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Festivals in Andhra Pradesh

Deccan Festival / Hyderabad Festival Deccan Festival will be held at Qutub Shahi Tombs Hyderabad on Second Friday, Saturday & Sunday of April every year. This festival brings the choicest talent from the field of Music, Dance and Theatre. Ghazals, Mushairas, Qawwalis, Classical dances and Music. Reverberate in the air of Hyderabad. The Festival reflects the love the Hyderabad always had for art and Literature. The Deccan Festival essentially mirrors the glorious Qutub Shahi epoch.

Pearls & Bangles Fair This festival also includes Pearls and Bangles fair, displaying creations in lustrous pearls and multi-hued bangles that are local specialties, and a Food Fair, with items covering both Andhra and Hyderabadi cuisine. Cultural programs, food stalls, arts and craft shops etc. are well organized.

Lumbini Festival Lumbini festival is organized from the 2nd Friday to Sunday of December every year at Hyderabad and Nagarjunasagar to highlight and celebrate the 'Buddhist Heritage' of Andhra Pradesh.

Visaka Utsav 'Visakha Utsav' is organised by A.P. Tourism every year from the third Friday to Sunday of January. The Visakha Utsav is organised to bring together a kaleidoscope of brilliant hues . The festival comprises of a variety of cultural programmes, sports events, food fair and exhibitions, fashion shows, trekking etc.

Rayalaseema Food and Dance Festival Organised in October to highlight the arts and cuisine of Rasyalaseema area of Tirupati, Chitoor District.

Makara Sakranti Sakranti is an important festival for Telugus and people in rural Andhra look forward to this harvest festival, which has different attractions for different people. With crops harvested people have both money and leisure to make merry with. This is the festival of peasants. It is celebrated when the sun passes from Sagittarius to Capricorn & the transition is called Makara Sankranthi. A month before the festival the harvesting of crops begins. Gangireddula Vadu comes with a colourfully dressed pet bull. The bull sways its head, dances, sits and stands and does things in accordance with the rhythm of the music and commands of its master.

Mahasivarathri Mahasivarathri means the great night of Siva. It is believed that Lord Siva was born in the form of a lingam on the night of Krishna Chaturdasi (14th day of the dark fortnight). On this day after bath a lingam is placed in the mandapam. It is then worshipped with bel leaves (Aegle marmelos maaredu). In the evening the devotees take bath & go to the Siva temple & chant Siva's name continuously, listen to Siva's stories & remain awake the whole night & break their fast the next day.

Ugadi Ugadi is the Telugu New Year day. It is specially associated with Pacchadi (chutney) in telugu. The chutney is prepared with tender flowers of neem, jaggery or sugar & new tamarind. The whole family has to eat the chutney. The chutney is offered to the deity first and then eaten by the members of the family. The whole family wears new clothes. Around 3.00 p.m. a brahmin sits on the pail outside the front yard door & recites the panchangam. All the nearby residents gather to listen to him about the new year, rain fall, agriculture, prices, education, eclipses, and auspicious days for marriages, health and astrological forecasts for the individuals and the community based upon the planetary position. In the evening many competitions are held like bullock-cart races, physical duels, lifting of heavy weights, running races, card games and so on.

Vinayaka Chaturthi /Ganesh Chaturthi Ganesha Chaturthi is one of the most popular Hindu festivals. This is the birthday of Lord Ganesha. It is the day most sacred to Lord Ganesha and falls on the 4th day of the bright fortnight of 'Bhadrapada' (August - September). Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated throughout India, as well as by the devoted Hindus all across of the world.
History:- One day Parvathi, wife of Lord Siva made a boy with turmeric & breathed life into it. She then asked the boy to guard the door till she took her bath. The boy was instructed not to allow any one to enter. When Siva came and tried to open the door, the boy objected to it. In a fit of anger Siva severed the boy's head with his Trishul. When Parvathi came to know what had happened to the boy she began to weep. Seeing this Siva's heart melted and he promised to put back life into the boy. After a massive search Siva's disciples could find the head of an elephant to fix on the boy's body. From then on he was called Gajanan, the elephant-headed boy. From this day is celebrated as birth of Lord Ganesha. The idol of the Lord is worshipped for 10 days and on the eleventh day it is immersed in river or sea amidst a huge procession.

Pongal Pongal, a harvest festival, is celebrated from the 13th to the 15th of January. Pongal literally means "boiling over" and celebrates the bounteous crops in the fields. Pongal was originally a festival for the farming community, but today it has become one of South India's most popular festivals, and is widely celebrated in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.On the first day Pongal, a dish of rice and dal, is ceremoniously prepared and served. The second day is especially for worship of Lord Surya, and for the distribution of clothes and gifts. Worship of the cow marks the third day. Cattle are given a ceremonious bath, decorated and fed sweetmeats.

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