Delhi Festivals

There are a host of festivals celebrated in Delhi. Know more about the important festivals in Delhi, India.
Delhi, being the capital of India, is home to people of all religions and communities from different parts of the country. The religious and state festivals are celebrated with pomp and show, wherever there is concentration of population from the same community and state. The major festivals celebrated in India are the Hindu festivals of Durga Puja, Diwali and Holi, Muslim festivals of Eid and Bakrid, National events such as the Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti. Republic Day Parade is organized on the Rajpath, and is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm.

Lohri, a Punjabi festival, is celebrated annually on 13th January. It marks the end of winter and people arrange grand bonfire parties, wherein they dance and sing all night. On the very next day, Hindus celebrate Makar Sankranti. On this day, a Kite Festival is arranged every year in Delhi on the green lawns above Palika Bazaar at Connaught Place. The colorful kites of all shapes and sizes are beautiful to look at as national as well as international participants display their skills. Basant Panchami or the Spring Festival of Hindus is usually celebrated at the end of January or early February.

It is in this season that Mughal Gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan are in full bloom and are opened to public for a month. Thyagaraja Festival is generally organized in February at the Vaikunthnath temple opposite Jawaharlal Nehru University. It is the best opportunity to see some of the magical performances of classical South Indian music and dance. Maha Shivratri is celebrated on the no-moon night in the Hindu month of 'Phalguna', usually in March. It is said to be the day when Lord Shiva performed 'Tandava Nritya', the cosmic dance. People observe fast on this day and pray to Lord Shiva for his blessings.

Amir Khusrau's anniversary is celebrated in April and a fair is organized in his honor at Nizamuddin. Prayers are offered to him and 'Qawwalis' are sung in the evening. On this occasion, the National Drama Festival is also held where plays are staged, mostly at the Rabindra Bhawan. Baisakhi, celebrated in mid-April, marks the beginning of the harvest season, while Buddha Jayanti, on the first full moon night in May, commemorates the birth of the Lord Buddha. On this occasion, prayer meetings are held at Buddha Vihar, Ring Road and Buddha Vihar, Mandir Marg in Delhi.

Mahavir Jayanti is also celebrated in May to commemorate the birth of Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism. Tourists can also enjoy the International Mango Festival held in July at Talkatora Stadium, where one can taste over five hundred varieties of mangoes displayed. Phoolwalon Ki Sair or the Flower Sellers' Procession is organized at Mehrauli in early October. This festival originated in the 16th century. The procession showcases people carrying decorated floral fans, which are blessed at the Mehrauli shrines of Jogmaya and Khwaja Utb-ud-din Bakhtyar Kaki, a 13th century Sufi saint. The procession ends at Jahaz Mahal, a 16th century pleasure resort.

Qutub Festival, organized by Delhi Tourism in October, showcases the performances of musicians and dancers at night, with Qutub Minar as the chosen backdrop of the event. In November/December, Sikhs celebrate Guru Purab, the birth anniversary of first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev. Processions, known as 'Nagar Kirtans', are organized on the streets of Delhi on this day. In the Gurdwaras, there are recitals of verses from the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs. Besides this, there are Christian festivals, such as Christmas and New Year, when special events are organized throughout Delhi.