The dull and cold winter, leaves not just our skin, but the nature also dry and lifeless.
Which is why spring is such an important part of cultures worldwide. In India, spring has been celebrated for ages, welcoming the warmth, colour and new beginnings with music, food, colour and love. Spring is the start of the harvesting season, most of the spring festivals welcome a new year of happiness and hopes of future prosperity.
1. Vasant Panchmi
Also called Basant Panchmi, this is a day that opens preparations for the arrival of spring. This also marks is an indicator of preparing for the ‘Holika Dahan’ and ‘Holi’ festival, which happens forty days after Vasant Panchmi. It is celebrated by Indians all over, their ways and rituals differring from region to region.
Holi is perhaps one of the grandest events in India. It celebrates the victory of good over evil, as all of us have heard the tale of Hiranyakashyap, Prahlad and Holika.
The festival is a colourful celebration that symbolizes togetherness, love and marks the beginning of spring and good harvests. It is celebrated with colours in most parts of the country, but there are variants as well – like Foolon ki Holi, played with flowers adn in Mathura and Vrindavan, Lath Maar Holi in Barsana, that literally means Holi by hitting someone with a stick. Google it! It’s fun trivia!
This festival is of immense importance to Sikhs. They celebrate this as the birthday of their tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh
Baisakhi or Vaisakhi, harvest festival of Punjab. It is to give thanks to the deities for a good harvest, and marks the Punjabi New Year. The festival’s name is also derived from the month it is celebrated in – Vaisakh, the month of April. People gather and celebrate while dancing on beats of Bhangra and Giddah wearing colourful traditional attires
4. Magh Bihu
This main harvest festival of Assam is also known as Bhogali Bihu or Maghar Domahi. Magh Bihu is the representation end of harvesting season during the months of Magh that falls between January and Febuary, and celebrations of this last for an entire week.
During this event, there are several games played like bull fighting and pot breaking. There’s also special food – rice cakes and other sweets made of coconut.
Celebrated on on March 21 each year, Navroze literally means ‘New Day’, and is the one of the main festivals of Parsi community.
Unlike other Indian festivals, Navroze is relatively silent, where the Parsis decorate their homes with flowers and garlands. They come together with their family and friends pray to their deity, following which there are lavish feasts of traditional Parsi dishes.
Ugadi is a new year festival that falls on the first day of Vasant Navami, (part of Vasant Navratri).
Mainly celebrated in the Deccan region – the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka, people get together for meals with family where there’s a specialty of neem buds, jaggery, green chili, salt, tamarind juice, and unripened mango – each ingredient that is added in the menu is a representation of each human emotion.
7. Chapchar Kut
This little-known festival is celebrated in Mizoram. The festival of Chapchar Kut happens in spring and marks completion of bamboo harvesting. The celebration takes place among locals with a bamboo dance performed by women called ‘Cheraw’ where they dance along the beats of bamboo sticks.
Several tribes get together in their traditional costumes for a fun food festival in a fair that also showcases local talents and handicrafts.