India is a land of festivals, where people from different religions coexist harmoniously. The wide variety of festivals celebrated in India is a true manifestation of its rich culture and traditions. There are many Indian festivals and celebrations, the most exciting of which are mentioned below. While the celebrations happen all over the year, October till January is the time when the country can be seen at its vibrant best.Here is a quick list of the most famous festivals of India.
Diwali, one of the most prominent Hindu festivals of India, is celebrated with a lot of pomp and show. During this festival of lights, houses are decorated with clay lamps, candles, and Ashok leaves. People wear new clothes, participate in family puja, burst crackers, and share sweets with friends, families, and neighbors.
Also known as the festival of colors, holi is one of the famous festivals of India, celebrated with a lot of fervor across the country. On the eve of Holi, people make huge Holika bonfires and sing and dance around it. On the day of Holi, people gather in open areas and apply dry and wet colors of multiple hues to each other, with some carrying water guns and colored water filled balloons.
Dussehra, also referred to as Vijayadashami, is also among the most famous festivals of India. It is celebrated in different forms countrywide. Ramlila(enactment of scenes from Ramayana) is held everywhere for 10 days. It’s culminated with “Ravan Dahan” – the burning of huge effigies of Ravana, Meghnath, and kumbhakaran which is a real spectacle to see.
Navratri festival is celebrated by all people throughout India in different ways. In Gujarat, it is a nine-day celebration of rejuvenating Garba nights and highly energetic Dandiya Raas dances. People are dressed in beautiful, colorful traditional clothes and the environment is very youthful and invigorating.
Every year, usually in the month of February, the sandy dunes of Rajasthan comes to live with Jaisalmer Desert Festival. The festival is a unique showcase of rich and colourful folk culture. Once you are there you will be welcomed by the folk singers, puppeteers, acrobats, fire dancers and many more in their traditional, colorful and vibrant attires. Between all this traditional glitters you will find a special place for the ships of the desert, the camel. Apart from a camel ride you can enjoy watching the camel polo and the Camel Decoration. One can even participate in competitions like Tug of War and Matka Phod Race.
One of the five sacred sites of the Hindu devotees, Pushkar is internationally famed for hosting the Pushkar Camel Fair, which is an annual festival. The weeklong gala affair spread various shades of the royal state of Rajasthan. With marvelous art and architecture from the bygone era being major attractions, the Pushkar Fair is a wonderful eye candy for the travellers around the world. The main aim of the Pushkar Fair is to promote trade of cattle such as camels, horses, cows, goats, sheep etc. For tourists the Pushkar fair is an experience of a lifetime that with camel safari, local music, and cultural performances.
The Rann Utsav or the Kutch Mahotsav is a quarter year long winter celebration in the white sandy deserts of Kutch. During the Rann utsav makeshift tents are set up in the desert for the tourists, and the Goverment facilitates tourists the opportunity to experience the local culture, cuisine and hospitality.
The Kutch region is also famous for its handicrafts. The main embroidery-related items include Rabari, Ahir, Sindhi, Banni, Mutwa, Ari and Soof made by the local women and girls. Whereas the other major travellers’ attractions includes Kite flying, camel ride and desert safari.
It has its roots in the Christian tradition that was brought to Goa by the Portuguese in the early 16th century. This is the local version of the carnival which is celebrated worldwide before Mardi Gras. The four daylong celebration starts on Saturday before Ash Wednesday. According to Christianity it is the first day of fasting out of forty fasting/ avoidance meat days before Easter. The events at the carnival combine fiestas of diverse cultures, religions and beliefs and many street shows. It closes with a colorful parade which can be compared to the holiday parades in South America.
It is that time of the year when Muslims from all over the world gathers to show a common goal of unity representing the cultural exuberance of the Islam religion and marking an end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). Hence it is also dubbed as “Feast of Breaking the Fast”. During the auspicious day of Eid ul-Fitr… thousands of Muslims from different corners of respective cities in India unite at the nearest mosque to celebrate the joyful occasion by greeting each other, which is immediately followed by a formal embrace, sharing of gifts and sweets, and feasting. The traditional and popular way of Eid greeting is “Eid Mubarak”, a phrase that you will often hear if you encounter a Muslim gathering on the particular day. Eid ul-Fitr in other terms and alike all other religious festivals in India is a festival of togetherness and happiness. Nowadays, in India, people belonging to other religions also participate in the festive mood with their friends and neighbors… this signifies the UNITY between MUSLIM and OTHER RELIGIONS in India. On the day of Eid ul-Fitr, Muslims offer prayer at the local Masjid that is followed by Eid Salaat and reading of the takbirat in an open field. Muslim women are encouraged to join the Eid Salaat.
Just before the New Year Celebrations, Goa – with its dynamic party culture – hosts the biggest electronic music festival in the country. The Sunburn Festival takes place at Vagator and features massive international artists and Indian DJs. The three-day party presents different genres of music, which range from house to drum ‘n’ bass. Trampolines and dancers create a stunning blend of theater and dance music, while exceptional pyrotechnics, lasers and a gigantic flying sphere will make this event a must-see for all party animals.
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