Pongal is the harvest festival, held in mid-January each year in thanksgiving to nature, the sun, the rain and working animals. Agriculture is of immense importance in India, so the harvest is a major event. It is believed that this celebration brings wealth and prosperity.

In West Bengal and its capital Kolkata, the great festival of Navaratri celebrating the Divine Mother is called Durga-Puja or Durgotsava (Durga Festival). It marks the victory of the goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. During the festival the city is up all night, decked in lights and embellished with temporary temples vying to be …

Attukal Pongal is a special version of the Pongal harvest festival that takes place each year at the Attukal Bhagavathy temple, 2km from Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) in Kerala. On this occasion nearly 3 million women, from all social classes, meet in the streets around the temple to prepare the famous “pongal” rice.

| VARANASI, UTTAR PRADESH | NOVEMBER | 1 DAY | Magical and unforgettable, Dev Diwali “the Diwali of the gods”, is celebrated in Varanasi, India’s spiritual capital. It falls on the day of the full moon, 15 days after Diwali. For this festival thousands of diyas or oil lamps deck the ghats of the city of Shiva in honour of Ganga, goddess of the …

Dussehra marks the end of one of the biggest Hindu festivals called ‘Navaratri’. This festival lasts for nine nights and ten days. Its purpose is to celebrate the Universal Mother, or Shakti: the primordial force. The tenth day is commonly called Vijayadashami, the day of victory of light over darkness. Vijayadashami is also called Dusserha or Dasara in …

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