The richness of India lies in its diversity of cultures and people. And yet, in spite of the many differences, each come with striking similarities.
Today, we are looking at some of the harvest festivals that are celebrated in our country. Each of these festivities are a call for the celebration of Spring’s bounty.
These festive days are special to each of the communities and the collective culture of India. Let’s find out how these are celebrated throughout India.
1. Vaisakhi in Punjab and Haryana
Celebrated in Punjab and Haryana by farmers, Vaisakhi/ Baisakhi is a festival of nature’s bountiful harvest. The community members dress up in rich bright colours and sing songs of the season.
Dhol is the instrument of choice for these celebrations and there are fairs throughout the countryside with various acrobatic and wrestling contests.
This year, Baisakhi is going to be celebrated on 14th April and traditional Bhangra and Gidda performances by men and women are the norm.
2. Poila Boisakh in West Bengal
Also known as the Bengali New Year, Poila Boisakh is celebrated on the 15th of April and marks the beginning of the regional lunisolar calendar.
In the urban areas, people wear new clothes and shops invite customers for greetings and to encourage new purchases. It is customary for them to offer sweets, beverages, and a Bengali calendar for the new year.
In rural areas, there are fairs and different traditional celebrations in people’s houses. Poila Boisakh is a very auspicious day in the entire state and people enjoy the festivities to their fullest.
3. Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra
Much like Poila Boisakh in Bengal and Vaisakhi in Punjab, Gudi Padwa marks the new year of the Marathi calendar and is celebrated around the same time. People wear new clothes, make traditional Gudi flags, and exchange greetings with friends and relatives.
Rangoli, a traditional colour decoration for the floor, is designed by members of every household and Indian sweets like Shrikhand, Puran Poli, and Sundh Paak are very popular.
4. Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka
Celebrated in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Ugadi marks the beginning of a New Year in the region.
It is considered a very auspicious time to start new ventures or make purchases like real estate, gold and vehicles. People have the Ugadi puja at their homes and it is customary for them to take an oil bath, wear new traditional clothes and celebrate with their friends and family.
Ugadi is also celebrated around mid-April.
5. Vishu in Kerala and Karnataka
Celebrated on the Malayalee New year, Vishu is the worship of Lord Krishna or Vishnu. It is marked by customs like family lunch, prayers in the evening, and fireworks.
The traditional cuisine cooked in the house is known as Vishukkani and consists of golden lemons, jackfruit, rice, golden cucumber, betel leaves, and yellow konna flowers. This is offered to the God.
Vishu’s main attractions are Sadya – the elaborate lunch meal spread, and Kani Kanal, or the first holy sight of the deity.
These are the popular harvest festivals celebrated across India during the mid-April season. However, due to India’s vast territory and geographical diversity, there are harvest festivals spread across the year.
Pongal and Onam for example are held in August and January respectively.
Don’t forget to check out the exclusive offers curated for you for the festivities. Let us know in the comments below which harvest festival you celebrate with friends and family and share pictures of the celebrations with the community too.