Ghaziabad is situated in Western Uttar Pradesh. The place is turned into a modern high class suburb of Delhi. The city was featured in Newsweek as one of the top 10 most dynamic cities in the world.
The city celebrates many festivals, consisting of feasts and fasting rituals. The seven festivals offered bring joy around the city. These are the Ram Navami, Janamastmi, Dasahra, Naga Panchami, Dipavali, Shivratri and Holi festival.
Ram Navami is a Hindu Vaishnava holiday celebrated on the 9th day of Chaitra. It is celebrated in order to observe Lord Ramas birthday, a divine figure in Hinduism. Lord Ramas worship places are being decorated. This is why devoted followers gather together to listen on the Ramayana readings.
Hindus present Kalyanotsayam, a marriage encounter with small murtis of Rama and Sita. The divine being is brought to a procession on the streets at the end of the day. Other highlights include the Kalyanam, a ceremonial wedding by priests and the Panakam, the preparation of a sweet drink along with pepper and jaggery.
During this festival, the locals restrict themselves and practice a specific diet. They also worship Sita (Rama’s wife), Lakshman (Rama’s brother) and Hanuman (a devotee of Ram and army leader).
Janamastmi (known as Krishnastami or Gokulastami) commemorates the holi festival birthday of Lord Krishna (the eighth avatar) on the 8th day of Bhadra. The eating of Prasad attracts 50,000 people. It is celebrated in two days. The first day is Krishnashtami and the second day is Kalastami. Janamastmi is said to be discovered by Sri Krishna to Yudhishthira.
People avoid drinking water as a way to fast, and spend most of the day reading, reciting and singing divine leela during the evenings. Children are adorned like Lord Krishna and Radhika (his spiritual beloved). Krishna’s life is performed and arti (the Lord’s birth hour). There is also the Dahi-Handi ceremony for young men and boys. It is a contest of building a pyramid as it reaches the pot in a height of 20 to 40 feet. The prize money is distributed amongst the participants. This ceremony shows the love of milk and butter of Lord Krishna.
Dashara commemorates the victory of Rama over Ravana. It is celebrated as a big fair related to water and the rivers. Ganga Dashara and Ganga Dhara vary from city to city with regard to history and geography.
The Supreme Soul Shiva is worshipped together with the divinity of the basic necessities of life. Ganga Dashara is all about the purification of soul and its elements. It is said to be the meeting of rivers of Knowledge along with the Ocean of Knowledge towards the joining together every 5000 years of the Kalpas.
Naga Panchami is celebrated on the 5th day on the bright half of Sharavan. Song, music and dances are being enjoyed in this festival. This festival is for the serpent gods. Snake worship is involved in Hindu stories and fables. People find snakes in holes and visit them, offering milk and bananas. The serpent is believed to be immortal and eternal by the Hindus. Temples are gaily decorated and stands still in honor of the snakes.
Snake worshipping is common along the Indian Peninsula in the north. Snake charmers visit houses while carrying cobras in baskets during Maharashtra. People ask for clothing and alms. In other places like Kerala, people offer stones or metals to the serpent Ananta. Hence, Punjab celebrates Naga Panchami in September to October. Snake dough is presented around the village, where in, each house offers flour and butter. These snakes are buried after the ceremony.
Dipavali (row of lights) is the festival of lights. Ghaziabad people would light up candles in their houses. It is a New Year celebration in Jainism, Hinduism and Sikhism. It is celebrated from October to November (Kartik).
Lights from candles, earthen and electric lamps illuminate the streets. The practice is believed to bring in prosperity and wealth. It must be celebrated with the spirit of a unified people.
Shivratri commemorates the Lord Shiva’s birthday on the 13th day of Phalguna. It is a major festival where people decorate their temples and offer flowers. Devotees sing bhajans and recite Sanskrit verses in honor of Shiva. People fast and offer prayers during the morning and the evening.