induism is often described as a religion of fasts, feasts and festivals. In India, the celebrations of fairs and festivals form a wondrous and joyful series of events, marking the rites of passage between birth, death and renewal. There are said to be more festivals in India than there are days of the year. There is celebration for every religious occasion, change of season and for every harvest. They are times when people gather together, linked by ties of shared social and religious beliefs. Vibrant colours, music and festivities make the country come alive throughout the year.
Festivals in India are characterized by color, gaiety, enthusiasm, prayers and rituals. Foreign travelers are struck by the scale and multiplicity of Indian festivals that have evolved in the society. Fairs and festivals are moments of remembrance and commemoration of the birthdays and great deeds of gods, goddesses, hero's, heroine's, gurus, prophet's and saints.
All Hindu festivals have a deep spiritual importance or high religious significance. All great Hindu festivals have religious, social and hygienic elements in them. In every festival there is bathing in the morning before sunrise in the river or tank or well. Every individual will have to do some Japa, prayer, Kirtan, recitation of Sanskrit verses and meditation.
Indian Festivals are much more than celebrations. They are windows into the history of rich Hindu legends. They reveal the mind and philosophy of a nation through the different ages. Festivals have a cultural and social aspect which many feel transcends even their spiritual significance. They bring people together in friendship and love, and help heal broken relationships.