India is an incredible land- a land of festivities and celebrations. Being a country of diversity, India witnesses countless festivals each month. What makes India incredible is the spirit of its people. From a small kid to the oldest member in a family, every human celebrates the festivals, regardless of religious or ideological differences. A celebration of the uniqueness of the country glues the people together. People from different ethnicities, cultures, and traditions participate in every festival as a community. Festivals that celebrate unity, religion, and even trade tell the true story of India. Some of them being a holiday, festivals raise the spirits of the people.
Recognizing the day India became a Republic, 26th January is a day of saluting the national martyrs. It is a day to celebrate the achievements of the nation. All the citizens of the country celebrate the day through dancing and singing in the cultural programs. Folk dances, patriotic songs, and flag hoisting fill the streets of India with a sense of unity and nationalism. A huge parade is organized at Rajpath that displays the different hues of Indian culture and democracy. The fighter planes of the Air Force soar in the sky, making every Indian proud. A ceremony called “Beating Retreat” is held at the Vijay Chowk in New Delhi.
Marking the end of British rule in India, the 15th of August is celebrated as Independence day. It is a day of celebration and remembrance of the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the country. Every year, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India hoists a flag on the Red Fort and addresses the nation. People show their patriotism by singing the national anthem.
A celebration of the end of winters and welcoming of the spring, Holi is one of the most vibrant festivals of India. It is a two-day festival celebrated majorly in the North of India. Holi is a festival of colors where people smear different color powders on each other’s faces. The sweet fragrance of homemade dessert and cuisines in every household add to the merry of the day. Tourists from all around the world visit Mathura and Vrindavan to immerse themselves in the colors of India.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated to mark the day Lord Ganesha was born. The elephant-headed god, Ganesha is a symbol of new beginnings and auspiciousness. Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10 days long event. The devotees bring idols of the deity to their home as a guest. The hosts pray and serve “bhog” to the deity. Friends and family gather to ask for blessings from Lord Ganesha. On the last day of the festival, the idols are immersed in water with the hope that all bad luck goes away with Him.
Durga Puja is an important festival for the people of West Bengal. Celebrated across India, it is a day of worshipping the Goddess Durga. Singing, dancing, and feasting are an integral part of this festival. On the day of the puja, people dress up in traditional outfits and visit Durga temples to pray for their well being.
It is a grand festival in India as it is the day Lord Rama defeated Ravana. Dussehra is celebrated to signify the victory of good over evil. On this day, a huge figurine of Ravana, Kumbhkaran, and Meghanath is burnt. Actors dress up as the characters of Ramayana and enact the whole story. The celebrations usually begin a week before Dussehra. Fairs are also organised where people eat street food and enjoy the epic. Generally, a big ferris wheel can be found in the Mela.
After spending 14 years in exile, Lord Rama, Laskhman, and Sita came back to Ayodhya on this day. And to welcome the trio, the people of Ayodhya lit up the whole city with lamps. The tradition continues to this day and clay lamps are lit in every household. The houses are cleaned and decorated. Rangolis are made in the verandah to make the occasion colorful. People also dance, sing, and exchange gifts with families and friends. Every house and street in India is illuminated on this day.
India celebrates the festival of joy and love with great fervour. It is a day when people are filled with hope and affection. Carols are sung, and people get together to dive into the spirit of the festival. Christmas trees and decorations put people in the mood for parties. The chilly winters add to the charm of the festival.
Pushkar Mela is one of the largest camel fairs in the world. Pushkar becomes a cattle trading ground for 12 days. The true essence of the Rajasthani culture can be observed in Pushkar. Folk dancing, music, hot air balloon rides, safaris, and many more activities take place at the fair. Devotees take a dip in the lake of Pushkar on Kartik Purnima and pray at the Brahma Temple.
Festivals in India bring immense joy to the lives of people. The days are filled with zeal and merry. Vibrant colors, music, festivities, and playful rituals make the subcontinent a country of culture. The Deccan Odyssey passes through the land of these diverse festivals of India. It offers a part of the celebration to the passengers.