The northern most state of India which is also one of the largest is not just a holiday destination, but it is a wholesome experience. It is one place which keeps all your senses indulging in something fascinating, from the delicious and aromatic food to witnessing the 7th wonder of the world and feeling the positivity and spirituality at Sarnath and so much more. Just like the culture and traditions and the fact that this state serves as home to various tribes since the past centuries it has resulted in the amalgamation of various fairs and festivals. The streets are filled with people looking forward to the day, houses have women making traditional dishes and the air remains filled an aura of happiness making every festival in UP a worthwhile experience.
The spirit of the local people of UP can be seen during these festivities and auspicious days. It showcases communal harmony and brotherhood where every different festival means grand pomp and show. You should definitely plan out your holidays during these days of festivals and fairs for more fun, memorable and exciting experience with your family. To make things easier here is a complete list of fun holidays you could be a part of or just get to know more about the diversity of our beautiful nation:
Holi in Barsana and Nandgaon
Holi is probably one of the most awaited festivals in India and not just in this state. This festival is celebrated all across the subcontinent according to the belief of each tribe and community. The legend associated with this festival goes back to the time of Holika, Prahlad, and Hiranyakashyap. However different communities adopted this practice and molded it in their own manner for their convenience. Apart from putting colors and practicing Puja rituals, Holi holds different meanings in different parts of India. Similarly in Barsana people celebrate this festival by re-enacting the practice of beating the men population while they shield themselves. It is fun to watch and very unique. The Holi in Nandgaon is celebrated with the usage of flowers instead of colors making it extremely pleasant and Happy.
As the name of this festival suggests this is the great night that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. UP being home to one of the most ancient living cities in the world – Varanasi, where the holiest of all Shiva Temple – Kashi Vishwanath is situated, holds immense significance in the life of Shiva devotee who flocks together here to celebrate this one night in unison and show the love and respect they have for lord Shiva. There are many reasons as to why Maha Shivratri is celebrated some of the theories are as follows – it is the night when Shiva married Parvati, it was on this day that Lord Shiva had consumed the poison from Samudra Manthan while others say that it was the night that Shiva was born. Whatever the reason may be the people participate in celebrating it with great vigor and love for the lord primarily in Varanasi.
Ganga River is one of the most pious and holy rivers that flows through the Indian subcontinent. It is considered to be a life-giving source to several cities and villages it passes through and for this reason it is worshipped and considered to be pious by the people throughout the ages. This festival honors this pious river for all it has given us through elaborate Aartis and Puja rituals. This festival takes place every year during the month of June and lasts for 10 days, hence it has been named as Dussehra. Various performances paying homage to the river takes place over this span of 10 auspicious days. This day is marked to celebrate the descent of the heavenly holy river of Ganga from heaven to earth, as legend says, from the matted locks of Lord Shiva.
Janmashtami Festival is one of the most widely celebrated festivals of India. This auspicious day marks the day when Lord Krishna was born. This grand celebration takes place with immense vibrancy and vigor throughout the state of UP but especially in Mathura and Vrindavan. This is because of the fact that these two places were the regions where Lord Krishna was born and had stayed for a major part of his lifetime. The festivities involve elaborate and grand Puja rituals, offering Aarti o the lord and having a grand celebration. These 2 places mentioned above are located at a close distance of around 15 km and the days preceding till the day of Janmashtami are filled with incredible fun and color. The main ritual around this time is the worship of Lord Krishna at midnight which is the hour when Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu was born.
Maha Kumbh Mela
This is probably one of the largest gatherings of devotees in the world which takes place in Allahabad or Prayagraj. This gathering ranks among one of the top UNESCO intangible cultural heritage and takes place every 6 or 12 years. As a part of the ritual, the devotees and people take holy dips in the iconic Triveni Sangam where the three iconic and holy rivers of Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati takes place. This holy conglomeration was created by the 8th-century great philosopher and seer Adi Shankaracharya. Another major part of this gathering is the various religious discourses that take place here along with numerous colorful fairs, entertainment spectacle and so much more that goes on every day.
This festival is mainly celebrated by the Buddhist community of India in a large scale manner including a bank holiday. As the name suggests this day marks the birth of Gautam Buddha in the Lumbini part of Nepal which was initially a major part of Kapilavastu. Not just in India, this festival also takes place in various southeast Asian nations. Every year his date of birthday celebration varies since according to sources and scriptures he was born according to the Lunisolar Calendar. It generally falls during the months of April or May and during the leap year in the month of June. This celebration entails offering homage to the great enlightened soul who set the wheel of Dhamma forward making Buddhism the 3rd largest religion in the world.