Festivals Of India
Hemis Festival, Ladakh
The courtyard of Hemis - the biggest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh, is the stage of the famous Hemis Festival, that celebrates the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava. Splendid masked dances are performed to the accompaniment of cymbals, drums and long horns. A colourful fair, displaying some beautiful handicrafts, is the special highlight of the festival.
The most important local festival in Rajasthan, Gangaur is held about a fortnight after Holi and the celebrations go on for eighteen days. The festival is held in honor of Gauri, a manifestation of goddess Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva. The festival is celebrated by girls and married women throughout Rajasthan. Images of Gauri are ornamented and offerings are made. This is also an auspicious time for young people to select their life partners. Colorful processions with the town band, horses, and elaborate palanquins
Camel Fair, Bikaner
A unique blend of color, rhythm and melody. The Camel Festival begins with a colourful procession of bedecked camels, Ships-Of-The-Desert, in the red sandstone backdrop of the Junagarh Fort. The festivity advances to the open sandspreads of the Polo Grounds, followed by camel races, camel milking, fur cutting design, the best breed competition, camel acrobatics, camel bands and watching all this, are the gaping spectators. The camel display amazing foot-work, dancing gracefully to the slightest direction of their riders.
Nagaur awakes to the thronging of cattles, horses and camels during the time of cattle fair, which is reputed as one of the biggest in the country. The Nagaur bulls are renowned for their fleet-footedness and attract buyers from all over the world. Their owners with large moustaches and colorful costumes add a unique charm to the fair.
The otherwise sleepy town of Jaisalmer reverberates with enthusiasm and zeal during the Desert Festival that provides it with an occasion to parade its exuberant charm to the world. This colorful spectacle of dance and music showcases the rhythmic dances like Ghoomar, Gangaur, Gair, Dhap, Moria, Chari and Terahtal. The fire dancers are the special highlights of the festival. Held in the month of January-February the major attractions include turban-tying competition, Gair dancers and fire-dancers presenting enchanting
Every November, the sleepy little township of Pushkar in Rajasthan, India comes alive with a riot of colors and a frenzied burst of activity. The occasion: PUSHKAR FAIR. Very few, if at all any, fairs in the world can match the liveliness of Pushkar. Most people associate the Pushkar Fair with the world's largest camel fair. But it is much more than that:
Several Indian festivals coincide with the harvest time and Baisakhi is one of them. Baisakhi is celebrated by the people of Punjab with vigor and joy. It is celebrated by different names and with different rituals almost all over India, when the Rabi crop is ready for harvesting. Baisakhi is also the day when the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, founded the Khalsa Panth over three hundred years ago. The Vaishakha period of April and May is filled with festivals of fun, frolic and merry-making and Baisakhi, derived
The chaste bond of love between a brother and a sister is one of the deepest and noblest of human emotions. 'Raksha Bandhan' or 'Rakhi' is a special occasion to celebrate this emotional bonding by tying a holy thread around the wrist. This thread, which pulsates with sisterly love and sublime sentiments, is rightly called the ‘Rakhi’. It means 'a bond of protection', and Raksha Bandhan signifies that the strong must protect the weak from all that’s evil. The ritual is observed on the full moon day of the Hindu month
Lord Ganesha, affectionately called Ganapati, is commonly depicted in homes and offices throughout India as a chubby, smiling and a little mischievous God. His devotees scribe to Ganesha the ability to bestow wisdom and wealth upon us humans, thus making him probably the most popular deity in the Hindu pantheon. To repay Ganesha’s bounty, in India, especially in Maharashtra and nearby areas, the entire population celebrates the ten-day festival of Lord Ganesha’s birthday. The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi
Janmashtami, the birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated with great devotion in the August/September months, on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksh or the 8th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadon, in the whole of north India. Temples and homes are beautifully decorated and lit. An attractive feature of the celebrations are cribs & other decorations depicting stories of Lord Krishna's childhood. There are five main "jhankis" of Janmashtami which depict the entire sequence of events from Lord Krishna's birth to his being
Shivaratri is celebrated on the 6th night of the dark Phalgun (Feb or March) every year. On the auspicious day, devotees observe fast and keep vigil all night. Mahashivaratri marks the night when Lord Shiva performed the 'Tandava'. It is also believed that on this day Lord Shiva was married to Parvati Ma. On this day Shiva devotees observe fast and offer fruits, flowers and bel leaves on Shiva Linga.
The ‘Holi’ festival is a very fun-filled and popular occasion in the northern part of India. It is an occasion when people smear each other with bright colored powders, which are known as Gulal, and colored water. This festival is celebrated around early March each year. It can be said that ‘Holi’ festival is called a bright festival as a wide range of bright colors is used during it. The people believe that the bright colors represent energy, life, and joy.
Meaning an array of lamps, it is the Festival of Lights and perhaps the only festival that is celebrated along the length and breadth of the country without any diversity as well as amongst Indians all over the world.This festival is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Rama, his consort Sita and brother Lakshmana, to their kingdom after 14 years of exile. To celebrate their return, the people of Ayodhya are believed to have lit up their houses and streets with lamps and the tradition is followed till date. People also conduct
The festival of Dussehra (also spelled Dasara or Vijaya Dasami) marks the triumph of Lord Rama over Demon king Ravana. On this day, Rama killed Ravana. Dussehra marks the end of the nine days of Navratri, and is celebrated on the tenth day. On this festival, people decorate the house and shop entrances with flower studded strings called "Torans" (Floral Gateways). At night effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakaran and Meghanad are stuffed with firecrackers and set alight. From the little temples in the hills, deities are brought in