Indian Festivals, India’s Intangible Cultural Heritage UNESCO List, Handicrafts

Indian Festivals, India’s Intangible Cultural Heritage UNESCO List, Handicrafts


Indian Festivals, India’s Intangible Cultural Heritage UNESCO List, Handicrafts

Indian Festivals

India is a land of fasts and festivals. The Indian men and women observe these festivals throughout the year. These festivals are being observed from time immemorial. People are observing them right from the dawn of human civilization.

Kumbha Mela
  •  Held at all 4 places every 3 years by rotation (Allahabad, Haridwar, Nashik, Ujjain)
  • Associated rivers: Ganga at Haridwar, the Sangam of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati at Allahabad,  Godawari at Nashik, and Shipra at Ujjain
  • Ardha Kumbh Mela: Haridwar and Prayag every 6 years
  • Purna Kumbh Mela: Prayag every 12 years
  • Maha Kumbh Mela:  Prayag every 144 years
  • last full moon day of Phalguna
Maha Shivaratri
  • 13th night in Krishna Paksha of Phalguna
  • 9 forms of Shakti are worshipped on 9 nights
Vinayaga Chaturthi
  • On occasion of birth of Ganesha
Vasant Panchami
  • Worshiping Saraswati – the goddess of knowledge, music and art
  • Children are taught to write their first words; Brahmins are fed; ancestral worship is performed; the god of love- Kamadeva is worshipped
  • People usually wear yellow garments
  • Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and sexual relations from dawn until sunset
  • Intended to teach Muslims about patience, humility & spirituality
Guru Purnima
  • Buddhists in the honour of lord Buddha who gave his first sermon on this day at Sarnath
  • Hindus on this day offer Puja or pay respect to their Guru
Buddha Poornima
  • Birth anniversary of Lord Buddha
  • Commemorate the birth of Jesus
  • Oldest and holiest Christian festival – the day when Jesus Christ was crucified
  • On this day Jesus Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven
Thai Pongal
  • Harvest festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Sri Lanka
  • To thank the Sun God and farmstead livestock
  • Boiling of milk in clay pot symbolize material abundance for household
  • Celebrated on the 1st month of the Islamic calendar
  • unlawful to fight during this month
Dree Festival
  • an agricultural rite, which is observed by Apatanis in Arunachal Pradesh
  • involves sacrifice of fowls, eggs and animals to the sun & moon god to appease these Gods to avoid feminine

UNESCO Representative List of India’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Vedic Chanting of India
Ramlila Traditional Performance of Ramayana
Nowruz Beginning of Persian calendar usually 21st march or +- 1 day.
Buddhist chanting Ladakh, J&K recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in the trans-Himalayan Ladakh
Ramman Garhwal Himalayas religious festival and ritual theatre (UK)
Kalbelia Rajasthan
  •  folk songs and dances once professional snake handlers
  • Today, women as serpent dancing on mens been
Chhau dance Orissa, Jharkhand, WB
  • episodes from epics including Mahabharata & Ramayana
  • performed on Chaitra Parva
  • origin traced to martial practices
  • Performed at night on reed pipes mohuri and shehnai
Kutiyattam Kerala Sanskrit Theatre
Mudiyettu Kerala mythological tale of a battle between goddess Kali & demon Darika
Sankirtana Manipur Manipur singing, drumming and dancing ritual of Manipur
Thatherus Utensils Punjab Punjab Traditional brass and copper craft of utensil of Thatheras

Indian Handicrafts

Kashmir Embroidered shawls, carpets, namdar silk and walnut wood furniture.
Rajasthan precious stone and jems + tie & dye (Bandhani) fabric + minakari work
Andhra Pradesh Bidri work and Pochampad saris
Tamil Nadu bronze sculpture and Kajeevaram silk saris
Mysore silk, sandalwood items
Kerala ivory carvings and rosewood furniture
Assam cane furniture
Bengal Bankura terracotta modelling and handloom items
Benaras Brocade & silk saris
Madhya Pradesh Chanderi and kosa silk
Lucknow chikan work (Zardozi Embroidery – Muslims in Lucknow)
Punjab Phulkari embroidery
Bengal Kantha embroidery
Orissa Patola embroidery
Budhhists Thangka painting
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