Being a multicultural country, festivals form an integral part of every Indian. Each and every festival is celebrated uniquely in different ways according to the rituals, beliefs and its significant history behind. We have festivals celebrating harvest seasons, Gods and Goddesses, phases of moon etc. The reason for celebrations may be the same but the festivities differ according to the region; a harvest festival celebrating the arrival of spring in India is called Makar Sankranti in the Northern part of the country, Pongal & Onam in the South and Bihu in Assam. Holi, Diwali, Dussehra, Rath Yatra, Rakshabandhan, Onam, Guru Purab,Christmas and Eid are some of the popular festivals celebrated in India.
Durga Puja / Navratri is the festival celebrating Goddess Durga’s homecoming. While in Gujarat, it is celebrated with Dandiya and Garba dance, in the eastern part of the country it is celebrated in worshipping the goddess in big pandals while down south it is celebrated with the decoration of the “Kolu” which is a staircase of 9 stairs and each stair is decorated with beautiful dolls, and idols of
Gods and Goddesses.
Diwali is a festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Indians across the world. The festival celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. Sikhs too celebrate Diwali as “Bandi Chhorh Divas” which is the celebration of the sixth Nanak's return from detention.
Holi, a festival of colours is celebrated in a unique manner in Mathura and Vrindavan and is known as “Brij ki Holi”. Here, the menfolk come to play Holi with the girls’ hope of raising their flag over Shri Radhikaji's temple. But, instead of colours they are greeted with sticks by the girls. Hence, Holi get its new name here. The men come fully padded as they are aware of what awaits them and also the fact that they are not allowed to retaliate on that day. The next day, it is the turn of the men, who reciprocate by drenching the womenfolk in colours.
There are other interesting festivals like the Kumbh Mela, Alleppey-Boat Race, Pushkar-Camel Fair and the Goa Carnival which adds to the diversity of the country and attract a lot of tourists always.