.: Diwali (Dipiwali) - 15th October
One of the best known festivals in India. It is celebrated all over
India and by Indians all over the world. It is better known as the
"festival of lights", because it is tradition to light
small oil lamps (diyas) and place them everywhere. Some places they
also use electrical lights, like some people use for decorating
at christmas. The celebration of the festival is followed by exchange
of sweets and a lot of fireworks and noisy firecrackers.
means different things to people across the country. In North India
Diwali celebrates Rama's homecoming, his return to Ayodhya after
defeating Ravana and his coronation as king; in Gujarat, the festival
honors Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, in Bengal it is associated with
the goddess Kali. Everywhere, it signifies the renewal of life,
so it is common to wear new clothes on the day of the festival.
.: Holi (The festival of colour) -
The most colourful festival. It celebrates the arrival of spring
and death of demoness Holika. It is a celebration of happiness and
hope. Holi gives a refreshing break from the mundane norms as people
from all walks of life enjoy themselves. Dhuleti, the day after
Holi, is the actual festival of colours, when everything in sight
is covered in a riot of colours.
.: Pongal (South India - 14th January)
A popular harvest festival in South India. Named after a sweet rice
dish, Pongal. It starts on 14th of January each year and lasts for
3 days. On the first day, Pongal is offered to Bhogi or Indran (the
rain gods) for providing rain for the harvest. On the second day,
pongal is offered to the sun (Surya). On the third day, the family's
cattle is cleaned and dressed up with flowers, bells and color powder.
This is the day to honor the cattle's hard work for plowing the
.: Losar (1.February)
Tibetan New Year celebrations among Tibetan and Himalayan Buddhist
communities, especially at Dharamsala.
.: Pushkar Camel Fair (Rajasthan)
The famous Pushkar Camel Fair is held in the sacred and peaceful
town of Pushkar in the most exotic part of India Rajasthan. During
the festival the town transforms into a spectacular fair ground
for twelve days during the month of Kartik.Thousands of pilgrims
come to bath in the holy waters of the Pushkar Lake. Trading of
cattle, camels, camel races and fantastic displays of bangles, jewlery
and clothes are major attractions.
.: Kumbh Mela
Major 3yearly festival held at one of four holy cities: Nasik, Ujjain
, Haridwar or Prayag as well as at Allahabad. The Maha Kumbh Mela
or "Great" Kumbh Mela, the largest religious fair in India,
is held every twelve years in Allahabad; the next festival is due
to take place in 2013.
.: Dussehra (Durga Puja)
Dussehra (10th day) is one of the most important Hindu festivals,
celebrated in the whole country. The festival marks the victory
of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana, the victory of good over
evil. On the 10th day, the Vijayadasmi day, colossal figures of
Ravana, his brother Kumbhkarna and son Meghnath are placed in vast
open spaces. Rama, accompanied by his companion Sita and his brother
Lakshmana, arrive and shoot arrows of fire at these figures, which
are stuffed with explosive material. The result is a deafening blast,
enhanced by the shouts of happiness and triumph from the spectators.
Idu'l Fitr, Idu'l Zuha and Id-i-Milad are the 3 festive occasions
celebrated by Muslims in India. Id is celebrated all over the country
and one can see Muslims of all age groups, from all layers of society
dressed in new clothes, visiting mosques to offer namaaz.
.: Id-ul-Fitr (Ramzan Id)
Coming with the new moon, this festival marks the end of Ramzan
(Ramadan), the 9th month of the Muslim year. It was during this
month that the holy Koran was revealed. Muslims keep a fast every
day until sunset during this month and on the completion of the
period, which is decided by the appearance of the new moon, Id-ul-Fitr
.: Id-ul-Azha (Bakr-Id)
The Id-ul-Azha celebratse the suffering of Hazrat Ibrahim, who had
been put to a terrible test by God when he was asked to sacrifice
whatever was dearest to him and he decided to sacrifice the life
of his son. As he was on the point of applying the sword to his
son's throat, it was revealed to him that this was meant only to
test his faith and it was enough, if instead he sacrifices only
a ram in the name of Allah.
.: Id-i-Milad (Barah-wafat)
The Prophet was born on the 12th day of Rabi-ul-Awwal, the 3rd month
of the Muslim year. His death anniversary also falls on the same
day, the word 'barah' standing for the twelve days of the Prophet's