2 MAKAR SANKRANTI (KITE FESTIVAL) Mid-winter Hindu festivalHindu New YearCelebrated by taking dips in River GangesDip is said to purify selfCelebrated for 3 days and is more of a cultural festival
3 REPUBLIC DAYOn 26th of January, India became a free and independent republic. To celebrate this, every year a big parade is held in Delhi. This parade starts from Vijay Chowk near Rashtrapati Bhawan. The soldiers of all the three armed forces-Army, Air-force, and Navy march down Rajpath. Our President takes the salute of this parade. The parade ends at Red Fort. Beautiful tableaux from every state also participate in this parade.
4 HOLI Celebrated on the day after the full moon Festival to celebrate good harvestSpring festivalAlso called the ‘Festival of Colours’Day one - bonfire is lit at nightDay two - people go around and throw coloured powder and water at each otherEnds with a feast in the evening
5 RAM NAVAMI Ninth day of the Hindu Lunar year Birthday of Rama Starts off with prayer to the SunPerform Kalyanotsavam (marriage celebration) for images of Rama and SitaEnd of the day the idol of Rama is taken in a processionHindus fast on this occasionTemples are decorated and chanting of the Ramayana takes place
6 INDEPENDENCE DAYIndia celebrates independence day on 15th August. On this day in 1947, our country got its freedom from the British rule. Many people died fighting for the freedom of our country. We remember all those freedom fighters on this day. The Prime Minister hoists the national flag at the Red Fort in Delhi and renders a speech to the nation giving the people a special message.
7 RAKSHA BANDHAN Raksha - protection Bandhan – long-lasting bond Celebrates the relationship between brothers and sistersThread-tying ceremony (rakhi)Sister recognizes the bond between themselvesBrother vows to look after herFeed each other sweets
8 JANMASHTAMI Celebration of the birth of Lord Krishna Celebrated differently in North and SouthBegins with fasting on the previous dayFollowed by a night-long celebration commemorating the birth of KrishnaAt midnight, the idol of infant Krishna is bathed, placed in a cradle and worshippedNext morning, ladies draw patterns of little children's feet at the entrance of the house with rice-flour paste, walking towards the housesymbolizing the entry of the infant Krishna into his foster-home
9 GANESHA PUJA Annual festival in honour of Ganesh Celebrated for ten daysDay 1 - idol placed on platform and decoratedFor ten days Ganesh is worshippedEnds when the idol of Ganesh is immersed into the most convenient body of waterMost popular in Mumbai (Maharashtra)
10 NAVRATRI Nine days of dance 10 days - during September-October Honour supreme mother goddess – DurgaSymbolizes good over evilCelebrated differently throughout IndiaUsually with songs, dances and merriment
11 DIWALI Most well known Festival of lights Symbolizes victory over evil Lamps are lit for hope for mankind, new beginning and positive qualities one should haveCelebrated for five days in the months of October-November