Hindu Festivals in 2023

Hindu Festivals in India

Hindu Festival Calendar - India is a land of cultural diversity and its essence lies in an assorted range of races and ethnicities dwelling here. Religion also is no exception to this and the country is home to people with diverse faiths and beliefs. Hinduism however dominates all the other religions because of its wide-spread presence (in terms of geographic area) and number of followers.

One of the most peculiar characteristic features of Hinduism is that it observes many festivals encompassing celebrations, festivity and fasts. Several festivals celebrated by the Hindus call for national holidays and are celebrated with great pomp and show whereas some are celebrated in different regions. Some festivals celebrate diverse incarnations of gods and goddesses and the devotees observe fasts on the day of the festival. Some other festivals on the other hand commemorate harvesting seasons, relationships or/and Vedic principles.

It will not be an exaggeration to say that Hindus celebrate almost anything to everything and that too with equal fervor. Right from the full moon to birth of a god or goddess and from death anniversaries of demon characters to initiations - every event is celebrated with equal vigor and show. Harvesting seasons, plenitude of harvests, seasons, moons and even creatures like snakes too call for a festivity (Nag Panchami) on scheduled days. Every event that is celebrated as a festival is a reason for fun and frolic, music and dance, though devotional only in some cases, and is followed by ritualistic feasts.

Furthermore, all these celebrations have a quintessential divine aspect to them. Hinduism in fact evolved as an organic culture in the medieval times and every animate or/and inanimate thing or being possible was categorized in the 'to be worshipped' category. Astronomical events like lunar or solar eclipse also have certain rituals and taboos attached to them. In short, each event in Hinduism basks in the overtones of religion. For every festival, there definitely is a deity who presides over all his/her counterparts for the day of the festival and all the festivities encompass the deity's likes. For example, during Navratri, women put on all the Shringars, which appeal to the presiding deity of the festival - Durga. People usually dress up in red or tones of red and devotional songs singing her praise only are played in puja pandaals. These festivities are considered to be a form of thanksgiving to the deity by his/her devotees and it is believed that those who take part in the events enthusiastically are blessed by the deity.

Some of the Hindu festivals such as Deepavali and Ganesh Chaturthi have by now gained a global avatar and are celebrated all over the world. However, there exist a plethora of community or/and location-specific festival as well that are celebrated to commemorate the importance of a god, any religious event or good harvest. Onam for example, is a specific Keralite festival whereas Skanda Sashthi is limited only to Tamil Nadu.

There are many Hindu festivals celebrated throughout the country with equal passion and devotion. The Hindu festivals in India involve lots of customs and rituals. There is a distinctive festival for every event of one's life and for season. Some of the Hindu festivals are region and community specific depending on the importance a certain God enjoys like Onam is celebrated only by Keralites. There are many Hindu festivals like Deepawali to Holi, Raksha Bandhan to Lohri, all full of color, fun and a deep religious importance.

Having said so much about Hindu festivals, India might appear a celebrative land to readers however the festivals are not sprinkled evenly on the calendar. The festive season in India starts in the middle of August - September and continues until November. Some festivals though have various legends attached to it that differ from one region to another. The festivities also differ a lot depending upon the geographical location. For example, an oil bath is a must on Deepavali in southern parts of India whereas north India celebrates deepavali in a completely different manner.

Whatever be the mode of celebration, reason to celebrate and/or legend behind it - festivals in India are a ritualistic riot and strengthen the bond of brotherhood amongst people. They leave indelible imprints of happiness and joy in the minds of people until another festival arrives, which again adds more color and joy to the life of Indians.