India is a country of festivals, people who believe in many religions live here and all religions have their own festivals. In this way, every day throughout the year is special for people who believe in some or the other religion. If you don’t care for the heat of summers in India then these big festivals are for you to enjoy in May.
Sita Navami is celebrated as the incarnation day of Sita, the daughter of King Janak and Queen Sunayna of Mithila and the queen goddess of Ayodhya, also known as Janaki Navami. The incarnation day of Lord Rama, the husband of Mother Sita is celebrated on the month of Chaitra Shukla Navami or Rama Navami a month before. Just as Sri Rama Navami is important in Hindu society, so is Sita Navami. On the day of Sita Navami, by worshiping Mother Sita, you can easily overcome the difficulties as well as your mother’s diseases and family strife can be overcome.
Goddess Sita was born during Pushya Nakshatra. Sita means to run a solution. Married Hindu women worship Goddess Sita for the long life and success of their husbands. On the day of Sita Navami, offer prayers to Goddess Sita with pure roli, rice, incense, lamp, a garland of red flowers, and marigold flowers and sweets. Burn a lamp of sesame oil or cow’s ghee and sit on a pedestal and chant a garland of ॐ rīsītaīye Namah mantra with a garland of a red sandal.
When: May 2, 2020.
Where: Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Rama in Uttar Pradesh.
What is Special: Birth anniversary of Sita, the divine consort of Lord Rama is a grand festival celebrated with huge excitement and devotion in Ayodhya.
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 days fast is Eid al-Fitr (Festival of Breaking the Fast) when there are much feasting and celebration.
When: Ending on May 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.
The festival of ‘Eid-ul-Fitr‘ or ‘Eid’ is the main festival of the Muslim community. Muslim people spread in all corners of the world celebrate it with great reverence and gaiety.
All Muslims celebrate this festival with great preparation with great pomp and show. The entire atmosphere becomes monotonous during the festival of Eid. Equal enthusiasm can be seen in all the people, rich or poor, young or old. All of them purchase new clothes, new jewelry, shoes, slippers, and other material pleasures according to their strength and ability and interest.
When: May 23 – May 24, 2020.
Where: All over India by Muslims.
What is Special: Eid begins with special morning prayers called Salaat. After prayers, people greet each other with “Eid Mubarak” which means “Blessed Eid”.
Moatsu Festival is celebrated by Ao people of Nagaland who celebrate it after sowing seeds in their fields. People pray to the almighty to look after their lands and seek blessings for a great harvest. They also express their thanks for the abundance of blessings received. The pre-celebrations begin with the cleaning of the local wells known as the Tsübu and elders of the house spend more than a week repairing and constructing their house. The best rice beer is brewed and served along with meat during the feast. Women wear the best of the traditional clothes and jewelry and sing and dance along with the men.
When: First week of May from 6 – 7 May.
What is Special: This festival is celebrated for three days when you can see men and women of the tribe gather around large outdoor fires performing traditional dances.
Buddha Purnima and Buddha Jayanti
Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti is celebrated in honor of the founder Lord Buddha of Buddhism. It is an important festival in Buddhism and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. On the same day, Lord Buddha had attained enlightenment and attained nirvana or salvation. Some believe that “Yashodara” was born on the day of Gautama’s wife, his charioteer Channa and his horse Kantaka Buddha Purnima. On this day, pilgrims come from all over the world to Bodh Gaya to participate in the Buddha Purnima festival.
Gautama Buddha as Prince Siddhartha in 566 BC. I was born in Kapilavastu when the young prince felt the pain and weakness of others that meant seeing old age, disease, and death, he gave up his wealth and decided to demand the higher truth and create an ascetic meditation for many years. After a lot of study, and sacrifice, he found nirvana and became Siddhartha to Gautama Buddha.
When: May 7 Buddha Purnima is celebrated on the full moon night in the month of Vaisakh (April or May).
Where: North India.
What is Special: The day begins with prayers, sermons on Gautama Buddha’s life, group meditation, Buddhist scriptures, religious discourses, processions, continuous recitation of Buddha’s idol worship.
Sital Sasthi is a Hindu festival who celebrates the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The festival is celebrated on the sixth day of the bright fortnight in the Hindu month of ‘Jyestha’ which corresponds to the months of May-June in the Gregorian calendar. The festival is celebrated with immense fervor all over India, especially in the Sambalpur district of Orissa.
The carnival in Sambalpur attracts thousands of tourists from all over India and abroad. The three-day celebration is called the ‘Sital Sasthi Yatra Festival’, wherein a family is chosen to play the role of Goddess Parvati’s family to propose marriage to Lord Shiva. Since Shiva is known as ‘Swayam Bhu’, no one plays the role of his family. The festival is attended by a large number of ‘Hijras’ and ‘Eunuchs’, as Shiva is also referred to as ‘Ardhanarishwara’.
When: May 28.
Where: Sambalpur, Orissa.
What is Special: Sital Sasthi is the celebration of the divine marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati on ‘sasthi’ (6th day) during the ‘Shukla Paksha‘.
Shani Jayanti is also known as Shani Amavasya is celebrated on the new moon day of Jyeshtha Krishna Paksha. Shani Dev is the son of Sun god, he is considered the god of justice and death. Their color is black, he is given the third and seventh vision. Saturn is the slowest moving planet and he is the ruling deity of Planet Saturn. He is very fond of leading the life of a yogi and an ascetic. This is the reason that a person starts talking about salvation in the condition of Saturn. On the day of Shani Jayanti, in all the major Shani temples located in India, devotees offer prayers related to Shani Dev and pray for freedom from Shani suffering.
When: May 22, 2020.
Where: All over India.
What is Special: Shani Jayanti is a celebration of the birth anniversary of Lord Shani who ruled planet Saturn and is the most favorable day to remove the malicious effects of the planet.
Thrissur Puram is a social and religious festival in Kerala’s city Thrissur, which lasts for eight days. This annual festival is celebrated by the Hindu community here in the first Malayalam month of Madam (April), and Pooram means festival. Thrissur Puram was started by Mahakr Sakthan Thampuran of erstwhile Kochi state. Today, this festival is known for its faith as well as fireworks. In fact, it is a grand colorful temple festival, which is held in the courtyard of an ancient Vadakkumnath temple in the city.
The festival is attended by Trivambambadi Krishna Temple of Thrissur, Paramekavu Devi Temple, Vadakuntha Temple Literature, and other six temples nearby. The performance of elephants equipped with traditional song-music and dance of Kerala are special attractions of this festival. Each temple group is allowed to display 15 elephants. Every group tries to gets praise for having the best elephant and umbrella in South India.
When: May 3.
What is Special: Thrissur Pooram is basically an elephant procession between the huge assembly of people in rhythm with a display of fireworks.
Mount Abu Summer Festival
This summer festival is organized at Mount Abu, the famous hill station in Rajasthan. This summer festival is a symbol of passion, enthusiasm, colorful life, and lively behavior of the people of Mount Abu. Mount Abu has steep hills, serene, and a stable lake, where the beautiful panoramic view of nature and the favorable weather makes it a perfect summer spot. Folk dance, folk music, classical music, the unique confluence of art and craft of Rajasthan is seen in this two-day summer festival. Also, through this festival, you can understand the life and culture of the tribals of Rajasthan very closely.
When: May 6 – May 7, 2020.
Where: Mount Abu, Rajasthan.
What is Special: Mount Abu Summer Festival is organized every year on the occasion of Budh Purnima and is the best festival to witness the ground culture of Rajasthan and its vibrant style of living.
Dhungri Mela is an annual festival at Devi Hadimba temple at Manali and is the celebration of Hadimba’s birthday is held from May 14 to 16. During the festival, there is much merry-making, music, and dance among the devotees who intoxicate themselves with rice beer. The view of Manali during this festival celebrated for three days is very beautiful. People take out a procession of deities on this day. Local people perform a special kind of dance. In ‘Dhungri fair’ you will get to see the confluence of many cultures. When many villages gather together, they delight mother Hidimba with their respective traditions.
When: May 14 – May 16, 2020.
Where: Manali, Himachal.
What is Special: Dungri Fair held in Manali gives a glimpse of the unique culture here.
Ooty Summer Festival
Ooty, the famous hill station in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India, becomes one of the most popular destinations during the summers, not only because of its cool and pleasant climate but also due to its exquisite annual Ooty Summer festival. Tourists from India and abroad come to enjoy dance, music, wine, and culture. The beauty of Ooty and the beauty of the fest will increase the fun of your holiday manifold.
Where: Ooty, Tamil Nadu.
What is Special: A month-long Ooty Summer Festival is considered very special in terms of tourism.