Fair and Festivals in Nagpur
Fair and Festivals in Nagpur: Nagpur is one of the major industrial cities of Maharashtra. This district is famous for its orange productions. Many big and leading companies open their base in this city. Many businessmen come to this city everyday for this reason. As it is one of the major cities of Maharashtra, it is well connected by train, air and road with other parts of the Maharashtra state and India. Two flights are arrived and departed for Mumbai from Nagpur airport everyday.
Lord Ganesh, the patron deity of Maharashtra, is the God of wisdom. Come August, preparations to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi one of the famous Fair and Festivals in Nagpur- the auspicious day when Lord Ganesh was born – begin with great enthusiasm all over the state. The 11-day festival begins with the installation of beautifully sculpted Ganesh idols in homes and mandaps (large tents), colorfully decorated, depicting religious themes or current events. The Ganesh idols are worshipped with families and friends. Many cultural events are organized and people participate in them with keen interest. After ten exciting days comes the time to bid farewell to the beloved God. People take Ganesh idols in procession to the accompaniment of music and dance for immersion in the sea or nearby river or lake. Emotions run high as people chant ‘Ganpati bappa moraya, pudhachya varshi lavkar ya’ (Oh Lord Ganesh, please come back soon next year).
According to the great Hindu epic Ramayan, Dussehra is the day on which Lord Ram killed Ravan, the evil king of Lanka. It is considered as a shubh-muharat – a very auspicious day – to start a new venture. It is a symbol of the victory of good over evil. People decorate the entrances of their homes with torans, flower studded strings, and worship the tools of trade, vehicles, machinery, weapons and even books. As the evening falls, the villagers cross the border, a ritual known as Simollanghan, and worship the Shami tree. The leaves of the Apta tree are collected and exchanged among friends and relatives as gold.
Diwali or Deepawali means a row of lights. The most beautiful of all Indian festivals, Diwali is a celebration of lights. Streets are illuminated with rows of clay lamps and homes are decorated with rangoli (colored powder designs) and aakash kandils (decorative lanterns of different shapes and sizes). People rise at dawn, massage their bodies and hair with scented oil and take a holy bath. Diwali is celebrated with new clothes, spectacular firecrackers and a variety of sweets in the company of family and friends.
Dhanatrayodashi; Narakchaturdashi, Amavasya (Laxmi poojan), Balipratipada and Yamadvitiya (Bhaubeej) are the five days which comprise Diwali, and each day has a peculiar religious significance. This joyous celebration is, on the whole, symbolic of dispelling the darkness of misery and bringing the light of prosperity and happiness into human life.
‘Gudhi’ – the bamboo staff with a colored silk cloth and a garlanded goblet atop – symbolizes victory or achievement. Maharashtrians erect gudhis on Padwa, the first day of the Hindu new year. People welcome the new year with gudhi worship and distribute prasad comprising tender neem leaves, gram-pulse and jaggery. Gudhi Padwa heralds the advent of a prosperous new year and is considered as a shubh muhurat – one of the most auspicious days – by Hindus.
Check Out : Gudi Padwa is a spring-time festival that marks the traditional new year for Marathi Hindus
Sankrant means the passing of the sun from one Zodiac sign to the other. People exchange greeting and good wishes on this day, which marks the Sun’s passage from the Tropic of Dhanu (Sagittarius) to Makar (Capricon). Sweet and crunchy ladoos made of sesame and jaggery are the favorite treats on.
Each year, after a successful winter harvest, people get ready to welcome the spring with Holi – the festival of colors. Holis or bonfires are lit in the night and people gather to worship the fire-god, who is believed to burn away all evil. On the next day, people of all ages come outside and playfully drench each other with colored water. Brightly colored powders are applied on faces, and there is plenty of music, dance and sweets to fill the rest of the day. The exuberant display of colors symbolizes the advent of a colorful and prosperous spring season.
In Hindu mythology, the cobra has a special significance and the earth, it is believed, rests on the head of ‘Shesha’ – the thousand-hooded cobra. Snake worship is an important ritual of the Maharashtrians, and on the festival of Nag Panchami, clay icons of cobras are venerated in homes. People offer sweets and milk to the snake deity and the day is celebrated with folk dances and songs, especially in the countryside. Snake charmers carry cobras in baskets and collect offerings from the public in the streets. A small village near Sangli, Battis Shirale, is famous for its snake catchers, and people throng the streets to watch the thrilling performances of expert snake charmers.
Gokul Ashtami or Janmashtami
The birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated on Gokul Ashtami or Janmashtami. Most devotees fast till midnight and when the birth of Lord Krishna is announced, they eat a festive preparation of rice, butter, yogurt, puris and potatoes. This meal, according to Hindu mythology, was relished by Lord Krishna and his playmates in Gokul. Another fun-filled ritual performed on this day is dahi-handi – clay pots filled with curd, puffed rice and milk are strung high up above the streets and groups of enthusiastic young men (and even women) form human pyramids to reach these and break them open, the way Lord Krishna and his friends would, after sneaking into the houses of gopis (milkmaids) to steal and eat butter.
Nagpur celebrates many festival of different religion with much fanfare. The city also host many cultural and religious events. Among the popular festivals the city of Nagpur host is the festival of Marbat. This is unique festival celebrated only in Nagpur city. On the occasion of the festival people make the small statues of an imaginary evil spirits and take out the procession. These evil statues are burnt at the end of procession. It is believed by the people of Nagpur that by celebrating this kind of festival, all evil forces in the city are eliminated. Festival of Marbat also includes other cultural activities like dance, drama. On the occasion women prepare delicious food dishes and show their cooking skills. The festival of Marbat serves to be an occasion where one can have a glimpse of rich culture of Nagpur.