India is a land of festivals. It encompasses people from different religions and cultures and thus celebrates numerous religious festivals. Indians also celebrate three national festivals. Festivals in India are awaited all year long and are celebrated with great pomp and show. The entire atmosphere is filled with joy and enthusiasm during the festive season. People of India love their festivals and celebrate even the less significant ones with enthusiasm. Festivals of India reflect the rich cultural heritage of its people; their faith in each other’s religious beliefs; mutual harmony among the people of India and their love for the nation and its heritage.
Long and Short Essays on Indian Festivals
Essay 1 (250 words)
In India, festival time is awaited all year round, particularly by the students. They look forward to the festivals owing to various reasons. One of the main reasons for this is that the schools and colleges are closed during the festivals and this offers a respite from the mundane routine and strict study schedule. Students also love festivals as it is time to meet their cousins and relatives who bestow them with gifts. Besides, they get to eat a lot of delicious sweets and wear new dresses.
Celebrations in Schools/Colleges
Festivals in India are not only celebrated at home with family but are also celebrated in schools and colleges. The educational institutes are decked up with flowers, lights, beautiful posters, and colorful drapes during festivals. Students are asked to come in ethnic wear to add to the color of the festivals.
The usual classroom sessions are replaced by fun activities on these days. Cultural programs and other interesting activities form a part of the festive celebrations in schools and colleges. Students, as well as teachers, participate in these activities wholeheartedly and the entire atmosphere is filled with joy and laughter.
These celebrations are usually done a day before the festival as it is a holiday on the day of the festival.
Understanding the Cultural Roots
Indian festivals are a reflection of the culture of the country. The celebrations held on the festivals acquaint the students with the culture and tradition of our country. Each festival has a religious connotation and a tradition attached to it. Festival time is a great opportunity to make the students understand the cultural roots of our country and help them connect with it.
Indian festivals are thus important for the students in more than one way. These are a great way to bond with the near and dear ones and also to know about the country’s rich cultural past.
Essay 2 (400 words)
Indians give special importance to their festivals. Be it regional festivals or national festivals – all the festivals in our country are celebrated with love and joy. There is a holiday in schools, colleges, and offices on most of these festivals.
Religious Connotation Renders Importance to Festivals
The importance of festivals in India can very well be seen in the way these are celebrated. People do not only celebrate festivals at home but also visit their near and dear ones to celebrate them together. The celebrations are also done in schools and workplaces. Our culture holds high regard for religious practices. People in India are mostly God-fearing.
Since the Indian festivals have certain religious connotations attached to them, Indians celebrate these with all their hearts to please their deities and bring in positivity and happiness in their life. For instance, Diwali is celebrated to celebrate Lord Rama’s return to his home town, Ayodhya. Janamashtmi celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, Durga Puja is celebrated to offer prayers to Goddess Durga and her various avatars and Ganesh Chaturthi are celebrated to offer prayers to Lord Ganesha.
Festival Time is Considered Auspicious
Festival time is considered to be auspicious as per the Hindu religion. This is another reason why people give so much importance to this time. They wait for this time to start anything new in life so as to begin on a good note. For instance, people believe moving to a new house during Navratras or on the occasion of Diwali brings in good luck, similarly joining a new job during the Ganesha festival or on Makar Sankranti can prove to be good for them.
Similarly, many other festivals such as Baisakhi, Guru Purnima, Pongal, Maha Shivratri, Rama Navami, Basant Panchami, and Akshaya Tritiya are considered highly auspicious and are especially awaited, to begin with, something new such as buying a new shop, starting a business, signing a big business deal, fixing wedding date, etc.
National Festivals are Equally Important
Our national festivals especially Independence Day reminds us of the struggle and sacrifice that our people went through to gain independence. All three national festivals of India are given special importance. The whole country gets immersed in patriotism during this time. These festivals are celebrated in full swing across the country. These are a way to pay respect to our brave patriotic leaders.
Thus, festivals hold high importance for Indians. Whether they live in India or abroad, Indians give special importance to their festivals and celebrate them with joy and happiness.
Essay 3 (500 words)
India is often called the land of festivals because of the numerous colorful and joyous festivals celebrated here. People belonging to different castes, cultures, and traditions reside in different parts of our country. Each religion has its set of festivals based on its religious beliefs.
The people belonging to the south have their own festivals; people from the north give importance to some other festivals while those living in the East celebrate some other festivals. However, there are certain festivals that are celebrated throughout the country with equal enthusiasm. Some such festivals include Diwali, Holi, and Raksha Bandhan.
Main Festivals of India
The main festivals of India are the ones that people belonging to all the religions and regions in our country look forward to and celebrate with great fervor. Here are some of these festivals:
Diwali is one of the main festivals of our country. People celebrate it with great joy and enthusiasm. The preparation for its celebration begins almost a month before the festival. People clean their houses and shop for decorative items to deck up their place. The houses are decorated with lights, candles, and diyas. People make rangolis, worship Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha and burn firecrackers to celebrate this festival. The entire country lights up on this day.
Holi is the festival of color. It is one of the most fun-filled Indian festivals. Though it has a religious connotation to it, the whole purpose of this day is to have fun and let loose. People apply color on each other and eat sweets. This festival is celebrated collectively in housing societies and residential colonies.
People gather around to color each other and throw water on one another as a part of the Holi celebration. Loud music is played at most places and people groove to the beats of foot-tapping songs as they enjoy this festival. At some places, people even beat each other with sticks and throw mud on each other as a tradition.
- Raksha Bandhan
Raksha Bandhan is yet another Indian festival that is celebrated all across the country. This festival is celebrated to strengthen the brother-sister bond. Sisters visit their brothers on this day and tie rakhi on their wrist. The brothers in turn promise to protect their sisters and be there for them in the hour of need. This is followed by the exchange of sweets. The brothers also bring special gifts for their sisters on this day. Those who cannot visit each other send rakhi and gifts via post.
This is indeed a beautiful tradition which is being followed since ages. There are many mythological stories behind the celebration of Raksha Bandhan. This is not only a time for the brothers and sisters to bond but is also a time to strengthen familial ties. The celebration takes place early in the morning and it is followed by a family brunch.
Ganesh Chaturthi, Janamashtmi, Navratri, Eid Ul Fitr, Baisakhi, Onam, Pongal, Bihu, Gurupurab, Navratri, Guru Purnima, Ram Navami, Vasant Panchami, Durga Puja, Chhath and Dussehra are among some of the other festivals that are celebrated with immense zeal in different parts of India with some of these being specific to a particular region. No wonder, our country is called a land of festivals.
Essay 4 (600 words)
Indian festivals are based on religious beliefs. Indians worship various Gods and Goddesses and the various festivals they celebrate are dedicated to one deity or the other. These festivals are a way to offer prayers to the deities and seek their blessings to bring in happiness, prosperity, and love.
Indian Festivals Based on Religious Beliefs
Here are some of the Indian festivals and the religious beliefs attached to them:
It is believed that it was the day when Lord Rama killed Ravana to free Sita from his clutches. It marks the victory of the good over the evil. Huge effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran, and Meghnath are burned in different parts of the country on this day to celebrate the occasion.
Diwali or Deepawali is said to be the day when Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman after an exile of 14 years. The entire town was lit with diyas to welcome them. The occasion is celebrated today. Each year, people clean their houses and deck them up with lights, diyas, and candles to celebrate the return of Lord Rama.
Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped during the evening hours on this day as it is believed that this brings in prosperity and good luck.
The auspicious nine days of Navratras are dedicated to Goddess Durga. It is said that Goddess Durga was created jointly by Lord Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva and was bestowed with power by all these Gods to render strength to her. She was created to kill demon Mahishasura who had been killing innocent people. Goddess Durga fought with him for nine days and beheaded him on the tenth day. This again was the battle between good and evil and it was the good that emerged victoriously.
People observe fast during Navratri and worship different avatars of Goddess Durga each day to seek her blessings.
- Ganesh Chaturthi
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated to rejoice the birthday of Lord Ganesha. The festivities continue for ten days. It is believed that Lord Ganesha comes to Earth during these days every year and spreads joy everywhere. His devotees believe that whoever worships Lord Ganesha during these days is freed from all the problems and negativity in life.
Idols of Lord Ganesha are brought home and prayers are sung in his praise every day. These idols are then immersed in the river on the last day of the pooja.
- Makar Sankranti
Makar Sankranti is another major Hindu festival. It is known by different names in different parts of the country. In Assam it is known by the name Bihu, in Tamil Nadu, it is referred to as Pongal, in Gujarat it is called Uttarayan and in Bengal, it is known as Poush Parbon. The day is extremely auspicious for the Hindus. It is believed that taking a holy dip in the sacred river Ganga on this day can help get rid of all the bad deeds and cleanses one’s aura.
- Karva Chauth
This is mostly celebrated in North India. On this day, women observe fast for the long life of their husbands. It is believed that fasting on this day pleases God who renders good health and long life to the husbands. Women don’t eat or drink anything during the day. They dress up traditionally during the evening and perform a pooja. They have food and water only after seeing the moon at night.
Similarly, Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of Lord Krishna, Maha Shivratri is celebrated to offer prayers to Lord Shiva and Gurpurab is celebrated to rejoice the birth of Guru Nanak Dev, the first Sikh guru.
Apart from the National festivals of India, all the other festivals have some religious beliefs tied to them. On these festivals, people offer prayers to their deities, wear ethnic clothes and make merry with their near and dear ones.