Festivals of India play a major role in spreading unity in diversity, with emphasis on communal harmony. Some famous religious festivals mark the advent of the seasons and some mark the celebration of cultural events. Famous festivals in India are joyously celebrated all over the country. During any festive season, the whole of India brightens up and there is lot of excitement in the air. If you drop in during any of the festival time, watching or taking part in the festivities, can be an interesting experience.
There is a big list of the religious festivals that are celebrated in India. In a secular country like India people light up their homes with as many lights on Diwali as on Christmas, the fireworks are as loud as on Onam. The colours of Holi are spread across the castes and creeds. On the occasion of Raksha Bandhan an unspoken pledge is exchanged between, a brother and sister cementing their fraternal relationship. Hindus commemorate the birth anniversaries of their deities as Ram Navami, Maha Shivratri, Janam Ashtami similarly, the Sikhs remember their gurus on Gurpurab.
Many of the festivals are subject to the lunar calendar. Most of the days of the festivals are not determined by the pre-set dates of a lunar calendar, but according to the waxing and the waning of the moon. The Islamic festivals are celebrated according to the Muslim or the hijri calendar. The month long fasting is completed with Eid-ul-fitr. The Islamic year commences with Awal Muharram.
Christian religious festivals in the country have the entire colour that is found in Indian celebrations. This is especially true of the festivals associated with particular shrines, such as Vailankanni in Tamil Nadu. They are colourful events involving thousands of people from all denominations and religions.
The pockets which were under French and Portuguese rule add the distinct features of those European countries. Goa is special where Christian festivals are concerned, and Goan celebrations have a character and spontaneity of their own. Some of the oldest and most beautiful Indian churches are in Goa and, apart from the regular Christian festivals, these churches observe days particular to them with masses, feasts and processions.
Fairs of religious importance have always been a part of India and will stay so forever to add to India's colour and integrity. The various Indian fairs see people near and far participating and celebrating. The party environment raises everyone's spirits. Fairs on the whole mean an occasion and opportunity to make new friendships and renew old ones. Fairs are all about partying, eating, shopping, celebrating, relations and making merry.
The great diversity of Indian religious beliefs is projected through the various festivals that are celebrated in our country. They arise from the innate desire of man to seek diversion from humdrum activities and they help in symbolizing, reflecting and enriching social life in specific cultural setting.Religious festivals also reinforce the presence of God in the life of the individual, the family and the community as a whole. Celebration of such festivals stimulates one to reflect upon the spiritual aspect of his being. The festivals celebrated by different religious groups are
Diwali, Dussehra, Mahashivratri, Janmashtami, Holi, Pongal, Ramnavami & Hanuman Jayanti, Vat-Savitri, Nagpanchami, Rakhi Purnima, Vasant Panchami and Ganesh Chaturthi. New Year Festivals, Gudi Padwa, Shivaji Jayanti, Bihu and Onam.
Barah Wafat, Haj, Id-Ul-Azha, Id-Ul-Fitr and Muharram. Sair-E-Gul Faroshan
Gahambars, Khordad Sal, Zarthost No Deeso, Jamshed Navroz and Pateti.
Christmas, Holy Week , Virgin Mary Feast & St.Thomas Mount Feast.
Mahavir Jayanti & Dev Diwali.
Gurupurabs and Baisakhi.
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Indian New Year Festivals