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A North-Indian harvest festival celebrating good luck and fertility.

Makar Sankranti

A festival in the Hindu calendar celebrating new beginnings and the Sun God, Surya

Guru Gobind Singh Gurpurab

A festival commemorating the birth anniversary of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh


A harvest festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu, corresponding with the wider Indian festival of Makar Sankranti

Uttarayan (International Kite Festival)

A festival celebrating the ending of winter solstice popularly celebrated by flying kites

Hola Mohalla

A Sikh festival celebrating ancient martial arts and battle-dance.

Rama Navami

A Hindu festival commemorating the birth of Lord Rama, an incarnation of the God Vishnu

Guru Shishya Parampara

The bond between student and teacher within Indian classical music and dance traditions


The oldest style of classical dance in India, combining many elements from dancing styles of Dassi Attam and Sadr.


Bollywood is one of the largest film centres in the world, historically showcasing singing and dancing which has significantly influenced Indian culture.


An ancient form of Indian classical singing that focuses on spirituality and is solemn in nature.


A double-sided barrel drum, usually played as an accompanying instrument

Goddess Saraswati

The Hindu deity of wisdom, learning, knowledge, and patron of the arts

Vasant Panchami

A Spring festival honouring Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning, knowledge and the arts

Cheti Chand

A New Year festival celebrated mainly by Hindus from Sindh (Pakistan), and India.

Ugadi/Gudi Padwa

An Indian festival celebrating the New Year according to the lunisolar calendar


Communities or “families” of musicians which vary according to musical ancestry and methods of playing.


A Hindu Spring Festival mainly celebrated in India and Nepal, also known as the ‘Festival of Colours' or the ‘Festival of Love', signifying the victory of good over evil.


A musical anklet of metallic bells strung together, worn by dancers during traditional classical Indian dances.

Giddha Boliyan

A popular folk dance of women in the Punjab, usually combined with Boliyan as the singing at Punjabi celebrations, festivals and weddings.


A traditional Indian dance originating from Uttar Pradesh in India, embracing features of temple and ritual dances from the bhakti movement.


A percussion instrument shaped like an ordinary Indian domestic clay pot used in Canartic music of South India


A dance rooted in antiquity and religious art linking to temples and spiritual belief; performance is expressed with rhythmic gestures as sign language to mime a story.

Guru Purnima

A festival celebrating Gurus, or teachers on a full mon day to honour spiritual and musical teachers.


Style of vocal music within Hindustani (North Indian) classical music


One of the holy Trinity in Hinduism, known as the Destroyer


A popular melodic mode that uses five or more notes to construct a melody in Indian classical music.

Saraswati Veena

An Indian plucked string instrument named after the Hindu goddess Saraswati, used mostly in Carnatic Indian classical music.


Originating in the Eastern state of Odissa, the Odissi is an Indian Classical dance


One of the most popular melody instruments in Hindustani music and literally translates to ‘three strings'


A famous stringed instrument in Hindustani classical music that is made from a single piece of tun or teak wood.


The Hindu elephant-headed deity known as the remover of obstacles


A full moon that signifies the most auspicious time for Hindu celebrations.


A famous Hindu deity, known as the eighth incarnation of Vishnu


A depiction of the Hindu God ‘Shiva' as the divine dancer.


Goddess of time, death and fierce motherhood

Raksha Bandhan / Rakhri

A festival that traditionally highlights the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.


The Sarangi is considered Hindustani classical music's most beloved ancient instrument, known for its distinctive, soulful sound.


The ninth month of the Islamic calendar observed by Muslims as a month fasting, focusing on reflection, community and devotion.


A percussion instrument that is the primary rhythmic accompaniment in Carnatic music ensemble.


A classic ancient Indian instrument that is played while sitting with the instrument across the lap, and the strings are lightly stroked with a pair of light wooden mallets.

Tar Shehani

A type of esraj (Indian bowed instrument) that has a similar sound to a violin


A famous percussion instrument primarily used to provide a rhythmic beat


A Spring harvest festival that marks and celebrates the creation of Khalsa for the Sikhs


A common style of light classical music that is romantic and devotional in nature, usually revolving around a girl's love for Krishna.


An honorific title used for a highly regarded teacher, writer, poet or visual artist.


A Tanpura is a long necked plucked 4 or 5 string instrument used to create a continual drone to accompany the main music.


A 15th-century poet-saint, musician and devotee of Krishna


Navratri ("nine nights" in Sanskrit) is one of the greatest Hindu festivals symbolising the triumph of good over evil, dedicated to Mother Goddess Durga.


The devotional, sacred music of the Sufis (Islamic mystics)

Ragamala paintings

A series of illustrative paintings from medieval India based on Ragamala or the ‘Garland of Ragas', depicting various Indian musical modes, Ragas


The art of expression in Indian classical dance, drawing the audience into the rasa (essence) of the piece that is performed


Any form of lyrical, Indian devotional song: from kirtan to dhrupad

Bansuri flute

The instrument is synonymous with Hindu devotion of music


Diwali is an important religious festival of new beginnings, celebrating the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness.

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