A festival is a celebration of life. Festivals bring peace and joy to the masses. They break the monotony of life. Indian festivals are numerous. They are of three types- national, religious and seasonal. The first type of festivals. i.e. national festivals are celebrated with great patriotic favour.
The second type of festivals depict the religious association of the people. Third ones mark the change of season. The people celebrate their faith or seasonal change with gaiety and enthusiasm. The national festivals include Republic Day, Independence Day, Gandhi Jayanit etc. The religious festivals of India include Guru Parav, Holi, Lohir, Buddhapurnima, Mahavir Jayanit, Dussehra, Diwali, Janmastami, Chath, Navaratri, Eid, Christmas, the festivals of the Parsees and Jews etc. The seasonal festivals include Bhi, Baisakhi, Onam, Pongal, Basant Panchanmi etc. Festivals also have a negative influence on the society. Festivals should be celebrated with simplicity. They should be celebrated to promote national integration and communal harmony.
A festival is a celebration of life. It is a celebration, entertainment or series of performances of a certain kind, often held periodically. Festivals break the monotony of life. They bring peace and joy to the masses. All nations have their religious and cultural festivals. Indian festivals are numerous. They are harmonious, rich, varied and colorful.
Indian festivals are varied as the people themselves. They can broadly be divided into three categories – national or political, religious and seasonal. Most Indian festivals have their origin either in religions or in the myths and legends of popular faiths. Some are contend with the memory of venerable men and events and are, therefore, commemorative in nature. They are intended to keep alive the memory of those events and personalities and inspire people to emulate their examples. Then there are festivals which punctuate the seasons of the year.
National festivals, like the Republic Day, the Independence Day, Gandhi Jayanit are celebrated with great patriotic fervor. These days have been declared as national holidays and are celebrated in all parts of the country with a lot of enthusiasm. The capital, New Delhi, is the seat of national celebrations on such occasions. It witnesses one of the most majestic parades on the Republic Day. Apart from the Armed Forces, school children from across the country also participate in this parade. The states exhibit their tableaux depicting the states resources or recent achievements. The parade is also an occasion for the display of India’s military strength and a number of arms, ammunitions, tanks and fighter aircrafts, some of them indigenously developed, are paraded. On Gandhi Jayanti, leaders and people from different walks of life pay their homage to the Father of the Nation. On the Independence Day, the Prime Minister unfurls the national flag and addresses the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort.
The religious festivals of India include Dussehra, Diwali, Janmastami, Shivratri, Guru Parva, Ram Navami, Holi, Chath, Navarati, Eid-ul-Zuha, Eid-ul-fitr, Christmas, Buddhja Purnima Mahavir Jayanti and the festivals of the Parsees and the Jews.
Diwali is the most prominent of Hindu festivals. It is the festival of lights. The Hindus celebrate this day to commemorate the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after the victory over Ravana. it is the victory of good over evil. The houses are cleaned and whitewashed. The people wear new clothes. businessman start their new accounts. Sweets are distributed. On this day, people from all walks of life light up their homes. Crackers are burst and the children as well as the youth enjoy them.
Ram Navami is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Rama. Janmastami is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Krishna. Durga Pooja is celebrated in Bengal, Assam and some others parts of India. Is is celebrated with great pomp and show. Goddess Durga si worshipped for five days. On the fifth day, the statue of the goddess is immersed in water. In Northern India. Dussehra is observed as Vijaya dashimi celebrating victory of good over evil. of Rama over Ravana. In Maharashtra, Lord Ganesh is worshipped with great pomp and show.
Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season. This festival marks the beginning of spring. ‘Raaslila’ a cultural dance of Manipur is staged during this festival. The dance is dedicated to Lord Krishna and the gopis. Holi a festival of colors. People throw color on one another. It is celebrated in honor of Prahlad. It celebrates the victory of good over evil.
Chath is celebrated in Bihar and also other parts of India. Sun-god is worshipped early in the morning on this day. sweets and fruits are offered to the Sun-god.
Eid is celebrated to mark the end of Ramzan. It was during the month of Ramzan that Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed. The Muslims fast during the month of Ramzan. At the end of the month. Eid is celebrated with feats.
Guru Nanak Dev’s birthday is celebrated by Sikhs and members o other communities. On this occasion religious congregations are attended, lamps are lit and crackers are burst. The days of martyrdom of Guru Arjun Dev and Guru Teg Bahadur are also of special significance to the community. These days are observed as days of peace and harmony and langer sewa (serving of free food) is organized on a very large scale on these days. the Buddhists and the Jains celebrate their religious festivals in the form of Buddha Purnima and Mahavir Jayanti respectively.
Christmas is the most important festivals of the Christians. It is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Jesus on 25th December. The Christmas tree is decorated with artificial stars, lights, toys etc. on this day. Cakes and puddings are set ved. Children get dressed in new clothes. Any person disguised as Santa Claus distributes sweets among the children. Prayers are offered in churches.
The Jews celebrate their festivals in a similar fashion as that of the Christians. They go the synagogue to pray the Almighty. The Parsees celebrate Naoroz during August0September each year. It is the beginning of their new year. Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated by the Jains. Buddha Purnima is celebrated by the Buddhists.
The seasonal festivals are celebrated in different ways all over the country. Bihu is celebrated with great pomp and show in Assam. Baisakhi is celebrated as a mark of harvesting the wheat crops in Punjab. Onam is celebrated in Kerala as a harvest festival. Pongal is also a similar festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu. Basant Panchami is celebrated throughout North India. It marks the end of the winter season. Seasonal changes mark the new beginnings. Happiness fills the heart of the people during these festivals.
Festivals also have a negative influence on our society. The bursting of crackers during Diwali pollute the atmosphere. Gambling disturbs public life. During Holi, drunkards brawl in the streets. Temples are decorated at the cost of millions of rupees. The money used for such events could be utilized for the economic developed of the country.
Color is an essential part of Holi. But it must not be sprayed on people who do not want to play it. The bursting of crackers should be stopped. Festivals should be celebrated with simplicity. People belonging to other communities should be invited during religious festivals. This will help in promoting national integration and communal harmony.