In life, there should always be reasons to celebrate. A festival around the corner is the perfect excuse to spread some cheer and confetti. Festivals give us the golden opportunity to take a break from our bustling lives, away from morning alarms and busy schedules; and jump into a cheerful holiday mood. Every year, people around the world take time out from their daily lives to honour different traditions, cultures, prominent historic moments, and personalities. Time-to-time, these occasions help us commemorate and reconnect with our religious, spiritual, and patriotic beliefs.
Festivals are the most euphoric highlights of each passing year. These events give us the chance to bond with our families, catch-up with friends and loved ones and meet new people to make new memories.
India is the largest secular republic in the world, and takes pride in its practice of unity in diversity. All occasions and festivals are celebrated with much passion and spirit irrespective of caste, creed or religion and this is why India is known as ‘The Land of Festivals’.
Apart from the commonly celebrated festivals like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Eid, these are some out of the many popular Indian festivals that you most certainly must witness!
1. Makar Sankranti/ Lohri/ Pongal (The Festival of Harvest)
With different names and festivities in different regions of India, this festival falls in the month of January and marks the season of harvest. Lohri is celebrated with singing of dhol-based (traditional drums) Lohri songs in the north-Indian region. This is a lively festival with a large bonfire set up in the centre and people dancing and singing around it. Uttarayan in Gujarat observes kites of various colours and sizes spread across beautiful skies, with people trying their hardest to cut each other’s kites yelling ‘Kai Po Che!’ (I have cut) when they win. Makar Sankranti in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana; and, Pongal in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, are celebrated by farmers and locals signifying the beginning of harvest season. This is observed across 4-day, where they offer prayers to thank the Sun God for agricultural abundance.
Not To Miss!: Puran Poli (sweet short-bread made with jaggery), Til Ladoo (sumptuous Sankrant staple confectionary), Pongal (South-Indian rice dish), Makki Di Roti and Sarson Da Saag - The ultimate Punjabi meal combo which will leave you speechless!
The Perfect Destination: Maharashtra (Makar Sankranti), Gujarat (Uttarayan), Punjab (Lohri), Tamil Nadu (Pongal).
2. Holi (The Festival Of Colours)