Delhi Festivals represent the different culture and religion that co exist in the city. Festivals of Delhi include festivals of every religion of India. They are celebrated equally and with happiness.
Delhi having all type of religion in the city celebrates all festivals with same enthusiasm and passion. All important Indian festivals like Diwali, Holi, Maha Shivaratri, Teej, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Baisakhi, Durga Puja, Vasant Panchami, Lohri, Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha, Christmas and Mahavir Jayanti are celebrated in the city.
These festivals of Delhi display the colors and rites and rituals of different people residing in the capital city.
Some of the festivals of Delhi are:
Diwali Festival in Delhi:
Diwali is the most auspicious festival of India. It celebrates the homecoming of Lord Rama, Laxman and Sita. Delhi lit up splendidly during the Festival of lights, Diwali. Lamps, candles, series of lights can be seen in every house of Delhi. Children enjoy special sweets and burn firecrackers during this festival.
In Hindu philosophy "festivals of lights and lamps" signifies victory of Good over Evil and light over darkness.
On this day Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth and prsoperity) is worshipped.
In Delhi people make Rangoli outside their house, Goddess Laskhmi is worshipped at home, shops and companies. Dhanteras that falls two days before Diwali sees thousands of shoppers buying golden jewelries, electronic items and other new materials for their home.
It is believed that on this people must take bath in holy River Ganges.
Diwali always falls on Amavasya (New Moon).
Holi Festival :
Holi, Festival of Colors is the second most auspicious festival of Delhi as well as India. Month of Phagun or March sees the celebration of colors of Holi. It is celebrated throughout the country. People apply colors to each other, eat sweets and encourage brotherhood.
While the color of festival links to Lord Krishna, the bonfire or Holika Dahan has a legend behind it. Hiranyakashipu was a king who became nearly immortal with the blessing of Lord Brahma. He started his cruelty on people and asked them to worship him instead of God. His son Prahlada was a worshipper of Lord Vishnu and he continued to worship him even after the threats of his father.
One day Hiranyakashipu ordered his sister Holika (who had the blessing that she could not be burned by fire) to sit with Prahlada in fire. Holika sat with Prahlada on his lap. Miraculously Holika was burnt but Prahlad survived and from that day Holi Dahan or bonfire are carried out on the eve of Holi.
Festival of Vasant Panchmi Delhi:
On Basant or Vasant Panchmi, Saraswati (Goddess of Knowledge and Music) is worshipped by Hindus. Also this day marks the start of spring season.
In Delhi during this time Mughal gardens behind Rashtrapati Bhavan are opened to public. These gardens are well preserved and blossom during this time of the year.
Qutub Festival in Delhi:
Qutub Festival is a 3-day festival held in November or December. It showcases various performances of famous musicians and dancers from every corner of India.
It is held in the Qutub complex and is organized by Delhi Tourism and Government of Delhi.
During Qutub festival famous dance forms of different culture and states like Kuchipudi, Kathakali, and Odissi etc., are performed by well-trained artists.
Kite Flying Festival:
Kite flying festival or traditionally known as Makar Sankranti, is celebrated in the month of January. People all over India fly kites on this day.
In Delhi, on this day people gather above Palika Bazaar, Connaught Place to fly colorful kites. Also children fly kites from the terrace of the house and sky above the whole city gets filled with beautiful and colorful kites.
International Mango Festival:
International Mango Festival is a unique two-day festival held every year in Delhi since 1987. It showcases mangoes of different types brought from all over India.
More than 500 types of Mangoes are put on display during this festival including types like: alphonso, mallika, amrapali, himsagar, malda, balia, chorasya, dhaman, dhoon, fazia, gelchia, nigarin kheria, ruchika and shamasi.
International Mango Festival is organized by Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (D.T.T.D.C.).
Phool walon ki Sair is an important event that is held in Delhi every year in October. It is Flower Sellers Procession that originated in 16th century during the Mughal period and since then it has continued. Decorated floral fans are carried to Yogmaya temple through Mehrauli bazaar and reaches dargah of Khwaja Bakhtiyar Kaki.
Republic Day of India is celebrated on 26 January every year. It is the day on which Indian Constitution came into force. Though the celebration is seen throughout the country, Delhi being the capital has special celebration on this day.
Military parades displaying Indian weaponry, horse pageantry and elephants are being held at India Gate. These celebrations are also telecasted live on the national channel for country people to watch.
Independence Day is the day when India got Independence from the British rule. On 15th August 1947, India got freedom from the 300 years rule of British. It is a national holiday in the whole country and people stick to their TV sets to watch the Independence Day celebrations of Delhi.
Flag hoisting, parade by the personnel of the police and army, speech of the Prime Minister of the country to the whole nation and various cultural programs are held in Delhi. The celebrations are observed in the Red Fort.
Lohri is a customary festival of Punjabis and Dogris. It is celebrated during the winter season. On this day people make bonfires and sing and dance around it. Traditionally, Lohri is also associated with harvesting of crops.
Maha Shivratri is celebrated every year on the Amavasya night of Phalguna month. Lord Shiva on this particular day danced the Tandava Nritya. Lord Shiva is worshipped at temples, Shivalinga are bathed with milk and water and all night vigils and prayers are performed. On this day unmarried women keep day long fast and pray to Lord Shiva to grant them an ideal husband.
Christmas in Delhi
Christmas is the festival of Christians and is celebrated every year on 25th December. It is the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ. On this day fir tree are decorated, Christmas carols are sung and gifts are exchanges. On this day, churches in Delhi are lit up and Christians gather on Christmas Eve to offer prayers.
Raksha Bandhan Festival Celebrated in Delhi
Raksha Bandhan is a festival of Hindus. This festival celebrates love and affection between a brother and sister. A sister ties Rakhi on her brother's wrist praying for his good health and well-being. On the other hand brother vows to protect her. It falls in the month of August.
Festival of Eid-ul-Fitr
Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid is the auspicious festival of Islam community. It celebrates the end of Ramadan that is a holy month. During this month Muslims keep fasting and on this day they broke their fast. In Delhi, Muslim gather in Jama Masjid to break their fast and it sees one of the biggest collection of Muslim people.