Maharashtra Festivals – Symbol Of Cultural Unity

Maharashtra Festivals

Maharashtra is famous for its tradition, culture and Heritage. Chhatrapati Shivaji founded the Maratha kingdom in this state. Many festivals are celebrated in Maharashtra with great pomp and procession. Here the culture is unique, and the city people are in advance and modern. But in the countryside, the people stick to their traditions and culture. However, the festivals bring the same enthusiasm among the people of cities and villages.

Nag Panchami

The festival is celebrated on the fifth day of Shravan Mas to honour Snake God Shesha Nag. The devotees made the clay Shesha Nag and venerated it at the house. The festival celebrates the blessings of Nag for a fruitful life and to keep the crops from rats and rodents. The devotees offer sweets and milk to the Naga deity. People visit Nag deity seated temples and Lord Shiva temples for blessings.

Gudhi Pawda

The Marata people celebrate this festival as the new Maratha year. Hindus believe this day is the most promising, and everyone starts new works for success. The devotees decorated the house beautifully with garlands and rangolis. A Gudhi is kept at the house’s entrance to welcome prosperity and good health into the family. Gudi is made with a bamboo stick and silk cloth and decorated with garland. Here Gudhi is a symbol of success. The people worship the Gudhi and distribute the sweets to their relatives and neighbours.

Narali Purnima

The festival is celebrated in the month of Sravana. During the monsoons, fishing on the sea is not safe. Narali Purnima is the symbol of the end of the monsoon season. Then the fishermen felt very glad to go fishing safely. So the fishermen decorate their boats beautifully and sail into the sea. Before fishing, the fishermen offer coconuts and pray to the sea God for His blessings to prevent untoward incidents. They dance to folk songs to show their joy.

Gokul Ashtami

This festival celebrates the birthday of Lord Krishna. The devotees celebrate the birth anniversary at midnight. The next day is celebrated as the Gokul Ashtami. The devotees sing the bhajans about how Lord Krishna was fond of butter and stole the butter with his friends from Gopika’s houses. Dahi Handi is the main ritual performed on this day to honour Lord Krishna. The Clay Pot was strung high up and filled the pots with curd, milk and puffed rice. The group of youngers formed a human pyramid and broke the bank. This is the resemblance of how Lord Krishna and his friends sneaked into the houses of Gopikas to steal butter. Later enjoy dances and songs.

Makara Sankranthi

This festival is celebrated in January all over India. This festival is also known as Pongal or Uttarayan. On this day, the sun leaves the Southern hemisphere and enters the Northern hemisphere. This festival celebrates three days. The first day is Bhogi, the people lit bonfires and wish with each other. They forget their differences and decide to lead a fresh lease on life. They build up mutual love and respect among themselves. On the second day, do the puja to Goddes Lakshmi for their prosperity. They distribute the sweets and enjoy the dance and songs. The newly wedded couple dressed in black and distributed sweets to enjoy their new journey. On the last day, the youth fly the kites; the sky is covered with colourful kites in different styles.

Bhau Beej

This festival celebrates on the fifth day of Diwali. This celebration is the symbol of intense bondage between brothers and sisters. On this day, sisters invite their brothers to their homes. Traditionally the brothers are the protesters of the sisters. At the house’s entrance, the sister gives Marathi to her brother and seeks his protection in the future. Then the brother gives his blessings and gives gifts to his beloved sisters.

Elora Festival

Elora is a UNESCO world heritage site in Maharashtra. This is one of the great historical sites in India and shows cultural unity. Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation is organising this festival to show the culture and Heritage of the Ellora caves to the rest of the world. During the festival celebrations, many artists perform classical music and dance. The local artisans display beautiful homemade arts and crafts. This is the festival of a strong culture, a variety of skills and traditions.

Ashadhi Ekadashi

This festival celebrates with great pomp in Pandharpur, the adobe of VIttla, a local form of Lord Vishnu. Ashadhi Ekadashi marks to honour Lord Vishnu. Pandharpur is a sacred village in Maharashtra on the banks of river Chandrabhaga. A large number of devotees begin a pilgrimage to visit Pandharpur on foot. During the journey, the pilgrims sing the praying songs of Lord Vishnu. On the festival day, the people end their pilgrimage after the Dharshan of Vittla.