HINDU FESTIVALS

A festival is a time to celebrate religious events which are mostly told in mythological stories. But festivals can also be related to seasons, anniversaries or other significant historical events. Hindu festivals have their dates defined as per the Vedic calender, which is based on the planetary positions. Hindu festivals are as myriad as Hindu deities. In ancient times, almost every day of the year had some minor or major festival. But with increasing poverty and hectic modern times, now just a handful of major festivals are celebrated. The major festivals are observed to celebrate the victory of good over evil, or the birth of a deity, or the beginning of the harvest season, etc. On the day of the festival, people worship the appropriate deity, observe fast or organize a feast, conduct havans, donate money to the poor or holy people, etc. For example, the festival of lights, Diwali, is observed to celebrate the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana. On the other hand, Holi is observed by different sects for different reasons ranging from celebrating the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, the ending of winter, a day to forgive and forget, repair broken relationships, etc. Raksha Bandhan is another major Hindu festival which celebrates the bond between brother and sister. Likewise, every festival has a myth behind it, outlining the rituals that are to be carried out and the manner in which the event has to be celebrated, such as playing with colors or bursting of fire-crackers.