Northern Indian Harvest Festival

In Northern India, People celebrate harvest festival during the spring season, which is either in late February or early March. People harvest their wheat in spring. This is also the time for Holi, which is a Hindu Harvest festival. Holi lasts for five days. Everyone dresses up, or buy new clothes during the occasion. People wear old clothes as part of the celebration and throw colored water and Red Powder at each other and indulge in the fun of the festival. Holi is the festival where all whether they are family, friends or strangers get the same treatment.

There are different names of the harvest festival celebrated in India. For example: In Northern India it is known as Lohri, In Assam it is called Bhogali Bihu, In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar it is known as Makar Sankranti, and in Andhra Pradesh it is celebrated as Bhogi.

Eastern Indian Harvest Festival

The primary crop harvested in Eastern India is Rice. Springtime is the season of love and at this time they celebrate the love story of the God, Krishna and Radha.

The images of the two gods surrounded by flowers are pulled by decorated animals in a procession through the streets. People offer flowers before the images in the temples. The love story of Krishna and Radha is dramatised or it is recalled by reading verses from a very long poem known as the Bhagavata Purana. Bhagavata Purana means “Ancient Stories of the Lord”.

People also have bonfires and they hold a dance where Men and Women dance in separate groups around the bonfires. They also throw colourful powder and waters at each other.

Southern Indian Harvest Festival

Onam is one of the most popular harvest festivals of Kerala in Southern India. It is a time for everyone to reap the benefits of a good harvest after a year of hard work and labor. Onam festival is celebrated in the memory of popular King Mahabali. The festival is a time for communal thanks-giving. The famous ‘Snake boat’ race is organized every year. It is a season of dances, songs, food, worshipping among other festivities. Women wear new sarees and they dress up their children in colourful clothes. The traditional ‘Pookkalam‘ a flower mat that adorns the courtyard of almost every house. ‘Payasam’ is the most popular dish among the various dishes during this festival.

Pongal is another four days of harvest festival in Southern India which is celebrated with immense joy and enthusiasm. It is celebrated on the 14th of January every year. Pongal means the boiling of milk and rice. Born fire and feasting is a common feature of the festival. Pongal is also known as ‘VenPongal’ and during this festival farmers express their gratitude. Pongal is basically held to honor the Sun for a bountiful harvest. People decorate their houses and families gather together to rejoice and offer Pongal to Sun. There is a belief that celebrating the harvest festival will bring prosperity, joy and happiness.

Hindu pilgrims leave after taking a dip at the confluence of the river Ganges and the Bay of Bengal on the occasion of "Makar Sankranti" festival at Sagar Island, Kolkata, January 14, 2017. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

A Sadhu or a Hindu holy man carrying his pet monkey walks after taking a dip at the confluence of the river Ganges and the Bay of Bengal on the occasion of "Makar Sankranti" festival at Sagar Island, Kolkata, January 14, 2017. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

Devotees prepare rice dishes to offer to the Hindu Sun God as they attend Pongal celebrations early morning in Mumbai, January 14, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

A Hindu pilgrim offers prayers after taking a dip in the Ganges river ahead of the one-day festival of Makar Sankranti, at Sagar Island, Kolkata, January 13, 2017. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

Students perform a traditional folk dance near a bonfire as they celebrate the Lohri festival, which marks the culmination of winter in many parts of northern India, inside a college in Chandigarh, January 13, 2017. REUTERS/Ajay Verma

Workers prepare a makeshift cottage called Bhelaghar with Save the Rhino as a theme ahead of the Magh Bihu festival in Morigaon district, Assam, India, January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Anuwar Hazarika

Women from the Tiwa tribe celebrate as they take part in community fishing as part of the Bhogali Bihu or the harvest festival of Assam, at a lake in Nagaon district, in the Assam, India January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Anuwar Hazarika

Devotees prepare rice dishes to offer to the Hindu Sun God as they attend Pongal celebrations early morning in Mumbai, January 14, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

Devotees prepare rice dishes to offer to the Hindu Sun God as they attend Pongal celebrations early morning in Mumbai, January 14, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

Men carry fish after fishing in a pond to sell it to the villagers on the occasion of Bhogali Bihu or the harvest festival of Assam, at Raha town in Nagaon district, Assam, India January 13, 2017. REUTERS/Anuwar Hazarika

A Sadhu or a Hindu holy man holds his pet monkey as he walks inside a makeshift shelter, before heading for an annual trip to Sagar Island for the one-day festival of "Makar Sankranti", in Kolkata, January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
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