(Last Updated on : 02/01/2009)
Indian Villages celebrate some of the unique festivals that reflect the rural charm and simplicity of the Indian people. The villages of the Indian states are special for their distinguished fairs and festivals, however, festivals like Republic Day, Diwali, Gandhi Jayanti, Id-ul- Fitr, Independence Day and Janmastami are celebrated nationwide. Besides the religious festivals cultural ones are also predominant in the Indian villages.
The Indian Village festivals according to the location of the villages are as follows -
North India Village Festivals
- North India comprises the villages of Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. The composite culture and the festivals of North India are closely associated with the Himalayas and sacred rivers, passing across the states. Most of the festivals celebrated in these villages are common and similar in their themes. Karva Chauth, Vasant Panchami, Diwali, Lohri, Buddha Purnima, Kheer Bhawani are the commonly celebrated all across northern India.
East India Village Festivals
- East Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa comprise the villages in this region. Cuisine plays a vital role in the eastern Indian festivals. An important feature of the festivals here is that these are diverse. While the most popular festivals celebrated in the villages of West Bengal are the Durga Puja and Kali Puja, Ratha Yatra is celebrated with lot of fervour in Orissa. The typical rural festivals of eastern India are Jatra Festival, Jhoolan, Poush Mela and Vasanta Utsav. Cultural festivals are also an important part of the East Indian village festivals.
North-East India Village Festivals
- The northeastern states of India are Sikkim, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Tripura and Manipur. The culture of these northeastern villages vastly depends on the migrated tribal customs and traditions. The villages of Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland celebrate some tribal festivals like Chapchar Kut, Mim Kut, Ningol Chakouba, Heikru Hitongba among many others.
South India Village Festivals
- The villages of South India belong to the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Maharashtra. The South Indian culture mostly includes festivals that are related to their coconut preparations, religion and water games; their common festivals are Onam, Pongal and numerous festivals on music and dance are quite popular in south Indian villages. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are into several tribal festivals, due to their major tribal population.
Central India Village Festivals
- The Central Indian villages belong to the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Arwa Teej, Kajri Navami, Bhojali and Chherta are the common festival of the rural areas in central India. Splendor, traditional songs, dances and colourful dresses are indispensable from these Indian village festivals.
West India Village Festivals
- The West Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat have some of the most colorful and cultural villages, celebrating the traditional festivals. These festivities date back to the customs of the early raja and maharaja eras. Besides celebrating the popular Hindu festivals, Jain and Buddhist festivals are also integrated in the culture of these villages.
India is a land of unique festivals, retaining its culture and historical significance; the Indian villages are no exception. The rural Indian boasts some of the oldest and exceptional traditions that have grown as distinguished festivals that not only serve entertainment, but also speaks volumes about the Indian heritage and history. The geographic divisions of India definitely divide the language, rituals and festivals. However, the spirit with which the Indian village festivals are celebrated remain, predominantly, similar.