As Indians we get to experience so many such special occasions thanks to our diversity in ethnicity, culture, tradition and religion and it is all here for the world to enjoy. Festivals in India is a universe unto itself with colors, sounds, smell, taste and feels all collectively connects with each other and awakens a sense of happiness and peace.
Throughout the year we see something being celebrated and no matter how minor the festival or occasion might be the celebrations are always on a grand scale. After all, no reason to be together and cherish each other amidst the busy schedules and distance can be allowed to pass by just like that!
Festivals are celebrations of the country or place’s culture, heritage and tradition. These are the moments when the place and the people shine their brightest. Festivals in India is also about catching up with friends and family and enjoying a respite from the hectic lifestyle each is embroiled in. These festivals also serves as a way to induct the new generation into our rich culture and to teach about unity and humanity. But, festivals are not just about traditions or even seasons – where the seasons are celebrated as they bring about abundance in harvest, like Baisakhi – but sports and literature are also celebrated in a splendid way. Cricket is a craze and literary festivals at the beginning of the year are what make winter warmer. The Jaipur Literary Festival is the world’s largest literature festival of the world. In fact, you can find a bit of the world’s traditions in every corner of India in the festivals we celebrate.
Being a subcontinent is not easy especially with so many cultures and religions and often we see that several dates of festivals clashes but never does anyone’s religion belittle the other during a celebration. In fact, it is through these Religious Festivals in India that we often learn about unity, tolerance and the human capability to make the world a better place. Also, we are always reminded of our love for great food! Religious festivals are also the time when you should visit other parts of the country just to feel the vibrancy and exuberance. The best time to visit West Bengal is during the Durga Puja which is celebrated at the onset of autumn. The bite the morning and evening breeze, the intoxicating smell of saptaparna in the air and the swaying kash phool are the indicators of the arrival of the goddess with her children. At the same time, Gujarat and Rajasthan observe Navratri which cherishes the Goddess who aided Ram in defeating Ravan.
Diwali the festival of light, homecoming and of good trumping over evil is a festival that binds every person of the country with lighting Diyas and burning crackers. With spread sweetness with sweets and teaching the younger generation the importance of humility and faith. Celebrated just after Navratri (Durga puja) you go anywhere in the country and you will see streets and homes lighten up with bright colors and shows being performed reenacting the climax of Ramayana. Coupled with the autumnal best food in India, Diwali surely lights up your soul.
It is one of the major festivals of India as it shows the importance that the Muslim community has in this secular country. After a month long fasting during the summer, the Eid – Ul – Fitr marks the end of the holy fast with the moon sighting. The three day celebrations are full of colorful melas, mouthwatering food and gathering together as a race to cherish the blessings of life. Go to Lucknow or Delhi and you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to food and after the celebrations are over, you will definitely need to run extra miles to burn off the extra sewaiyan!
Undoubtedly, an important time for the Christians as Christ, who gave his life to free humanity from their sins, was born on this day. The smell of plum and fruit cakes wafts through the chilly winter air and teases the taste buds of everybody. Christmas also binds every religion as they come together to celebrate not only the birth of Christ but to enjoy the food and serenity of the winter night. Goa is the place to be where you can get the immersive feel of this festival,Therefore it’s one of the best time to visit Goa.
Just as religious festivals are for the community to gather and welcome others in their celebrations, the National Festivals in India connects the whole nation as one. These festivals are beyond just one religion but have just one sentiment – loyalty towards your country and its freedom.
It is a day which is observed with happiness and sadness. While the nation was finally free of the oppressive rule of the British, we lost many lives along the way. Every year 15th August marks the cay we remember the martyrs and respect the freedom that we attained after years of struggle.
It is the day when India became truly free in terms of becoming a Republic state with right to form governments and have their own laws and constitution.
It is another reason where the nation collectively bids adieu to the current year while ushering the New Year with new resolutions and hopes.
In India, every occasion is a festival which calls for celebrations. While the core value of a festival is to spread happiness, there are few which are traditional and some which have broken tradition. Like Raksha Bandhan and Bhai Dooj, while these are predominantly Hindu festivals, the essence of protection that the sister prays for her brother knows no religion or caste. Girls and women across the country not only cherish the brothers by blood but also the brothers by soul. With a country as vast as India in terms of culture and heritage, you can expect to see some festival taking place at some corner of the country. Marriages and carnivals too are forms of celebrations and the enthusiasm encompassing them is nothing short of a major festival.
Festivals in India not only show the unity of the country but also reflect on the beliefs on which India was formed – unity in diversity. No matter how much of a quarrel we have with each other or with a community, during these moments of celebrations, everyone opens the doors of their homes and hearts for each other and makes sure that peace prevails. As famous comedian, singer and activist Henry Rollins said, the answer to war is festivals.
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