fbpx

  6 of India’s Most Colorful Festivals

The Indian civilization began over 4 500 years ago making it amongst the world’s oldest and most diverse ones. The culture of this nation is extremely interesting to explore – the place holds a large variation of represented religions, assortment of dishes known for their unique taste, as well as cultural landmarks.

 

Some of the most colorful aspects associated with India are the numerous festivals encompassing specific traditions and celebrating the vast diversity of the country. There are around 100 recognized festivals occurring around different districts and 37 universally celebrated all-around the country. In this post, we will present 6 of the ones you should definitely not miss on for your next visit.

Holi: The Festival Of Colors India

Holi: The Festival of Colors

Holi is one of the most well-known festival celebrations in India. Also known as the “festival of colors” or “festival of spring” the most iconic trait of the event is the tradition of throwing wet and dry pain of vibrant colors at participants – this signifies the appreciation of fertility and color. The other specific events happening during Holi are the Holika bonfire and the consumption of the traditional drink bhang thandai. It also marks the end of winter and the start of spring.

The celebration begins on the evening of the Purnima (Full Moon Day) at the start of March (usually 9th or 10th) and lasts one full night and one full day. The origin of the festivals lies in Hinduism – it celebrates the triumph of good over evil.  Holi pays tribute to the god Vishnu and his follower Prahlada who defeated Kiranyakashipu – a demon who wanted to be immortal. The Holika bonfire symbolizes this exact victory.

Diwali Indian Festival of Lights

Diwali: Festival of Lights

Another one of the most famous celebrations with Hindu origins is Diwali. It is probably the most popular festival in India and is marked with lots of flashiness. The tradition includes indoor and outdoor decorations with clay lamps, candles, various lights, and Ashok leaves. People usually wear new clothes for the occasion and take part in collective puja (types of Hindu prayers).

A big part of the festival is fireworks – something that has sparked controversial discussions in recent years within people concerned about the environmental effect of this overuse. Research has confirmed that the extensive use of fireworks leads to a dangerously high rise in pollution levels making air harmful to breathe. This also leaves a long-lasting negative effect for many days after the celebrations have ceased.

Diwali lasts five days during the darkest new moon in mid-October or November. The legend behind it includes the return of Rama, Sita, Lakshamana, and Hanuman to Ayodhya after an exile of 14 years ending with the defeat of Demon King Ravana’s army of evil.

Jaipur Literature Festival India

Jaipur Literature Festival

One festival displaying a different side of Indian culture is Jaipur’s Literature Festival. The event has grown a lot since it started in 2006 and has now turned into the world’s largest free literary festival. World renowned authors attend the event each year as well as millions of visitors from all around the globe and leading figures from the fields of art, humanities, politics, and entertainment.

Jaipur Literature Festival takes places each year at the end of January, in 2020 it hosted over 300 speakers in various fields.

Erwadi Santhanakoodu Festival India

Erwadi Santhanakoodu Festival

This festival lasts for an entire month and usually takes place during July each year. It is held in the Ramanathapuram district and is one of the many celebrations with Islamic origin. The event commemorates the anniversary of Sulthan Syed Ibrahim and is part of the National Integrity initiative.

The Sandthanakoodu festival is also a celebration of unity and diversity. India is a country with many religions and contrasting belief systems – events like this one stand as a symbol of religious harmony and remind people about the power of respect and understanding over diversion and conflict.

Hundreds of thousands of people attend the festival each year and take part in various ceremonies and activities including processions led by a decorated elephant, dancing, folk art performances, and others. Despite the Islamic origin the festival, like many other celebrations with a religious foundation, is something people of all faiths, hue, and color attend and enjoy.

Hornbill Festival: The Festival of Festivals India

Hornbill Festival: The Festival of Festivals

The Hornbill Festival is a must-see event with immense cultural importance for the area of Nagaland. This area is the home of sixteen different tribes with unique traditions and languages. Hornbill was established as a way to boost inter-tribal interaction amongst them, popularize, and protect the rich cultural heritage they possess.

The festival takes place during the first week of December each year, started in 2000 and is now major support for tourism in the district. It unites the tribes of Nagaland in one big celebration with diverse performances of traditional dances and rituals, crafts, sports, food fairs, games, and other ceremonies.

Art is also a major part of the activities including painting, wood carving, and sculpturing. 

International Kite Festival of Gujarat India

International Kite Festival of Gujarat

India’s westernmost state – Gujarat is known for the massive Kite Festival. It takes place on the 14th of January each year and serves as a sign for farmers that the sun is back and harvest season is approaching (Mahasankranti). This is an important harvest day for India and the cities all around Gujarat organize kite competitions as a way to celebrate.

The biggest show is in Ahmedabad where since 1989 the best and most accomplished kite designers, makers, and flyers have been eagerly displaying their unique skills and creations. The festival has turned into a two day official holiday and also includes traditional food like Undhiyu (a mixed vegetable dish), sesame seed brittle, and Jalebi (deep-fried sweet).

The festive atmosphere can be felt days before the celebration begins thanks to the kites and different materials suddenly pre-occupying the market places.

India's Diverse Culture - Best Festivals

There are over 100 festivals with different origin and significance in India, around 37 of which are celebrated across the entire country. Here is a list of the most recognized ones taking place at different times around the year.

Holi: The Festival of Colors India

Read more about the origin and meaning of Holi.

Holi: The Festival of Colors India

Celebration and air pollution are now coming hand in hand during Diwali. Residents of India are expressing their concern and campaigns for reducing the use of fireworks are being set in motion.

Read More

All major religions are present in India.Every religion is celebrated and enjoyed in a respectful way and it is the basis of the diverse culture in India.

 

Apart from the “festival of festivals” Hornbill, each of the sixteen prominent Nagaland tribes have their own festivals going on throughout the year. They include special traditions and ways of celebrating attached to the culture of the tribe.

India's Diverse Culture - 6 of the most colorful festivals
10 things to do instead of shopping

10 things to do instead of shopping

Buy Nothing Day is an international day of protest against consumerism. A great way to save money and an opportunity to tune into life instead of shopping. Find 10 tips here.

Africa Day: 8 interesting facts

Africa Day: 8 interesting facts

Celebrating unity in diversity on Africa Day on 25 May, we present som interesting facts about the African continent. 54 independent states and sadly, one colony, share the amazing African continent.

Stuck at home, now what?

Stuck at home, now what?

Here are 10 good ideas for how to utilise your time in a lockdown situation. Let us make the best out of it and cherish the privilege of having a home to be stuck in.

7 things to do during a lockdown

7 things to do during a lockdown

Many countries are taking measures against the COVID-19 outbreak by announcing lockdown and quarantine. So how can you utilize your time at home?

The Call to Action of 2020

The Call to Action of 2020

The outbreak of COVID-19 is a world crisis. While it is important to take the right measures we also need to remember the other threats of our world.

Take The Leap

Take The Leap

When we are not happy with our current situation change becomes a necessity. Fighting the initial fear and discomfort of it leads to growth and progress.

India's Diverse Culture - 6 of the most colorful festivals

The Indian civilization began over 4 500 years ago making it amongst the world’s oldest and most diverse ones. The culture of this nation is extremely interesting to explore – the place holds a large variation of represented religions, assortment of dishes known for their unique taste, as well as cultural landmarks.

 

Some of the most colorful aspects associated with India are the numerous festivals encompassing specific traditions and celebrating the vast diversity of the country. There are around 100 recognized festivals occurring around different districts and 37 universally celebrated all-around the country. In this post, we will present 6 of the ones you should definitely not miss on for your next visit.

There are over 100 festivals with different origin and significance in India, around 37 of which are celebrated across the entire country. Here is a list of the most recognized ones taking place at different times around the year.

Holi: The Festival of Colors

Holi is one of the most well-known festival celebrations in India. Also known as the “festival of colors” or “festival of spring” the most iconic trait of the event is the tradition of throwing wet and dry pain of vibrant colors at participants – this signifies the appreciation of fertility and color. The other specific events happening during Holi are the Holika bonfire and the consumption of the traditional drink bhang thandai. It also marks the end of winter and the start of spring.

The celebration begins on the evening of the Purnima (Full Moon Day) at the start of March (usually 9th or 10th) and lasts one full night and one full day. The origin of the festivals lies in Hinduism – it celebrates the triumph of good over evil.  Holi pays tribute to the god Vishnu and his follower Prahlada who defeated Kiranyakashipu – a demon who wanted to be immortal. The Holika bonfire symbolizes this exact victory.

Holi: The Festival of Colors India

Read more about the origin and meaning of Holi.

Diwali: Festival of Lights

Another one of the most famous celebrations with Hindu origins is Diwali. It is probably the most popular festival in India and is marked with lots of flashiness. The tradition includes indoor and outdoor decorations with clay lamps, candles, various lights, and Ashok leaves. People usually wear new clothes for the occasion and take part in collective puja (types of Hindu prayers).

A big part of the festival is fireworks – something that has sparked controversial discussions in recent years within people concerned about the environmental effect of this overuse. Research has confirmed that the extensive use of fireworks leads to a dangerously high rise in pollution levels making air harmful to breathe. This also leaves a long-lasting negative effect for many days after the celebrations have ceased.

Diwali lasts five days during the darkest new moon in mid-October or November. The legend behind it includes the return of Rama, Sita, Lakshamana, and Hanuman to Ayodhya after an exile of 14 years ending with the defeat of Demon King Ravana’s army of evil.

Holi: The Festival of Colors India

Celebration and air pollution are now coming hand in hand during Diwali. Residents of India are expressing their concern and campaigns for reducing the use of fireworks are being set in motion.

Read More

Jaipur Literature Festival

One festival displaying a different side of Indian culture is Jaipur’s Literature Festival. The event has grown a lot since it started in 2006 and has now turned into the world’s largest free literary festival. World renowned authors attend the event each year as well as millions of visitors from all around the globe and leading figures from the fields of art, humanities, politics, and entertainment.

Jaipur Literature Festival takes places each year at the end of January, in 2020 it hosted over 300 speakers in various fields.

Erwadi Santhanakoodu Festival

This festival lasts for an entire month and usually takes place during July each year. It is held in the Ramanathapuram district and is one of the many celebrations with Islamic origin. The event commemorates the anniversary of Sulthan Syed Ibrahim and is part of the National Integrity initiative.

The Sandthanakoodu festival is also a celebration of unity and diversity. India is a country with many religions and contrasting belief systems – events like this one stand as a symbol of religious harmony and remind people about the power of respect and understanding over diversion and conflict.

Hundreds of thousands of people attend the festival each year and take part in various ceremonies and activities including processions led by a decorated elephant, dancing, folk art performances, and others. Despite the Islamic origin the festival, like many other celebrations with a religious foundation, is something people of all faiths, hue, and color attend and enjoy.

All major religions are present in India.Every religion is celebrated and enjoyed in a respectful way and it is the basis of the diverse culture in India.

 

Hornbill Festival: The Festival of Festivals

The Hornbill Festival is a must-see event with immense cultural importance for the area of Nagaland. This area is the home of sixteen different tribes with unique traditions and languages. Hornbill was established as a way to boost inter-tribal interaction amongst them, popularize, and protect the rich cultural heritage they possess.

The festival takes place during the first week of December each year, started in 2000 and is now major support for tourism in the district. It unites the tribes of Nagaland in one big celebration with diverse performances of traditional dances and rituals, crafts, sports, food fairs, games, and other ceremonies.

Art is also a major part of the activities including painting, wood carving, and sculpturing. 

Apart from the “festival of festivals” Hornbill, each of the sixteen prominent Nagaland tribes have their own festivals going on throughout the year. They include special traditions and ways of celebrating attached to the culture of the tribe.

International Kite Festival of Gujarat

India’s westernmost state – Gujarat is known for the massive Kite Festival. It takes place on the 14th of January each year and serves as a sign for farmers that the sun is back and harvest season is approaching (Mahasankranti). This is an important harvest day for India and the cities all around Gujarat organize kite competitions as a way to celebrate.

The biggest show is in Ahmedabad where since 1989 the best and most accomplished kite designers, makers, and flyers have been eagerly displaying their unique skills and creations. The festival has turned into a two-day official holiday and also includes traditional food like Undhiyu (a mixed vegetable dish), sesame seed brittle, and Jalebi (deep-fried sweet).

The festive atmosphere can be felt days before the celebration begins thanks to the kites and different materials suddenly pre-occupying the market places.