Jallikattu is a bull-taming festival celebrated in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, on the third day of Pongal or harvest festival, which is marked as a day to worship bulls and cows for their contribution to agriculture. At the event, a bull is let loose in a fenced enclosure. Participants (usually young men) wait inside the enclosure, and when the bull is let loose, try to control it holding onto its hump or horns for as long as they can. The name of the sport is derived from the Tamil words ‘salli’ (meaning coins) and ‘kattu’ (meaning package) – a reference to a bag of coins that was tied to the bull’s horns, which the winner would take after taming the bull. […]
Pongal (also known as Thai Pongal) is a four-day harvest festival celebrated in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The origins of the Pongal festival are said to date back to more than 1,000 years ago. The festival is dedicated to the Sun God, as a form of giving thanks for a bountiful harvest, and is usually celebrated in mid-January. It is one of the most important festivals for Tamil people in India and world over.
The first day or the day preceding the main Pongal festival is called ‘Bhogi’. On this day, people discard old things (which are generally burnt in bonfires), clean and paint their houses and buy new clothes. Cattle and bullocks are decked up was well. […]
Dev Deepavali, which literally means ‘Deepavali of the Gods’ is celebrated 15 days after Deepavali (Diwali) in Varanasi (Benaras) in Uttar Pradesh. The 5-day festival is marked by the lighting of clay oil lamps along the banks of the Ganges in honour of the river. The festival is on a full moon day (Poornima), and taking a dip in the Ganges on this day is said to be of special significance, as the Gods themselves are said to come down to bathe in the holy river on this day. […]
The Navratri festival is held to venerate three Hindu goddesses: Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati. ‘Nava’ means ‘nine’ and ‘ratri’ means ‘night’ – and, as per the name, the festival is spread over ‘nine nights’ (or days). Navaratri is primarily celebrated by women, as they are the ones who organise the festivities and take part in them. Different state celebrate them differently: with Kolu, a display of dolls, In Tamil Nadu, with Durga Puja in West Bengal; garba raas and dandiya raas in Gujarat; and Ram Lila in Uttar Padesh. […]
Begun by Raja Rama Varma in 1798, Thrissur Pooram is one of the most popular festivals in Kerala. It is centered around the Vadakkunnathan Temple, with a group of temples from the vicinity sending their processions to pay obeisance to Shiva, the main deity. […]