A foodie’s guide to Indian festivals

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A foodie's guide to Indian festivals 1Festivals are an integral part of our custom, culture and tradition. Every festival depicts a message or a lesson to be learned pertaining to our traditional values, mythology, culture and even historical events .The enthusiasm of celebration and high spirits of zeal is carried all over the festive season with some delectable festival dishes. There is a huge variety of dishes prepared on almost all popular Indian festivals. Numerous tempting delicacies are prepared in different regions of India on festive occasions.

Here’s a foodie’s guide through Indian festivals. We plan to take you on a delicious and satisfying culinary journey from January to December.

Makar Sankranti

It is a festival to mark the beginning of the transition of the Sun into the zodiac sign of Makara rashi (Capricorn) on its celestial path. It is a harvest festival. From our food lenses, it is a festival to relish some til k ladoos, til poli and khichdi

The Lohri of North India coincides with Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Makar Sankranti in Bengal, Magha Bihu in Assam, Tai Pongal in Kerala, all celebrated on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti.

ActivityDeck- Til Ke LadooDuring Lahori, families prepare lip smacking makke di rotisarson da sagrevari and popcorn (Corn cooked in fire).

South Indians savor a traditional Tamil food item pongal in various forms and flavors: rava pongal, khara pongal, puri pongal.
ActivityDeck- Makke di roti


Holi is a festival of colours. People play with colors in the morning and enjoy delicacies in the day. The celebration with colors is a big festival and is incomplete without delicious  gujiya, dahi vada, kesar chawal, puran poli, bengal gram dal toffee and “bhang”.
ActivityDeck- Holi food


Onam is celebrated with gaiety and fervor over 10 days. First day is called “Atham” and the end day is called “Onam”. It is incomplete without rice puttu, palada pradhaman, mor kuzhambu, sambhar, rasam, pulisseri, olan, naranga curry, avial, kaalan, papadum, tharan, banana, yogurt.

ActivityDeck- Onam food


Bakriid or Id-ul-Zuha is one of the most celebrated festivals among Muslims all over the world. It is a day of sacrifice for the Muslims. On this day, Muslims around the world sacrifice an animal on the occasion of this festival to showcase their faith and sincerity towards God. It is celebrated by relishing haleem, sevaiyyan, biryani , sufi malpua, nawabi biryani, harissa, mutton korma.
ActivityDeck- Eif food

Raksha Bandhan

The festival is celebrated between brother and sister all over the country to mark the strong bond. The sister ties rakhi on the wrist of his brother and the brother promises to protect her. Sweets like ghevar, gulab jamun, sandesh , malpua, khoya barfee are made and savoured by all. Kadhi and banana cutlets are prepared symbolizing our rich cultural tradition and customs.
ActivityDeck- Raksha bandhan food


It is a festival for the birthday celebration of Lord Krishna. It is believed Krishna jee was fond of milk and milk products. A lot of cuisines are prepared with milk as its primary ingredient. gopalkala, kheer, singhare ki poori, banana fritters, bengali kolar bora are the main Janmashtami delicacies.
ActivityDeck- Janmastami food


It is believed Ramadan is a sacred month where it is believed that Allah is constantly testing his creation and giving humanity the opportunity to achieve eternal Bliss. Fasting is considerd to be a method for complete purification of body and soul haleem, shahi mutton korma, chicken tandoori are prepared in household after the fasting hours.
ActivityDeck- Ramdan food

Ganesh Chaturthi

The idol of the Lord Ganesh is worshipped for 10 days and on the eleventh day it is immersed in river or sea amidst a huge procession. Ganesh Chaturthi is the 1st day. Lots of sweets are prepared during these 10 days like besan laddoo, motichoor laddoo, aata laddoo, panjeeri, kaju barfi.Modak” is the hallmark of this festival.
ActivityDeck- Modak


The goddesses are worshipped for 9 days and hence the name, navratri. Aaloo methi, poori, coconut chutney, sooji ka halwa, chana, kheer, kottu ke pakore, badam ka halwa, dal stuffed paratha, kaddu ki sabjee, kachche kele kofte are savored all these 9 days. Bengali people celebrate the last four days as durga puja or Kali pooja and relish chicken and fish curries.
ActivityDeck- Navratri food


Dussehra is celebrated to mark the importance of good over evil. This is celebrated just after navratri. Sonapatti is exchanged among people. Sone ki dal or chane ki daal, groundnut halwa, rice flake laddoo, bhakar vadi, brown peas sundal, besan rava laddoo are the delicacies prepared on this day.
ActivityDeck- Dussera food


Diwali is the biggest festivals of Hindus. The festival is celebrated by young and old, rich and poor, throughout the country to dispel darkness and light up their lives.It is celebrated in full swing across country. kesar kaju barfi, doodh pak, laddu, mixture , gulab jamun, chum-chum , dal-samosa, gulkand peda are prepared by families.”Gujiya” is the hallmark of this festival.
ActivityDeck- Diwali food


Christmas was initially celebrated by Christians. It is now celebrated by people across India. Christmas carols are sung, Christmas trees are decorated, cakes, chocolates, Christmas fudge, cashew cookies , almond biscuits are prepared.
ActivityDeck- Christmas Food

Recipes are an inherent part of festivals in India but so are the many beautiful rituals that families and communities organize. And a key aspect of these rituals is the recital of ancient prayers that evoke a feeling of spirituality and help us feel protected in times of need. You can easily access lyrics and more content related to Hanuman Chalisa here. Additionally you can also check out VedSutra website for other chalisas and more.

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