Folklore: Welcome to India, Festival Wanderland

April 3, 2017

Solomon James

The celebration is a channel to the most profound aspects of life. Traveling in India to experience festivals will ignite one’s soul to the resonance of music, the vibrancy of colors, and glow of lights. Festivals in India are an integral part of its culture which has survived changes through aging times. Festivals are a tool to bring life to a state of exuberance and enthusiasm. The whole culture is in a state of celebration bringing various communities, religions, and languages together to share happiness, love and peace. Every Indian family looks forward to celebrating every festival in its grandeur. It is always believed food and music bring people together onto one stage.

People of India celebrate many festivals, it could be Mahashivarathri, Holi, Deepawali, Ramadan, Bakrid, Makara Sankranthi, Ugadi, Easter, Onam Pongal, Dhasera, Ganesha Chatruthi, Christmas and much more. All of these festivals are connected to life, hope, truth, goodness, happiness, nature and seasons creating a feeling of awesomeness!

Every festival brings with it the best of exotic cuisine too! tickling ones taste buds to the deepest roots. The concoction of spices, blend of sweet sugars, and a twist of rare herbs are a major part of the preparation of an Indian spread which will tangent oneself to the divine.

Each festival has a touch of special music which will rock every traveler’s soul and alter the rhythm of the heart beat. Various classical Indian instruments such as thabala, flute, sitar, veena, harmonium, tambora, earthen pots and much more are played with a DJ at his best on the turntable fuses to create a rhythm of vibration to get the feet stomping and hands swinging to the groove.

Importance of Major Festivals in Southern India

Pongal festival is the main festival of Tamil Nadu. It is a festival of thanksgiving to the sun, the earth, and the cow. This south Indian festival is celebrated in the month of January with joyous festivities and rituals to mark the harvesting of crops by farmers.

Makara Sankranthi is the harvest festival of Andra Pradesh celebrated for 3 days falling in the middle of January. Symbolically, the sun slowly takes away darkness and ushers in “the light of knowledge.”

Mahashivrathri festival is a national festival which falls on a moonless night of February to March when Hindus offer special prayers to Lord Shiva. The festival is observed for 1 day and night only. The day is spent on fasting, chanting and music.

Holi is celebrated at a time of the year when the fields are in full bloom and people are expecting a good harvest. This gives a people a good reason to rejoice, make merry and submerge themselves in the spirit of Holi.

Ugadi is the beginning of a New Year for Hindus in Karnataka and Andra Pradesh. It is observed at the end of March and early April. The important feature of this festival is Rangoli (amazing and amusing drawings on the ground with bright colors) on the ground.

Onam is the largest harvest festival in “God’s own country” Kerala celebrated by all Malayalees across India. The harvest festival of Onam is celebrated in August or September with ten days of feasting, snake boat races, songs, and dance. During this festival in Kerala, flower arrangement and amazing designs are one of the major attractions.

Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion on the day of Good Friday. This celebration involves new clothes worn, food sharing and other decorations.

Ganesha Chaturthi is the birthday of Ganesha (the elephant-headed son of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvathi). It is celebrated during the month of August or September. Lord Ganesha is worshiped in any prayers. According to Hindu mythology, Ganesha is the remover of all obstacles that stand in spiritual path.

Dusserah (Dasara) it is celebrated in the month of October all over India but in Karnataka it is celebrated as Mysore Dasara celebrating the victory of good over evil and gods over demons. A grand procession is organized in Karnataka displaying various forms of dance, music, art and culture.

Deepawali is the festival of lights, celebrating the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. It is a national festival and celebrated all over the country in October or November.

Ramadan Eid ul-Fitr, also known as Ramadan-Id, is celebrated by Muslims across the world, at the end of the month of Ramadan. It signifies the breaking of the fasting period.

Bakrid Bakra Eid or Eid al-Adha holds a special place in the hearts of the Indian Muslim community. Bakrid is celebrated to commemorate the faith, devotion, and spirit to sacrifice one’s all to serve and follow the Almighty God.

Christmas is a festival celebrated by Christians all across the country. This is celebrated as the day of the birth of Jesus Christ, yet it also symbolizes a very deeply significant truth of spiritual life.

Solomon James

Country manager of The Green Lion India

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