India from its inception remains the origin of great sculptures, stories, and many great tales that we celebrate today in form of festivals. These festivals in its core represents the traditions and culture of the people living here. Every state of India represents a different culture and has its own identity. Thus, every state has its own festivals. Here we are going to describe some of the important festivals celebrated in different states of India in August month which you should not miss out!
Being an Indian is a matter of proud for me because living here exposes me to a variety of unique and colorful festivals which are celebrated here.
Raksha Bandhan (3 August, 2020)
(Happy Raksha Bandhan!)
How: This festival is a symbol of unique love between brother and sister. On this day, the sister ties the Rakhi around the wrist of her brother and pray for his long life. Brother in return, offer some special gifts to his sister.
When: Every year Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on the full moon day of Shravan month which will fall on 3rd August this year. The thread ceremony time on this auspicious day is 9:28 AM to 09:17 PM.
Where: celebrated all over India
I would like to share with you the best quote I ever heard of:
“Jab khuda ne duniya ko banaya hoga, ek baat se ghabraya hoga Kaise rakhunga khayal itni ladkiyo ka, Tab us ne sab ke liye ek bhai banaya hoga.” Happy Rakhi to my dear bro!!!
I am too excited about this festival aren’t you?
Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race (8August, 2020)
How: The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is named after Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and it is conducted on the Punnamda Lake, near Alappuzha, Kerala on the second Saturday of August every year since 1952. On this day, the quiet lake front is transformed into a sea of humanity with an estimated two lakh people, including tourists from all over the world. The most popular event of the day is the competition of snake boats. At least one boat from all nearby villages participate in this race and a victory for the village boat is a matter of proud for the people of that village and they celebrate this occasion for months to come.
When: Earlier this event was scheduled on 8th August this year. But in the wake of increasing cases of Covid-19, the state govt. is likely to cancel this event. Hearing this, I am feeling very disappointed, what’s your opinion?
Krishna Janmashtami (11 August, 2020)
(Hathi Ghoda Palki, Jai Kanhaiya Lal Ki)
How: Krishna Janmashtami Means celebrating the birth day of Lord Krishna, the 8th avatar of Lord Vishnu. It is a Hindu festival. Devotees celebrate this day by fasting till midnight, praying together, preparing special food and visiting Krishna temples at night.
When: Every year it is Observed on the 8th day(Astmi) of dark fortnight (Krishna paksha) in Bhadrapad . This year it falls on 11August.
Where: This festival is celebrated all over India but uniquely celebrated in Mathura (which is birth place of Krishna) and Vrindavan (where he grew up).
Dahi Handi is celebrated on the next day of Krishna Janmashtmi. So, sometimes it is said that it is a two day festival. After the birth of Lord Krishna, Baba Nand distributes sweets n food to all villagers as a part of the celebration.
Independence Day (15August, 2020)
(Vande-Matram, Jai Hind)
How: It is a national holiday and celebrated by all Indians memorializing freedom from UK since 1947. On the eve of this day, president of India delivers “address to the nation” and Prime Minister hoist the Indian flag on Red Fort in Delhi. And then tributes are paid to the national heroes with a march past show
People celebrate this day by flying colorful kites in the sky.
When: It is celebrated on 15th August every year.
Where: This festival is celebrated with equal enthusiasm in all states of India.
Athachamayam Festival (22August, 2020)
Where: This festival is celebrated at Thrippunithura near Kochi in Kerala.
How: It is a traditional festival of Kerala celebrated by the Hindu community. This event features a dazzling parade of Elephants, Folk art forms, Music, classical dances like Kathakali etc.
When: This festival marks the beginning of 10 days Onam festival which will be celebrated on 22nd August this year.
Hartalika Teej (21 August, 2020)
When: Celebrated on 3rd day of the bright half of Bhadrapada month which falls on 21st August this year.
Where: This festival is celebrated in many states of India specially, in Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
How: Females play on swings getting together with friends, wearing colorful clothes and bangles, decorate their hands and legs with Heena. Married daughter receive gifts (especially clothes and jewellery) from her family (also called sindhara). Ghewar is a Special sweet of the day. On this day, Women keep fasting and worship goddess Parvati for the long life of their husband.
Ganesh Chaturthi (22 August – 1 September, 2020)
(Time to shout “Ganpati Bappa Morya! Mangal Murti Morya!”)
This festival marks the birth of the beloved elephant-headed Lord Ganesha, the God of prosperity and wisdom.
When: It begins on the fourth day (Chaturthi) of the month of Bhadrapada and continues for coming ten days till Chaturdashi.
How: On this day, The statue of the Lord Ganesha is placed at a decorated place at home temple and is worshipped for coming 10 days and On the last day(anant Chaturdashi), these idols are taken to the local rivers accompanying singing and dancing and are immersed in the water.
Where: The festival is celebrated in many states of India and particularly in Maharashtra. The best place to experience this festival is Mumbai. Although this year, the celebrations are diminished due to Covid-19 virus and all the rituals will be performed without public processions.
Eid-Al-Adha (30July- 3August, 2020)
(Eid Mubarak/Happy Eid)
Eid-al-Adha also known as bakr-id, is celebrated in honor of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son. It is an Islamic festival also known as the festival of sacrifice.
How: On this day, animals are sacrificed like cow, goat and sheep etc. and meat is prepared at every Muslim house and they gather together to worship their God (called EID prayers). Exchange gifts and sweets with family and friends.
Where: It is celebrated by all Muslim community all over India.
When: This festival is expected to fall on 31st July and will end on 3rd August this year. It is a 4-day festival and Exact date is based on Lunar sightings, so date may vary.
Naag Panchami (25August, 2020)
(unique festival showing love for a dangerous species of life i.e. snake)
How: On this day, a picture of snake’s God is made with sand Or any other material and then worshipped with milk, wheat and jaggery etc. and milk and honey are offered to snakes showing love towards them. The myth behind this festival is that snake is dearer to lord Shiva and by doing this, people can have blessings of Lord Shiva.
Where: Northern and southern states of India
When: This festival is celebrated on different days in different states of India. Nag Panchami celebrations take place on 8th August in Gujrat whereas its celebration will happen on 25th August in some parts of India.
Tarnetar Fair: (21August – 23August, 2020)
Tarnetar is basically, the name of tiny village which is 200Km approx. from Ahmedabad. And this fair is named after the name of that village.
How: The belief behind this event is swayamvar of Draupadi (A character of Mahabharat). This fair is held near lord Trinetreshwar (Three-eyed) Mahadev temple. The unique and interesting points of this festival which makes this festival most attractive are:
- Young, unmarried, male and female, dressed in a unique way, take part in this festival in order to find their better half to tie a knot with. What do you think what’s the right age to get married?
- Gujrat’s Folk dance, music and colorful Gujrati costumes are beautiful points of attraction in this fair.
- There are three kundas inside that temple named Brahma-Kund, Vishnu-Kund and Mahesh-Kund. The water inside those is believed to be so pure that having a dip inside that water is equivalent to having a bath into some other Holi river like Ganga.
When: This unique three-day festival is celebrated every year in month of Bhadarva Sud which will fall on 21st August to 23rd August this year.
Onam Festival: (22 August- 2 September, 2020)
The word “ONAM” is originated from a Sanskrit word that refers to one of 27 Nakshatra i.e. Thiruvonam nakshatra which belongs to lord Vishnu.
The belief behind this festival is that Lord Vishnu pushes demon Mahabali to Pataal-Lok by placing his foot on his head. But Lord Vishnu was very impressed with him so he gave him a blessing that he could come to his kingdom once in a year. So, This festival is a sign of celebration for his arrival.
I came to know about an old story behind this festival which I find very surprising, isn’t it?
What is the most attractive event of this festival according to you?
How: The celebration of this festival continues for 10 days. On the first day, people wear new clothes and take participation in various festivities but the best part of the day is making Pookkalam (arranging flowers in a specific manner) and as the days passes, a new layer of flowers is added to this to make it more attractive.
Residents of that area dress up like tiger and perform dance (called Tiger dance) and participate in rallies.
Snake Boat race, Kathakali dance, Floral carpet or Pookkalam and parade are also a part of celebration. The main festival, Trivonam, is on the 10th day. Ladies of the house prepare delicious 9 to 13 dishes on this day and serve these called Onam Sadya on banana leaf. What’s your favorite dessert?
Dancing while wearing a colorful dress with mask is also a special event which makes it unique.
All these events are very exciting, still Snake boat race is my favorite event, what’s your choice?
Where: This is a harvest festival and celebrated in south India specially Kerala and Malayali community all around the world.
When: The most important day of Onam, Thiruvonam will be celebrated on 31st August. However, the celebration starts with different rituals on 22nd August and will continue till 2nd September.
Muharram( 29 August, 2020)
The word Muharram means “forbidden” i.e. stay away from any celebration. It is the first month (month of mourning) out of 12 which is 2nd most sacred month according to Islamic calendar. This sacred month starts on 20th August this year and the 10th day of the month is represented as Muharram.
How: Shia and Sunni Muslims practice partial/daylight fasting on this day and attend some special prayers expressing their disappointment towards the death of Imam Hussain and his family members in the battle of Iraq. Muslim people, during this month, refrain themselves from any celebration and joyful events.
Where: celebrated by all Muslim families all over India.
When: 10th day of Muharram month which falls on 29th August .
Bangalore Shopping and Food Festival (14 August-16 August, 2020)
How: It is a Celebration of India’s rich heritage or culture. As the name suggests, it’s a shopping festival, there are too many stalls of different items, where we can enjoy shopping. This would be the best part for ladies, don’t you think so?
Other stalls are also there offering their delicious food items where anyone or a food lover can enjoy fare taste of any food item. Indoor games and different fun activities are also performed there to engage with and celebrate the day.
Where: Celebrated in NLG (Nandi Links Grounds), Bengaluru
When: This is a three days festival and will be celebrated between 14th Aug-16th Aug.
Parsi New Year (16 August, 2020)
This day represents the start of Parsi new year and Iranian calendar. It is also popularly known as Jamshed-i-nouroz after the name of Parsi king “Jamshed” who started this calendar and Nouroz means a new day. This is a regional holiday in India.
How: On this day, people wear new clothes, share gifts with family and friends, clean and decorate their houses, create rangolis. People wish each other in different ways on this day, one way is:
“Dedicating this year to Humanity and betterment of the world, may we all have amazing year ahead. Navroz mubarak!”
Where: Celebrated by Parsi community in Maharashtra and Gujarat in India.
When: This day is mostly celebrated on 17th August about 150-200 days after original day of vernal equinox. But this year, it will be celebrated on 16th August in India.
India is a land of unity in diversity. The most unique thing which I observed is that different religions like Parsi, Muslim and Hindu – all have their different new year start day which shows the diversity between these cultures. Still we live together and give love and respect to each other’s rituals which makes our country great.
Although, all the festivals are unique and have their own significance. But the most I enjoy is the Onam festival. Tell me the three best festivals that you like the most out of all specified here.
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