Festivals and Events in India in August 2021
Festivals are an important part of Indian culture. Most of our festivals invoke the blessings of God and involve diverse activities and rituals. Festivals create unity among families and society by bringing people together to celebrate happiness and embrace the beautiful cultures of India. Here is a list of festivals and events in India in the month of August.
Celebrated in the honour of Mahakali, the goddess of death and time, the people of Telangana prepare special delicacies as an offering to the Goddess. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm, especially on the streets of Hyderabad and Secunderabad where people perform rituals to attain her grace and mercy.
To honour their ancestors, the people of Kerala perform a ritual called Bali Tharpanam on the full moon day in the month of Karkidakam (July or August). The person performing the ritual observes a fast while other members of the family can consume three meals of rice on this day. People wish for the salvation of the dead in their family and seek their blessings.
One of the oldest and most significant festivals of the Lepcha tribe (Sikkim), Tendong Lho Rum Faat is the festival that begins by offering prayers to Mount Tendong (the hill of the raised horn). According to the Lepcha mythology, it is believed that the mountain rose from the horns of a great deity during a flood to protect the people of the tribe. On this day, people create a sculpture of a mountain using nine specific stones and worship it. To have the blessings of God, people wear masks and dance and sing around the hill.
The festival of Teej is celebrated to welcome the season of monsoon and the union of Goddess Parvati with Lord Shiva. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm by the Hindu women of few northern states in India by applying henna, singing, dancing, wearing bright coloured traditional attires and fasting. Women fast and pray to Teej Mata or Goddess Parvati for the well-being of their families.
Celebrated by the Malayali community, Onam falls in the month of Chingam of the Malayalam calendar. The day marks the arrival of Mahabali, one of the seven immortals. It is welcomed and celebrated by performing various rituals and activities like boat races, colourful art, food, dance forms and clothing. The celebrations are continued for a period of ten days including Atham, Chithira, Chodhi, Vishakam, Anizham, Thriketa, Moolam, Pooradam, Uthradam and Thiruvonam. After these ten days, the preparations are done for the departure of Mahabali, and Pookalam is cleared.
Independence Day marks India's freedom from British rule. On this day, a flag hoisting ceremony is conducted at Red Fort, Delhi by the prime minister, who then addresses the nation and pays homage to the freedom fighters. On the eve of Independence Day, many schools and universities organise various types of competitions for the students, and movies related to freedom fighters and soldiers are telecast on satellite channels.
On the occasion of De Jure Transfer day, people pay tribute to the freedom fighters of Puducherry. It is celebrated right after Independence day and is observed as a local holiday in Puducherry. This day marks their freedom from the French rule and merger with the Republic of India.
Celebrated with great enthusiasm on the streets of Maharashtra and Gujarat, Parsi’s new year or Navroz is the beginning of the Iranian calendar. On this day, people pray for everyone’s welfare, wealth and good health. The Parsi community dresses up in beautiful traditional attires, decorates their homes, prepares appetising food and visits the Fire Temple to offer fruits, flowers and sandalwood.
Celebrated in the month of Shraavana, the festival of swing, Jhulan Yatra is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Lord Jagannath. On this day, the devotees place the statues or idols of Lord Krishna along with Goddess Radha on a decorated swing, followed by dance and music. It is celebrated with zest and energy in Vrindavan and ISKCON temples around the world.
As per the Islamic calendar, Muharram is the first month of the year. Significant for both Shia and Sunni Muslims, it is a sacred day for the Islamic community where they mourn the death of Hazrat Imam Hussain, the grandson of Muhammad Prophet (PBUH) and his friends. In their remembrance, Tazia is taken out on this day, which is the replica of Tombs of Hazrat Imam Hussain and Hazrat Imam Hassan.
Named after the king of heaven and the Hindu Lord of rain Lord Indra, Indra Jatra is celebrated with warmth and excitement in Sikkim. It is one of the most significant and biggest festivals of the Newar community. This festival is celebrated to seek Lord Indra’s mercy in the form of rain. The streets of Gangtok experience huge chariot processions accompanied by electric drum beats and various cultural dance performances.
Celebrated on the last day of the month of Shraavana, Raksha Bandhan is a festival glorifying the bond of protection, care and obligation. On this day, sisters tie a talisman (thread) on their brothers’ wrists, glorifying love and togetherness. In turn, brothers give their sisters a gift with a promise of protecting them throughout their life.
Ayyankali Jayanti is the birthday of Ayyankali, a social reformer in Kerala, who protested against the injustices of the caste system. To provide a better lifestyle and dignity to the Dalit community, he pushed the government for their educational and job rights. He is remembered as the symbol of dignity for the Dalit community of Kerala.
In his honour, officials and people of Kerala gather to pay respects at his statue located in White Temple Square, Thiruvananthapuram.
Also known as Gokulashtami, Janmashtami is a Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Vishnu’s eighth avatar, Krishna. He is believed to be born on the eighth day of Bhadrapada month in Mathura. This festival is celebrated by fasting, sharing food, singing and praying together. Some of the Krishna and Lord Vishnu’s temples organise the recitation of Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita. Also, Rasa Lila (dance), Dahi Handi and Krishna Lila (drama) events are organised by various local communities around India. It is accompanied by the occasion Nandostav, where Nanda Baba (Krishna’s foster father) distributed presents to the local community in honour of his birth.
Festivals are the best way to experience and embrace the local culture of the Indian states and spend some good time with your friends and family.
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