My very first article on NanaVarna, discussing the cultural festivals that give us boundless joy! Hope you all find it engaging and enjoyable reading it!
Have you ever wondered how joyful it is to celebrate festivals? Well, India has some of the greatest festivals in history and there is a reason for every celebration. Many of these festivals had been celebrated for years and are still celebrated now! These cultural festivals of India are honoured with great enthusiasm, together with family and friends. On these cultural occasions, we dress in our best clothes and enjoy together. Going to the temple is an important aspect on a festival day. These days teach us to share, care and realise the value and importance of relationship and bonding with our family and other people.
Here are 11 cultural Festivals of India that are important and really wonderful:
Do you love a place filled with luminous lights? If yes, then Diwali is the festival that you will love!
Diwali is also known as Deepavali, meaning the ‘FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS’. It is called so because on this day we light up lamps and put it all around our houses. Why do we need to do this? This is done to celebrate the victory of good over evil. This festival usually lasts around five days. Children merrily burst crackers and dance to music happily. On Diwali, sweets and savouries are made and shared with neighbours and friends. We also wear new clothes. Such festivals like this bring so much happiness and teach us many things in life such as Giving, Accepting, Sharing and Caring for others. Now, the question is, which day do we celebrate Diwali? Well, it is celebrated on the day that is chosen according to the Hindu calendar which is a lunar one. This cultural festival usually happens in October or November every year. On these days, our house will be lit up. How bright and pleasing, isn’t it? I LOVE Diwali! How about you?
LOVE to get messy while having fun? Wait till you hear all about this awesome Festival. Holi is celebrated in the latter days of February or March. This is a very popular cultural festival that is celebrated in several states. Holy is also known by the following three names:
‘The Festival of Spring’
‘The Festival of Colours’
‘ The Festival of Love’
On this joyful day, children and adults enjoy celebration by throwing colourful powder at each other and also having some yummy sweets. Holi, being the festival of love signifies the spread of love and happiness. Though a messy one, this festival brings in a load of happiness through colours!
Ahhhh… Pongal! Don’t you just love the colourful rangoli art outside everyone’s house? On this bright day, we create rangolis outside our houses as they depict good luck, generosity and strength. Pongal is an important festival for the Hindus. It is also celebrated by the Tamil Community living in Malaysia, Canada, Singapore and other countries. Which day is this festival? – The date is chosen according to the Tamil solar calendar. This festival is celebrated to honour ‘The Sun’ – Surya. On this day, we boil milk on the stove and wait till it overflows. This is following by uttering the words – PONGALO PONGAL!!! The significance of letting the milk overflow is to denote the way that happiness overflows in our lives.
Navaratri is a nine-day festival that is celebrated by the Hindus over a period of nine days. The first three days are devoted to Goddess Durga, the next three days to Goddess Lakshmi and the last three days for Goddess Saraswathi.
Navaratri generally falls in the months – September and October.
Onam has been celebrated in Kerala since 1960. According to a popular legend, the festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali, a king that Malayalis strongly accepted. They believed that at the time of Onam, King Mahabali’s spirit will return to Kerala. Onam is a festival that brings all the colours of Kerala including its culture, religion and history. On this day, people design beautiful flower carpets called Pookalam, prepare a delicious banquet lunch; there are snake boat races, Puli Kali, Bharathantyam and the Kaikottikkali dance. Onam is a festival that goes on for 10 days and is celebrated in the months between August and September. People of all ages celebrate it with enthusiasm and it surely is a beautiful festival!
Music, singing, dancing and fun! Love it? Ganesh Chaturthi, also called as Vinayak Chaturthi is such a Hindu festival celebrating the arrival Lord Ganesha to Earth with his Mother Goddess Parvati. On this special day, there are clay idols of Lord Ganesha in people’s houses and people make or buy many umbrellas, a part of the clay idol. This is a 10-day festival that is celebrated in mid-August – September.
Raksha Bandhan is a popular, traditional Hindu festival celebrated in India, Nepal and other parts of the Indian subcontinent. On this auspicious day, sisters tie a special bracelet called “RAKHI” around their brother’s wrists. This symbolises the love for their brothers. They pray for their brother’s good health, prosperity and well being. The meaning of “RAKHI” is the bond between siblings, the thread of brother-sister bonding. This celebrates the relationship between brothers, sisters, and cousins. Siblings dress in their cultural and colourful dresses. A festival that shows the lovely bondage of the siblings!
Maha Shivaratri is an Indian festival celebrated in honour of Lord Shiva. This day is celebrated to worship Lord Shiva, an important God in Indian culture. On this day, we take a bath in the Ganges, the Holi river, for purification of soul, mind and body. We then bathe the Shiva Linga with milk and honey. People worship Him by going to the temple, doing puja, meditation and taking blessings from him. This leads to wealth, success and happiness. Some people fast on this day because this raises the power of their prayers.
Krishna Jayanthi is celebrated to welcome Lord Krishna to our Earth. Here are some other names for this festival:
Sri Krishna Jayanti
Milk, curd, butter, aval and fruits are offered to Lord Krishna on this day since Krishna LOVES these items. From the time Krishna was little, he was in LOVE with butter, so he went to houses, stole pots of butter and when he walked, butter would spill onto the floor and make small palm prints. To make such palm prints on this joyful day, rice is soaked and finely ground to make a mixture. Then, a baby’s or toddler’s foot gets dipped in the mixture and is pressed on to the ground to greet Lord Krishna to their house. If there are no babies or toddlers in the family, we make the shape of the foot. How cute is that? Krishna is definitely the GOD OF CELEBRATION AND JOY!
This festival is celebrated to honour the birth of Lord Hanuman. Hanuman is a God who represents strength and priests and devotees do a specific puja for him. Hanuman Jayanthi is celebrated differently throughout countries. Devotees offer red cloth, food, butter, sweets and flowers to Hanuman and take laddu and banana as prasad. People perform Puja and Arti and also sing Bhajans to respect and worship Lord Hanuman. It is celebrated in most Indian States.
Rama Navami is celebrated to cherish the birth of Lord Rama to our place called Home. It is the festival of great importance for Hindus. Celebrating the festival of Rama Navami on the 9th day of Chaitra month indicates that bad powers and spirits are being removed, indicating the entrance of Holy power on the earth.
Overall, Indian Festivals express a feeling of joy and merriness and are celebrated to respect our religion and preserve cultural values!
Hi, I am Mridula and here are my hobbies: arts, crafts, drawing, painting, reading, writing, dressing up and sports, specifically cricket and gymnastics! I also LOVE calligraphy, posing for photos, camping with my family and going to beaches and visiting many places!
To see the colours of arts & crafts, visit my flowering website: www.artocraftz.com
Edited by: Jaya Swami, Editor.