Indian Festivals, celebrated by varied cultures and through their special rituals, add to the colours of the Indian Heritage. Some festivals welcome the seasons of the year, the harvest, the rains, or the full moon. Others celebrate religious occasions, the birthdays of divine beings, saints, and gurus (revered teachers), or the advent of the New Year. A number of these festivals are common to most parts of India. However, they may be called by different names in various parts of the country or may be celebrated in a different fashion.
Many festivals celebrate the various harvests; commemorate great historical figures and events, while many express devotion to the deities of different religions.
Every celebration is centered around the rituals of prayer, seeking blessings, exchanging goodwill, decorating houses, wearing new clothes, music, dance and feasting.
In India every region and every religion has something to celebrate. The festivals reflect the vigour and life-style of its people. Vibrant colours, music and festivity make the country come alive throughout the year.
The emphasis laid on the different festivals differs in different parts of the country. For instance, Navaratri is celebrated with maximum fervour in West Bengal as compared to that in other parts of the country. Holi is celebrated with gusto in the north, and although it is also observed in the western and eastern parts of India, in the south it is almost unknown. There are also a few regional festivals like Pongal in Tamil Nadu; Onam in Kerala and the various other temple festivals devoted to the specific patron Gods and Goddesses of the temples, which are celebrated exclusively in those areas, which may be limited to one or a few villages. This galaxy of festivals that exist do contribute in inter-spicing Indian life with gaiety and colour as also in giving the country the distinction of having the maximum number of holidays.
Colorful and lively, the fairs and festivals of India are major attractions of the country. Reflecting the vibrant culture of the country, these events occupy a prime place in the Indian tourism industry, as many people visit the country in order to participate in them.
The culture of India is aptly reflected through its numerous festivals and fairs. Bringing out the true spirit of the Indian people and their society, the Indian festivals find their roots in the traditions, religious beliefs, myths and the seasons of the country.
The fairs and festivals either celebrate the change of seasons or are of a religious nature. For instance, Mewar Festival and Holi are celebrated to mark the coming of the spring season. Teej of Rajasthan marks the onset of the monsoon. On the other hand, Onam in Kerala and Bihu in Assam are celebrated to mark the harvesting season. Other festivals, like the konark Dance Festival, promote the culture of India. Religious festivals are innumerable over here. Durga Puja, Ganesh Chaturthi, Janmastami, Christmas, Eid-ul-Fitr, Rath Yatra, Vasant Panchami, Ram Nabami and others are some of the popular religious festivals of India. Apart from these, the other festivals that are celebrated include Desert Festival, Elephant Festival, Raksha Bandhan, Nouroz, Diwali and Dusssehra amongst others.
A large number of fairs are also held in India from time to time. People from far and wide come to take part in these fairs. In fact, many tourists plan their vacations according to the time of occurrence of these fairs. Pushkar Fair, Urs Ajmer Fair and Surajkund Crafts Fair are some of the famous fairs of India. The Kumbh Mela and the colorful and grand Goa Carnival are extremely popular among the locals as well as the tourists.
The fairs and festivals of India are held according to the lunar calendar. During these colorful events people of all sects, castes and religions come together and join in the revelry. Processions are held, prayers are offered, gifts are exchanged and people dance and sing during these multicolored events. Bringing out the true colors of the rich Indian culture, the fairs and festivals of India play an important role in attracting tourists to the country. These festivals are an integral part of the life of the people of the country.
India is the land of festivities! A large number of fairs and festivals in the country are celebrated throughout the year, with much enthusiasm and gusto. Infact, these fairs and festivals add color to the mundane everyday life of the people. Some of the fairs and festivals, like Deepawali, have been celebrated in the country since ages and find their origin in the mythological texts and scriptures. Some others have been based on interesting legends, while several of them signify the win of good over evil.
Even the nature of fairs and festivals celebrated in India differs to quite an extent. A number of festivities have a religious significance attached to them. Then, there are those that are related to the changing seasons, basically to the onset of the harvesting season. Many fairs and festivals of India are celebrated to promote tourism or to promote the regional arts and crafts, music, dances, etc. Some of them are organized on a yearly basis to showcase the rich Indian culture and heritage.
Amongst the most important festivals of India are Diwali, Dussehra, Raksha Bandhan, Bhaiya Dooj, Lohri, Baisakhi, Makar Sakranti, Shivratri, Janamashtmi, Pongal, Vishu, Onam, etc. Amongst the major fairs of the country are Kumbh Mela, Ardh-Kumbh Fair, Pushkar Fair, Nagaur Fair, Goa Carnival, Kutchh Mahotsav, Taj Mahotsav, Surajkund Crafts Mela, etc. These fairs and festivals generate enthusiasm amongst people and give them a reason to celebrate. If you want to be a part of these festivities, visit India during the months of October to March, when most of these fairs and festivals are celebrated.