Festivals in India revolve around Gods, Goddesses and saints. Festivals can also be celebrated to mark the commencement of a new season. In Indian culture, the beginning of anything that is auspicious is marked by celebrations. These festivals differ with communities. Karnataka, too, is in no way different from the rest of India.
The following are the festivals in Karnataka:
This festival is popularly known as Dussehra in India. It is generally celebrated in the month of October. The festival dates back to 15th century and till date is celebrated with much splendour and merriment. In South India, Dasara celebrates the victory of Shakti over the demon Mahishasura. This festival takes place for 9 days and on the last day a colourful procession throngs the street of Mysore.
Hampi Festival (Vijaya Utsav) Hampi festival or Vijaya Utsav celebrates the golden era of Vijayanagar Kingdom. The celebrations here include lot of cultural activity. Participants from across the world come here to showcase their talent. The city is decorated with lights. At night it presents a wonderful scenario to look at. The pomp and grandeur of the city will remind one of the olden days. Since the celebrations commemorate the past days, same kind of grandness is maintained still today.
Through this festival, the people of Karnataka pay their homage to River Cauvery. This particular festival is celebrated in the month of October in Coorg. River Cauvery is considered a saviour of the Kannada people. As a result the locals worship it.
Vairamudi festival is named after the crown. Lord Vishnu is adorned with this diamond-studded crown in the temple of Melkote. This festival too has its roots in the legends and myths. It is celebrated as a part of Banmahotsavam and is participated by devotees from all over the world. This event takes place at night and continues throughout night.
Kambala (Buffalo Race) A traditional sport by nature, it is still widely played today in Karnataka. As the harvesting season commences this game is arranged for. This tradition is a way of thanking the Gods for looking after the farmers' crops. In the Tulu community, it is still celebrated with much fanfare.
It is celebrated at the Dharmaraya Swamy Temple in Bengaluru. This festival is generally held between March and April. A unique feature of the Karaga is the unbroken tradition of visiting the tomb of an 18th century Muslim saintevery year – this custom has become a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity.
It is actually a fair. This takes place as a groundnut fair and the first yield of the crop is presented to the Gods. This festival also has roots in the myths and legends. In the adjacent areas there are idols of the Bull and Dodda Ganesha.
This is a harvesting festival and is celebrated in the month of November or December. This too is a way of extending their gratitude to the Gods. The festival commences on a full moon night. The ceremony is accompanied by the chants of “Poli, Poli, Deva” which is an invocation to Gods to increase their yield every year.
Maha Mastakabhisheka, Shravanabelagola Maha Mastakabhisheka is a significant Jain festival that is held once in every twelve years. This festival takes place in Shravanabelagola, Karnataka where the highest statue of Bhagwan Bahubali or Gomateshwar is to be found. It is the anointment ceremony of the Lord and held in the month of February. Devotees from all over the world participate in this festival.
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