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Festivals in India

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Holi : Holi is a two day festival that also celebrates the victory of good over evil, as well as the abundance of the spring harvest season. It's commonly referred to as the "Festival of Colors". People exuberantly throw colored powder and water all over each other, have parties, and dance under water sprinklers. Bhang (a paste made from cannabis plants) is also traditionally consumed during the celebrations. Holi is a very carefree festival that's great fun to participate in if you don't mind getting wet and dirty.

Diwali : Diwali is a five day festival that represents the start of the Hindu New Year. It's known as the "Festival of Lights" for all the fireworks, small clay lamps, and candles that are lit during the celebrations. These lights are said to represent the victory of good over evil, and brightness over darkness. The candlelight makes Diwali a very warm and atmospheric festival, and it's observed with much joy and happiness.

Dussehra : The first nine days of this festival are known as Navaratri, and are filled with dance in honor of the Mother Goddess. The tenth day, called Dussehra, is devoted to celebrating the defeat of the demon king Ravana by Lord Rama. It also coincides with the victory of the revered warrior Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura.

In eastern India, the festival is observed as Durga Puja. Huge statues of the Goddess are made and immersed in the holy Ganges River. The festival is an extremely social and theatrical event, with drama, dance, and cultural performances held throughout the country.

Kumbh Mela : The Festival of Immortality Kumbha Mela is one of the most ancient, yet still living, traditions of India's glorious past. The festival dates back the pre-Vedic period, as even in the Vedas Kumbha Mela is described as a tradition that is already well established. The popularity of Kumbha Mela has only increased over the millennia, gathering millions together every twelve years at each of the four holy places in which the auspicious event occurs and making it the world's largest gathering of people on Earth for one common purpose. It is said that even those saints and sages who live in divine isolation, high in the Himalayas, engaged only in meditation and austerities, emerge from the mountains to attend the Kumbha. Kumbha is a world-renowned trademark of India's proud antiquity, and is a matchlessly divine occasion.

Spanning a period through January and February, Purna (Full) Kumbha Mela will take place in Allahabad (the City of God), also known as Prayagraj, a divine location situated on the confluence of three sacred rivers - Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati.

Kumbha Mela is a microcosm of the beauty and rich diversity of India. One author describes the Kumbha Mela.

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