Known for its natural and cultural diversities, India is the land of hundreds of colorful fairs and festivals. The people of India are so vibrant and versatile that they celebrate almost every occasion in the form of fairs and festivals. Almost every day of the year, there is a festival celebrated in one or other part of the country. Be it the change of seasons of the year, the harvest, the advent of the new year, the arrival of rainy seasons, religious occasions or the birthdays of divine beings and saints, India celebrate a festival for almost every occasions.
The fairs and festivals of India reflect liveliness and vibrancy of the Indian people. Every festival in India has its own characteristics. Some of them are celebrated in the form of processions, some prayers and some in the form of dance and music. But all of them share a common element in them and that's the celebration of life. These colourful and joyous festivals of India bind the people of the nation across various regions and religions in a unique way. Undoubtedly, the fairs and festivals of India showcase the true color of India and provide the best opportunity to its visitors to gain an insight into the life of the Indian people.
The most important and widely celebrated festivals of India are Dussehra, Diwali, Id, Christmas, Holi etc.
Dussehra: Dussehra is the festival of goddess Durga that celebrates her victory over the demon buffalo Mahishasura. The 10-days long colorful cultural program of Ram Lila, an enactment of the story of Lord Rama, is the most significant aspect of Dussehra festival. On the 10th day of Dussehra effigies of Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, are burnt signifying the victory of good over evil. In Bengal, the images of the goddess Durga are immersed in lakes and rivers after four days of worship.
Diwali: Diwali is one of the most popular festivals of India, which celebrates the return of Lord Rama and Sita after 14 years of exile. Diwali is known as the festival of lights, crackers and sweets and is celebrated with great vigor and enthusiasm all over India. Diwali symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
Id: Id or Id-ul-Fitr is the most important festivals of Muslims of the world including India. Id festival is celebrated to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting.
Holi: Holi is the festival of colors. Originally a festival to celebrate the end of winters and arrival of spring seasons, Holi is now a symbolic commemoration of a legend from Hindu Mythology, symbolizing the victory of good over evil. According to the legend an arrogant king resented his son Prahlada from worshipping Lord Vishnu. He attempted to kill his son but failed each time. Finally, the king's sister Holika, who was said to be immune to fire, took the boy in her lap and sat on a huge pyre. However, the prince Prahlada emerged unscathed, while his aunt burnt to death.
Christmas: Christmas is perhaps the most famous and widely celebrated festival in the world. In India too, the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated with great rejoicing on December 25th every year. Thousands of foreign visitors gather to world-famous beach town of Goa in India to enjoy the great Christmas carnival every year.
Other major festivals in India include Baisakhi, Raksha Bandhan, Janmashtami (the birthday of Lord Krishna), Ganesh Chaturthy to name few. Among regional festivals Bihu in Assam, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Onam, and Pooram and Therayattam in Kerala are worth mentioning here.