Though India is often and justly described as a land of many religions and innumerable languages, it might well be described as a land of festivals as well.
Hyderabad is a place where festivals are a way of life and celebrated around the year.
Muslim and Hindu festivals are celebrated with equal passion in Hyderabad.
Muslim celebrates Id-ul-Fitr, Id-ul-Zuha, Shab-e-Qadr, Shab-e-Barat and Shab-e-Meraj.
Hindu festivals like Ugadi, Dussehra, Holi, Diwali, Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, RamNavami, Bhaidooj, Akshaya Tritiya, Amavasya and Chaturdashi too were celebrated.
Christians celebrate Christmas, New Year, Good Friday and Easter and the Parsis celebrate Navroz with great enthusiasm.
If you are in Hyderabad, it is possible that you will get a chance to be a part of any one of the following Festivals.
Ganesh Chaturthi marks the birth of Lord Ganesha.
Idols of Lord Ganesha were installed
in every home of Hindus and also at different areas in city. After ten days of
cheerful festival Idols were immersed in water. Most of the idols
immersed in Tank Bund. Hyderabad celebrates the festival with great passion and
fervour. The biggest idol (thirty feet tall) is put at Khairatabad
The colorful festival of Holi is celebrated on Phalgun Purnima which comes in February end or early March. Holi festival has an ancient origin and celebrates the triumph of 'good' over 'bad'. The colorful festival bridges the social gap and renews sweet relationships. On this day, people hug and wish each other 'Happy Holi'.
Holi celebration begins with lighting up of bonfire on the Holi eve. Numerous legends & stories associated with Holi celebration makes the festival more exuberant and vivid. People rub 'gulal' and 'abeer' on each others' faces and cheer up saying, "bura na maano Holi hai". Holi also gives a wonderful chance to send blessings and love to dear ones wrapped in a special Holi gift.
Dussehra is another important festival of the Hindus signifying the victory of good over evil. Goddess Durga is worshipped for nine days and on the tenth day or Dussehra, people celebrate the killing of Ravana, the demon king by Lord Rama. In Hyderabad Dussehra is associated with the festival of Bathkamma a colourful floral festival where women dressed in all their finery arrange flowers in colourful pyramids and worship the local deity Bahtkamma.
Festival of Lights. One of the biggest festivals of Hindus, Deepawali or Diwali is celebrated with lots of enthusiasm and happiness. This festival is celebrated for five continuous days, with the third day being celebrated as the main Diwali or as 'Festival of Lights'. Fireworks are always associated with this festival. The day is celebrated with people lighting diyas, candles all around their house. Lakshmi Puja is performed in the evening to seek divine blessings of Goddess of Wealth. Diwali gifts are exchanged among all near and dear ones.
Ugadi is the New Year's Day for the people of Andhra Pradesh and also for the Telugu people all over the world. Ugadi marks the beginning of a new Hindu lunar calendar with a change in the moon's orbit. On this day, people chant mantras and the pundits make predictions for the coming year. Traditionally, the "Panchangasravanam" or listening to the yearly calendar was done at the temples or at the Town square but with the onset of modern technology, one can get to hear the priest-scholar on television sets right in one's living room.
Sankranti or Sankranthi is a festival that indicates the harvesting season for farmers in the Indian Sub-continent region. This festival is celebrated on 14th of January. Sankranthi is not only celebrated in India but also in some South East Asian countries. It is interesting to note that Sankranthi is a Sanskrit word that means transition. Makara Sankranthi usually falls in the middle of January and is celebrated as one of the most auspicious festivals in the Sub-Continent.
Rakhi, commonly called "Raksha Bandhan" is one of the most popular festivals of India. The Rakhi festival is a celebration of the pure and sacred bond between brothers and sisters. 'Raksha Bandhan' or 'Rakhi' is a very special day for brothers and sisters, when the sister celebrates her emotional bonding by tying a holy thread around the wrist of her brother. This thread, which symbolizes love and care, is called the 'Rakhi'. "Rakhi" means the bond of protection. The Raksha Bandhan festival also connotes a broad significance that the strong must protect the weak from all the evils and dangers.
On the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, different kinds of Rakhis are available in the market. Some Rakhis are made of silken, golden and silver threads and studded with semi precious stones, while the others are simple and sober with just a piece of string.
Ramzan is very important festival of the Muslims. The holy month of Ramzan is every auspicious for the Muslims the world over and is an occasion for expression of goodwill and friendship. Muslims give 'zakat' during month of Ramzan. Muslims fast for thirty days before the festival. Muslim break their fast with Dates, Water, Haleem, Dahiwade and other fruits at "Maghrib" (sunset). After fasting for thirty days they celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr festival. Sheerkhurma is the special dessert made on this day.
A large number of Shia Muslims participate in the Muharram procession, the day of mourning commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), at the battle of Karbala.
While mourning the death of Imam Hussain, pious Shia men beat their
chests and flagellate themselves creating devotional hysteria. When new
moon is sited at Muharram, Alams (banners) are placed for public
viewing at all the Ashur Khanas or the mourning halls. Alams are taken out in processions on different
dates of which Bibi ka Alam taken out on the tenth day of Muharram has
the most impressive attendance. The tradition of Bibi-ka-Alam dates
back to the Qutb Shahi times.