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India is the land of agriculture, and food has been part of almost all celebrations. So, come and experience the harvest festivals of spring throughout the country.

Spring is here, and it’s slowly but steadily making its way into the peak summer season in India. As an agriculture-heavy economy, our focus on its producers, i.e. farmers and produce is immense. Even traditionally, regions and cultures across India celebrate harvests — Bihu in Assam, Lohri and Baisakhi in Punjab, or Pongal in Tamil Nadu.

With the vast landscape and plethora of crops grown in the country, there’s no wonder that the harvest festivals come time and again. Some celebrate the kharif crops, while others are dedicated to rabi crops and pray for the fertility of the soil, linked to the prosperity of human life and families. So, as Baisakhi arrives on April 14, we take a look at some of the harvest festivals that happen across India in these months, along with the celebration of new beginnings and new years.

Harvest festivals in the month of March/April across India



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Baisakhi, which arrives in April every year, is celebrated to mark the onset of spring in India. It is celebrated in North India, especially in Punjab, and kadha prasad (made with sugar, wheat flour, ghee) is the traditional offering distributed among people and made on this special occasion. People gather at gurudwaras for langar, celebrate with song, dance and much fervour.

Gudi Padwa


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Traditionally celebrated in Maharashtra, Gudi Padwa marks the Marathi new year and the first day of spring, i.e. Chaitra. On the day of the festival, people wake up early, clean their homes, shower and decorate their home’s entrance with rangoli. A Gudi is made using fresh cloth and a long bamboo stick, about five feet.

Like any other festival, Gudi Padwa, too, is incomplete without food, and on this day, a delicious spread of puran poli, shrikhand and more is prepared to be enjoyed with loved ones. This is also one of the harvest festivals as Gudi Padwa signifies the end of the rabi crop season, indicating that mangoes and other fruits have been ripened and it’s time for kharif crops to come in.



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Like Gudi Padwa, Ugadi marks the first day of the month of Chaitra and is the beginning of the new year. According to Hindu mythology, this is the day that Brahma created the universe, and thus celebrates new beginnings.

The preparations begin days in advance, usually, and on the day of Ugadi, people start the day with an oil bath, after which they wear new, traditional clothes. After cleaning their home and offering prayers, the front door of homes is decorated with rangoli (kolam) made using red earth, rice, flowers and more. Ugadi pachadi (a chutney made using six ingredients and having all the flavours – sweet, spicy, bitter, salty, umami, sour) is made, along with delicacies such as payasam, mysore pak and more.


Vishu marks the new year in Kerala and is celebrated alongside Gudi Padwa and Ugadi. On the morning of the festival, people see colourful auspicious items the first thing in the morning. These include cucumber, coconut, rice, areca nuts, betel leaves, gold ornaments, coins and fruits, surrounding a lit metal lamp that’s in the centre. These items are then placed in front of a Vishnu (Krishna) idol to worship. The yellow flower, konna, is also used in the celebrations.

The festivities also include a Vishu Sadhya, which includes delicious dishes such as sambhar, rice, papad, chutneys and more, and is a balance of all flavours.

Bohag Bihu

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Bohag Bihu, also called Rongali Bihu, is celebrated at the onset of spring and is one of the many harvest festivals celebrated around this time of the year. The festival marks the advent of seeding time and marks the advent of the Assamese New Year. The festival is celebrated over seven days, each day having a different tradition. Dance and song are the main features of this Bihu, which includes the popular Bihu folk dance. Dishes such as pithas and larus are eaten and functions are conducted across Assam to mark spring and bring in joy.


Known for its celebrations using colour and water, Holi is a festival that has found mention in many international texts and publications, too. The festival, which marks the victory of good over evil, celebrates the onset of spring and is celebrated with much fervour across India.



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Puthandu is the Tamil new year, celebrated alongside Gudi Padwa, Ugadi and Vishu. The homes are decorated with kolam (rangoli), at the centre of which is a kuthuvillaku (lamp) to ward off the darkness in life. A tray of auspicious items, including jackfruit, bananas, silver, gold ornaments et cetera, is placed in the prayer room, to pray for a healthy, happy life. The fodos eaten on this day include varusha pirappu mangai pachadi, which, like the ugadi pachadi, is an amalgamation of all flavours.

The post Celebrate spring with Baisakhi and 6 other harvest festivals in India appeared first on Lifestyle Asia India.