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Uttar Pradesh Festivals – Reflection of Secular Spirit

Uttar Pradesh is truly a reflection of secular spirit. Festivals of varied communities are celebrated here with grandeur and pomp. It personifies the rich and fused cultural heritage of our nation.

A visit to the fairs and festivals of the state in Uttar Pradesh gives us an image of real communal accord. It is certainly a variegated land where Muharram and Holi provide equal delight to people. Its’ an amazement to know that every year, Uttar Pradesh is the host of approx. 2250 fairs.

You are completely free to visit the state at any time since the celebrations here never end. Even festivals belonging to varied communities are also celebrated with same ceremonial splendour and grace every season of the year. There is always festivity in the state. Below mentioned are some cherry picked Uttar Pradesh festivals that are celebrated with huge pomp and splendour.

Nirjala Ekadashi

Nirjala Ekadashi, the day dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is celebrated on 11th day of the fortnight as per Hindu calendar. The festival is also called Pandav Bhim Ekadashi Fast. It is different from other fasts as in this one, one observes fast without even drinking water.

The fast commences with sunrise on Ekadashi and ends post the sunrise the day next. As per HIndu belief, observing fast on this day helps getting profit of other Ekadashis in the year. It is considered equal to going pilgrimage. Besides, the belief also states that people observing this fast, post death are greeted by Vaikunta, a dwelling of Vishnu.

Ganga Dussehra

This festival is celebrated on Jayeshta month’s 10 th day. 10 days of this month are devoted to the holy Ganga River worship.

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Day of celebration:

It takes place every year in June for 10 days. In year 2016, it will be celebrated from June 21 till 10 days.

Description of the festival:

Ganga Dussehra is a festival that commemorates Goddess Ganga descending from Heaven to Earth. It is also called as Gangavataran, that means ‘the descent of the Ganga’.

This day, devotees worship Deity Ganga and take a dip in the holy Ganga river. Taking bath in the river and offering charity on this day is regarded highly fortunate. People take a dip in the Ganges to get rid of their sins. Aarti/Pooja is also performed in the Ghats of places like Dasaswamedh to celebrate Dussehra.


Day of celebration:

Holi photo

Photo by pabak sarkar

As per the Hindu calendar, the festival of colors is celebrated in the month of Phagun, on the full moon day. It generally parallels to March month in the English Calendar.

Description of the Festival:

There are various ceremonies associated with Holi. A day before Holi, bonfire called as Holika is lit which signifies the victory of good over sinful.

On this festive day, the air is filled with abeer and gulal of different colors which people apply it on each other. Pichkaris of different shapes and sizes throng the markets. The sight of color on each other and passionately participating in the fun makes a perfect picture of cheerfulness.

Laddoos, Mathri, Gujiya, Cannabis or Bhang are consumed in plenty by the people. On River Ganges banks, people prepare thandai with the cannabis which has a very alcoholic effect. The fun is truly unlimited.

Maha Shivratri

Maha Shivratri is celebrated in the honor of Lord Shiva, the ruling god. This festival is prevalent among women who pray to the lord to get blessed with companion like him.

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Day of celebration:

Maha Shivratri falls in the 13th or 14th day of (February – March), i.e., the Hindu month of Phalgun.

Description of the festival:

Traditional form of Shiva Shivalinga is adulated in temples and worshipped every three hours with honey, curd and milk. Flowers and bael leaves adorn the lingam.

Fast is observed all day long, prepare sweet dishes made coconut to offer the lord. Also, they remain whole night awake to serve the offerings and abstain from taking any food even at night. The fast is broken only next morning.

Special drink, known as Thandai is prepared on this occasion, which is a mixture of cannabis, almonds and milk. It is quite refreshing after long period of fast.

See Also: 

Festivals of Maharashtra

Haryana Festivals – Lohri to Gugga Naumi

Ramnavami Mela

ram navami photo

Photo by Os Rúpias

Ramnavami Mela marks Lord Rama’s birth anniversary. A per Indian calendar, it is generally celebrated in Chaitra month that generally matches to March or April of English calendar.

Day of celebration:

The day is celebrated on Navami (ninth day) of lunar month. The festival revolves around the birth of Ramchandra or Rama who is known for his justice, love and values towards his brothers and his companions.

Description of the festival:

The worship begins early morning, with cleaning and chanting of Vedic mantras that are dedicated to Vishnu. People offer sweets, fruits and flowers to the god. The devotees observe fast whole day that is broken with fruit, only at midnight.

The devotees gather in the Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh (the birth place of Rama) temples to celebrate Ramnavami Mela.

Uttar Pradesh Festivals – A Reflection Of Secular Spirit

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