Most Popular Hindu Festivals Celebrated in India
India is a country packed with festivals and celebrations all through the year!!!
Among all the countries in the world, India is considered to be the largest geographic area, with people from different religions and communities residing together. Indian celebrates every festival of each religion with the same intent, zeal and vigor. And, this is a testimony to the fact that their Unity lies in their lies in their diversity.
Although each month this country sees celebration of more than one festival, however, there are few of them which the entire country celebrates together. Let’s know about the most vibrant and popular Hindu festivals, not only in India, but across the globe.
The festival of lights, as it is also known, is the most popular and colorful celebration in India. The essence of Diwali festivity is the triumph of good over evil. This celebration wants us to remove darkness from our lives which explains bright lights, colorful rangolis, beautiful diyas, firecrackers and get-togethers. On this day, families come together to share this happy time and perform Lakshmi Puja together.
The festival of colors Holi, is largely celebrated in India. The arrival of Holi is marked by Holika Dahan which signifies the burning of Holika. It signify the rule of good over bad or evil. Most of the people bring the ashes from the bonfire of Holika and keep it in their house. The next morning people start celebrating Holi with colors, greetings and delicious treats.
Navratri & Dussehra
Navratri is a nine-day festival celebrated by the Hindus all over the world. The tenth day of the Navratri is known as Dussehra and it is celebrated in all parts of India in the month of Ashvina (Sep-Oct). The ninth day of the Navratri festivity is dedicated to Goddess Durga or Amba. The tenth day is called as ‘Vijayadashmi’ and it is celebrated to laud the victory of Lord Rama over the evil king Ravana. Most of the people dress in colorful traditional clothing and rejoice in dancing and music. This festival is most grandly celebrated in West Bengal, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
14th January of every year is when Makar Sankranti is celebrated in almost all parts of India. Makar Sankranti has vast spiritual importance and marks the movement of the Sun into Makar Rashi (Capricorn). This festival is associated with the Sun God, Surya. It is also celebrated as Pongal in South India. Although there are differences in rituals which are observed but the spirit behind the celebration is the same. It is also known as the festival of harvest as it marks the onset of Spring in India. Kite flying is famous for the day with some firecrackers in the end.
Raksha Bandhan is an Indian festival which celebrates the sacred relationship between a sister and brother. Sister ties a holy thread on her brother’s wrist and he promises to protect her from every problem that comes her way and the sister prays for his well being.
Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most famous & popular festivals in the country. Lord Ganesh is the most respected God in Maharashtra and they celebrate ganesh chaturthi festival with a lot of zest, energy, and enthusiasm. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated to honor the birth of Lord Ganesha or Ganesh, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Generally, it is celebrated between 4th to 14th day of bright fortnight in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada. People bring an idol of Lord Ganesha home and pujas are performed every morning and evening for 3 to 11 days with all the dedication. On the last day, the idol of Lord Ganesha is taken in a large and colorful procession to submerge in the ocean with a promise to come back soon. Special sweets are offered like ‘Modak’ to Lord Ganesha during this festival.
Maha Shivratri means ‘Great Night of Shiva’, it is celebrated by Hindus on the 14th day of Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi of Magha month i.e. Feb-Mar. There are quite a lot myths going around Shivratri but the most believed and accepted one says Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married on this auspicious day. Most of the people honor this day by offering bael patra leaves or golden apple leaves to Lord Shiva. “Om Namah Shivaya” is the mantra which devotees chant regularly on this day.
Hindu communities all around the country celebrate Krishna Janmashtami. It is the annual celebration of the birth of Lord Krishna. This festival is generally celebrated on the 8th day of Krishna Paksha in Bhadrapad month of Indian Hindu calendar. Most of the people keep fast on this joyful occasion of Krishna Janmashtami and make delicious milk products as offerings to Lord Krishna.
Onam is one of the biggest festival celebrated in Kerala. Onam festival comes amid the Malayalam month of Chingam and brings the joy of homecoming legendary King Mahabali. Festival of Onam is celebrated for ten days and this brings out the best version of Kerala’s culture and tradition. People beautify the front of their house with beautiful flowers and decorate them in graceful patterns which is called “onam pookalam”. People buy new clothes for the Onam festival and different variety of dishes are prepared. “Atham” is the first day of the festival and “Thiruvonam” is the last day of the festival.
The festival of Rama Navami is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Rama. It falls on 9th day of the Chaitra month as per Hindu calendar. Rama Navami is considered to be the most important of all Hindu festival as Lord Rama is the Seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu. People come together to celebrate harmony and peace on Rama Navami. People offer prayer at homes as well as at temples. Most of the disciples observe vrats out of devotion and performs certain activities and social services at temples.
You can know more about the important Hindu and Indian festivals along with auspicious tithi’s on mPanchang.