Delhi is a land of festivals. Some
festivals celebrated in Delhi are Lohri, Republic Day,
Beating the Retreat, Basant Panchami, Holi, Raksha
Bandhan, Gandhi Jayanti, Diwali and Christmas.
Lohri, the climax of winter is celebrated with
bonfires and singing.
Republic day Parade is held at Raj Path on 26th
January. It is a spectacular fly past and military
march past, with colourful pageants and tableaux
from every state, dances and music. It is possible
to see the full dress preview free, usually two
days in advance. The Republic Day celebrations are
held for a week
which all the Government buildings are illuminated.
Beating the Retreat
Beating the Retreat function is celebrated on 29th
January at Vijay Chowk. On this day, there is a stirring
display by the armed forces bands and it also marks the
end of the Republic Day Celebration.
Martyr’s Day marks the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s
death. Martyr’s Day is celebrated on 30th January. The
devotional bhajans are sung and Guard of Honour is held
at Raj Ghat.
Basant Panchami celebrates the first day of spring. The
Mughal Gardens are opened to the public for a month.
Amir Khusraw’s Birth Anniversary
Amir Khusraw’s Birth Anniversary, is a fair held in
Nizamuddin which is celebrated with prayers and qawwali
singing at his tomb.
The first full moon night in May Marks the birth of the
Buddha and prayer meeting are held at Ladakh Buddha
Vihara, Ring Road and Buddha Vihara, Mandir Marg.
Raksha Bandhan (literally meaning protection bond) is
celebrated symbolizing the bond between brother and
sister. Sisters say special prayers for the long life of
their brothers and tie ornamental string around their
brother's wrist to remind them of the special bond and
obligation to protect and care for their sisters.
Janmashtami is observed as the birth anniversary of the
Hindu god Krishna. Special Puja is held at the Lakshmi
Narayan Mandir, Delhi.
Holi, the festival of colours, marks the climax of
spring. People throw coloured powder and water at
Teej, the rural festival of swings, celebrates the
coming of the rains. It is also a great kite
Independence Day is celebrated on
15th August. There is an impressive flag hoisting
ceremony at the Red Fort on the Independence Day.
Phoolwalon ki Sair
Phoolwalon ki Sair or the Festival of Flower Vendors,
dates back to Mughal times and symbolizes communal
Gandhi Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi
is celebrated on 2nd October. There is devotional
singing at Raj Ghat.
Dasara celebrations are held for 10 nights and there are
over 200 Ramlila performances all over the city. These
recount the Ramayana story. The Ramlila Ballet at Delhi
Gate is performed for a month and is the most
spectacular rendering. The effigy of the demon king
Ravana is burnt on the 9th night of Dasara in every
large public open space and is a noisy and flamboyant
affair signifying the triumph of good over evil.
Children’s Day is celebrated on 14th November as the
Jawaharlal Nehru’s Birth Anniversary. Bal Mela or the
Children’s Fair is held at India Gate. Special
programmes are held at the Dolls Museum, Bal Bhavan and
Teen Murti Bhavan.
Diwali is the festival of lights and fireworks. It is a
pretty and noisy affair similar to Christmas with the
lighting of the earthen lamps, candles and fireworks
displays. People usually send one another Diwali cards.
Innumerable Diwali melas (fairs) are also held.
Christmas is celebrated on 25th December. Privately a
low key affair, but with special Christmas Eve
entertainments at all major hotels and restaurants,
midnight mass and services at all churches.
New Year’s Eve
31st December is celebrated as the New Year's Eve. New
Year’s Eve is widely celebrated in all hotels and
restaurants offering special fare and entertainment with
prices raging from expensive to exorbitant.