- Festivals

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The Jammu & Kashmir Festivals successfully satisfies the diversity of many Indian cultures. To the visitors these festivals reflect the true religious beauty of this state. The state of Jammu & Kashmir can be divided into three zones: 1) Jammu which thrives with Hindu Population, 2) Kashmir is full of Muslims and 3) Ladakh houses many Buddhist monasteries. The festivals are...

Tulip Festival

The festival of flowers is one of the most awaited of all the festivals. Though several flower festivals are held in different regions of India but the Tulip festival of Jammu & Kashmir is the most popular among people. With Srinagar having the Asia’s largest tulips, you can explore some of the fascinating and beautiful varieties of tulips.

Khir Bhawani Festival

Jammu & Kashmir is known as the heaven on the earth. The pictorial valley is studded with exotic flowerbeds and alluring glaciers displays a homogenous culture. In the valley, with the presence of a huge number of Muslims and Hindus, the fairs and fiestas in Jammu & Kashmir are different in spirit, colour and their environment. The festival of Khir Bhawani in Srinagar is a chief Hindu fiesta organized at the Temple of Khir Bhawani. This temple is devoted to deity Ragnya Devi and is situated in the Tulla Mulla village, at a distance of nearly 27 kms away from Srinagar.

Herath (Shivaratri)

An interesting fact about Kashmiri Pandit festivals, needing investigation, is that some of these are celebrated a day ahead of their celebration by Hindus in other parts of the country. Shivaratri, regarded as the most important festival of the community, for instance, is celebrated by them on trayodashi or the thirteenth of the dark half of the month of Phalguna (February–March) and not on chaturdashi or the fourteenth as in the rest of the country. The reason for it is that this long drawn festival that is celebrated for one full fortnight as an elaborate ritual is associated with the appearance of Bhairava (Shiva) as a jwala-linga or a linga of flame. Called ‘Herath’ in Kashmiri, a word derived from the Sanskrit ‘Hararatri’ the ‘Night of Hara’ (another name of Shiva), it has been described as Bhairavotsava in Tantric texts as on this occasion Bhairava and Bhairavi, His Shakti or cosmic energy, are propitiated through Tantric worship.

Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha

Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha are the two most prominent Muslim festivals that are celebrated in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. To experience the ultimate Muslim festivities of Eid you have to visit the Kashmir Valley where the majority population is of Muslims. Jammu also celebrates Eid with zeal but Kashmiri Eid is something else. Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated after a month long fasting of Ramadan or Ramzan. On the day of Eid Muslims offer a six time namaz prayer instead of a five time namaz prayer. It is the most important day of the year for Muslims and they celebrate this day by feasting, exchanging gifts and wearing new clothes. Eid-ul-Azha is the Bakri Eid which celebrates the concept of kurbani that is sacrifice. A goat is sacrificed in every Muslim household on this day. In some places camel and sheep are also sacrificed.

 

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