8 most popular festivals in India
India is a land famous for many festivals, alongside its spectacular buildings, iconic forests, beeches, and mouthwatering cuisine. Many festivals are celebrated here throughout the year. These vibrant events offer tourists a chance to witness India’s unique culture at its best.
Among the hundred of festivals held here, I’ve been narrowed the list to 8 most popular festivals in India that you need to experience atleast once!!
1. Ganesh Chaturthi
In: August or September
At: Maharastra, Goa, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, and Karnataka.
Ganesh Chaturthi is a spectacular Hindu festival honoring the birth of Lord Ganesha, celebrated for 11 days. The elephant-headed god, Lord Ganesh worshipped for his ability to bring good fortune, and popularly known as “Remover of Obstacles”.
The statues of Ganesha are installed in people’s home and specially constructed podiums. On the Anantha Chaturdasi (final day), statues are paraded through the streets with much dancing and singing, before being immersed in nearby lakes and ponds.
2. Durga Puja
In: September or October
Durga Puja celebrates the victory of 10-armed warrior goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Although celebrated all over India, West Bengal is the venue of greatest festivities.
Similar to the Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja sees huge statues of Durga Devi. In Kolkata and other cities, on the tenth day of the festival known as Vijaya Dashami the idols are paraded. They are immersed in local rivers and ponds admist drumbeats and loud chants.
In: October or November
Diwali is one of most popular festivals in India, lasting for five days. It was a festival of lights, where people decorate their homes with clay lamps known as diyas and candles.
The festival celebrates the birth of goddess Lakshmi and the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana. Diwali is celebrated with much joy and enthusiasm with firecrackers and firework lightening up the sky.
4. Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra
In: June or July
At: Puri, Odisha
Jagannath Rath Yatra is one of the most-awaited annual festivals in Odisha state as well as in India. This event is dedicated to Lord Jagannath (incarcination of Lord Vishnu/Shri Krishna), his sister Goddess Subhadra, and his elder brother Lord Balabhadra.
It is believed that every year Lord wish to visit his birth place Mathura. To fulfill this wish, every year the wooden idols of the three deities are taken from the Jagannath temple to the Gudicha temple in the holy chatriots pulled manually by the devotees.
5. Holi Festival
In: February or March
Holi is the India’s most colorful festival. People gather in the streets and throw handful of colored powders known as gulal and water on each other.
This festival marks the arrival of spring and celebrated over 2 to 16 days. Holi not only celebrates the colors, but also love and the triumph of the good over evil. White colored garments are good to wear during celebrations so that colors truly stand out on your garments!!
6. Shri Krishna Janmashtami (popular festivals of India of Dahi Handi)
In: August or September
Krishna Janmashtmi celebrates the birthday of Lord Krishna, the eighth incarcination of the god Vishnu. This festival involves the exhilarating activity particularly among the youth!!
A clay pot is filled with buttermilk called “Dahi Handi” is hung above the ground. A team of men, form a human pyramid to break the pot. This celebration is very emthusiastic and falls on the second day of the festival
7. Pushkar Camel Fair
At: Pushkar, Rajasthan
This is an unique event every year in the desert town of Pushkar in Rajasthan state. Originally this is intended for camel trading, but now involves Mela, a market and Ferrari wheels also. Many competitions like camel decorations as well as moustache decorations held in the fair!
Piligrims also come at this time to bathe in the holy water of the Pushkar’s Lake. You will find accommodation from simple guest houses to luxury tented camps in the desert.
At: Tamil Nadu, Andhra pradesh, and Telangana
It is a harvest festival that gives thanks to nature and celebrated for four days. The first day, Bhogi, involving people burning old household items in a huge bonfire. All children and adults too gather around the bonfire to sing and dance.
Pongal is the most popular festivals in India during extreme winter season. The second day, Makar Sankranthi or Perum, is the most important day and people offer prayers to the Sun god Surya Deva. The third day is Mattu Pongal, dedicated to worshipping cattles. On the final day of Kanum Pongal people take a day out to spend time with their friends and families.