India is the land of Festival, and most of the festivals are celebrated as Harvest festivals with different names throughout the country. April is the time of new life when spring season creates new life in trees, plants, and animals after torrid and harsh winters. After the celebration of Holi in March people gear themself for some amazing celebration in April.
A substantial section of the Indian population is actively involved in agriculture and their festivals are related to a bountiful harvest. The yield of new crops is a cheerful time for them and they celebrate it with fun and frolic in different ways. Let us take a look at the major festivals celebrated in April.
The beauty of Kashmir, the paradise on earth, increases manifold in the spring. Because the valleys of flowers bloom on icy plains, smells arise. At this time, Tulip Festival is organized in Asia’s largest tulip garden in Srinagar. During this time cultural programs, Kashmiri folk songs, local handicraft art, and traditional Kashmiri cuisine can be enjoyed in the valley adorned with several lakh tulip flowers. This year more than 50 varieties of tulips and many new fountains can be seen here.
When: In the first two weeks of April.
Where: Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden, Srinagar, Kashmir. It is located in the foothills of the Zabarwan Range near Dal Lake in Kashmir.
What is Special: The beauty of Kashmir is glorified with tulip bloom
The Aoling Festival of the Konyak Tribe
People of the charming Konyak tribe, once the deadly headhunters, now live in peace. They spend most of their time in agriculture, wine production and consumption, opium and sometimes hunting. Each year after the sowing of seeds is completed, the tribe celebrates its most important festival, the ‘Aoling Festival‘, which marks the beginning of the spring season and the new year.
When: 1-10 April each year.
Where: Mon district of Nagaland in North East India.
What is Special: This is a New Year celebration for tribal people that mark the beginning of spring and requesting God for a better harvest.
Mopin Festival (Mopin Festival)
Mopin is the harvest festival of the hospitable Gallo tribe, which focuses on the worship of the goddess Mopin. It is celebrated to drive away evil spirits and to gain prosperity and wealth. There is a highlight of an indigenous folk dance festival called Popir presented by young women. Traditional rice wine (apong) prepared by Gallo women is also served during this time.
When: 5-8 April each year.
Where: East Siang and West Siang Districts of Arunachal Pradesh in North East India. Festivals take place on a grand scale in Moharin, Naharlagun, near the capital city of Itanagar.
What is Special: Mopin is a harvest festival that involves folklore dance “popir dance” and locally made rice wine (Apong) and is a pleasure that comes once a year.
Nenmara Vallangi Vela
Another popular type of temple festival in Kerala, Nenmara Vallangi Vela occurs after paddy harvest. The two neighboring villages compete with each other to put on the best of traditional art forms and percussion music performances. There is also a procession of adorned elephants.
When: 3 April 2020.
Where: Nellikulangara Bhagwati Temple, Nemmara, Palakkad District, Kerala.
What is Special: It the most beautiful celebration with vivid colors, lights, fireworks, and art forms is famous for its grandeur and rituals.
Ram Navami falls on the last day of Chaitra Navratri that is the ninth day of Navratri and is the birth of Lord Rama. The purpose of celebrating this festival of joy and gaiety is the “rise of the light of knowledge” within us. Lord Rama was born to King Dasharatha and Queen Kaushalya. Lord Vishnu himself incarnated on earth to end the atrocities of Asuras from the earth. Ram Navami is a special celebration for all Hindus, which he celebrates with full enthusiasm.
On this day, the temples of Ram Lala are the center of attraction, as well as the distribution of offerings here is also special. Some people keep a full nine-day fast in Navratri at this time and after the worship of Lord Rama on the last day, open the fast and receive blessings.
When: April 2, 2020
Where: Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.
What is Special: The celebrations at key places associated with Sri Rama, such as Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu can attract thousands of devotees.
Baisakhi or Vaisakhi
April 13 is a special day for people of Punjab and Haryana. This is the time when the Rabi crop ripens in the fields, the farmers are happy to see the crops, so they express their happiness by celebrating this festival of Baisakhi. Although there are many different beliefs about the reason for celebrating this festival, on this day the Sun enters Aries, this is also a reason to celebrate the festival. It is said that on this day in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the last Guru of Sikhs, organized Sikhs as Khalsa, this is also a reason to make this day special.
It is considered important to bathe in the holy rivers of North India on the occasion of Baisakhi festival. People wear new clothes at the festival of Baisakhi. They make pudding and other favorite dishes at home. The Baisakhi fair on the festival of Baisakhi is very famous.
When: April 13th, 2020
Where: Punjab and Haryana
What is Special: Harvest festival marks the beginning of the Sikh religion. Baisakhi Mela is a heartfelt and wildly distinguished festival in India.
Bihu is the harvest Festival Of Assam. The Assamese celebrate Bihu thrice a year, which signifies the distinct cycles of farming – Bhogali/Magh Bihu (January), Bohag/Rongali Bihu (April), and Kongali Bihu (October).
Bohag Bihu is the most important Bihu of the three and marks the arrival of Vasant Ritu. It is celebrated in the month of Bohaag (middle of April), the first month of the Assamese calendar and thus marks the advent of the Assamese New Year. On the first day of Rongali, people pray, worship and donate. People take holy baths in rivers and ponds on this day and sometimes people bathe their animals too. All the children and elders wear new clothes on this day.
When: April 14, 2020
What is Special: Bohag Bihu is celebrated during spring which marks the first day of the year (Hindu lunisolar year).
In Kerala when the sun enters the Ashwini nakshatra New Year begins. It is like Baisakhi in Punjab, Bihu in Assam and Poila Boisha in Bengal. Malayalam people welcome their new year through the Vishu festival.
On this occasion, the special fair is held in Kerala and people visit temples wearing new clothes they make rangolis on the doorway of their homes. Lord Krishna is worshipped on this day and it is said Sri Krishna killed the demon Narakasura. Traditional dance is performed and a feast with 13 to 20 items is served during this festival.
When: April 14, 2020
What is Special: Vishu is the regional festival, New Year of Kerala.
Naba Barsha or Poila Baisakh
Pohela Boishakh is the first day of the Bengali Calendar so it is known as Bengali New Year and is celebrated by Bengali people in Assam, Tripura, and Bangladesh. The festival usually falls on the 13th or 14th day of April according to English Calendar Year. To welcome the New Year, people clean and decorate their houses. A very important tradition of Naba Barsha is the making of elaborate rangolis or alpanas in front of the house by womenfolk. Businessmen and traders purchase new accounting books and start a new account known as Haalkhata on this day.
When: April 14th, 2020
Where: West Bengal
What is Special: New Year for Bengali people celebrated with dance, music, regional games, and other cultural programs.
Tamil Puthandu (Tamil New Year)
Tamil Puthandu is the Tamil New Year and people celebrate it with the name Chittirai Vishu. They make beautiful ‘Kolam’ with colored rice powder at the entrance of their house. In the evening people keep 3 fruits (mango, banana, and jackfruit), betel leaves and some gold or silver ornament, coins and money and flowers in a pot or tray. According to Hindu Mythology, this is the day on which Lord Brahma (the creator of the universe) started the creation of the world. It is also said that on this day, Goddess Meenakshi got married to Lord Sundareswarar.
This is an auspicious occasion for Tamilians (people of Tamil origin) living all over the world. People exchange greetings by wishing “Puthandu Vazthukal” – Happy New Year, with great passion.
When: April 14th, 2020
Where: Throughout Tamil Nadu
What is Special: This is an auspicious occasion for Tamilians (people of Tamil origin) living all over the world, when people celebrate wishing “Puthandu Vazthukal” – Happy New Year to each other.
Akshaya Tritya is the annual springtime festival of the Hindus and Jains it is also known as ‘Akha Teej’. Which falls on the third Tithi (lunar day) of Bright Half (Shukla Paksha) of Vaisakha month. It is considered to be the most auspicious day to start a new venture. It is considered very auspicious to buy gold and silver on this day. Fasting, religious and spiritual pursuits, charity, japa on Akshaya Tritiya are considered sacred. Worshiping Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu will bestow upon us the blessings of the Supreme Lord.
When: April 26th, 2020
Where: All over India by Hindu, Jain
What is Special: The Hindu community considers this day as a lucky day and believes that any venture such as a business or the construction of a building started on that day will follow betterment and prosperity.
Good Friday and Easter
Good Friday and Easter are very important festivals of the Christian. Good Friday is celebrated on Friday and Easter on Sunday, which is one of the most sacred Friday and Sunday for Christian society. Easter celebrates Christ’s resurrection from the dead, following the crucifixion. According to Christian beliefs, Jesus was resurrected on the third day of Good Friday The festival is celebrated with great pomp in the entire Christian community throughout the world.
When: Good Friday on April 10th, 2020 and Easter on April 12th, 2020.
Where: Throughout India
What is Special: Good Friday is celebrated by Christians to mark the suffering, passion, and death of Lord Jesus during his crucifixion on the cross. Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.
Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated every year on the 13th day of Chaitra month, which falls in March or April according to our working calendar. On this day, every kind of Jain Digambar, Shwetambar, etc., come together to celebrate this festival. This festival, which is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavira, has been declared a government holiday all over India. Lord Mahavira is the originator of Jainism, is teaching the lesson of non-violence to the whole world along with his millions of followers even two and a half thousand years after his birth.
When: April 6th, 2020
Where: All over India by Jains
What is Special: It is one of the major festivals of the Jain community celebrated as the birth of Mahavira (the last Tirthankara).
The month of Ramadan is considered very holy for Muslims, it falls in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a month of fasting and prayers and is considered Five Pillars of Islam. Muslims take part in the month-long sunrise-to-sunset fast that is the hallmark of Ramadan. Muslims believe that fasting cleanses the body, and the practice reminds them of the suffering of the poor. Eating and drinking (including water) are prohibited from sunrise to sunset, and the day’s abstinence is offset by a pre-dawn meal called sehri and a nightly meal known as iftar. At the end of the 29- or 30-day fast is Eid al-Fitr (Festival of Breaking the Fast) when there are much feasting and celebration.
When: Starting on April 23, 2020
Where: All over India by Muslims
What is Special: The ninth month in the Islamic calendar, is a period of prayer, fasting for Muslims.