The festival of Dassera, also known as Vijayadashmi, is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm for ten continuous days. The first nine nights are spent in the worship of goddess Durga and hence these nights are known as "Navaratri".
The tenth day of the Dassera is in honour of Durga Devi. The farmers with her blessings wait with tremendous hopes for a bountiful harvest. In Bengal & other east Indian parts Durga Puja is celebrated by people with lots of entertainment by way of music, dance and drama. On the last day the idol of the goddess is immersed in the river or sea. In other parts of India Dassera is celebrated by burning firecracker filled effigies of Ravana, his brother and son in front of thousands of spectators. As it was on this day that Lord Rama with the blessings of goddess Durga killed the 10 headed king of Lanka (Ravana) who had abducted his wife Sita.
The Navaratri festival commemorates the victory of Goddess Durga over demon Mahishasur. Nine nights of song and dance celebrate the nine aspects of the Goddess.
The birth of Lord Ganesh is called Ganesh Chaturthi. This festival is celebrated for 10 days from Ganeshchaturthi - birth -date-to Anantchaturdashi - the final 10th day of his immersion.
Ganesh is a elephant headed God and everyone loves this deity with his long curving trunk, round-belly and big flappy ears. He is the benevolent protector of the innocent, yet the ruthless destroyer of evil. He is worshipped before the start of any new enterprise as he is the remover of all obstacles. The 10 days Ganesh Chaturti are celebrated with lots of pomp and show and music and dance by people of all ages. Delicious sweets are made in households, especially a sweetmeat called the Modak as it was one of Lord Ganesha’s favorite.
The birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, believed to be the reincarnation of Vishnu and the author of the Bhagvadgita, is observed all over India. It is celebrated with special enthusiasm at Mathura and Brindavan where Lord Krishna spent his childhood. Night-long prayers are held, and religious hymns are sung in the temples. Pots filled with milk, butter and money are strung up at great heights and young men from the locality form human pyramids to break the pot and get the reward.
This festival of joy, mirth and buoyancy is celebrated when both Man and Nature cast off their winter gloom. Holi heralds the arrival of Spring - the season of hope and new beginnings and marks the rekindling of the spirit of life. Celebrating the advent of spring, men, women and children revel in throwing colored powder and water on their relatives and friends.
The evening previous to the Holi day. Bonfires are lighted to celebrate the victory of good over evil. Legend has it that Lord Krishna’s uncle, the cruel king Kamsa sent a she demon called Putana to kill baby Krishna. Putana went about the village of Nandgaon suckling every child to death. But baby Krishna suckled her till she succumbed to her death. Hence the lighting of the bonfires to commemorate the victory of Krishna and the death of Putana.