India: A Land Of Festivals And Fairs

919 words - 4 pages

India, the world's second largest country, has over 1 billion inhabitants, who speak 18 major languages and more than 1,000 minor languages and dialects. It features an infinite variety of landscapes and unsurpassed cultural richness. With so much diversity embedded within one culture, it is easy to understand why India is called "a land of festival and fairs." Every day of the year there is a festival celebrated in some part of the country.As in any old civilization, most of these festivals have religious ties. Because India is still a predominantly rural nation, many of its festivals also welcome the coming of natural phenomena like the seasons of the year, the harvest, the rains, ...view middle of the document...

Large fire-cracker-stuffed effigies of Ravana, representing evil, explode to the cheers of thousands of spectators. In Kulu against the backdrop of snow-covered mountains, villagers dressed in their colorful best gather to take out processions of local deities accompanied by the music of pipes and drums. In Karnataka, Dussehra is also observed with splendid pomp and pageantry. In Bengal and the East, this festival is called Durga Puja. Images of the goddess Durga are worshiped for four days. On the last day, these images are taken out in a procession and immersed in a river or the sea.Twenty-one days after Dussehra comes Diwali, the festival of lights, which recognizes the return of Rama to Ayodhya after his fourteen-year exile. Diwali or Deepavali means an array of lamps (Deep= Lamp, Vali=Array). Countless flickering oil lamps made of clay and lights are lit in houses all over the country to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. This festival is spread over four days and the worship of Lakshmi is an integral part, as are the fireworks and festivities. Diwali can be thought of loosely as the Indian version of Christmas, in terms of how it is observed. As the brief spring warms the landscape, northern India relaxes with the celebration of Holi, the festival of colors. Holi occurs on the day after the full moon in early March every year and was originally observed to celebrate good harvests and fertility of the land. Today, Holi is kept in remembrance of a legend from Hindu mythology. The story is concerned with an arrogant king who resents his son Prahlada for worshipping Lord Vishnu....

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