10 Cultural & Religious Festivals India is famous for many things around the world, from yoga to its diversity, from its travel destinations to its rich history, but one thing that this country excels at more than most is celebrating festivals. A country with a diverse religious heritage India as a nation celebrates festivals of various types, tastes, and colours, which is what makes festivities in this country so unique to experience. Continue reading to learn about the best eleven cultural and religious festivals in India that we believe everyone should experience and celebrate if they visit
1. Makar Sankranti & Pongal .
Makar Sankranti and Pongal, which are celebrated in the second week of January, mark the end of the harvesting season in the country, when farmers put down their tools and come together in joy and harmony. Sankranti is celebrated in various ways across northern India, including kite flying in Gujarat and parts of Rajasthan. Pongal is a four-day cultural Indian festival celebrated primarily in Tamil Nadu. On the second day of Pongal, the festivities are marked by boiling milk in new clay pots at sunrise and shouting “Pongalo Pongal” when the milk boils over. It is a significant festival in the state during which people pray for abundance in wealth and health, and it is also the best time to visit Tamil Nadu.
Holi is one of the most colourful festivals in the world, if not the most colourful. It embodies the essence and vibrancy of India. The beautiful cultural festival celebrated with colours and water in March is a special festival celebrated throughout the country. Celebrated over two days; the night before the colour playing, family and friends gather to burn a bonfire to commemorate Holika’s sacrifice, and the next day, people come out and play with colours and water in a joyful spirit. Mathura, Vrindavan, Dwarka, and the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand are the best places in India to celebrate Holi.
Easter Sunday, a very special and auspicious day for Christians, is celebrated in April to commemorate Jesus Christ’s resurrection after his death on Good Friday. The day has great religious significance for Christians and is celebrated with great zeal. To commemorate the occasion, people buy new clothes, decorate eggs, and prepare delectable lamb dishes. The Easter basket is prepared and brought to church to be blessed by the Father, filled with chocolates, decorated eggs, and other items. Easter is best celebrated in Goa and Kerala, where this festival is celebrated with greater zeal in Christian-dominated regions, and one gets to experience the festival’s beauty even more.
4. Maha Shivratri
Maha Shivratri is one of the most important days in the Hindu calendar year, commemorating the day Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati. This religious Indian festival takes place on the 14th/15th of February, with devotees flogging to temples to offer their prayers. The celebrations include all-day fasting and all-night vigils of singing and dancing.
5. Eid-al-Fitr (Ramadan)
In, India’s largest religious festival, and the month-long fasting preceding it, known as Ramzan, are fervently celebrated by millions of Muslims across the country. It is advantageous to have Muslim friends around this time because you can attend Iftar Parties every evening during Ramzan and feast on some delectable sweet dishes on Id. During Id, cities such as Lucknow, Delhi, and Hyderabad experience joyous celebrations and fanfare. The festival also represents India’s brotherhood and cultural diversity
On this day, the birthday of Lord Krishna, a revered Hindu God, is celebrated. Krishna temples all over the country are beautifully decorated, and thousands of people flock there to pray to the god. During this time, the twin cities of Mathura and Vrindavan become a hub of activity, with many famous temples such as ISKON and Bake Bihari beautifully decorated and packed with devotees late into the night. This religious festival is usually celebrated in August or September .
7. Durga Puja/Dussehra
Durga Puja, which lasts nine days, and Dussehra are two Indian festivals that bring a lot of joy to the people here. Durga Puja commemorates Goddess Kali’s nine-day return to her maternal home. During these nine days, the goddess is worshipped every morning, with Bhog offered in the afternoon and evening spent watching cultural events such as dancing and singing. Durga Puja in Bengal is known worldwide for its celebrations, and Kolkata is the best city in India to experience the magic of this amazing religious festival. Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day, commemorating Lord Ram’s victory over Ravana effigies are being burned across the country.
Deepawali, the festival of festivals, is one of India’s most widely celebrated cultural festivals, celebrated across communities and regions. The festival of lights commemorates Lord Ram’s return from exile to his kingdom. During the festival, homes are decorated with beautiful electronic lights, as well as diyas and rangolis. In the evening, there is a grand puja of Goddess Laxmi, the harbinger of wealth, followed by the burning of crackers to mark the end of the festival. Deepawali celebrations are most prevalent in northern states such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, and Delhi.
9. Buddha Purnima
Buddha Purnima is the most important day in a Buddhist’s life since it commemorates Gautam Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death. The Buddhist temples and followers throughout India, the land of Gautam Buddha’s enlightenment and death, celebrate his life and teachings. Devout Buddhists congregate with flowers and candlesticks at their nearby temples, giving prayers and chanting songs. Bodh Gaya in Bihar is the ideal venue in India to see the spectacular celebrations of Buddha Purnima.
10. Losar Festival
Losar Festival is the country’s New Year’s festival for Tibetan Buddhists. This celebration is thought to predate the arrival of Buddhism in India and is one of the most culturally exciting Indian festivities. Losar festival is best celebrated in Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh. The Losar festival lasts fifteen days, with the first three days being the most important. The event is generally held in February or March, and it includes folk dance, music, and local drinks.