It would not be an exaggeration to term North India as a land of festivities. Traditions and customs for every occasion are worth appreciating here. This particular region of India is touted as the epicenter for the customary festivals. Certain festivals celebrated in North India like Holi, Teej, Dussehra are widespread and celebrated with much vigor and enthusiasm. Raksha Bandhan where sisters send rakhi to their brothers is also popular here.
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Let us talk about certain cultural festivals of Northern India.
Taj Mahotsav at Agra:
It is celebrated every year in February in Agra. During the summer season Agra begins to look colorful and the colors of celebrations get spread all around. This is one of the brightest and the biggest festivals celebrated by the North Indians especially by the people of Agra. This is a 10-day festival which includes the rich heritage of arts, crafts, culture, music and important cuisines of Uttar Pradesh.
Cattle Fair at Pushkar:
Pushkar Cattle fair is one of the largest camel fairs held every year in Rajasthan. The fair is known all across the world for its cultural importance. The fair is conducted at a beautiful location with hills, deserts and valleys all around. The fair is held on the auspicious occasion of Karthik Shukla Ekadashi as per the Hindu Calendar of October-November each year. A lot of cultural activities are organized at the fair and different types of stalls are organized for shopping.
Lohri is another festival from Punjab that is celebrated in other regions of North India also. The crop festival of Punjab is celebrated with much fanfare. In this festival children go from door to door singing and dancing to collect “lohri” which are savories and munchies. This collection is thrown in the bonfire and distributed to the people gathered around the bonfire. They sing and dance all around the bonfire and throw Lohri in the fire.
Phulaich Festival, Kinnaur:
Phulaich Festival which is extremely famous in North India is celebrated in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. The festival is unique in itself. The festival is a flower festival and the people of Himachal celebrate it for 4 long days. The festival is marked with people singing and dancing around. The village deity is taken for the procession with selective collection of certain types of flowers only.
Nongrem Dance Festival, Khasi:
Nongrem Dance festival is the festival of Khasi hills of Meghalaya. In this festival, a peculiar Khasi tribe thanks the “Goddess Ka Blei Synshar” for a flourishing harvest, harmony and peace. The festival sees a lot of young men and women dressed up in beautiful yellow and red conventional dresses and enjoying their very best to the beats of the drums and “tangmuri.”
Rakhi, Entire India
Rakhi is considered as the most promising occasion wherein siblings get gifts to each other. Rakhi is celebrated almost in all parts of India as well as abroad where Indian communities reside. During this occasion the market is so colorful & managed as sisters find the best designer rakhis for their brother. This festival usually comes in August of every year.
Teej is one of the major festivals of Haryana with a great amount of fanfare. According to the Hindu Calendar, this festival marks the beginning of “Sawan” which falls somewhere in the month of July and August. It is believed that this festival is about welcoming “Sawan” which brings rain.
During this day “Lord Shiva” and “Goddess Parvati” are worshipped. Females in the state enjoy this festival much more than men. Wearing red and pink dupatta ornamented with golden color threads and applying “mehandi” on palms are the major activities of this day.
Loosong Festival, Sikkim:
Namsoong is the new year for the residents of Sikkim. It is on the 18th day of October which depends on the Tibetan Lunar Calendar. Festival marks the end of the harvesting season and farmers can see rejoicing and enjoyment among themselves. Cham Dance is the major point of attraction of this festival. In this festival, monks dressed in conventional attire dance, play instrument music loudly and enjoy the harvest season.
The festival is celebrated majorly in Bhutan and Nepal. It is a great way to ward off evil spirits and welcome the harvest season.