Festivals and celebrations

Who know’s how many festivals and celebrations take place in India each year, but if you want to know what happens, where, when and why, look here.

With so many religions and cultural practices, there’s no shortage of reasons to celebrate. Indian’s are eager to share their experience with visitors and you’ll be watching rituals in wonder, and sharing festive foods and sweets in no time.

If you want to know what festivals are happening month by month Drikpanchang.com is where you want to look.  This website lists festivals by faith and flags government public holidays.  It will also give you a handy explanation about each festival that’s listed, why it is important, to whom and what happens.

On Namaste New Delhi we’ll share our experience of Indian festivals, what we learn, who we meet and what we see.  The list is a work in progress and, given the number of festivals and celebrations, we’re never likely to complete it.  Come back regularly to see what we’ve found and where you can have some fun at festival time.

Lohri: The Bonfire Festival – Lohri is big. It’s bigger than Holi, the festival of colours, for many north Indians. With the sun at its furthest point from the earth, the Rabi (winter crop) harvested and the cold weather settling in, it’s time to celebrate nature’s bounty with loved ones and keep warm by the bonfire.  Takes place in January every year.

Music Festivals early in the year – This post present five music festivals that generally happen in January and February each year.  Take a look at the click on the links to find out more about each festival

Rajasthan in the cooler month’s comes to life with festivals This post talks about eleven  festivals in Rajasthan between January and March 2017.  Look at the links to find out more

Republic Day, 26th January – On the 26th January all India’s come together to celebrate. Here’s why the 26th January is such a special day and a quick fire run down of Republic day facts.

The Kila Raipur Sports Festival – Popularly known as the Rural Olympics, is the main event in the Punjab’s sporting calendar. Every year thousands compete to be crowned champions at events including Bullock Cart Racing, Tent Pegging and Loading and Offloading a trolley of paddy. Sounds amazing, no?  Read more about it here.

Janmashtami (Lord Krishna’s birthday)  Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, frequently depicted playing a flute with a herd of cows in the agricultural community of Goloka (“cow planet”), is one of the most widely revered and worshiped of all the Hindu deities.  Here’s 10 facts anout the Lord of Love.

Ganesha ChaturthiOn Ganesha Chaturthi Hindu’s right across India get ready to immerse the elephant headed god in lakes, rivers and seas. In praise of the remover of obstacles, here’s a rundown of what’s on Lord Ganesha’s CV.  Massive in Mumbai.  Truly massive.  Don’t forget to eat some Modak – Lord Ganesha’s special sweet.

Gandhi Jayanti –Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known as Gandhi ji, Bapu and simply the Mahatma, was a civil rights activist who successfully fought for India’s independence from British rule. He’s revered in India and around the world for good reason.  His birthday on the 2nd October is one of only three national wide public holidays.

Dussehra – For a couple of weeks before Diwali (see below) the Ramayana is played out across India. Lord Ram and Ravana engaged in their final battle, but who was victorious? You don’t know? Jai Sri Ram! Jai Sri Ram!  This post from October 2016 gives a sneek peak of what to expect at Dussehra

Durga Puja – Taking place on the same day as Dussehra, Delhi’s sizeable Bengali community celebrated Durga Puga in style.  Bengal may be the festival’s spiritual home, but Bengali’s wherever they live don’t mess about when it comes to matters that involve Ma Durga.  Find out more at this post.

Ashura Muharram –  On the day of Ashura the death of Husayn (Hussein), grandson of Muhammad is commemorated. The Karbala, Jor Bagh, South Delhi, is at the centre of the commemorations.  This post takes a look at the commenorations in 2016.

Deepavali (Diwali) – The biggest celebration of them all, but what is Diwali (or is it Deepavali) all about? This idiots guide will give you some of the answers at this Hindu festival that’s celebrated by all faiths in India.  And remember to clean your house, Goddess Laksmi, won’t visit unless it is nice and tidy.  Find out more why you need to get cleaning at this post.

Bateshwar Cattle Fair – In Uttar Pradesh over the Diwali weekend, it claims to be India’s second largest animal fair.  It’s a whole lot of fun.  Take a look at this post to see what’s down at the fair. 

Jodphur RIFF Folk Festival – The Jodhpur RIFF Folk Festival promises loads and  doesn’t disappoint. The coming together of history and tradition and music and dance, combined with Rajasthani hospitality at the majestic Mehrangarh Fort is match made in heaven.

Chaath Puja – If you thought the biggest celebration in the Hindu calendar was Diwali you were right, but for Biharis Chaath Puja comes a very close second.   The ghats around the Yamuna river come to life as the faithful descend around 7 days after Diwali.  Find out more about Chaath Puja at this post.

Pushkar Camel Fair – If you’re in the market for camel (or some cattle or horses for that matter) then get yourself to Pushkar in November. This small village in the Rajasthan desert comes to life during the annual Pushkar Camal Fair. Its offers everything you would expect from India and a whole lot more.  Learn more about it at this post.

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One thought on “Festivals and celebrations

  1. Pingback: Understanding India | Namaste New Delhi

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