India is a land of diversity like no other. With so many ethnicities, religions and cultures calling India home, India’s cultural fabric is richly decorated with colourful tassels of unique customs and traditions. Festivals of India transcend religious boundaries to include people of all communities. Festivals of all faiths are celebrated with equal fervour and festivities often take to the streets.
Along with a multitude of religious festivals, India also celebrates many national events like Republic and Independence days. India’s festive calendar is full all year long and celebrations abound. Some festivals celebrated in India are known by different names in different parts of the country. But the passion and enthusiasm remain the same, wherever they are celebrated.
Other Indian events like the Kumbh Mela attracts millions of visitors from around the world. They come to witness and be a part of the cultural bounty of a country, which is the very definition of unity in diversity. Let us take a peek into some of the famous festivals of India that add more colour to people’s lives.
Here are only some of the festivals of India that you should be a part of on your next holiday here. However, these are only some of the festivals that are celebrated in India. In a multicultural country, these festivals bring all the people together and foster a sense of brotherhood. Choose your holiday packages in India from SOTC and be a part of at least one of these amazing festivals.
Indian Constitution came into effect on 26th January 1950. It was the biggest landmark in independent India’s modern history as the constitution laid the roadmap of a democratic governance by the people and for the people. That day is celebrated as Republic Day every year since.
This is one of the biggest Indian events that is marked by ceremonial parades down the famous Rajpath. Personnel of all the three branches of India’s armed forces dazzle the crowds with a dazzling display of discipline and coordination. Colourful floats depict the cultural richness of each of India’s states. This is also one of the most televised events in India. But try to be a part of the spectators at Rajpath and feel the pride and sense of accomplishment that marks the occasion.
Ganesh Chaturthi welcomes the elephant-headed God in our midst. For 10 days, Ganesh idols are installed and worshipped in homes and in public pandals. On Visarjan day the idols are taken out in colourful processions and immersed into water bodies.
Onam is Kerala’s harvest festival, which has gained recognition all over India. It also marks the homecoming of king Mahabali. Wherever they are in the world, Malayalee people celebrate Onam with Onasadya (traditional festive meal) and decorate their houses with Pookalam. This is also one of the most colourful festivals of India. In Kerala, the highlights of this festival are Vallamkali (snake boat races), Kaikottikali, Kathakali performances and Pulikali processions.
The entire country celebrates Diwali. It is one of the most important events in India. Commemorating Lord Ram’s return home after 14 years of exile, the nights of Diwali are lit up with millions of lamps and lanterns to show him the way home. People wear new clothes, exchange traditional sweets and burst firecrackers. They worship Goddess Lakshmi and pray for prosperity and financial stability.
Eid Ul Fitr is among the biggest festivals of India. Marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, it is a time of special prayers and traditional feasts. People dress up in their best fineries and exchange sweets with their friends and loved ones. Eid is celebrated all over India and people of all religions participate in the festivities.
This is one of those festivals that are known by different names around India. Makar Sankranti in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, is Maghi in Punjab and Uttarayan in Gujarat. Kite flying is perhaps the most well-known aspect of this much-loved festival. The skies over most of India, especially Gujarat, are dotted with colourful kites competing with each other for supremacy.
In Punjab, it is celebrated with food and music. Bhangra, dhols and kheer rule the day. In other places, sweets made of ‘til’ are consumed and distributed to spread the cheer. One unique aspect of this festival is that it falls on the same day almost every year, 15th January.
Holi is one of the most famous festivals of India that has been romanticised in many films. Celebrated all over the country, it is marked by colours, music, food and thandai. It signifies the victory of good over evil and also announces the arrival of spring. On the evening before Holi, huge bonfires are lit and worshipped.
The day of the festival is dedicated to water and colours. People try their utmost to colour each other and water fights take on war-like proportions. This is among the most-loved festivals of India. Do try and be a part of the festivities whenever you get the chance.
Navaratri is the festival of fasting, faith and devotion. For 9 days people worship goddess Amba in nine different forms. People dance garba and dandia raas in beautiful traditional costumes to energetic music that entices you to join in the revelry. Celebrated all over India, it takes on a youthful energy in Gujarat and Maharashtra.