Fairs and Festivals of Maharashtra
- Maharashtra is a big state, it is home to many religions and different culture..
- The state also nurtures different society with diverse communities.
- Maharashtrians are fun loving people, so that might be another reason why the state has lots of different festivals.
- Apart from the main festivals of Eid, Holi, Deewali and other festivals, which are celebrated, all over India, there are other festivals, which are celebrated locally and regionally in Maharashtra.
- Songs, dance and mouth watering cuisines come with almost every festivals.
- Ganesh Chaturthi is the most important festival in Maharashtra. It is celebrated for ten days with huge fun fare.
- Banganga Festival, Kalidas Festival, Ellora Festival and Elephanta Festival are the festivals organized by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation of Maharashtra Govt.
- Classical music and dance are the main attractions of these festivals.
- Kojagiri Poornima or Ashwin Poornima, Ganga Dashahara, Banganga Festival, Nag Panchami, Wat Pournima, Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti and Palkhi Festival are some of the important festivals of Maharashtra
Harvest festivals – Sankranti
- Sankranti is an annual celebration that occurs around the time of the main harvest of a given region.
- It also marks the commencement of the northward journey of the Sun from its southernmost-limit, a movement traditionally referred to as Uttarayana.
- This observance occurs annually around January 14 each year.
- Sankranti is celebrated across the country in different ways.
- In Maharashtra on the Sankranti day people swap multi-colored tilguds made from til (sesame seeds) and sugar and til-laddus made from til and jaggery.
- While exchanging tilguls as tokens of goodwill people greet each other saying – ‘til-gul ghya, god god bola’ meaning ‘accept these tilguls and speak sweet words’.
- This is an exceptional day for the women in Maharashtra when married women are invited for a get-together called ‘Haldi-Kumkum’ and given gifts of any utensil, which the woman of the house purchases on that day.
- The festival in Karnataka is also celebrated in the same way by exchanging ‘Ellu Bella’ (sesame seeds and Jaggery).
New Year festival Gudi Padwa of Maharastra
- Different regions follow different cultures and so the New Year traditions also vary with region.
- Every Indian state has its own history behind the New Year celebrations.
- People in various parts of the country celebrate New Year as per their traditional calender.
- Gudi Padwa is celebrated as New Year’s Day in Maharashtra.
- It is celebrated on the same day as Ugadi i.e., the first day of the month Chaitra.
- Lord Brahma is worshipped on this day and the gudi, Brahma’s flag (also called Brahmadhvaj), is hoisted in every house as a symbolic representation of Rama’s victory over Ravana.
- Banganga Festival held every year in the city of Mumbai is a musical tribute to Lord Ram.
- The aim behind the celebration of this musical carnival is to protect the existing rich heritage.
- Bhaubeej is brother-sister occasion celebrated on the fifth day of Deewali.
- Basundi poori or shrikhand poori are prepared for this occasion. Dhanatrayodashi, Narakchaturdashi, Amavasya (Laxmi Pujan).
- Elephanta Festival is another festival for dance and music organised by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).
- It is organised in the month of February.
- Ellora festival is the festival of classical dance and music organised under the backdrop of the Ellora caves.
- This festival, which is organised by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).
- Lord Ganesh is the most respected God in Maharashtra, so as the Ganesh Chaturthi, most important festival.
- The festival falls on the 4th day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada (August – September).
- River Ganga is known as Tripathaga, or the ‘Three Path River’, as it is believed that the river flows in three worlds – in heaven it is called Mandakini, on earth the Ganges (or Ganga).
- Married Maharashtrian women perform Jivti Puja on any one of the Fridays in the month of Shravan (July-August).
- Jivti is an incarnation of Parvati, a goddess who is believed to protect children.
- Kalidas Festival is organised in the honour of the great poet Kalidas.
- This festival is held at Ramtek, Nagpur in the month of November for two days.
- Kojagiri Poornima or Ashwin Poornima is celebrated on the full moon day of Ashwin (September-October).
- As the rainy season passes, the sky becomes clear and the moon shines in the sky with full brightness.
- Maharashtra attained statehood on 1st May 1960. This day is organized as Maharashtra Day in Maharashtra.
- The state government organizes the main function in Mumbai.
- Cobra has a special significance in Hindu mythology.
- Nag Panchami is celebrated to worship snakes. It is a festival in the honour of the Snake God,
- Narali Poornima marks the end of monsoon season in Maharashtra.
- It is celebrated on the full moon day of the month of Shravan.
- People offer coconuts to the sea.
- The festival also marks the beginning of the new fishing season.
- Palki festival showcases the distinctive feature of the Maharashtrian culture. This is a 1000-year-old tradition.
- Maharashtra is a vast state so as its agricultural land.
- Bullocks were used for agriculture in olden days and other works. Because of this they are one of the most helpful animals to human being.
- Shivaji Maharaj was the greatest ruler of Maharashtra.
- Maharashtrians have a great regard for this Maratha ruler.
- To give a respect, the birthday of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,
- Wat Pournima is the festival for Maharashtrian women, which is celebrated in the month of Jesht (May-June).
- Women observe a fast and tie threads around a banyan tree and pray for the same husband in every birth.
- Maharashtra is a land of rich cultural heritage and traditions.
- The diverse form of landscape and environment make the state’s culture more colourful.
- Maharashtrians celebrate every Fairs and Festivals of Maharashtra with great fervour and enthusiasm.
- The sacred Kumb Mela at Nashik that comes after every 12 years is regarded to be the most important religious fair in Maharashtra.
- As Maharashtrians have great belief of Lord Ganesh, Ganesh Utsav at Sangli and Pune are the fairs that Maharashtrians celebrate with great fun fare, which are attended by the maximum number of visitors even from foreign countries.
- The Maharashtra government in collaboration with the Union government is promoting the Pune fair as a major tourists attraction.
- Other important temple fairs include
- Changdeo fair at the Markandeya Temple near Edlabad,
- Kiran Utsav at the Mahalaxmi Temple at Kolhapur,
- Rathyatra at the Kalaram Temple in Nashik,
- The Shrirama Rathotsava fair and the Navaratra Mahalaxmi fair at the Navaratra Mahalaxmi temple in Jalgaon.
- The Khuldabad Urs is a festival for Muslims; celebrated for five days.
- Mount Mary Festival, which is held every year at Bandra, Mumbai attracts huge crowds of the city.
- The Snake festival at Battis Shirala town too attracts large number of tourists from India and aboard.
- Changdeo Fair—Changdeo in Maharashtra is regarded to be a holy place because of Purna and Tapi rivers. People gather here once a year to take a holy dip.
- Kala Ghoda Festival is held on Sundays between November and January months near Jehangir Art Gallery at Mumbai.
- Khuldabad Urs Khulabad is a place situated at a distance of five km from the Ellora caves and twenty two km from Aurangabad on the Aurangabad-Ellora route.
- Kiran Utsav is one of the popular festivals in India. It is organized at Mahalaxmi Temple of Kolhapur district in Maharashtra on 31st January, 1st February, 9th-10th-11th November every year.
- Nashik Kumbh Mela is the most important Hindu spiritual gathering in India that comes once every three years, rotating between four major Hindu pilgrim centers of India – Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik.
- Mount Mary Festival is celebrated for one week during September at Mount Mary Church, Bandra in the suburbs of Mumbai, Maharashtra.
- Navaratra Mahalaxmi Fair is celebrated for 10 days from Ashvina Sud.1 to Ashvina Sud. 10 at Navaratra Mahalaxmi Temple of Jalgaon district in Maharashtra.
- Pune festival is held between August & September during Ganesh Mahotsav. It is the biggest festival of Pune.
- Rath Yatra -A festival called Janmotsava is celebrated at Sansthan Shri Kalaram Mandir, Panchavati and Nashik every year. The festival, which spans 15 days begin from the 1st day of Chaitra till Chaitra Purnima.
- Shrirama Rathotsava Fair Shrirama Rathotsava Mandir, which belongs to the Peshwa period, is located near Jalgaon, Maharashtra. It is celebrated annually in this temple between October and November months to give a special veneration to the deities.
- Snake Festival is celebrated for 8-10 days at the small town of Battis Shirala, Maharashtra, which is 50 km from Kolhapur. The festival is celebrated on the onset of the monsoons,