Festivals in Gujarat symbolise people's cultural, social and religious
aspirations. They help people to live a fuller and better life, remove
monotony and provide healthy recreation. They promote unity, fellow-feeling,
self-discipline and austerity.
Navarathri is the most colourful festival of Gujarat.
The entire period between June and October, when most of the countryside
is engaged in agriculture,
the festivals celebrated are mostly days of
austerity, penance and fasting. The period includes the Gauri Puja, the
Janmashtami, the Nag Panchami the Paryushan and the Ganesha Chaturthi.
Many of Gujarat's festivals are mostly celebrated by women.
Gauri puja is observed by young, unmarried girls, who fast and pray for
getting 'suitable husbands'. The Savitri Vrata is observed by married
women. They worship the banyan tree and offer thanks for their happy married
life. Gujarat also celebrates festivals like Ramnavami, Sivaratri
and Mahavir Jayanyti.
Muslims in Gujarat celebrate their festivals, such as
the Moharrum, the prophet's day and the Id days. Similarly Parsis
celebrate their new year day Pateti. Christmas, New year and
Easter are observed by the Christians.