From the moment you get into the country, India, you will notice the myriad of sensory-bursting and rambunctious non-stop festivals just waiting to happen like all day every day. It’s like Indians have festivals for just about anything which will make your India tours more fun. And you find that each and every one of them is just as mind-blowing as the other.
Festivals celebrating religion, the seasons, the phases of the moon, India’s epic stories like the Mahabharat and Ramayana, festivals celebrating the country’s culture, etc. If this is your first time visiting the country, you might end up wondering whether these people even have time to celebrate all these festivals. Their frequencies are just astonishing.
But then again, of all these festivals, here are some that are well worth visiting. And if you happen to be in the country during their celebrations, don’t dare miss.
1. Diwali, the Festival of Light
Easily considered the biggest festival in India, Diwali is meant to celebrate the triumph of the power that the light has over the dark. Like the triumph of good over evil. It means ‘the rows of lighted lamps’ or simply the Festival of Light.
During this festival, everyone will light small lamps called diyas and fireworks believing that they are helping guide Lord Rama home. To the Indians, Diwali is the equivalent of Christmas. That’s how big and important it is in the country. Families and friends will come together to celebrate this festival. You won’t want to miss out.
2. Holi, the Festival of Color
When it comes to the most popularly known festivals of India, Holi easily tops the list. Most foreigners are always looking to participate in and at least get a feel and experience of the festival. It involves throwing water and colored powder at each other. Pretty sure your kids would die for a chance to do this.
It is a celebration of spring that is usually held in March. You also find that during this time, the crowd is controlled and nothing untoward happens. Everybody is out to have fun and even the tourists aren’t in any danger celebrating during this time.
Holi is celebrated on the full moon of either February or March. Check the date in advance and be ready. Get the right people to celebrate the festival with and where. Head over to Mathura/Vrindavan in the North of India to get the full experience of Holi.
3. Durga Puja
It might not be as popular as Diwali or Holi, but Durga Puja also has a lot to offer India’s visitors. This festival is essentially meant to give honor to Durga, the goddess that represents shakti or the divine feminine energy. You can say it’s the divine power, force, and warrior aspect of Durga, the divine mother. This festival can go on for more than five days and its date is also tied to the moon.
Durga Puja is more of an arts festival where artisans get to showcase their talents to the world. It’s also a religious festival as well. Just go with the crowd and visit the pandals every evening for this event.
4. Ganesh Chaturthi
Another favorite festival throughout India. Ganesh is the country’s beloved elephant-headed god. This festival is meant to honor him and runs for 11 days. It’s usually held in the late August or September. Again, dependent on the phase of the moon.
During this festival, images of Ganesh are displayed throughout about five cities in the country and displayed during the entire festival period. On the last day, the images are then paraded throughout the country’s streets accompanied by dancing and singing.
5. Pushkar Camel Fair
This festival takes effect over Pushkar, a small town in India, each year. Again, at the time of the full moon. It’s the full moon festival. So, you know, full moon and all. this is really a camel fair. You see camel traders come from all over the country to buy, sell and sell camels. This trade is also accompanied by cultural shows, feasting, and competitions like camel raring, etc.