Indian festivals are vibrant and diverse, and each festival reflects the rich cultural tapestry of our country. These occasions play a vital role in bringing people together and celebrating traditions that have been passed down for generations.
Now, as October, a month full of celebrations, is just around the corner, here’s a complete list of festivals during this month –
Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti 2023
On October 2, Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary is observed globally as the International Day of Non-Violence. Several events are held in India and worldwide to mark the occasion.
Mahatma Gandhi was fondly known as “Bapu” and his unwavering belief in “Swaraj (self-governance)” and “Ahimsa (non-violence)” won him accolades worldwide. He was born in 1869 in Porbandar town of Gujarat. He adopted non-violent resistance and was at the forefront of the freedom struggle against British colonial rule.
Lal Bahadur Shastri Jayanti 2023
The birth anniversary of the second Prime Minister of independent India, Lal Bahadur Shastri, is also celebrated on October 2. Lal Bahadur Shastri was born in 1904 in Uttar Pradesh. He lived a life of simplicity. He became the Prime Minster in June 1964 after Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru died in office in May 1964.
Mr Shastri was known for his honesty and humility throughout his life. He was the one who gave the slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ at the time of the Indo-China war in 1965. In his capacity as the Prime Minister, Mr Shastri stopped drawing his salary during the India-Pakistan War in 1965 when the country was facing a food shortage.
Sharad Navratri 2023
Navratri is celebrated twice a year – once during spring called Chaitra Navratri and another during autumn called Sharad or Shardiya Navratri. Sharad Navratri is celebrated for 9 days in the month of Ashwin (September-October) in the Hindu calendar. While the first day of Sharad Navratri is called Pratipada, the last day is called Maha Navami.
The 9-day-long festival of Sharad Navratri festival is dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine avatars. This year,the festival starts on October 15. It will continue till the Dussera celebration on October 24.
Durga Puja 2023
Durga Puja or Durgotsav is a five-day celebration that begins on Shashti and ends on Vijayadashami. The five days are Shashti, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami, and Dashami. During these five days, devotees decorate their homes and pandals, wear new clothes, worship Goddess Durga and go on a celebratory mode.
Besides being celebrated as the homecoming of our beloved daughter (Durga), the festival also marks the victory of good over evil. It is celebrated to honour the victory of Goddess Durga in a battle against the shape-shifting demon (asura) – Mahishasura.
Dussehra, which is also known as Vijaya Dashami, is celebrated every year to commemorate the triumph of good over evil as Lord Ram killed Ravana on this day. The word Dussehra is derived from two Sanskrit words – dasha, which means ten, and hara translates to defeat.
The festival is celebrated in full swing across the nation, by burning effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnath.
As per Hindu mythology, it was on this day when Lord Rama defeated Ravana, the King of Lanka. Ravana is also known as Dashmukha, which means 10 heads. Each head, as per belief, highlights a distinct quality – Mada (Pride), Ghrina (Hate), Kama (Lust), Bhaye (Fear), Moha (Attachment), Krodha (Anger), Ahankar (Ego), Lobha (Greed), Jaddata (Insensibility) and Irshya (Envy).