Hyderabad has a rich tradition and culture. All major festivals are celebrated with much gusto in the city. Some festivals are celebrated all over India while others are specific to only Hyderabad. The festivals are celebrated with much splendor and joy by one and all irrespective of their caste and religion. Some of the famous festivals of the Hyderabad city are given below:
Deccan Festival is celebrated in Hyderabad on 25th February every year. This festival lasts five days. It reflects the culture of the Deccan and highlights Hyderabad’s culture, arts and crafts, and the famous lip smacking Nawabi cuisine. Many cultural programs are organized which include Ghazals, Qawalis, Poetry etc. typical of the Hyderabad city. It is a must see for every tourist visiting Hyderabad in the month of February. This exclusive festival is conducted by the Department of Tourism. This festival also includes Pearls and Bangles fair, exhibiting gorgeous creations of the famous radiant pearls and multi-hued bangles that are local specialties. There is also a Food Fair that offers delicious items exclusive of both Andhra and Hyderabadi cuisine.
This festival is celebrated to honor the Buddhist Heritage of Andhra Pradesh. The festival is celebrated in Nagarjuna Sagar and Hyderabad for three days from 2nd Friday of December every year. The festival provides an insight into the rich Buddhist heritage and takes you back in time almost 2000 years back, to a different world all together.
This harvest festival is celebrated for 3 days in mid January. The first day is Bhogi that is celebrated with utmost gaiety. The second day is Sankranti and it is believed that the Sun enters the Makara Rasi (the zodiac sign of Capricorn). Conventionally, this is considered to be an auspicious day. Many families arrange a doll show and invite their friends and give alms to the poor. The third day is Kanuma. The community being agrarian in majority acknowledges their gratitude to the animals that help them in their work. They decorate their bulls and conduct fun games like cockfights, bullfights and ram fights.
Moharrum is celebrated with much fervor and joy in Hyderabad, as the state has a significant Muslim population. Moharrum is observed by the Shia community of Muslims in honor of the martyrdom of Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, Imam Hussain, who was killed in a battle in 680 AD. The prophet’s son-in-law Ali and Ali’s elder son Hassan are also remembered during this period as they had suffered and died for honorable causes. Moharrum, or the sacred month, marks the beginning of the Muslim New Year. Muslims also celebrate Milad-un-Nabi in which numerous people assemble in the holy Mecca Masjid and at Dar-us-Salaam.
This native New Year comes soon after the celebration of ‘Holi’ in March – April. Spring is considered as the first season of this native New Year of Andhra. Ugadi is a festival celebrated throughout Andhra Pradesh state. The festival marks the New Year for Andhra Pradesh and is celebrated with much splendor and gaiety in Hyderabad.
The day when Lord Ganesha or Vinayak was born is celebrated as Vinayak Chaturthi. The festival is celebrated with pious devotion and passion throughout the country. Every year the largest Ganesha idol is set up at Khairatabad in Hyderabad. The idol sometimes reaches to a height of thirty feet. On the 11th day of celebration, processions from all through the state congregate at Hussain Sager Lake. The ten-day Ganesha festival winds up with the submerging of Ganesha idols in the lake.
The ‘festival of lights’ known as Diwali or Deepawali is celebrated all through the country with much passion and zest. The festival is celebrated to mark the returning of Lord Rama of the Hindu mythology to his city after a 14 year-long exile. People in Hyderabad worship the lord along with the Goddess of wealth Lakshmi. The most enthusiastic are the children who wait for the festival to explode crackers and decorate their houses with colorful festoons and streamers.