Religious Festivals And Culture Carnivals Of Maharashtra

Maharashtra’s vibrant culture is best portrayed through festivals. The passion for celebrations finds expression in these festivals. Lord Ganesha is widely worshiped by Maharashtrians. Haji Ali in Mumbai is a revered shrine too, which gets pilgrims round the year. The Marathi calendar is dotted with festivals, every end marks a new beginning. Let’s take a festive tour of Maharashtra.

Ganesh Chaturthi, is the most important festival here. Elaborate 11-day celebrations see idols of the lord from seven inches to seventy feet being worshiped by Marathis. Mumbai is the hub of celebration. The ever busy cosmopolitan unites to celebrate Lord Ganesha’s birthday in August-September. Streets bear a festive look with bright illuminations. Homes are cleaned and decked with floral designs. Family gatherings, new clothes and feasts light up every household. Siddhi Vinayak Temple in Mumbai sees over 50,000 devotees everyday. On Chaturthi, the last day, idols of The Lord are taken out for immersion in the sea. Before that, traditional dances and music, devotional songs lead the procession. Sweet like ladoos and modaks are offered to the Lord in course of the festival.

Nag Panchami :-

Snake worship is a hugely celebrated in Maharashtra. Shesha (a thousand hooded Cobra) is considered sacred in Hindu Mythology. On the auspicious occasion of Nag Panchami, clay idols of Cobra are offered sweets and milk in homes. Snake charmers carrying cobras in coir and bamboo baskets throng urban streets to collect offerings. Veteran charmers attract crowd to showcase some thrilling performances by their cobras.

Raksha Bandhan : –

Raksha Bandhan marks the solemn affection between brother and sister. Raksha means protection. Sisters tie a colorful thread on their brothers’ wrist. The bond of protection is believed to keep their brothers safe from all evils. Sisters usually offer prayers to the Almighty in the morning. Thereafter they tie rakhi on their male siblings, which is followed by offering sweets and exchanging gifts. This is one of the sweetest festival with an emotional appeal.

Elephanta Cave Festivals : –

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation arranges for Elephanta Cave festival at Elephanta Island every year in February. Located roughly 10km off the Mumbai coast, the festival aims to highlight the rich cultural heritage of the state. Thousands gather to marvel spectacular song and dance performances by renowned artistes.On the picturesque backdrop of this illuminated rock cut caves, various Indian classical dance forms find expression. Koli folk dances are an added attraction. Kolis are fishing communities of Maharashtra, who’re known for their simple lifestyle and vibrant culture. Festival without food is impossible, isn’t it? The lip-smacking Maharashtrian cuisine adds favor to the fest. Poha, seafood, vada pao rule food stalls.

Pune Festival : –

A week of cultural extravaganza , at Pune is organized by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation in August-September. The festival showcases music and dance performances by famous personalities. Upcoming artistes are also promoted during this concert. Apart from classical dances there are folk dance performances by national and globally-known faces grace evenings.

India is a land of multiple cultures and religion. Hence, it celebrates festivals throughout the year. Song and dance are a part of every festival be it religious or cultural. Vivacious Marathis promote fellowship and secularism through these carnivals. A vibrant kaleidoscope of Hindu rituals and traditions are reflected through these fests.

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