List of Famous Hindu Festivals in India
Hindu religion is the oldest religion in the world. Actually Hinduism is not only a religion but a way of life which is now third largest religion in the world after Christianity and Islam. Though Hindus are spread all over the world but the majority of this religion lives in India and Nepal. There is no single founder of this religion.
The main Hindu books are Ramayana, Bhagvad Gita, Vedas and Puran which guide Hindus in their life. So many festivals are celebrated by Hindus worldwide but the list most famous festivals in India are as following—-
Sarswati Pooja-Vasant Panchami – January
Godess Sarswati is considered as Goddess of music, knowledge, wisdom, art and learning. People worship Goddess Sarswati to attain enlightenment through knowledge. To worship Goddess Sarswati an special festival is celebrated which in called Vasant Panchami (Sarswati Pooja) in India. This festival is celebrated in the month of spring and people worship for knowledge and success. Mainly children try to learn alphabets on that day. On this occasion Statue or photographs of Goddess is placed on a particular place and Pandit ji enchants mantras . After the completion of pooja Prasad; a religious offering is distributed among people.
Maha Shivarathri- February
Mahashivratri is Hindu festival celebrated to worship Lord Shiva in February or March. Lord Shiva got married to Goddess Parvati on this day that’s why Mahashivratri is called “The Great Night of Lord Shiva”. In other words Mahashivratri is the wedding anniversary of God Shiva and goddess Parvati . In Rudra form God Shiva performed Tandav Dance on this day. On this auspicious day, Devotees go to God Shiva temple to offer Him flowers. Bael patra, Dhatura, Bhang, Fruits , Milk , Ghee, Ganga water and sugar.
Holi – March
The Hindu festival Holi; the festival of colors and love is celebrated in the month of March every year. In Hindi calendar it is celebrated in the month of Phalgun . On the Holi eve Holika is burn on bonefire and people gather to sing and dance on this occasion. Next day people play with colors, Gulal and eat Sweets. Colors are thrown on each other saying “ bura na mano Holi hai” . There are so many famous stories related to Holika Dahan but the most relevant is there was a king in Multan named Hiranyakashipu who had earned unlimited power which made him indestructible . Due to special power he became arrogant and started thinking he was God. He had a son whose name was Prahalad. Prahalad was devoted to Lord Vishnu and he didn’t agree with his father. To punish Prahalad, Hiranyakashipu ordered Holika (Hiranyakashipu’s sister) to sit on bonefire taking Prahalad in her lap. Since Holika was waering a shawl which was not supposed to burn but wind-blown and shawl flew away . In this way Holika burnt and fire could not affect Prahalad. Prahalad survived . After this incident Lord Vishnu appeared and killed Hiranyakashipu.
In this way Holi is celebrated to remember the victory of good over evil.
Sri Rama Navami- March
The Hindu festival Ram Navami is celebrated in Chaitra (March) as birthday of Lord Rama. Ram Navami is one of the most important festivals of Hindu religion. On this occasion temples are decorated with flowers across India and Nepal.
Mahavir Jayanti- April
Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated as birthday of sage Mahavir who founded the religion Jainism. Mahavir Jayanti is the most important festival of Jain religion celebrated across the country in April. Mahavir is known as Vardhmana who was born in either 599 BC or 615 BC.
Akshay Tritiya is very auspicious 3rd day of Vaishakha month of Hindi calendar for Hindu and Jain religion. Lord Parashuram who is the sixth carnation of Lord Vishnu was born on this day. On this day Treta Yug started and Holy river Ganga was sent to earth. In Jain religion this day is celebrated to show respect for Tirthankara Rishabh who ended his one year fast by taking sugarcane juice.
Naga Panchami- August
On the occasion of Nag Panchami, Hindus worship Nag (Sneak) in the month of Shravan (July/ August) of Hindi calendar. On this day sneak is offered milk and rice with full devotion in India and Nepal. During the festival people worship sneak to protect them from any danger.
Raksha Bandhan is celebrated for love between brother and sisters in August every year. On this special day sisters tie a band on brother’s hand for their protection. This day sisters prays for good health and long life of their brothers and in return brothers pledge to take care of sisters in any circumstances.
Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Caviti is Hindu festival which is celebrated to worship lord Ganesha; son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Lord Ganesha is considered as God of beginning and wisdom . Bhagwan Ganesha is also remover of obstacles and he is worshiped in entire India and Nepal in September.
Ganesha Statue is made of clay before 2-3 month from Ganesh Chaturthi. It is kept in a tent (Pandal) with decoration and lightings. People sing and dance on this occasion to worship Lord Ganesha till 10 days. “Ganapathi Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya” (O father Ganesha, come again early next year). The idol aor statue of Lord Ganesha is immersed in the river with flowers and herbs .
Krishna Jayanthi- September
Krishana Jayanthi also known as Krishna Janmashtami is birthday celebration of Lord Krishna. This Hindu festival is celebrated with full enthusiasm in the month of September every year. Sri Krishna was the most powerful incarnation of lord Vishnu as a human being who was born in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. Devotees of Lord Krishna are spread across the world. This festival is celebrated almost in all countries in the world.
Navrati is a Hindu festival which is celebrated in the month of October every year to worship Goddess Durga. In 9 days Hindu worship nine forms of Devi/ Shakti. On 10th day Vijayadashami / Dashahara is celebrated. This festival is celebrated in entire India and Nepal.
Vijayadashami also known as Dashahara is celebrated on just completion of 9 days of Navratri. Dashahara is celebrated to celebrate victory of Lord Ram. Lord Ram killed Ravan on the same day. In Hindu religion this day is considered as victory of goodness over evils.
Deepavali / Diwali
Deepavali also known as Diwali is celebrated between mid of October – Mid of November. It is said that God Ram returned Ayodhya on this day after killing Ravan. To welcome Lord Ram people decorated their home with lights and fired crackers.