India loves to celebrate. You could probably find a festival of some sort going on somewhere in India every day of the year. Festivals are the celebration of togetherness in India, often joining people of different traditions and religions in the spirit of mutual respect and cooperation. These festivals include:
Diwali/Deepavali also known as the festival of light which is celebrated in the winter, it spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge of ignorance. Preparations and rituals spread over a 5-day period. On Diwali eve Asians will dress in new or their best outfits light up lamps and candles around their homes, Deepavali also marks the start of a shopping spree.
Ganesh Chaturthi – a 11-day festival which celebrates the birth of the beloved Hindu elephant headed god. At the end of the celebration statues are paraded round the street in a joyous atmosphere of singing and dancing before submerging statues in the ocean.
Holi – 2-day celebration of good over evil, this may also be known as the festival of colours where coloured powder and water is thrown over each other.
Navaratri, Dussehra, and Durga Puja – this is an extremely social event. It is a celebration of good over evil, which parallels our own threefold spiritual journey of preparing the way, setting our intention, and living Truth over a 9-day period. The First 3 days, you focus on removing impurities and actions that no longer serve you. Honour the Goddess Gurga by putting your personal life in order, cleaning your home, paying the bills, etc.
Now that you have cleared the path, for the 2nd set of 3 days, you focus your intention on abundance in your life. This can be material, physical, emotional, or spiritual. Also, express gratitude for all the blessings you are constantly receiving. During these days, you honour the Goddess Lakshmi.
During the final 3 days, your attention should be on cultivating Wisdom, Truth, and Purity in your life through inner reflection, sacred readings, and study. These actions honour the Goddess Sarasvati.
How to Celebrate: The final tenth day is Victory Day, a time for celebration and welcoming new beginnings.
Onam – The festival is also celebrated with new clothes, feasts served on banana leaves, dancing, sports, games, and snake boat. It’s a 10-day harvest festival marks the homecoming of the mythical King Mahabali. It’s a festival rich in culture and heritage. People strikingly decorate the ground in front of their houses with flowers arranged in beautiful patterns to welcome the King.