There are so many festivals in India, because of its rich culture and tradition. Let us see some of these festivals by demarcating them as festivals of North, South, West and East India.

Festivals of North India:

Holi

Holi is a celebration of joy and the colors of holi sprinkled on everyone and merry making will all make the people feel a belongingness and love, where all the fights as well as conflicts among people disappears and it takes place during the Phalguni month.

The legend behind holi is that a king named ‘Hirnakasyi’, was very haughty and restricted his disciple to worship the Lord Vishnu, But he found his own son Prhlad worshipping the Lord and wanted to prosecute him But Lord Vishnu saved him.Later on Holika, sister of Hirnakashyip was sent to kill Prahlad, but again Holika herself went into the fire which she had kept for Prahlad. Lord Vishnu saved Prahlad again. The celebration was to win well against the evil. The festival originated in Vrindavan.

In UP, Holi starts one week prior to the other states .They involve in a fun game in which ladies carry sticks along with the colors ,while gents can use only water guns as a defense mechanism. This is a festival where linguistic mannerism is broken and everybody celebrates.

Raksha Bandan

This is the festival where sister ties the cord to brother and day called as ‘Rakhi day’ .The Rakhi day arrives during the month of August and the sacred ‘thaali’ is prepared which will consist of any of the sweets like Pista, Ladoo as well as Ghevar, gifts for brother and some grains of rice ,all will become part of the ‘aarti’, which will be shown to the brother by sister and brother in return vows her protection and care throughout her life time. The relationship between the brother and the sister becomes strong and the bonding will go on forever.

Baisaki

It is manly celebrated in Punjab state by Sikhs. According to the legend,’The Guru Gobind Singh’, Gurbaisakhi founded the ‘Khalsa panth’ in the Anandpur sahib in the state of Punjab. He was the tenth Guru and was thrown into the boiling oil by the rulers of muslim. Though this day is an auspicious day for the Sikhs where Guru’s blessings are obtained, the same day is a mourning day for them too. Baisakhi symbolizes the harvest of rabi crop too and it falls on ‘Vaisakh’ month, according to Hindu calendar, which is on April-May. This is the time when Gurudwaras are visited and children exhibit their martial arts according to the bands of music.

Festivals of South India:

Onam

It is one of most celebrated festival of Kerala and it is to welcome the king, Mahabali who visits his land once a year. Onam is a colorful festival with flower decorations, various cultural activities, new clothes and grand feasts with about 12-13 side dishes and it comes during the harvest season of August/September.

Pongal

Pongal is a festival celebrated for thanksgiving the cow for helping in the field for farmers and it is also the beginning of Tamil month year. Pongal is ‘spill over’ or boiling. On pongal day, rice along with fresh milk and jaggery is allowed to spill over which shows the prosperity and well being and also signifies good luck. It is celebrated for four days, where second day called Surya pongal, where sun is worshipped and the third day called Mattu pongal where cow worshipped and fourth day is an auspicious day called Kanu pongal which is mainly kept by sisters for the welfare of their brothers.

During pongal days Rangoli(decoration with colors mainly rice flour) is made colorful in the front yard and at the middle cow dung is kept which signifies fertility.

Festivals of East and West India:

Other festivals like Buddha Jyanthi also called Buddha purnima, where Buddha is worshipped and it is considered as one of the festival of East India which also includes well known festivals like Durga pooja and Deepavali. Deepavali or Diwali is festival where lamps are lighted and it is to welcome the Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity and wealth.

Where ‘Deep’ means light, ‘Avali’ is a row or array of lamps .Different variety of sweets are made and ate during this occasion like Kaju barfi, Shahi paneer, Rasugulla, jalebi etc. Other festivals of west India are ‘Janmastami’ which is the birth day of Lord Krishna and its celebrated by doing fasting on the whole day, making sweets and drawings done in front yard and small feet of baby Krishna, with the notion that Shri Krishna will arrive their home too, to eat butter and other sweets and give blessings.

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