Festivals of India
Festivals of India
The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. The day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal. Christmas (Old English: Cristesm? sse, meaning “Christ’s Mass”) is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ and a widely observedholiday, celebrated generally on December 25 by millions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the twelve days of Christmastide, which ends after the twelfth night.
Christmas is a civil holiday in many of the world’s nations, is celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians, and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season. Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious occasions for the Hindus, and is celebrated in almost all parts of India in a myriad of cultural forms, with great devotion, fervour, and gaiety. It is a harvest festival. Makar Sankranti is perhaps the only Indian festival whose date always falls on the same day every year: 14 January, with some exceptions, when the festival is celebrated on 13 January or 15 January.
Makar Sankranti is also believed to mark the arrival of spring in India. The Dasara festivities began with the Vijayanagar kings as early as the 15th Century. A Persian ambassador, Abdur Razzaq, reported the Dasara observance (originally Mahanavami) in Vijayanagara during his mission to India in his book entitled Matla-us-Sadain wa Majma-ul-Bahrain (The Rise of the Two auspicious constellations and the Confluence of the Two Oceans), a major work which contained an overview of the history of this part of the world from 1304 to 1470.
After the fall of the Vijayanagar kingdom, the Wodeyars of Mysore continued the Dasara Festival, initially by Raja Wodeyar I (1578-1617 CE) in the year 1610 atSrirangapatna. The Mysore Palace is illuminated on all the 10 days of Dasara. The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine ights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped. The tenth day is commonly referred to as Vijayadashami or “Dussehra. ” Navratri is a very important and major festival in the western states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Karnataka during which the traditional dance of Gujarat called “Garba” is widely performed. This festival is celebrated with great zeal in North India as well, including Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and the northern state of Punjab.
Rakhi is a festival that is dedicated entirely to celebrate and appreciate the love and affection that exist between a beautiful relationship between a brother and a sister. There are so many festivals in India but Rakhi is one that everyone across the country awaits for. On this day sisters tie a ‘Rakhi’ which is a decorated thread on to their brother’s hand and pray for their long life. Brothers, in turn, give their sisters gifts and vow that they will protect and care for them. Thus all brothers and sisters across all the religions celebrate this day with great enthusiasm.