Mumbai is technically a Maharashtrian city, but the Marathi culture has long since been mixed into a melting-pot of all the different cultures from every state and corner in India. All of Mumbai now celebrates Navratri, Krishna Jayanti and Holi just as enthusiastically as Diwali and Ganesh Chaturthi.
Diwali is probably the most fun for visitors, because all the shops and streets are lit bright and everyone is in holiday mode distributing gifts and sweets for a week or more. For two days, the streets will turn into war zones with massive quantities of firecrackers being set off in every single street in the city. It’s absolute bedlam and you can’t help but join in and do your own bit of damage.
The Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated all over India, but nowhere is it remotely close to the magnificent spectacle that it is in Mumbai. Clay statues of the Lord Ganesha, ranging from pint-sized to ones that tower above buildings, are built and kept in display for 10 days.
Navratri (literally means nine nights) is likewise a time for Gujurati feasts and a community dance called Garba after dark. Holi is the festival of colors – again a whole lot of fun with everyone free to throw colors, colored water and water balloons at anyone else. If you plan to go out wearing your best clothes on Holi – well…don’t. Some communities will even put up large vats or dig holes and fill them up with colored water, and dunk anyone and everyone they can get their hands on.
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