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Fairs & Festivals of India
Is a celebration of spring on the occasion of the
'ascent' of he sun to the north (Uttarayana). In
Maharshtra, Karnataka as well as parts or Andhra,
Makar Sankranti is a day of goodwill and friendship.
Sesame ladoos and sugar drops are distributed as a
symbol of he need to be generous and kind to
everyone. Women wear new clothes, new glass bangles
and hold get-togethers to share sweets and gifts. A
New bride is given ornaments made of sugar drops and
her new relatives are invited to meet and welcome
her at a Haldi Kumkum celebration.
In the North Makar Snakranti is called lohri. It is
the only Hindu festival which falls regularly on the
14th of January every year. Lohri is the time after
which the bring cold of winter begins to taper off.
On this day the children go from door to door to
collect funds for community bonfires which are lit
in the evening. Lohri is more of a community
festival, where the birth of a son or the first year
of marriage is celebrated with great fun and frolic.
People gather around the bonfires and offer sweets,
crisp rice and popcorn to the flames. Songs are sung
to the beat of vigrous claps and greetings and
On the 14th night of the dark half of Magh occurs
the festival of Mahashivaratri, the great night of
Lord Shiva. The devotees stay awake throughout the
night offering their prayers to Lord Shiva. They
offer special food made from the fruits of the
season, root vegetables and coconuts to Lord Shiva.
Having observed the requirements of the all night
fast, devotees eat the prasad offered to Shiva.
Special celebrations are held in some of the major
Shaivite temples at Varanasi, Kalhasti (Andhra
Pradesh) and Chidambaram (Tamil Nadu).
Is the most boisterous of all Hindu festivals,
observed all over the North. It heralds the end o
winter and the beginning of the spring. The night
before the full moon, crowds of people gather
together and light huge bonfires to burn the
residual dried leaves and twinge of the winter.
People throw coloured water and powders (gulal &
kukkum) at each other and make merry. Singing and
dancing add to the gaiety of the occasion.
In the northern, western as well as eastern regions.
Holi celebrates the joyful raasleela of Krishna and
the gopis. They play phag which is a game of many
colourful hues. It is a joyous celebration of he
rejuvenation of nature, and renewed hope of
happiness and peaceful coexistence. Especially
famous is the Lathmaar Holi of Barsana and Nandgaon.
In Anandpur Sahib, Sikhs celebrate a special
festival Hola Mohalla on the day after Holi.
The birthday of Lord Rama, the celebrated hero of
the famous epic, the Ramayana, is enthusiastically
celebrated on the ninth day of the waxing moon of
chaitra. Temples are decorated, religious discourses
are held and the Ramayana is recited for ten days.
People gather in thousands on the banks of the
sacred river Saryu for a dip.
People sing devotional songs in praise of Rama and
rock image of him in cradles to celebrates his
birth. Rathyatras or chariot procession of Rama, his
wife Sita, brother Lakshmana and devotee Hanumana re
taken out from many temples.
TIs a Muslim festival celebrated all over India.
Prayers are offered in the mosques and special
delicacies are prepared and served among family and
friends on the occasion.
Is celebrated in Punjab with great fervour. It was
on this day that Guru Gobind Singh founded the
Khalsa (Sikh brotherhood). The holy book of the
Sikh, Granth Sahib is taken in a procession, led by
the Panj Pyaras (five senior sikhs) whoa re symbolic
of the original leaders. The occasion is marked by
lot of feasting and merry making. All night
revelries termed Baisakhi di Raat (Night of Baisakhi)
or Baisakhi da Mela (Baisakhi fair) are held, where
men and women dance to the rhythmic beat of drums.
In Kerala the festival is known as Vishu. A display
of grain, fruits, flowers, gold, new cloth and
money, is viewed early in the morning to ensure a
prosperous year ahead.
Known as Rangali Bihu in Assam, the festival is
celebrated with lively dances, music and feasting.
Surajkund Craft Mela
In order to promote the traditional Indian
handicrafts, a delightful handloom and handicrafts
fair is held annually at Surajkund. Skilled artisans
and craftsmen display their skills and crafts in a
rural setting. Cultural programmes and rural cuisine
are also a part of this colourful fair.
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