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The Sacred Rituals Behind the Celebrations of Indian Festivals

India is a country where the vibrant colors of various religion meet to form a rainbow of festivals. To pay respect and keep the diverse culture of India intact, we celebrate many cultural and religious festivals almost throughout the year, in a typical traditional manner. What makes an Indian festival more important is the ritualistic story behind it. Read here about the traditional customs behind some of the important festivals of India:

Raksha Bandhan:

The festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated to cherish the brother-sister bond across India. On this day, a sister keeps fast for long life of her brother and tie a pious thread called rakhi on her brother’s wrist. An important part of this celebration is exchanging gifts between brothers and sisters. Today, even if two siblings don’t live in same city, they can easily send gifts to each other through internet. Suppose, the brother has moved to Bangalore for higher studies, then the sister can send rakhi to brothers online through virtual shopping.

Diwali:

The celebration of Diwali has its footprints in the ancient epic poem Ramayana. Diwali was celebrated for the first time when Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. The natives of Ayodhya welcomed Lord Rama by lighting clay lamps on their doorsteps and that is why Diwali is also called the ‘festival of light’. Even today, people light clay lamps and use lights to decorate their houses. On Diwali, a puja is also dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi for wealth and prosperity in life followed by the custom of making rangoli and gifting sweets to relatives.

Holi:

The first custom that marks the beginning of this festival is ‘Holika Dahan’. On the eve of Holi, people get together to light bornfire to commemorate the triumph of Lord Vishnu and the end of evil ‘Holika, who tried to kill Lord Vishnu’s devotee Prahlad. The next day, folks celebrate Holi by smearing colored powder on each other. In some parts of India, people also drink Bhang, a drink made from the cannabis plant, during Holi.

Ganesh Chaturthi :

The festival of welcoming Lord Ganesha in home is prominent in the state of Maharashtra. It is believed that if you bring Lord Ganesha to your home, it removes every obstacle that comes your way. The puja starts on the auspicious time according to the priest followed by the aarti. Once the puja is done, devotees offer their prayers and sweets to Lord Ganesha. This festival continues till 11 days and on the 11th day, the immersion of Lord Ganesha is performed in water.

Navratri:

People clean and decorate their houses before welcoming the days of Navratri which means ‘nine nights’. These nine days are devoted to Goddess Durga. People keep fast for nine days to pay their reverence to the deity. On the 8th and 9th day people perform kanya puja which means worshiping of young girls who are believed to be the avatars of Goddess Durga. From the 7th day of navratri, Durga puja is celebrated grandly in the state of West Bengal and in some parts of Bihar.

Eid-Ul-Fitr:

Eid-Ul-Fitr is the most Holy festival of people who follows the religion of Islam. This festival is celebrated after the completion of 30 days long fast of the month of Ramadan. On Eid, the Muslim community begin their day by taking bath and visiting the mosques wearing new clothes to worship Allah. On Eid, people exchange gifts and greetings with each other to celebrate the ethos of brotherhood and unity in the society.

Onam:
This festival is known as the harvest festival and is celebrated in the south Indian state of Kerela. This festival marks the homecoming of the king Mahabali and this gala last for ten days. During this festival the traditional Kaikottikali dance or boat dance is performed in Kerela with a great pomp and show. Another notable feature of this festival is weaving of Pookkallam or flower carpet in the honor of king Mahabali.

So, here was a brief documentation about certain customs related to some of the important festivals celebrated in India. Let’s keep following these traditional rituals to make our celebrations more memorable and culture intact. Please visit for all types of gifting need.

Author: Robin Gupta
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