“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers…

An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.
09/02/2023 11:49 AM

“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers……….
An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

The Knowledge Library

Introduction of Festivals

Indian festivals are broadly divided into two types:

  • Religious Festivals : Religious Festivals are celebrated by those who believe in a particular religion and practice their rituals.
  • Secular Festivals : Secular festivals are celebrated by the entire nation irrespective of their religious denominations.

Religious Festivals

Kumbha Mela

  • It is a mass Hindu pilgrimage.
  • The normal Kumbha Mela is celebrated every 3 years, the Ardh Kumbh Mela is celebrated every six years at Haridwar and Prayag.
  • The Purna Kumbha Mela takes place every twelve years at four places Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik.
  • The Maha Kumbh Mela which comes after 12 Purna Kumbha Mela or 144 years is held at Allahabad.

Dipawali

  • It is popularly known as the festival of lights.
  • Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana from his fourteen-year-long exile and vanquishing the demon King Ravana.
  • United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) has issued special stamps with Diyas lamps (special event sheet) to commemorate India Hindu festival of Diwali.
  • These stamps are available at UN headquarters post office in New York, US and also online.

Makar Sankranti

  • It is a festival dedicated to Sun god, who is also considered to be the king of all planets.
  • Usually, the festivals of Makar Sankranti fall on the 14th of January.
  • Although the festival is related to harvesting, it is also celebrated across the country as a kite-flying festival.

 Holi

  • It is also called the ‘Festival of Colours’.
  • According to the legend, the chhoti Holi is also called ‘Holika Dahan’.
  • Another legend attached to the main day of Holi is of the eternal love of Lord Krishna and Radha.

Janmashtami

  • It is the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna and is celebrated across the nation by the Hindu community.
  • It falls in the month of Shravan(July/August).
  • The festival is marked by the performance of Ras Leela or the playful acts of Radha-Krishna.
  • In Maharastra, this festival is called Dahi-handi.

 Dussehra

  • Also known as ‘Vijayadashami’.
  • Celebrated in the honour of Lord Rama’s Victory over Ravana.
  • In Himachal Pradesh, the villagers perform the ritualistic ‘Natti Dance’ for nine days after worshipping Lord Raghunath(Rama).

Ram Navami

  • The festival is celebrated in honour of the birth anniversary of Lord Rama.
  • The festival falls in the month of March/April of Chaitra.
  • Two special areas of celebration are in Ayodha and Puducherry.

Durga Puja

  • This festival is celebrated in honour of Goddess Durga’s triumph over the demon ‘Mahisasura’.
  • The festival is essentially the win of good over evil.
  • In Mysore, it is called as Dasara, and in Gujarat, people refer to the festival as ‘Navratri’ and celebrate it with dance-like Garba and Dandia.

Ganesh  Chaturthi

  • The Festival is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha.
  • The first god to be worshipped amongst the pantheon of Hindu gods.

Karva Chauth

  • Festival is celebrated by Hindu women all over the world as it is related to the well-being of their husbands.
  • Also known as Karthikki Chauth.

Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath

  • The biggest festival of the state of Odisha.
  • The rath yatra or the Chariot festival of Lord Jagannath takes place once in a year in the holy town of Puri.
  • Nabakalebara festival- In this festival, the idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra, and Sudarshan are replaced by new idols as it is believed that Lord Shree Jagannath adorned new body during Nabakalebara.

Mahashivratri

  • This festival is celebrated in the honour of Lord Shiva
  • It falls on the fourteenth day of the month of Magha (February or March)

Chhath

  • It is dedicated to Sun God (Surya) who sustains all life at earth.
  • It is celebrated on the sixth day of the lunar fortnight of Kartik month.

Eid-ul-Fitr

  • The festival falls on the last day of the holy month of Ramadan (Ramzan), which is the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar.
  • It is a time for Muslims to fast for the sake of God and to offer more prayer than usual.

Id-ul-Zuha or Id-ul-Azha

  • This is also known as Bakr-id or Id that involves the sacrifice of a goat or Bakra.
  • It is celebrated in the honour of the Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah.
  • This Eid also marks the beginning of the sacred period when many people undertake the pilgrimage to Macca, which is called Hajj.

Muharram

  • It is associated with the death of Hussain, son of Ali.
  • The festival falls in the first month of the Islamic calendar.

Christmas

  • Celebrated all across the world as the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ.
  • It falls on the 25th of December every year.

Gurpurab

  • It is celebrated for the birth anniversaries of all the 10 Sikh gurus but the most important is the Guru Nanak and Guru Govind Singh.
  • Akhand Path is held and people take out Prabhat Pheris or congregational singing of shabds or hymns that praise the lord.

Parkash Utsav Dasveh Patshah

  • This festival is celebrated on the birthday of 10th Sikh Guru Govind Singh.
  • Celebrated by Sikhs on 31st January every year.

Holla Mohalla

  • It is the big festival event for the Sikhs and also the beginning of Sikh New Year.
  • It is also known as “Sikh Olympics” for the events and competitions of horse riding, swordsmanship.

Vaisakhi

  • The religious festival celebrated on 13th and 14th April.
  • Commemorate the birth of Khalsa Panth.

Lohri

  • Lohri is celebrated a day before Makar Sankranti.

Mahavir Jayanti

  • Celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir (24th Tirthankar)
  • All the Jain temples are decorated with the Saffron Flag.

Mahamastakabhisheka

  • It is a Jain festival held once in twelve years in the town of Shravanabelgola in Karnataka.
  • This festival is the holy bathing ceremony of 57 ft high statue of Siddha Bahubali, son of Rishabdev.

Buddha Purnima

  • Buddha Jayanti is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha.
  • It is called Saga Dawa (Dasa) in Sikkim and Vishakha Puja in the Theravada tradition.
  • The celebration includes ritualistic prayers and listening to sermons on the life of Buddha.

Losar Festival

  • One of the main festivals celebrated across Arunachal Pradesh as it marks the Tibetan New Year.
  • It is celebrated by the tribes who believe in the Mahayana sect of Buddhism like Sherdukpens, Khamba, Memba, Monpa tribe, etc.

Jamshedi Navroz

  • The festival celebrates the festival of New Year for the Parsi Community.

SECULAR FESTIVALS

Gangaur Festival

  • Most important spring festivals celebrated in the country.
  • Celebrated in Rajasthan and has roots in medieval Rajput times.
  • It is a celebration of spring, harvest, and martial fidelity.

Khajuraho Dance Festival

  • Government of India in collaboration with Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad instituted this festival in 1975.
  • Is to promote Tourism in the State.

Teej

  • It is celebrated for the women of the household who apply Mehendi or henna on their hands and wear new clothes.

Thyagaraja Aradhana

  • To commemorate the ‘Samadhi day’ of the famous Tamil saint and composer Tyagaraja.

Onam

  • State Festival of Kerala falls at the beginning of the month of Chigam, the first month of the Malayalam calendar.
  • Mainly a harvest festival.
  • A prominent feature of Onam is the Vallamkali(The Snake Boat Race) held in Punnamada Lake.

Pongal

  • It is a harvest festival celebrated by Tamils around the world.
  • The word ‘Pongal’ means ‘to boil’ in Tamil i.e boiling of the first rice.

Sarhul

  • Marks the beginning of the New Year for the tribals of Jharkhand.
  • It is mainly celebrated by the Munda, Oraon, and Ho tribes.
  • Sarhul means ‘Worship of sal’.

Saga Dawa

  • It is mostly celebrated in the Buddhist communities living in the state of Sikkim.
  • Celebrated on the full moon day that falls in the middle of the Tibetan lunar month.
  • Festival is celebrated to commemorate the birth, enlightenment, and death (parinirvana) of the Buddha.

Losoong Festival

  • Celebrated in the honour of the Sikkimese New Year.
  • It is the celebration of the harvest season by the farmers

Bihu Festival

  • Bohag Bihu is one of the most popular festivals of Assam
  • Celebrating the New Year of Assamese
  • Assamese celebrate Bihu thrice in a year
    • Bohag or Rongali Bihu
    • Kati or Kongali Bihu
    • Maagh of Bhogali Bihu
  • The festival of Bihuis traditionally tried to the changing seasons and harvests.

Hornbill Festival

  • One of the major Agricultural Festivals celebrated in the state of Nagaland.
  • All the major Naga tribes attend this festival and congregate at the Kisama Heritage Village.

Cheiraoba Festival

  • The traditional festival of Sajibu Cheiraoba was celebrated in Manipur to mark the beginning of a new year with cultural gusto and religious fervor.
  • On the occasion of Sajibu Cheiraoba, People clean and decorate their houses and arrange joint family feast.
  • After meals, people start climbing nearby hills in the afternoon to offer prayers. Thabal Chongba, local folk dance is also being organized at different locations of Manipur valley.

Wangala Festival

  • This Festival is celebrated in Meghalaya by the Garo Tribe.
  • The festival is celebrated in the honour of Misi Saljong, a local deity.
  • Festival indicates the beginning of winter and is celebrated as a nod to the post-harvest season.
  • Also Known as the ‘100 Drum Wangala festival’ as loud drum noises herald the beginning of the festival.

Kang Chingba

  • The festival of Kang Chingba is one of the biggest Hindu festivals of Manipur.
  • It is similar to the ‘Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra’

Ambubachi Mela

  • It is held in the premises of the Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati in the state of Assam.
  • It has been dubbed as the ‘Mahakumbh of the East’
  • The festival is associated with fertility rituals.

Sekrenyi Festival

  • It is celebrated in the month of February by the Angami Tribe of Nagaland.

Majuli Festival

  • Celebrated in the state of Assam.
  • The tribal dishes of majuli and Assam are displayed and put on sale.

Lui-Ngai-Ni Festival

  • Almost all branches of the Naga tribes celebrate this festival.
  • The festival is celebrated after the end of harvest seasons and beginning of the seed-sowing season.

Dree Festival

  • It is celebrated in Arunachal Pradesh primarily by the Apatani tribes.
  • During the festival, people offer prayers and offerings to four main Gods: Tamu, Metii, Danyi, and Harniang.
  • One of the most unique points of these festivals is that cucumber is distributed to all the attendees as a symbol of a good harvest.

State- Specific Festivals Of India

State List of Indian Festivals
Andhra Pradesh Dasara, Ugadi, Deccan Festival, Brahmotsavam
Arunachal Pradesh Reh, Boori Boot, Myoko, Dree, Pongtu, Losar, Murung, Solang, Mopin, Monpa festival
Assam Ambubachi, Bhogali Bihu, Baishagu, Dehing Patkai
Bihar Chhath Puja, Bihula
Chhattisgarh Maghi Purnima, Bastar Dussehra
Goa Sunburn festival, Ladain, Mando
Gujarat Navratri, Janmashtami, Kutch Utsav, Uttarayana
Himachal Pradesh Rakhadumni, Gochi Festival
Haryana Baisakhi
Jammu and Kashmir Har Navami, Chhari, Bahu Mela, Dosmoche,
Jharkhand Karam Utsav, Holi, Rohini, Tusu
Karnataka Mysore Dasara, Ugadi
Kerala Onam, Vishu
Madhya Pradesh Lok-rang Utsav, Tejaji, Khujaraho festival
Meghalaya Nongkrem festival, Khasis festival, Wangla, Sajibu Cheiraoba
Maharashtra Ganesh Utsav, Gudi Padva
Manipur Yaoshang, Porag, Chavang Kut
Mizoram Chapcharkut Festival
Nagaland Hornbill festival, Moatsu Festival
Odisha Rath Yatra, Raja Parba, Nukahai
Punjab Lohri, Baisakhi
Rajasthan Gangaur, Teej, Bundi
Sikkim Losar, Saga Dawa
Tamil Nadu Pongal, Thaipusam, Natyanjali Festival
Telangana Bonalu, Bathukamma
Tripura Kharchi Puja
West Bengal Durga Puja
Uttaranchal Ganga Dussehra
Uttar Pradesh Ram Navmi, Ganga Mahotsav, Navaratri, Khichdi

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