After being viewed as a symbolism of magical and enticing East for ages, Contemporary India is progressively modern and intricate. With its 28 different states and seven union territories coexisting harmoniously, India is manifested with great many religions, cultures and languages. India is much more a complicated knot than a random assortment of Taj Mahal, MNCs, deprived people and veiled women. You will encounter a lot more diverse nation than that. The frenetic pace with which things are changing will leave you startled. To give you a better understanding of what to India holidays, eland Holidays put forward a set of guide on festival of India and Indian customs.
Customs and Festivals India
Religious places in India are held in high regards in every nook and corner of the country. So it becomes important for travelers to follow the temple etiquettes. Always take off your shoes before entering a place of devotion in India. Dress code should be appropriate. Hot weather of the country tempts travelers to wear shorts, but while visiting a religious site it’s essential to cover your shoulders and the lower part of your body. If you are non believer and keen to visit these religious sites - majority of which are of vast historical and archeological significance, you must respect the religious sentiments of the locals.
What it means to live in India
India has evolved from the days of colonial days to present times. History of the country is often redrafted and redefined. This makes it a combination of post modernity. Political realities of India will stun you with its complications and contradictions. Huge, classy shopping malls standing close to massive slum settlements reeking utmost poverty represents the strangest paradox of the country. After surviving the early shocks, many visitors leave India with a sense of accomplishment.
Public Displays of Affection
During your visit to rhythmic lagoons of Kerala or beautiful Taj Mahal, you may encounter several romantic moments when you just wish to hug and kiss your partner but think twice before proceeding with your desire in public. There is strict code of conduct that should be followed at public places especially in reference to public displays of affection.
Great Greeting Gesture -Namaste:
In India, Namaste is the word used for greeting people. Although there are many other forms used for the same purpose but Namaskar or Namaste is quite popular among the locals as well as foreigners. Place both your palms together and raise it below the face to greet a person with a very fascinating word - Namaste!
Hierarchy of Hands and Feet
In Hinduism, there is a whole pecking order of the body parts. The head is considered to be greater to rest of the body parts, with feet being lowest on the rung. While stepping into someone’s house (mainly traditional families) take off your shoes. Avoid stepping over important things but if you do, straightaway convey your apologies. To bend down and touch feet of a respected elder is considered a sign of respect in India.
Indian people never eat with their left hands (as it is usually used for cleaning oneself after defecation). Traditional Indian families might take it an offence if they are offered anything - gift or money - with left hand. So always remember to do the ‘right’ things with ‘right’ hands.
Tilak is a India customary mark made between the eyebrows on forehead with haldi, kumkum, or sandalwood as a mark of blessing or auspiciousness. It looks beautiful and is known to impart positive energy to your body.
Presenting Floral Garland
In India, deities and guests are often presented with beautiful garlands of flower. Flower garlands offering demonstrate deference and nobility. At airport, most of the travel operators have set this tradition of welcoming guests with flower garlands, so don’t be surprised to see your tour operator welcoming you with a flower garland.
Festivals in India
Colorful fairs and India festival are an integral part of an equally colorful India. People who have different faiths and come from widely dissimilar religions happily celebrate events that leave long lasting impressions. A whole list of impressive fairs and Indian festivals is marked in the Indian calendars. Travelers wish to visit India during these extravagant festival days as it allows them to capture some of the greatest moments of their life!
Diwali, Holi, Christmas, Eid-Ul-Fitr, Pongal, Baisakhi are the various festivals in India which have great beliefs and legends associated with them, each being equally intriguing. Each festival is marked with great enthusiasm, fervor and harmony. National holidays of the country include Independence Day, Republic Day and Gandhi Jayanti. Whole nation observes an off on these national holidays. To the multihued festivals of India, fairs that are held in various parts of the country are marked by presence of various competitions and ceremonies. Participants do not belong to a particular cast or creed. The favorite fair that has influenced locals and the foreigners since time immemorial is the vivacious ‘Kumbh ka Mela’. During this huge fair millions of devout assemble on the banks of sacred river Ganges. Bathing in holy waters of Ganges is believed to gift you with spiritual liberation and satisfaction. Marked by the presence of over one lakh visitors, Pushkar is a delightful fair held in the deserted backdrop of Rajasthan. It is a five day long period of relaxation and merriment for villagers. It corresponds with the leading cattle fair of the country.
[Read about Famous festivals in India -Blog Update]
There is another face to Indian way of celebrating things. With the likes of dedication to deities, they have their own style of having fun and entertainment. The Goa Carnival is an event known for its energy and great enthusiasm. It is full of life spring festival that is notable for great revelry all through the state of Goa before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent which is a 40 day period of penance and abstinence proceeding Easter Sunday.
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