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From Baisakhi to Ugadi: 5 popular spring harvest festivals celebrated in India

Experience the vibrant tapestry of India's spring harvest festivals! Dive into the colorful celebrations of Baisakhi in Punjab to Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, each offering a unique cultural extravaganza filled with joy, music, dance, and traditional delicacies.

Written By: Muskan Gupta @guptamuskan_ New Delhi Published on: April 13, 2024 18:50 IST
spring harvest festivals
Image Source : GOOGLE 5 popular spring harvest festivals celebrated in India

Springtime in India brings with it a vibrant tapestry of colours, fragrances, and festivities, as communities across the country celebrate the harvest season with great fervour and joy. From the lush fields of Punjab to the serene landscapes of Karnataka, India comes alive with the exuberance of spring during its diverse array of harvest festivals. Join us as we uncover the traditions, rituals, and joyous festivities that encapsulate the spirit of these cherished occasions, each offering a unique glimpse into the cultural mosaic of India. Here are five of the most popular spring harvest festivals that showcase India's rich heritage and deep-rooted agricultural traditions.

Baisakhi (Punjab)

Celebrated predominantly in the northern state of Punjab, Baisakhi marks the Sikh New Year and commemorates the founding of the Khalsa Panth by Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1699. The festival is synonymous with the joyous harvest of the winter crops, particularly wheat. People dress in traditional attire, engage in lively bhangra and gidda dance performances, and visit gurdwaras to offer prayers. The aroma of freshly prepared delicacies, including langar (community meals), fills the air, symbolising the spirit of unity and sharing.

Puthandu (Tamil Nadu)

Puthandu, also known as Tamil New Year, is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. It marks the beginning of the Chithirai month in the Tamil calendar and coincides with the onset of spring. Homes are adorned with colourful kolams (rangoli), mango leaves, and fresh flowers. Special prayers are offered at temples, seeking blessings for prosperity and abundance in the coming year. Traditional dishes like mango pachadi and neem flower rasam are prepared, symbolising the myriad flavours of life.

Bihu (Assam)

Bihu is the most significant festival celebrated in Assam, marking the Assamese New Year and the onset of the Assamese calendar month of Bohag. It is a three-part festival consisting of Rongali Bihu (celebrated in April), Kongali Bihu (celebrated in October), and Bhogali Bihu (celebrated in January). Rongali Bihu, also known as Bohag Bihu, is characterised by traditional folk dances like Bihu dance and Husori, accompanied by rhythmic beats of the dhol (drum). The festival is incomplete without feasting on traditional delicacies like pitha (rice cakes), larus (sweet balls), and a variety of fish dishes.

Ugadi (Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana)

Ugadi, or Telugu and Kannada New Year, is celebrated with great zeal in the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. It marks the beginning of the new lunar year and is observed with various rituals and customs. Homes are cleaned and decorated with mango leaves and fresh flowers. Families gather to perform the traditional ritual of Panchanga Shravanam, where the new year's predictions are read aloud. Ugadi Pachadi, a special dish made with a combination of six tastes symbolising the ups and downs of life, is prepared and shared among loved ones.

Vishu (Kerala)

Vishu heralds the Malayalam New Year and is celebrated with great pomp and splendour in the southern state of Kerala. The highlight of Vishu celebrations is the Vishukkani, an arrangement of auspicious items such as rice, fruits, vegetables, flowers, coins, and a sacred text, displayed in front of deity idols the night before Vishu. It is believed that seeing this auspicious sight as the first thing on Vishu day brings prosperity and good fortune. The day is spent visiting temples, exchanging gifts, and enjoying sumptuous feasts with family and friends.

ALSO READ: Happy Pana Sankranti 2024: Wishes, messages, images, and greetings to share on this Odia New Year

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