Kolkata, also known as the 'City of Joy', is famous for its vibrant culture and rich history. The city celebrates a multitude of festivals throughout the year, reflecting the diversity and traditions of its people. From grand processions to colorful street performances, Kolkata's festivals are a sight to behold. In this article, we will take you through a calendar of celebrations that take place in Kolkata.
- Durga Puja: Durga Puja is undoubtedly the biggest and most important festival in Kolkata. This festival, which usually takes place in September or October, is a celebration of the Hindu goddess Durga's victory over the demon Mahishasura. During this festival, the city comes alive with pandals (elaborate structures) featuring beautifully crafted idols of the goddess and her family. The streets are packed with people, and the air is filled with the sound of dhak (drums) and the fragrance of incense.
- Diwali: Diwali, the festival of lights, is another major festival celebrated in Kolkata. During this festival, which usually falls in October or November, people decorate their homes with lights and diyas (lamps), and burst firecrackers. The city's markets are packed with shoppers buying sweets and gifts, and there are often community events and firework displays.
- Christmas: Kolkata's Christian community celebrates Christmas with great enthusiasm, with the Park Street area being the hub of the celebrations. The streets are adorned with lights, and there are numerous events and concerts held in the area, including the famous Park Street Christmas Carnival.
- Holi: Holi, the festival of colors, is celebrated in Kolkata with great fervor. People come out onto the streets to play with colored powder and water, and there are often musical events and street performances.
- Poila Boishakh: Poila Boishakh, the Bengali New Year, is celebrated in mid-April with much fanfare in Kolkata. The day begins with a traditional breakfast of panta bhat (fermented rice) and ilish mach (hilsa fish), and there are cultural events and processions throughout the day.
- Eid-ul-Fitr: Kolkata's Muslim community celebrates Eid-ul-Fitr, the festival marking the end of Ramadan, with great zeal. People dress in new clothes and visit friends and family, and there are often street fairs and food stalls serving traditional delicacies.
- Rath Yatra: The Rath Yatra, or chariot festival, is a major event for Kolkata's Jagannath Temple. The festival, which takes place in June or July, involves the procession of the deities Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra through the streets of Kolkata. The procession is accompanied by music and dance, and draws huge crowds.
- Independence Day: India's Independence Day, on August 15th, is celebrated across the country, and Kolkata is no exception. There are often parades and cultural events, and people come out to hoist the national flag and sing patriotic songs.
- Republic Day: India's Republic Day, on January 26th, is also celebrated in Kolkata. There are often parades and cultural events, and people come out to hoist the national flag and sing patriotic songs.
In conclusion, Kolkata's festivals are a reflection of the city's rich history and diverse culture. Whether it's Durga Puja, Diwali, or Christmas, there is always something to celebrate in Kolkata. So, if you're planning a visit to the city, be sure to check out the calendar of celebrations and immerse yourself in the vibrant and colorful festivities.