Celebrated on the fourth Thursday on November, this American festival is an acknowledgement of gratitude for a plentiful harvest. Nearly all cultures celebrate this festival. For instance south Indians celebrate it as Pongal in the month of January, while the north Indians celebrate it as Holi in the month of March.
“Trick or Treat!” shout little witches, paper-bagged goblins, rubber-masked imps and bed-sheeted ghosts as they extend a bag across for candy. It is October and it’s Halloween time!
Halloween is celebrated on the evening of October 31st, which is the evening before the Christian feast of All Saint’s Day.
Dussehra, also called Vijayadashmi (or Bijoya in Bengal), is the culmination of the nine-day Navaratri celebrations. It is a festival that marks the killing of Ravana, his son Meghanatha and brother Kumbhakarna, by Rama. It is seen as the vistory of good over evil
Durga Puja in Calcutta [Illustration by Shiju George] Durga Puja is the biggest festival in Bengal. We celebrate this puja very nicely in our city. We look forward to Durga Puja every year It is a joyous occasion for all of us.
The colourful kite-flying festival of Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan, which falls on January 14 each year, marks the end of a long winter and the return of the sun to the northern hemisphere. Hence the name Uttarayan.
Deepavali or Diwali as it has come to be known as, means many things to many people. It means holidays from school, shopping expeditions for clothes, sweets, gifts and crackers to children. To the office-goer it means an annual bonus that can make all this happen.
The harvest festival of Kerala, Onam, falls on Shravan day in the month of August or September. After a lush harvest, Onam is the time for the farmers to celebrate the bounties of nature and make merry.
This year, the end of September marks the onset of Navaratri or “nine nights” in the Hindu calendar. With this begins one of the most festive phases in India, with Durga Puja in east India, Dussehra in north, central and west India, and Saraswati Puja in South India.
Excerpts from the book “Festivals of India”
Published by National Book Trust, India.
Festivals bring large numbers of people together in a spirit of joy or devotion, or both. But there is one festival that combines joy and devotion with physical rigour.
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