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Indian Festivals

Festivals are the beautiful and tasteful garnish of the recipe called humanlife.

Someone once mentioned that Celebrations and religious festivals make the human beings different
from all other Non-living and living beings. From Ancient lives of being a food gatherer and a
roaming hunter, man has come a long long way to the modern age.

And this itself gives a reason to behappy, sing, dance, light up, and do all kinds of celebrations we
would like to.

Being Indians we are so lucky.


India is a country where people are very religious, cultural, traditional, spiritual and intellectual. They
have their own faiths, beliefs and rituals which they celebrate all-round the year in the form of fairs
and festivals by getting together. India is a country famous for the big example like Unity in a
Diversity, historical antiques, tourism because of variety of sightseeing, etc. People of various
religions like Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism are living together with their diverse
cultures, traditions and rituals.

As it is a secular country full of diversity in the religions, languages, cultures and castes, it is always
crowded with the people involved in the fairs and festivals celebration. People from each religion
have their own cultural and traditional festivals. Some of the festivals are celebrated by the people of
all religions in the entire nation. Each and every festival is celebrated uniquely in different ways
according to the rituals, beliefs and its significant history behind. Each festival has its own history,
legend and significance of celebration. Indian origin people in the abroad also celebrate their cultural
festival with the immense passion.

We being Indians, we can enjoy the festival celebrations every month, every week sometimes every
day.

In the Indian culture, there was a time when there used to be a festival every day of the year 365
festivals in a year because a festival is a tool to bring life to a state of exuberance and enthusiasm.
That was the significance and importance of festivals. The whole culture was in a state of
celebration. If today was ploughing day, it was a kind of celebration. Tomorrow was planting day,
another kind of celebration. Day after tomorrow was weeding, that was a celebration. Harvesting, of
course, is still a celebration. But in the last 400 or 500 years, poverty has come to our country, and
we have not been able to celebrate every day. People are satisfied if they just get some simple food
to eat. So all the festivals fell away and only 30 or 40 festivals remain. We are not even able to
celebrate those now because we have to go to the office or do something else daily. So people
usually celebrate only around 10 or 15 festivals annually.

India contains people of various religions like Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain, Christian and etc. Some of
the festivals are celebrated at national level whereas some of are at regional level. According to the
religions and rituals, festivals have been categorized into following categories:

Hindu Festivals
Hinduism is considered as the oldest organized religion of the world as well as counted as the third
largest religion of the world. Each Hindu festival celebration has a special ritual to be celebrated in
that way by the act of worship, offerings to deities, offering Ganga Jal, fasting, bathing in Ganga jal in
early morning, feasting, Dan, Dakshina, Puja, Katha, Hoom, aarti and so many. All the people of
Hindu religion celebrate their festivals by uniting together in community without any distinction of
age, caste and gender.
The dates of the Hindu festivals are fixed according to the dates of the Hindu calendar, lunar
calendar which depends on the sun and moon movements throughout the year. Some of the
festivals of Hindu are celebrated as the historical mythology, some for seasonal changes and some
for cleaning and keeping the environment safe. Some of the festivals celebrations are limited to the
specific sects or Indian subcontinent regions.
The birth and death anniversaries of the god and goddess are also celebrated in the Hinduism with
lots of fun and frolic activities such as music, dance and etc.

Hindu Festivals

Date 2015

Lohri

13th January, Tuesday

Makar Sankranti

14th January, Wednesday

Pongal

15th January, Thursday

Vasant Panchami

24th January, Saturday

Thaipusam

03 February 2015, Tuesday

Maha Shivaratri

17th February, Tuesday

Holika Dahan

5th March, Thursday

Holi

6th March, Friday

Chaitra Navratri

21 March 2015, Saturday to 29 March 2015,


Sunday

Ugadi/Telugu New
Year

21 March 2015, Saturday

Gangaur Festival

22 March 2015, Sunday to 23 March 2015 ,


Monday

Mewar Festival

22 March, Sunday 24 March, Tuesday

Ram Navami

28th March, Saturday

Mahavir Jayanti

2nd April, Thursday

Hanuman Jayanti

4th April, Saturday

Rath Yatra

18th July, Saturday

Guru Purnima

31st July, Friday

Onam

28th August, Friday

Raksha Bandhan

29th August, Saturday

Kumbh Mela

29 August 2015, Saturday to 18 September 2015,


Friday

Janmashtami

5th September, Saturday

Ramlila

08 September 2015, Tuesday to 08 October 2015,


Thursday

Ganesh Chaturthi

17 September, Thursday

Brahmotsavam

26 September 2015 to 04 October 2015

Pitr Paksh

28 September 2015, Monday to 12 October 2015,


Monday

Rambarat

08 October 2015, Thursday

Navratra

13 October 2015, Tuesday to 21 October 2015,


Wednesday

Dussehra

22 October, Thursday

Maharishi Valmiki
jayanti

27 October 2015, Tuesday

Karva Chauth

30th October, Friday

Dev Uthani Ekadashi

03 November, Monday

Dhanteras

9th November, Monday

Diwali

11th November, Wednesday

Govardhan Puja

12th November, Thursday

Bhai Dooj

13th November, Friday

Muslim Festivals
There are many religious festivals which Muslim communities celebrate with great passion and
dedication by following the date of their Islamic calendar. Some of the very important Islam festivals
are Ramzan (Ramadan), Id-e-Milad, Muharram, Bakr-Id and etc which they celebrate in special
ways by offering prayers in the mosques, feasting, fasting and wishing to each other.

They decorate their homes with colored lights and other things in the evening and celebrate
throughout the night by getting together.

Muslim Festivals

Date 2015

Barawafat

03 January 2015, Saturday

Milad-Un-Nabi

03 January 2015, Saturday

Giaravahin Sharif

11 February 2015, Tuesday

Hazarat Alis Birthday

3rd May, Sunday

Shab E Miraj

16th May, Saturday

Shab-e-Barat

2nd June, Tuesday

Jamat-Ul-Vida

17th July, Friday

Id-ul-Fitr (Ramzan Eid)

18th July, Saturday

Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid or
Eid Ul-Adha)

23 September2015, Wednesday

Muharram

13th October (Evening of Tuesday) to 12th


November (Evening of Thursday)

Sikh Festivals
People of Sikh religion have lots of unique and ritual festivals which they celebrate with full courage
and enjoyment. They commemorate the lives of their 10 Sikh gurus including their teachings. Some
Hindu festivals are also celebrated by the people of Sikh religion having different reasons of
celebration.
All the worship at the festival in Sikhism is directed towards the holy book called the Guru Granth
Sahib. They involve lots of music and religious songs, readings from the holy book, holy songs,
singing of gurbani while celebrating their festivals in order to attach with God.

Sikh Festivals

Date 2015

Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti

5 January Monday

Lohri

13 January, Tuesday

Holla Mohalla

06 March 2015, Friday

Sodal mela

September, 2015

Birthday Guru Ramdassji

09 October 2015, Friday

Guru Nanak Jayanti

25 November, Wednesday

Guru Purab
Installation of Guru Granth Sahibji

Jain Festivals
People from Jain religion have lots of rituals and religious ceremonies to be celebrated as the
festival. Their rituals belong to the idol worships in various ways and festivals belong to the life
events of Tirthankara which involves the purification of the soul. Their rituals are divided in two parts
named Karya and Kriya. According to the Jain Svetambara there are six obligatory duties called Six
Avashyakas which are Chaturvishnati-stava: praising Tirthankaras, Kayotsarga: meditation,
Pratikramana: expiation of past sins, Pratyakhyana: renunciation of anything, Samyika: practising
serenity and meditation and Vandan: respecting teachers and ascetics.

According to the Jain Digambara there are six duties which are Dana: charity, Devapuja: worship of
Tirthankaras, Guru-upashti: respecting teachers and ascetics, Sanyam: controlling self by following
different rules, Swadhyaya: studying spiritual texts and Tapa: austerities which has been involved as
a fundamental ritual activities of the Jains.

Jain Festivals

Date 2015

Deep Diwali
Mahamastak Abhishek
Mahavir Jayanti

2 April, Thursday

Paryushan

18 September 2015, Friday

Christian Festivals
People of the Christian religion celebrate their festivals like Christmas, Easter, Good Friday and etc
with big enthusiasm and fun filled activities. People from other religions also become involve in the
Christmas celebrations which proves the unity in diversity of India.
There are various famous places in India where the Christian festivals are celebrated such as Goa
as most of the oldest and beautiful churches are there. They do feast, prayers and processions while
celebrating their festivals.

Christian Festivals

Date 2015

Good Friday

3 April, Friday

Easter

5 April, Sunday

Christmas

25 December, Friday

Buddhist Festivals
People from Buddhist religion celebrate their festivals well connected to their Lord Buddha and the
Bodhisattvas. It is considered that the Buddhist festivals were first started by the lord Buddha and He
advised his followers to be in touch with each other to strengthen their bond. Buddhist has their own
beliefs and rituals of celebrating historical festivals. The do worship of the historical objects while
celebrating their festivals.
Their festivals become more religious, spiritual and intellectual which are not restricted to any
service of the community.

Buddhist
Festivals

Date 2015

Losar

19 February (Thursday) to 21 February (Saturday)

Buddha Purnima

4 May, Monday

Hemis Gompa

07 July 2015, Tuesday to 08 July 2015, Wednesday

Ullambana

29 August 2015, Saturday

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.

Here's a list of common festivals celebrated all over India.

January:
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 kites.
Republic Day: Celebrating the anniversary of India's establishment as a Republic 26th

January 1950, all the state capitals resound with the beating of drums and parading of
the army. Delhi, the national capital of India has the grandest parades, displaying
India's strength in terms of the armed forces and weapons. These are followed by
floats and dancers from all parts of the country.
February :

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.
Vasant Panchami is a festival in honor of Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and learning.

March :
Holi : This is one of the most exuberant festivals and also the most colorful. It heralds the advent
of spring and the end of winters. It is celebrated by throwing colored water and powder at each
other. On the eve of Holi, bonfires are built to symbolize the destruction of the evil demon
Holika.
Mahavir Jayanti : is a major Jain festival and commemorates the birth anniversary of Mahavira,
the 24th and last Jain Tirthankar. It is a day of prayer. There are celebrations in all Jain temples
and pilgrimages to Jain shrines.
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.

April :
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.
Baisakhi : Baisakhi, 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 collective birthday.
Id-ul-Fitr

or Ramazan Id : is a day of feasting and rejoicing as it marks the end of the end of
Ramazan (Ramadan), the Muslim time of fasting.

May - June :
Buddha Purnima : The 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.

July :
Naga Panchami :This 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.

August :
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.

Independence Day : The anniversary of India's independence commemorates the day on August
15th. The prime Minister delivers an address from the ramparts of Delhi's Red Fort. It is
celebrated all over the country with meetings and flag-hosting ceremonies.

September - October - November :


Janamashtami : 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 merriment.
Id-ul-Zuha or Bakrid : celebrates the sacrifice of Hazrat Ibrahim, who willingly agreed to kill his
son at the behest of God. To celebrate the event Muslims sacrifice one animal per family or
group of families. There are prayers in mosques, feasting, and rejoicing. New cloches are worn
and visits and greetings are exchanged.
Onam : is celebrated Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. It is celebrated against a setting
of lush green vegetation. This picturesque harvest festival brings ten days of colour, feasting,
boat races, song and dance to the state.
Ganesh Chaturthi : This festival is dedicated to the popular elephant headed God, Ganesha. Pune,
madras, and Bombay are the important centers of celebration. In Maharashtra, huge images of
Ganesha are carried in procession. On specific dates in the following ten days, these images are
immersed in the sea or rivers with thousands of worshippers dancing and singing after them.
Navaratri/Dussehra/Durga Pooja. : Navaratri, the Festival of Nine Nights, is celebrated in honor
of goddesses Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. The tenth day, Dussehra, commemorates the
victory of Rama, of the epic Ramayana, over Ravana. In many places it culminates with the
burning of huge images of Ravana and his accomplices, celebrating the victory of the good over
evil. Re-enactments of the epic Ramayana takes place in various places.

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.
Diwali or Deepawali : This is perhaps the happiest of Hindu festivals.Of all the festivals
celebrated in India, Diwali is by far the most glamorous and important. is a festival of lights
symbolizing the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. Countless number
of lamps are lighted at night, giving the impression that the stars have descended on earth.
Gurpurab: The birth anniversaries of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism (October-November),
and of Guru Gobind Singh, the last Guru (December-January), are important festivals of the
Sikhs. In addition to the reading of the holy verses, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, is
carried in procession.
Govardhan Pooja : A Hindu festival dedicated to the holiest of animals for the Hindus, the cow.
Bhai Dhuj
Guru Nanak Jayanthi is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh
religion.

December :
Christmas : 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 year.