India is a land with rich cultural legacy. Her differences are what keep her together and each Indian state has its own traditional values and cultural legacy. You might have heard the saying that,” rugged terrains often produce tough warriors”. It is never truer than in the case of Maharashtra.
1. Shivaji Jayanti
Chhatrapati Shivaji- undoubtedly the most able ruler of Maharashtra and it is impossible to talk about the rich cultural legacy of the land without his name. Shivaji Jayanti generally falls in the 3rd week of February but the dates can vary depending on the star signs. With colourful processions, banners and slogans people take to the streets chanting the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji and honouring his stories, now a vital part of the legend of the State.
2. Jivati Pooja
This is solemn festival dedicated to the women folk- and they celebrate the auspicious day of the Jivati Pooja by honouring their sacred thread and praying for the stability of their marriage. The date of Jivati Pooja generally falls in the month of August. It is calculated according to the star signs that fall in the month of Shravan and is a grave venue where women spend the day fasting and chanting the sacred names of Goddess Parvati for the long life of their marriage and for the well-being of their family.
3. Ganesh Chaturthi
A tradition which rose to prominence with Bal Gangadhar Tilak during the Freedom struggle, the Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra is a festival conducted in honour of Lord Ganesh. Though it is celebrated throughout the country it has particular significance in Maharashtra, and is celebrated with great colours and banners. A major ritual of the festival is the immersion of Ganesh idols in water. This act signifies the prominence of Ganesha as the God that ‘alleviates all hindrances’. It is believed that with the immersion of Ganesh idols in the water, one is washing away all the obstacles he will have to face in his future journey.
4. Maharashtra Day
The first day of May is honoured as Maharashtra Day with much festivity. Maharashtra attained statehood on 1 May 1960 and every year the day is a state holiday and is celebrated with many colours, organized by the Government of Maharashtra. On this solemn occasion the State Governor address the people which commences with the customary State Parade. Colourful processions, bands and marches organized by the Government are a wonderful sight to behold.
5. Ajanta Ellora Festival
As the name itself hints, the Ajanta Ellora festival is conducted in the Ellora Caves which demands a rich cultural antiquity. The Festival portrays the traditional antiquity of the land and it goes without saying that the festival is held in the Ellora caves and is undoubtedly the perfect venue which roars the rich legacy of the state. Different art forms and performances take place during this 3 to 4 day festival. People flock to Maharashtra from all over the world to take part in this gala which is undoubtedly a source of pride to Maharashtra.
6. Elephanta Festival
The Tourism Department of Maharashtra never fails and always rises to its reputation and organizes the Elephanta festival every year. Usually held in the month of February or March, the festival can extend up to 2 or 3 days. The fact that it encourages classical artists and traditional performances is a distinguishing feature of the festival. The festival also pays homage to the legendary Indian classical artists who come to the festival from different parts of the world to showcase their talents. The festival is celebrated with great fervour all over. Together with the Ellora Festival, these two form a vital part of Maharashtra Tourism.
7. Narali Poornima
Narali Poornima is known throughout the country as the Sravana Poornima and is celebrated in different colours. But the people of Maharashtra celebrate the day with great colours and music. It signifies the arrival of the full moon in the month of Sravana- indicating the harvest season in the region. Different communities celebrate the festival according to their local customs and are a wondrous affair and a day of great joy.
The region of Maharashtra is famed for its fun and fervour. The festivals in Maharashtra are unique and roar the cultural legacy and the rich antiquity of the region and have attracted people from all over the country.