Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious occasions for the Hindus, and is celebrated in almost all parts of India in myriad cultural forms, with great devotion, fervour, and gaiety. It is a harvest festival. Makar Sankranti is perhaps the only Indian festival whose date always falls on the same day every year: January 14, with some exceptions, when the festival is celebrated on January 13 or January 15. Makar Sankranti is also believed to mark the arrival of spring in India.
Ugadi as the name suggest is a start and it is the first day of the year. Ugadi is celebrated during Chaitra Sukla Paksha Padyami or First day of the waxing phase of the moon in the month of Chaitra as per Telugu calendar.
Ugadi means the start of the Yuga (Yuga + Adi =Ugadi). The Telugu new year starts from Ugadi. Ugadi is one of the traditional festivals of Andhra Pradesh. Ugadi is celebrated with different names in different parts of the country like Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, Tappan in Rajasthan, Cheti Chand in Sind etc. In Andhra Pradesh, the ritual of Ugadi begins with getting up early in the morning and taking a head bath. After the bath, it is a tradition to eat Ugadi Pacchadi or Ugadi Pickle before even drinking or eating anything. The Ugadi Pacchadi is prepared from neem flower, Jaggery, Green Chillies, Salt, Tamarind, pieces of unripe (Green) Mango.
Each of the above ingredients signifies a feeling
Neem flower which is bitter for Sadness
Green Chillies for Anger
Salt for fear
Jaggery for Happiness
Tamarind for disgust
Unripe Mango for Surprise
After eating the Ugadi pickle it is a custom to read the Panchang of the year and know what is in store for each according to to the Rashi.
New clothes are worn on this day and children seek blessing from elders so that their year is good.
Sri Rama Navami
On Chaitra Sukla Navami (the ninth day of the bright half of Chaitra) ‘Sree Ramanavami’ is celebrated. Sree Rama was born on this day and years later on the same day Rama married Sita. ‘Sree Sitarama Kalyana Mahotsav’ (wedding) is performed in the abode Sitarama Temple, Bhadrachalam, Khammam District, Telangana with great tradition and Bhakti. On behalf of Telangana Government, Chief Minister with his wife visits the Kalyana Mahotsav and offers Silk Clothes and Pearls as Talambralu (auspicious) to the God and Goddess. The whole of this celebration is telecasted live in Doordarshan.
Vasant Panchami (is also Known as Basant Panchami) is observed on the fifth day of the waxing moon period in the Hindu lunar month of Magh. This auspicious day is dedicated to Godess Saraswati.
Vasant Panchami is considered auspicious for Aksharabhyasam or Vidyarambham. In Few areas Godess Saraswati is worshiped in schools and colleges. All Saraswati temples are decorated attractively through out India. Vasant Panchami is also auspicious to start any good work like marriage, construction of house, beginning of a factory and for inauguration of an educational institute.
Saraswati Puja is performed during the Purvahna (Purvanna) Kaal on Vasant Panchami Day. Purvahna Kaal is the time after the morning and before afternoon. Vasant Panchami is celebrated on the day, when panchami tithi prevails during the Purvahna Kaal. Saraswati Puja is also performed during the Shardiya Navratri.
Bathukamma is floral festival celebrated predominantly by the Hindu women of Telangana. Every year this festival is celebrated as per Shathavahana calendar for nine days starting Bhadrapada Pournami (also known as Mahalaya Amavasya or Pitru Amavasya) till Durgashtami, usually in September–October of Gregorian calendar. Bathukamma is celebrated for nine days during Durga Navratri. It starts on the day of Mahalaya Amavasya and the 9-day festivities will culminate on “Saddula Bathukamma” or “Pedda Bathukamma” festival on Ashwayuja Navami, popularly known as Durgashtami which is two days before Dussehra. Bathukamma is followed by Boddemma, which is a 7-day festival. Boddemma festival that marks the ending of Varsha Ruthu whereas Bathukamma festival indicates the beginning of Sarad or Sharath Ruthu.
Bathukamma represents cultural spirit of Telangana.Bathukamma is a beautiful flower stack, arranged with different unique seasonal flowers most of them with medicinal values, in seven concentric layers in the shape of temple gopuram. In Telugu, ‘Bathukamma’ means ‘Mother Goddess come Alive’ and Goddess Maha Gauri-‘Life Giver’ is worshipped in the form of Bathukamma – the patron goddess of womanhood, Gauri Devi.
It is the festival for feminine felicitation. On this special occasion women dress up in the traditional sari combining it with jewels and other accessories. Teenage Girls wear Langa-Oni/Half-Sarees/Lehenga Choli combining it with jewels in order to bring out the traditional grace of the attire. The 2017 dates are September 20–28.Day 1: Engili pula Bhathukamma Day 2: Atukula Bhathukamma Day 3: Muddappappu Bhathukamma Day 4: Nanbiyyam Bhathukamma Day 5: Atla Bhathukamma Day 6: Aligina Bhathukamma (alaka Bhathukamma) Day 7: Vepakayala Bhathukamma Day 8: Venna muddala Bhathukamma Day 9: Saddula Bhathukamma brothers bring flowers to mother and sisters.
Diwali (Dipavali in Sanskrit, meaning “row of lamps”; also spelled Divali or Deepavali) is a Hindu festival of lights, which is celebrated every autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in southern hemisphere).One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolises the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.”During the celebration, temples, homes, shops and office buildings are brightly illuminated.The preparations, and rituals, for the festival typically last five days, with the climax occurring on the third day coinciding with the darkest night of the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika. In the Gregorian calendar, the festival generally falls between mid-October and mid-November.
In the lead-up to Diwali, celebrants will prepare by cleaning, renovating, and decorating their homes and workplaces.During the climax, revellers adorn themselves in their finest clothes, illuminate the interior and exterior of their homes with diyas (oil lamps or candles), offer puja (worship) to Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and wealth,light fireworks, and partake in family feasts, where mithai (sweets) and gifts are shared. Diwali is also a major cultural event for the Hindu and Jain diaspora from the Indian subcontinent.
The five-day festival originated in the Indian subcontinent and is mentioned in early Sanskrit texts. The names of the festive days of Diwali, as well as the rituals, vary by region. Diwali is usually celebrated eighteen days after the Dussehra (Dasara, Dasain) festival with Dhanteras, or the regional equivalent, marking the first day of the festival when celebrants prepare by cleaning their homes and making decorations on the floor, such as rangoli. The second day is Choti Diwali, or equivalent in north India, while for Hindus in the south of India it is Diwali proper. Western, central, eastern and northern Indian communities observe Diwali on the third day and the darkest night of the traditional month. In some parts of India, the day after Diwali is marked with the Govardhan Puja and Diwali Padva, which is dedicated to the relationship between wife and husband. Some Hindu communities mark the last day as Bhai Dooj, which is dedicated to the bond between sister and brother, while other Hindu and Sikh craftsmen communities mark this day as Vishwakarma Puja and observe it by performing maintenance in their work spaces and offering prayers.
Some other faiths in India also celebrate their respective festivals alongside Diwali. The Jains observe their own Diwali, which marks the final liberation of Mahavira, the Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas to mark the release of Guru Hargobind from a Mughal Empire prison,while Newar Buddhists, unlike other Buddhists, celebrate Diwali by worshiping Lakshmi.The festival of Diwali is an official holiday in Fiji, Guyana, India, Malaysia (except Sarawak), Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.