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Indian Festivals

India is a land of mystery, spirituality and different cultures. There are numerous festivals celebrated in India, as the Indian society is made up of many religions. These festivals are vibrant and colourful, celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm, rites and rituals. They are celebrated on very large scales and are very close to the hearts of the Indians.

Some festivals celebrated in India are, Holi, Sankrantri, Dussera, Id ul-fitar, Raksha Bandhan, Gandhi Jayanti, the Parsi New Year, Easter, Diwali, Christmas, and many more, but there are two other days that are celebrated by the Indians irrespective of which religion they belong to, the Republic Day which falls on the 26th of January and the Independence Day on the 15th of August. Though they are not festivals they are celebrated with much vigour and zest.

Holi  is a festival of colours. It falls in the month of March. During this festival first comes the choti holi (is the day when a bonfire is lit up and pujas are performed). Lastly, but most importantly people play with colours and pranks are played with water guns not only by children but adults too. There are water balloons, pichkaris (huge syringes filled with coloured water) and gallons of coloured water and most important are the thandai (drink made of milk and a few spices) and bhang (drink made of milk and an intoxicating ingredient).

Diwali  is a festival of lights. It falls in the months of October to November. The term ‘diwali’ literally means a line or arrangement of lamps. This festival is celebrated with lots of fun and frolic for over a period of five days. Diwali  is celebrated at a time that indicates the start of the Hindu calendar. This a festival during which you can enjoy lots of sweets and lights, colourful rangolis (patterns drawn by hand in the front yard of houses) , diyas (lamps), fireworks, gambling, parties and of course everyone in new clothes as this is a very important festival among Hindus.

Id ul - Fitr is a Muslim festival; it is one among many other festivals celebrated by the Muslims and also the most important one. This falls in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Moharram marking the start of the Islamic calendar. This day comes after a long month of fasting from dawn to sunset. On this day the Muslims offer their id (festival) prayers at the idgah, which is a huge ground where an assembly is held led by the imam (the person who leads the assembly) in the morning and then the day is celebrated with family and friends. On this day you will see the Muslims in new clothes, special delicacies like the shirkurma (a drink made of milk) is specially made and also the most famous Muslim dish the biryani is made.

Christmas which is a Christian festival falls on the 25th of December and is celebrated all over the world. This marks the birth of Jesus Christ. During this season of Christmas there is a lot of carol singing at churches and homes. The Christian homes are decorated with stars, lights and the most importantly the Christmas tree, with a lot of colourful baubless and inevitably a lot of gifts. Christmas is a festival when you savour lots and lots of cakes, chocolate and wine of the best kind. The bakeries are flooded with cakes and cookies.

India is a country where festivals are celebrated every other day, as there are people of many religions. Festivals in India are a significant part of the culture and are celebrated with a lot of fun, frolic and lots of hope.   

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