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A festival is an event ordinarily celebrated by a community and centering on some characteristic aspect of that community and its religion or traditions. It is often marked as a local or national holiday, mela, or eid. Next to religion and folklore, a significant origin is agricultural. Food is such a vital resource that many festivals are associated with harvest time. Religious commemoration and thanksgiving for good harvests are blended in events that take place in autumn, such as Halloween in the northern hemisphere and Easter in the southern.
Festivals often serve to fulfill specific communal purposes, especially in regard to commemoration or thanksgiving. The celebrations offer a sense of belonging for religious, social, or geographical groups, contributing to group cohesiveness. They may also provide entertainment, which was particularly important to local communities before the advent of mass-produced entertainment. Festivals that focus on cultural or ethnic topics also seek to inform community members of their traditions; the involvement of elders sharing stories and experience provides a means for unity among families.
Types of festivals:
- Religious festivals
Food and drink festivals
Seasonal and harvest festivals
Festival Celebrations may include :
The rich and vibrant festivals of India are a testimony to our diverse tradition and culture. Festivals in India revolve around Lord’s birthdays, traditional myths, seasonal changes, relationships, and much more. Festivals are celebrated irrespective of religion or caste in the country, bringing people closer and creating a strong bond of humanity.
Festivals and students
Right from childhood, infants in India are part of every festival celebration in the house. This helps them understand the rituals of each festival and they develop a liking for the festivals and celebrations. As they grow older, they get fonder of these festivals and they want to celebrate it in its full potential to enjoy it thoroughly. You will notice a lot of youngsters participating in festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Durga Puja and Christmas. These festivals bring them closer to each other as well as the country, and instil a feeling of patriotism as well.
For students, it is a great way to understand the rich heritage of India and learn about the importance of various festivals. These festivals also help students from across the world to know about India and its history. This creates a good reputation of our country in the world and we get an opportunity to spread our country’s rich heritage. Many schools organise cultural exchange for students that foster intercultural learning experiences. Cultural exchange programs promote mutual understanding between nations and students get an opportunity to learn the culture of other countries.
The spirit of celebration
Our age-old traditions have gifted the country with various festivals and fairs. Many tourists come to India to witness the various celebrations and revel in the enjoyment. Indians celebrate various moments like ploughing day, harvesting day, changing seasons, and many more. Earlier, there was something to celebrate every single day, so people had festivals for 365 days in a year. However, now with our busy schedules, we can manage to celebrate only 8-10 festivals on an average in a year. Some of these include:
This festival of lights is probably the most important festival in Hindu culture. It is celebrated with lots of pomp and enthusiasm and is known to bring wealth and prosperity to individuals and homes.
Durga Puja / Dussehra
This festival is majorly celebrated in Western India. It celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is also known as Navratri and celebrated over a period of 9 nights.
This festival of colours is celebrated all over the nation and marks the beautiful season of spring. Spraying colours on each other, enjoying traditional music, dancing together and wild processions are some of the common features of Holi.
This festival celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ and promotes love, tolerance and brotherhood. People love to decorate the tree and their homes and bring gifts for family members during this time.
This prominent festival is celebrated by Muslims all over the world. It is celebrated in the fasting month of Ramzan and people enjoy with delicious food, new clothes and prayer ceremonies.
Other famous festivals of India include Lohri, RakshaBandhan, KarvaChauth, RathYatra, KumbhMela, etc. With so many festivals to celebrate, Indians surely have millions of reasons to rejoice!Furthermore, when students from different countries experience this joy of festivals, it truly enhances the Indian culture.