The Colorful Festivals of India
Colorful India is a land of fairs and festivals. Wherever you travel, be it north or south, east or west, you will see a festival planned every month of the calendar. The most astonishing part is people from every religion like Jain, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh or Buddhist, come together and soak in color and celebration. Colorful dresses, delicious sweet, spicy food, cultural performances, lights and floral decoration create a rich vibrant ambience altogether. Out of the numerous festivals, some turns out to be most happening and popular. Let us have a look at such top 5 Indian festivals.
Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai: If there is a time of the year when Mumbai forgets about earning its daily bread and immerses in celebration and togetherness, then it is during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in August. The city wakes up chanting Ganpatibappa Moraya and soaks in the 10 day celebration marking deep love and devotion for Lord Ganesha. Every corner of the city gets blocked by colorful and thematic pandals and every home welcomes the arrival of the Lord with gaiety and respect. From small thatched railway side huts to high rise residential buildings, red blue yellow lights are everywhere. One of the liveliest cities of India becomes all the livelier during the festival as people forget all their regular work and worship the Lord with devotion and happiness. The most prominent location to witness is the Siddhivinayak temple in Prabhadevi. The final day of the festivity is filled with sheer emotion as processions move to the place where the statues are immersed in sea or other water bodies. Over 150,000 statues are immersed each year.
Onam in Kerala: This is the traditional and biggest festival of Kerala celebrated 10 days during the Malayalam month of Chingam (August – September). It marks the welcoming of legendary king Mahabali. Delicious dishes like avial, banana halwa, tomato rasam, coconut chutney are cooked, people lay down carpets of flowers in front of houses and dance like Kathakali and Kummatti kali are performed by professionals. The biggest attraction of Onam is the snakeboat race. Locals and tourists come together to celebrate the festival zeal, devotion and enthusiasm.
Durga Puja in Kolkata: This festival of Bengalis is no more confined within boundaries of Bengal, but has stretched its colorful wings to all other parts of India and even overseas. It is the symbolization of welcoming Ma Durga to her maternal home for five days from mount Kailash. Colorful pandals come up on every corner of the streets, idols are given finishing touch and the city gets dressed up in multi color lighting. People finish up their last minute shopping and get dressed up in clothes to welcome the arrival of Ma. From pushpanjali to Sindur Khela, sound of dhaks to pandal hopping, vibrancy is in the air. On the last day, processions head for immersion of Ma Durga in Ganga and other water bodies. Only one tune can be heard everywhere, Asche Bochor Abar hobe (Next year it will happen again).
Diwali in Delhi: Marigold garlands, illuminated lamps and candles and rangoli make Diwali the most celebrated festival of Delhi. Every home and business centre worships Lord Lakshmi- Ganesha during the month of October- November marking Diwali celebration. The sound and light of firecrackers can be noticed from evening till midnight and sweets are distributed amongst relatives and friends. People’s eyes are filled with sparkle and utter enjoyment. People from all religions come together to celebrate the festival of lights that signifies the triumph of good over evil.
Holi in Vrindavan: while most part places of India celebrate holi just for a day; Vrindavan celebrates it for a week. Every year during February- March, resplendent festivities of Holi attract thousands of people from India and abroad to Vrindavan to celebrate festival of colors. The temples are decorated with lights and marigold garlands while Lord Radha and Krishna are worshipped with pomp and show. Holy music continues to play and Prasad is distributed to devotees in temples. As people play with liquid and dry color, the whole environment becomes colorful signifying sheer joy and contentment.
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If you have not experienced these festivals in India till now, plan a trip to India during these times to experience a religious, colourful and vibrant country ever.