Diversity flourishes. With Festivals of India, you will find there is almost everyday something being celebrated in India. Everything here is unique. Be it language, cuisine, religion, or even the attire differ, depending on which part of the country we discover ourselves in
India, a country with a dynamic culture, a land of Vibrant Festivals where people from different religions coexist harmoniously. With Festivals of India, you will find there is almost everyday something being celebrated in India.
Whether it’s a Hindu festival, Islamic or any religious festival, every Indian celebrate all these festival wholeheartedly, you will find there is almost everyday something being celebrated in India.
Celebration of Indian Festivals always drawn tourists from different states of India and around the world not only because of beautiful culture, paying a visit to India at the time of festival can let them explore the rich heritage and meaningful experience along with local people there and can see the country at its most sparkling.
The month of October to January is always vibrant and energetic because of the main festivals which every Indian celebrates come in these months.
What else can your eyes grab to discover the strenuous and vivacious colours of India other than its cultural resolution?
You can’t skip the dignified symbol of Indian culture… its fullness, view of colours, the connection between spirituality, and strange ceremonies.
Everything appears to be new every year if you are revisiting and recall the same celebrations. And did I just say festivals???
Then I must say that if you are endeavoring to explore the best of Indian culture, you must not overlook any of the cultural festivals in India.
Below is just a complete list of “top 12 cultural festivals in India” that one must experience once in a lifetime…
1. Makar Sankranti and Pongal: Celebration of starting of New Harvest Season, Rich Rangolis And Sweet Savories
Feast days: Begins on 14th January and ends on 18th January
Celebration of Makar Sankranti is done the very next day Lohri on a fixed date that is 14 January every year indicates the close of the Winter period and the opening of a new harvest season when farmers set down their tools and come unitedly in joy and peace.
PONGAL is a celebration of harvesting season by the Tamilians is a 4 days long festival, generally between the 15th of January and the 18th of January. On the second day of Pongal, the celebrations are headed by boiling milk in new clay pots during sunrise and when the milk boils over yelling “Pongalo Pongal”.The word Pongal in Tamil implies an abundance of crop, wealth and health and the best time to visit Tamil Nadu
Importance: Beginning of agricultural cycle
Chief attractions: Kite flying in North region and bull-taming sport in south Region
Best Place to Visit: The best place to visit Makar Sankranti in India is North region and Pongal in South Region
2. Maha Shivratri: Devotion To Lord Shiva
Feast Day: Celebrated on 21st Feb (2020)
Next Celebration 11th march,2021
Devoted to Lord Shiva, this Indian festival holds immense regard among the adherents of Lord Shiva. Among the most significant days in a Hindu calendar year, Maha Shivratri rejoices as the day Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati. The festivities are identified with all-day fasting and all-night vigils through singing and dancing and giving Bael or golden apple leaves.
Importance: Devotion to Lord Shiva
Chief attractions: Fasting and worshipping Lord Shiva
Best Place to Visit: The best place to visit Bhubaneshwar.
3. Holi: The Most Colourful Festival Of India
Feast Day: Celebrated on 9th and 10th march (2020)
Next Celebration 28th and 29th march (2021)
The most colorful festival celebrated in the world, Holi is a delegate of India’s essence and vibrancy. The fascinating cultural festival feasted with colours and water in the month of March is a special festival identified all across the country. Celebrated across two days; the night ere the color playing family and friends meet to ignite a bonfire to memorialize the bunt of Holika and the next day people come out and play with colours and water in the spirit of joy.
Importance: Victory of Good on evil.
Chief attractions: Holika Dehan on Night and Celebration with Colours and pichkari on Next day with the spirit of joy
Best Place to Visit: The best places to visit Mathura, Vrindavan, Dwarka and Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.
4. Baisakhi and Bihu: The Rich Traditions, Dance, Music, And LaughterAnd Cultural Prosperity
Feast Days: 13th and 14th April.
With the Welcoming of the harvest fall for the rabi crops, Baisakhi is the Famous and major celebration in the Sikh community. The festival is of great religious importance in India as it signifies the day when the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, set out the establishment gem for the Panth Khalsa-the Order back in 1699.
Throughout Bihu festivals in India, a society celebration is held with a lot of fanfare. Its the harvest festival of Assam with month-long ceremonies, young men and women wear their traditional outfits and present the Bihu dance in the village fields and courtyards.
Importance: Traditional New Year Celebration.
Chief attractions: Baisakhi Folk dance, Punjabi feasts, decorations in houses, and Gurudwaras. The Bihu dance and the local cuisine – coconut laddoo, til pitha, while pitha, and fish pitika
Best Place to Visit: The best places to visit for Baisakhi in Punjab and Assam For Bihu
5. Eid-Ul-Fitr: Lavish Buffets & Sweet Festivities
Feast Days: Celebrated on 23rd may (2020)
Next Celebration 12th May (2021)
Eid-Ul-Fitr, the symbolic festival of the brotherhood and cultural uniqueness is one of the main festivities of India for the Muslim community. People wear fineries, attend unique community devotions in the morning, visit friends, and relatives and exchange sweets
Importance: End of the holy period of fasting called Ramadan.
Chief attractions: The splendidly decorated up stores and mosques, the morning Eid namaz at the mosques, and the sweet preparations.
Best Place to Visit: The best places to visit for Eid-Ul-Fitr is Delhi, Lucknow, and Hyderabad.
6. Hemis: Peaceful Hymns And bright Attire
Feast Days: Begins on 30th June
A two-day religious festival in Ladakh, Hemis is one of the most prestigious festivals of India which draws a lot of locals and foreign visitors each year. The celebrations include the Cham dance performed with the priests to the tune of the traditional music of cymbals, drums, trumpets played by the monks. It’s among the most novel types of the festival where the dancing priests dress up in elegant brocade outfits and covers.
Importance: Celebration of the birth ceremony of holy head Padmasambhava, the originator of Tibet Tantric Buddhism.
Chief attractions: The scenic Hemis monastery and the Cham dance
Best Place to Visit: The best places to visit for Hemis Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir
7.Onam: Welcoming The Mighty Mahabali
Feast Days: Begins on 22nd Aug
It is Kerala’s Supreme festival which is rejoiced by Malayalis during the month of Chingam, the first month in the Malayalam calendar, Kollavarsham. People wear traditional wear, adorn houses with Pookalam, and prepare Onasadya.
Importance: A ceremony for the return of the legendary king Mahabali.
Chief attractions: Snake Boat Race, the enigmatic Kaikottikali dance, and the Elephant procession
Best Place to Visit: The best places to visit for ONAM is Kerala.
8. Ganesh Chaturthi: Eleven Days Of Pampering Lord Ganesha!
Feast Days: Begins on 22nd Aug
A 10-day affair of the colorful festival, Ganesha Chaturthi is originally rejoiced at home and in public by local community groups. Ganesha is universally admired as the remover of obstacles, the leader of arts and sciences, and the deva of intelligence and wisdom. As the god of inceptions, he is honored at the start of rites and ceremonies.
Importance: Celebration on the birth of Ganesha, the elephant-headed divinity god of prosperity and wisdom.
Chief attractions: The elegantly designed life-size idols of Ganesha, and the fascination ceremony
Best Place to Visit: The best places to visit for Ganesh Chaturthi are Maharashtra, central India, south India and parts of east and north India
9. Navratri: The Nine Days Of Fasting, Faith, & Devotion
Feast Days: Begins on 17th Oct and ends on 25th Oct.
The nine nights in Sanskrit; Nava signifying nine and Ratri signifying nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine various forms of the goddess are worshipped. It’s almost as if we’re proffering ourselves the time and space to strengthen and cleanse from within.
Importance: The celebration of the Goddess Durga’s nine avatars (forms)
Chief attractions: Garba playing of Gujrat is famous in all over India
Best Place to Visit: Almost solely across the country; most vibrant in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
10. Dussehra: Witness The Triumph Of Good Over Evil
Feast Days: Celebration on 25th Oct,2020
Signifies the end period of Navratri and mythologically it is considered that on this day Lord Rama killed the Devil Ravana and saved Goddess Sita from Lanka. It is also believed that Ram struggled for nine days in Lanka to win over Ravana. It’s ended with “Ravan Dahan” – the burning of huge effigies of Ravana, Meghnath, and Kumbhkaran which is a real scene to see.
Importance: The celebration on the death of the Mahishasura (devil)king Ravana at the hands of Lord Rama.
Chief attractions: Ram-Leela acts, and the big event of the burning of effigies of Ravana, Meghnath, and Kumbhkaran
Best Place to Visit: Almost solely across the country; most vibrant Mysore, Karnataka and Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
11. Diwali: The Grand Celebration Of Lights
Feast Days: Celebration on 14th Nov 2020
celebrated with a lot of pomp and show, Diwali is not an old Hindu festival that is rejoiced to signify the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over darkness, good over evil, and hope over desperation but has also religious importance in Sikhism and Jainism religions
Importance: The celebration on the return of Lord Rama, along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, after a long exile of 14 years.
Chief attractions: Decoration of Home with lights, candles, and diyas, Crackers, exchange of sweets and gifts with family and friends, worship of goddess Lakshmi
Best Place to Visit: All over the country
12.Christmas: Celebrating The Birth Of Jesus Christ
Feast Days: Celebration on 25th Dec 2020
Perhaps one of the most important and universally renowned as cultural as wells as spiritual festivals in India, Christmas is also celebrated with the same zeal and zest in India too. The gilded churches, the Santa Claus and the Christmas Eve gifts are part of the whole adventure of celebrating Christmas by not only Christians but people from other religion too.
Importance: The celebration of the birth of Lord Jesus Christ
Chief attractions: Decoration of Christmas tree, Prayers
Best Place to Visit: The best places to visit for Christmas are Goa, Pondicherry, and Kerala.
The myriad of major festivals of India boasts of the nation’s rich and diverse culture and the holy feelings of the people. I hope this list of prestigious festivals of India sparked an urge to tour to diverse places and be a part of ceremonies.
Read More: Top 5 Places to Visit in India After Lockdown