तिल संक्रांत (Makar Sankranti / Til Sankranti / Tilba Parab)

A festival of sweet preparation of chewra, dahi, tilkut,laduwa and tilba celebrated in Ang - Pradesh as Til - Sankranti. Makar Sankranti is also observed as a festival among certain classes. On this occasion, the participants and believers eat rice flakes, curd and sweets made of til. Also known as Tila Sankranti, the festival marks the beginning of the summer season. People believe that from this day on, the days become longer and the heat of the sun also increases. Every year it is observed on the 14th of January. People celebrate it by giving offerings to the poor.
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नागपंचमी (Nagapanchami)

Popularly known as the festival in honour of snakes, it is celebrated during the bright fortnight of the month of Shravana. In the celebration, in the South images of Snakes are crafted in cowdung on either side of the entrance to the house as a mark of welcome to snake God and offering of milks are given in the holes around the house. The festival is widely observed by the women folk who seek protection from the snakes otherwise known as Nagas.It begins with a fast. Bathing fairs are held on the banks of rivers.
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दुर्गा पूजा (Durga Puja / Dasahra)

YA DEVI SARVA BHUTESHU SAKTI RUPENA SANSHISTHA NAMASTHESAYEE NAMASTRESAYEE  NAMASTRESAYEE NAMO NAMAH. Smiling blue skies trimmed with fleecy white clouds, gentle breeze, warm sunshine and the 'kash' flowers usher in the month of Aswin (September - October). It is the time for Durga Puja, bringing with it new hope to thepeople og Ang-Pradesh. Preparations and expectations culminate in the Puja days, Shashti, Saptami, Ashtami and Nabami. The beat of drums, the clash of cymbals, the ringing of bells, dances before the image of Durga, incense wafting in the air, all form an integral part of Durga puja. All too soon it is Vijayadashmi the day when the images are taken in a procession and immersed in the river. Associated with the Puja, cultural functions and melas (fairs) are held. These melas create mass contact and develop various folk arts and cottage industries. Durga was a Puranic Goddess. In the Puranas, the struggle between the Gods and demons or 'asuras' is mentioned. Th…
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रामनवमी (Ramnavami)

The nine day celebration during bright fortnight of Chaitra month marks the birth ceremony of Lord Rama. The worship starts with morning ablations, chanting of Vedic mantras dedicated to Vishnu and offering of flowers and fruits to God. Excerpts from Ramacharitamanas extolling the glory of Rama are recited.Ramnavmi brata is considered as one of the five most important Vratas of the ancient time and everybody is obligated to observe the brata as it is the sole means of worldly happiness and salvation.
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गणेश चतुर्थी (Ganesh Chaturthi / Vinayak Chaturthi)

Vinayak Chaturthi is set apart for the sole worship of Ganesh, the common deity of all Hindus. As he is supposed to be very fond of rice puddings, these dishes are cooked on a very large scale in every Hindu house and offered to the God, to be consumed by the members of the family, after the worship is over. A fresh image of Ganesh in clay is made and worshiped on this day. One hundred and eight different names of this God are repeated after the preliminary ceremonies and 108 different flowers are thrown in worship over them. Vinayaka or Ganesh is the eldest son of Shiva and Parvati, or of Parvati only, according to the following legend, as he sprang from the dirt of her body. Shiva had gone from home and Parvati was left alone on the Kailasa; she wished to have a bath and not liking the idea of any person entering the house then, she rubbed her body with her hands and from the dirt that rolled off produced a figure to which she gave life and named Ganesh. She then asked Ganes…
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तीज (Teej)

Teeja is celebrated during the monsoon months of shravana to commemorate the event of Parvati leaving the home of her parents as a bride and lord Shiva's visit to fetch her. The festival is extremely popular among the women in North India . Married women visit their parent's home to celebrate this festival. It is an occasion on their part to sing in the praise of Parvati whose devotion to her husband was exemplary. Married women beautifully dressed pray to Parvati for marital bliss. Parvati clad in red and gold, borne on a palanquin is taken out in procession. Teej in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharastra is observed as Haritalika. This is observed in the month of Bhadrapad. For three days the brata is observed with fastings. During the festivity they offer painted coconuts and fruits to friends and goddesses as thanksgiving. Once the ritual is over, normally jaggery and rice patolis steamed in banana leaves and a sweet made from coconut milk and rice and mixed vege…
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शिवरात्रि (Shivaratri)

Shivaratri is the day on which Maheswara takes up the Linga form for the benefit of spiritual seekers. What they have to seek from Maheswar is Jnana! ‘Janam Maheswaraardichched’. It is Jnana that makes manifest the divinity latent in man. It is the final achievement of all tapas, all Yajna and Yoga ” It is the name of a Hindu Festival observed in honour of Shiva, one of the gods of the Hindu Trinity. This falls generally in the month of Magha and the festival is called the Mahashivaratri as it is observed on the night preceding the new moon. Not only the night but also the day preceding the new moon in that month is devoted by the Smarta sect of the Hindus to Shiva's worship. On this day the orthodox Hindu rises early in the morning, bathes and attends most devoutly to his prayers. He attends a temple if there is one nearby. Fasting, as a general rule, is observed throughout the day and the night. Sitting up in wakefulness throughout the night entirely absorbed in worshi…
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होली (Holi)

Holi is the most popular of the three Indian festivals - Holi, Diwali and Dussehra. It is also the most secular festival although it has a touch of religiosity. This festival is celebrated on the Full Moon Day in the month of Phalgun (February - March). 'Phalguni Purnima' has its source in the phagua or phag, the powder used in Holi. The original colours used were red and green. Red as a symbol of desire and green stands for youth and vigour. In Bengal it is known as 'Dol Purnima' from the swing in which sat Radha and Krishna. Orissa celebrates 'Dol Jatra'. In Western India, in Goa and in the Konkan, it is called 'Simagh' in celebration of youth and vitality. It is 'Madan Daman' or 'Kamayan' in South India. Kamayan represents the fulfilment of desire. North India has just 'Holi' or 'Hori'. Holi has three distinct aspects. It is symbolic of hope for new crops, youth and vigour as well as invocation to the new year. It is said Phalguna was the last month of the year as stated i…
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रक्षा बंधन (Raksha Bandhan)

Raksha Bandhan falls on the full - moon day (Purnima) of the month of Sravana (July - August). Therefore it is also called Rakhi Purnima. The main celebrations of Rakhi Purnima takes different forms in different region. IThis ritual strengthens the bond of love between brothers and sisters. Rakhi is also tied on the wrists of close friends and neighbours. Women tie a Rakhi (rosette) around the right wrist of their brothers. If the brother is in a distant place the Rakhi may be sent by post. Women receive gifts and cash from brothers. Raksha Bandhan has a historical background. About 3000 B.C. Aryans entered India through the North - Western passes and settled in North - Western India. They brought with them their traditional custom, Raksha Bandhan. It was a tradition among the Aryans to have a 'Yajna' before a war to invoke God's blessing for protection and security. Apart from the regular army, the clan leader called the able - bodied men of the villages to join the war. Bef…
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बुद्धा पूर्णिमा (Buddha Purnima)

Buddha Purnima is the most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar. It is the most important festival of the Buddhists, and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Although Buddhists regard every full moon as sacred, the moon of the month of Vaisakh (April - May) has special significance because on this day the Buddha was born, attained enlightenment, and attained Nirvana when he died. This strange, three - fold coincidence, gives Buddha Purnima its unique significance. The Buddha was born in 544 BC, over two thousand five hundred years ago. His father, King Suddhidana, was one of the best-known ruler of the Sakya dynasty. He, liked Lord Rama, was a Suryavanshi who traced his legendary descent from the sun. On the full moon day of Vaisakh, the Buddha's mother, Queen Mahamaya, happened to be on her way from the capital Kapilavastu to her parent's home in Devdaha. During the journey she stopped under the shade of two Sal trees at Lumbini, where she gave birth to the Buddha. When she …
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बक़रीद (Eid-Ul-Zuha – Bakar-eid)

Eid - ul - Zuha falls about two months and nine days after Eid - ul - Fitr. On this occasion Muslims who can, go on pilgrimage to Mecca. This pilgrimage is known as Haj. On Eid - ul - Zuha Muslims offer goats or sheep in sacrifice to God. This commemorates the attempted sacrifice by the Prophet Abraham of his son Ishmael, which was commanded by God to test the faith of Abraham. But when Abraham was about to kill his own son, God performed a miracle and substituted a ram in place of Ishmael. Eid - ul - Zuha celebrates this great act of sacrifice. As on Eid - ul - Fitr, on Eid - ul - Zuha also additional recitations are added to the morning prayer and people embrace each other in offering felicitations. Then they offer whatever animal they can afford by way of sacrifice. The flesh of the sacrificed animal is given to the poor and needy. Eid - ul - Zuha is , therefore, also known as Eid - ul - Kurban (the Eid of sacrifice). On this Eid also children are given eidee, but they are…
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ईद (Eid-Ul-Fitr)

Eid is a Muslim festival. Every year there are two Eids : Eid - ul - Fitr and Eid - ul - Zuha. Of the two, Eid - ul - Fitr is the more popular. The Muslim religious calendar is based on lunar months. The ninth lunar month is known as Ramzan. During this month Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and during these hours they are forbidden to eat, drink or indulge in any form of pleasure. So strict are the injunctions against eating and drinking that even the taking of medicine or water is forbidden, as also smoking cigarettes, bidis or hookahs. During Ramzan, Muslims are required to make a special effort to settle their differences and refrain from quarrelling, talking ill of others, and from lying, cheating, or using bad language. Any breach of these is regarded as violating the spirit of Ramazari and deprives the defaulter of any merit he might have earned. If someone deliberately eats or drinks anything - even tastes a morsel of food - the fast is considered as having been bro…
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