India is known as the Land of Festivals because of its diversity of religions and languages. Throughout the year, Indians celebrate a variety of traditional, cultural, and religious festivals, which can be a little over-the-top or even loud. While certain festivals are observed with similar zeal across the country, others have regional or religious significance.
15 Indian festivals your kid should know about
Although the various Indian festivals have varied connotations, they all have one thing in common: they are all spectacular to behold. Gaiety, colour, prayers, rituals, and excitement characterise these Indian cultures and festivals. So, with your small one, teach them more about Indian festivities with this post.
Hindus all around India and the world celebrate Diwali, or Deepawali, with great zeal. When Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after 14 years in exile, the festival was celebrated for the first time. Ayodhya residents commemorated the occasion by placing lanterns on their doorsteps and windowsills. Small clay lamps and candles are still lit during the ceremony today. The lights symbolise the triumph of good over evil. Numerous cultural programmes are also commemorated throughout the celebrations. Diwali is also known for its long-standing tradition of exchanging sweets and presents.
On Diwali evening, there is also a practise of worshipping Goddess Lakshmi. Despite the fact that Diwali is a 5-day holiday, people begin planning for it weeks in advance. They keep their homes clean and attractive. Goddess Lakshmi is known to only enter dwellings that are clean and beautifully lit.
Bhai Dooj is a festival celebrated on the last day after Diwali. In the Hindu month of Kartik, Bhai Dooj falls on the Shukla Paksha Dwitiya. It goes by a variety of names in different parts of India. Sisters perform aarti for their brothers and apply a ‘tilak' to their foreheads on this day. Following that, presents and sweets are exchanged.
Diwali commemorates Lord Krishna's victory over the demon Naraksura in South India. Diwali also commemorates the start of the Hindu New Year as well as the new fiscal year.
Holi, commonly known as the "Festival of Colors," is a colourful festival of joy, frolic, dancing, and music. It commemorates Lord Vishnu's devoted follower Prahlad's defeat of Holika, the she-demon. On this day, Lord Shiva is said to have opened his third eye and burned Kamadeva to death. People in South India revere Kamadeva for his extraordinary Holi sacrifice.
The word 'Holi' is derived from the Sanskrit phrase 'Holika Dahanam,' which means 'Holika's slaughter.' The Hindu calendar's Purnima, or Full Moon, is the occasion for this colourful festival. On the first day, the Holika Dahan ceremony is held. People celebrate Holi the next day by tossing coloured powder and squirting coloured water at them other.
In mud pools, kids dunk each other. People in various parts of India also ingest Bhang, a cannabis-based paste, during Holi.
Holi is also commemorated in honour of Radha and Krishna's eternal love. Krishna used to beg his mother why Radha had such a bright complexion while he was so dark. Yashodha advised him to use colour on Radha's face to alter her appearance. Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates the new harvest and the return of colour to nature in several parts of the world. It is a significant Indian celebration.
The Muslim community's most important celebration is Eid-Ul-Fitr, which is celebrated not only in India but also around the world. The celebration commemorates the most important day in Islam: the end of Ramadan's 30-day fast.
Wearing new clothes, exchanging gifts, and giving small quantities of money to children are all part of the three-day celebration. This celebration also includes visiting friends and relatives to exchange greetings.
4. Navaratri, Durga Puja, And Dussehra:
The Hindu festival of Navaratri is a celebration of dancing and worship. The term Navaratri literally means "nine nights" in Sanskrit. People worship Shakti in many forms throughout this occasion. The Gujarati festival of Navaratri is celebrated with a boisterous Garba dance. On religious music, men and women dance around an earthen lamp. In Tamil Nadu, Goddess Lakshmi is honoured for the first three days of Navaratri, Goddess Durga for the next three days, and Goddess Saraswati for the final three days.
The day after Navaratri, known as Dussehra or Vijayadashami, is known as Vijayadashami. The festival of Dussehra recalls Lord Rama's victory over Ravana. Ramleela, an enactment of Rama's narrative, is staged in various areas of the cities, towns, and villages throughout the nine days of Navaratri. Ram Leela's performance is always accompanied by folk music. The actor portraying Rama fires scorching arrows at larger-than-life effigies of Ravana, Meghnath, and Kumbhkarna on the tenth day. These effigies are loaded with fireworks, creating a spectacular display. The spectators' yells of joy add to the excitement.
The festival of Dussehra also honors Goddess Durga's victory over the monster Mahishasura. In West Bengal, Durga Puja is a joyous occasion. Throughout the state, dance, theatre, and cultural performances are held. The pandals are attractively decorated, and a huge crowd gathers to enjoy the celebrations. The city resembles an open-air museum. The lively event lasts ten days, nine of which are devoted in worship and the tenth day is spent immersing enormous statues of Goddess in the Ganges River. This is an important Indian holiday that children should be aware of.
5. Ganesh Chaturthi:
Maharashtra's most prominent celebration is Ganesh Chaturthi. This 10-day festival commemorates the birth of Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed God. It starts on Shukla Chaturthi and finishes on the Bhadrapad month's Anant Chaturdashi. According to legend, Lord Shiva created Lord Ganesh as an obstacle-averter for Devas and an obstacle-creator for demons.
Devotees' homes and podiums are adorned with massive, finely made idols of Lord Ganesha. On the day of the festival, a unique dessert called Modak is cooked and offered to Lord Ganesh. The statues are paraded through the streets and plunged in the ocean at the conclusion of the festivities.
Onam is a harvest festival that commemorates King Mahabali's return to his homeland. The Onam Carnival, which lasts 10 days, showcases the finest of Kerala culture and tradition. Pookalamm, or floral Rangolis, are used to beautify the front of houses.
On banana leaves, traditional rice feasts with four distinct types of curries are served. The exotic Kaikottikali dance and the Snake Boat Race are two of Onam's most notable highlights.
The birth of Lord Krishna, the 9th avatar of Lord Vishnu, is commemorated on Janmashtami or Krishnastami. Krishnastami is a two-day festival commemorating the birth of Lord Krishna. Gokul Ashtami is the first day, while Kalastami, also known as Janmashtami, is the second.
On the auspicious festival of Janmashtami, worshippers fast until midnight. Women prepare a variety of dishes to serve to Krishna because he enjoys milk and butter. Thousands of worshippers flock to the ornately decked temples to pay their respects to Lord Krishna.
The festival's 'Dahi Handi' is a delightful custom. It entails people climbing on top of one another to create a human pyramid. The person on top of the pyramid then tries to bust open the curd-filled clay pot that is generally hung high on the buildings.
In India, Christians and non-Christians equally celebrate Christmas. Even while Indians follow comparable rituals to those of the west, there are still certain impacts from the local Indian tradition.
During the Christmas season, India's major cities, such as Mumbai, Kolkata, and Delhi, take on a festive appearance. The lights and ornaments in the malls and markets are exquisite. This celebration is known for its exchange of presents and family gatherings.
Pongal, also known as Makar Sankranti, is a three-day harvest festival held every year on January 14th. The house is properly cleansed on the first day of Pongal, and the trash is burned. To the sound of the blaze, the children sing and dance. South Indians create a delicious Pongal on Surya Pongal to praise the Sun God for the abundant crop. The last day of Pongal, Mattu Pongal, is commemorated to honour the cows.
10. Raksha Bandhan:
Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs all over India celebrate Raksha Bandhan, a festival honouring the purest and deepest tie between a brother and sister. It occurs on the brightest night of the Shravan month.
Sisters tie a holy thread around their brothers' wrists on this day. The thread serves as a reminder to the brother of his responsibilities to his sister. It denotes the brothers' need to protect their sister in all circumstances. The exchange of presents and sweets follows this ritual.
Baisakhi, also known as Vaisakhi, is an important Sikh festival observed in India. It's a combination of the harvest celebration and the Punjabi New Year. On Baisakhi, the Punjabi folk dance Bhangra is performed with zeal.
Baisakhi commemorates the birth of Khalsa as well as the harvest season. Guru Gobind Singh abolished the distinctions between high and low by uniting the Sikhs into Khalsa. In the viewpoint of God, he established that all humans are equal.
12. Maha Shivratri:
On the 14th day of the Margshirsh month, Maha Shivratri, Shiva's Great Night, is commemorated. It commemorates Lord Shiva's marriage to Goddess Parvati. Fasting is practised during this occasion, and Bilva leaves are offered to Lord Shiva. There is also a ritual of giving the ‘Shiva Lingam' a holy bath.
King Bhagirath, according to mythology, abandoned his realm to meditate for the salvation of his ancestor's souls. He prayed nonstop to the sacred River Ganga to wash over his ancestor's ashes, freeing them from the curse and allowing them to enter heaven. Only Lord Shiva, however, could bear the weight of his ancestry.So he prayed to Lord Shiva, who arrived on Earth after meandering through solid rocks.This story is reenacted by bathing the lingam.
13. Karwa Chauth:
Karwa Chauth is one of the most important women's celebrations in north India. Karva refers to a clay pot, while Chauth refers to the fourth.
It is a fast observed by married women who offer prayers to God for their husbands' health and longevity. On the fourth day of the Hindu month of Karthik, nine days before Diwali, it is commemorated. The women begin their fast before sunrise and do not break it until they see the moon. However, the ways in which Karva Chauth is observed differ from one place to the next.
Karwa Chauth is more than just a day for ladies to pray to the Almighty for their husbands' long and successful lives. It also represents their unwavering devotion to their marriages.
14. Guru Nanak Jayanti:
Guru Nanak Jayanti, also known as Gurupurab, commemorates the birth of Guru Nanak, the Sikh faith's founder. The holy book of the Sikhs, the Granth Sahib, is read for two days and nights before the celebration.
On the festival's day, a magnificent parade is held. The Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrations in Amritsar are spectacular, and it is one of India's most well-known holidays.
15. Makar Sankranti:
The only Hindu celebration based on the solar calendar is Makar Sankranti. Bhishma, the Mahabharata hero, waited for an ideal time to end his life, according to mythology. A person who dies on this day is said to enter the Eternal Bliss and the Abode of Light. On Makar Sankranti, devotees dip into the Ganges and donate water to the Sun God.
Makar Sankranti is known as Khichri Sankranti in Uttar Pradesh. Gujaratis have a tradition of making handcrafted presents for their loved ones.
On Makar Sankranti, kite festivities are also held. This festival attracts kite flyers from all across the country.
Published on: 11th October 2021