A number of faiths and religions have merged in India and exist simultaneously. India is a country with "Unity in Diversity". This diverseness in culture makes India a unique country in the world with a lot of different customs and traditions. Traditions and rituals in India have become an integral part of everyday life. Customs of India are a major attraction for the tourists coming here.
Right from birth to death, an Indian keeps on performing various customs and traditions. Almost every occasion in India (birth, engagement, marriage, death and so on) has a ceremony attached to it. Following are some of the Indian customs:
Soon after the birth of a child, a ceremony for naming the child takes place. A priest tells the first alphabet from which the name of the child should start.
Indians believe in the phrase "Atithi Devo Bhava", meaning a guest is the reflection of God. In the traditional welcome, the guest is garlanded and a tikka (vermillion) is put on his/her forehead. Even the Tourism Ministry of India has launched the 'Atithi Devo Bhava' campaign to make people aware of India's rich culture and traditions.
Weddings are conducted in India with great fanfare, following various customs and rituals. The wedding is not a single day affair in India; rather, the functions carry on for 3 - 4 or even more days.
The most popular form of greeting, especially the elders, is to say Namaste with the hands joined at the chest level. It is also used at the time of farewell.
In almost every Indian household, a lamp/diya is lighted before the altar of God in the morning. Some people light the lamp in evening also.
Prostrating Before Parents and Elders
Indians prostrate before their parents, elders and teachers by touching their feet. The elders in turn place their hand on prostrating person's head and bless him/her.
After a person passes away, the cremation is done according to certain rituals. The rituals continue a few days after the death.
In the above lines, we have mentioned only some of the customs and traditions of India. Other important occasions when different customs and rituals are followed are the Indian festivals. Come and visit India to know more about the other fascinating aspects of Indian customs and rituals.