8 Popular Festivals Celebrated In Uttar Pradesh (2021)
Uttar Pradesh is a province famous for its wonderful pilgrim destinations and gorgeous tourist spots. The state is very well known as a land of traditional, cultural and historical importance. The dual temple cities of Mathura and Vrindavan followed by the great Ram Janmabhoomi, and Varanasi and many more temple cities are the major pilgrim attractions of the state.
As a part of its religious heritage, Uttar Pradesh is also the land of a number of festivities and celebrations. Many festivities as per the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism are celebrated in a magnificent manner. Here are some of those and their story behind them, which are the popular festivals celebrated in Uttar Pradesh.
8 Popular Festivals Celebrated In Uttar Pradesh
1. Buddha Purnima
Lord Gautama Buddha is one of the most famous and important religious personalities of India, who is also the founder of the religion, well known as Buddhism. Many pilgrim destinations of Uttar Pradesh is closely associated with the life of Lord Gautama Buddha, and at present these are some of the most popular pilgrimage destinations for the followers of Buddhism and even other religions.
There are also a number of monasteries dedicated to Buddhism in Uttar Pradesh, celebrating the day of Lord Gautama Buddha’s birth as Buddha Purnima. This day is undoubtedly the most special day, according to the followers of Buddhism. From chanting to special rituals, the Buddha Purnima is one of the popular festivals celebrated in Uttar Pradesh.
The day of Buddha Purnima is also a day to remember Lord Gautama Buddha and his teachings. His way of life and especially his patience and standing for peace is something which is highly appreciated in him.
2. Ganga Dussehra
According to Hindu mythology, many rivers have a great significance in religious scriptures. Some of them even appear as characters of the mythological stories and their presence blesses the storyline every time. As per the Hindu mythological scriptures, the river of Ganga has a pivotal role to play in the Shiva Purana and a lot more of the stories.
The river of Ganga is portrayed as a lady according to the tales of Shiva Purana and is also known and worshipped as one of the wives of Lord Shiva. It is also believed that she originates from the head of Lord Shiva and flows through the land, dissolving all the sins committed by the human lives and making their lives pure again. Image Source
The river of Ganga is also worshipped every day on the Ghats of Uttar Pradesh which is present all over the province, and the ritual of Ganga Aarti is held twice every day, during the sunrise and the sunset. The Ganga Dussehra is also celebrated as a part of worshipping Goddess Ganga for her blessings, which lasts for nearly ten days and is celebrated in the month of June.
3. Makar Sankranti
Makar Sankranti is another important festival dedicated and celebrated mostly by the followers of Hinduism, one of the popular festivals celebrated in Uttar Pradesh.
According to their traditions, the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti marks the day of the winter solstice. It usually passes the calendar during the second or third week of the month of January, but the festival is celebrated quite differently in Uttar Pradesh. Here, Makar Sankranti is celebrated during the end of December or at the starting of January in a magnificent manner.
During the days of Makar Sankranti, it is a tradition to fly the kites as a group in the sky. This comes along with other types of similar traditions which are carried out to celebrate the arrival of the sun, which is really important for the farmers. The festival of Makar Sankranti, therefore, marks the arrival of the summer or the sun, and as the sun is worshipped as a god, according to the Hindu mythology, his arrival is celebrated in a grand manner. In Uttar Pradesh too, the festivities are organised and celebrated in an exceptional way.
4. Ayudha Pooja
The day of Ayudha Pooja is another important day in the Hindu calendar which is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shri Ram and one of the popular festivals celebrated in Uttar Pradesh. The term Ayudha translates into the word weapon or tool which refers to the equipment owned by the individuals which they use to earn a living. Along with Lord Shri Ram, the followers of Hinduism worship the tools which they use, to earn a living.
The day of Ayudha Pooja usually falls on the day between Maha Navami and Vijaya Dashami or even known as the last three days of Navratri, popularly known as Dussehra. These tools and equipment are placed before Lord Shri Ram and other goddesses in order to get their blessings which are believed to be having an impact on the tools and so on in your lives. Other than these, people also exchange gifts, share sweets and other food items which they have placed on the occasion of Navratri or Ayudha Pooja.
Once the Pooja is performed all these weapons and tools are brought back to their former places and continued to be used in work. It denotes the blessing and influence of God in a person’s personal as well as professional life.
Janmashtami is undoubtedly one of the biggest religious occasions for the followers of Hinduism and one of the important festivals celebrated in Uttar Pradesh. The day, according to the Hindu calendar, marks the day of Lord Shri Krishna’s birth, who is the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu and also one of the most worshipped gods in the religion.
According to the Hindu mythological scriptures, Lord Krishna’s birth took place at Mathura, the temple city of Uttar Pradesh where he was born in the prison cell of the palace of King Kans. The temple of Shree Krishna Janmasthan of Mathura is built around this place where Lord Krishna was born on the auspicious day of Ashtami.
Therefore, the day of Janmashtami is celebrated in a grand manner in the temple of Janmasthan and most of the other cities nearby Mathura is also famous for the events associated with Lord Krishna. The villages of Barsana, Govardhan Hill, Vrindavan etc. are some of the places in Uttar Pradesh other than Mathura who celebrate the occasion of Janmashtami in a magnificent way. Special pujas and other rituals are conducted on behalf of the occasion at more than a hundred temples of this city only.
6. Lath Maar Holi
Lath Maar Holi is another big festival which is only celebrated in Uttar Pradesh and specifically in the village of Barsana, located in the outskirts of the Mathura city. This event takes place some days before the actual Holi, which most probably comes in the month of March.
Lath Maar Holi is celebrated as a remembrance of the event that took place in the mythological stories of Lord Krishna during his adulthood.
Lord Krishna pays a visit to the village of his ladylove, Radha, who is from Barsana and ends up chased playfully by Radha and her friends. The Lath Maar Holi is celebrated in a similar way where the young men from Nandgaon, which is where Lord Krishna grew up, visit the Barsana village and they will get chased by the young women of Barsana with sticks. The men will have shields to block the hits, and Lath Maar Holi is celebrated in this unique but enjoyable way.
The word Lath translates to the stick they use to hit while Maar refers to the repeated hitting. It is also a festival of colours which commemorates the occasion of Holi too.
Durgotsav, popularly known all over India as the festival of Navratri is another important festival celebrated in Uttar Pradesh during the months of October and November every year. There has always been the presence of a strong, bold woman in the scriptures of Hindu mythology who takes many forms of goddesses whom the devotees worship. The festival of Navratri is celebrated to worship the prime goddesses of the Hindu mythology, Goddess Saraswati, who is known as the deity of education and knowledge, Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth and Goddess Durga, the deity of bravery and courage.
The Festival of Durgotsav, known in a variety of names in different parts of India. Dussehra, Durga Pooja, Navratri are some of the popular alternate names of the festival which reminds us of the victory of good over evil. It also delivers the message that a woman should be treated respectfully as she beholds the divine qualities of the goddesses whom we worship during these nine nights, hence the term Navratri.
It is a major religious occasion in West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh is no less in celebrating Durgotsav in a unique and glorified manner.
8. Taj Mahotsav
Apart from the religious and other associated festivities which are celebrated every year in Uttar Pradesh, the Taj Mahotsav is an initiative taken by the government of Uttar Pradesh to promote tourism, one of the most revenue-generating sources of the state. Taj Mahotsav is a celebration in Uttar Pradesh, usually during the months of February and March.
The festival of Taj Mahotsav promotes the major unique aspects of the Uttar Pradesh state in order to stand out among the other tourism festivals and destinations. It promotes and holds on to the cultural heritage, the pride of Uttar Pradesh, briefing of the things you want, history and tradition of the state etc.
It is named after the pride of India, one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. The festivities take place in the city of Agra, which is in Uttar Pradesh. The occasion of Taj Mahotsav is something you don’t want to miss in a lifetime as it is a unique and special treat to your eyes.
Uttar Pradesh takes pride in celebrating all of India’s major festivals and religious occasions in a magnificent manner with all the glory present. It communicated it’s religious, cultural and traditional eminence and heritage to the outside world through these festivals celebrated in a great way. These are the best times to visit Uttar Pradesh, to witness it in a fresh, new outlook every single year.