(Last Updated on : 16/07/2011)
India being culturally and religiously rich celebrates various festivals and holidays.
Festivals and holidays are of socio-religious nature provide an atmosphere of devotion and enjoyment. Some holidays mark the seasonal changes and some are local in character and are associated with some place, saint or pir. The fairs and festivals attracting large gatherings are taken advantage of by Government, religious and social organizations, and business firms, for doing publicity. Festivals holidays organized by government and participated by general public are termed as National Holidays. The national holidays celebrated in India are as follows:
Independence Day, 15th August
Independence Day, August 15, commemorates the day in 1947 when India achieved freedom from British rule. The day is celebrated to commemorate the birth of the world's biggest democracy as a national festival. At the stroke of midnight, as India moved into August 15, 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru
, India's first Prime Minister, read out the famous speech proclaiming India's independence. The moment ended the 300 years rule of the British. Independence Day was the only festival that marked the beginning to commemorate the greatest moment in Indian history and now come to signify a feeling of nationalism, solidarity and celebration.
Republic Day (26th January)
Republic Day is India's great national festival. It is celebrated every year on January 26, in New Delhi with great pomp and pageant and in capitals of the States, as well as at other headquarters and important places with patriotic fervor. Republic Day reminds us of the fulfillment of the pledge that was made on the midnight of Independence as a "tryst with destiny".
Gandhi Jayanti (2nd October)
Gandhi Jayanti, a national festival of India, is celebrated to mark the occasion of the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi
, the "Father of the Nation". Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known as 'Bapu' or 'Father of the nation', was born on the 2nd of October in 1869.
This is a festival that falls on the full moon night in the month of Vaisakha commemorates the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. The day is marked with prayers and sermons on life of Gautam Buddha.
Christmas Day (25th December)
The Christmas holiday is mainly observed on 25th December to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the face of Christianity. The actual date of birth for Jesus is not known and the event for his birth is recorded in two if Canonical Gospels.
Dussehra (Vijay Dashmi)
In the month of Kartik and Ashwin, the Hindus observe a ceremony for 10 days of rituals, fasts, feasts and celebrations to pay homage and honour mother goddess and the victory of Lord Rama
over Demon Ravana
. This day is also celebrated for the triumph of Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon, Mahishasura
. Thus, it is a celebration of victory of good over evil.
is a popular festival also known as the "festival of lights". It is a five day festival for Hindus, Jain and Sikhs. It mainly occurs between October and November. For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes
Good Friday is observed primarily by Christians. It is a religious holiday which is meant for commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death of Cavalry. The holiday is observed during the holy week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Fridays preceding Easter Sunday. And it also coincides with the Jewish observance of Passover.
It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, or Easter Friday.
Guru Nanak's Birthday
This day is celebrated as the birthday of Guru Nanak
, who was the founder of the Sikhism. Sikhs from all over the world gather in Gurdwara and offer their prayers and pay homage to their idol.
The Idu'l Fitr is abbreviated as Eid. Eid is a three day Islamic celebration that marks the end of Ramadan, (the Islamic holy month of fating). Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity" and Fitr implies original nature. The holiday actually celebrates the conclusion of the thirty says of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan.
Id-ul-Zuha is generally referred to as the festival of rejoice, special exchange of greetings, gifts and prayers mark the beginning of festivity. This festival is known for sacrifice and is celebrated with conventional gaiety and fervor in India and around the world.
is the first month of Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year where any type of fight or violence is totally prohibited.