 

Gangaur Festival

For conjugal bliss, women of Rajasthan worship Shiva, and his consort Parvati. The worship begins from the 1st month of the Hindu Calendar in March and April whence winter comes to an end. The clay idols are used for worship, and the event culminates on the 18th day whence a fair is organized.  The clay idols are immersed on the Gangaur Lake. The processions take place along with singing and dancing in the company of performers, camels, chariots and bullock carts.   

 

Holi Video

Holi Spring Festival

Phagwah
Holi Celebrations
Holi Celebrations
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Holi Festival

Holi is a spring festival celebrated all over India on the full moon day of Phalgun Month according to the Hindu Calendar. The slaying of Holika a demon by Bhakt Prahlad a devotee of Lord Vishnu leads to the celebration of this event. Before Holi a replica of the demon Holika is set to fire. The next day people play with watercolors and a colored powder called Gulal. The Holika idol is set everywhere even in small towns and its alleys, and people enjoy the celebrations after the clay statue is set to fire.  

Colored water is poured on people using pails and water guns. The festivities continue throughout the day and many people consume a light intoxicant called bhang. The feast includes many types of sweets and snacks which are served on the festival day. In India most of the people abstain from alcohol and meat since the country is to a large extent is vegetarian.   

Celebrating Holi

Holi
Holi
Neeraj Vegad

Ganesh Chaturthi

This festival marks the arrival of Lord Ganesha on Earth. God is represented as one with an elephant's head and trunk. He is considered a blessing for all things starting new.  The celebration continues for nine-day whence clay idols of Ganesha are worshiped. This festival is organized with lots of pomp and gaiety in the Indian State of Maharashtra.   

Prayers are held every day in households as well in public where large statues of the Lord are placed. On a propitious day, the idols are immersed in the lakes and rivers.  Nowadays as responsible behavior, people immerse the clay statues in the tubs in the house after necessary rituals and prayers. 

All over the country people hang pictures or miniature idols in front of their houses usually at the entrance gate such is the belief that people hold. 

Hinduism is inclined towards the natural Worlds and some deities are depicted as animal figures. Reverence for animals, trees, rivers, and natural objects is a way of subscribing importance to other life forms and Earthly elements. Mythology is used as sugar coating to get the message across. The detractors find this amusing and portray it in a denigrating manner. 

Lord Ganesha

Ganesha Celebrations
Ganesha Celebrations
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Krishna Janamastami

Celebrated with much fervor and gaiety, the festival marks the birth of Lord Krishna. He was said to have been born in the North Indian State of Uttar Pradesh at Mathura City. Krishna is the creator of the song of the Lord - a holy book called Gita. The holy book is enacted in the Epic called Mahabharata.

The eighth days of the waning moon marks this occasion. The festival is celebrated with lots of singing and dancing and the best of the feasts.

Lord Krishna is held in reverence all over the country. He is the mentor behind Arjun's war with his cousins the Kauravs. Gita through Lord Krishna and his sermon to Arjun imparts life-improving messages and lays stress on Karma. The holy books Ramayana and Gita should be read by all in spite of their belief.  

Krisna Hindu God

Krisna
Krisna
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Popular Festivals of India

Some of the popular festivals of India are listed below.

  • Onam
  • Pongal
  • Shivratri
  • Bhai Dooj
  • Guru Purnima
  • Gudi Padwa
  • Ram Navami
  • Kumbh Festival
  • Diwali
  • Holi
  • Raksha Bandhan 
  • Ram Navami
  • Dussehra
  • Kali Pujan


These festivals carry lots of significance to the devotees and are accompanied by rites and rituals which have a purpose. The activities are major tourist draws. The popular culture tours in India offer a good insight into many aspects. Make a journey to discover the lifestyle, customs, and habits of the people. Apart from enjoying festivities the tourists also enjoy other aspects of rites and rituals of Hindus.  

Indian Festival

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Hindu Festivals

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Updated: 07/14/2021, pateluday
 
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pateluday on 06/24/2021

Holi is celebration of victory over a demon which signifies victory over evil. The colors are a way of celebrating the religious occasion, it is wild celebration with colored water and powder thrown all over us. No significance of any pattern. Warli is a colorful tribal art! .

DerdriuMarriner on 06/23/2021

pateluday, Thank you for practical information, pretty pictures and product lines.
All of the festivals communicate such joyfulness that it's difficult to single one out even though Diwali and Ganesh particularly appeal to me as among the first Indian celebrations I remember knowing about.
Under the heading Celebrating Holi, is there a significance to the colors and the patterns on the gentleman's face? Also, the wall hanging or painting behind the couple makes me think of Warli artistry in the figured shapes and in the red and white colors.

pateluday on 09/21/2014

Thanks Ragtimilil Hope Your wish comes true

Ragtimelil on 09/21/2014

Thanks for this article. I am trying to learn more about Indian festivals. I'd love to attend a Holi festival someday.

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