Festivals of India
In this land of varying cultures and traditions, festivals form an integral part of the lives of the people here. For the same reason India is often termed as the “Land of Festivals”. There are festivals celebrated here for every occasion. Every season and every state has their own festivals that are celebrated at different times throughout the year. People are seen to take part in the celebrations and rejoicings, irrespective of the caste, creed, age and status.
Teej is a festival celebrated by women for wellness of their husband. Teej falls on the third day after the moonless night and the third day after the full moon night of every month. Dedicated to the Goddess Parvati, commemorating her union with Lord Shiva, the festival is celebrated for sexual bliss, well-being of spouse and children and purification of own body and soul. The festival is a three-day-long celebration that combines sumptuous feasts as well as rigid fasting.
Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred river. It is considered to be largest peaceful gathering in the world with over 100 million people visiting during the Maha Kumbh Mela in 2013. The pilgrimage is held for about one and a half months. The festival is billed as the "world’s largest congregation of religious pilgrims".
Durga Puja is an annual Hindu festival epitomizing the victory of good over evil. The dates of the celebrations are set according to the traditional Hindu calendar. Durga Puja is widely celebrated in Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha,Tripura and West Bengal, where it is a 5-day annual holiday. Apart from eastern India, Durga Puja is also celebrated in other states of the country. Durga Puja is also celebrated as a major festival in Nepal and in Bangladesh.
Shigmo is a spring festival celebrated in the Indian state of Goa, where it is one of the major festivals of the Hindu community.It is also celebrated by Konkani diaspora and Indian festival of Holi is part of it. There are two variants of Shigmo festival: Dhakto Shigmo ("small Shigmo") and Vhadlo Shigmo ("big Shigmo"). Dhakto Shigmo is generally celebrated by farmers, the labor class and the rural population, while Vhadlo Shigmo is of greater consequence and is celebrated by everyone together.
Hornbill festival welcomes tourists from around the world to explore the rich culture and traditions of Nagaland. The Hornbill festival held in the first week of December shows that with its stunning natural beauty and great cultural traditions, Nagaland can offer a rich fare to tourists. NAGALAND, with its diverse tribal culture, is a land of festivals. A narrow strip of mountainous territory with rugged hills, emerald valleys, sparkling streams and a rich variety of flora and fauna,
Hemis, the biggest monastery in Ladakh, is the site of an annual festival commemorating the birth of Guru Lpadmasambhava, who is said to have brought Vajrayana Buddhism to Bhutan and Tibet. In Tibet he is considered the second Buddha. Masked dancers simulate combat between good spirits and evil demons to the music of cymbals, drums and pipes. The monastery also has the largest Thanka – a silk painting with embroidery depicting Buddha- in Ladakh.
Sindhu Darshan Festival in Ladakh is celebrated to endorse the Indus River (Sindhu River) as a symbol of the communal harmony and unity of India. Sindhu Festival starts with a colourful ceremony on the bank of the Indus River. Ladakh Sindhu Festival is an expression of the love and affinity the people feel with the river Indus. It is also a strong medium to promote cultural values and tourism in the region.
The Dosmochey Festival in Ladakh is a great event to witness. Celebrated in February it makes for a marvellous winter spectacle. This festival is celebrated for two days in the courtyards of the Leh Palace. It is timed to coincide with the start and the end of the Tibetan New Year. It includes the Chams performance by monks from different monasteries. It is in essence a festival re-creating the mythical good versus evil confrontation of legends and fairy-tales.
Losar Festival is the most important festival celebrated in Arunachal Pradesh by the Monpas to commemorate the advent of the New Year. This is the time when they enjoy with high festive spirit and prepare for merry making and feasting together with friends and relatives. They clean their houses and discard all old and unused items to ward off all evil things from life and to usher in wellness and prosperity. Losar falls during February - March and is celebrated for 8 - 15 days.
Sangken is the main festival of Khamti celebrated on 14 April. You can check out the true colors of secular India at the Sangken festival where people of all tribes, caste, culture, race, sex, participate in the splashing clean water, which is the symbol of peace and purity. The images of Buddha are taken out and after the ceremonial bath accompanied by drums and dances. This holy bath of Lord Buddha is an auspicious event in the festival. The celebration takes place for 3 consecutive days.
The Popir Dance. The Mopin festival is an important festival of Galo tribe of Arunachal Pradesh celebrated in the month of April with much gaiety for wealth, good health, universal happiness and to drive away evil spirits who bring bad luck. During the Mopin festival ,smearing rice powder in each other faces marks the beginning of the festival and animal sacrifices are the ritual of the Mopin festival. Mithun is a very auspicious animal used in the animal sacrifice ritual.
Reh is one of the most important festivals of the Idus. The Idus believe that they are the sons and daughters of the divine mother 'Nanyi Inyitaya'. But none can get her blessings and keep alive bond of brotherhood and social feeling strong, unless one performs the puja or celebrate the Reh festival. But it is so expensive that only a few people can afford to celebrate the festival for propitiation of the supreme creator, the great mother 'Nanyi Inyitaya'
Nyokum is a festival celebrated by the Nyishi people, which commemorates their ancestors, emphasizes a belief in many spirits and superstitions, and includes religious rituals. Abo-Tani is revered by the Nyishi as the primal ancestor of the animist tribes. Nyokum is primarily celebrated annually during August. Nyokum is also celebrated to offer sincere reverence to the deity of crops and prosperity. The maidens clad themselves in multi colored attires and present a well-choreographed dance.
Lohri is an extremely popular festival celebrated by the Punjabis. This agricultural winter festival is celebrated throughout Punjab and in parts of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Jammu. The festival began as a celebration of the eve of the winter solstice. A bonfire is lit at sunset in the main village square. People toss sesame seeds, gur, sugar-candy and rewaries on the bonfire, sit around it, sing and dance till the fire dies out.
Pongal is the only festival of Hindu that follows a solar calendar and is celebrated on the fourteenth of January every year. It marks the beginning of the Sun's movement northward for a six month period. All important events are scheduled during this period. Pongal signals the end of the traditional farming season, giving farmers a break from their monotonous routine. A festival called Jalli kathu (Bull Taming) is held in Madurai, Tiruchirapalli and Tanjavur,all in Tamil Nadu, on this day.
Dhanteras is an important part of Diwali celebrations and marks the first day of Diwali celebrations. It falls on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Kartik (October-November). The word 'Dhan' signifies money or wealth. On the day of Dhanteras, people worship the Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth. It is a very important celebration in the homes of the mercantile community. Houses and market places wear a festive look on the day of Dhanteras.
Holi Festival One of the major festivals of India, Holi is celebrated with enthusiasm and gaiety on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun which is the month of March as per the Gregorian calendar. Holi festival may be celebrated with various names and people of different states might be following different traditions. But, what makes Holi so unique and special is the spirit of it which remains the same throughout the country and even across the globe, wherever it is celebrated.
Ram Navami is a Hindu festival, celebrating the birth of Lord Rama to King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya of Ayodhya. Ram is the 7th incarnation of Vishnu. The SreeRama Navami festival falls in on the Navami, the ninth day of the month of Chaitra in the Hindu calendar. The important celebrations on this day take place at Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh), Bhadrachalam (Andhra Pradesh) and Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu), thronged by thousands of devotees.