Whether the festival is religious, social or related to agriculture, the people of Haryana enjoy with same fervour and make offerings to the deities. Many of the festivals are linked with many myths and traditions and the Haryana people being religious minded follows these events with intense dedication. The festivals are based on the lunar or solar calendar. One can experience the diversity of the cultural and religious traditions of Haryana people during the festival season. The main religious fairs and festivals celebrated in Haryana temples are Diwali, Janmashtami, Holi, Tarnetar fair, International Kite festival, Modhera Dance festival and many others.
Diwali: Diwali, being one of the prominent Haryana temple festivals is celebrated with great enthusiasm. This festival is celebrated in the middle of the month of Karthik. First comes the little Diwali, when rice and sugar are put in vessels, with a paisa placed on the top, are given away to Brahmins and girls. The late ancestors are said to visit the house of their families on that day, and it is in their honour that the ceremony is performed. Houses are whitewashed and cleaned. On the next day, or Govardhan, Diwali lamps are lighted in the evening and sweets are distributed. On the following day, all the sweepings are thrown out on to the refused dumps outside the village. The old lamps are also thrown and new ones are placed in the house. The rich and trading classes specially consider Diwali as their own festival. On this occasion they perform pujas, which are considered auspicious for their profession.
Dussera: Dussera is probably the chief Hindu festival held in the temples of Haryana. This festival is associated with the great Epic Ramayana and its renowned hero, Rama. The celebrations last nearly a month. This Haryana temple festival starts with the ceremony of the Shradas, early in September and lasts over a fortnight. The Brahmins are fed on these days in memory of the deceased elders of the family. The Shradas are followed by Nauratas, which as the name suggests are nine in number. Oats sown in the field or deposited in big utensils are watered profusely on each of these days. On the Dussera day, pudding (halwa) is offered with rice and curd. The Brahmins are specially fed. All the members of the family except woman put stalks of green oats on their head. Ram Leela is enacted in various sacred places of the state. On the last day, the effigies of the demon king Ravana and his supporters are burned; thus this Haryana temple festival concludes.
Holi: Although Holi is celebrated with considerable zest in open air, religious rituals are performed in the temples. Four days before the festival, married women play Holi with their men folk by throwing coloured water on them. The day following Holi, Dhulandi (Phag), men folk throw water on women who strike back by a mock beating with sticks or kolras that are the twisted cloth strips. The men pretend as if they are powerless and attempts at protecting themselves leading to much fun and amusement.
Gugga Naumi: Gugga Naumi is a religious festival, celebrated all over Haryana temples. This Haryana temple festival is connected with snake-worship and observed in the months of August and September. Many legends are related with the Gugga Pir or Zahir Pir (the saint). He is also referred to as Baggar wala owing to his grave near Dadrewa near Ganga nagar, a tract over which he is said to have ruled. This saint was reputed to have the power of curing people of snakebite. Monday is his day, the date being 9th. Its square shape with minarets and domed roof distinguishes the shrine, called 'Mari'.
Bathing at Sohna is a significant festivity in Haryana, while the Kurukshetra Festival is celebrated in the Gita Jayanti, signifying the birth of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita. Pinjore Heritage Festival is a religious festival of Haryana. Teej Festival is another Haryana Temple Festival, where other than the temple ceremonies, an extravagant rose show is held, also known as 'Rose Festival' and celebrated in the last week of February. Zakir Rose garden is the venue of the Rose festival and it displays huge varieties of roses. Other Haryana Temple Festivals include Ram Navami, Solono (Raksha Bandhan) and Bhai Duj.
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