Major Christian Festivals like Christmas and Easter, Muslim festivals and Sikh festivals

Christian Festivals

Christmas : Christmas is celebrated on December 25 to mark the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is a time of family gatherings and holiday meals. A time for Santa, stars, and singing carolers. Christmas trees are made by people to celebrate Christmas.

Easter : The festival of Easter is celebrated to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ after crucifixion. This is one of the holiest Christian festivals. In Western Christianity, Easter always falls on a Sunday from March 22 to April 25 inclusive. In Eastern Christianity, preparations begin with Great Lent. Lent is the forty-six day period just prior to Easter Sunday. Easter is a time of chocolate bunnies, marshmallow chicks, and colored eggs.

Muslim Festivals

Bakr-Id : Bakr-Id is celebrated from the tenth to the twelfth day in the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah. Bakr-Id is celebrated all over India with much fervour, as it is in the rest of Islamic world. Pilgrims to the Mount of Mina make animal sacrifices as part of the pilgrimage rituals every year. The Muslims all over the world celebrate Bakr-Id in a similar fashion. Men, women, and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing and perform the Eid prayer in any mosque.

Eid ul-Fitr : Eid ul-Fitr often abbreviated as simply Eid, is an Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. Eid ul-Fitr is a joyous occasion with important religious significance, celebrating of the achievement of enhanced piety. On the day of the celebration, a typical Muslim family is awake very early and then after praying the first normal everyday prayer, is required to eat in a small quantity, symbolizing the end of Ramadan. They then attend special congregational prayers held only for this occasion in mosques, in large open areas, stadiums or arenas.

Muharram : Muharram, or the sacred month, marks the beginning of the Muslim year. Muharram is observed by the Shia community of Muslims in commemoration of the martyrdom of Prophet Mohammed's grandson, Imam Hussain, who was killed in the Battle of Karbala in AD 680. Muharram is so called because it was unlawful to fight during this month. Some Muslims fast during these days but the Shi'a Muslims do not fast as they consider fasting a sign of happiness.

Sikh Festivals

Guru Nanak Jayanti : Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith, was born in the month of Kartik (October/November), and his birthday is known as Guru Nanak Jayanti. Free sweets and langar or community lunches are also offered to everyone irrespective of religious faith. Men, women, and children, participate in this karseva as service to the community, cook food and distribute it in the 'Guru ka Langar', with the traditional 'Karah Prasad'.

Holla Mohalla : Hola Mohalla or simply Hola is a Sikh festival that takes place on the first of the lunar month of Chet which usually falls in March. It is celebrated over three days and retains the character of fun and enjoyment that Holi has always embodied. Kirtans are sung and people perform kar seva. The prasad is consecrated and everyone partakes of it. After the
service, community lunch is served at the common hall.

Lohri : Lohri is a festival connected with the solar year. The focus of Lohri is on the bonfire. Gathering around the bonfire people sing and dance and friends and relatives exchange greetings. Also people offer sweets, crisp rice and popcorn to the flames. An extremely auspicious day, Lohri marks the sun's entry in to the 'Makar Rashi' (northern hemisphere).