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India, being a culturally and religiously diverse society, celebrates various holidays and festivals. There are three national holidays in India: states and regions have local festivals depending on prevalent religious and linguistic demographics. Popular religious festivals include the Hindu festivals of Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Holi, Dussehra and the Islamic festivals of Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Mawlid an-Nabi which are celebrated throughout the country.
Muharram, mourning for the Prophet Muhammad's grandson is observed by some sects of Islam. In addition, the Sikh festivals such as Guru Nanak Jayanti, the Christian festivals such as Christmas, Good Friday and Jain festivals like Mahavir Jayanti, Paryushan are celebrated in certain areas where these religions have a significant following.The annual holidays are widely observed by state and local governments; however, they may alter the dates of observance or add or subtract holidays according to local custom.
Buddhists have celebration centered on Buddha and the Bodhisattvas. It is said that most of the celebration were started by Buddha himself. However, in India, one doesn’t see much of the hype centered on these celebrations as in other religions. Celebration is more religious and attitude than social in nature. The celebration is a way of reminding themselves of the virtuous path they need to follow.
Hindus celebrate a number of celebrations which include birth of gods, marriage of the gods, victory of the gods; death of asuras, harvests, the new-year, full moons, new moons, birthdays, initiations, marriages, deaths, anniversaries and the list goes on. Apart from celebration like Diwali, Holi, Raksha Bandhan, Dusshera, Durga Puja, Navratri, there are celebration which are celebrated by specific tribes and communities in individual states as well. So almost every month, one festival or the other is being celebrated somewhere in India by the Hindus.
Muslims celebrate a number of celebrations all round the year. An interesting thing of their celebration is that they are based on Hegira and follow the lunar calendar rather than the Georgian calendar. The celebration of the Muslims does not have months that correspond to the seasons. Muharram is one of their main celebrations which fall on the first Muslim month. Other celebrations are Bakri-id, Shab-I-Barat, Ramzan Id, and Milad-Ul-Nabi.
The Sikhs celebrate their celebration in their own individual ways along with some of the major celebration of the Hindus like Holi, Dusshera and Diwali. The celebration unique to the Sikhs has littleto do with worship of God. Instead, the events celebrate the achievements in the lives of the 10 Sikhgurus and their teachings who is the most important person in Sikhism. The birthdays of the first andthe last gurus, Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh, are celebrated with all the pomp of celebration.Bhakti is central to the religion and therefore most of their festivities are accompanied by lot of music and song. Its celebration is marked by the singing of gurbani or holy songs, and readings from the holy book.
The Jains celebrate several celebration all round the year. The celebration is connected with the births and deaths of the Tirthankaras. The important celebration are Paryushana practiced by the Svetambara sect of the Jains, Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated the birth anniversary of Mahavir and Mahamastak Abhishek meaning 'the grand ceremonial head anointing of Bahubali’ celebrated in the town of Shravanabelagola in Karnataka.
Celebration of Christians is celebrated in as much the way as other celebration. The Christians celebrate celebration like Easter, Christmas and Good Friday. They are colorful and full of religious sentiments. The areas which were under French and Portuguese rule like Goa adds distinct European flavor to the celebration. The churches all over India also hold regular masses and prayers to mark the occasions.