From regional festivals to the ones celebrated throughout the nation, India, a land of cultural diversity with many religions, celebrate a number of festivals throughout the year.
From New Year, Makar Sankranti or Pongal, Maha Shivaratri, Holi, Ugadi, Gudhi Padva, Vishu, Easter, Krishna Jayanti, Onam, Navarathri, Vijayadashami, Deepavali, Kumbh Mela, Lohri, Ganesh Chathurthi, Bakra Eid, Eid al-Fitr, Barah Wafat Celebration, Urs, Muharram to Christmas, the country has one or other reason to celebrate each and every day.
The harvest festival, celebrated by Punjabis, during the end of the winter, is celebrated on 13 January.
Rather than a religious festival, Pongal, the four-day harvest festival, is considered as a cultural festival, celebrated worldwide by Tamilians in the month of January. The festival indicates wealth and prosperity.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the Islamic month of fasting, known as Ramadan, during which the Muslim devotees fast from dawn to sunset for a month.
The Hindu festival celebrated on the 13th/14th day of Krishna Paksha, falls in February or March every year. It is the day Shiva married Parvathy, and it also celebrates Shiva's 'Tandava' performance.
Holi, the spring festival or the festival of colours, celebrated in India and Nepal, normally comes in the month of February or March, indicating the end of winter season and the victory of good over evil.
Easter, which celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, is observed by Christians all over the world, preceded by Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Prior to the Holy Week, Christians observe a forty-day period of fasting to celebrate the Resurrection. The festival falls in April-May period.
For this mass pilgrimage, Hindu devotees gather to take holy bath to cleanse themselves from their sins and is held every third year in Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik or Ujjain.
During Vinayaka Chaturthi, the 10-day-long Hindu festival celebrated in August or September, to honour Lord Ganesha, devotees immerse the giant idols of the god, who is considered as the remover of obstacles.
Also known as Dussehra, the 10th day of Navratri or Durga Puja, Vijayadashami is celebrated to mark the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king, Ravan. It also celebrates goddess Durga's victory over demon Mahishasura. The festival normally falls in the month of September or October.
Diwali (Deepavali), also known as the festival of lights, is celebrated all over the country indicating the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and so on. The five-day-long festival falls between mid-October and mid-November.
The first month of the Muslim calendar, Muharram, is observed during the last months of the Gregorian calendar and the date moves from year to year.
Christmas is one of the most important festivals celebrated throughout the world on 25 December commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Many devotees observe fasting and prepares to welcome baby Jesus on the day of his birth. Christmas trees, cribs, carols and feasts are the major attractions of the festival.