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Festivals of India portray the rich cultural heritage of the country. Here is a spectrum of Indian festivals/fairs and their significance.
Come, Let's celebrate the festivals together
India is the land of myths, stories and legends. Every religion, community, caste or creed adds a piece or two to the kaleidoscopic cultural mosaic of India. It is a land of thousands of Gods, Goddesses, Kings, Queens and Gurus. Every occasion in the lives of these Gods and Gurus becomes an occasion to celebrate. India, a vast land, proud of its rich culture and heritage, puts in loads of joy in its every festival. The fine fabric of rich culture and tradition is decorated by the Fairs and Festivals celebrated in India with lots of zest and joy. Although, on the special occasion of festivals, certain traditional ceremonies and rituals are performed but there are some common aspects like sweets, flowers, songs, dance, lights, hymns, fasts and feasts which are an integral part of the festivals in India.
Diwali is regarded as one of the most important festival of the Hindu calendar. It is celebrated across the nation with great pomp and excitement. The festival is mainly associated with lights as it is called the festival of light. On the day of the festival diyas are lit in everybody's home irrespective of their social status. The name Diwali signifies 'rows of lighted lamps'. Diwali is a five-day festival, beginning on the 15th day of the Hindu calendar month of Kartika. Diwali marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year and is celebrated with the lighting of lamps and
The festival is dedicated .candles. homes are cleaned and paintings are done. the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. relatives and neighbors. the celebration is marked with the worship of Goddess Kali. Diwali festival is the one Hindu festival that unites the whole of India. On this day. This is that time of the year when people of all age and all class take part in its celebration. Diwali is an occasion for cheerfulness and togetherness. In Bengal. a day set aside to worship the goddess of prosperity. On this day. and lots of fireworks. Navratri. There are various legends associated with the celebration of Diwali. Goddess Lakshmi. People decorate their home with beautiful diyas and making rangoli pattern in the courtyard and in front of the gate. Dussehra Every festival in India epitomizes the social. They put flowers and mango leaves on their doors and windows. It is time to exchange gifts and sweets with friends. the foremost of all Hindu Gods and Goddess Lakshmi. people worship Lord Ganesha. The exchange of sweets and the explosion of fireworks customarily accompany the celebration of the festival. is celebrated during the first nine days of the Hindu month of Ashvin (September-October). Due to India's varied cultural diversity there are many manifestations of the Diwali festival. or 'The Festival of Nine Nights'. Joy and festivity reins every corner of the nation during the Diwali season. People celebrate Kali puja with great fervor and enthusiasm. The festival begins with Dhanteras. the demon king. But people mostly associate the celebration with the legend of Lord Ram returning to his kingdom of Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile and defeating Ravana. cultural and religious aspirations of the people.
The rituals are based according to the culture and traditions of that particular region. Besides the Garba Dance of Gujarat. one of the most important Gods of the Hindu Mythology. This season is considered to be an auspicious one as it is generally associated with the sowing of seeds. The last three days are especially considered most important. The first three days are dedicated to Goddess Durga. The highlights of the festival are the extremely colorful dances of Garbha and Dandiya-Rasa where men and women of all sects perform. The Rasa has its origin in the life scenes of Lord Krishna and is associated with the agricultural rites while Garba is performed only by men and is related with the fertility cult or the mother aspect of Navratri. Ganesh Chaturthi Ganesh Chaturthi is the celebration of the birth of Lord Ganesha. consecrate the planets. and in some parts of Rajasthan and Maharashtra. All these celebrations have a special significance according to their region. People sow seeds on the first day. The day after Navratri the festival of Dussehra is celebrated. The next three days are spent in worshipping goddess Lakshmi and the last three days are dedicated to Goddess Saraswati.to the worship of Mother Goddess or Shakti and her nine forms. The festival is usually celebrated on the 4th day of Bhadarva Shukla- . The nine-day is equally divided in worshiping three goddesses. The festival of Navratri acquires quite a fascinating and colorful dimension in the region of Gujarat. the most popular events on the auspicious occasions of Navratri are Ramlila of Varanasi. Dussehra of Mysore and Durga Puja of Bengal. watch the sprouting and worship Goddess Durga during this festival.
which are sacred. feasting and distribution of sweets mainly ladoos are offered to him. Larger clay made images are made by the professional craftsmen and set up in pandals and pavilions throughout the country.the festival of colors is one of the most popular festivals of the country.paksh of Hindu calendar in (August and September). According to legends there was a demon-king named . Spraying colors. Especially in Maharashtra side this festival has a special significance and it is celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy. On the day of Ganesh Chaturthi Hindus performs pujas at temples and even in homes. Fasting. After the festival is over they immerse the idols in the nearby water body. It also inspires the devotees to have trust and faith in God all mighty and obey the commands of God. which is observed through out the country. Holi is the festival of young hearts. The celebration begins much before the festival as people starts preparing by cleaning the house and whitewashing. During the festival people purchase small images from shops and brought into home. Holi Holi . dancing on traditional Holi songs. The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi symbolizes Good omen. The festival is associated with various legends but the most popular among them is the tale of Hollika. It is a festival. These are some of the important aspects of Ganesh Chaturthi rituals in India. He is regarded as the destroyer of all problems and obstacles. It is celebrated during the Spring season. rhythmic drum beats and wild processions are the common scenes. Ganeshji is the foremost god of the Hindu Pantheon.
his little son Prahlad refused to do so and continued to worship the almighty Lord Vishnu. However. while Prahlad came out safe. One of the sisters of the king named Holika had a boon to remain unscathed by fire. The festival of Holi has no religion as all celebrates it. It all started with a dream in which Allah . He was against Lord Vishnu. . People smear each other's faces with colored powder known as 'Gulal' and 'Abeer' and throw colored water or 'Rang' on each other. Holika's boon ended and she was burnt to ashes. so she followed her brother's wishes. It symbolizes the victory of Good over evil.Hiranyakashipu who was very cruel and ordered everybody to worship him and not God. However. Bakri-Id There are various festivals in the Muslim calendar. bonfires are lit on the night before Holi in memory of the event and burning of the evil Holika. The main significance behind the celebration is fun and enjoyment. Even today. The 'Bhaang' (opium) drinks are very popular among people as it the favorite festival drink. It is actually the great festival of Hindus. But Bakriid or Id-ul-Zuha is one of the most celebrated festivals among Muslims all over the world. It is a day of sacrifice for the Muslims according to legends. with this sinful act against Lord Narayana's devotee. From that day onwards Holi is celebrated as the festival of the victory of good over evil. The festival has a secular flavor. the Hindu God. where farmers and rural people can celebrate the prosperity and abundance in life that comes with the harvest season. He tried hard to kill him but every time Lord Vishnu saved him.
the pilgrims reach the grounds of Mina where they sacrifice an animal each. Muslims keep a fast every day during Ramzan. Muslims through out the world and . It is in honour of this test of faith that Muslims around the world sacrifice an animal on the occasion of Id-ul-azha to show their allegiance. The celebration of Bakri Id starts from the tenth to the twelfth day in the Islamic month of Dhu'l Hijja. faith and sincerity towards Allah. offer prayers. Special delicacies and sweets are prepared on the occasion. The festival coincides with the anniversary of the day when 'Quran' was declared complete. In his place lay a dead dumba or ram. the Holy Quran was revealed in this month. According to legend. Ramzan is thus regarded as highly auspicious month and fasting and prayers mark it. On the day of Id. It was here that Ibrahim is believed to have sacrificed his son. Before performing the sacrifice Ismail tied a cloth around his father's eyes. It is from when many Muslims undertake Haj to Mecca and people offer prayers in mosques. and visit each other and exchange greetings. The sacrificial meat is distributed after the ceremony among friends and family members. In India the Muslims mainly sacrifice the goat. Id-ul-Fitr Id Ul Fitr is a festival that marks the end of the Ramzan period. On the Id day people wear new clothes. But when Ibrahim opened his eyes he found his son safe and sound. and usually falls on a new moon night.directed the patriarch Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail. which is why the occasion is spoken of in Urdu as Bakhr or Bakri-Id. Ramzan is the ninth month in the Muslim calendar. It was Ibrahim's faith in Allah and his son's faith in his father that were on test.
In India even Hindus also participate in the celebration. He was to receive a revelation from God. Many years later. he fasted for three days. Christmas The festival of Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ and conveys his message of love. The festival is a day of joy and thanksgiving. which stated that all followers of the Islam faith fasted for a certain number of days. All types of entertainments and ceremonies are shunned during this period as it is exclusively meant to dedicate oneself to Allah and show devotion by prayers at all the prescribed times. According to Islamic belief fasting helps to develop self-control and a means of coming closer to Allah. Special dishes are prepared on this day to mark the festive occasion. On the day of the festival Muslims gather in large groups at mosques. Muslims in India give gifts in kind or cash to the needy and poor. It purifies one's soul. The Muslims with great fanfare celebrate it. Muslim people from all strata (Stratum) of the society dress up in new clothes to celebrate Id with great enthusiasm. reciting Quran and celebrating nights with feasts and family get-together. People also do a lot of charity on this auspicious day as a part of the festive rituals. The reason behind keeping fast during Ramzan refers to the legend of the Prophet Mohammed who left Mecca and undertook the journey to Medina in 622 AD. to join the other Muslims who had migrated to Medina to escape persecution in Mecca. and offer their prayers or namaz.in India observe fast throughout this month and eat and drink only in the night. During this period. tolerance and brotherhood. Everybody greet each other on this day. The .
in an early Roman calendar. People decorate their houses and churches with poinsettia flowers for the midnight mass. . Caroling processions on streets and thoroughfares can also be seen. That day onwards this date is celebrated as the birth date of Jesus. They also light small oil-burning lamps as Christmas decorations and fill their churches with red flowers. As a part of their celebration they give Christmas gifts to their family members and token of money to poor people as charity. Christmas is the most important festival of Christians. the Christians put small clay lamps on the rooftops and walls of their houses at Christmas.D. In India this festival has a special significance since India is known for its unity in diversity worldwide. just as the Hindus do during their festival called Diwali. Christians in India decorate banana or mango trees instead of traditional pine tree. In South India. Churches often have an Evening Service on Christmas and are fabulously decorated with poinsettias and candles.first mention of 25th December as the birth date of Jesus occurred in 336 A. In Goa. all hotels are jampacked during Christmas period and one must plan well in advance if planning a stay in one of the Goa hotels.
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