India is famous for various things such as yoga, scenic beauty, temples, spices, and Bollywood. Not to forget, the land is also known for its various festivals. Here is a list of different harvest festivals in India which are celebrated with much enthusiasm and vigor all over the country on the occasion of the main harvests of the year.
Makar Sankranti is one of the few Indian Festivals to be celebrated on a fixed date i.e. 14th January every year. In the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat, you can see the sky covered with beautiful, colorful kites as it is also considered a kite flying festival. People often donate, clothes, blankets, food, etc. to the underprivileged on this day.
The festival of Pongal is celebrated over a duration of four days. People buy new clothes and household items during this festival and exchange gifts with one another. There are traditional dances and buffalo-taming contests. Cooking an authentic Pongal dish on the second day is an important event of the festival.
Lohri is considered a significant harvest festival in North India. The main celebration includes lighting up a bonfire followed by traditional Punjabi song and dance. People most often feast on delicious Sarson ka saag & Makki ki roti on this day. People also remember Dulha Bhatti – a famous legendary hero who helped the poor by robbing the rich.
Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu is the harvest festival of the state of Assam and is observed in the Assamese month of Magh (January). It is a two-day festival dedicated to Lord Agni, the Hindu, fire god. Spread over three days people perform various rituals and dine on authentic delicacies such as pithas (sweet rice cake), chira (rice flakes), chunga pitha (rice cake in bamboo tubes), and different types of other sweets. Buffalo fights are also organized in Assam during the festival.
The harvest festival of Kerala, Onam is a time for sports, festivities and ritual celebrations in Kerala. Onam is celebrated over 4 days; Thiruvonam is the 2nd day and the most important day of the festival. On this day you get to experience the world famous Snake Boat Races, song and dance, lots of good food, and as much exotica as one can take.
Baisakhi is a major harvest festival of Punjab as it marks the beginning of the solar year. People of North India, particularly Punjab thank God for a good harvest. Baisakhi processions are known as “Nagar Kirtans, ” and legendary performances by the Gurdwaras in Punjab are the highlights of the day. Bhangra and gidda performances take place all over the state.
Become a part of the celebrations and enjoy the colors of the different harvest festivals in India.