As elesewhere in the state, fasting and feasting are the special features of the Hindu
festivals, which are spread all over the year. A short account of the principal ones are
The first nine days of the Hindu calendar or the Vikram Samvat begining with the first day
of the bright half of the Chaitra are called Navratra.
On the eighth day falls the Shitala
when Devi, particularly in the form of Shitala is worshipped. The next day Ram
marks the birthday of Rama when the Hindus of the district fast and the temples of Rama
are specially decorated and illuminated at night and the Ramayana is read in them and in
the home of the devout where large numbers gather to listen to the recitation. Some of the
places where fairs are held on this occasion are Sultanpur municipality and Dera (in
is celebrated in the district as elsewhere, on the fifth of the bright half of the Shravan
month to appease the Nags
or the serpant God.
is also celebrated on the same day (Nagmanchami). The women go to their parents and
receive clothes, etc. as gift. Jhula
or the swing provides a lot of fun to village women and girls on the occasion. They go
high up in the swings singing melodiously songs, known as kajari.
the festival celebrating the birth of Krishna,
falls every year on eighth day of Bhadra. In the district as in other parts of country,
devotees keep fast the whole day, breaking their fast only with the eating of Prasad
midnight when the worshippers throng the temple and the small shrines and cradles
(specially installed in homes and in other places and decorated and illuminated to commemorate the deity's birth) to have a jhanki
of the representation depicting the auspicious event.
is celebrated by the Hindus of the district on the tenth day of bright half of the Ashvina
to commemorate the victory of Rama over Ravan and Ramlila celebrations are held at several
places in the district, big fairs being held at Sarwanpur, Katra Lalganj, Sengthi and
Ramganj (all in tehsil Amethi); Mayang, Kurwar, Aliganj, Guptarganj, Dhammaur, Kurebhar,
Bandhua Kalan, Pratappur and Sultanpur (in tehsil Sultanpur); and at Koeripur,
Dostpur-Firozpur and Dera (in tehsil Kadipur).
the festival of lights is celebrated in the district (as alsewhere) on the last day of the
dark half of Kartika when the houses of Hindus are illumunated and the Godess Lakshami is
worshipped. Festivities start two days earlier with the
(when metal utensils are purchased as token of prosperity) followed by Narak Chaudasi when
a few earthen lamps (diyas)
are lit as a preliminary of the main day of the festival. For the traders and businessmen,
Dipavali marks the end of the fiscal year and they pray for prosperity in the ensuing new
year. There is no fasting on the occasion as Dipavali is regarded as a festival of
is a big bathing festival which falls on the full moon day of Kartika, when people take a
bath in the Gomti. A big fair is held at Dera.
falls on the fourteenth day of Phalguna in honour of Shiva. Hindus in the district fast
throughout the day and vigil is kept at night when the God is worshipped. The Shiva
temples of the district are specially decorated and illuminated and large numbers of
devotees offer water, flowers and bel-patra (leaves
of Aegle Marmelos, the bel
tree) to icons and images of Siva and sing devotional songs in his praise. Big faires are
held at Misrauli, Pindara Karnai and Soraon (in tehsil Musafirkhana); and Tala, Bandoia
and Sonari in Tehsil Amethi.
the festival of spring, is the last major festival of the Hindu calender year and falls on
the full-moon day of Phalguna. People in the rural area start singing phaaga
(songs of Phalguna) during the nights long before the actual day of the festival. On the
night of the festival itself big open-air fires are lit to celebrate the annihilation of
the forces of evil, on which newly harvested cars of barley and wheat are roasted for
offering to the Gods. Widespread rejoicing marks the following day of the festival when,
till about noon, people throw coloured water and coloured powder on each other and
in the evening, visit relatives and friends.
As many as thirty-eight Hindu
big and small, are held in the district annually. Of these fairs, only 13 are such as attract gathering of about 10,000 persons or more. The Dhopap Ghat
fair which is held at Shahgarh on Jyeshtha, Shukla 10nth, appears to be the biggest,
attracting, a gathering of about 90,000 persons. It is followed
by the Pandey Baba fair fair held at Badhuna Din on Ashwina, Shukla 1-10th, and the
Shivratri fair held at Belai on Phalguna, Krishna, 13th (both in tehsil Kadipur),
where the congregation is estimated to be about 70,000 persons.
bathing fair of Kartika Purnima is held on the bank of the Gomti at, Dera and Dasahra fair
at Koeripur. The fairs of Sagara held at Sitakund on Chaitra, Shukla 9th, Lohramau Bhavani
(held at Lohramau on 1st Monday and Friday after Shravan, Shukla 5th) and Ram Vivah held
on Agrahayan, Shukla 5th at Pratappur (all in tehsil Sultanpur) attract a large gathering.
20,000 persons assemble annually at the Ram Navami fair held on Chaitra, Shukla 9th and
the Sitakund fair held on Magha, Krishna
15th. The fair of Nandmahar takes place at Nadiawan (in tehsil Musafirkhana) in memory of
Nand Baba, when about 10,000 persons gather. Another fair known as Baba Sagan ka Mela
attended by about 10,000 persons is held at Bandhua Kala (in Sultanpur tehsil) on Kartika,
Shukla 15th when dramatisation of the story of Ramayana
is performed. The Navratri fair is held at Hamidpur (in
tehsil Kadipur), when the Godess Durga is worshipped. It attracts a gathering of about
Muslims of the district celebrate a number of festivals. Id-uj-Zuha
is celebrated on the 10th day of the month of Zilhijja the last month of Hijri calendar to
commemorate the occasion when the prophet Ibrahim submitted himself to the will of God.
Men attend morning prayers in Idgahs or mosques and sheeps and goats are sacrificed in the
first ten days of the month of Muharram
commemorate the tragedy of Karbala
which witnessed the martyrdom of Imam Husain (the grandson of prophet Muhammad) and his
companions on the tenth day. Although this occasion has special significance for the
Shiyas, the Sunnis also take part in some of the observances. The
illuminated on the 8th and 9th of the month, majlis
(religious assemblies) are held from the first to the ninth and tazias
taken out the processions separately by Shiyas and Sunnis on the 10th day (Ashra) and are
burried at specified burial grounds.
falls on the 40th day from Ashra. It usually marks the end of the period of mourning.
the birthday of the prophet Muhammad, is celebrated on the 12th day of Ravi-al-awwal
when alms are distributed and muslim gather to listen to discourses (Milad Sharif) on the
falling on the 14th of Shavan, is a festival of rejoicing. It is marked by a display of
fireworks, distribution of sweets and reciting of
(prayers) for the piece of the souls of the dead.
falls on the 1st of the month of Shawal when thanks giving prayers are offered by Muslim
men in mosques for the successful completion of the fasts of the preceding month of
Ramadan. Besides these traditional and orthodox festivals urs
celebration are held at the tombs of different pirs
Sikhs celebrate the birthday of their gurus, Nanak and Govind Singh, when portions of the Granth
are read or recited, congragational prayers are held and processions taken out.
main festivals of the christians of the district are Christmas,
which falls on December 25th and celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ; Good
which commemorates his crucifixion; and Easter
which celebrates his resurrection.
Jains of the district celebrate the birth and nirvana anniversaries of Mahavira, their
The other important festivals of Jains are Paryushan
(the last ten days of Bhadra) and the three Ashtinhikas
falling during the last eight days each of Asadha, Kartika and Phalguna.