A festival is a special occasion of feasting or
celebration. We celebrate many festivals in our country. Some of these
festivals have religious associations, some are associated with the harvesting
of the crop and some festivals are celebrated throughout the country. All
festivals are associated with celebration and provide entertainment. These
celebrations offered a sense of belonging for religious, social, or geographical
Festivals– These festivals are celebrated by the
whole country. Our National festivals are: Independence Day, Republic Day,
India got independence from the British Empire on 15
August 1947. On 15 August 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru, who had become the first
Prime Minister of India, raised the Indian national flag above the Lahore Gate
of the Red Fort in Delhi. On every Independence Day, the Prime Minister of
India raises the flag and gives speech. On this day the great sacrifice of
great Indian leaders who dedicated their lives for the country's freedom in the
past, is respectfully remembered.
Republic Day is celebrated on the 26th of January. It
is an occasion that whole India celebrates. It was on 26th January, 1950 that
our country became Democratic Republic. 26th January 1950 was the day when the
Constitution of India came into force. The Constitution was drafted by Dr. Bhim
Rao Ambedkar as the chairman of the Drafting Committee. Republic Day Parade is held at Rajpath.
Representatives of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force and traditional dance
troupes take part in the parades. Jhaanki from all states are displayed. The
President of India takes the salute. Soldiers are honored bravery award for
their selfless sacrifice and bravery. Children are also awarded for their courageousness.
2nd October is celebrated to mark the occasion of the
birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the "Father of the Nation".
He was the well-known leader of Indian independence movement. He dedicated his
life to the ideals of Truth, Nonviolence and Love. He worked hard throughout
his life to put an end to hatred and to spread love. On this day prayers are
held especially at Raj Ghat, Gandhi's memorial in New Delhi where he was
cremated. Prayer meetings and ceremonies are held all over the country.
and Social Festivals – In India different
religions are followed and is reflected in festivals also. We also celebrate
some festivals that have social significance. Some of the festivals are
Diwali the festival of lights is celebrated twenty days
after Dussehra. It falls in the month of October or November. It is believed
that, Lord Rama return back to Ayodhya after 14 year of exile. On this festival
people decorate their house by lighting small clay lamps and candles. These
lights represent the victory of good over evil and brightness over darkness.
People dress up in new clothes and worship Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and
prosperity. People exchange gifts and sweets between family members and close friends.
Vijayadashami is also known as Dussehra. It celebrates Rama's
victory over the demon king Ravana and marks the triumph of good over evil. In
the northern parts of India this festival last for 10 days. Ramlila is
performed for 9 days and on tenth day, huge effigies of Ravana, his giant
brother Kumbhkarna and son Meghnath are burnt in vast open grounds in the
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated to honors the birth of
Lord Ganesha. People install beautifully crafted statute of Ganesha in their
home and in huge pandal. People worship Ganesha idol for 9 days and on last day
idols are immersed in river or sea.
Holi is a spring festival also known as the festival of
colours. Holi comes in February end or early March. It celebrates the victory of good over evil. Holi
celebrations start with bonfire on the night before Holi where people gather,
sing and dance with joy. The next morning people play with colours by throwing
and applying colours on each other and have parties and dance under water
sprinklers. Women prepare loads of gujiya, mathri and papri for the family and
also for the relatives.
On Raksha Bandhan, sisters tie a rakhi on her brother's
wrist. This silken thread symbolizes the sister's love and prayers for her
brother's well-being, good health, prosperity and happiness. In return, the
brother pledges to protect and take care of his sister under all circumstances.
Eid, popularly known as Eid-ul-Fitr mark the end of
Ramzan. It is festival of breaking the fast. The practice of fasting is also
known as 'roza' that starts from dawn till dusk. On this day people wear new
clothes and go to Mosque. People offer prayer in large group in Mosque. People
exchange gifts and wish each other ‘Id Mubarak’ as a mark of unity and
brotherhood. On this festival people prepare delicious meethi seviyan.
Id-ul-Zuha is also known as Bakra-Id or Bakrid . On
this day Muslim sacrifice a goat to honor the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim. People
offer prayers in the mosques and distribute the sacrificial meat after the Id
prayers .People greet each other “Eid Mubarak” and visit the houses of
relatives and friends.
Christmas is celebrated to honor the birth of Jesus. It
falls on the 25th December every year. It is most important festival of
Christians. People illuminate their houses and attend special services in the
churches. On this day Christmas tree is decorated with artificial stars,
lights, toys etc. People wear new clothes, eat festive meal and exchange gifts.
Children believe that Santa Claus brings gift for them on the night before
Christmas. Person dressed as Santa distribute gift and sweets among children.
Onam is one of the most significant harvest festivals
of Kerala. Onam marks the homecoming of the mythical King Mahabali. People
decorate the ground in front of their houses with flowers arranged in beautiful
patterns to welcome the King. One of the main attractions of Onam is boat races
and beautifully decorated elephants.
It is celebrated in the month of January every year.
The festival is celebrated for four days. Pongal is a harvest festival for
giving thanks to nature. People worship Sun God by offering prayers. People
wear new clothes and women decorate houses with kolam. Sweetened dish of rice
boiled with lentils is consumed on this day.
Lohri is a popular harvest festival of Punjab. Bonefire
is an important feature of Lohri. People throw puffed rice, popcorn and other
munchies into the fire and distribute Prasad comprises til, gajak, jaggery,
peanuts, and popcorn.
Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival celebrated in
almost all parts of India. This day is also believed to mark the arrival of
Gurupurab is also known as Guru Nanak Jayanti. On this
day Sikh wear new clothes and go to Gurudwrara. Processions are taken out and
free langars are arranged all over the country.
Buddha Jayanti is also known as Buddha Purnima. Buddha
Purnima is celebrated on the birthday of Gautam Buddha. Lord Buddha is the
founder of Buddhism.
It celebrates the birth of Lord Mahavir.
Children's day is also known as "Bal
Diwas".It is celebrated on 14th November every year. Children's
day is celebrated on Pandit Nehru's birthday. He was the first Prime Minister
of free India. He loved children very much and children also loved him and
respected him and called him “Chaha Nehru”.
Teacher’s day is celebrated on 5th
September. 5th September is the birthday of a great teacher Dr. Sarvapalli
Radhakrishnan. He was the first vice President of India.