Holidays and Festivals in India: Places to travel

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holidays and festival in India

ItIndia is a land of diverse cultures, traditions, and vibrant celebrations. With an array of holidays and festivals throughout the year, traveling to India during these special occasions can be a truly magical experience. In this blog, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the most iconic festivals and holidays in India and the unique experiences they offer to travelers.

1. Diwali – The Festival of Lights

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Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is one of India’s most celebrated festivals. Travelers are treated to a spectacular sight as homes, streets, and temples are illuminated with thousands of oil lamps and colorful lanterns. You can witness the grand fireworks, share sweets and gifts, and experience the warmth of Indian hospitality. Experience the dressing style,  For men, traditional clothes are the Achkan/Sherwani, Bandhgala, Lungi, Kurta, Angarkha, Jama, Shalwar Kameez and Dhoti or Pajama and for woman kurtis, salwar kameez, Anarkali suits, or lehengas and sarees.

2. Holi – The Festival of Colors

holidays and festival in India
Holi Celebrations

It is a riot of colors and joy. Celebrated with exuberance, people throw colored powders and water at each other, creating a vibrant, cheerful atmosphere. In cities like Mathura and Vrindavan, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, Holi is a must-attend event. Gujiya is a popular Holi sweet that is similar to a dumpling or pastry. It stuffs with a mixture of sweetened khoya (milk solids), grated coconut, and dry fruits, and is deep-fried until golden brown. Gujiya is often serves with a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar on top.

3. Navratri and Durga Puja

Navratri is a Hindu festival celebrates with nine nights of vibrant music and dance. In the eastern state of West Bengal, Durga Puja takes center stage, with elaborately decorated idols, cultural performances, and processions. It’s a fantastic time to witness Bengali traditions. Sweets are made as an offering or just as part of the celebration during Navaratri, across India. Halwa made of bottle gourd (lauki), potatoes, semolina, or sweetmeats like Kalakand, Payasam, Laddoos adorn the kitchens of every household.

4. Eid-ul-Fitr and Ramadan

Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims. During this time, you can savor delicious delicacies at local eateries and join in the festive prayers and celebrations in places like Delhi, Lucknow, and Hyderabad. Saviya is a popular dessert with South Asian Muslims on Eid ul-Fitr. It is made by stir frying vermicelli, ghee, sugar, and aromatic spices such as cardamom. Many families enjoy saviya right after Eid prayer for brunch or breakfast. A similar counterpart, sheer khurma, is equally popular.

5. Christmas and New Year’s Eve

Goa, known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife, is a popular destination for Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations. The state comes alive with festive decorations, parties, and live music events. So round out your holiday menu with one or more of these stunning Christmas desserts, such as sugar-dusted snowball cookies, chewy bar cookies, rich gingerbread, frosting-topped Christmas cupcakes, jammy Linzer cookies and chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

6. Pongal and Makar Sankranti

In South India, Pongal and Makar Sankranti are celebrated to honor the harvest season. Travelers can enjoy traditional feasts, colorful rangoli designs, and kite-flying competitions in cities like Chennai and Hyderabad. A day to feast on sweets like gajak made of sesame and chikki made of peanuts and to relish savory food like khichdi.

7. Independence Day and Republic Day

Witness the grandeur of India’s national celebrations in New Delhi. On Independence Day (August 15) and Republic Day (January 26), you can watch the impressive parades, flag hoisting ceremonies, and cultural performances at Rajpath.

8. Ganesh Chaturthi

In Mumbai and various parts of Maharashtra, Ganesh Chaturthi celebrates with immense enthusiasm. The streets come alive with processions, music, and dance as people bid farewell to Lord Ganesha. Modak. Often referred to as Lord Ganesha’s favourite treat, this sweet dumpling filled with jaggery and coconut is a staple during the festival. Ganesh Chaturthi is a Hindu festival that celebrates the birthday of Lord Ganesha. It marks by the installation of clay idols of Lord Ganesha in homes and temples. To worship Lord Ganesha during this festival, one must clean the house, welcome the idol, and offer durva grass, flowers, modaks, and karanji.

9. Pushkar Camel Fair

Experience the unique blend of culture and commerce at the Pushkar Camel Fair in Rajasthan. The fair includes camel races, religious rituals, and a vibrant market where you can shop for traditional Rajasthani crafts. Malpua is a sweet pancake made with flour, milk, and sugar. It is a popular dessert in Rajasthan, and in Pushkar, it serves with rabri, a thickened milk dish. Malpua is often garnishes with chopped nuts and saffron strands, giving it a rich and indulgent flavor.

10. Rath Yatra

holidays and festival in India

The annual Rath Yatra in Puri, Odisha, is a grand chariot procession that carries the idols of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra, and sister Subhadra through the streets. It’s a colorful and spiritually enriching experience. Malpua prepares with flour, milk, sugar, cardamom and fennel which offers as a part of Prasad to Lord Jagannath. This is one of the most popular sweets in Odisha. It is cooked with cottage cheese, rice flour, jaggery, milk, ghee and several dry fruits are added to it.

Traveling to India during its main holidays and festivals will give you a peek of its rich culture and customs. Both the aesthetic and sensory aspects of the encounters are fascinating. India’s holidays and festivals provide something for everyone, whether you enjoy the boisterous celebrations or the peaceful religious observances, making it an excellent choice for travelers seeking a festive holiday.

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