Indian Festivals are celebrated by varied cultures and through their special rituals add to the colours of Indian Heritage. Some festivals welcome the seasons of the year, the harvest, the rains, or the full moon. Others celebrate religious occasions, the birthdays of saints and gurus (revered teachers), or the advent of the New Year. A number of these festivals are common to most parts of India. However, they may be called by different names in various parts of the country or may be celebrated in a different fashion

June (Jyeshtha/Ashada):

India is a fascinating land of festivals where each festival is marked with a deep philosophical implication and presents an unmatched diction to the splendor of that particular carnival. Every month of the year sees a number of festivals and fairs dedicated to seasons, divine entities as well as eminent personalities. Similarly the scorching month of June that coincides with the Hindu months of Jyeshtha and Ashada sees a number of fairs and festivals.

Although the number of festivals celebrated in June are not as many as the other months, there are still some very important festivals and fairs that are celebrated in this month. June also brings the most important festival of Muslims- Id-ul-Fitr. Id or Eid marks the last day of the month of Ramzan when people break their 30 days long fasting period with sumptuous meals and feasts. Eid also brings Jamat-ul-Vida or the last Jumma of Ramadan (Ramzan). Muslims pray together on this day and seek divine blessings from Allah.

June holds tremendous religious significance for the Hindus as well. Mahesh Navami, a festivals dedicated to Lord Shiva who is also referred to as Mahesh or Maheshwar is celebrated at the beginning of June this year. It's celebrated with a lot of devotion by Hindus, specifically by the Maheshwari community who are devout followers and believers of Lord Shiva. Amarnath Yatra, one of the most important pilgrimages of the Hindus, commences at the end of June this year. It is considered the largest and holiest pilgrimage, where millions of Hindus from all over the world trek to the Holy Shrine of Lord Shiva housed in the iced -caves of Southern Himalayas in the beautiful state of Jammu and Kashmir. Mithuna Sankranti, Nirjala Ekadashi are the other two Hindu festivals observed in the month of June.

The Sikhs observe the Punya Tithi of Guru Arjan Dev in this month. It is observed as the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Guru of the Sikhs. It is a solemn occasions marked with prayers and worship.

Besides the spiritual ones, several fairs and melas will also be organized in different states and towns of India to celebrate the changing season. Haldighati Festival of Rajasthan fills the air with songs describing the courage of Rana Pratap. Stalls are set up in various cities selling all kinds of Rajasthani handicrafts and ethnic ornaments. Summer Festival is also celebrated in Tamil Nadu with great fervour and delight. Boat races, cultural programmes, adventure sports, flower and fruit shows are some of the features of this unique celebration.

June is also a very significant month for the inhabitants of Goa. The Memorable Day of Goa is celebrated with immense zeal as it marks the day Goa attained freedom from the long lasting rule of the Portuguese all those years ago. Sao Joao Feast of St. John the Baptist is another very important festival in June that is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and zeal by Christians in Goa.

The United Nations World Environment Day is another very important day observed in June. It's observed world wide to raise awareness and concerns on issues related to global warming and environmental hazards. June holds tremendous significance for all fathers and father figures over the globe. The 3rd Sunday of June is observed as Fathers' Day worldwide and commemorates the unconditional love and sacrifices of a father. It is an opportunity for children to thank and appreciate their fathers.

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