Hindu festivities (utsava) are based on rituals, celebration in communities or in the temple, but they also represent a popular social coming-together. Festivities bring everyone together regardless of social and economic class or gender. It also fulfils an educational function for young generations. Ancient knowledge, stories from the scriptures, dances, handicraft traditions, music… a whole culture is passed down!
There are indeed many Hindu festivities! It is practically impossible to list them all, but we can subdivide them in 3 main groups as follows.
DEDICATED TO AN ASPECT OF THE DIVINE
Celebration of an aspect of the Divine or an event related to it.
Celebration of seasonal festivities related to agriculture (sowing, harvesting and similar) and to geographic areas of India.
SAINTS, GURUS AND YOGINS
Celebration of the birth or mahasamadhi (death) of a Guru and/or saint.
CALENDAR OF MAIN FESTIVITIES
15 January 2023Festival on occasion of the first harvest of the year to thank God and wish prosperity and harmony for the New Year. The festival takes its name from the sweet rice (pongal) especially cooked for the occasion in sign of abundance. It is also called makara samkranti to indicate the passage of the sun into the constellation of Capricorn.