Hindus celebrate their religious occasions with great enthusiasm and revelry. True to the liberal style of their functioning, these religious festivals have much variation. Hindus count the historical events by the traditional calendar, Vikram Samvat, which is fifty-seven years before the Common Era.
Common Hindu festivals celebrated all over India:
Diwali, or Deepawali, as it is often called, is the festival of light. Undoubtedly, it is the most popular festival of Hindus. One billion Hindus celebrate this auspicious event with gusto and religious sentiment in all parts of world. Diwali signifies the return of Lord Rama, after completing his fourteen years of exile in the forest and winning victory over the wicked King Ravana. In South India, Deepavali marks the victory of Lord Krishna over the mighty asura, the demon Narakasura.
Holi is the festival of colors, which Hindus celebrate as an event of divine incarnation of their most cherished god, Lord Krishna. The gaiety and mirth of this festivity is unique, as no other ethnic group in the world has anything similar to this event. It is a celebration signifying the joy and mirth of the community. Holi is also celebrated to mark the day when the infant Lord Krishna killed the demoness Putana and as a symbolic day when the demons were destroyed by the Lord anywhere. Bonfires Hola are organized on the eve of Holi to celebrate the death of the demons.
Mahashivratri is the great celebration of one of the three most important gods in the Hindu pantheon, Lord Shiva. Many fast for the whole day and in the night they line up to bathe the Lord with milk. The chanting and worship continues for most of the night, as devotees herald the happy advent of their most adored Lord.
Shri Krishna Janamasthmi, the birthday celebration of Lord Krishna, is a festival of great revelry. In some places, especially in Maharashtra, the occasion is marked by processions of youngsters, dancing and singing their way in the neighborhoods and breaking the pot containing butter, reminiscent of the Lord’s style in his childhood.