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Major Festivals of India

In India, numerous numbers of festivals are celebrated.


Three types of festivals are mainly celebrated in India such as National, Religious
and Seasonal. Each festival has its own significance and teachings.
1. National Festivals are celebrated with proud and have super-patriotic fervor.
Republic day, Independence day and Gandhi Jayanti are the three national festivals
of India.
2. Religious Festivals shows the religious association of people with the festival.
The major religious festivals includes Holi, Raksha Bandhan, Diwali, Krishna
Janamastami, Durga-Puja, Dussehra, Maha Shivaratri, Eid, Christmas, Easter,
Buddha Purnima, Mahavir Jayanti, etc.
3. Seasonal and Harvesting festivals are celebrated to mark the harvesting of
crops and the change of seasons. The major seasonal and harvesting festivals that
are celebrated in India includes Basant Panchami, Pongal, Makar Sankranti, Lohri,
Onam, Baisakhi, Bhogali bihu, etc.

1. National Festivals in India


1.1 Republic Day
Republic Day is celebrated all over the country on 26 th January every year. On this
day, i.e., 26th January, 1950, Indias constitution came into force. On this day, the
National song, Jana Gana Mana can be heard throughout the country.
1.2 Independence Day
Independence Day is celebrated all over the country on 15th August each year. On
this day, i.e., 15th August, 1947, India got its independence from the hands of the
British Empire and hence in other countries this day is also termed as India Day.
Every Indians feel proud on this day.
1.3 Gandhi Jayanti
Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated every year on 2 nd October in the eve of birth of
Mahatma Gandhi, popularly called a Father of the Nation. The untiring efforts of
Mahatma Gandhi helped India to gain its freedom and independence. Raghupati
Raghav, his favourite song, can be heard on this day.

2. Religious Festivals in India


There are many types of religious festivals celebrated in India. Some important of
them are discussed below:
2.1 Holi
The most colorful festival of the Hindus is Holi. It generally lasts for two days. The
ceremony of Holika Dahan is observed on the first day. On the following day,
people play holi by painting the face and clothes of each others. They also throw
colors on to friendly passers-by. Holi festival is generally celebrated in between the
month of end of February and beginning of March. It is also known as Spring
Festival.
2.2 Raksha Bandhan
The beautiful relation of a brother and a sister is celebrated in the festival of Raksha
Bandhan. Traditionally, girls tie a string of thread on the wrist of her brother.
This thread of love reminds the brother of his responsibility to always take care,
support and protect his sister under all circumstances. This is followed by exchange
of sweets and gifts.
2.3 Diwali
Diwali is celebrated in between the months of October and December and is also
termed as Festival of Lights, as on this day every people, especially Hindus,
lighten up their houses with lights including candles and diyas. It is celebrated in
honour of Lord Rama. He returned to his kingdom, Ayodhya, after spending 14
years in forest. On this day, people dress themselves in their best outfit and take
part in their family function. This day is celebrated in the mark of victory of good
over bad.
There is a tradition of worshiping Devi Lakshmi and Ganpati Deva on this day. It
is done for securing peace, prosperity, wealth and happiness.
2.4 Krishna Janamastami
Hindus celebrate this festival on the birth anniversary of Lord Sri Krishna.
Thousands of devotees gather together in temples and cheerfully worship the Lord.
In many places, the popular event of Dahi Handi, takes place.

2.5 Durga Puja


People worship Devi Durga on this day. Durga Puja is the most popular in West
Bengal. An idol of Devi Durga is placed in various pandals. Devi Durga is seen
holding weapons in her ten hands to kill Mahisasura (evil demon). The priest
worships the idol of Devi Durga and chant traditional mantras. People wear new
clothes and move out of their homes to see the beautifully decorated Pandals.
2.6 Dussehra
People celebrate Dussehra festival to mark the victory of Lord Rama over
Ravana. Rama is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Ravana was an evil demon.
It signifies the victory of good over the evil. People go to see the famous folk play of
Ram Lila. The story of Lord Rama is shown in the play. It is a great time to enjoy and
take inspiration from virtuous acts of Rama.
2.7 Maha Shivaratri
Maha means great, Ratri means night and Shiva refers to Lord Shiva. The
marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati took place on this day. This is a
great time to worship Lord Shiva and seek his blessings. There is a tradition of
offering a holy bath to the Shiva Lingam. People celebrate this festival by fasting,
offering sweets to god, etc.
2.8 Eid
It is a festival of Muslim culture; they celebrate mainly two festival, i.e., Eid-ul-Fitr
(Feast of Breaking of Fast) and Eid-ul-Adha (Feast of sacrifice). The Eid festivals are
those festivals which unfold love and happiness to near and dear ones.
2.9 Christmas
Christmas is celebrated every year on 25th December on the eve of birth
anniversary of Jesus Christ. This is one of the most sacred festivals for Christians as
they believe Jesus Christ to be the son of God. It is believed that on this day a man
in red dress named Santa Clause comes to help the needy one and brings gifts for
the loved ones. People also decorate their houses along with Christmas tree.
2.10 Easter

Easter Sunday is a day which is celebrated in the eve of resurrection of Lord Jesus
Christ from the dead after 3 days from his crucifixion. Easter Sunday is celebrated in
between the month of March and April.
These are the most important religious festivals which are celebrated in India with
great pomp and show.
2.11 Buddha Purnima
Buddha Purnima celebrated actually for the eve of birth, enlightenment and passing
into nirvana of Gautama Buddha. It is observed every year generally in between
the month of April and May.
2.12 Mahavir Jayanti
The birth anniversary of Lord Mahavira is celebrated by the people belonging to
Jain faith. The celebration involves ceremonial bath to Lord Mahavira, processions,
and lectures.

3. Seasonal and Harvesting Festivals in India


There are many types of seasonal and harvesting festivals celebrated in India. The
most important of them are discussed below:
3.1 Basant Panchami
The day of Basant Panchami (also Vasant Panchami) is celebrated by the Hindus as
Saraswati Puja. It is usually celebrated every year in the month of February. This
festival marks the beginning of the Holi festival and also the spring season. On this
day, people worship the Goddess of knowledge, music, culture, i.e., Devi Saraswati.
3.2 Pongal / Makar Sankranti
In Tamil Nadu, 14th of January is celebrated every year as the Pongal Day. In many
part of India, this day is celebrated as Makar Sankranti. This festival is marked
with prosperity and abundance. On this day, freshly harvested cereals and foods are
cooked. On the day of Makar Sankaranti, people worship the Sun God.
3.3 Lohri
Lohri is celebrated on a day proceeding to Makar Sankranti festival, i.e., on
13th January every year. Lohri Festival is also known as Maghi Festival as it marks
the beginning of the Hindu Month Magh and end of the Hindu month Paush.

3.4 Onam
Onam is principally celebrated by the people of Kerala generally in between the
month of August and September. On this day, people use to wear their best attire
and celebrate the festival with great gusto. On this day, snake boat races are held in
which different kinds and shaped of boat participate in the race.
3.5 Baisakhi
Baisakhi festival is celebrated every year in the month of April. People use to take
bath early in the morning for the Baisakhi festival and enjoy the day with friends
and families. This day also coincides with the many other festivals celebrated within
the month of April like Makar Sankranti, etc.
3.6 Bhogali Bihu
Bhogali Bihu is a traditional harvesting festival of the state of Assam. People
celebrate this day by sporting new clothes and also by cleaning and washing their
homes. On this very auspicious day, people use to exchange gifts and eat several
mouth watering items.
3.7 Bihu Dance
Bihu dance is celebrated by the people of the Assam during the Bihu festival. Bihu
dance is one of the most vibrant and colorful folk dance festivals in India. This
dance is participated by both young men and women. This is a totally different kind
of dance form in which participants are seen doing rapid dance steps with a series
of quick hand movement.
Importance of Festivals in India
The importance of festivals is different for different people.
Kids celebrate the festival season as day of holidays and that they will get a lot of
sweets to eat. For some people, these days are celebrated as a reunion day. They
spend these days with their families and friends.
For some, this day is a day of relaxation and for others its a day of family
outing. Festivals help us to promote national integration and bring peace and
harmony within our society.