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Festivals of August
Andhra Pradesh
Ganesh Chaturthi
Vinayak Chaturthi is celebrated with a lot of fervor and excitement in Hyderabad. Vinayak Chaturthi is celebrated to commemorate the day the Lord Ganesha or Vinayak was born. This festival is celebrated with a lot of dedication and devotion throughout the country and especially in Andhra Pradesh and Hyderabad. It is customary to put up an enormous statue of the Lord Ganesha at the Khairatabad in Hyderabad.
Naga Panchami is dedicated to the worship of Nagas, or Snakes, and is an important festival in India in Sravan month. Naga Panchami 2010 date is August 14. Nagas are worshipped in Hindu religion and snakes are always depicted with Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, two of the most popular Gods in Hinduism. Lord Vishnu lies on Snake Ananta in the milky ocean and Lord Shiva has snakes as ornament and this close association has deep symbolic meaning
Bihula is a prominent festival of eastern Bihar especially famous in Bhagalpur district. There are many myths related to this festival. People pray to goddess ‘Mansa’ for the welfare of their family.This festival is observed every August and prayers are offered to Goddess Mansa. The festival nurses the brilliant Manjusha Art, which is as magnificent as the other folk arts of Bihar like Jadopetiya of Santhal Parganas and Madhubani paintings of Mithilanchal
Raksha Bandhan
Rakhi is basically a sacred thread of protection embellished with the love and affection of a sister for her brother. This day is also known as Raksha Bandhan and celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravana in India. This frail of thread of Rakhi is considered as stronger than iron chains as it binds the most beautiful relationship in an inseparable bond of love and trust.
Eid-ul-Fitr, popularly known as the "Festival of the Breaking of the Fast", occurs as soon as the new moon is sighted at the end of the month of fasting, namely Ramadan.This festival celebrates the end of Ramzan, the Muslim month of fasting. It is an occasion of feasting and rejoicing.Fitr is derived from the word ‘fatar’ meaning breaking. Fitr has another meaning derived from another word fitrah meaning ‘alms’
Navakhana Festival
Another festival celebrated by all the communities to mark the rice harvest, Navakana festival begins with offerings of the harvested rice (new for the season) to the family deity on Navami. Some communities may even have dances and liquor during the night after the family consumes the first of the newly harvested rice.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
French Food Festival
The French Food Festival is exciting and enjoyable at the same time. The festival is a high time for all those food buffs. Once the capital of the French India, Pondicherry carries the rich culinary tradition of the French. To pay tribute to this special art, the Tourism Department of Pondicherry organizes the 'Gourmet' - a food festival of its kind.
Held on 24th August. The offering of the first sheaves of rice to the head of state
Raksha Bandhan
Rakhi is basically a sacred thread of protection embellished with the love and affection of a sister for her brother. This day is also known as Raksha Bandhan and celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravana in India. This frail of thread of Rakhi is considered as stronger than iron chains as it binds the most beautiful relationship in an inseparable bond of love and trust.
Gugga Naumi
Gugga Naumi, celebrated in Haryana and Punjab, is a festival associated with snake-worship. It is held in honor of Gugga Pir and generally falls in the lunar month of Bhadon (January-September). On this day, the devotees of Gugga Pir paint his image on the wall in turmeric. They also paint the image of snakes in black color. Milk and butter milk are poured into the holes of the snake. The main sweet dish prepared during this festival is sevian.
Himachal Pradesh
In the monsoon month of Bhadrapada comes the festival of flower-watching (ukhyang) in the Kinnaur valley. This festival is also known as Fulaich and it commemorates the dead. But it is not an occasion to weep and wail. The fair opens with animal sacrifices and soon the entire village collects on a hill top and looks for the 'Ladra' flower. People serve rice wine and food to the dear departed ones on a mound of bricks. These are later distributed to the poor and the Harijans in the village. Afterwards the people of the village reassemble at the house of the 'Dhangaspa' family and garland all the family members of the clan.
Rakshabandhan or Rakhi which is celebrated on a full moon day in the month of Sravan (August) is a day when brothers and sisters reaffirm their bonds of affection. It is usually a festival of the Hindus though today people from different religions participate as well.
Asthami Rohini
Ashtami Rohini is observed as the birthday of Lord KrishnaThe day is of great importance at Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple, Ambalapuzha Sri Krishnaswami Temple, Thrissur Thirvanmabadi Temple and in thousands of other Sri Krishna Temples in Kerala.Ashtami Rohini procession depicting scenes from the life of Lord Krishna is held all important cities, towns and villages in Kerala on the day. Special concerts, cultural programs and satsangs are also held on the day.
Onam is the most important and popular festival of Kerala. Onam is celebrated with lots of fervor and gaiety. All Malayalis, irrespective of their religion, celebrate Onam. It falls in the Malayalam month of Chingam (Aug-Sept). Onam is the harvest festival of Kerala. According to legends, Onam is celebrated to commemorate the home coming of Mahabali, the king who ruled over Kerala in the age of plenty and was pushed down to the Patala by Lord Vishnu in the form of Vamana.
Aranmula Vallamkali
The annual water regatta of Aranmula Vallamkali, held at Aranmula in Pathanamthitta District of Kerala is a unique offering to the presiding deity at the Parthasarathy Temple in Aranmula. The water regatta comprises, well-decorated, majestic Palliyodams with about 80 oarsmen on each competing to the ecstatic cheer of the onlookers.
Payippad Boat Race
Payippad boat race is a spectacular event that is held every year in the month of either August or September. In Kerala, Payippad boat race is a major event that draws a huge crowd from all nearby places. The Payippad boat race of Kerala is held in Payippadu near Harippad in Kerala. The boat race is a time to have fun and indulge in festivity in galore.
Narali Purnima
Of all the Fairs and Festivals in Maharashtra, this is one such festival where the greater share of fervor and enthusiasm is shown by the people belonging to the coastline. It is believed that Varuna or the sea god protects the sailors from any kind of impending doom. The people religiously offer their prayers to him so that he continues doing such favors. The prime offering constitutes coconuts. It is popularly known as Shirpal or the divine fruit. This fruit is believed to be full of symbolism. It has food and drink, both of which are required for human nourishment. Apart from that, it has a hard covering which is indicative of the fact that nothing can be obtained easily; any fruit can only be enjoyed only after persistent efforts.
Pola Festival is celebrated throughout the state of Maharashtra, in the Hindu month of Shravan (that usually coincides August). It falls on day of Pithori Amavasya (new moon day) in Shravan. The festival marks the day when farmers worship their bulls and it is from the next day only that ploughing and sowing of fields is started. On the day before Pola Festival, farmers remove 'vesan' (the rope) from the nostrils of their bull. Thereafter, they apply a paste of turmeric powder and ground nut oil, on its shoulders.
Mim Kut
Mim kut is an annual festival celebrated in the state of Mizoram. More than a festival it is a vibrant and colorful cultural fiesta that is celebrated with great fun and frolic. Mim Kut is basically a Maize Festival and is very important as far as the fairs and festivals of Mizoram are considered.Mim Kut festival is especially dedicated towards invoking the dead souls and offering tribute to them. According to this ritual offerings are made to the near and dear ones who passed away in the previous year.
French Food festival
French Food Festival is one of the important festivals in Pondicherry. Gourmet, the food festival is an annual event and this festival is celebrated with display and magnificence. This festival is organized by Tourism department of Pondicherry and various French delicacies are prepared for the people who enjoy and experience the rich French cuisine. Tourists from different parts of the country come and visit this place during the festival. The diversity of culture is well evident in the festival.
Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo
The Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry is a very prestigious and grand festival, celebrated in Pondicherry. People from various corners of India and also other foreign countries come to this region during this period to take part in the festive mood of the Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry. Not only in Pondicherry, but also in the entire country of India this Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry is celebrated with much grandeur. Various cultural and traditional programs are organized during that time to make the festival more colorful and enjoyable.
Gurudwara Nanaksar Jagraon
Gurudwara Nanaksar Jagraon is a popular festival in Punjab. The festival is held every year at the memorial of the Sikh saint, Baba Nand Singh Kaleranwale, at a distance of 38 kilometers from Ludhiana. Baba Nand Singh founded Gurdwara Nanaksar decades ago. The annual five days fair is held here to commemorate the Sikh saint Guru Govind Singh.
Sodal Mela
Baba Sodal Mela occupies a prominent place in the list of fairs in Punjab. The fair is held to pay tribute to the great soul of the Bab Sodal. Every year, it is held in the month of Bhadon, in the city of Jalandhar. The celebration takes place on the 14th day of Shukal Paksh (bright half of the lunar month). The fair attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the country, who come and pay tribute to the deity on this day. Baba Sodal Fair is centered on the Samadhi of the baba, with his painted portrait placed alongside, decorated with flowers and rosaries. There is a holy tank nearby the Samadhi, which is called the 'Baba Sodal da Sarovar’. Pilgrims either sprinkle the holy water from this tank on themselves or sometimes, even take a dip in the tank. Then they present offerings at the Samadhi of Baba Sodal.
Teej is celebrated with immense fun and fanfare in the capital city of Jaipur. On this day, women and young girls wear their best clothes and adorn themselves with fine jewelry. They gather at a nearby temple or a common place and offers prayers to Goddess Parvati for well-being of their husband.On the occasion of Teej, markets in Jaipur are stocked with trendiest women accessories and clothes. Most of the fabric clothes display laheria (tie and dye) prints. Sweet shops keep different Teej sweets but ghewar is the main sweet of the season. At some shops malpuas are also prepared in great quantities.
Phang Lhabsol
Phang Lhabsol is an exceptional festival that is celebrated in Sikkim. Phang Lhabsol festival is observed on the 15th day of the 7th month of Tibetan Calendar Year. It falls somewhere in August end, as per the English Calendar. Phang Lhabsol commemorates the mighty snowy peak of Kanchenjunga or Khangchendzonga, the guardian deity of Sikkim, for her commendable unifying powers
Phang Lhabsol
This festival is quite unique to Sikkim. It was popularised by the third Chogyal of Sikkim, Chakdor Namgyal. In this festival the snowy range of Kachendzonga is worshipped for its unifying powers. This festival marks the signing of the treaty of brotherhood between the Lepchas and Bhutias by Khye Bumsa and Tetong Tek when the local deities were invoked to witness the occasion. In fact Phang means witness. On this day, the guardian deity is portrayed by masked Lama dances as a fiery red-faced deity with a crown of five skulls, riding a snow lion. To lighten the mood of the spectators, jesters called 'Atchars' play antics during the Chaams.
Uttar Pradesh
Sravan Jhula mela
This mela celebrates the playful spirit of the deities. On the third day of the second half of Shravan, images of the deities (specially of Rama, Lakshman and Sita) are placed in swings in the temples. They are also taken to Mani Parvat, where the idols are made to swing from the branches of the trees. Later the deities are brought back to temples. The mela lasts till the end of the month of Shravan.
Olgia or Ghee Sankranti
Olgia is celebrated on the first day of Bhado (middle of August), when the harvest is lush and green, vegetables are in abundance and the milch animals very productive. In ancient times sons-in-law and nephews would give presents to fathers-in-law and maternal uncles, respectively, in order to celebrate Olgia.
Nanda Devi Rajjaat Yatra
The three week long Nandadevi Rajjaat is one of the world famous festival of Uttaranchal. People from entire Garhwal-Kumaon as well as other parts of India and the world participate in Nandadevi Rajjaat Yatra.Goddess Nanda Devi is worshipped at dozens of places in Kumaon, but the region around Mt. Nanda Devi and its sanctuary, which falls in the districts of Pithoragarh, Almora and Chamoli, is the prime area related to Nanda Devi. In Chamoli Nanda Devi Rajjaat is organized once in 12 years. The jaat starts from Nauti village near Karnprayag and goes upto the heights of Roopkund and Haemkund with a four horned sheep.
The Hilljatra, which is being celebrated in some parts of Pithoragarh district, is essentially the festival of pastoralists and agriculturalists. In the developmental process, the aathon (eighth day of bhado) and Gawra Visarjan also became the part of Hilljatra. The festival, which basically came to the Sor valley from the Sorar (Mahakali) region of West Nepal, was first introduced in Kumaour village. The Jatra was also accepted by the people of Bajethi, another village near Pithoragarh town and with some modifications it was introduced in Kanalichhina and Askot regions as Hiran chital.
The Chaundas Valley is remote in the Dharchula tehsil of Pithoragarh. It lies between the Kali and the Dhauli rivers. In the week long festival the local people - Shaukas or the Rangs participate with gaiety and enthusiasm in different villages of the region. Some stories are associate with this festival, which express the martial tradition of the Shaukas. In the first story, it is said that by tasting the poisonous flower of the Kandali the only son of a widow died. In the second story, this flower the symbol of famine and poverty. According to the third and most popul< story, the region was once attacked while the menfolk were away for trade. Th brave women repelled the enemy, who hid in the Kandali bushes, and the attacked the bushes and destroyed the enemy. The festival commemorates thei bravery and the women therefore destroy the plant ceremonially to remind th local people of the incident and to prevent further mishaps.
The people of Kumaon celebrate Raksha Bandhan and Janopunyu, the day on which people change their janeu (sacred thread). On this day the famous Bagwal fair is held at Devidhura in district Pithoragarh.
Bat Savitri
This festival is celebrated on the Krishna amavasya (last day of the dark half of the month) of Jyestha and on the day married women worship Savitri and the Bat or banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis) and pray for the well being of their spouses. Women observe fast in honour of Savitri and Satyavan and remember how Savitri through her intense devotion saved her husband from the claws of death.
Syalde Bikhauti
It is celebrated on the Vishuwat Sankranti day and commemorates an ancient victory. On this day, the Bagwal is held at Syalde Pokhar in the old town of Dwarahat. People also celebrate the occasion with music, songs and dancing. One day before this a similar fair is held at Vibhandeshwar in which Lord Shiva is worshipped. The Syalde Bikhauti fair has been successful in retaining its old colour and gaiety to a large extent.
The Somnath (Masi) Fair
This fair, also on Vishuwat Sankranti day is held in the Shiva temple at Masi. It is a famous fair of Pali Pachhaun. Animals, specially bullocks and calves, are sold at this fair. On the same day a fair is held at ThaI. In the summer the people in the valley of Ramganga W., especially in Masi and Bhikiasen, celebrate the unique machhli utsav (the fish festival). The villagers bearing tumra come with Jaal, fatyav and hathiya to the river to catch fish. The fish festival is locally known as Dahau.
West Bengal
Rakhi or Raksha Bandhan in Kolkata is celebrated with charm and joy. Although Rakhi it is not the most important festival in Calcutta city yet people make it a point to celebrate the jolly occasion in the traditional manner and spirit. Here too, sisters' tie sacred thread of Rakhi on the wrist of their brother and pray for their well being and happiness. Yet, there is something that makes Raksha Bandhan celebrations in Kolkata beautifully different from the Rakhi celebrations seen in rest of country and that is the magical influence of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
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