Indian festivals

From ArticleWorld

It has been the religious tolerance and all-encompassing nature of Hinduism in India that has embraced and allowed religions to express themselves in the form of lots of rejoicing and expression of life. Most, among the many Indian festivals celebrated across the nation, are of social form, though personal and family celebration is practiced, too.

Secular festivities

Holi, Diwali, Ramnavami, Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Vijayadashmi, Kumbh Mela, Christmas, Bakri-id, Moharram, Parsi New Year Day are some of the examples of Indian religions involving mass participation of all castes, creeds and religions in various parts of the country. The national gazetted holidays apart from these religion based festivals are the independence day – 15th of August, when India became free from British Colonial rule and finally had its own government which was different from anything that was ancient and traditional India; 26th of January-the Republic Day of India, when India declared itself a sovereign, democratic, secular, republic; and the 2nd Oct., the birth anniversary of the father of the nation- Mahatma Gandhi.

Religious festivals

The various regions have their own distinct style and ritual of celebrating each festival, though basically, all of them follow the same traditions. Holi, for example, is an event celebrating the dawn of longer days and with Diwali starts the longer nights. The period of celebration of each festival, too is distinct in various regions. In Maharashtra, for example, Ganesh Chaturthi would generally be celebrated for about 10 days socially and in other parts of the country for only one day.

National outlook

Festivals in India have been also used by leaders to promote national and social causes effectively, more so, during the independence struggle. Generally, almost all festivals have been revolving around change of seasons or otherwise, natural phenomenon. The divine embodiment is largely to inculcate a thought of chastity to be followed rigorously. Some festivals like Christmas, Bakri-id which were alien to the native Indian community, nevertheless found wide acceptance as a mark of brotherhood off all those who are Indians. Thus Indian festivals have largely contributed to the concept of unity in diversity in this nation.