Festivals of India

Indian Festivals

India is well known all over the world as a country of cultural and traditional festivals as it has many cultures and religions. One can enjoy the festival celebration in India every month. As it is a secular country full of diversity in the religions, languages, cultures and castes, it is always crowded with the people involved in the fairs and festivals celebration. People from each religion have their own cultural and traditional festivals. Some of the festivals are celebrated by the people of all religions in the entire nation. Each and every festival is celebrated uniquely in different ways according to the rituals, beliefs and its significant history behind. Each festival has its own history, legend and significance of celebration. Indian origin people in the abroad also celebrate their cultural festival with the immense passion.

India is a country with example of unity in diversity as it contains people of various religions like Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain, Christian and etc. Some of the festivals are celebrated at national level whereas some of are at regional level. According to the religions and rituals, festivals have been categorized into following categories:

Hindu Festivals

There are lots of cultural and traditional festivals celebrated by the people of Hindu religion all over the world. Hinduism is considered as the oldest organized religion of the world as well as counted as the third largest religion of the world. Each Hindu festival celebration has a special ritual to be celebrated in that way by the act of worship, offerings to deities, offering Ganga Jal, fasting, bathing in Ganga jal in early morning, feasting, Dan, Dakshina, Puja, Katha, Hoom, aarti and so many. All the people of Hindu religion celebrate their festivals by uniting together in community without any distinction of age, caste and gender.

The dates of the Hindu festivals are fixed according to the dates of the Hindu calendar, lunar calendar which depends on the sun and moon movements throughout the year. Some of the festivals of Hindu are celebrated as the historical mythology, some for seasonal changes and some for cleaning and keeping the environment safe. Some of the festivals celebrations are limited to the specific sects or Indian subcontinent regions.

There are many believes in the Hinduism because of various historical sculptures (Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata and Ramayana), ancient and sacred religious text (Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda), Hindus deities and etc. The birth and death anniversaries of the god and goddess are also celebrated in the Hinduism with lots of fun and frolic activities such as music, dance and etc. Below is the list of all the Hindu festivals:

Festivals in 2016

Hindu Festivals Date – 2016
Lohri13th January, Wednesday
Makar Sankranti14th January, Thursday
Pongal15th January, Friday
Vasant Panchami12th February, Friday
Thaipusam24th January, Sunday
Maha Shivaratri7th March, Monday
Holika Dahan23rd March, Wednesday
Holi24th March, Thursday
Chaitra Navratri8th April 2016, Friday to 16th April 2016, Saturday
Ugadi/Telugu New Year8th April, Friday
Gangaur Festival9th April, Saturday
Mewar Festival9th April, Saturday – 11th April, Monday
Ram Navami15th April, Friday
Mahavir Jayanti19th April, Tuesday
Hanuman Jayanti22nd April, Friday
Rath Yatra6th July, Wednesday
Guru Purnima19th July, Tuesday
Onam13th September, Tuesday
Raksha Bandhan18th August, Thursday
Kumbh Mela29th August 2016, Monday to 18th September 2016, Sunday
Janmashtami25th August, Thursday
Ramlila08th September 2016, Thursday to 08 October 2016, Saturday
Ganesh Chaturthi5th September, Monday
Brahmotsavam16th September 2016, Friday to 24th September 2016, Saturday
Pitr Paksh16th September 2016, Friday to 30th September 2016, Friday
Rambarat8th October, Saturday
Navratra1st October 2016, Saturday to 10th October 2016, Monday
Dussehra11th October, Tuesday
Maharishi Valmiki jayanti16th October, Sunday
Karva Chauth19th October, Wednesday
Dev Uthani Ekadashi10th November, Thursday
Dhanteras28th October, Friday
Diwali30th October, Sunday
Govardhan Puja31st October, Monday
Bhai Dooj1st November, Tuesday

Muslim Festivals

All the people of Muslim religion enthusiastically celebrate their all the Islamic festivals all over the world. There are many religious festivals which they celebrate with great passion and dedication by following the date of their Islamic calendar. Some of the very important Islam festivals are Ramzan (Ramadan), Id-e-Milad, Muharram, Bakr-Id and etc which they celebrate in special ways by offering prayers in the mosques, feasting, fasting and wishing to each other.

They decorate their homes with colored lights and other things in the evening and celebrate throughout the night by getting together. Some of the Islamic festivals have been declared as the public holiday in the educational institutions, government offices and other working place. Islam was founded by the spiritualist Muhammad around the 7th century which has become the 2nd largest religion worldwide. The Islam has five most significant Pillars such as “Shahadah (Faith), Salah (Prayer), Zakah (Donate), Sawm (Fasting) and Hajj (Pilgrimage)”. Below is the list of all Muslim festivals:

Muslim Festivals Date – 2016
Barawafat11th December, Sunday
Milad-Un-Nabi11th December, Sunday
Giaravahin Sharif22nd January, Friday
Hazarat Ali’s Birthday21st April, Thursday
Shab E Miraj5th May, Thursday
Shab-e-Barat22nd May, Sunday
Jamat-Ul-Vida1st July, Friday
Id-ul-Fitr (Ramzan Eid)7th July, Thursday
Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid or Eid Ul-Adha)12th September, Monday
Muharram12th October (Evening of Wednesday) to 11th November (Evening of Friday)

Sikh Festivals

As India is considered as the country of numerous religions, cultures and traditions that’s why it is known as having unity in diversity. People of Sikh religion have lots of unique and ritual festivals which they celebrate with full courage and enjoyment. They commemorate the lives of their 10 Sikh gurus including their teachings. Some Hindu festivals are also celebrated by the people of Sikh religion having different reasons of celebration.

All the worship at the festival in Sikhism is directed towards the holy book called “the Guru Granth Sahib” which was first compiled by the Sikh guru, Guru Nanak and later edited by the Sikh Guru, Arjan. The Guru Granth of the Sikh religion has the place of deity among people and taken out on a palanquin in the public processions while celebrating any Sikh festival. They involve lots of music and religious songs, readings from the holy book, holy songs, singing of gurbani while celebrating their festivals in order to attach with God. Below is the list of all Sikh festivals:

Sikh Festivals Date – 2016
Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti16th January, Saturday
Lohri13th January, Wednesday
Holla Mohalla25th March, Friday to 27th March, Sunday
Sodal melaSeptember
Birthday Guru Ramdassji9th October, Sunday
Guru Nanak Jayanti6th November, Sunday
Guru Purab
Installation of Guru Granth Sahibji

Jain Festivals

People from Jain religion have lots of rituals and religious ceremonies to be celebrated as the festival. Their rituals belong to the idol worships in various ways and festivals belong to the life events of Tirthankara which involves the purification of the soul. Their rituals are divided in two parts named Karya and Kriya. According to the Jain Svetambara there are six obligatory duties called Six Avashyakas which are “Chaturvishnati-stava: praising Tirthankaras, Kayotsarga: meditation, Pratikramana: expiation of past sins, Pratyakhyana: renunciation of anything, Samyika: practising serenity and meditation and Vandan: respecting teachers and ascetics”.

According to the Jain Digambara there are six duties which are “Dana: charity, Devapuja: worship of Tirthankaras, Guru-upashti: respecting teachers and ascetics, Sanyam: controlling self by following different rules, Swadhyaya: studying spiritual texts and Tapa: austerities” which has been involved as a fundamental ritual activities of the Jains. Below is the list of all Jain festivals:

Jain Festivals Date – 2016
Deep Diwali
Mahamastak Abhishek
Mahavir Jayanti19th April, Tuesday
Paryushan28th August, Sunday

Christian Festivals

As India is a land of variety of cultures and ethnicity because of celebrating lots of colorful festivals by the people of different religions. People of the Christian religion celebrate their festivals like Christmas, Easter, Good Friday and etc with big enthusiasm and fun filled activities. People from other religions also become involve in the Christmas celebrations which proves the unity in diversity of India.

There are various famous places in India where the Christian festivals are celebrated such as Goa as most of the oldest and beautiful churches are there. They do feast, prayers and processions while celebrating their festivals. Below is the list of all Christian festivals:

Christian Festivals Date – 2016
Good Friday25th March, Friday
Easter27 March, Sunday
Christmas25 December, Sunday

Buddhist Festivals

People from Buddhist religion celebrate their festivals well connected to their Lord Buddha and the Bodhisattvas. It is considered that the Buddhist festivals were first started by the lord Buddha and He advised his followers to be in touch with each other to strengthen their bond. Buddhist has their own beliefs and rituals of celebrating historical festivals. The do worship of the historical objects while celebrating their festivals.

Their festivals become more religious, spiritual and intellectual which are not restricted to any service of the community. Below is the list of all the Buddhist festivals:

Buddhist Festivals Date – 2016
Losar8th February, Monday
Buddha Purnima21st May, Saturday
Hemis Gompa26th June, Sunday to 27th June, Monday
Ullambana17th August, Wednesday