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Hyderabad Festivals

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Ganesha Chaturthi

Ganesha Chaturthi is the Hindu festival celebrated on the birthday (rebirth) of Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati.

It is believed that Lord Ganesh bestows his presence on earth for all his devotees during this festival. It is the day Shiva declared his son Ganesha as superior to all the gods, barring Vishnu, Lakshmi, Shiva and Parvati. Ganesha is widely worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and traditionally invoked at the beginning of any new venture or at the start of travel. The festival, also known as Ganeshotsav ("festival of Ganesha") is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). The date usually falls between 19 August and 20 September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period).

Muharram

Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year.Since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, Muharram moves from year to year when compared with the Gregorian calendar.

Muharram is derived from the word haraam, meaning "sinful". It is held to be the most sacred of all the months, excluding Ramadan. Some Muslims fast during these days. The tenth day of Muharram is the Day of Ashura, which to Shia Muslims is part of the Mourning of Muharram.
Azadari procession carried out by Shiite Muslims in Indian city of Hardoi on the Day of Ashura.

Some Muslims fast during this day, because it is recorded in the hadith that Musa (Moses) and his people obtained a victory over the Egyptian Pharaoh on the 10th day of Muharram; accordingly Islamic prophet Muhammad asked Muslims to fast on this day that is Ashura and on a day before that is 9th.

Diwali

Deepavali or Diwali popularly known as the "festival of lights," is a five-day Hindu festival[3] which starts on Dhanteras, celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna paksha (dark fortnight) of the Hindu calendar month Ashwin and ends on Bhaubeej, celebrated on second lunar day of Shukla paksha (bright fortnight) of the Hindu calendar month Kartik. Dhanteras usually falls eighteen days after Dussehra. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali falls between mid-October and mid-November.

Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji.

For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. For Jains, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BCE. Arya Samajists, celebrate this day as Death Anniversary of Swami Dayanand Saraswati. They also celebrate this day as Shardiya Nav-Shasyeshti.

Holi

Holi is a spring festival celebrated as a festival of colours. It is a Hindu religious festival which has also become popular with people of other communities.

It is primarily observed in India and Nepal. It is also observed by the minority Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan as well in countries with large Indic diaspora populations following Hinduism, such as Suriname, Malaysia, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States, Mauritius, and Fiji.

Holi is of particular significance in the Braj region, which includes locations traditionally connected to the Lord Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandgaon, Uttar Pradesh, and Barsana, which become tourist destinations during the season of Holi.

As per the Hindu calendar, Holi is celebrated on the Phalguna Purnima (Full Moon), which comes in February or March in the Gregorian Calendar.

Bonalu

Bonalu is a Hindu festival of the Goddess of power, Mahakali, celebrated in Hyderabad, Secunderabad and parts of Telangana and Rayalaseema in India. It is celebrated in the month of Ashada masam, in July/August. Special poojas are performed for Yellamma on the first and last day of the festival. The festival is also considered a thanksgiving to the Goddess for fulfillment of vows.

Bonam means Bojanaalu or a meal in Telugu, is an offering to the Goddess. Women bring cooked rice with milk, sugar sometimes onions in a brass or earthen pot, adorned with small neem branches and turmeric, vermilion (kunkum) or Kadi (white chalk) and a lamp on the top. Women place the pots on their heads and take it to Goddess temple, led by drummers and dancing men.

Goddess temples have names such as Mysamma, Pochamma, Yellamma, Pedamma, Dokkalamma, Ankalamma, Poleramma, Maremma, Pochamme, Maramma, Yellammma, Nookalamma etc. and are decorated with special illumination buntings and festoons.

Bathukamma

Bathukamma is a festival celebrated by the Hindu women of Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh, India. It is followed by Boddemma, which is a 7-day festival. This festival falls in September–October called Ashvin or Aswiyuja. Bathukamma is celebrated for nine days during Durga Navratri. It starts on the day of Mahalaya Amavasya. It concludes two days before Dussera, called Durgashtami. On the final day, the closing ceremony of Bathukamma panduga is celebrated as a great festival – Pedda Bathukamma or Saddula Bathukamma.

Bathukamma is a beautiful flower stack, arranged with seasonal flowers, in seven concentric layers, of potter’s clay like a cone. Bathuku in Telugu means live/life, and Amma means mother; hence Bathukamma, is celebrated for the glory, later denoted as Goddess Gauri – the patron goddess of womanhood.

Women celebrate the festival dressed up in traditional pattu saris, and wear jewellery.

Dussehra

Dussehra also known as Dashahara,Vijayadashami, Dashain, Navratri or Durgotsav is one of the most important Hindu festivals celebrated in various forms, across India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

The name Dussehra is derived from Sanskrit Dasha-hara literally means removal of ten referring to Lord Rama's victory over the ten-headed demon king Ravana. The day also marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the demons Mahishasur. The name Vijayadashami is also derived from the Sanskrit words "Vijaya-dashmi" literally meaning the victory on the dashmi (Dashmi being the tenth lunar day of the Hindu calendar month).

Ugadi

Ugadi is the New Year's Day for the people of the Deccan region of India. The name Yugadi or Ugadi is derived from the Sanskrit words yuga and adi "the beginning of a new age". It falls on a different day every year because the Hindu calendar is a lunisolar calendar. The Saka calendar begins with the month of Chaitra (March–April) and Ugadi marks the first day of the new year. Chaitra is the first month in Panchanga which is the Indian calendar.

While the people of Andhra Pradesh and Karnatka use the term Ugadi/Yugadi for this festival, the people of Maharashtra term the same festival, observed on the same day, Gudi Padwa . Marwari, people of Rajasthan celebrate the same day as their new year day Thapna. Sindhis, people from Sindh, celebrate the same day as their New Year day Cheti Chand. Manipuris also celebrate their New Year on the same day. It is observed as Baisakhi in Punjab and Puthandu in Tamil Nadu. However, it is not celebrated on the same day as Yugadi in Tamil Nadu. It is also celebrated in Mauritius. Hindus of Bali and Indonesia also celebrate their new year on the same day as Nyepi. This tri-state festival could be the result of the common rulers from the Satavahana Dynasty.

Sankranti

Sankranti is one of the most auspicious occasions for the Hindus, and is celebrated in almost all parts of India in a myriad of cultural forms, with great devotion, fervour, and gaiety. It is a harvest festival. Makar Sankranti is perhaps the only Indian festival whose date always falls on the same day every year: 14 January, with some exceptions, when the festival is celebrated on 13 January or 15 January. Makar Sankranti is also believed to mark the arrival of spring in India.

Rakhi

Rakhi or Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu festival primarily observed in India, Mauritius and Nepal, which celebrates the relationship between brothers (shaurya), cousins and sisters(shreya). It is also called Rakhi Purnima in most of India. It is also celebrated in some parts of Pakistan. The festival is observed by Hindus, Jains, and some Sikhs.

In fact, the popular practice of Raksha Bandhan has its historical associations also. The Rajput queens practised the custom of sending rakhi threads to neighbouring rulers as token of brotherhood. The central ceremony involves the tying of a rakhi (sacred thread) by a sister on her brother's wrist. This symbolizes the sister's love and prayers for her brother's well-being, and the brother's lifelong vow to protect her. The festival falls on the full moon day (Shravan Poornima) of the Shravan month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar. One Islamic Scholar believes that Raksha Bandhan grew in popularity after Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of Chittor, sent a rakhi to the Mughal emperor Humayun when she required his help.

Ramzan

Ramadan or Ramzan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar; Muslims worldwide observe this as a month of fasting. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths. The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root rami?a or ar-rama?, which means scorching heat or dryness. Fasting is fard "obligatory" for adult Muslims, except those who are ill, traveling, pregnant, diabetic or going through menstrual bleeding.

While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations; in some interpretations they also refrain from swearing. Food and drink is served daily, before sunrise and after sunset. According to Islam, the thawab (rewards) of fasting are many, but in this month they are believed to be multiplied. Fasting for Muslims during Ramadan typically includes the increased offering of salat (prayers) and recitation of the Quran.

Christmas

Christmas is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ and a widely observed holiday, celebrated generally on December 25 by millions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the twelve days of Christmastide, which ends after the twelfth night. Christmas is a civil holiday in many of the world's nations,is celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season.

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