The Festivals of India and the New Year Festival

Jacques Barie

Introduction

Festivals are an integral part of Indian culture. They are a time for celebration, socializing and enjoying good food with family and friends. However, the festivals of India are much more than just a party or holidays. Each one has its own story that teaches you something about yourself or life in general. The traditional Indian festivals reveal the rich heritage of our country while also giving us an opportunity to share our culture with others around the world!

Diwali – Festival of Lights

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is a five-day festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is one of the most popular festivals in India and is widely celebrated across the country by people from all religions.

Diwali is observed on different dates every year depending on when it falls in relation to the lunar calendar. In 2018, Diwali will fall on October 19th; however, some regions may celebrate it earlier than others due to their local calendars being based on different calculations of time (e.g., Bikram Samwat).

Dussehra/ Durga Puja

Dussehra is a Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is celebrated on the tenth day of the month of Ashwin, which falls in October or November. This festival marks the end of Navaratri (nine nights), and commemorates the slaying of demon Mahishasura by goddess Durga.

The celebration lasts for 5 days, during which time people celebrate by praying to their gods and fasting as well as offering gifts to each other. On Dussehra day itself, effigies are made from clay or paper mache that represent Ravana (the demon king) and his son Meghnadha; these effigies are then burned down at night with fireworks going off around them! This symbolizes how Rama killed Ravana after having been tricked into entering Lanka disguised as Sita’s husband Lakshmana so as not

to be recognized by anyone else there until it was too late…

Holi – Festival of Colours

Holi is a Hindu festival celebrated all over India. It is also known as the festival of colors and is dedicated to Lord Krishna, who is considered as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The word ‘Holi’ means “to play” or “to frolic”, which suggests that this festival has been celebrated since ancient times with lots of fun and frolic.

The people celebrate Holi by throwing color powder on each other and singing traditional songs while dancing around bonfires. People wear new clothes or dress up like their favorite characters from mythology or folklore during this time.

Pongal – Harvest Festival

Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. It marks the end of the monsoon season and is a thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest. The festival also marks the beginning of spring. Traditionally, people give thanks to God by lighting lamps at temples and praying for good health and prosperity.

Pongal is celebrated on January 14 every year in Tamil Nadu while it falls on January 15th in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh respectively.

Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival celebrated in India and Nepal, which marks the start of the harvest season. It’s celebrated on 14 January every year, though there are variations in different parts of India.

In some regions, people believe that during this time birds start flying south for winter; hence they call it “Kerala Pattu” meaning “birdsong”. In others places like Andhra Pradesh it is called Pongal/Bhogi Pongal etc., while Tamilians celebrate this festival as Thai Poosam or Maha Shivaratri

Onam – The festival of Harvest and Homecoming

Onam is a harvest festival celebrated in the state of Kerala, India. It is also known as Thiruvonam or Tulabaram. Onam falls on the first day of the Tamil month of Chingam (August-September) every year and marks the homecoming of King Mahabali who ruled over Kerala before he was sent back to his kingdom in Patal Loka (underworld).

Onam is a time to celebrate unity among people, bountiful crops and Nature’s blessings.

Teej – A festival for Women and the Celebration of Womanhood!

Teej is a festival celebrated by women in northern India. It is a day of celebration for women, when they pray for the long life of their husbands and wish for their happiness. The festival falls on the third day after Holi (a spring festival), which means it falls in the month of Shravan (July-August).

The name Teej comes from Sanskrit “Triyay”, which means ‘to worship’. This festival marks the end of monsoon season and harvest time, so farmers would offer thanksgiving prayers to Mother Nature for providing them with food to eat throughout winter months. As well as praying for good health and prosperity, Teej celebrates womanhood by honouring three goddesses: Parvati (the consort), Laxmi (the goddess of wealth) and Saraswati (Goddess of knowledge).

These festivals have been celebrated for centuries with family and friends.

The festivals of India are a time to celebrate family and friends. They’re also a time to enjoy food, music and dance. Festivals are an important part of Indian culture because they give us the opportunity to give back to the community by helping others who are less fortunate than ourselves.

Festivals can be religious or secular but they all have one thing in common: they bring people together for a few days each year so we can celebrate life’s achievements together with those closest to us

Conclusion

These festivals are a celebration of life, family and friends. They are also an opportunity for us to remember those who have passed on before us and give thanks for all that we have in this world today.

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