Holidays & FestivalsOur culture is rich in traditions and celebrations, and food is key to celebrating the right way. Below is a list of our most popular and revered holidays and festivals. If you are intrigued, click on to find out more about our bountiful celebrations.
Diwali, also known across the globe as the Festival of Light or the Hindu New Year, is celebrated throughout many regions of India and Nepal and observed by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists alike. This colorful holiday is typically celebrated in late October or early November, on the new moon day of Kartika, but exact dates vary with calendars and regions. The Festival of Lights, so named because it is tradition to decorate one's homes with lights, commemorates the victory of good over evil within every human being. Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth in Hinduism, is thanked on this holiday and prayers are made for a good new year. The use of fireworks and the distribution of sweets and gifts is characteristic of this holiday. The festival usually last six days
Indepence Day 1948 : Independence Day commemorates the anniversary of our nation's assumption of independent statehood from the United Kingdom on August 15, 1947. It is a national holiday throughout India.
This popular Hindu spring festival, also known as the Festival of Colours or Spring Festival, is observed in North India and Nepal. The main emphasis of the festival is the burning of Holika or lighting of Holi, usually represented by lighting bonfires at night. The lighting of Holi originates from the story of the burning of Holika. According to theology, Hiranyakashipu, the king of demons, was said to be impossible to kill after receiving a boon from Brahma. Knowing this, Hiranyakashipu took advantage of his gift and began terrorizing the heavens and the earth and demanded that people stop worshipping Lord Vishnu. His son, Prahlad worshipped Lord Vishnu against his father's wishes. Angry, Hiranyakashipu ordered his son to be killed but failed miserably. No stampede of elephants or poisonous snake could kill him. He then ordered Prahlad to sit on his sister Holika's lap to burn. Holika was to be protected from the fire by a special shawl that protected the person wearing it. Prahlad readily obeyed his did and prayed to Lord Vishnu to spare him. To everyone's surprise, Holika's shawl flew, leaving her to burn death while sparing and protecting the life of Prahlad. Holi, thus is the celebration of the burning of Holika. The two-day festival is also characterized by the throwing of colored powders signifying good health and wishes. Feasts and celebrations follow.
Eid ul-Fitr, or Eid, is a Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid ul-Fitr, an Arabic word literally means "feast of the breaking of the fast." The three-day holiday celebrates forgiveness, moral victory, peace, brotherhood and unity. This time of giving and sharing not only marks the Muslim's end of fasting but also served to thank God for giving them strength and self-control during the month of fasting. There is no set date to this holiday as it depends on the sighting of the moon, but usually falls in the month of October. Celebrations include eating with family and friends, gift-giving and praying.
Ramadan is a religious observance that takes place during the Islamic calendar's ninth month, Ramadan, when the Qu'ran was revealed. It is considered the most venerated and holy month of the Islamic year and is characterized by prayers, fasting, charity and self-control. Observance of Ramadan lasts one whole month and ends with a celebration of the breaking of the fast, or Eid.