India is home to colour, vibrancy, gods and festivals. In most Indian cities and towns, you cannot walk more than half a kilometre before stumbling into a place of worship. Festivals are the same. The 365 days round the year are nicely jotted down with a variety of religious events and festivals. If you are a person who is looking for an excuse to celebrate something every other day, India is THE place.
estivals are holy occasions specific to a religion but many festivals also differ based on geography. Main stream Hindu festivals such as Diwali, Holi, Navratri and Ganesh Chathurthi are widely celebrated all over the country. However, harvest festivals are quite specific to a geographic area. Onam, Pongal, Bihu etc fall into this category.
Some festivals are very much a social affair. Diwali, Holi, Navratri and Ganesh Chaturthi are such festivals when people gather up in streets or community areas to celebrate them in full aplomb. But then there are other festivals such as Ugadi, Gudi padwa which are celebrated within the realm and quietness of a close knit family. New clothes, rituals and delicacies specific to the festival are usually the focus of such intimate celebrations.
These days there is a new dimension to many Indian festivals. Indian diaspora all over the world are still very much connected to their motherland deep in their hearts. Although separated by geography many Indians still want to be part of the celebration and the internet is helping to bridge this gap. Children who are far away are able to send Diwali gifts to their parents and sisters who are far away are able to send rakhi gift for brother, all thanks to the online gift portals. A variety of gifts – personalised or otherwise is available to people to order online. The happiness that comes through in the presence of your loved one is second to none but getting a personalised gift delivered to your door to some extent, bridges this big gap of absence of the loved one. If not forever, at least for the time-being!