Rakhi or Raksha Bhandan is a festival, celebrated to honor the emotional bond between brother and sister. Sister ties a holy thread around her brother's wrist and takes a commitment from her brother that he will always be there beside her in hour of need. This thread, which vibrates with sisterly love and virtuous sentiments, is rightly called the 'Rakhi'. A "bond of protection".
This hugely popular festival falls on the 10 th day of the waxing moon during the Hindu month of Ashvin (around September or October). There is a fascinating array of myths and legends associated with Dussehra. On this day, Rama (the god-king and the hero of the great Hindu epic Ramayana ) vanquished the evil Ravana – the 10-headed demon-king of Lanka who had abducted Rama's wife Sita.
Deepawali or the Festival of Lights is perhaps the most popular of all Hindu festivals. Religious fervour paralleled with ample fun and merry-making marks the festival. Deepawali is celebrated in most parts of the country with equal enthusiasm and fervour. Like most festivals, Diwali, as it is more popularly known, comes with its own bagful of mythological and historical references.
Holi is celebrated at a time of the year when everyone's had enough of the chilly winter and looks forward to the warmth of the sun. Trees get fresh new leaves that are at their glossiest best, and flowers begin to pop open and claim their share of fun in the sun. Even grandmothers abandon their knitting for the glorious sunny days. They know that it's time to give in to good cheer, for the harsh Indian summers are just round the corner.
The azure sky with fluffy white clouds and a nip in the air marks the advent of autumn. It is time for Bengal's most popular festival – Durga Puja or the worship of the Goddess Durga. Actually the festival is celebrated twice a year – once in the month of March or April (Basant), and again in the month of September or October (Ashwin), during the moonlit fortnight. On both occasions, the puja is a nine-day affair with the last day coinciding with Rama Navmi and Dussehra respectively. The Mother Goddess is venerated in one form or the other all over India, though she is most popular among the Bengalis.