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The culture of a country is reflected through the festivals that are celebrated there. With many religions and diverse cultures in different states, there are differences in the way the same festival is celebrated in different regions as well. We are going to discuss the festivals of Karnataka today. This land of rich heritage and a home to many royal dynasties, Karnataka observes many festivals throughout the year. See what are those festivals through this post of ours.
1. Ganesha Chaturthi
A festival observed for ten days, it starts with the Shukla Paksha Chaturthi in Shravana month and ends on the Chaturdashi. Clay idols of Lord Ganesha are established in houses and temples on the first day. These idols are then immersed in water on the tenth day of the festival. People carrying the idol of Ganesha in large processions on the tenth day are worth watching. With devotional songs of Lord Ganesha playing, the devotees go dancing on the beat of the music to immerse the idols in temples. Prana Pratishtha, Shodashopchara, Uttara Puja and Ganpati Visarjan are the main rituals.
2. The Hampi Festival
Hampi, located in central Karnataka, is one among the world heritage sites. With dance, art, music, puppet shows and fireworks etc., Hampi gets studded with fun everywhere on the birth anniversary of the ancient poet Purandaradasa. With different art forms displayed at one place, this festival is an eye-catcher. Taking place in either October or November, this festival is also known as Vijaya Utsav and goes on for a period of three days.
3. Gowri Festival
A festival celebrated on the day before Ganesha Chaturthi, this festival is observed in honour of Goddess Gowri, the mother of Lord Ganesha. It is said that the Goddess visits her parents' house on this day and Lord Ganesha goes to take her back home, the next day (on Ganesha Chaturthi). Women offer prayers to an idol of turmeric of the Goddess.
The ritual of Bagina and Habadda are performed. A Bagina is a set of kumkum, black beads and bangles, comb, mirror, rice, dal, coconut etc. which is offered to the Goddess. Habadda is a gift that the woman's family presents to her on this day.
4. Karaga Festival
This festival is dedicated to Goddess Shakti. According to a story, the Goddess had once created some soldiers who helped her kill the demon Tripurasura. The Goddess, upon the request of the demons, had promised that she would come to visit them every year on the first full moon of Chaitra. So the festival falls in the month of March-April. A grand procession takes place on the full moon day and the festival continues for nine days.
5. Pattadakal Dance Festival
The Pattadakal village is also one of the world heritage sites located in Karnataka. It was the second capital of the Chalukyas and is known for its temples built in excellent infrastructure. The Puttadakal festival is observed to honour all the temples located in Karnataka. The festival takes place in January. It is a dance festival where dancers from across the country come to perform; a craft mela is also organised with it.
6. Mahamastakabhisheka Festival
Mahamastakabhisheka refers to the anointment of the idols of Jain deities. One of the most popular among these is that of Bahubali Gomateshwara statue located at Shravanabelagola in Karnataka. The statue is 17.3736 metres tall and the festival happens once in 12 years. The statue is given a bath with various sacred liquids and pastes. Monks/Priests have to climb the Vindhyagiri hills in order to make the offering on such big a statue.
Ugadi marks the new year as per the calendars followed in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. It falls in April. According to the common belief, Lord Brahma had created the world on this day. The day is considered highly auspicious for starting any new venture. A special dish called Ugadi Pachadi or Bevu Bella is prepared.
Dussehra is a festival which is hugely celebrated not just in Karnataka but the entire country. It marks the victory of Lord Ram and the defeat of Ravana thus symbolising the victory of good over evil. Dussehra is known as Dasara in Karnataka and is one of the most popular festivals celebrated here. It falls on the next day after the completion of Navratri or twenty days before Diwali. While fairs are organised, the burning of Ravana in the evening is the major attraction of the day.