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When I say India is a land of festivals. We all agree to it. But, do you know, it’s not about the major festivals like Holi, Diwali, and Dussehra; the Aryan land is definitely something more than that. Apart from popular festivals, many other festivals are celebrated in Indian land, which tells us a lot about its incredible culture. Here are five amazing festivals of India that mark significance to its culture and heritage. 

(Also, read about the popular religious fairs celebrated in India)

Chhath Puja, Bihar

Almost all tribes and religions worship the Sun god. But, the people of Bihar uniquely worship Sun God. Chhath Puja of Bihar is the only festival in the Indian land where the setting sun is worshiped along with the rising sun.

Other name: Surya Shashti

Story behind origin:  Chhath Puja has been practiced since Rig Vedic period. Many special rituals are performed on this day to worship the Sun Deity.

Chhath Puja, Bihar_venuezz
Chhath Puja, Bihar_venuezz

Deities worshiped: Sun God.

Popular ritual of the festival: Worshippers distribute sweets and Prasad to their loved ones after worshiping the morning sun on the fourth day of the fast.

Celebrated in: Bihar, Jharkhand, and some parts of Uttar Pradesh

Celebrated on: Sixth day of Kartik Month, after Deepawali. 

Other important facts: It is a four-day hard fastening festival.

Makar Sankranti, Gujarat

Not only in India, but Makar Sankranti is also famous in countries like Nepal. Like Chhath Puja, Makar Sankranti is also dedicated to the Sun Lord. The festival is celebrated in almost the entire India, including Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, etc.

Other name: Uttarayan, Maghi, Til Sakraait

Story behind origin:  The festival marks the joy of the transition day of Sun Lord into Capricorn.

Makar Sankranti, Gujarat_venuezz
Makar Sankranti, Gujarat_venuezz

Deities worshiped: Sun God.

Popular ritual of the festival: People fly kites in the sky and distribute Til Ke Laddu among their family and friends.

Celebrated in: Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and West Bengal

Celebrated on: Either 14th or 15th of January every year. 

Other important facts: It is the first Hindu festival of the year.

Gangaur, Rajasthan

Gangaur is the most colorful and important festival of Rajasthan. The celebration is denoted to Shivaji and Goddess Gauri, the famous couple Gauri-Gana. The festival marks the joy of harvesting, childbearing, and marital fidelity.

Other names: Ganagaura

Story behind origin:  It is said that Lord Shiv and Gauri once went out for a short trip with Narad Muni. Lord Shiva and Gauri blessed the women with Suhagras and Gauri’s blood sprinkles. The festival continues to be celebrated every year after that.

Gangaur, Rajasthan_venuezz
Gangaur, Rajasthan_venuezz

Deities worshiped: Goddess Gauri and Shiva.

Popular ritual of the festival: Married and unmarried women worship Goddess Gauri and decorate her. Later, they collect presents like jaggery, sweets, and other edibles for the ten days in an earthen pot. 

Celebrated in: Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharastra.

Celebrated on: On the third day of Chaitra, either in February or March. 

Other important facts: Gangaur celebration at Jaipur and Udaipur is worldwide famous.

(Talking about Udaipur, read about the top 10 Lakeview resorts to stay in Udaipur)

Nabakalebar Festival, Odisha

Celebrated at the Jagannath Temple, Odisha, the Nabakalebar festival is celebrated after the 8th, 12th, or 19th year of the previous Nabakalebar.

Other name: Nabakalebara, Navakalevara

Story behind origin:  The festival is celebrated by installing new deities at Jagannath Temple and burying the existing old ones in the sand.

Deities worshiped: Lord Jagannath.

Nabakalebar Festival, Odisha_venuezz
Nabakalebar Festival, Odisha_venuezz

Popular ritual of the festival: The new idol and deities are carved out from the wooden log of a tree. And, that tree must be located in three-way interaction and shouldn’t be broken or cut.

Celebrated in: Odisha

Celebrated on: Dates are fixed according to astrology and the Odia calendar. 

Other important facts: The festival isn’t celebrated annually. The last time this festival was celebrated was in 2015.

(Talking about Odisha, here is the list of top hotels in Odisha)

Prakash Utsav, Punjab

Prakash Utsav is declared a state holiday in Punjab. The festival marks the first opening ceremony of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the literary form of Gurus of Sikhs.  

Other names: Prakash Utsav Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji

Story behind origin:  Adi Granth pr Shri Granth Sahib was started by Guru Nanak Dev Ji; other Gurus also submitted their hymns and writings. Later, Guru Gobind Singh Ji declared Adi Granth as the eternal living Guru of the Sikhs.

Prakash Utsav, Punjab_venuezz
Prakash Utsav, Punjab_venuezz

Deities worshiped: Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Popular ritual of the festival: People sing Hymns from Adi Granth in Gurudwara, and Guru da Langar is prepared to feed devotees and the needy.

Celebrated in: Punjab and some parts of Haryana

Celebrated: On the 15th day of Bhadon, it usually falls in August or September. 

Other important facts: It is one of the few Sikh festivals celebrated in India.

Festivals are celebrated to mark society’s love, colors, joy, and brotherhood. Thus, it is worthless to divide these festivals in the name of religion or individuals. One should always respect all religions and their beliefs. Ok! Tell us in the comment section which is your favorite Indian festival.