Indian culture is complex, to say the least. It is rich, diverse and spans across several millennia. It is mind boggling to think of the variety of festivals, numerous languages, different folk and classical arts, that have a history spanning over a period of hundreds of years. Yet they remain as relevant and essential to lives of Indians today. They are the bond that hold us together.
Festivals are unique symbol of national integrity and pride for the people of India. They are as diverse, colorful and vibrant as the landscapes of India and as lively as its people. The vitality of India lies in its seamless acceptance of traditions of the past. Just the month of January has one can experience the Float Festival of Madurai, Kerala Village Fair in Kovalam, Lohri in Punjab, Makar Sankranti in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Bihar, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, Mamallapuram Dance Festival in Mamallapuram, Nagaur Cattle Fair in Rajasthan,Kite Festival in Ahmedabad, Pattadakkal Dance Festival in Karnataka and Joydev Kenduli Mela in West Bengal.
With such variety and such an extensive festival calendar, IUCA currently celebrates Holi, Dandiya and Diwali.
Holi is an annual and popular spring festival. It takes place over two days in the later part of February or early March. As per the Hindu Calendar, it falls on the Phalgun Purnima (or Pooranmashi, Full Moon). It is also called the Festival of Colours. On the first day, a bonfire is lit at night to signify burning Holika. On the second day, known as Dhulandi, people go around until afternoon throwing colored powder and water at each other. People invite each other to their houses for feasts and celebrations later in the evening. Rangapanchami occurs a few days later on a Panchami (fifth day of the full moon), marking the end of festivities involving colours.For more details about holi,you can find more information here.
Dandiya The Navaratri festival celebrated in the months of October or November is a festival of worship, dance and music celebrated over a period of nine nights. The Dandiya is the traditional, folk dance performed with great fervor and enthusiasm. Young and old, men and women wearing traditional attire dance with zeal, joy, jubilation and devotional fervor, till late mid-night. During the dance, dancers energetically whirl and move their feet and arms in a complicated, choreographed manner to the tune of the music with various rhythms.
Diwali, also called Deepavali is a major Hindu festival that is very significant in Hinduism,Sikhism and Jainism Known as the “Festival of Lights,” it symbolises the victory of good over evil, and lamps are lit as a sign of celebration and hope for mankind. Celebrations focus on lights and lamps, particularly traditional dīpa (earthen lamp, as illustrated).Fireworks are associated with the festival.For more details about diwali,you can find more information here.