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Ancient Festivals of India

In India, the celebrations of fairs and festivals form an amazing wondrous and joyful series of events, marking the rites of birth, death, and renewal. The celebrations and Festivals of India are moments of remembrance of the birthdays, great deeds of gods, goddesses, heroes, heroines, gurus, prophets, and saints.

All Indians from different religions and beliefs such as Hindu's, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and other religious groups celebrate individually, or together as a mixture of groups if their festivals are the same, on the same day.

One important Ancient Festival of India that the Ancient Indians celebrated was the Bamboo Festival of Chedi. During this festival, the people plant a bamboo pole and pray for a god to expand their city. Another ancient Indian festival is the Holi Festival. It is a festival for the triumph of good over evil. It is a week-long festival. During this festival, there are color fights. People throw paint and colored water on each other.

Rama Killing Dragon

There are a great number of Hindu religious festivals of India held throughout the world. The festivals typically celebrate events from Hindu mythology, often coinciding with seasonal changes. There are many festivals that are primarily celebrated by specific sects or in certain regions of the Indian subcontinent. The festive season is widely celebrated. These events have a historic significance to them and are rooted in various cultural and linguistic norms. The onset of the famous Diwali marks the beginning of lighting 'diyas', beautifying homes, offering gifts, and visiting friends and family. Similarly, the Holi festival is described as the 'Festival of Colors", with its magnificent rain dance and the 'gulaal'.

What Changes have been in the area from past to present?

How were festivals celebrated in ancient times of India?

The Ancient Tradition of celebrating festivals goes back to the Vedic times of Aryans. The Vedic scriptures and literature give many sources of information about festivals when celebrations were carried on to honor gods, trees, rivers, and mountains. These Festivals of India include prayers, fasting and also social and cultural significance. One mention can be made that during the time of Krishna, Yadavas performed Indra Pooja in order to obtain rain from heaven. They have performed the Indra pooja as a festival for honoring Lord Indra Bhagawan.

In the festivals of India, there are performances of music, dancing, and drama which took place rugged physical activities. Other activities included wrestling, and wild bull, elephant, horses, and rhino race.

In today's world, Indian festivals all around the world are celebrated with more enjoyment. There are many fun activities including the basics of praying to Gods, celebrating religion and customs. Some Festivals of India these days have enjoyable rides such as roller coasters, jumping castles, and a lot of singing performances and trivia questions. There is also food that is shared with all from different religions.

Some Festivals of India stay the same and don't change.

There are over 60 festivals. Among them the most important festivals celebrated in India are as follows:-

  1. Diwali
  2. Holi
  3. Durga Puja

1. Diwali

Happy Diwali, Happy Deepawali,, Diwali Greeting, Deepawali massege, Diwali image, Deepawali Image

Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a Hindu festival that is celebrated in India and by Hindus around the world. It is typically celebrated in October or November and marks the victory of good over evil.

During Diwali, people decorate their homes with diyas (small oil lamps) and colorful lights, and exchange gifts and sweets with friends and family. The festival is also marked by the lighting of fireworks and the performance of puja (prayers) to the goddess Lakshmi, who is the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

Diwali has a number of different mythological and historical origins. In some Hindu traditions, it is believed to mark the return of Lord Rama, the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu, to his kingdom after defeating the demon king Ravana. In other traditions, it is associated with the victory of the god Krishna over the demon king Narakasura.

Regardless of its specific origins, Diwali is a time of joy, celebration, and renewal, and is an important and much-loved festival in the Hindu calendar.

Significance:

On Diwali, Hindus perform puja, or prayers, to honor the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, and to ask for prosperity and good fortune in the coming year. They also light diyas, or small oil lamps, which are believed to help guide Lakshmi into their homes.

In addition to its spiritual significance, Diwali is also a time for social and cultural celebration. It is a time for people to come together, dress up in new clothes, and participate in traditional activities such as fireworks displays and festive meals.

Overall, Diwali is a time for celebration, gratitude, and the reaffirmation of values such as goodness, light, and prosperity.


Key attractions:

There are several key attractions of Diwali, some of which include:

  1. Light displays: Diwali is a festival of lights, and one of the most iconic features of the celebration is the display of colorful lights and lanterns. Homes and public spaces are adorned with diyas, or small oil lamps, as well as electric lights and lanterns in various shapes and sizes.
  2. Fireworks: Diwali is a time for fireworks displays, which are a common feature of the celebration. People gather to watch and participate in the lighting of fireworks, which are believed to bring good luck and prosperity.
  3. Puja: Hindus perform puja, or prayers, during Diwali to honor the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. The puja is typically held in the evening and involves the lighting of diyas, the offering of flowers and food, and the recitation of prayers.
  4. Gifts and sweets: Diwali is a time for giving and sharing, and it is common for people to exchange gifts and sweets with their loved ones. Popular gifts include sweets, fruits, and traditional items such as jewelry and clothing.
  5. Cultural events: Many communities hold cultural events and performances during Diwali, including music and dance performances, plays, and cultural fairs. These events are a way for people to come together and celebrate the festival in a fun and festive atmosphere.


When:

In 2023, Diwali will be celebrated on Sunday, October 22nd. This is based on the traditional Hindu calendar and may vary slightly depending on the region and community.

It's important to note that the exact date of Diwali can also be influenced by astronomical calculations and may differ slightly from the dates given by the traditional calendar.

Things to do:

There are many things that people can do during Diwali, some of which include:

  1. Decorate homes and public spaces with lights and lanterns: One of the most iconic features of Diwali is the display of colorful lights and lanterns. People decorate their homes and public spaces with diyas, or small oil lamps, as well as electric lights and lanterns in various shapes and sizes.
  2. Participate in puja: Hindus perform puja, or prayers, during Diwali to honor the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. The puja is typically held in the evening and involves the lighting of diyas, the offering of flowers and food, and the recitation of prayers.
  3. Exchange gifts and sweets: Diwali is a time for giving and sharing, and it is common for people to exchange gifts and sweets with their loved ones. Popular gifts include sweets, fruits, and traditional items such as jewelry and clothing.
  4. Attend cultural events: Many communities hold cultural events and performances during Diwali, including music and dance performances, plays, and cultural fairs. These events are a way for people to come together and celebrate the festival in a fun and festive atmosphere.
  5. Spend time with family and friends: Diwali is a time for coming together with loved ones, and people often use the occasion to catch up with family and friends. This may involve sharing meals, playing games, or simply spending time together.
  6. Reflect on the significance of the festival: Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil and light over darkness, and it is a time for people to reaffirm their values and reaffirm their commitment to goodness. Many people use the occasion to reflect on the deeper meaning of the festival and to consider how they can live their lives in alignment with these values.

2. Holi

Haapy Holi, Holi Image, Holi Greeting, Colour Festival, Holi Festival

Holi is a Hindu festival that is celebrated in March or April and is also known as the Festival of Colors. It is a celebration of the victory of good over evil and the arrival of spring, and is a time of joy and rejuvenation.

During Holi, people gather together, often in large groups, and participate in a variety of activities such as singing, dancing, and playing games. One of the most iconic and well-known traditions of Holi is the throwing and smearing of colored powders, called gulal, on each other. People also exchange sweets and gifts, and perform puja (prayers) to the gods.

Holi has a number of different mythological and historical origins. In some Hindu traditions, it is associated with the story of the demon king Hiranyakashipu and his son Prahlada, who was a devotee of the god Vishnu. In other traditions, it is associated with the god Krishna and his playful mischief with the gopis (milkmaids).

Regardless of its specific origins, Holi is a time of joy, celebration, and renewal, and is an important and much-loved festival in the Hindu calendar. It is also celebrated by Hindus around the world, and has gained increasing popularity in non-Hindu communities as well.

If You play Holi then you just wanted to know How to Remove Holi Color

Significance:

Holi is an important and much-loved festival in Hinduism and has a number of different mythological and historical origins. It is a celebration of the victory of good over evil and the arrival of spring, and is a time of joy and rejuvenation.

One of the most significant meanings of Holi is the celebration of the victory of good over evil. In some Hindu traditions, it is associated with the story of the demon king Hiranyakashipu and his son Prahlada, who was a devotee of the god Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu tried to kill Prahlada, but Vishnu protected him and ultimately defeated Hiranyakashipu, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil.

Another significant meaning of Holi is the celebration of the arrival of spring. Holi is typically celebrated in March or April, around the time of the vernal equinox, when the days become longer and the weather starts to warm up after the winter. It is seen as a time of renewal and rejuvenation, as the earth awakens from its winter slumber.

Overall, Holi is a time for people to come together, celebrate, and enjoy the blessings of the gods, and is an important and much-loved festival in the Hindu calendar.

Key attractions:

Holi is a festival of color and joy celebrated in India and Nepal. It is a celebration of the victory of good over evil and the arrival of spring. Some key attractions of Holi include:

  1. Throwing colored powder and water: One of the most iconic activities during Holi is the throwing of colored powder and water at friends and family. This is meant to symbolize the coming of spring and the renewal of life.
  2. Singing and dancing: Holi is a time for celebrating and people often come together to sing and dance. There are traditional songs and dances associated with the festival, as well as more modern music.
  3. Feasting: Holi is a time for feasting and people often come together to enjoy delicious food and drink. Traditional foods include sweet dishes made with milk and grains, as well as savory snacks like potato and lentil fritters.
  4. Religious rituals: For some, Holi is also a time for religious rituals, including visiting temples and offering prayers to the gods.
  5. Community gatherings: Holi is a time for bringing people together and strengthening community bonds. It is common for people to visit friends and family and participate in community festivals and gatherings.


When:

Holi is a festival that is celebrated on different dates each year, as it is based on the Hindu calendar. In 2023, Holi will be celebrated on March 27th. This date may vary slightly depending on the region in which the festival is being celebrated, as different parts of the country may follow different calendars.

Things to do:

There are many things that people can do during the Holi festival. Some popular activities include:

  1. Throwing colored powder and water: One of the most iconic activities during Holi is the throwing of colored powder and water at friends and family. This is meant to symbolize the coming of spring and the renewal of life.
  2. Singing and dancing: Holi is a time for celebrating and people often come together to sing and dance. There are traditional songs and dances associated with the festival, as well as more modern music.
  3. Feasting: Holi is a time for feasting and people often come together to enjoy delicious food and drink. Traditional foods include sweet dishes made with milk and grains, as well as savory snacks like potato and lentil fritters.
  4. Religious rituals: For some, Holi is also a time for religious rituals, including visiting temples and offering prayers to the gods.
  5. Community gatherings: Holi is a time for bringing people together and strengthening community bonds. It is common for people to visit friends and family and participate in community festivals and gatherings.
  6. Playing games: Holi is a time for fun and games, and there are many traditional games played during the festival. These may include games like tug of war, cricket, and kite flying.
  7. Enjoying art and culture: Holi is a time for celebrating art and culture, and many people attend performances of music and dance, visit art galleries and exhibitions, and enjoy other cultural events.

3. Durga Puja

Happy Durga Puja, Durga Mata, Durga Pooja, Durge Maa, Durga Maa, Navratri, 

These are the most popular forms under which she is worshipped: Durga, goddess beyond reach; Kali, the auspicious power of time; Amba or Jagdamba, mother of the world; Annapurna, the giver of food and plenty; Sarvamangala, auspicious goddess; Bhairavi, terrible, fearful, power of death; Chandika or Chandi, violent, wrathful, furious; Lalita, playful; Bhavani, the giver of existence; Tara, the giver of success in work. It is the most important festivals of india, Bengalis and Odias.

Significance: It is a celebration of the victory of Goddess Durga in battle against buffalo demon Mahishasura.
Key attractions:
When:

Name of the DayDayDateColour
MahalayaSunday25th September 2022White
Maha PanchamiFriday30th September 2022Green
Maha SashtiSaturday01st October 2022Grey
Maha SaptamiSunday02nd October 2022Orange
Maha AshtamiMonday03rd October 2022Peocock Green
Maha NavamiTuesday04th October 2022Pink
Vijaya DashamiWednesday05th October 2022Red

Where: All Over India
Facts : Durga Puja celebrates the victory of the goddess Durga over the demon king Mahishasura. It begins on the same day as Navratri, a nine-night festival in many northern and western states that more broadly celebrates the divine feminine (shakti). Durga Puja's first day is Mahalaya, which heralds the advent of the goddess.
Things to do: Puja shopping, Dhunuchi Naach and Dhaak, Sharing Sweets,

4. Chhath Puja

Chhath Puja, Chhath Pooja, Happy Chhath Puja

Chhath Puja is a Hindu festival that is celebrated primarily in the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh, as well as in Nepal. It is a festival that is dedicated to the sun god, Surya, and is celebrated to thank the sun for providing life on earth and to seek blessings for the well-being of family members.

The festival typically lasts for four days and involves a series of rituals and ceremonies. These may include offering prayers and offerings to the sun god, bathing in holy rivers, and fasting. On the final day of the festival, devotees offer arghya (offerings) to the setting sun and pray for the well-being of their families.

Chhath Puja is a time of great devotion and devotion, and many people participate in the rituals and ceremonies with great devotion and sincerity. It is also a time for community gatherings and celebration, as people come together to celebrate the festival and strengthen their bonds with each other.

Significance : Ancient Fastivals In India Chhath Puja is executed to honor God Surya, where reverence is paid to the Sun. It is said that Chhath Pooja is one of the most difficult Parva in the Hindu faith. The Ancient festivals In India is observed for four days and devotees observe a strict Chhath Puja fast during the festivity. Mostly devotees observe a Nirjala Vrat (a fast done without consuming water and food) for a duration of two days.
Key attractions :

Sandhya Arghya: The first day of Chhath Puja is dedicated to offering arghya (obeisance) to the setting sun. This is done by placing offerings of flowers, fruits, and water on a small platform called a puja chowki.

  1. Lohanda and Kharna: On the second day of the festival, devotees fast for the entire day and abstain from drinking water. In the evening, they offer Lohanda, a special puja that involves making offerings of sweets and other food items to the gods. This is followed by Kharna, a ritual in which the devotees break their fast by consuming the food offerings.
  2. Surya Shashthi: On the third day of Chhath Puja, devotees perform the Surya Shashthi puja, which involves offering arghya to the rising sun. This is done at dawn, and is followed by the preparation of a special meal called the naivedya, which is offered to the sun god.
  3. Usha Arghya: On the fourth and final day of Chhath Puja, devotees offer arghya to the rising sun and seek blessings for the well-being of their family and loved ones.

In addition to these rituals and ceremonies, Chhath Puja is also marked by the singing of devotional songs and the beating of drums, as well as the lighting of lamps and the making of offerings to the gods. It is a time of celebration and devotion for Hindus, and is an important cultural event in the region where it is celebrated.


When :                                Chhath Puja 2022 Dates

Where: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and now a days Across India
Facts : Chhath Puja is possibly the main Vedic Festival celebrated in India:
Things to do : Nahai Khai, Lohanda and Kharna, Chhath Puja, Sandhya Argh, Suryodaya Argh.

5. Ratha Yatra

Ratha Yatra

Rath Yatra is the festival associated with Jagannath. It is the most important festival of Bengalis and Odias .

Significance : Ratha Yatra or Ratha Jatra or Chariot Festival of Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra, a Hindu festival, is undoubtedly the biggest and the most popular festival held in Odisha.
Key attractions :
When : Tuesday, 20 June
Where : Odisha
Facts :

  • The tradition of Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra has been in practice for over 460 years old. However, this age-old custom is also mentioned in ancient scriptures like Brahma Purana, Padma Purana, Skanda Purana and Kapila Samhita.
  • Three giant wooden chariots are made of a particular type of Neem tree wood each year for Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Balbhadra (Balaram) and sister Subhadra.
  • This tradition is one of its kind because the main idols from the sanctum sanctorum are brought out of the temple complex. This is an unusual feature because elsewhere (in other temples), the presiding deity is never taken out of the Garbha Griha.
  • The King (known as the Gajapati) dresses like a sweeper and cleans the road with a golden-handled broom and water fortified with sandalwood paste to perform the Chera Pahara ritual.
  • Lord Jagannath's Rath, Nandighosha (also known as Garudadhwaja, Kapiladhwaja), is about 44 feet tall. It has 16 wheels, and the dominant colours used for his chariot are red and yellow.
  • Balbhadra's chariot is called Taladhwaja or Langaladhwaja, and it stands 43 feet in height. It has 14 wheels, and the colours used for decorating the chariot are Red and Bluish-Green.
  • Subhadra's chariot has 12 wheels, and the colours associated with her are Red and Black. Her chariot is known as Darpadalana (Devadalana or Padmadhwaja), and it is 42 feet tall.
  • Lord Jagannath, Balbhadra and Subhadra begin their journey from the Puri shrine (built by King Indradyumna) and proceed towards the Gundicha temple (a monument built in the memory of the Queen of Indradyumna).
  • The Jagannath Rath Yatra symbolises the journey of Shri Krishna from Dwaraka (a kingdom he ruled to Braj Bhoomi, his birthplace). This tradition is also believed to be a recreation of Lord Krishna's departure from Gokul (where he grew up).

Things to do : The popularity of this Hindu festival is bolstered by followers of other religions who participate to get the blessings of Lord Jagannath.

6. Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan, Happy Rakhi, Rakhi In hand

Raksha Bandhan is a festival celebrated mainly in all Indian states. Rakhi is a special occasion to celebrate the chaste bond of love between a brother and a sister.

Significance : It symbolizes the strong bonding of a brother and sister.
Key attractions : The ritual of Rakhi and the brightly decked up markets showcasing a colourful variety of rakhis and sweets
When : Wednesday, 30 August
Where : Across India
Facts : Signifying the brother-sister bonding, during Rakhi, the sister performs Aarti, applies tilak, and ties rakhi  on the brother’s wrist wishing his well being. The brother, in return, vows to protect the sister. Another festival which has a strong similarity to Rakhi is Bhai Dooj which comes just after Diwali.
Things to do : The Hindu festival Raksha Bandhan this year will be celebrated on Wednesday, August 30, 2023. Raksha Bandhan, the festival which celebrates the eternal love between brother and sister falls on the full moon day of the lunar month Shravan also called Shravan Purnima.

7. Thai Pongal

Happy Pongal, Thai Pongal, Pongal Greeting

Pongal is one of the most popular harvest festivals of Tamil Nadu and its Ancient Fastivals In India. Pongal occurs in mid-January each year and marks the beginning of Uttarayana (sun's journey northwards). The Pongal festival lasts for four days. Celebrations include a drawing of Kolam, swinging & the cooking of delicious Pongal.

This day coincides with Makara Sankranti. Pongal is also commemorated by Jallikattuas a part of festivities as a sport of valor
The festival is celebrated mostly on January 14 of the Gregorian calendar

Significance : The Pongal Harvest Festival is a traditional Indian festival that gives thanks to the sun god for a bountiful harvest. Mostly celebrated in India, Pongal is also celebrated in Singapore because of the large number of Tamil people living here.
Key attractions : Hindu dancing, rhythmic​ music in Tamil temples, collective cooking and festive bazaar constitute Pongal harvest celebration
When : Sunday, 15th January and ends on Wednesday, 18th January
Where : South India
Facts : Thanks giving to the Sun God for harvest
Things to do : Cattle races, traditional dances, and enjoying a special holiday dish called Venpongal

8. Onam

Happy Onam, Onam Festival, Onam Greeting

Onam is the harvest festival of Kerala. Though Onam is traditionally a Hindu festival celebrated in Kerala, contemporarily Onam is celebrated by the Kerala diaspora across the globe. Onam commemorates the rule of Mahabali, an Asura(demon) king who loved his subjects. During his rule, people were happy, honest, and full of righteousness. Legend says Lord Vishnu took the incarnation of Vamana, a dwarf Brahmin who visited Mahabali seeking three steps of land for sitting in self denunciation. Cleverly Vamana defeated Mahabali and sent him to the netherworld.

Onam is the annual homecoming of the legendary Emperor Mahabali. It falls during the month of Chingam (August–September) and lasts for ten days. The Ancient festival of India is marked by various festivities, including intricate flower carpets, elaborate banquet lunches, snake boat races, Onappottan, Kaazhchakkula in Guruvayoor, Puli Kali, Kaikottikkali, etc. These festivities make Onam a unique festival on the earth which is embellished by most cultural elements and it can be undoubtedly said that these elements constitute the colorfulness, diversity, and richness that no other festival can claim. On Onam day people conduct special prayers in Hindu temples. Although Prayers in Hindu temples are an important part of the festival, non-Hindus are not allowed to enter temples.

Significance : Onam symbolizes demon king Mahabali’s homecoming. It is among the biggest festivals in Kerala and is celebrated throughout the stat
Key attractions : Thripunithura Athachamayam, Pulikkali Tiger Play, Aranmula Snake Boat Race, Onam Sadya, Cultural Programmes.
When : Tuesday, 30 August and ends on Thursday, 8 September
Where : South India
Facts : Onam is a harvest festival that is observed by people of all castes and religions and is a secular festivity.
Things to do : People purchase and wearing of new clothing, known as the Onakkodi, lamps are beautifully decorated, people also indulge in various games and dances during and post-Thiruvonam.

9. Vasant Panchami

Happy Vasant Panchami, Basant Panchami, Happy Basant Panchami

Vasant Panchami (also called Saraswati Puja by Bengalis and Odias) is celebrated for the blessing of Saraswati, goddess of wisdom and the arts.

Basant Panchami is a unique Hindu festival that is celebrated with different names in different regions. It is observed as ‘Sufi Basant’ in Sufi shrines, in Punjab and other adjoining regions it is celebrated as ‘Basant Festival of Kites’, in Gurudwara it is observed as ‘Sikh Festival’, in the state of Bihar, it is celebrated as ‘Harvest Festival’ and the birth anniversary of ‘Deo-Sun God’. In these regions, Vasant Panchami is celebrated with different rituals and traditions; however the essence of celebrations remains the same everywhere.

Significance : On Basant Pnachami , the color yellow holds a lot of meaning. People wear yellow clothing, worship Goddess Saraswati, and eat traditional meals to commemorate the day. Yellow is a color that represents understanding as well as mustard fields, which are associated with the onset of spring.
Key attractions : On this day, people wear yellow colored clothes and make yellow dishes like sweet saffron rice and kadhi.
When : January 26, Thursday
Where : All Indian & Nepal
Things to do: Attend Saraswati Puja and celebrations

10. Thaipusam

Thaipusam

Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community. The word Thaipusam is derived from the Tamil month name Thai and Pusam, which refers to a star near the location of the moon during the festival. The festival commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a spear so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman..

Significance : Thaipusam is an important festival observed by the Hindus of southern India during the full moon of the Tamil month of Thai
Key attractions :
When : Sunday, 5 February
Where : South India
Facts : On the Thaipusam day, most devotees of Lord Murugan offer him fruits and flowers of yellow or orange color—his favorite color—and also adorn themselves with dresses of the same color.
Things to do : devotees head towards the Murugan temple in procession carrying the Kavadi

11. Maha Shivaratri

Lord Shiva and Parvati, Shiva and Parvati, Shankar Bhagwan aur Parvati
Lord Shiva and Parvati, Shiva and Parvati, Shankar Bhagwan aur Parvati

Maha Shivaratri is the great night of Shiva, during which followers of Shiva observe religious fasting and the offering of Bael (Bilva) leaves to Shiva. Mahashivaratri Festival or ‘The Night of Shiva’ is celebrated with devotion and religious fervor in honor of Lord Shiva, one of the deities of Hindu Trinity. Shivaratri falls on the moonless 14th night of the new moon in Phalgun (February - March). Celebrating the festival of Shivaratri devotees observe day and night fast and perform ritual worship of Shiva Lingam to appease Lord Shiva.

To mark the Shivratri festival, devotees wake up early and take a ritual bath, preferably in river Ganga. After wearing fresh new clothes devotees visit the nearest Shiva temple to give a ritual bath to the Shiva Lingum with milk, honey, water, etc. On Shivaratri, worship of Lord Shiva continues all through the day and night. Every three hours priests perform ritual pooja of Shivalingam by bathing it with milk, yogurt, honey, ghee, sugar, and water amidst the chanting of “Om Namah Shivaya’ and ringing of temple bells. Jagran (Nightlong vigil) is also observed in Shiva temples where a large number of devotees spend the night singing hymns and devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva. It is only on the following morning that devotee breaks their fast by partaking prasad offered to the deity.

Significance : Maha Shivratri, a special day of spiritual significance, marks Shiva and Parvati's marriage
Key attractions : Meditation, Fasting and worshipping Lord Shiva
When : Saturday, 18 February
Where : Across India
Facts : Shivratri occurs every month, whereas Maha Shivratri is the great night of Shiva that occurs only once a year.
Things to do : The auspicious festival of Maha Shivaratri marks various interesting traditions and customs, celebrated across India and abroad.

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12. Rama Navami

Happy Ram Navami, Ram Navami, Shree Ram Navamai, Ram Navami Greeting

Shri- Ram is the seventh incarnation Avatar of Lord Vishnu and Ramnavami commemorates the birth of Rama who incarnated himself in a human form on this day and took birth in Ayodhya.

Rama Navami is the celebration of the birth of Rama. Rama Navami is the day on which Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, incarnated in human form in Ayodhya. He is the ardha ansh of Vishnu or has half the definitive qualities of Lord Vishnu. The word “Rama” literally means one who is divinely blissful and who gives joy to others, and one in whom the sages rejoice. Ram Navami falls on the ninth day of the bright fortnight in Chaitra (April/May) and coincides with Vasant Navratri or Chait Durga Puja.

Therefore, in some regions, the festival is spread over nine days. This day, marking the birthday of Lord Rama, is also observed as the marriage day of Rama and Sita and thus also referred to as Kalyanotsavam. In Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Rama, a huge fair is held with thousands of devotees gathering to celebrate this festival. The fair continues for two days, and rath yatra, carrying the Deities of Ram, his brother Laxman, His wife Sita, and His greatest devotee Mahavir Hanuman, are taken out from almost all Ram Temples. Hanuman is known for is his devotion to Rama, and his tales form an important part of the celebration. In Andhra Pradesh, Ram Navami is celebrated for 10 days from the Chaitra saptami to the Bahula Padyami in March/April. Temples re-enact the marriage of Lord Rama and Sita to commemorate this event, since this day is also the day they got married.

Significance : Rama Navami is the celebration of the birth of Rama
Key attractions : This is an occasion for great rejoicing especially for the Vaishnavs who celebrate it with due solemnity all over the country.This festival is celebrated with great devotion all over the country., rath yatras or ‘chariot processions’are organized in temples.
When : Thursday, 30 March
Where : All Over India
Facts : This is the story of Ram Navami and this is how the festival is celebrated in India.
Things to do : As mentioned before people in different parts of India celebrate this festival with lots of pomp. Though this is actually the birthday of Lord Ram people give lots of importance to Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman.

13. Gudi Padwa

Gudhi Padwa, Gudi Padva, Marathi Happy New Year, Hindu New Year

Gudhi Padwa / ChetiChand is celebrated on the first day of the Hindu Lunar month of Chaitra, and is celebrated as New Year's Day by Marathis, Konkanis and Sindhis . According to the Brahma Purana, this is the day on which Brahma created the world.

Significance : Out of many festivals celebrated in Maharashtra with fun and frolic, Gudi Padwa is one of them.
Key attractions : The "Gudi" is placed either at the entrance of the house or outside the window.
When : Wednesday, 22 March
Where : Konkani Hindu and Marathi Hindu celebrate Gudi Padwa, Maharashtra
Facts : Gudi Padwa is known as Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh, meaning the first day of the creation of the universe.
Things to do : Attend celebrations

14. Ugadi

Ugadi

Ugadi (meaning "the start of an era" in Kannada) is New Year's Day for the Kannadigas and Telugus.

Ugadi ushers in a celebratory mood in the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. For the people of these states, Ugadi symbolises the beginning of the New Year as per the Hindu calendar. It is an occasion that is traditionally celebrated with day-long festivities. People undertake new ventures during Ugadi as it is considered to be an auspicious time for doing so.

Significance : The occasion of Ugadi holds a lot of significance in the lives of the people, which stems from ancient beliefs and practices. The fact that Ugadi is still celebrated with so much fervour and enthusiasm goes on to show its relevance even in today’s time and age.
Key attractions : Celebration with Family
When : Wednesday, 22 March
Where : Karnataka
Facts : Thus, the festival is celebrated to welcome a new start in life every year with the expectations of happiness, well-being, growth, and prosperity.
Things to do : The celebration of Ugadi is marked by enthusiasm and cheerfulness. On the special day, people wake up before sunrise and get ready after taking a ceremonial oil-bath, as it is a prevalent custom for Ugadi. Even the idols of gods and goddesses are given an oil-bath on this day.

15. Vishu

Happy Vishu,Vishu Celebration

Vishu, a Hindu festival, is celebrated in Kerala as the harvest festival and the astrological New Year of the Malayalis. Vishu indicates the movement of the sun to Aries or the Mesha Rashi and marks the day from which the farmers begin the plowing of land and other agricultural activities.

In Sanskrit, Vishu means equal, which implies the day with an equal number of hours of day and night or the equinox. The day of Mesha Sankranti or Mesha Sankramam, Vishu is a family festival. It is a period dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is celebrated by worshipping Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna.

Vishu Kani, Vishu Kaineettam, and Vishubhalam are the three most important aspects of the Vishu celebrations. As per the religious faith of the people on the previous night of the Vishu festival a Vishu Kani in the prayer room or worship area of the house before the idol of Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna by the eldest lady of the house. Vishu Kani is regarded as the symbol of good luck and prosperity by all Hindu Malayalis.

Celebrated on the first day of Medam or the Malayalam month or between the months of April and May of the Gregorian calendar, Vishu symbolizes the beginning of the spring season.

Significance : According to a legend, the demon king Ravana never allowed Surya deva or the Sun God to rise from the East direction, so after the death of Ravana on a Vishu day, that Sun God started to rise from the East. Therefore, Hindus of Kerala commemorate the return of Sun God.
Key attractions : Vishu is one of the most important festivals in Kerala, and Malayalis all over the world celebrate the day with much fanfare.
When : Saturday, 15 April
Where : Kerala
Facts : Once the ritualistic ceremonies are over, people spend the day merry-making by bursting crackers and feasting.
Things to do : Food, light, money, knowledge, which form part of the Vishu Kani, signify a year of abundance.

16. Tamil New Year Puthandu

Puthandu or Tamil New Year’s Day is celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month of Chitterai. As per the Gregorian calendar, Puthandu will be celebrated in year 2023 on the 14th of April, Wednesday. Tamil New Year’s Day is mainly celebrated in the state of Tamil Nadu and in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Singapore, among others.

Significance : As per the tradition and Tamil solar calendar, if the Sankranti happens after sunrise and before sunset, the day is considered as the New Year’s Day. If the Sankranti occurs after sunset, the next day is celebrated as Puthandu.
Key attractions : If Puthandu goes well, then the whole year ahead shall also go well.
When : Friday, 14 April
Where : Tamil Nadu
Facts : As per Vedic Astronomy, at the time of creation, all the planets were together at 0 degrees of Mesha Rashi.
Things to do :

  • House and courtyard are thoroughly cleaned.
  • Kolam is made at one place and decorated with festoon (மலர்மாலை).
  • Fresh cow dung or turmeric powder is placed on top of a wooden pedestal or a pair of bricks.
  • This is for invoking Surya Bhagavan.Kuthuvilakku is placed on both sides of this.
  • Surya Bhagavan is invoked and pujai is performed.
  • Five plantain leaves are laid and offering of cooked rice or payasam, ghee, sugar, fruits are made along with tamboolam.
  • A piece of sugarcane is also placed as offering if available.
  • The Panchangam forecast for the upcoming year is read.

17. Hanuman Jayanti

Happy Hanuman Jayanti, Bajarang Bali, Pawan Putra, Humanji, 

Hanuman Jayanti is the celebration of the birth of Hanuman, Rama's loyal devotee. To mark the birth of Lord Hanuman, Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated all over India Chaitra. The great Hanuman is known for its great strength, power, and his immortal devotion towards Lord Rama. He is considered to be the greatest follower of Lord Rama and played a crucial role in his life. He is considered to be one of the most powerful Hindu gods in India.

Celebrations on Hanuman Jayanti began early in the day with special puja being performed by devotees. Devotees perform holy Puja in temples dedicated to Sri Hanuman or at Home. People in India organize special prayers for Lord Hanuman to get rid of evil spirits.

God is known for its magical powers. Prayers and Hymns are sung all day long in various Hanuman temples dedicated to the lord. Hanuman is considered as a symbol of power and great strength in Hindu mythology. On auspicious day of Hanuman Jayanti, People apply red Sindoor from Lord's feet on their foreheads. This is considering being a ritual for good health and good luck.

Significance : Worshipping Lord Hanuman is said to protect people from evil and help emerge victorious. While the festival is celebrated on different days across the country, most popularly it is celebrated during Chaitra. The celebrations begin early in the morning on Hanuman Jayanti as it is believed that the lord was born at sunrise. The devotees also read verses from Ramayana and Mahabharat and perform other prayers on this day.
Key attractions : Ramlila
When : Thursday, 6 April
Where : All Over India
BEnifits :

  • For removal of Shani & Mangal dosha.
  • For acquiring knowledge, physical, peace of mind, & mental strength.
  • For health, success in business, or career.
  • Protection from evil, enemies & black magic.
  • For removal of all planetary doshas.
  • For knowledge wisdom, & education.

Things to do : Fasting, Pray,

18. Guru Purnima

Guru Purnima is the day devotees offer puja (worship) to their Guru. This was also the day when Vyasa, author of the Mahabharata was born.

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15 Most Famous Temples In Varanasi | Best Mandir In Kashi and Banaras
Varanasi also knows as Banaras or Kashi. Do you know that apart from Baba KashiVishwanath temple there are many other temples famous for tourist attraction inVaranasi city? Baba Vishwanath Temple is one of the famous Shiva Temple in India[/most-famous-powerful-lord-shiva-temples/] Varanasi. Peop…

19. Mahalakshmi Vrata

Mahalakshmi Vrata is a puja performed by married Hindu women to seek the blessings of Mahalakshmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity.

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20. Krishna Janmashtami

Krishna Janmashtami is the Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Krishna. It is actually called as Krishna Jayanthi. The date falls not only on the eighth day of the waning moon of Bhadrapad but always on Rohini Nakshatra. Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm in India in July or August. According to the Hindu calendar, this religious festival is celebrated on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksha or the 8th day of the dark fortnight in Bhadon. Sri Krishna is considered as one of the most powerful human incarnations of the Lord Vishnu. He was born around 5,200 years ago in Mathura.

The sole objective of Sri Krishna's birth was to free the Earth from the evilness of demons. He played an important role in Mahabharata and propagated the theory of bhakti and good karma which are narrated deeply in the Bhagwat Geeta. Sri Krishna was born in a prison in the custody of Kansa. Vasudev, His father immediately thought of his friend Nand and decided to hand over his child to him to save Krishna from the clutch of Kansa. Krishna grew up in Gokul and finally killed his uncle, King Kansa.

The actual celebration of Janmashtami takes place during the midnight as Sri Krishna is believed to be born on a dark, stormy and windy night to end the rule and violence of his uncle, Kansa. All over India, this day is celebrated with devotional songs and dances, pujas, arti, blowing of the Conch, and rocking the cradle of baby Sri Krishna. The Janmashtami celebration of Mathura and Vrindavan, the places where Sri Krishna had spent his life, are very special. On this day temples and homes are wonderfully decorated and illuminated. Night long prayers are offered and religious mantras are sung in the temples.

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21. Radhastami

Radhastami is celebrated all across India especially in Northern India on Bhadrapad Shukla Paksha Ashtami as the birth anniversary of Goddess Radha, consort of Lord Krishna.

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22. Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as the arrival of Ganesh on the earth. It is a very important festival in Maharashtra. Ganesh Festival celebrated in Pune in a very traditional way.

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23. Kartik Poornima

A unique festival is celebrated in Varanasi this day which is called Dev Devali. The Kartik Purnima festival also coincides with the Jain light festival and Guru Nanak Jayanti.

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24. Skanda Sashti

Skanda Sashti is decided on lunar month during the sixth day of Karthika Masam (October–November). It is one of the most important festivals dedicated to Lord Murugan the second son of Shiva. This festival is celebrated the victory of Murugan against the Asuras.

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25. Karthikai Deepam

Karthikai Deepam is an ancient festival of lights celebrated by Tamil Hindus on the full moon day of Karthikai month (November/December). This occurs on the day when the moon is in conjunction with the constellation Karthigai (Pleiades) and Purnima. It is the same as Kartik Poornima; however, since Tamils follow the Hindu Solar calendar with correction for precession of the equinoxes, the Tamil date matches the actual constellation.

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26. Kumbh Mela

The Purna (complete) Kumbh takes place every twelve years and is an ordinary large Kumbh Mela. The Ardh (half) Kumbh Mella, a smaller Kumbh Mela, is celebrated every six years. The normal Kumbh Mela is celebrated every 4 years. The Maha (great) Kumbh Mela, a special large Kumbh Mela, occurs every 12 'Purna Kumbh Melas', or 144 years.

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27. Godavari Pushkaram

Godavari Pushkaram or Godavari Pushkaralu is most commonly stated as it is the festival of the river Godavari. The main significance of this Godavari Pushkaralu is that It occurs once every 12 years in other words called Pushakara. The river Godavari took its birth at triambakeswar of Nasik which is located in Maharashtra state. It flow along the various regions of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and finally flows into the Bay of Bengal. Maha Pushkaralu which comes once in 144 years.

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28. Naga Panchami

Naga Panchami is a traditional worship of snakes or serpents observed by Hindus throughout India, Nepal, and other countries where Hindu adherents live.

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CONCLUSION:
Thus Hindu festivals are celebrated with much joy and interest by the Hindu people in India and people from all over the world. Though certain changes were there towards celebrating Hindu festivals in ancient times and in the current trend, the joy of celebration remains the same. The bhakti observed in celebration also doesn’t change.

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Aditya Pandey is a well-known Indian Blogger, SEO Expert, and YouTuber. He is the founder and CEO of MyDigital Crown, a Digital Marketing Company that provides Digital Marketing Services, SEO
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