India is a land of bewildering diversity, a unique and colorful mosaic of people of various faiths. There is a festival for every reason and for every season. Many festivals celebrate various harvests, commemorate great historical figures and events, or express devotion to the deities. Every celebration centers around the rituals of prayer and seeking of blessings, and involves the decoration of homes, wearing of new clothes, music, dancing, and feasting. Festivals are an expression of the spirit of celebration. They are observed with enthusiasm and gaiety and are occasions when the greater family and friends come together. They also present women with an opportunity to socialize. Many of these festivals are associated with special foods.
Among the most important Hindu festivals are Makar Sankranti, Shivratri, Holi, Onam, Ganesh Chaturthi, Dussehra, and Diwali. They are celebrated throughout the country in various forms.