Indian Festivals
At a Glance

You can now listen and learn the history and significance behind all the popular Indian festivals here.

Indian festivals

India is the land of festivals, where people of all faiths coexist. The numerous Indian festivals celebrated in our country are a true reflection of the country’s rich culture and traditions. Many Indian festivals are celebrated every month that give us an opportunity of rejoice with our families, friends and society at large. 

To give an overview of all the popular Indian festivals, their origin, history, significance, timing and dates, we bring to you “Indian Festivals At a Glance” podcast. This show will would provide you (and our little listeners) with all the essential information that one should know about it.  So join us in this journey where we take you through the India’s cultural history.

What are the popular Indian Festivals?

The following Indian festivals are explained in our podcast, “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

Lohri

Marks the end of the winter solstice

Makar Sankranti

Dedicated to the Sun God, Surya

Republic Day

Formation of the Constitution of India

Vasant Panchami

The festival to honor the Hindu goddess Saraswati

Maha Shivratri

The festival to honor God Shiva

Holi

The festival of colors

Gudi Padwa/ Ugadi

Welcomes the Hindu New Year

Baisakhi

The beginning of Sikh New Year

Ram Navmi

The festival to honor birth of Lord Rama

Eid-ul-Fitr

The festival of breaking the fast

Buddha Purnima

Birth & Spiritual Enlightenment of Lord Buddha

Rath Yatra

Return of Krishna with his brother and sister Balarama and Subhadra to Vrindavan

Eid al- Adha

The festival of sacrifice

Independence Day

Freedom of India from British Raj

Onam

Welcoming The Mighty Mahabali

Raksha Bandhan

Celebration of brother and sisterhood

Janmashtami

The birth of Lod Krishna

Ganesh Chaturthi

The birth of Lord Ganesha

Navratri

Festival of the divine feminine & power

Dussehra

Triumph of good over evil

Karwa Chauth

Dedicated to the beautiful bond of marraige

Diwali

The festival of lights

Bhai Doj

Celebrating the bond of siblings

Gurpurab

Birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

Christmas

Birth of Jesus Christ

What are the Indian festivals in January 2022?

1. Lohri

In this episode of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”, we are going to talk about Lohri

Lohri is a very famous Indian Festival, which is a traditional winter festival, celebrated in North India, especially in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Delhi.

The origin of the festival can be traced back to the legend of Dulla Bhatti, a famous  hero of Punjab, who led a rebellion against Mughal emperor Akbar.

Lohri also marks the end of the winter solstice, when the days start to become longer than the nights. It is also a time when harvest of the rabi crops is celebrated.

One the day of Lohri, little children run between houses singing “Sundar Mundariye”  the tale of Dulla Bhatti, and ask for money which elders gladly pay as token of respect towards this legendary Hero. In the night, Lohri, is celebrated by lighting a bonfire, which is considered to be a symbol of fertility. People wear radiant clothes, socialize, sing and dance around the fire on various folksongs.

The highlight of Lohri is the products made from the January harvest, especially sugarcane. Things like Jaggery, gajjak, rewaries, chikki and popcorns.  

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

2. Makar Sankranti

In this episode of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”, we are going to talk about Makar Sankranti. 

Makar Sankranti is a major Indian Festival which is celebrated on 14th or 15th January, denoting the moving of Sun in the Makar Rashi. It is celebrated by donating various things like Khichdi, Gajjak, Oil, and money to the needy, and a Maha Snan is also held on this day in the holy Ganges. It is celebrated in different parts in India with different names and customs.

  • In Tamil Nadu- Thai Pongal
  • In Assam- Bihu
  • In Gujarat and Rajasthan- Uttarayan
  • It is also called “The Kite Festival.”

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

3. Republic Day

In this episode of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”, we are going to talk about Republic Day. 

26th Of January is celebrated as Republic Day of our India. This Indian Festival is very special because it is celebrated by every Indian. This Indian Festival is considered as a National Festival of India. 

India got its independence on 15th August 1947, yet getting this freedom was not enough, India needed some rules and regulations to govern this huge country. Therefore a regulating committee was created under the leadership of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar to form the Indian Constitution.  It took almost 3 years to draft the constitution, finally it was implemented on 26th January 1950.

This day was declared as Republic Day. It is celebrated with a lot of joy and fervor in the entire country, at local level various events are organized in schools, offices where adults as well as children participate in fun and frolic. At the national level parades and presentation happen in the national Capital New Delhi, at Rajpath and the entire ceremony is presided by the honorable President of India, who also addresses the nation. 

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

What are the Indian festivals in February 2022?

1. Vasant Panchami

In this episode of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”, we are going to talk about Vasant Panchami. 

Vasant Panchami is one of the special Indian festivals celebrated. It is commonly called as Shri Panchami or Sarwasati Panchami. The festival of Vasant Panchami takes place in India around the beginning of spring when mustard flowers bloom. The color yellow is associated with the festival which signifies happiness, excitement, and positivity of new beginnings.

According to the Hindu calendar, this popular Indian festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the month of Magh, which also foretells the arrival of Holi forty days later. Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge, is honored on Vasant Panchami. On Saraswati Puja, young children take their first steps toward education, as the day is considered the most auspicious for beginning of learning. This ritual is called Akshar Abhyasam or Vidya Arambham.

People all over India celebrate the festival of Vasant Panchami by wearing yellow clothes, eating and distributing sweets, decorating their homes with yellow flowers, and doing a variety of other activities.

In Punjab, the day is marked by the release of kites. In Maharashtra, newlyweds go to a temple to pray. People in Rajasthan wear jasmine garlands, and children in West Bengal worship their books in front of Goddess Saraswati.

Best Places to Celebrate the Indian Festival of Vasant Panchami are:

  • Punjab
  • Haryana
  • Bihar
  • West Bengal
  • Uttarakhand

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

What are the Indian festivals in March 2022?

1. Maha Shivratri

In this episode of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”, we are going to talk about Maha Shivratri. 

Maha Shivratri is an Indian festival, celebrated annually in honor of Lord Shiva. It is in descending winter season, during the Spring season to be precise. 

Maha Shivratri, means ‘the great night of Shiva’. According to legend, it is on this night that Lord Shiva appeared and also commemorates the night he performed his fury dance, Tandav.

It is believed that fasting, and praying and offerings of Lord Shiva’s favorite things  can help one overcome their sins and take the path of righteousness. On Maha Shivratri many people celebrate it by reaching Shiva Temples by Kawariyas, who walk barefoot from long distances, and other people, praying all night and finally offering prayers at the Nishith kaal to Lod Shiva. Lord Shiva is offered milk, Bel Ptr, Various fruits including Ber etc. 

This Indian festival has a lot if significance and id celebrated with different rituals in various parts of the country like:

  • Madhya Pradesh: Devotees bathe in Shivsagar lake in Khajoraho
  • West Bengal: Four Shiv lings are made by the Ganges river Mud, and are prayed four times. 
  • Jammu and Kashmir: A 21 days festival is celebrated
  • Himachal Pradesh: Shobha Yatra of Lord Shiva is performed.
  • People take vows of honesty and fairness on this day. 

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

2. Holi

In this episode of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”, we are going to talk about Holi. 

Holi is one of the most vibrantly celebrated festivals of India, celebrated in almost every part of the country, and by Indians belonging to every faith and belief. It is also famous as the “festival of colors” as on this day people get together forgetting all resentments and any bad feeling towards each others and play with colors.

This Indian festival is celebrated on two main days on the Full Moon Day in the month of Falgun. It is celebrated with the name Holika Dahan or Choti Holi, when people light Holi fire and pray around it, next morning called Holi, people play with colors.  

This festival is based on the legend of Bhakt Prahlad who was a devotee of Lord Vishnu, much to the anguish of his father, the demon king Hrinyakashyap, who did not like to worship Lord Vishnu. He ordered his sister Holika to sit in fire and let Prahlad burn. Holika was blessed that she couldn’t get burnt in fire, however Prahlad while sitting in her lap prayed to Lord Vishnu and got saved while Holika got burnt to death.

In many parts of India, this festival is celebrated in different ways, like Barsaane ki holi, Lathmaar Holi, Dhol Yatra etc.

This festival of love and friendship is very vibrant but we have to be careful when we celebrate it, like avoiding using artificial colors, using natural colors, taking care of pets and animals, and saving environment. 

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

What are the Indian festivals in April 2022?

1. Hindu Nav Varsh/Gudi Padwa/Ugadi

In this episode of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”, we are going to talk about The Hindu New Year. 

HIndi New Year is celebrated on the first day of Shukl Paksh ok Chaitr month according to Hindu Calender. It is believed that Lord Brahma created this world on this very day, thus its symbolic to New Beginnings. 

Hindu Panchang also begins on this day. This New Year is celebrated in various parts of the country according to different customs like its called Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, Ugadi in Karnataka, Sajibu Nongma Panba Charioba in Manipur. 

This day also marks the beginning of Chaitr Navratre. It is also believed that it was on this day that Lord Ram had his coronation ceremony. And this day also marks the day of establishment of Arya Samaj by Swami Dayanand Saraswati.

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

2. Ram Navmi

In this episode of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”, we are going to talk about Ram Navmi. 

Ram Navami is a Hindu festival, celebrating the birth of Lord Rama.  According to mythology, Rama was the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was born to King Dashratha and Queen Kaushalya in Ayodhya. Lord Rama was born on Navami Tithi during Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month. Therefore each year, the ninth day is celebrated as Ram Navami.

Hindu households celebrate the Navratri by doing puja and on the ninth day, they perform Kanya Puja, where 9 girls are invited at home and offered prasad consisting of sooji halwa, Kala chana, and puri. The Hindus believe that young girls are the manifestation of Devi.

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

3. Baisakhi

In this episode of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”, we are going to talk about Baisakhi. 

Baisakhi or Vaisakhi, the harvest festival, is observed in most of India to mark the start of the new spring season. Baisakhi is particularly significant in Punjab and Haryana due to the large Sikh population, which celebrates the festival with zeal and enthusiasm.

The festival became closely associated with Sikhism at the end of the 17th century, when Guru Gobind Singh, the Sikh leader, chose the date of the festival to establish the Khalsa Panth.

‘Rongali Bihu’ in Assam, ‘Naba Barsha’ in West Bengal, ‘Vaishakha’ in Bihar, ‘Vishu’ in Kerala, and ‘Puthandu’ in Tamil Nadu are some of the names given to the festival of Baisakhi. This day is commemorated in Punjab as the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru.

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

What are the Indian festivals in May 2022?

1. Eid-ul-Fitr

In this episode of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”, we are going to talk about Eid-ul-Fitr.

Eid-ul-Fitr is  the biggest festival of Muslims. It is celebrated across the world with a lot of fervor, more so because it is celebrated after the holy month of Ramadan, where followers of Islam fast for 30 days where they do not eat or drink during the day, but only eat twice during Sehri, which is right before sunrise, and Iftaar which is right after sunset. During the month of Ramadhan, Muslims also do charity and follow a lot of discipline. 

After 30 days, according to the sighting of the moon, known as Chand Raat, Eid is celebrated the next day. On the day of Eid, people go to Eidgaah to pray, make sweets like Sevaiyaan, (giving the name “Meethi Eid” to this festival”) and give Eidi to little ones. At several places Eid Fairs are held where people especially children do a lot of stall hopping. 

Eid-ul-Fitr is a festival of happiness, joy and good will. To know more about it, listen to the Podcast.

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

2. Buddha Purnima

In this episode of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”, we are going to talk about Buddh Purnima. Buddh Purnima or Buddha Purnima is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha.

One of this major Indian festivals, Buddha Purnima, is celebrated according to the Lunar calendar. Therefore every year it falls on different dates. Though it is primarily celebrated in the Baisakh month of the Buddhist calendar Not just India, Buddhism is followed in many more countries and it is also celebrated on different dates and in different styles.

  • In Japan: 8th April,
  • In Taiwan: 2nd Sunday of May,
  • In China & Korea: On the 8th day of the 4th month (Chinese Calendar)
  • In Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Malaysia: On the full moon day of Baisakhi

According to Hindu calendar, Lord Buddha or Gautam Buddha was born on the full moon day of the Baisakhi month. It is believed that he was born in around Lumbini 563 BCE or 480 BCE. His birth name was Siddharth Gautam. His father, Shuddodhan was the King of  Shaky Dynasty and his mother was Maya Devi. He was acquitted with everything and was destined to be a King in future but at the age of 29, he witnessed four such things that he willingly gave away his throne.

He saw an old man, a sick man, a dead man and a sage. After this Siddharth Gautam became Gautam Buddha and left his kingdom to find peace in meditation and simple life. He preached and inspired several people over the years and finally attained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya under the Bodh tree. That is when, he finally became Lord Buddha or Buddha- The Enlighter. In 483 BCE or 400 BCE, at the age of 80 he receives “Mahanirvana” meaning, total extinction of individuality (according to the Buddhists).

  • In Cambodia, people celebrate Buddha Purnima by carrying Buddhist flags, Lotus, incense, and candles to acknowledge Lord Buddha.
  • In South Korea, Buddhists celebrate Lotus Lantern festival
  • In Indonesia, they have world’s biggest Buddhist temple and they organize large processions
  • In India, India Buddha Purnima is a public holiday but specifically limited to Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Bodh Gaya, Lahoul Spiti, Kinnaur, Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Kurseong few towns in Maharasthra, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, and in Uttranchal. The festival is limited to these places because of the presence of 70% Indian Buddhists population there.

There is a popular tale of Sujata narrated on this day. It is believed that Sujata fed Gautam Buddha a spoon of “Kheer” that resulted in the end of his six years long uninterrupted meditation.  Though every country has its unique way to celebrate this occasion of Buddha Purnima but one common thing that binds them all is “Charity”. On this day, all the followers of Buddha donate according to their capacity.

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

What are the Indian festivals in July 2022?

1. Rath Yatra

In this episode of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”, we are going to talk about Rath Yatra. Rath Yatra or the Chariot festival is one of the holiest and oldest festivals of India.

It celebrates the return of Lord Krishna with his brother and sister Balarama and Subhadra to Vrindavan. Though It is celebrated in India and across the world, the most famous is the Jagannath Ji Rath Yatra which is held at the beach town Puri, of Odisha, an eastern state of India.

The idol of Lord Jagannath, Balarama, and Subhadra are taken out in a procession on a huge chariot. It marks Lord Jagannath’s annual visits to the Gundicha Temple (Aunts Home) home near Balagundi Chhaka, Puri for nine days. In these nine days, he takes all his ten forms. After nine days they return to their home Jagannath Ji Temple.

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

2. Eid-al-adha

“Itr ki khushboo, sivayion ki mithaas, Naye naye kapde, haathon mein mehndi aur jeb mein dher saari eedi… Aisa hota hai humaare India mein Eid ka Tyohaar… “

Eid is a holy festival of Muslims. There are two Eid holidays: Eid ul Fitr and Eid al Adha. The Hijri calendar, also known as the Islamic calendar, has 12 months but with 354 or 355 days.

First, let’s discuss Eid ul Fitr. The fasting month of Ramadan comes to an end on Eid al-Fitr, which means “feast of the breaking of the fast.”

During this month, people fast which is also known as Roza. During Roza, Muslims do not consume anything during the day. They only eat Sehri in the morning before sunrise and Iftaari in the evening after sunset. Without the moon, Eid celebrations would be incomplete.

The purpose of this month’s fasting and worship is to get closer to Allah and to show compassion to those in need.

Eid ul Adha, Bakr Eid, or Eid ul Zuha  means “festival of sacrifice.” This festival takes place on the 10th day of Dhu’l-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar.

Muslims all across the world celebrate Eid ul Adha to honor Prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham’s) sacrifice, which he made following Allah’s order as a believer in Him.

Muslims believe that God tested the Prophet by commanding him to sacrifice his firstborn son, Ismail (Ishmail). Ibrahim followed Allah’s commands and laid down his beloved son for sacrifice, but at the last moment, Ismail was replaced with a sheep. 

The completion of Hajj, a five-day pilgrimage to Mecca that every able-bodied Muslim is obligated to accomplish once in their lifetime, is also commemorated on Eid al Adha.

The journey is said to cleanse the soul of sins and establish a spirit of equality, sisterhood, and brotherhood.

Men, women, and children dress up in their nicest attire for  Eid Ul Zuha, and wonderful dishes like Biryani and Kebabs are prepared in homes. Muslim families throw a feast and give out gifts to the less fortunate. Children are also given gifts known as “Eddie” in certain Muslim traditions.

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

What are the Indian festivals in August 2022?

1. Independence Day

Did you know before the British rule, India was known for its gold and rich natural resources? Yes, and because of that, India was captured by the British who all ruled over her for years.

Every year on August 15th, Indians all over the world celebrate its Independence Day – the day that commemorates the end of 200 years of British rule. On this day in 1947, India was declared a free country after years of struggle and sacrifice by our great freedom fighters. 

In 1617, India was ruled by the Mughals, and during that time the British India Company first came to India to fix a trade between Mughal India and England. In 1757, British rule in India began, following by the East India Company’s victory at the Battle of Plassey,  gave them control of the country. Indians revolted against the Britishers as they did not want to be their slaves and fought for the freedom of India. Several revolts and fights such as Revolt of 1857, Quit India Movement, The Champaran Satyagraha of 1917, and many more collective efforts led to a  new Independent India.

Our first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, delivered a speech on the woke of Independence Day that began as, “At the stroke of midnight, when the world sleeps, India shall awake to life and freedom.”

Every year, we commemorate Independence Day by singing the national anthem, flag-raising ceremonies are held across the country, drills are conducted. People make an effort to dress in national or regional attire to honor their country and culture. The prime minister takes part in a flag-raising ceremony and a parade with the personnel of the military forces and police at the Red Fort. Schools and colleges celebrate this day by parade, cultural activities, speech and quiz competitions, and more.

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

2. Onam

Onam, celebrates the beginning of the harvest season. It is a Hindu festival celebrated yearly all over India with its origins in the Kerala state.

Onam festival was held to mark the arrival of Asura King Mahabali’s annual visit from Patala. The story of Onam festival suggests that gods were threatened by Mahabali , a demon king and sought for Lord Vishnu’s help. Lord Vishnu disguised himself as Vamana, and arrived at the kingdom of Mahabali.   

He requested Mahabali to grant him the land which he can cover within three feet. The generous king accepted the request and then Vamana started to expand in size covering the sky and earth in the first two steps.

Lord Vishnu, offered Mahabali the blessing of being allowed to visit his people once a year in reward for his  good actions, leading to the Onam Festival in India.

The 10 days of Onam sequentially are: Atham, Chithira, Chodhi, Vishakam, Anizham, Thriketa, Moolam, Pooradam, Uthradam and Thiruvonam. The festival of of Onam includes activities liket street parade, flower decorations,  pulikali dance, the famous snake boat race, and obviously delicious cuisines.

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

3. Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan is a celebration of the bond that exists between brothers and sisters. It is one of the most important Indian festivals amongst the Hindus. It is not only celebrated in India but across the world where Hindus reside.

On this day sisters tie Rakhi, a protective band (raksha dhaga) on their brother’s hand that ensures the safety of the brother. In return, the brother promises her the same.

Raksha Bandhan is rooted in mythology. It is said that during Mahabharat, when Lord Krishna accidentally nicked his finger on his ‘Sudarshan Chakra’, Draupadi tore a piece of her saree and tied it to his finger to stop the bleeding. Lord Krishna was so touched by her gesture that he promised to always protect her.

Raksha bandhan is known by different names in different states. In Uttar Pradesh it is known as Sharvni, in Tamil Nadu it is Avni Avattam, in Maharastra it is Naryal Purnima, and the list continues. Listen to the podcast to know about the history of Rakhsha Bandhan during partition of Bengal.

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

4. Krishna janmashtami

The birth of Lord Krishna is known as Janmashtami, and it is widely celebrated throughout India. It is one among India’s most important celebrations. In Mathura and Vrindavan, where Lord Krishna was born and raised, the festival is widely celebrated.

The celebrations of Janmashtami begin at midnight. Krishna’s statues are washed, dressed in gorgeous clothing, and placed in cots.

On this day, people fast and sing devotional songs in honor of Lord Krishna, Lord Vishnu’s eighth avatar. Baby Krishna statues are washed and set for worship as part of the ritual. One of the festival’s attractions is Dahi Handi. This activity leads back to  Krishna’s childhood, when he used to play with his companions and steal curds from villagers, as a result, he is also known as “Makhanchor.”

During the festival of Janmashtami children dress up like Kanhaiyan or Krishna to take part in school or society competitions. Janmashtami is indeed a festival full of zeal among the Indians.

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

What are the Indian festivals in September 2022?

1. Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Ganesha. Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as ‘Vinayak Chavithi’.

Lord Ganesha is considered to be a symbol of wisdom and good fortune. He is also addressed as Gajanana, Ganesh, Gajadant that are among his 108 names. This is a 10-day long festival. The festival is widely celebrated in the state of Maharashtra. People chant Ganapati Bappa Morya, paying respect to him. 

Prayers are chanted, fasts are observed, and prasada (sweets) such as modaka, which is believed to be a favourite of Lord Ganesh, are distributed. The festival concludes on the tenth day, when the idol is paraded through the streets and immersed in a nearby body of water.

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

What are the Indian festivals in October 2022?

1. Navratri

Navratri, also called Durga Puja, is one of the major festivals in India. It is held in honor of the divine feminine. The festival is of nine days and nine nights is accompanied by dance, music, sweets, and worship of the most powerful goddess. During this festival, the nine avatars of Goddess Durga are worshiped each day. 

One popular ritual of this festival is Kanya Puja. In this ritual, nine young girls are dressed as the nine goddesses portraying feminine power. They are worshiped with foot washing and are given offerings such as food and clothing. Navratri is celebrated differently in India’s various regions. 

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

2. Dusshera

Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami, is a Hindu festival that commemorates the triumph of good over evil.  Dusshera is celebrated on the tenth day of Ashvin, the seventh month of the Hindu Luni-Solar Calendar, which occurs between September and October in the Gregorian calendar.

In different parts of the India, Vijayadashami or Dusshera is commemorated and celebrated for different reasons. Vijayadashami is the end of Durga Puja in India’s southern, eastern, northeastern, and some northern states. The event is known as Dussehra in the northern, central, and western states, and it commemorates lord Rama’s victory over Ravan at the end of Ramlila.

In the famous Hindu epic Ramayana, Dussehra commemorates Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana. Ravana kidnaps Rama’s wife Sita in the Ramayana to take revenge on Rama and Lakshmana for cutting off Surpanakha’s nose. In the end, Rama triumphs over Ravana and saves Sita. The triumph is then commemorated by the burning of the effigies of Ravana. The tenth day, Dussehra, is the end of Navratri’s nine-day celebrations.

According to another legend, Goddess Durga battled and killed Mahishasura on this day. The day is known as Vijayadashmi. The nine days leading up to Vijayadashami are dedicated to a different powerful manifestation of Goddess Durga.

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

3. Karwa Chauth

Indian festivals are well-known throughout the world. Among all the Indian festivals, one stands out in the Hindu lunar calendar month of Kartik. It is Karwa Chauth. On this day, Hindu ladies anxiously wait for the moon to appear in the sky. It is an annual one-day holiday observed by married Hindu women during which they fast from dawn to moonrise and pray for their husbands.

Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan are among the states that commemorate Karwa Chauth. Women dress up in new outfits and ‘solah shringar’ and offer prayers in order to ensure a happy and beautiful marriage.

During the festival, ladies observe a ‘Nirjala’ fast, during which they do not eat or drink water for the entire day and give prayers to numerous Gods. Karva Chauth is linked to a number of mythological stories. One of the most well-known is the story of Savitri and Satyavan, in which the woman used her prayer and devotion to bring her husband back from Yamraj. 

Veervati, the only sister of seven loving brothers, has a similar story. The brothers couldn’t stand seeing her fast for the entire day, so they tricked her into thinking the moon had appeared. Veervati broke her fast only to learn of her husband’s death shortly after. She pleaded for a year, and the Gods were so happy with her devotion that they returned her husband back.

The Karva Chauth celebrations begin at 4 a.m., when married women get up before the sun rises and get ready. The daughter-in-law is then expected to eat the Sargi (a dish eaten before sunrise on Karva Chauth) that her mother-in-law has prepared for her.

Roli, rice, diya, Chalni, sweets, and a glass of water make up the puja plate. Women sit in a circle and pass their plates back and forth. They perform songs on this day and tell the story of Savitri and Satyvaan, as well as Veervati. When the moon is fully visible, women chant prayers while gazing at the moon and their husband through the chalni. The husband then feed their wife and offer water. Thus, this is how the Karwa Chauth fast is broken.

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

What are the Indian festivals in November 2022?

1. Diwali

Diwali festival is the festival of lights. It is one of the main Indian Festivals, which falls at a time when people are preparing the starting of Winters. 

Diwali Festival is also called Deepavali, which means a row of lights. It falls on the New Moon Night of Kartik month according to Hindu calender. 

Significance of Diwali is that it is celebrated to commemorate Lord Ram’s return to Ayodhya after defeating demon king Ravana with the help of his brother Lakshman, Lord Hanuman and his Vaanar Sena and rescuing Sitaji from him. It is believed that this return was celebrated by the people of Ayodhya by lighting diyas and illuminating the entire city, thus it is called Festival of Lights.

How people celebrate Diwali in India: People in the entire country start preparing for this one of the greatest Indian Festivals by starting to clean their houses, color them etc. They also celebrate this festival for at least five days. Day 1 is DhanTeras, Day 2 is Narak Chaudas, Day 3 is Main Diwali, Day 4 is Govardhan Pooja, and day % is Bhai Dooj. On the main day they wear new traditional clothes, pray to Goddess Lakshmi, illuminate their houses with candles, diyas and lights, and burst crackers to express their happiness.

There are various other reasons why Diwali is celebrated as one of the popular Indian Festivals in the country.

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

2. Bhai Dooj

Bhai dooj is one of the most loved and cherished Indian Festivals which celebrates the love between a brother and a sister. This Festival is celebrated after two days of Diwali. On this day brothers visit their married sisters with gifts and sisters put a tilak on their brothers’ foreheads and accept gifts from them, celebrating the festival of Bhai Dooj

Among the many Indian festivals, the significance of Bhai dooj is that, the sisters pray for the long lives of their brothers. According to the legend, Yamuna, Yamraj’s sister requests him to lend long life to those brothers, whose sister’s put a tilak on their foreheads. This gave way to the festival of Bhai Dooj.

Bhai Dooj, like many other Indian festivals, is celebrated in various parts of the country with different rituals and names, like Bhaubeej in Maharashtra, Bhai Tika in Nepal, and Bhai Phonta in West Bengal, but one thing in common is the love between a brother and sister.

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

3. Gurpurab

Gurpurab commemorates the birth of Guru Nanak Dev ji, the first Sikh Guru. Gurpurab, one of the most holy holidays, falls on the Guru Purniama of the Kartik month. Guru Nanak Jayanti otherwise called Gurpurab, is the main celebration for the devotees of the religion of Sikhism. The celebration is celebrated on arrival of Kartik Poornima, which is the fifteenth lunar day in the long stretch of Kartik as depicted by the Hindu schedule, and typically falls in the period of November by the Gregorian schedule.

The celebrations in Gurudwaras begin two days before Guru Nanak Jayanti. Akhand Path is a 48-hour continuous recitation of the Guru Granth Sahib. A parade named Nagarkirtan is organised a day before Guru Nanak’s birthday. The march is led by five men known as the Panj Pyare, who carry the Nishan Sahib, a Sikh three-sided flag. On the day of Gurpurab, a unique Langar is served. The concept of Langar was first started by Guru Nanak Ji himself. Night prayer sessions are also held at several Gurdwaras on this special day.

The list of nine other Sikh Gurus who preached the teachings of Guru Nanak Ji are:

  • Guru Angad Ji
  • Guru Amar Das Ji
  • Guru Ram Das Ji
  • Guru Arjan Ji
  • Guru Hargobind Ji
  • Guru Har Rai Ji
  • Guru Har Krishan Ji
  • Guru Teg Bahadur Ji
  • Guru Gobind Singh Ji

We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

What are the Indian festivals in December 2022?

1. Merry Christmas

December is the favorite time of the year as the holiday season begins this time. It is the time to deck the halls up with stockings, lights, stars, bells, candles, and not to forget traditional Christmas songs.

For kids, Christmas is all about presents, chocolates, lights, holidays, family, and dinner. Children decorate Christmas trees and wait for Santa Claus to get them gifts.

But does your child know about the story of Jesus Christ? Christmas is celebrated every year on December 25th, the date of birth of Jesus Christ. This festival is the biggest festivals of Christians and in some countries it marks the holiday season too. It is celebrated across the world with different customs and rituals with Christmas carols, and stars on Christmas tree. 

The true spirit of Christmas lies in the birth story of Jesus Christ which is explained in our Christmas podcast. We hope you have enjoyed listening to the history behind this popular Indian festival. We will soon bring to you more episodes of “Indian Festivals At a Glance”.

More content on Indian Festivals coming soon!

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