FESTIVALS AND EVENTS IN INDIA
Delhi Republic Day Parade
The grand parade on Rajpath in New Delhi on the 26th of January is the main event of the celebration of India's Republic Day which is a three-day celebration, culminating in the beating retreat ceremony on the evening of the 29th January. The parade showcases India's military might and cultural diversity. To mark the importance of the occasion, every year a grand parade is held in the capital, New Delhi, from the Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's Palace), along the Rajpath, past India Gate. Nine to twelve different regiments of the Indian Army in addition to the Navy, and Air Force with their bands march past in all their finery and official decorations. One of the unique sights of the parade is the camel mounted Border Security Force contingent, which is the only camel mounted military force in the world. 22 to 30 floats exhibiting the cultures of the various states and union territories of India, including floats of union ministries are in the grand parade, which is broadcast nationwide on television and radio. Comprising over 25 marching and mounted contingents, various military vehicles, 20 military bands, 30 cultural tableaux and 30 aircraft in addition to cultural performers and 1200 schoolchildren, India's Republic Day Parade in New Delhi is the most spectacular regular parade in the world. Every part of the country is represented in the parade, which makes the Republic Day parade very popular.
The unique BSF Camel Contingent during the annual Republic Day Parade
Photograph: Antônio Milena
Diwali popularly known as the "festival of lights," is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-December. For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lampsfilled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. These lamps are kept on during the night and one's house is cleaned, both done in order to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome. Firecrackers are burst in order to drive away evil spirits. During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends. The festival starts with Dhanteras on which most Indian business communities begin their financial year. The second day of the festival, Naraka Chaturdasi, marks the vanquishing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama. Amavasya, the third day of Diwali, marks the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth in her most benevolent mood, fulfilling the wishes of her devotees. It is on the fourth day of Diwali, Kartika Shudda Padyami, that Bali went to patala and took the reins of his new kingdom in there. The fifth day is referred to as Yama Dvitiya (also called Bhai Dooj), and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes.
Holi is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus, as a festival of colors. It is primarily observed in India and Nepal. The most celebrated Holi is in the Braj region, in locations connected to the Lord Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandagaon, and Barsana, which become tourist destinations during the season of Holi. Large parts of South India, however, do not celebrate Holi with the same fervor. Every year, thousands of Hindus participate in the festival Holi. The festival has many purposes. First and foremost, it celebrates the beginning of the new season, spring. Originally, it was a festival that commemorated good harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring's abundant colors and saying farewell to winter. It also has a religious purpose, commemorating events present in Hindu mythology. During this event, participants hold a bonfire, throw colored powder at each other, and celebrate wildly. On the first day of this festival, Hindus participate in a public bonfire. Prior to the event, men prepare for this by collecting extra wood. The fire itself is lit near midnight, as the moon rises. The main custom of Holi is the use of the colored powders and water on others. This is why Holi is given the name “Festival of Colors".
Ganesha Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is the Hindu festival celebrated on the birthday (rebirth) of Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati. It is believed that Lord Ganesh bestows his presence on earth for all his devotees during this festival. It is the day Shiva declared his son Ganesha as superior to all the gods, barring Vishnu, Lakshmi, Shiva and Parvati. Ganesha is widely worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and traditionally invoked at the beginning of any new venture or at the start of travel. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period). While celebrated all over India, it is most elaborate in Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh. Ganesh Chaturthi starts with the installation of these Ganesh statues in colorfully decorated homes and specially erected temporary structures mandapas (pandals) in every locality. Some homes buy their own small clay statue, and after 1,3 or 11 days immerse it in a bucket or tub at home, so as not to pollute public lakes or rivers. After a few days the clay is used in the home garden.
Lalbaug Ganesh idol immersion procession in Mumbai
Rock 'N India
Rock 'N India is an annual music festival organized by DNA Networks at the Palace Grounds in Bangalore. The first festival was held in 2008, with heavy metal bands such as Megadeth and Machine Head headlining. In 2011 the festival was headlined by heavy metal band Metallica. This was Metallica's first performance in India. Indian bands, Guillotine and Inner Sanctum also performed. Rock 'N India is the only music festival in India, which gives the Indian bands, a never before opportunity to perform in front of a large audiences alongside international artists. The 2012 edition of the festival is scheduled to take place on 20th October, and will be headlined by American thrash metal band Slayer. The Opening Acts are not yet confirmed as of now. The organizers announced that Carlos Santana will be performing on October 26th as part of the festival.
Sunburn is an electronic dance music festival held in Candolim Beach, Goa, India. The festival is an amalgamation of music, entertainment, food and shopping. Held over three days, the festival has multiple stages with artists playing simultaneously daily. A debut edition in 2007, featured the likes of legends like Carl Cox & Above & Beyond. Now in its 6th year, Sunburn has brought some of the biggest names in the industry bringing an international experience to the sunny sands of Goa every year in December! The year also brought the Sunburn Experience to the urban youth with its debut edition in Mumbai, and the North being lit up by Afrojack at Sunburn Noida. With a variety of experiences to choose from Sunburn caters to a wide Indian and International audience and highlights India as a dance music destination to the world.