a land of diverse cultures & religions, countless festivals are celebrated
throughout the year. People of the same religion follow different
customs, based on the region in which they live.
include prayers to the Gods, rituals, meeting with friends, sharing of
sweets & gifts.
It is a Hindu
belief that vrtams followed with sincerity, as stipulated, will condition
and discipline the body as well as the mind. Another aspect of the
Hindu religious festivals are the utsavams, which involve a gathering,
pomp and joyous activities.
There are festivals
to the various Hindu Gods, Lords of the seasons. Most Indian festivals
follow the lunar calendar and not the solar calendar.
Hindu New Year day is celebrated in the
first month called Chiththirai (Chaitra). It marks the beginning
of spring. It is a thanksgiving harvest festival. People clean their
houses, apply kolams or rangoli at the front entrance & pooja room,
make delicacies special to the region. It is also the custom in most
regions to mix neem leaves & flowers in their food on New Year day.
A preparation is made with neem leaves or flowers, mangoes, jaggery etc.
signifying that people should accept the bitter & sweet occurrences
of life in the right spirit. It falls on 13th or 14th of April.
Jayanthi (Jain festival)
birth day of the 24th Teertankara, Mahaveera is celebrated as Mahaveer
Jayanthi on Chaitra Sukla Triyodasi.
festival is observed on the full moon day in Chithirai or Chaitra (the
English months of April-May) to propitiate Chitragupta the chief accountant
of Yama Dharmaraja (God of death). Chitraguptan records the deeds
and acts, both virtues & vices done by human beings.
action has an equal and opposite reaction). Every good deed will
be rewarded with good in the next life. Similarly, every bad or wrong
deed will definitely draw a bad result in the next life. Prayers are offered
to Chitraguptan to pacify him to be more sympathetic.
take food without salt on that day.
is believed that one can get rid of their sins by bathing in the Kuttalaaru
in Tirunelveli district.
is a temple in Kanchipuram for Chitraguptan
was the Day Jesus Christ was crucified to death. He died praying for forgiveness
even to those who had harmed him. The day is spent in prayer and fasting
Sunday (Christian festival)
was the Day of resurrection, when Jesus Christ rose from the dead and appeared
before his disciples. This day is celebrated with prayers and joyful
sharing of gifts
falls on the third day of the bright half of Chithirai and is considered
one of the most sacred days of the year. The word `Akshaya' means that
which never diminishes. There is a belief that all purchases especially
gold made on that day will continue to flourish. Results of our good
deeds will also grow multifold.
(one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu) falls in the evening of this day
falls in the month of Adi or Asadha, corresponding to the English months
of July / August. Prayers are offered to Amman & Andal.
the Saiva temples, this day is celebrated as the Valaikappu festival for
Ambal, when glass bangles are offered to Ambal & then distributed to
the devotees. These bangles are said to provide offsprings and generally
protect us from all evils. (Valaikaappu is a festival when a pregnant woman
wears glass bangles, the sound of which is said to protect her and the
child from evil forces).
poojas and processions take place in the Vaishnava temples to Aandal
of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Christian festival)
Day (Christian festival)