India is known for its diversity, culture and traditions. The various festivals which we Indians celebrate play a major part in making India, the mystical land it is, today.
While India celebrates a number of festivals throughout the year, but those celebrated in monsoon are more special. The colours, the cheerful atmosphere and the vibrancy, India has never looked so beautiful.
Here’s a list of monsoon festivals in India celebrated all over country during the rainy season:
1. Ganesh Chaturthi, Maharashtra
Not only Maharashtra but India’s most loved festival is celebrated with great zeal. Started first by Lokmanya Tilak, Ganesh Chaturthi has united people from different regions, castes and religions.
The ten-day festival to mark the birth of Hindu god Ganesha occurs between the month of August and September. Huge handcrafted idols of Lord Ganesha are worshipped. The day of immersion of these idols is also one of the most important time of the festival. Now a national festival with cultural activities are also organised all over India.
2. Janmashtami, Uttar Pradesh or Dahi Handi, Maharashtra
Just like Ganesh Chaturthi, Janmashtami is also a universal festival celebrated all over India with equal excitement. While the celebrations are different in different parts of India, but the devotion for Lord Krishna is the same everywhere. In Maharashtra, Dahi Handi is celebrated in which group of young men form towers in order to break a curd vessel hanging at a height. In Tamil Nadu, Gokulashtami is celebrated which is followed by Nandotsav.
Mathura, which is considered to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna celebrates Janmashtami in a rather special way. Depictions of Lord Krishna can be seen in temples of Mathura and Vrindavan during this festival which occurs between the months of August and September.
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3. Onam, Kerala
Kerala’s ancient harvest festival, Onam is the celebration of Lord Vishnu’s Vamana avatar and homecoming of the mythical king called Mahabali. The ten-day festival which is mostly in the month of August and September is the time when people from Kerala wear traditional clothes and prepare authentic cuisine. Keralites also decorate their houses with Pookalam, a design made by flower petals. A spectacular boat race, clap dance and a procession by a group of men dressed as tigers and hunters is also held.
4. Raksha Bandhan, India
Celebrating the love of siblings, Raksha Bandhan is a much-awaited festival for every brother and sister in this country. The secular festival which occurs between August and September, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated by a sister tying a sacred thread on the wrist of her brother as a sign to protect her.
On the other hand, Narali Purnima is celebrated by the Kolis, a fishermen community in order to worship Lord Varuna, the god of water and celestial ocean. The community throws coconuts in the ocean as a symbol of joy and prosperity.
5. Teej, Northern and Western India
In order to celebrate the arrival of monsoon, Teej is celebrated in the western and northern parts of India where young girls and women pray for the wellness of themselves husbands, or to be husbands and children. The women and girls wear traditional clothes, apply henna on their hands, sing and dance on traditional songs.
6. Minjar, Himachal Pradesh
Celebrated during the months of July and August, Minjar is a thanksgiving festival celebrated in Himachal Pradesh. The people worship the god of rain for a good harvest. It is a seven-day festival and is one of the most important monsoon festivals in Himachal Pradesh.
7. Sao Jao Festival, Goa
Source: Joel's Goa Pics/Flickr
One of the most funkiest monsoon festival of the lot, Sao Jao festival is a Christian festival celebrated mainly in Goa in order to pay tribute to Saint John The Baptist. As Goa is known for its vibrant culture, Sao Jao festival is also celebrated with the same vibrancy. With liquor, food and music everywhere, Sao Jao festival is truly one of the most happening festivals in India.
8. Hemis, Ladakh-Jammu Kashmir
Hemis is a two-day festival celebrated in the Hemis Gompa Monastery, the richest and largest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh. This monsoon festival is a great amalgamation of colour, art, culture and religion. People wear traditional clothes, cummerbunds and headgears on their heads and do a masked dance called Cham.
9. Ganga Dussehra, Bihar/Uttar Pradesh/ West Bengal
Source: Arian Zwegers/ Flickr
Ganga Dussehra is the day when the sacred river Ganga descended on earth and is one of the most popular festivals related to monsoon in North India. The ten-day festival begins on Amavasya and ends on the shukla dashmi. This monsoon festival is mainly celebrated in the month of May or June on the major ghats of Ganga such as Allahabad, Varanasi, Garh Mukteshwar, Prayag and Haridwar. Thousands of pilgrims gather together to pay their tribute to Ganga by performing Maha Aarti and chanting shlokas, kirtans and bhajans.
10. Aadi Perukku, Tamil Nadu
Also known as Aadi festival, Aadi Perukku is an important monsoon festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu. People worship Amman deities in order to pay their tribute for blessing the mankind, happiness, peace, prosperity and happiness. This festival is celebrated near rivers, tanks, lakes and other water bodies when the water is rising because of the rains.
Different people, different colours, different cultures and different religion! There is undoubtedly unity in diversity in India. Truly, Incredible India!
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