Posts filled under #holidays

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An extract on #holidays

States have local festivals depending on prevalent religious and linguistic demographics. Popular religious festivals include the Sikh festivals like Guru Nanak Jayanti and Vaisakhi; Hindu festivals of Makar Sankranti, Maha Shivratri, Janmashtami, Saraswati Puja, Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Raksha Bandhan, Holi, Hartalika Teej, Durga Puja, Dussehra; Islamic festivals of Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Milad un-Nabi, Muharram Buddhist festivals like Buddha Jayanti and Losar and Christian festivals of Christmas and days of observances such as Good Friday are observed throughout India.

Hindus celebrate a number of festivals all through the year. Hindu festivals have one or more of religious, mythological and seasonal significance. The observance of the festival, the symbolisms used and attached, and the style and intensity of celebration varies from region to region within the country. A list of the more popular festivals is given below:- For dates see:

Note: The Parsis in India use a Shahenshahi calendar, unlike the Iranians who use a Kadmi calendar. The North American and European Parsis have adapted their own version of the Fasli calendar. This is however looked down upon by a lot of the Parsis in North America, who continue to use the Shahenshai calendar. These differences cause changes in the dates of the holidays. For example, the Zoroastrian New Year falls in the spring for the Iranians but in the summer for the Parsis.

In addition to the official holidays, many religious, ethnic, and other traditional holidays populate the calendar, as well as observances proclaimed by officials and lighter celebrations. These are rarely observed by Central government and businesses

While having so many Government Holidays kept in line with the idea of peaceful co-existence of all religions, there have been demands from various public bodies that the system of a multitude of religious holidays is hampering economic activities to a great extent. The past two Central Govt. Pay Commissions [1] have recommended the abolition of all Central Govt. Holidays on religious festivals, and instead, substitute with three national Holidays, i.e., Independence Day (15 August), Republic Day (26 January) and Gandhi Jayanti (2 October). It was also recommended to increase the amount of existing Restricted Holidays (Optional Holidays) depending on one's religious persuasion from existing two to eight. The rationale being, 8 holidays can more than cater for the festivals of any particular religion. So there is no point in having more than these many number of holidays, since religion does not warrant a Hindu to celebrate Eid or a Muslim to celebrate Diwali. With the proposed system, however, it was left to the individual to choose which 8 Holidays to celebrate, irrespective of his religious belief. However, this recommendation has not been accepted by the Govt. of India, fearing a loss of popularity, and thus Indian Govt. continues with an unusually large number of religious holidays as compared to most other countries.