The Spring Festivals in India

Pabak Sarkar via Creative Commons at https://www.flickr.com/photos/pabak/

Spring brings with it a sense of rejuvenation and coming back to life after the winter, and in the vast nation of India, there are several different festivals that bring people together to enjoy the season. Many of these festivals have religious reasons behind them, while others are traditional and have been held in certain areas down the generations. These events are also great excuses to visit India at this time of the year, as they are among the most exciting and interesting times to explore the country.

Holi

This festival is one of the best known outside of India, and it is often known as the 'festival of colors'. The religious origins of the festival are from the Hindu tradition and look at the story of the story of 'Holika'. Today the festival is one of the most joyous and fun events, as the morning of the festival will see everyone joining in, with water guns and packets of colored powder, which can be thrown at anyone, with everyone usually ending the day covered in the colorful mixture.​

Navroze

This festival originates in the Zoroastrian population which is a minority in India, but it is still celebrated by many families across the region, with the Gujarat and Sindh areas being home to the highest populations. Large family meals and homes being decorated are among the biggest traditions, with colored powder used to lay elaborate patterns in the street and on the area outside the homes of these families, who will all be dressed in their best garments.

Khajuraho Dance Festival

The Khajuraho monuments are a series of historic temples located in the Madhya Pradhesh region, and this festival allows visitors to see displays of a range of different dancing styles that are found in the country. The festival is held for a week in February every year and draws some of the best dance performers in the world to perform at the event.

Easter

Although the Christian population in India is a minority, they do still celebrate Easter in the country, and many of the traditions seen throughout the world are found here. Although chocolate eggs do not really fall into the traditional celebration in India, there are decorated boiled eggs and Easter bunnies for sale, while religious people visit their churches during the festival. Easter is particularly noticeable in Mumbai and in the Goa region of the country.

Thrissur Pooram

A festival that is found in the Kerala area of the country in the city of Thrissur, this festival is mainly a Hindu festival, but most people in the city join in the celebrations. There are some impressive fireworks displays held over two evenings, while there are also a series of musical performances, with traditional drum groups providing a part of the entertainment.

Ugadi

This New Year festival is one that usually falls in March or occasionally in April, and is celebrated by the Hindu people in the Deccan region of India who follow the Saka calendar. There are several traditions that are enjoyed throughout the festival, but the family meals are best known, with a traditional dish that is made with neem buds, jaggery, green chili, salt, tamarind juice and unripened mango, with each ingredient chosen to signify six emotions that people can feel.

Basakhi

This harvest festival in the Punjab region of India is one of the most popular events during the year in the region, with funfairs being common, and the event falling on 13 April every year. The community usually comes together to harvest the wheat, and those who aren't involved in the harvesting will play drums to keep the people going. After the harvesting, the Bhangra is a traditional dance that is a big part of the evening's celebrations with the whole community celebrating together.

Any one of these fantastic festivals would be a great addition to your India itinerary. Each of these Spring festivals comes with its own lesson in appreciating the Indian culture.