The Festivals in India
The diversity of Indian beliefs and cultural traditions accounts for the large number of festivals in our country. Some of them are celebrated throughout the country. Others are observed only by a group or community.
January 26: Republic Day. On this day in 1930, the people of India took a pledge to work hard for the establishment of a Sovereign Democratic Republic. This was achieved on January 26, 1950, when the new Constitution came into force. The celebrations in New Delhi are the most important. They include a massive parade and pageants from the states that reflect the cultural unity of the country.
Holi: This is an important festival in North India. It is a festival of colours. Joyous crowds fill the streets and sprinkle coloured water on all passersby Holi is associated with the divine love of Radha and Krishna.
Dussehra: This is celebrated in North India. It falls in either September or October. It indicates the victory of Rama over Ravana.
Id-U/-Fitr: This important Muslim festival marks the-end of Ramzan, the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. It was ‘during this month that the holy Koran was revealed.
August 15: It was on this day in 1947 that India got independence. The National Flag is unfurled and tributes are paid to the national heroes. The Prime Minister hoists the flag on the Red Fort in Delhi.
October 2: Gandhi Jayanti : It was on October 2, 1869 that Gandhiji, the Father of our Nation, was born. His birth anniversary is celebrated with great reverence. Mass prayers are held. In Delhi a large number of people gather at Rajghat to offer floral tributes and recite verses from the sacred books of all religions.
Diwali: This is the festival of lights. It falls in October or in November. At night children enjoy fireworks. Diwali is celebrated to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. It is also believed that Diwali celebrates Rama’s victorious return to his capital from exile. This festival heralds a season of joyous merriment, boom in business and a general feeling of well-being.
Christmas, December 25: This is the greatest Christian festival. It is celebrated on the 25th of December every year. It was’ on this day that Jesus Christ was born. His birthday was celebrated for several days in the middle Ages. Then it was called Christmas. With the passage of time, Christmas became Christmas. Christmas cards are sent to friends and relatives. On Christmas Eve, services are held in churches at midnight. Groups of Christians sing carols to the accompaniment of musical instruments. They praise Jesus for having come to the earth for the redemption of man.
Onam: This is the greatest festival in Kerala. It comes usually in the month of Chingam in the Malayalee calendar. It is celebrated to welcome the spirit of King Mahabali. Prosperous days existed during his reign. There was neither deceit nor fraud in Kerala when he ruled. Onam is a harvest festival. Huge amounts are spent on clothing and food. It is a good period for businessmen. Boat races are also conducted during Onam season. Keralites staying abroad also celebrate it with great fervour, gaiety and enthusiasm.