The most significant forms of celebrations witnessed in India take place around its festivals. Festivals are to Indian culture what spices are to Indian cuisine.
Without the biggest festivals in India, its culture wouldn’t be as rich and diverse as it currently is. Festive occasions in India are a time of great gusto and excitement.
The rich diversity of India is reflected in the enthusiasm by which we celebrate the wide range of famous festivals in India. Be it ringing in Christmas, welcoming Lord Ganesh with great pomp and celebration during Ganesh Chaturthi, exchanging greetings during the holy Ramzan Eid or lighting up the halls with Diyas in Diwali, each and every festival in India is greeted with big celebrations and cultural harmony.
Let’s walk through the 10 biggest festivals in India that magnify the nation’s beauty.
According to Hindu mythology, the festival of Holi represents the triumph of good over evil. The festival also announces the arrival of spring.
Holi is one of the most popular and biggest festivals celebrated in India. The streets are occupied with people applying dry and wet colours on each other’s faces celebrating the victory of good over bad.
Holi is celebrated with great zeal and fervour where people dance, toss coloured powders and water balloons and of course, drink Lassi.
- Eid-Ul-Fitr/ Ramadan Eid.
Following the month-long fast of Ramadan, Muslims from all over the country celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr. In essence, it marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month during which Muslims observe fasting.
Eid-ul-Fitr is unquestionably one of the biggest celebrations in India and a significant festival for the Muslim population worldwide. The festivities are very wonderful since this festival marks the last day of rejoicing after a holy month of fasting.
There are gatherings for communal prayer, a sacrifice ceremony, a lavish feast, and other events where friends and family are invited.
Janmashtami is observed as the birthday of Lord Krishna in the Mathura prison. It is a widely popular festival of India which is celebrated with tremendous enthusiasm!
There are illustrious celebrations that take place across the country, especially in Mathura and Vrindavan. There are prayers, bhajans, dance and other hymns sung throughout the night and day as Lord Krishna’s birth is depicted.
- Ganesh Chaturthi
The celebration of this festival marks the birth of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God and son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
In Maharashtra, Ganesh Chaturthi is a well-known celebration.
In fact, Lord Ganesha’s rebirth after a tragic tale makes it a very significant event in India as well. People bring home Ganesha statues or even erect pandals with Ganpati idols for the length of the 10-day carnival-like celebration before the idols are submerged in the sea on the last day.
Malayalis commemorate the return of the legendary King Mahabali during the auspicious festival of Onam.
In God’s Own Country, Kerala, Onam is practically a weeklong carnival celebration! As the streets are packed with entertainment, sumptuous feasts, boat races, processions, and more, this festival unites everyone in Kerala.
You won’t forget the exciting experience of visiting Kerala during Onam.
The festival of Navratri represents the nine diverse forms of Goddess Amba and each day is devoted to one of the nine different manifestations, as described in mythological stories. The festivities culminate in Dussehra when Goddess Durga takes her final form.
Navratri is one of the most significant festivals celebrated in India and is celebrated for a variety of different reasons. Garba which is a popular Navratri dance is practised during those nine days. Worshipping Goddess Amba in her various guises as she assumes new ones to vanquish demons is their one and only shared objective.
The 10th day of Dussehra marks the conclusion of the nine days of Navratri. The major highlight of this festival is the burning of the effigies of Ravan and his two brothers, which represents the victorious moment when Lord Rama defeats Ravan in the epic story of the Ramayana.
The firecrackers inside the effigies cause a medley of loud noises when the entire, nearly 100-foot-tall tower collapses. The crowd then cheers even louder to honour the symbolic achievement.
In certain cities of India, there happens street plays called Ramlila that depict the complete story of Ramayana.
Without a hint of doubt, Diwali is one of the most famous and biggest festivals in India. Celebrated across the nation, this festival of lights has a wide significance for diverse cultures in the country.
However, everybody comes together to light up Diyas and celebrate the festival of lights in unison. It is quite a spectacle to witness the Indian streets and households during this auspicious festival.
Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. In India, this occasion is observed with passionate revelry and beautiful joy. Every home can sense the comforting aroma of walnut cakes.
Christmas is the occasion when Santa hats and reindeer headgear are most common, decorating people’s heads as if enthralled by a confetti of Santa hats.
Many individuals decorate Christmas trees in their homes with colourful stars and hanging balls. On this auspicious event, people also go to the church to seek the holiness of Christ’s graces.
Lodhi, a colourful celebration celebrated with joy and unity, is a harvest festival distinctive to North India. In January, the festival is intended to commemorate the winter crop.
It is celebrated during the late evening time around a cosy bonfire when guests munch popcorn, delicious north Indian specialities and peanuts while savouring the warmth of the fire and their shared love.
The biggest festivals in India truly depict its diverse culture, harmony, and enthusiasm and to experience each of them is similar to living a hundred lives in one. Your trip to India is bound to be etched in your hearts forever if you visit this country during any of its festival times.
If you are planning to visit the nation anytime soon during the festive season, let us make the hard work easy for you. Our travel package experts are here to get to every detail of your trip to India and make it a memorable journey.