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Hindu Festivals and Rituals

The total number of vratas and utsavas listed by the largest of the published works-Caturvarga-Cintamani of Hemadri (13th century) comes to about 700. However, most of these are less known individual vratas.

The following is a list of the more important utsavas or festivals normally observed all over the country by the Hindus:

Aksayyatriya, Balipratipada,
Candramana Yugadi, Caturmasya,
Dussehra, Dipavali, Durgapuja,
Ganesa-caturthi, Gurupurnima,
Holi, Janmastami, Kumbhamela,
Mahanavami, Mahasivaratri,
Makarasankranti, Navaratra,
Raksabhandhan, Ramanavami,
Rathayatra, Vijayadasami.


Q1. Why are festivals important in Hinduism?


They are a way for the people to celebrate Gods and Goddesses and connect with families and backdrop. Festivals are a significant part of Indian culture and present our values and emotions. It is an expressive way to celebrate glorious heritage, culture, and traditions. They create a special atmosphere, diverting the mind from worldly concerns and joyfully focusing on spiritual matters and goals.


Hindu festivals certainly help boost spirituality among believers and boost the local economy by generating revenue, supporting existing businesses, and encouraging new enterprises to start up. Festivals forge a healthy sense of belonging by peacefully bringing together individuals, families, and communities.

Q2. What book does Hinduism worship?


·        Shruti-"That which is heard",


The four Vedas namely, Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda, and Atharvaveda


The Upanishads - These consider the nature of the individual soul (Atman) and the universal soul (Brahman.) Also, refer to the reincarnation of the soul in different bodies.


Smruti-"That which is remembered:


Ramayana - Contains the story of Rama and Sita. The poem is about how good always triumphs over evil.


Mahabharata - An epic poem of a great war between two branches of a family. The Bhagavad-Gita forms part of this.


The Puranas - A collection of ancient tales about the different incarnations and the lives of saints.

Q3. What are traditional Hindu festivals?


Many important Hindu festivals are celebrated 365 days a year. The important ones are:


Navratri / Durga Puja: commemorates the victory of goddess Durga over demon Mahishasura.


Diwali: known as the “Festival of Lights”. Celebrated primarily to worship the goddess Lakshmi.


Holi is the festival of colors.


Janmashtami is a celebration of the birth of Krishna.


Vijayadashami or Dussehra is a Hindu festival acknowledging the victory of the righteous over evil and that marks the end of Durga Puja.


GaneshChaturthi: celebrates the arrival of Lord Ganesh on Earth.

Q4. What are important customs or holidays of Hinduism?


Hindu holidays commemorate a particular deity, season, or event.


Swami Vivekananda Jayanti : Celebrated as the National Youth Day


Lohri: Lohri (LOH-ree) signifies the start of the winter solstice


Makar Sankranti: marks the transition of the Sun into Capricorn (Makar) on its celestial path.


Pongal: harvest festival in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry


Vasant Panchami: dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, mainly by students and pupils.


Maha Shivaratri: the ‘Great Night of Shiva’


Holi, Ugadi, Ram Navami , Hanuman Jayanti , Vaisakhi , Guru Purnima , Onam , Raksha Bandhan, Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Pitru Paksha, Navaratri, Durga Puja, Mahavir Jayanthi, Dusshera, Karwa Chauth, Diwali, Maha Shiva Ratri,  RathaYatra, etc