Learn about the key Indian Festivals
January

Pongal is one of the most popular harvest festivals of southern

India, mainly Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Pongal

happens in the middle of January every year and marks the

auspicious beginning of Uttarayan (sun's journey northwards). The

Pongal festival lasts for four days. Celebrations include a drawing of

Kolam, swinging & the cooking of delicious Pongal.


Vasant Panchami (also called Saraswati Puja by Bengalis, Oriyas

and Biharis) is celebrated for the blessing of Saraswati, goddess of

wisdom and the arts.


March

Maha Shivaratri is the great night of Shiva, during which followers of

Shiva observe religious fasting and the offering of Bael (Bilva)

leaves to Shiva.


Holi or Phagwah is a popular spring festival. Holi commemorates

the slaying of the demoness Holika by Lord Vishnu's devotee

Prahlad. Thus, the festival's name is derived from the words "Holika

Dahanam", which literally mean "Holika's sl.


Navratri is the Hindu festival of worship and dance. In Sanskrit the

term literally means "nine nights". During this festival the forms of

Shakti are worshipped, and effigies are burned.


Rama Navami is the celebration of the birth of Rama.

August

Raksha Bandhan is a festival celebrated mainly in northern Indian

states. Rakhi is a special occasion to celebrate the chaste bond of

love between a brother and a sister.


September

Krishna Janmaashtami is the Hindu festival celebrating the birth of

Krishna. It is actually called as Krishna Jayanthi. The date falls not

only on the eight day of the waning moon, but always on Rohini

Nakshatra.


October/November

Deepavali which means "row of lights/lamps" in kannada and telugu

and Sanskrit is called "Divali" in North India, Deepa means lamp and

in Hindi a lamp is mostly called a Diya or Di. The festival is

celebrated on the occasion of Lord Krishna and his wife

Satyabhama killing a demon Narakasura. Another story says the

festival is celebrated for the return of Rama and Sita to the kingdom

Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile. Rama is exiled to the forest

for 14 years, his devoted wife Sita and humble brother Laxman

decide to join him, after 14 years the whole village know he is

returning so light lamps or 'divas' to guide him, his wife and brother

home. So every year lamps are lit to represent Rama finding his

way back home after the harsh punishment of being sent to exile in

the forest.aying" Sanskrit