The Hindu festivities are those religious and social celebrations most followed within Hinduism. With the term utsava (or Uthsav) it comes to indicate in its generality a party or celebration of a joyous occasion, it derives from "ut" which means "removal" and "Sava", which means "material sadness" or "pain", therefore assumes the value of "removal of material pains and sorrows" given by existence. A festival can be observed through specific acts of worship and charity, offered to the deities, fasting, but also vigils, rituals of Pūjā, Homa (ritual), arathi etc. In the Hindu calendar the dates connected to the major festivals follow a type of lunar calendar. In the Vedic measure of time, which is also the chronological and temporal unit of Hindu mythology, a tithi corresponds to a lunar day. The celebrations usually come to celebrate the mythological events of the life of the greatest divine figures, often coinciding with seasonal changes.
There are many festivals that are mainly celebrated by seven specifics or in certain regions of the Indian subcontinent. Below is the list of almost all of the Hindu festivals in the order of most celebrated.
Divali, also called Deepavali, Diwali or Deevali is one of the most important festivals in Hinduism and finds its origin in India. The word is derived from the Sanskrit dipavali, which means a row of lights. The oil lamps, Deep, traditionally a clay-baked lamp, Diya or Dia, with cotton wool and clarified butter (ghee). During the party, the house and the heirs will light the lights. Divali, also known as Festival of Lights, is symbolically referred to as "the victory of good over evil, victory of light over darkness, victory of bliss over ignorance." Celebrating this party is accompanied by the consumption of sweet food. In India they also light fireworks. Divali is a happy party and is often celebrated as a family. It is a party for everyone, young and old, male and female, rich and poor. Divali is celebrated to welcome the light into life.
The spring festival, also known as the one of colors and the feast of love, is an ancient Hindu religious holiday that has become popular among non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people from other communities. It is celebrated mainly in India, Nepal and other regions of the world with important populations of Hindus or people of Indian origin. The festival has been, in recent times, celebrated in parts of Europe and North America as a spring holiday of love and colors. Holi refers to Joliká, the evil sister of King Hiranyakashipu and aunt of Prince Prahlada. When the powers granted to the king blinded him, believing the only deity that his people should worship, Prince Prahlada decided to continue worshiping Vishnu and angered his father. The king decided to punish his son cruelly, but nothing changed: Prahlada was not going to worship his father. That is why his aunt decided that the only possible solution was to kill the prince and invited him to sit on a pyre with her, who wore a flame retardant mantle that protected him from the flames. But, at that moment, the mantle changed ownership and protected Prahlada, who watched as his aunt was burned by the flames. The god Vishnu, the one the prince worshiped, appeared just then and killed the arrogant king.
The Durgá Puyá takes place annually throughout the northeast of India (mainly in Bengal), in the month of ashwin (between September and October). The date of celebration is set according to the traditional Hindu calendar. The fortnight that corresponds to the festival is called in Bengali Debí pokkho (fortnight of the goddess). The Deví pokkho is preceded by Majalaia, the last day of the previous fortnight Pitrí pokkho (fortnight of the ancestors), and ends with the Kojagori Lokkhi Puja (worship of the goddess Laksmí on the full moon night of Kojagori). During this holiday, images of the goddess are made and prayers are made for 5 days, accompanied by colorful parades and public and private celebrations.
Raksha Bandhan in Sanskrit literally means "the tie or knot of protection." The word Raksha means protection, while Bandhan is the verb to bind. It is a Hindu festival that ritually celebrates love and duty between brothers and sisters. The sister performs the Rakhi ceremony, praying to express her love and desire for the well-being of her brother. In return, the brother ritually agrees to protect and take care of his sister in all circumstances. It is one of the occasions when family ties are reaffirmed in India. The festival is also an occasion to celebrate family ties between cousins or distant relatives and sometimes between biologically unrelated men and women. For many, the festival transcends the biological family, brings together men and women of all religions, various ethnic groups and ritually emphasizes harmony and love. It is celebrated in the month of srava?a of the Hindu calendar, and usually falls in August of each year.
Maha Shivaratri, also called "the great night of Shiva", is a popular Hindu holiday celebrated every year in honor of the god Shiva. Shivaratri literally means the great night of Shiva. It is celebrated on the night of the thirteenth day of the month Phalguna of the Hindu calendar. This festival is celebrated every year on the sixth night of the Hindu month of Phalgun, which usually falls between the months of February and March of the Gregorian calendar. The faithful fast the day before and remain on vigil throughout the night, which they usually devote to the practice of yoga and meditation. The party is also usually accompanied by popular games and celebrations, which vary depending on the region where the party is held.
Every year, in the month of Shravan, a large number of crores of Kavandiyas come from remote places and take a Kavad filled with Ganga water and return to their village after taking a pilgrimage, this yatra is called Kavand Yatra. On the day of Shravan's Chaturdashi, Shiva is anointed in Shiva temples around their residence with that Ganges water. To say this is just a religious event, but it also has social concerns. This festival of water journey through Kavand is to worship Shiva in the form of creation. Water, along with the common man, is an extremely important item for tree plants, animals - birds, thousands of insects and residing in the earth and the entire environment. If we look at the geographical location of North India, human life in the plains here depends on rivers.
Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami or Ayudhapuja, is one of the most important Hindu festivals celebrated in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, as well as in parts of Pakistan. The name Dussehra is derived from Sanskrit. Dasha-Hara literally means Dashanan Ravan (named after Ravan and in Dasha and Hara (defeat)) in reference to Rama's victory over the ten-headed demon king Ravana. The day also marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasur. The name Dussehra is also derived from the Sanskrit Ajaja, which means day. For example, Aharnisha is derived from Ajaja + nisha. The goddess fought with the evils for nine nights and ten days. The name Vijayadashami is also derived from the Sanskrit words "Vijaya-Dashami", which literally means victory in the Dashami (Dashmi is the tenth day of the lunar month of the Hindu calendar).
Each twelve-year cycle, when according to Vedic astrology (jyotish), Jupiter enters the constellation of aquarium (kumbha), includes a mahā kumbhamela (or 'great aquarium meeting') in Praiag, on the banks of the Ganges, in the Several million people participate, which probably makes it the biggest pilgrimage celebrated in the world. Estimates consider that in the three weeks of the last mahā kumbhamela (held in 2001), 70 million people gathered. Literally, in Sanskrit, the kumbhá: 'aquarius (jyotish zodiac) jug, pot, pitcher, glass'; la mélā: 'meeting, assembly').
The Ratha-Yatra is a huge Hindu festival associated with the worship of Yáganat, commemorated in the city of Puri, in the state of Orissa, in eastern India, during the month of June. It is the most important festival in the city and it includes the worship of Yagannātha (one of the manifestations of the god Krisna) in the surroundings of the temple, which constitutes an essential part of the area's folklore. The festival celebrates Yagannātha's visit to the temple of Queen Gundicha. The Ratha-iatra or Festival of the Chariots of Lord Yáganat is celebrated every year in Puri, on the second day (dwitiya) of crescent moon (shukla pakshya) of Ashadh Maas (third month in the lunar calendar).