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The Vibrant Spring Celebrations of India

Marketplace selling coloured powders

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Spring! It’s that time of the year when the country comes alive in a riot of vivacious colors to herald spring! As India is a country of diverse cultures there are many varied festivals to celebrate the arrival of spring in the different parts of the country! Basically most festivals have a religious fervor to it and are symbolic of victory of good over evil !


Spraying colored water

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Women wearing yellow clothes and flying yellow kites

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Holi

As the brief spring sets in, north India celebrates a festival called Holi with gay abandon! On the eve of Holi , people light bonfires called Holika to mark the occasion and burn evil spirits. It is a day when Indians shed their inhibitions and caste differences for a day while children and adults chase each other alike around in streets, laughing and teasing, throwing brightly colored powder and water or water balloons over each other. Consuming marijuana-based ‘Bhang’ (a preparation from the leaves of the cannabis plant) and ‘Thandai’ (a cold beverage prepared with almonds, spices, milk and sugar) add to the uninhibited atmosphere .However ,by afternoon the spring fever and fun comes to an abrupt end and people head for the seas, rivers or bathtubs to wash away the colors and settle down to partake of all the festive goodies!

The mustard fields of Haryana

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Basant Panchami

During spring in the northern states of Haryana and Punjab, the mustard fields are in full bloom and resembles yellow carpets laid out on acres of land . Hence, yellow is the color of the festival and people wear yellow clothes and fly yellow kites on the rooftops after a religious ceremony dedicated to the Goddess of learning! People fly kites in the nights as well using searchlights!

Dancing during Bihu festival

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Caparisoned Elephants

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Painting the Elephant

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Bihu

This spring festival which is also a time of community feasts and bonfires, marks the beginning of the agricultural season to the people of the hilly northeastern region called Assam. The entire community irrespective caste, creed and religious followings celebrate it and the dancing sessions to the beats of drums is the most fascinating part of the festival.

The Elephant Festival in Jaipur , Rajasthan

In this state, on the occasion of Holi, a majestic procession of elephants lavishly painted and beautifully decorated from trunk to toe, catwalk through the streets in front of huge spectators.The celebration spans from elephant polo and race interspersed with folk dances, songs and entertainment .People spray colored powder on the elephant as well! Though the elephants are the focus of attraction, camels and horses are also beautifully decked up for this festive occasion. Camels are this desert state’s beasts of burden!

Painted Elephant backs

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The Kite Festival

The spring festival Uttarayan of Gujarat in north India falls at a time ,when the sun and the wind flow ,is favorable for flying kites! Hence, kite flying is the major and most colorful event of this festival with people of all ages flying myriad shapes and colors of kites from dawn to dusk on crowded rooftops, to the accompaniment of music.

A touch of fun-loving rivalry is added to outdo each other in kite flying skills by coating the string with glass powder and rice paste so as to cut the other's strings and bring down their kites! Kite flying continues through the night and the dark skies are lit with illuminated box kites, strung on one line!

International Kites

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The International Kite Festival

The introduction of the "International Kite Festival" at the state’s capital Ahemedabad has added a new dimension to this celebration. People from  Japan, Australia, Malaysia, USA, Brazil, Canada and European Countries flock here to participate in this International Kite Festival and show their skills.

Marketplace selling Kites

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Adorned Camels during Elephant festival

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Bedecked Horses during Elephant festival

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Dancing during Baisakhi festival

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The Mango Flowers

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The Almond blossoms in Kashmir

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Other Spring Festivals

The other important festivals to celebrate the advent of spring  with dances, music and fireworks are -

Jamshed NavrozThe Parsi New Year’s Day.

Shigmo festival of Goa.

Mewar Festival of Rajasthan.

The Bhaisakhi festival and so on and so forth !

Different Spring times!

Springtime in south India comes a little earlier than its northern counterpart! The Pongal or the Harvest festival of south India , is celebrated in January, which is wholly springtime in that part of the country! Mango flowers herald the arrival of spring in India as Almond blossoms announce spring time in the mountainous Kashmir. The avenues come alive to the red flaming flowers of Gulmohar trees!

However,there are so many more other spring festivals in India! Each is different, every region, every religion has some different means of celebrating spring! Whatever or wherever it may be, springtime is the amalgamation of cultures and traditions to be reveled and enjoyed with dances, folk songs, and colored-powder confusion! It is indeed a time of a riot of colors!

Gulmohar or the Flame of the forest

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Comments

harshith on May 24, 2012:

thank u for creating this site it gave me d info dat i needed for my assingnment

maanju from India on March 14, 2009:

Hai your artcle is a good piece of work I really enjoyed reading your articles that too pictures of elephant decorated with paint are quiet amazing.

Jerilee Wei from United States on March 14, 2009:

So very interesting! We're hoping to go to India in the next couple of years and this makes me think that Spring might be the most fun time of year to do so.

Laila Rajaratnam (author) from India on March 14, 2009:

@ Anjali..thanks so much for appreciating..your comments mean a lot to me!:)

@Princessa..thanks..I'm really enjoying your HubMobs. :)

@Chuck..thank you for reading and commenting!:)Yes,tho' the spring is so colorful, it is so very brief and the unbearable summer is upon us in a flash!

Chuck Nugent from Tucson, Arizona on March 13, 2009:

It sounds like spring is the time to visit India with so much going on. Great Hub and wonderful pictures.

Wendy Iturrizaga from France on March 12, 2009:

Congratulations on being a number one on Google's first page. Way to go Laila!

anjalichugh from New York on March 12, 2009:

I really miss celebrating Holi in NY. I can never forget our house getting splashed with 10 different colors and that used to take me hours to clean up. It used to be such great fun. I love your colorful hubs.

countrywomen from Washington, USA on March 12, 2009:

Laila Rajaratnam (author) from India on March 12, 2009:

Thank you so very much Princessa for your generous comments!:)After all this fun,the so very hot summer which follows is absolutely killing and a mood spoiler!:(

Wendy Iturrizaga from France on March 12, 2009:

Wow! what a wealth of celebrations you have in India. It all looks so colourful and filled with fun. The festival with the elephants looks awesome it must take a lot of time, patience and art to "decorate" the elephants like that.

Lovely Hub Laila full of the Spring mood and colours! thumbs up.

Laila Rajaratnam (author) from India on March 12, 2009:

Thank you SiddSingh..wish you the same! :) Thank you for the link as well!:)

SiddSingh on March 11, 2009:

Hi Laila,

Wish you a very happy Holi. A wonderful and colourful hub.

Btw, I have taken the liberty of linking to your hub from mine. I hope you do not mind!

Laila Rajaratnam (author) from India on March 11, 2009:

CW,thank you so very much!:)Happy holi to you as well and hope you doused your husband with all these colors!Do you celebrate Holi in the place where you are staying in the USA?

countrywomen from Washington, USA on March 11, 2009:

Happy Holi Laila. Beautiful pictures and wonderful hub. Thumbs up for a great hub about the various spring celebrations. You have done a fantastic job.

Laila Rajaratnam (author) from India on March 11, 2009:

SweetiePie..the colored powders are for throwing it on others and also for mixing it in water to make colored water,to spray it on others either in buckets, water balloons or water pistols! The colored powders are made from natural ingredients,but in recent times chemicals are added,therefore,awareness campaigns are in motion now, to highlight the dangers of chemicals in these colored powders.Thanks for stopping by!:)

Laila Rajaratnam (author) from India on March 11, 2009:

Teresa..LOL! yes,even I never thought that I would admire the backend of an elephant...don't miss the decorated covering for the tail as well..LOL!Thank you so much for your kind comments...:)

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on March 11, 2009:

What do people do with the colored powder Laila. I love these, but I wonder what these are used for?

Sheila from The Other Bangor on March 11, 2009:

What beautiful celebrations -- and what a gorgeous hub -- you have really taken the subject to heart, and this is a great visual feast. (I never thought I'd ever admire the back-end of an elephant.) Thumbs up and thank you for putting this together. The blossoms alone are colorful, but all the other dyes and colorings -- and the kites -- and the costumes -- make for a very informative and entertaining read.

Laila Rajaratnam (author) from India on March 11, 2009:

Thanks for appreciating Purple Perl! :)

Esther Shamsunder from Bangalore,India on March 11, 2009:

Beautiful hub,Laila!

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