Traditional values and culture are attached to the festivals which make them more enjoyable. Festivals depict the human relationships and beliefs. Festivals aware present generation with our rich culture and tradition. To give the honour to religious occasions, people celebrate festivals. To welcome the season or New Year, there are some festivals also.
Mumbai celebrates Indian festivals and western celebrations. All communities and religions celebrate their festival with great enthusiasm. Though Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city, people welcome all festivals with great vigour. Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Christmas, Holi, Maha Shivratri, Navratri, Dussehra, Good Friday, Eid, Moharram, Durga Puja, etc. are some festivals that city celebrates.
Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most prominent festivals. Maharashtrians place an idol of the Lord Ganesha in the house for 1½, 3, 5, 7 or 11 days. After that, they immersed the idol in the ocean after a colourful parade. Diwali is celebrated as the last day of the year by Gujarati community. The next day is called as Gujarati New Year. However, the whole nation celebrates it with great fervour and vigour. Other Gujarati festivals are Holi, Dhuleti, Raksha Bandhan, Dusshehra and Navratri. Elephanta Festival, Kala Ghoda Festival, Mumbai International Film Festival and Banganga Festival are the prominent festivals of Mumbai.
Ganesh Chaturthi is the festival of Lord Ganesha and is celebrated as the birth anniversary. It is believed that Lord Ganesha is powerful to eliminate all obstacles. That’s why in every occasion and in the new start, he is worshipped. Mumbaikars celebrate this festival with great zeal and enthusiasm which comes in the months of August and September. Lord Ganesh is the patron saint of Maharashtra and there are more than 6000 idols are commissioned in Mumbai only during Ganesh Chaturthi.
After Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri is also celebrated with great enthusiasm in Mumbai. Traditional Navratri is performed with clap by taking steps on various tunes. On the tunes of the thundering drums, Dandiya Raas is performed with sticks. People of all ages take part in the performance with great fervour. Nowadays, the traditional instruments are taken over by remix songs and DJ.
Diwali is the festival celebrated with great joy by the whole country. This colourful and dazzling light festival has its unique feeling of the celebration than any other cities in India. On the moonless night of November month, the whole city dazzle in the colourful lights and lamps. On these days, Marine Drive shines so bright in the light of firecrackers.
Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) organise Elephanta Festival every year to promote tourism and culture of Mumbai city. This well-known festival is organised on the Elephanta Island, adjacent to the Elephanta Cave which is listed under the ‘World Heritage Site’. Elephanta festival is considered as one of the most prominent festivals of Mumbai. Elephanta Island is located about ten kilometres from Mumbai city.
Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and Indian Heritage Society Mumbai jointly conduct Banganga Musical Festival every year in January. This two days musical festival is organised at Malabar Hills, Mumbai. The main aim of this festival is to show and save the cultural heritage of the country. From the name of Banganga tank, a holy tank situated in the complex of Walkeshwar temple in Malabar hills, this festival was been named.
Mumbai International Film Festival
Once in every two-year, Mumbai International Film Festival is organized by 'Films Division', Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India. Film producers and directors from all over India throng to Mumbai for this one of the most prestigious festivals. The main attraction of this festival is short films, documentary films and animation films. The first International Film Festival for was held in the year 1990.
This biennial festival is held at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai. Film sessions, discussion and promotional work for cinema are the key activities during this festival.
Kala Ghoda Festival
The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is one of the most prominent cultural events, an annual festival and nine days long festival. It always commences on the first Saturday of February and closing on the second Sunday in February, organised in the Kala Ghoda area of South Mumbai. Kala Ghoda Association is a non-profit organisation which states its objectives as "physically upgrading the Kala Ghoda sub-precinct and making it the Art District of Mumbai”.
It was first held in 1999 and now has grown to celebrate varied art forms, music, dance, theatre, poetry, seminars & workshops of arts & culture and other forms of arts. Visitors and participants from all over the world come Mumbai and celebrate these festivals with great enthusiasm.