A celebration is a joyous occasion, typically marked by festivities and gatherings. There are many celebrations, from birthday parties and weddings to religious festivals and national holidays.
No matter the reason for celebrating, the goal is always to come together and enjoy the moment. Whether it’s sharing a meal, exchanging gifts, or simply spending time with loved ones, celebrations give us a chance to create memories that will last a lifetime. In a world that is often filled with stress and anxiety, celebrations give us a much-needed chance to relax and rejoice. So go ahead and celebrate life – it’s one of the best things you can do.
Celebration: Types Of Festivals In India
India is a nation that values diversity. Every state has its distinctive tradition, culture, and art. Appreciating unique culture and heritage is the one thing all states have in common.
Indians hold festivals to honour their values, culture, and traditions. Every festival has unique traits of its own. Indian festivals are observed according to the season and the state.
The major goals of these festivals are to increase happiness and solidify relationships between family and friends. Local celebrations abound and take place on several days each year. Several are based on the lunar calendar. In India, festivals are important for honouring a deity at a specific temple, celebrating the agricultural cycle, or for commemorating a religious story or event.
Diwali – Festival of Lights
The most stunning holiday observed in the Indian subcontinent is Diwali or Deepavali. This Hindu festival of lights, observed throughout the nation, ushers in the fall. People decorate their homes with candles, clay lamps, and lights for the holidays set off crackers, and give and receive presents from friends and relatives.
Since it’s a new moon night, the shimmering lamps and lights give the entire scene a wonderful quality. Diwali, a celebration that honours Lord Rama’s conquest over Ravana and his homecoming with his bride after a 14-year exile represents the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
Holi – Festival of Colors
Another notable name on the list of Indian holidays is Holi. It represents the coming of spring and the triumph of good over evil and is known as the festival of love and colour. It is fervently and enthusiastically observed across the entire nation. Usually, the festivities begin the night before the event.
People sing and dance around the roaring fire as large bonfires are set to represent the burning of the fabled demon Holika. People cover each other in wet and dry colours on the festival day. Some main attractions include drinking bang thandai, an Indian cocktail flavoured with spices, and playing with water balloons and cannons.
The Hindu holiday of Navratri, which lasts for several days, is one of the most significant. Navratri means “nine nights” in Sanskrit. The festival lasts nine days and nights, as its name suggests. Goddess Shakti is worshipped in a variety of ways during Navratri.
The colourful Dandiya Raas and Garba dances that feature the Navratri celebrations in North India are enjoyed by men, women, and children wearing colourful traditional clothing.
Durga Puja – Durgotsava
Bengalis celebrate Durga Puja, a four-day festival marker of their cultural identity, with much grandeur and joy. It is one of the country’s biggest festivities. It is especially well-liked in West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Tripura, Jharkhand, and Bihar.
Huge clay statues of the ten-armed Goddess Durga and her four children are worshipped during Durga Puja in mandaps constructed especially for the occasion. People get dressed up and visit several pandals with their loved ones. The goddess idol is submerged in water as the festival’s grand finale.
Dussehra – Vijayadasami
Durga Puja and Navratri come to a close on Dussehra. On the tenth day of Dussehra, the nine days of Navrati conclude. It is also known as Vijayadashami and is a significant name in the Indian festival calendar. Similar to most festivals, Dussehra is observed differently across the nation. While it is observed in certain places as a celebration of Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana, in others, it is seen as Goddess Druga’s victory over Mahishasura.
Enactments of the Ramayana and the burning of enormous effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran, and Meghnad are used to celebrate Dussehra. The ideal venue in India to celebrate Dussehra is Mysore in Karnataka. Approximately one lakh bulbs are used to illuminate Mysore Palace during the event, creating an amazing picture. The large procession led by adorned elephants is a spectacle worth seeing on this particular day.
Janmashtami – Birth of Lord Krishna
Lord Krishna, who is regarded as the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu, was born on Janmashtami. It is the most important Hindu holiday and is widely observed with luxury and pomp. On this day, followers of Lord Krishna worship the deity in temples and their homes by offering a variety of foods. The two historical Indian locations of Mathura and Vrindavan, where Krishna was born and spent his formative years, regularly have spectacular festivals complete with dances and chants.
On this day, young children frequently dress as Lord Krishna. Dioramas depicting the night of the virgin birth, complete with miniature mountains, a river representing the Yamuna, and the Kansa prison where Devki was held captive, are another significant festival draw. In Mumbai, a celebration known as Dahi Handi involves people building enormous human pyramids several stories high and attempting to topple a hanging earthen pot containing yoghurt.
Ganesh Chaturthi – Vinayaka Chaturthi
The Hindu holiday of Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is among the most significant Indian celebrations. The beloved Hindu deity Lord Ganesha’s birth is honoured throughout the event. The celebrations are marked by vibrant events lasting more than ten days. Ganesha statues that have been artistically constructed are first placed in mandaps and residences.
With great enthusiasm and joy, they adore the deity. The celebrations close on the ninth day when the idol is submerged in water. All around India, but particularly in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, and Chhattisgarh, Ganesh Chaturthi is observed.
Eid-ul-Fitr – Marks the End of Ramadan
For Muslims, Eid al-Fitr is a significant holiday. The Arabic term for Eid is “feast” or “festival.” Muslims break their fast to celebrate their accomplishments after Ramadan, which kicks off the holiday known as Eid al-Fitr.
People who celebrate Eid pray at mosques, visit friends and family, and share a meal with them. People pray, exchange presents, and celebrate on this day. The sweet seviyan is possibly the most well-known Eid symbol. On this day, mosques and markets all around the nation are gorgeously decorated, and numerous famous markets in India also serve special treats.
Christmas – Birth of Jesus Christ
The 25th of December is the day on which people celebrate Christmas. This event honours the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah of God. Although it is a Christian holiday, individuals from many different communities participate in its celebration.
Churches are beautifully decorated and lit up. Everywhere you look, from people’s houses to the biggest malls in India, decorated Christmas trees are a familiar sight. The day is observed by attending prayer services at local churches, sharing presents, and enjoying a meal with loved ones.
Maha Shivratri – The Great Shiva Night
Maha Shivratri, as the name of the festival suggests, is a celebration in homage to Lord Shiva, a Hindu god. This yearly celebration is a metaphor for life’s struggle against ignorance and darkness. All around the nation, people celebrate Maha Shivratri, also known as the Great Night of Shiva.
Maha Shivratri is the only Hindu holiday with no cultural celebration. Instead, it entails fasting, prayer chanting, meditation, and Shiva Linga worship. Devotees with great devotion stay up all night performing pujas according to tradition. However, you can see celebrations and rites in the nation’s Shiva temples.
Rakshabandhan – Rakhi or “Bond of Protection”
Siblings worldwide are preparing to celebrate the Rakhi holiday with great excitement because it is just around the horizon. Hindus celebrate Raksha Bandhan to honour the special link that siblings share. Every region of India celebrates it with enthusiasm, although the north and west are particularly festive.
The event takes place on the Purnima, or full moon, day of the Shravan or Sawan month. The sisters tie the rakhi around their brothers’ wrists on this day to wish them a long, healthy, and happy life. The brothers agree to safeguard their sisters forever in exchange for this. On this day, siblings also give and receive special gifts from one other, with the brother spoiling the sister with her favourite things.
Onam – Harvest Festival of Kerala
The most significant holiday in the Indian state of Kerala is Onam. The Onam Festival commemorates the mythical King Mahabali’s return home in the Malay month of Chingam (Aug-Sep). The ten-day Onam Carnival showcases the best of Keralan history and culture.
Boat races, floral displays, worship, dancing, and extravagant feasts are all part of the Onam celebrations, which feature a lot of grandeur and merriment. Do not miss the magnificent snake boat race, the elephant procession, or the enchanting Kaikottikali dance if you are in Kerala during this festival.
Baisakhi, one of the most important Sikh and Punjabi holidays, marks the beginning of the rabi agricultural harvest season. The people of Punjab and the Punjabi diaspora worldwide commemorate this harvest festival with great zeal and joy.
Folk dance performances like the Bhangra and Giddha, home and gurudwara decoration, and opulent feasts are also part of the celebrations. There is a religious component to Baisakhi as well. It commemorates the day in 1699 when Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, established the Khalsa order.
Gurpurab – Anniversary of A Guru’s Birth or Death
Gurpurab, another important Sikh holiday, honours the birth of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru. It is also referred to as Guru Nanak Gurpurab, Guru Nanak Jayanti, and Guru Nanak’s Prakash Utsav. Before the festival, people read the Guru Granth Sahib for two days. They also hold special gatherings to discuss the guru’s teachings and host communal feasts in gurudwaras.
Processions are held regardless of caste or religion, and Karah Prasad is distributed to everyone. Many spectators travel to Gurudwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, the deity’s birthplace, to commemorate the anniversary.
Only a few Indian celebrations follow the solar calendar, including Makar Sankranti. The sun’s entry into the Capricorn constellation ushers in the winter solstice and the lengthening of the days. Numerous names are used in India to refer to and commemorate the event. For instance, it is observed as Maghi in North India, Magh Bihu in Assam, Pedda Panduga in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and Sukarat in Central India.
Other states that observe Makar Sankranti include West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Tripura, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh. People observe a number of customs and ceremonies to mark the occasion, including kite flying, bathing in the Ganges, and presenting water to the Sun God.
Pongal – Tamil Harvest Festival
The Tamil community observes Pongal as a harvest festival. It’s a time to thank the Sun, Mother Nature, and all the farm animals who helped produce a bumper crop. Pongal, observed over four days, ushers in the Tamil month of Thai, which is seen as lucky. It usually occurs on January 14 or 15.
The food prepared and consumed during this celebration is called Pongal. It is a combination of cooked sweet rice. It comes from the Tamil word pongu, which means “to boil over.”
The holiday is observed by dances, bonfires, and celebratory songs while wearing traditional attire. People also use colourful rice and flower petals to create lovely rangolis to decorate their homes to represent the farmers’ nourishing harvest.
Basant Panchami – Dedicated to Goddess Saraswati
One of the well-known Indian festivals, Basant Panchmi, honours the goddess Saraswati and is observed in January or February. It is a significant day when academics and students worship the Goddess of Knowledge. It is widely observed in the states of Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Punjab, and Haryana. Punjab holds langars, and people in Rajasthan decorate the goddess with jasmine garlands.
Ugadi – Festival To Thank The Deity
One of the well-known festivals celebrated by Hindus with much excitement is Ugadi. For Telugu and Kannada speakers, Ugadi marks the beginning of the New Year. Additionally to Sindhis and Maharashtrians, Hindus also celebrate it. In several states, the celebration is called by various names. It is referred to as “Ugadi” by the inhabitants of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, “Gudi Padwa” by the inhabitants of Maharashtra, and “Cheti Chand” by the Sindhis. Each state uniquely observes this holiday.
Every year in April, people celebrate the Ugadi celebration. The entire state comes together on this day to celebrate and have a great time. The unique cuisine is prepared using ingredients like raw mango, neem, jaggery, and tamarind, along with salt and chile. Along with these delicacies, bobbatlu, holige, puliogure, and pulihora are also prepared. In addition, some individuals hang a necklace of mango leaves from their door to invite happiness into their lives.
In North India, Bhogi is referred to as Lohri. North Indians celebrate Lohri as a traditional winter folk festival or a well-liked farmer harvest festival. On the eve of Makar Sankranti, it is observed. In addition to remembering the Winter Solstice, it anticipates longer days as the sun moves toward the northern hemisphere.
Lohri signifies the conclusion of winter and the start of a new harvest season because of the earth’s proximity to the sun at this time of year. Sikh and Hindu groups in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent are the main celebrators. It will occur on the 13th of January.
List Of National Holidays
In India, there are many national holidays celebrated throughout the year. These holidays commemorate important historical events or religious festivals and are often celebrated with great fanfare. India’s most popular national holidays include Republic Day, Independence Day, and Gandhi Jayanti.
People from all walks of life assemble these days to commemorate the depth of India’s culture and history. Businesses and schools are closed, and people participate in various festivities, including parades, concerts, and street fairs. National holidays are a time for Indians to unite and take pride in their country.
Republic Day – The Anniversary Of India’s Constitution
India honours Republic Day on the 26th of January to remember when the Indian Constitution became operative. The Indian Constitution was ratified by the Constituent Assembly on the 26th of November, 1949, and it became operative on the 26th of January, 1950.
With the completion of this process, India finally achieved its goal of establishing a republic with a democratic system of governance. Because the Indian National Congress (INC) had issued the Declaration of Indian Independence on this day in 1929, the 26th of January was also designated Republic Day. It was not in line with the British’s “dominion” status.
Independence Day – Celebration Of Freedom
India observes a national holiday on the 15th of August to commemorate Independence Day. As a result of the end of British rule in 1947, Independence Day celebrates the creation of an independent and free India.
Additionally, it honours the date on which the subcontinent was split into India and Pakistan at midnight on August 14 and 15, 1947. The Indian Prime Minister also performs the flag-hoisting ceremony at Red Fort on this day. The next thing that happens is a salute of 21 gunshots fired after this event.
The 1st of May is commemorated as this global holiday. The labour movement’s accomplishments are most frequently remembered through this act of commemoration. Over 80 nations observe the occasion, also known as International Worker’s Day or May Day, as a public holiday.
An annual festival called Labour Day honours the accomplishments of labour. The eight-hour day movement, which promoted a schedule of eight hours for labour, eight hours for play, and eight hours for rest, is largely responsible for the beginnings of Labor Day.
On October 2, Gandhi Jayanti is observed to commemorate the “Father of the Nation’s” birthdate. On this day, the nation gathers to honour the great man who assisted in the nation’s independence from colonial domination. He strongly supported religious diversity and was a pioneer of truth and non-violence. He put in a lot of effort to make India a secular nation.
Gandhi Jayanti is a day designated to honour the renowned leader who encouraged people to struggle for their rights without resorting to violence. He also criticised the nation’s caste structure and untouchability.
Every year, on a different date depending on the country, people commemorate children on Children’s Day. The inaugural celebration of International Children’s Day took place in Geneva in 1925 during the World Conference on Child Welfare.
On the 14th of November, India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru’s birth anniversary is observed as Children’s Day.
Air Force Day
The Indian Air Force Day holiday is observed annually on the 8th of October. At the Hindon base, senior representatives from the three armed forces and the IAF commander attend the annual celebration of Air Force Day. These festivities include an air show when the most important and classic aircraft put on a beautiful performance.
This day commemorates the founding of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to support the ground forces. The “Bhartiya Vayu Sena,” often known as the Indian Air Force, is a group committed to boosting authority and security at the federal level. The day also tries to raise awareness of this.
It was originally celebrated while still being governed by the United States Army. Still, it was only formally established after the National Security Act of 1947 was signed. Since 1949, no Air Force Day has been commemorated. The modern United States Air Force is celebrated on the 18th of September as the Air Force’s Birthday.
International Yoga Day
There is a significant ceremony honouring the International Day of Yoga every year on June 21.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi originally suggested the notion of an UN-mandated International Day of Yoga during a speech at the UNGA in 2014. During his speech, Prime Minister Modi referred to yoga as an “invaluable gift of India’s ancient culture” and urged its use to promote “harmony between man and nature.” In his speech on September 27, 2014, Prime Minister Modi stated that yoga was a treasured gift from India’s long history.
It embodies the balance between man and nature, the integration of mind and body, thought and action, restraint and fulfillment, and a holistic approach to health and well-being. Finding a sense of one with yourself, the rest of the world, and nature is the goal, not exercising. We may improve our well-being by altering our lifestyles and cultivating consciousness. Let’s work to establish a global day of yoga.
Human Rights Day
On the 10th of December, people celebrate Human Rights Day throughout the world. The United Nations General Assembly ratified and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on this day in 1948. It is a significant success for the fledgling organisation and the first universal declaration of human rights.
The General Assembly’s 317th Plenary Meeting enacted resolution 423(V) on December 4, 1950, establishing Human Rights Day and requesting that all members and other interested parties observe it as they see fit.
High-level political conferences and summits, as well as cultural events and exhibitions addressing human rights problems, typically commemorate the day. In addition, the Nobel Peace Prize and the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights are customarily presented on the 10th of December. Several civil and social-cause groups and many governmental and non-governmental organisations working on human rights plan special events to mark the occasion.
List of Festivals By Religion
India is a multicultural country, reflected in the many festivals celebrated here. While some festivals are specific to certain regions or religions, others are enjoyed by people across the country. Some of the most well-known Indian religious celebrations are listed below:
Easter, which commemorates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, is widely observed and joyfully celebrated by the Christian community in India. Jesus was crucified by the Roman authorities and is said to have risen from the grave on the third day, according to the New Testament.
As part of their celebrations, various Christian denominations in India decorate their homes and streets, paint Easter eggs, give gifts, sing, feast, and have a good time. Although this festival is observed throughout India, it is especially worthwhile to attend the festivities in Goa, Kerala, and Pondicherry.
Hemis – Birth of Padmasambhava
A two-day religious celebration called Hemis is held at the Hemis Monastery in Ladakh in honour of Lord Padmasambhava, a great spiritual figure and the creator of Tibet Tantric Buddhism.
The monastery’s monks perform the Cham dance during the festivities to the accompaniment of enormous pan-drums, miniature trumpets, and traditional cymbals. For the shows, the dancing monks don elaborate costumes and masks.
Chhath Puja is a four-day Hindu celebration that dates back thousands of years. Its purpose is to honour the Sun God and his wife and ask for their blessings on happiness and health. It includes practices like fasting, refraining from drinking water, taking river baths, and praying to the sun at sunrise and dusk.
Families continue to celebrate the celebration without pausing, year after generation. According to custom, only a death in the family qualifies for a respite from the observance.
The women of Rajasthan celebrate Gangaur, a vibrant festival, as a time to commemorate Gauri, Lord Shiva’s wife. A married couple’s existence is said to be made happier and more fulfilling by the presence of Gangaur, a symbol of the harvest, the coming of spring, and marital fidelity.
Single ladies also observe this event and pray for a compatible life companion. Processions are used to celebrate it in several locations. Ghewar is a delicious snack people in Jaipur buy and enjoy with their loved ones.
The Hornbill Festival also referred to as the “Festival of Festivals,” offers a fascinating glimpse into Naga traditions and civilizations. The Naga Heritage Village, around 11 kilometres from the capital city of Kohima, hosts the week-long event.
The event features vibrant performances by the participants, local cuisine stalls, arts and crafts produced locally, games, parades, and religious ceremonies that especially showcase Nagaland’s natural beauty. It is truly spectacular because all of the state’s tribes participate.
The Buddhist populace of Sikkim celebrates Saga Dawa, one of the state’s biggest festivals, with a lot of zeal. People light incense during this religious celebration, honouring Lord Buddha’s enlightenment. They offer water to the monasteries that dot the state. During this event, people also recite prayer hymns and spin the prayer wheels.
Dree Festival – Harvest Festival In Arunachal Pradesh
The Dree Festival is celebrated in Arunachal Pradesh’s picturesque Ziro Valley to guarantee a bountiful harvest for the state. According to custom, everyone receives cucumbers as a symbol of a successful harvest. Prayers are presented to five deities—Tamu, Metii, Medvr, Mepin, and Danyi—to please them and obtain their benefits. The festival’s highlights include brewing local beer, sipping local wine, and eating a range of regional specialties.
A seed-sowing festival known as Lui-Ngai-Ni is observed by the Naga tribes of Manipur every year on February 14 or 15. Manipur Nagas congregate at a location to display their remarkable cultural heritage during the festival.
The celebrations also include participation from the Naga tribes from the bordering states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. It pays homage to and placates the deities who, according to myth, decide the fate of the crops planted on earth. The celebrations are marked by various cultural activities, such as music, dances, and drumming from the past.
The Ao tribe of Nagaland gathers yearly to celebrate Moatsu Mong, which signifies the end of the planting season. In essence, it is intended to provide some relief to individuals after the demanding season of weeding, sowing, and other agricultural tasks.
Joyful songs and dances distinguish it as a result. Men and women assemble around a huge fire in their finest attire and partake of the wine, pig, and other festive fares.
In addition to the holidays stated above, the nation observes Eid-ul-Zuha, Eid-ul-Milad, Ram Navami, Muharram, Karwa Chauth, Losar, Good Friday, Bhai Duj, and Teej.
Celebrate each of these occasions with all of your excitement and joy to honour the many shades of India.