Popular Festivals of India
India is the land of diversity and vibrant culture. India is famous for being the land of festivals and for experiencing every festival is living a hundred lives in one. Festivals are an integral part of Indian culture as they mark the beliefs and customs of the country. It has so many festivals that not all festivals can be characterized in one place. It is truly the land of celebration and believing in connecting with the roots of culture. Indians believe in celebrating each day as a festival with so many religions and customs. These festivals magnify the beauty of India. It is so diverse that one cannot experience all the festivals in one life span.
Though it is difficult to experience every festival, we bring you the list of some popular festivals that need to be experienced and mark the importance of life. India is a vast country, and every part celebrates the festival with full of enthusiasm and jubilant. They are as follows:-
1. The Celebration of Lights – Diwali
Most Popular Festivals of India: This festival, commonly known as the festival lights signifies the moment when the light is powerful, and it removes all the darkness. It is celebrated as the coming back of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile in the forest. It reflects the beginning ng of the days of light as Deepawali is celebrated on the night of Amavasya which denotes, even if there is darkness all around, but still, you can enlighten amidst the darkness by lightning. The festival is celebrated by cleaning the home deeply and then decorating the home with flowers and lights. It is considered auspicious to create the Rangoli design in front of the main house door on this day. In the evening the festival is celebrated with worshipping Goddess Laxmi and lightening of Lamps and distributing sweets. The best places to celebrate Diwali are Delhi, Jaipur, and Varanasi.
This festival of colors is a famous ancient Hindu festival originating from the Indian subcontinent. It is famously known as the festival of love or the celebration of spring. It is celebrated as the significance of the arrival of spring and the end of winter. The day is considered as the blossoming of love, play, and laugh. It is the day to forgive and forget to repair the broken relationships. The festival also celebrates the beginning of a good spring harvest season. It begins on the evening of Purnima that is full moon day and the first evening is known as Holika Dahan. The best places to celebrate Holi in Goa, Delhi, Mathura, and Rajasthan.
3. The Birth of Jesus Christ
Christmas – The festival is celebrated primarily on 25th December as the birth of Jesus Christ. It is considered as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. The traditional Christmas narrative, the Nativity of Jesus, delineated in the New Testament says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, following messianic prophecies. When Joseph and Mary reached in the city, the inn had no room, and that’s the reason they were offered a stable where the Christ Child was soon born. And then with angels declaring this broadcast to shepherds who then further disseminated the information. The best places to celebrate Christmas are Shillong, Mumbai, Pondicherry, Goa, and Kerala.
4. The Victory of Good Over Evil – Dussehra
Most Popular Festivals of India: The festival is commonly known as Vijaydashmi as it is the culmination of the nine days of Navratri and the 10th day or the end day is celebrated as Dussehra. It is a symbolic festival when Lord Rama killed Ravan in the Epic tale of Ramayana. And that’s the reason to celebrate the day as the victory of Good over evil. The main attraction of the day is the burning down the effigies of Ravan, Meghnath, and Kumbkaran as they are filled with firecrackers. In most of the places, the days following up to Dussehra are marked by portraying the entire Ramayana through street plays called Ramlila. The best places to celebrate Dussehra in Kullu, Mysore, Kolkata, and Varanasi.
5. The Birth of Lord Krishna – Janmashtami
The festival is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Krishna and prominently in the birthplace of Krishna which are Vrindavan and Mathura. The temples at the country are filled with crowds of people, and fast is observed on this auspicious day and waiting for the temple priest to reveal the Krishna idol at the exact time of his birth. The day is celebrated with much enthusiasm with programs in the local community dedicated to the life stories of Krishna, which is depicted artistically. The best places to celebrate Janmashtmi are Mathura, Dwarka, and Vrindavan.
6. The Day of End of Ramadan – Eid-Ul-Fitr
It is the major festival for Muslims, and the best places to celebrate Eid are Delhi, Hyderabad, Lucknow, and Mumbai. The people observe the fasting for the whole month, and they eat only after the sunset and before the sunrise. The festival is marked by visiting the mosque for prayer, and they wear new clothes. This day is also celebrated by preparing delicious food like sewainyan. The festival is celebrated as the significance of brotherhood among humanity. Relatives exchange gifts and sweets with each other, and small children are given Idi as a small token of money. The festival is commonly known as the festival of breaking the fast. The festival is the significance of the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset abstaining during the entire month of Ramadan. The festival of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal.
Most Popular Festivals of India: This festival traditionally annual Hindu rite and is the significance of the eternal relationship of brothers and sisters. On this day, sisters tie an auspicious thread to the brother’s wrist. It is done as to mark the symbol of protection that brother bestows on her. Brother gives gifts and sweets to the sister as a symbol of love and protection. People wear traditional clothes and eat conventional sweets during the festival. The festival marks the importance of love and care between brother and sister. The best places to celebrate is Uttarakhand, Orissa, and Maharashtra. Raksha Bandhan customarily celebrated in North India but has acquired better importance due to Bollywood films. Lightweight and decorative rakhis, which are easy to post, are needed in significant quantities by the market to cater to brothers and sisters living in different parts of the country or abroad.
8. Punjabi Folk Festivals – Lohri
Lohri is a Punjabi folk festival, eminent primarily by Sikhs and Hindus from the Punjab region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, celebrated on 13 January of every year. There are many signs and legends about the festival, and these link the festival to the Punjab region. Many people believe the festival observes the passing of the winter solstice. Lohri is believed to be the end of winter and is an auspicious welcome of longer days and sun’s journey to the northern hemisphere by Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab region. It is celebrated on the night before Makar Sankranti, which is also known as Maghi, and typically falls about the same date every year. The best places to celebrate Lohri are Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, and Delhi.
9. Anniversary of a Guru’s Birth/Death – Gurpurab
This is mainly the festival of Sikhs people in India. God in Sikhism is known as Ek Onkar, which means the One Supreme Reality or the all-pervading spirit. This spirit has no gender in Sikhism, though translations may present it as masculine. It is also meant to be Akaal Purkh (beyond time and space) and Nirankar (without form). Besides, Nanak wrote that there are many worlds on which it has created life. The day is celebrated by visiting Gurudwara and offer worship and holy prayer to seek blessings and have Kada Prashad. Some people even burst crackers in the night to celebrate Gurupurab. The best place to celebrate the Gurupurab festival in Amritsar.
10. The Harvest Festival of Kerala -Onam
Most Popular Festivals of India: This is the most important festival of Kerala and is a colorful affair. It is a yearly harvest festival in the state of Kerala and it falls on 22nd Nakshatra Thiruvonam in the Malayalam calendar month of Chingam, which in Gregorian calendar intersections with August–September. According to history, the festival is celebrated to honor King Mahabali, whose spirit is still said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam. The celebrations are believed to be beginning of the Malayalam New Year, which are spread over ten days, and accomplish with Thiruvonam. The ten days are chronologically known as Atham, Chithira, Chodhi, Vishakam, Anizham, Thriketa, Moolam, Pooradam, Uthradam, and Thiruvonam. The first and the last day are particularly crucial in Kerala and to Malayalee communities elsewhere. People celebrate by decorating their house with various excellent flowers, and women wear beautiful white and golden border sarees. The festival is marked by Kathakali dances and imaginative plays of artists dressed as tigers and hunters. Of course, the best place to celebrate Onam in Kerala.