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Indian Festivals

India is known all over the world for its rich culture and traditional festivals that is celebrated in various states of the country. Festivals form an integral part of Indian people and each festival holds their meaning and significance that is associated with them. Festivals like Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navaratri, Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali and Holi portray the rich tradition of our country and it is the celebration that brings the community together without any discrimination of age, caste and gender.

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Mahashivaratri- Shivratri is a popular Hindu festival celebrated in the month of Phalgun or Magha and is performed by the devotees to please Lord Shiva. This auspicious day is the day of convergence of divine powers of Goddess Shakti and Lord Shiva. It is believed that people who worship him with devotion get rid of the past sins and attain moksha or salvation.

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Basant PanchamiBasant Panchami, also known as Vasant Panchami or Shree Panchami, is one of the popular festivals being celebrated in India. The festival marks the onset of spring season and is observed in the month of February or March. In the northern part of the country, Basant Panchami is celebrated with great zeal and fervour. The colour yellow holds a lot of significance this day and people can be observed wearing yellow coloured clothes and offering yellow coloured flowers to their Gods on this auspicious day. Such is the prominence of this colour that people also prepare yellow coloured dishes, which are considered to bring good luck and prosperity in the year ahead.

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Makar SankrantiA renowned harvest festival, Makar Sankranti is one of the very few Indian festivals that are celebrated on a fixed calender day of the solar calendar – 14th of January, every year. The festival holds a lot of significance in the nation and is observed with great fanfare everywhere, as it marks the end of the winter season and commencement of the new harvest or spring season.

The festival brings enthusiasm everywhere and people celebrate this day by flying colourful kites in the sky. Many people send greeting cards to their near and dear ones on the auspicious day to spread love and best wishes all around.

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ChristmasChristmas is one of those holidays which make everyone spirited and cheerful. With the coming of winters, people look forward to the festival so that they can let the good times roll. And, with New Year just a few days away, festivities become all the more special and grander!

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Dhanteras – Dhanteras is the festival of wealth and prosperity is celebrated two days before Diwali festival in India. People buy valuables, jewellery, utensils etc. on this day to seek blessings of Goddess Laxmi and Lord Kubera. Read to learn more about the festival and the legends associated with it.

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Diwali-Diwali or Deepavali is popularly known as the festival of lights and is an ancient Hindu festival observed in the months of October or November. The festival is celebrated to commemorate the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom after 14 years of exile and after defeating Ravana. This day symbolizes the victory of light over dark. People perform puja at home and offer prayers to Goddess Lakshami and Ganesha which is followed by bursting firecrackers and eating sweets and other traditional recipes.

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Bhai Dooj – After having a gala time and a grand celebration of Diwali, the festival of lights, colours and fire-crackers, sisters all over India get ready for ‘Bhai Dooj‘. Bhai Dooj is the festival to celebrate the love and affection between brothers and a sisters. It is a time for the sisters to reach out to their beloved brothers, pray for their wellbeing and say how much they mean to them. In every state of India this festival is celebrated in different ways but no matter the ways of celebration this festival shows the love and togetherness of the relationship.

Read more to learn few facts and the legend behind celebrating this auspicious festival.

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Chhath Puja – Chhath is the most popular festival in the state of Bihar and the rituals of the puja are entirely dedicated to the Sun God. Celebrated for 4 long days, devotees observe fast without drinking water and perform the rituals with great devotion. Chhath puja is performed to gain the blessings from the solar energy that keeps the Earth going.

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Karwa Chauth- Karwa Chauth is one of the many Hindu festivals where married Hindu women observe fasting and seek prosperity, longevity and well being of their husbands. This festival is celebrated about 9 days before Diwali when married women wear traditional bright colored dresses, apply heena on their hands and feet and wear ornaments. In the evening women listen to the Karwa Chauth story and offer prayers to Goddess Parvati. It is a festival that celebrates the love of a married woman for her husband.

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Navaratri- Navratri is a popular festival of the Hindus where people worship the Goddess Durga symbolizing purity and power. Navratri means nine nights when people usually keep a fast and worship the nine forms of Durga. Celebrated all across India, this is a festival that represents the triumph of positivity over negativity. These nine days of celebration removes all the negativities from life and awakens the Divine in us.

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Durga Puja- Durga Puja is one of the most important festivals for the Hindus and especially in West Bengal people celebrate it with great devotion and passion. Celebrated in the month of September or October, it commemorates the Lord Rama’s invocation of Goddess Durga before going to the war to kill the demon king Ravana. The festival lasts for five days starting from Maha Shasthi and ends with Bijoya Dashami.

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Dussehra- Vijayadashami or Dussehra, the tenth day of Navratri holds great significance and importance among Hindus. The festival marks the victory of truth over evil as it is the day when Lord Rama killed the demon king Ravana. Devotees offer special prayers and participate in religious processions. The puja is performed with great enthusiasm and effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran and son Meghnath are burnt in an event in the Ramlila maidan, which is watched by thousands of people.

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Ganesh Chaturthi- Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is a popular Hindu festival celebrated in India for 10 days between the months of August and September. Lord Ganesha is the symbol of prosperity, good fortune and wisdom and people bring Ganesha the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati to their house with great enthusiasm and fervor to worship and to illumine their minds.

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Raksha Bandhan – Rakshabandhan is a popular Hindu festival that celebrates the brother sister relationship and the love and duty between them. A sacred thread of sisterly love and sublime sentiments is tied around the wrist of the brother called the “Rakhi” and the brother promises to protect his sister from all that’s evil. This festival holds immense significance in India as it underlines the notion that, everyone should live happily in a harmonious coexistence with each other.

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Onam – Onam is a popular festival that is celebrated by the people of Kerala during the month of August-September. It is a harvest festival and is celebrated with great fervor and gaiety. The festival lasts for ten long days and marks the homecoming of the King Mahabali. Different types of flower designs or Pookkalam are made in front of the gate and a grand meal known as Onasadya is prepared and served on a banana leaf. Elephant processions and boat races are other interesting events of the Onam festival.

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Janmashtami –The birth of Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu is celebrated as Janmashtami all over India. According to the Hindu calendar, it is a festival celebrated on the Asthami of Krishna Paksh to free the Earth from all evils and restore happiness and prosperity. On this special day, the devotees decorate the temples and observe fast for the entire day and night. At midnight, the time of Lord Krishna’s birth, the idol of the infant Krishna is placed in a cradle and rocked while devotees sing bhajans and perform religious plays to recreate incidents from the life of Lord Krishna.

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Orissa Ratha Yatra-Ratha yatra is a famous Hindu festival that involves the journey of deities on a chariot. Originated in Puri in the state of Odisha, it is celebrated every year on the auspicious day of Ashadh Sud 2, in late June or early July. The three deities of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are taken out in a grand procession in gigantic temple like chariots that are pulled by thousands of devotes. Ratha Yatra is a festival of unity and joy that is celebrated for 9 days.

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Holi“Bura Na Maano Holi Hai!”
Welcome this Holi festival with a splash of colours, warmth, traditional delicacies, and loads of happiness. Celebrated in the month of Phalgun Purnima, this colourful festival holds a lot of significance in the Hindu culture and commemorates the victory of ‘good’ over ‘evil’. On this auspicious day, which is filled with good food, laughter, enjoyment and brilliant colours, people hug and wish each other ‘Happy Holi’, while forgetting about all the resentments and grudges. With the onset of Spring, people also bid adieu to winters while celebrating one of the most popular and much loved festivals of India – Holi!

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