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FESTIVALS OF INDIA - Anil Kumar Cheerla Source:

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1 FESTIVALS OF INDIA - Anil Kumar Cheerla Source:

2 India – Heritage & Culture India - Oldest civilization with rich cultural heritage dating back to 8000 BC Cultural diversity – a unique assimilation of ethnic groups with different languages, culture, religion, race, dance, music and architecture A land of festivals and fairs – regions with unique social and cultural identities Festivals symbolize the spirit of tolerance, harmony and universal peace

3 Festivals of India Festivals pertain to different occasions –welcome the seasons of the year, –the harvest, –the rains, or –the full moon –celebrate religious occasions –birthdays of divine beings and saints or –the advent of the New Year Festivals - Combinations of religious ceremonies, semi-ritual spectacles, worship, prayer, lustrations, processions, music, dances, magical acts, eating, drinking, love and feeding the poor


5 List of Selected Festivals Hindu Festivals 1.Baisakhi 2.Basant Panchami 3.Diwali 4.Durga Puja 5.Onam 6.Holi 7.Janmasthami 8.Karwa Chauth 9.Mahashivaratri 10.Makar Sankranti 11.Naag Panchmi 12.Ganesh Puja 13.Navratri 14.Pongal 15.Rakhi 16.Ramnavami Christian Festivals 17. Christmas 18. Ester 19. Good Friday Sikh Festivals 20. Guru Nanak Jayanti 21.Lohri Muslim Festival 22.Bakra Eid 23. Eid-ul-fitr 24. Muhorram Buddhist Festival 25. Buddha Purnima Jain Festival 26. Mahavir Jayanti National Festivals 27.Independence Day 28.Republic Day 29.Gandhi Jayanti 30.Childrens Day 31. Teachers Day

6 Holi A Complete Festival. Its about –Color of life –Successful Harvest –New Year –Harmony across all barriers Bonfire at night, throw colored water and feast

7 Ganesh Utsav Festival in honor of Ganesha, elephant headed deity – remover of obstacles –Celebrated for 10 days –Huge clay idols made, decorated –Prayers offered, idols immersed in a river, lake or the sea

8 Janmashtami Human incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Krishna – born to kill demon King Kansa –Date: Eighth day of the dark fortnight in the month of Sravana (July-August) –Fasting, praying, temples and homes are beautifully decorated and lit –Rasalila performances

9 Rakshabandhan Celebrates the love of a brother for his Sister –Celebrated on the full-moon day of the Hindu month of Sravana (July/August) –Sisters tie rakhi for protection against evil influences –Prayers for long life and happiness

10 Navratri Celebration of mother goddess – Durga –Symbolizes victory of good over evil –Fasting for nine days –Sing, dance and merriment

11 Deepawali Festival of lights symbolizing the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness –Celebrated on the 15th day of Kartika (October/November) –Illuminated Streets lamps, homes decorated with colors and candles –New clothes, firecrackers and sweets

12 Ramanavami Commemorates the birth of Rama, emblem of righteousness –Symbolizes defeat of evil –Celebrated on the on the ninth day after the new moon in Sukul Paksh (April) –Sing devotional bhajans, offer prayers and distribute prasad

13 Id-ul-Zuha Festival of great rejoice, special prayers and exchange of greetings and gifts –Commemorates the life of Ismail, son of Ibrahim. –Devotion to Allah and his desires –Tradition of sacrificing a goat –completion of Haj

14 Guru Nanak Jayanti Celebration of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith –Religion - a single God who is the eternal truth –Three-day Akhand Path – reading holy sikh book –Processions, religious hymns & community lunch

15 Christmas Birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God –Midnight mass and merrymaking group dances –Carols, and message of love and brotherhood –decorate homes with trees, exchange greetings and gifts

16 Conclusion Festivals represent the spirit of Indian culture and society Represents people from diverse backgrounds, regions, communities and religion People revel in the feeling of friendship, brotherhood and revelry – brings harmony, peace and universal brotherhood


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