Fair Festival

Desert Festival

The desert festival celebrated in the golden city of Jaisalmer has an aura of its own. The festival becomes lively with legions of puppeteers, acrobats, and folk dancers add splashes of  color.  Camel  races  are  of  great  significance  and  camel  polo  is  a  big  attraction.  The turban­tying competitions and the best­dressed Rajput contests add to this three day long festival.

Rajasthan Desert Festival

Desert Festival

THE GOA CARNIVAL

Goa The exuberant carnival is held for a week every year in Goa just before Lent in month of December. All of Panaji goes wild for that period and it is a time of feasting and fun, of dances, balls and parades. With the parade, the festival gets off to a spectacular start and the fun­loving Goans make the most of their carnival before setting down to the solemnity at Lent.

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THE GOA CARNIVAL

Khumbh Mela

Kumbh Mela is a very big fair and the largest gathering of Hindu pilgrims, celebrated every twelve years at four holy places Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. The grand event held by rotation, on the banks of the sacred river Godavari, Kshipra, Yamuna and The Gange. During this big fair Hindus pilgrims gather at the sacred Ganges river for holy bath. The major attractions of this biggest religious fair are the procession of Naga Sadhu “Holy Men of India” and procession of Akharas marching.

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Khumbh Mela

The Winter Festival at Mount Abu, Rajasthan

Winter festival is held annually from 29–31 December. The festival is jointly organised by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation and the Municipal Board of Mount Abu.[1]

Mount Abu, situated at an altitude of 1,219 m above sea level, is the only hill station in Rajasthan.

The Winter Festival features traditional dancing, concerts, fairs, and a fireworks display; participants include folk artists from majorly Rajasthan and also from Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The festival opens with a procession to Nakki Lake.

Other attractions of the festival include stage performance of Sufi Kathak and folk dances such as Daph, Ghoomar and Gair, and entertainments such as kite-flying, hot air ballooning, cricket, gillidanda, poetry reading and music performances.

 

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The Winter Festival at Mount Abu, Rajasthan

Elephant Festival

Elephant Festival is a festival celebrated in Jaipur city in Rajasthan state in India. It is held on the day of Holi festival, usually in the month of March. The festival featuresElephant polo and Elephant Dance. The Elephant Festival begins with a beautiful procession of bedecked elephants, camels, horses and folk dancers. The owners proudly embellish their elephants with vibrant colors, jhools (saddle cloth) and heavy jewellery. It is quite a treat to see female elephants wearing anklets, which tinkle as they walk. One can see people sprinkling ‘gulaal’ (colored powder) perched on top of the elephant. The most beautifully decorated elephant is awarded. Elephant polo, Elephant race, the tug-of-war between Elephant and 19 men and women are the featured events of the festival. The elephants are also outfitted in ear danglers and brocade scarves to embellish their ears and necks. The Mahouts, who are known as the caretakers of the elephants, decorate the foreheads of the animals with head-plates as well as garnish their tusks with gold, silver bracelets and rings. Other events that take place during the festival include a polo match and a tug of war contest, where the strongest elephant is chosen to compete against a group of ten people.

Although the festival is primarily based on elephants, other animals such as camels and horses also participate in the elephant festival.

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Elephant Festival

Marwar Festival, Jodhpur, Rajasthan

It is a festival devoted to the music and dance of the Marwar region and was originally known as Maand Festival. Held for two days, its main attraction is the folk music cantered on the romantic lifestyle of Rajasthan’s rulers. The folk dancers and singers assemble at the festival and provide lively entertainment. Among other attractions at the festival is the camel tattoo show and polo.

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Marwar Festival, Jodhpur, Rajasthan

Konark Dance Festival, Orissa

The sun temple in Konark is famed as a world heritage site. This is the venue of a joyous festival of classical dance and music which is held annually in December. A host of celebrated dancers from all over the country perform in the open air auditorium. The festival is a celebration of the much appreciated Odissi, Bharat Natyam, Manipuri, Kathak and Chau dance, a lavish feast for the eyes and ears. A crafts mela, with a variety of handicrafts and cuisine, is also organised during the festival. The festival is jointly organised by Orissa Tourism and Odissi Research Centre.

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Konark Dance Festival, Orissa

Ellora Festival, Maharashtra

This festival of dance and music is held every March in the splendid surroundings of the world-heritage listed cave temple of Ellora, about 30 km from Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The festival showcases India’s renowned artists in music and dance with the caves forming a splendid backdrop. It is a unique and charming way to experience the magnificent caves, and imbibe centuries of history and culture. This festival is organised by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).

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Ellora Festival, Maharashtra

International Mango Festival, Delhi

The International Mango Festival, held annually in Delhi, during early summer, is a two-day festival showcasing mangoes. It has been held since 1987. More than 550 varieties and cultivars of mango are featured in the festival for visitors to view and taste. Cultural programmes make this a lively event

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International Mango Festival, Delhi

Urs, Ajmer, Rajasthan

The Urs are held at Ajmer every year at the tomb of the Sufi Saint KhwajaMoinuddinChisti, commemorating his symbolic union with God. Pilgrims from all over the world gather to pay homage. Qawalis (poems) are presented in the saint’s honour and religious assemblies (mehfils) and ‘fatihas’ (mass prayers) are held. The lakeside town attracts thousands of devotees of all faiths on the occasion.

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Urs, Ajmer, Rajasthan

Elephant Festival, Jaipur, Rajasthan

The Elephant Festival is held every year a day before Holi. The festival begins with a procession of elephants, camels, and horses, painted and tastefully attired with ornaments and embroidered velvet, followed by lively folk dancers. The elephants greet the visitors, offer garlands to the guests and walk past the ramp before a jury of experts and tourists who select the Best-decorated Elephant. Elephant races and elephant polo matches are special features. The tug of war between elephants and men is probably the most exhilarating highlight of the festival.

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Elephant Festival, Jaipur, Rajasthan

Garden Festival, Delhi

A spectacular flower show held in Delhi, every February, where varieties of flowers and exotic plants are on display. Organised by Delhi Tourism, this annual event showcases thousands of varieties of flowers. Flower enthusiasts and horticulturists find have a field day. Apart from this, painting competitions for children, art camp for budding artists and thematic cultural shows to entertain the visitors are also held.

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Garden Festival, Delhi

TajMahotsav, Agra, Uttar Pradesh

A 10-day event, the TajMahotsav is a culturally vibrant platform that brings together the finest Indian crafts and cultural nuances. Starting on 18 February each year in Shilpgram, the TajMahotsav is a much awaited event. It is a festive introduction to India and Uttar Pradesh. India’s extensive arts, crafts and culture are on display. Folk music, shayari (poetry) and classical dance performances as well as elephant and camel rides, games and a food festival, all form a part of the festivities.

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TajMahotsav, Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Christmas

The birth anniversary of Jesus Christ is celebrated by Christians and non­Christians alike, with special enthusiasm in big cities like Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta, where shops and homes take on a festive air. Families get together around decorated trees and gifts are exchanged. On Christmas Eve, midnight services are held in churches.

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Christmas

Janamashtami

The festival of Janmashtami is observed in the month of Bhadra (August­September) in honour of Lord Krishna who was born on this day at Mathura. It is celebrated with eclat at Mathura and Vrindavan where Lord Krishna spent his childhood. Night­long prayers are held and religious hymns are sung in temples. Scenes are enacted from Lord Krishna’s early life.

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Janamashtami

Independence Day

The anniversary of India’s independence commemorates the day on August 15th. The prime Minister delivers an address from the ramparts of Delhi’s Red Fort. It is celebrated all over the country with meetings and flag­ hosting ceremonies.

 

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Independence Day

Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan : is an integral part of the Hindu family structure whereby a woman ties a rakhi or decorative thread on the wrist of her brother to remind him to protect her if the need arises.Raksha Bandhan, celebrated in India in the month of Shravana (July­August), is an age old festival which strengthens the bond of love between brother and sister.

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Raksha Bandhan

Republic Day

Republic Day, which marks the anniversary of the adoption of India’s Constitution (January 26, 1950) is an important national occasion. In the state capitals, colourful pageants and parades are held. The most spectacular celebrations are held in New Delhi, where a magnificent parade of the Armed Forces and civilians is accompanied by an impressive cultural pageant. This is followed by a colourful folk dance festival by troupes from different parts of India.

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Republic Day

Navaratri/Dussehra/Durga Pooja.

Dussehra, one of the most popular festivals of India is celebrated all over the country for ten days in the month of Asvina (September­October). The Navaratri festival ends with Dussehra to celebrate Rama’s victory over Ravana. Every region celebrates this ten­day festival in a special way. In North India, it is ‘RamLila’ and consists of plays, recitations and music which recall the heroic and moral deeds of the legendary hero, Rama. In Kulu, against the backdrop of now­ covered mountains, villagers dressed in their colourful best assemble to take out a procession of local deities, with pipes and drums in attendance. In Mysore, the festival is celebrated with pomp and pageantry reminiscent of medieval times. In Bengal and other parts of Eastern India, Dussehra is celebrated as Durga Puja. Images of the goddess are worshipped for ten days and on the last day are taken out in procession and immersed in a river or the sea.

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Navaratri/Dussehra/Durga Pooja.

Pushkar Fair, Rajasthan

This fair is held at Pushkar town, 11 km from Ajmer, for 12 days annually. This cultural, trade and religious fair is an attractive and lively spectacle with Rajasthani men and women in their colourful traditional attire, saffron-robed and ash smeared Sadhus (holy men) and thousands of bulls, cows, sheep, goats, horses and camels in richly decorated saddles. Perhaps the largest cattle fair in the world, it attracts more than 1,00,000 people, from all over India and abroad. Apart from the religious rituals and trading, people participate in a number of cultural and sporting events.

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Pushkar Fair, Rajasthan

Navaratri

Navaratri is celebrated for nine consecutive nights in praise of Lord Ram (hero of the epic Ramayana) and Goddess Durga. Continuous chanting from the great epic ‘Ramayana’, along with evening performances from the episodes of his life are held for nine days. Navaratri is a combination of many concepts, with the common theme of the victory of good over evil. The most joyous celebration of Navaratri is seen in Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Bengal. In Gujarat, every night people gather in courtyards to dance the Garba and DandiyaRaas, a community dance in which men and women dressed in festive clothes dancing in pairs with Dandiya or painted wooden sticks.

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Navaratri

Makar Sankranti / Pongal :

These are celebrated predominantly in the southern part of India. This harvest festival marks the commencement of the sun’s journey to the Northern Hemisphere. People take dips in rivers and worship the sun In Gujarat, Makar Sankranti is celebrated by the flying of kites.

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Makar Sankranti / Pongal :

Diwali or Deepawali

Diwali, the festival of lights, is observed in honour of goddess Lakshmi in the month of Kartika (October­November). One of the happiest of Indian festivals, Diwali is an occasion of great excitement and rejoicing all over the country. Every city, town and village is turned into a fairyland with thousands of flickering oil lamps and electric lights illuminating homes and public buildings.

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Diwali or Deepawali

Gangaur

“Gangaur” is the colourful and the one of the most important festivals of people of Rajasthan and is observed throughout the state with great fervour and devotion by womenfolk who worship Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva during March–April.

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Gangaur

Baisakhi

This is Hindu Solar New Year Day observed in many parts of the country. It falls on April 13, though

once in 36 years it occurs on 14th April. It is a religious festival when people bathe in rivers and go to temples to offer worship. For the Sikh community, Baisakhi is of special significance. On this day in 1699, Guru GobindSingh organised the Sikhs into the ‘Khalsa’. In Punjab, farmers start their harvesting operations on this day with great fanfare.

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Baisakhi

Teej, Rajasthan and Chandigarh

This swing festival welcomes the advent of the monsoon. Swings are hung from trees and decorated with flowers. Women, colourfully attired, swing on them and sing songs in celebration. The occasion is also dedicated to the Goddess Parvati, commemorating her union with Lord Shiva, and the festival celebrates marital bliss, well-being of spouse and children and purification of own body and soul.

 

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Teej, Rajasthan and Chandigarh

Ganesh Chaturthi

This festival is celebrated throughout India in the month of Bhadra (August­September) in honour of the popular elephant headed God, Ganesha. Pune, madras, and Bombay are the important centers of celebration. In Maharashtra, huge images of Ganesha are carried in procession. On specific dates in the following ten days, these images are immersed in the sea or rivers with thousands of worshippers dancing and singing after them.

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Ganesh Chaturthi

Goa Carnival

Carnival (see other spellings and names) is a festive season which occurs immediately before Lent; the main events are usually during February. Carnival typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party. People often dress up or masquerade during the celebrations, which mark an overturning of the norms of daily life. In Germany and the Netherlands, the Carnival season is traditionally opened on 11/11 (often at 11:11 a.m.). This dates back to celebrations before the former longer Advent season (40 days now reduced to about four weeks), or with harvest celebrations of St. Martin’s Day.

Carnival is traditionally held in areas with a large Catholic and to a lesser extent, Eastern Orthodox makeup. Protestant areas usually do not have Carnival celebrations or have modified traditions, such as the Danish Carnival or other Shrove Tuesday events. Conversely, thePhilippines, though a predominantly Roman Catholic country, does not have Carnival celebrations because it has been culturally influenced by neighboring Asian nations, which do not have Carnival celebrations.

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Goa Carnival

Nishagandhi Dance Festival, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

The Nishagandhi open-air theatre in the palace compound holds a dance festival every year. Renowned dancers perform Bharat Natyam, Mohiniyattam, Kathak, Odissi, modern ballet and other folk forms. Artist and connoisseurs of dance from all over India come to enjoy this cultural treat. The festival organised by the Tourism Development Corporation is free and is usually accompanied with music.

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Nishagandhi Dance Festival, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Holi

Among the most colourful of India’s festivals is Holi, observed all over India. It is a festival in which men, women and children revel in throwing coloured powder and squirting coloured water on their friends. Greeting and sweets are exchanged. It is celebrated every year in the month of Phalguna (February­March).

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Holi

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