Year-End Indian Festivals that make Life a Celebrationby Nikee Kapoor An India travel expert
It is said, the air and the soil of India is rich in giving birth not only natural wonders, but festivals and fairs. Not only we Indians, but international visitors too are awestruck by the glaze, colour, gaiety, culture, enthusiasm and rituals. Through such festivals, fare, jubilee and rituals, Indians observe and honour the great deeds of their deities, prophets and saints.
We are almost over with the month of September and three months more for the year to get over. Yet, the last three months are filled with fests and other year-end activities that invite several flights to India. If you get a chance to visit India in-between October to December, you can witness a treasure of jubilation. One of the most powerful deity is the Goddess Durga, the embodiment of knowledge, purity and truth.
Navaratri: Honouring Goddess Durga
Navaratri is the festival dedicated to the Hindu deity Durga. The nine days are celebrated all over India, when nine forms of Durga are worshipped.
in the northern parts of India, people celebrate Navaratri by worshipping Durga. In Bengal, pandals are decorated, where followers seek the blessings of goddess Durga. Gujarat experiences a different scene. The nine festive nights are celebrated by performing Garba (is a form of dance which developed in the Indian state of Gujarat).
Towards Southern India, various kinds of clay dolls are made on the nine steps of Kolu. Navratri is very popular in the states of West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. Its historical significance goes back to the times of a violent battle of Durga and Mahishasura and Durga defeated Mahishasura on the ninth day, which is celebrated as 'Vijaydashmi'. Prayers and fasting for nine consecutive days are offered to her.
Dussehra: Victory of Good over Evil; Light over Darkness
Also, known as Vijayadashmi, this major festival is celebrated on the tenth day of Ashvin in the month of September or October. This festival is celebrated to recall the killing of Ravana by Lord Rama. It is believed that the king of Mysore culminated a grand celebration of Dussehra and Mysore holds one of the best Dussehra celebrations. With advance booking of tickets to India, people visit the puja pandals and large statues of Ravana are burnt everywhere.
Diwali: Blessings & Prosperity in the Homes
Diwali or the Festival of Lights is one of the main Indian festivals celebrated as a nation-wide fest on Amavasya, the 15th day of the dark no-moon night. The festival depicts the defeat of darkness over the light. Not only in India, the entire world seems to enjoy the illuminated surroundings with resounding fire-crackers.
Diwali is when king Rama returned to Ayodhya after killing Ravana and was coronated. Apart from the lights and fire-crackers, Rangolis are drawn with different coloured powders and doorways are hung with mango leaves. Homes, shops and neighbourhoods seem to drown in utmost festive mood with greetings and exchange of sweets.
Chhath Puja: Glorifying the Sun and Seeking Blessings
A famous festival in the North Indian state of Bihar that starts on the sixth day of the Hindu calendar month, Kartika. Worshippers gather to worship the Sun god and seek his blessings over the families, harvest and for the future by refraining from food. The rituals are marked by offering prayer and taking a dip in the holy waters of the Ganges. The legend goes back to the times of Ramayana and Mahabharata.
On returning to Ayodhya after the exile, Lord Rama and Sita observed a fast in honour of the Sun god and broke it only at the break of dawn next day. This ritual subsequently evolved into the Chhath Puja.
Dev Deepawali: A celestial manifestation in the City of Light in Varanasi
Celebrated 15 days after Deepawali on Kartik Poornima on the last day of the Ganga mahotsav, Dev Deepawali coincides with Guru Nanak Jayanti and Jain Light Festival.
The ceremony begins with prayers offered to Lord Ganesha, followed with chanting of Vedic mantras with diyas, or earthen lamps. Several devotees take dips in the river Ganges believing that the sins will be forgiven. Several families organize the reading of the holy Ramayana followed by the food feast.
Dev Deepawali is an event not to be missed. Every ghat and temple is illuminated with earthen mudpots; a sight to behold.
Muharram: The New Islamic Year
Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar and Muslims all over observe and partake in several activities. It is believed that God created Adam and Eve on the 10th of Muharram. It's also celebrated to remember the death of Prophet Muhammad's grandson Imman Hussain, who was martyred along with his companions.
Christmas and New Year
The year never ends with bliss, jubilee and fiestas of Christmas and New Year on full swing. Christmas is celebrated as the birth of Jesus Christ, where the whole world goes into a time of celebrations and merrymaking. People decorate their homes with an illuminated Christmas tree, attend church services, sing carols, exchange gifts and indulge in some amazing dining.
Indian festivals teach us to live in the present as well as offer an insight into the past. The best part is -- from October to February the weather is perfect to stay outdoors. It's winter and touring Northern India will be unforgettable. It's time that you book flights to India in advance to avail special discounts and low budget stay packages to enjoy festivities of the Indian soil.
Created on Sep 29th 2017 10:00. Viewed 321 times.