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Hinduism has many festivals throughout the year. Their dates are usually prescribed by the Hindu calendar and typically celebrate events from Hindu mythology, often coinciding with seasonal changes and occasions of importance in an agrarian society. There are festivals which are primarily celebrated by specific sects or in certain regions of the Indian subcontinent.
Some widely observed Hindu festivals are,
Diwali: In North India , Diwali (Festival of Lights in Hindi) celebrates arrival of prince Rama back to Ayodhya after his victory over the evil Ravana as depicted in major Hindu epic of Ramayana. Diwali is one of the most well-known Hindu festivals, and is celebrated with great fanfare including puja, fireworks, sweets and ceremonies lasting for five days. different regions of India have their on folklore associated with Diwali.
Dussehra: Dussehra (also Dussehra or Daserra) celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is the anniversary of the day when Rama killed Ravana in the ancient Hindu epic, Ramayana. This is the day when Goddess Durga killed the demon, Mahishasur. see Durga Puja
Ganesh Chaturthi: Ganesha Chaturthi celebrates Lord Ganesha, who is the god of auspicious beginnings in Hinduism. It is one of the most celebrated festivals in India. Also this is widely celebrated involving general public instead of just involving families and friends.
Krishna Janmastami: Birthday of Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is celebrated as Krishna Janmastami, with prayers, plays and fasting.
Durga Puja: Durga Puja is worship of goddess Durga, and is mainly popular among Bengalis.
Mahashivratri: Mahashivratri is the night of Lord Shiva when he drank Halahala poision to save gods and demons from its effect.
Ramanavami: Ramanavami celebrates birthday of Lord Rama.
Hanuman Jayanti: Birthday of Lord Hanuman is celebrated as Hanuman Jayanti.
Holi: Holi is a festival of colours and celebrates the arrival of spring. Legends has that it is celebrated as victory of the faith of Prahlada over evil designs of Hiranyakashipu, who tried to kill him.
Makara Sankranti: Makara Sankranti celebrates the transition of Sun to new zodiac sign according to Hindu astrology. Kite flying is a major activity on this day in most of northern India. This is most important festival for Telugu people.
Pongal: an Indian festival to give thanks for the harvest. Pongal in Tamil means 'boiling over'. It is traditionally celebrated at the time of harvest of crops and hence is a celebration of the prosperity associated with the event. this is celebrated on the same day as Makara Sankranti
Raksha Bandhan: Raksha Bandhan (Thread of Security in Hindi) is festival commemorating special bonding between brothers and sisters.
Ugadi: New year celebration in Deccan sates of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh & Karnataka
Karwa Chauth: Married women fast for long lives of their husbands on this day in parts of India.
Kumbh Mela: Kumbh Mela's are series of grand gatherings for worship and prayer every 12 years at four places across India.
Vishu: Celebrated as the start of new year in Mid-April, this is the most important festival of Kerala after Onam.