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Experience Indian festivals on a Holiday Trip

India is a largest democratic country with a diversity of religion, culture, and topography. it is divided to 29 states & 7 Union territories and it holds more than 1.252 billion people in 3.2 million Km square. The country may be divided but festivals and traditions unite the whole India to a single bunch.  There are many Indian festivals celebrated on a large scale. Some of them have a religious affair whereas others are for fun and seasonal change. The main motto of each is to bring people of all religions together for bonding and humanity. So, here we are listing the month wise Indian festivals calendar of India.

Indian festivals calendar
Source:keywordsuggest.org

So, here we are listing the month wise Indian festivals calendar of India. This is the first series of the post and it features the famous Indian festivals for the month of January, February, March, and April.

January : Indian Festivals

  1. Lohri & Makar Sakranti

Lohri is celebrated on 13th January and Makar Sakranti on 14th January mostly by Punjabis in Punjab, marking the winter solstice (on the last day of desi calendar POH) and harvesting of Rabi crop. The farmers associate Lohri also with the beginning of the new financial year.

  • Lohri Celebrations with Bonfire, music, and dance - Indian Festivals Calendar Source: www.starsamachar.com
  • Lohri Celebration - Indian Festivals Calendar Source: http://www.india.com/
  • Sarson Da Saag and Makki Di Roti - Lohri Celebrations in Inidan Festivals Calendar Source: www.burrp.com
  • Moongfali, Popcorn for Bonfire - Lohri celebrations - Indian festivals calendar Source: http://delhimagic.blogspot.in/
  • Kite flying on Makar Sakaranti - Indian Festivals Calendar Source: YourStory.com
  • Gachak. Rewri on Lohri celebration - Indian Festivals Calendar Source: http://www.newsofrajasthan.com/

Celebrations –It is celebrated by dressing in traditional clothes, lighting bonfire, throwing gur, sesame seeds, moongfali into the fire, singing folks songs and dancing around the fire. During the day, young children also go door to door singing folk song “Sundar Mundaria” and asking Lohri. The children are treated with sweets and savories and occasionally money too.  In some parts of Punjab especially Amritsar Kites flying is done on the terraces with loud music.

Key Attractions – The special food includes Sarson Ka Saag & Makki Di Roti; Jaggery, Gachak, Rewri, Moongfali and Til Laddu or Til Rice.

A Place to Experience – Whole of Punjab

  1. Pongal

Pongal is celebrated from 13th to 16th January in South India to represents the beginning of harvesting and the newly harvested rice is cooked. The festival Pongal is considered equivalent to Makar Sakranti.

  • Rangoli Decorations on Pongal in Indian Festivals Calendar Source: www.travelthemes.in
  • Cattle is worshiped on Pongal - Indian Festival calendar; Source: http://www.happynewyearwishessms2017.in/
  • Pongal Dishes are prepared from freshly harvested rice - Pongal in Indian Festivals Calendar; Source: www.Pinterest.com
  • Freshly harvested rice are cooked on Pongal - Indian Festivals Calendar Source: India Tours And Travels
  • Houses are Decorated and rangolis are made on Pongal Source: walladdda.blogspot.com

CelebrationsHouses are cleaned and decorated by rangolis. Bhogi festival is celebrated on the first day where people light the bonfire in the evening. On the second day, worship is done by offering milk to sun God. The third day known as Mettu Pongal where a cattle is worshiped and on the last day, Mukkanuma people visit friends and relatives to enjoy festivities.

Key Attractions – Everyone is beautifully dressed up, Rangolis, Pongal dishes, sweets, and cattle races.

A place to ExperienceTamil Naidu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana.

February : Indian Festivals

  1. Vasant Panchami

Vasant Panchami initiates the spring festive cycle and people worship Maa Saraswati.

  • Kite flying, Dances and Dhol on Vasant Panchami - Indian Festivals Calendar Souce: Holidays4Earthfolk.com
  • Rows of Colorful Kites in market on Vasant Panchami - Indian Festivals Calendar Source: India Forums
  • Saffron Coloured Sweet Rice is made on Vasant Panchami - Indian Festivals Calendar Source: Fortune Foods
  • Giida performed by young girls on Vasant Panchami- Indian Festivals Calendar Source: India Today

Celebrations- People celebrate the day by wearing yellow clothes, eating sweet dishes and displaying yellow flowers. In Punjab, people fly Kites and dance on the music too. In Rajasthan, people mark the day with yellow garlands and in Gujarat women play dandiya dance.

Key Attractions – Yellow clothes, good delicious food, kite flying, and dances

A place to ExperiencePunjab for Kite flying and Gujarat for Dandiya.

  1. Maha Shivratri

Maha Shivratri; a Hindu festival is celebrated to honor Lord Shiva.

  • Devotees worship on Shivling at Maha Shivratri - Indian Festivals Calendar; Source: www.twitter.com
  • Shingar of Shivling in Temple on Maha Shivratri- Indian Festivals Calendar; Source- www.totalbhakti.com
  • Shivratri Fair in Himachal- Indian Festivals Calendar; Source: Pinterest
  • Shivratri Fair at Mandi in Himachal - Indian Festivals Calendar; Source: mandishivratri.com

Celebrations- Devotees of Lord Shiva fast during the day and sing praises and hymns during nights. At some places, Jagraans are held throughout the night. Temples are beautifully decorated with flowers and lights, and offerings of sweets, fruits, wood apple leaves and milk are made on Shivling. The aura of the whole environment smells sweet.

Key AttractionsDecoration of Temples and sweets

A Place to ExperienceMaha Shivratri is celebrated throughout India.  Major celebrations take place at Ujjain temple and there is a special Shivratri Mandi fair in Himachal.

  1. Losar festival

The Losar festival marks the beginning of Ladakhi or Tibetan New Year.

  • Losar Festival in Ladakh - Indian Festivals Calendar; Source: Traveology India Blog
  • Losar Festival - Indian Festivals Calendar Source: Gyalshen Institute
  • Losar Festival paintings - Indian Festivals Calendar Source: www.dianliwenmi.com
  • Source: http://www.contactmagazine.net/

Celebrations- The celebrations take place for 15 days where the first 3 days are considered as the most important days. There are humorous events like deer dance and amusing battles between the king and his minister. Apart these offerings made at the shrines and general dances happen. Images of Deer and other symbols are carved in kitchen and doors to welcome New Year.

Key Attractions – Dances, deer dances, mass prayers and offerings, local beverage (Chhaang) is served.

Place for ExperienceLadakh and Arunachal Pradesh

March : Indian Festivals

  1. Holi

The festival of colors is celebrated throughout India for two days with lots of zeal and enthusiasm. All the friends, families come together to play. It is believed this festival strengthens up bonding and end up any misunderstanding in the relations.

  • Colors of Holi - Indian Festivals Calendar Source: www.hinduknowledge.weebly.com
  • Holi celebration with flowers in Vrindavan- Indian Festivals Calendar Source: www.blogarama.com
  • Holi Celebration in India - Indian Festivals Calendar Source: www.youtube.com
  • Holi at Barsana where women welcome men with their sticks - Indian Festivals Calendar; Source:www.flickr.com

CelebrationsHoli is played with colors and water in both dry and wet form. Water balloons and water guns are thrown by children as well as adults to color and wet each other in various shades.  A night before playing, Holika bonfire is lightened and people pray, dance and sing around it. Bhang Thandai, as well as pakodas, are served as prasad in temples on the day of Holi.

Key AttractionsHolika Bonfire, colors, water Balloons, water guns, Bhang

A Place to ExperienceHoli is played intensely across the whole country but the vibrant and musical one can be seen in North India. The best one happens in Vrindavan and Barsana. At Kullu in Himachal, there is a 40 day long Holi fest. To know more about it, read here

Also read the Best place to celebrate Holi

April : Indian Festivals

7. Ram Navami

Ram Navami another Hindu Indian festival is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Rama.

  • Ram Navami at Varanasi - Indian Festivals Calendar; Source: https://traveljee.com
  • Ram Navami Procession in Nagpur - Indian Festivals Calendar; Source: https://anjali026.wordpress.com
  • Rameshwaram - Indian Festivals Calendar; Source: OnlinePrasad.com blog
  • Masssive crowd for Ram Navami celebration - Indian Festivals Calendar; Source: www.indianexpress.com

CelebrationsThe temples are decorated with flowers. A small deity of Lord Rama as the infant are kept in the cradle and devote swing the cradle to shower blessings as a ceremony. Some of them keep fast for the whole day.  In South, India people worship this day as the marriage day of Lord Rama and Sita. The processions are performed on the streets with the deities of Lord Rama and Sita.

Key AttractionsDecorations of statues of Lord Rama, Sita and Laxman, Prasad, chanting of religious hymns and prayers.

A Place to ExperienceAyodhya( Karnataka)& Uttar Pradesh; Sitamarhi (Bihar);  Rameshwaram (Tamil Naidu); Bhadrachalam (Andhra Pradesh); Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)

8. Baisakhi

Baisakhi, also known as Vaisakhi is a Punjabi festival celebrated on 14th April, the harvest festival of the Punjab region.

  • Gidda performance on Vaisakhi - Indian Festivals Calendar Source: www.twitter.com
  • The Harvest Festival of Punjab, Vaisakhi - Indian Festival Calendar; Source: www.travelthemes.com
  • Vaisakhi fairs are held in Punjab and Haryana - Indian Festivals Calendar; Source: www.dgreetings.com

CelebrationsOn Vaisakhi people get up early, take bath and visit Temples and Gurdwaras to express gratitude to gGodfor harvest and good times in future. During day farmers get together to harvest the rabi crop and drums are played around it. Fairs are organized and men and women are very jubilant. They dress up well and perform Bhangra and Gidda, the folk dances of Punjab.

Key AttractionsVaisakhi fairs, gidda, bhangra, wrestling competitions

A Place to ExperiencePunjab, and Haryana

9. Bihu

Bihu is the North-East Indian festival.  There are three Bihu festivals celebrated in Assam– Bohaag (Baisakhi; celebrated in April); Maagh (middle of January); and Kaati (Kartik, celebrated in October) coinciding with the harvest months. But the Bohaag is the main one.

  • Young Boys and Girls performing Bihu Dance - Indian Festivals Calendar; Source: www.twitter.com
  • Dance at Bihu Festival - Indian Festival calendar; Source: www.twitter.com
  • Special food on Bihu festival - Indian Festivals Calendar; Source: http://www.magicalassam.com/
  • Bullfight at Bihu Festival- Indian Festivals Calendar;

CelebrationsThe celebrations include famous Bihu dance with the beats of Dhol and Pepe (buffalo hornpipe). The songs are sung with themes around love and they carry erotic tones. Everyone is dressed up in traditional attires like dhoti, Gamocha, and Chadar, Mekhala.

Key AttractionsTraditional attires, Bihu dance and playing instruments, bull fights, bird fights, local cuisine like coconut ladoo, til pitha and fish pitika

A place to ExperienceAssam

There are many religions in India, and each community has their own traditions, culture, and festival. This is just the Part 1 of the series of Indian festivals calendar covering the months January, February, March, and April. Stay tuned to read the next posts where you will get the glimpse of the rest of the Indian festivals.

 



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