Indian culture is so rich and varied that different colours of cultural canvass can be perceived from north to south and east to west .There are thousands of dialects and languages spoken, different crops are grown from region to region, numerous fairs and festivals of India are celebrated and being participated by the masses. India can aptly be called as a melting pot of diverse religions and cultures. Thus travel to India is not considered complete without taking part in any of these famous fairs and festivals.
Different kinds of fairs and festivals of India
In the country some religious festivals are celebrated to mark the passing of season or harvesting the crop. These can rightly termed as cultural festivals. The other religious festivals mark the important events of each religions such as Diwali marks the return of Lord Rama to his native place after being victorious, Eid-A Milad marks the birth of Prophet Mohhamad etc.
Some festivals are National festivals like the Republic Day or the Independence Day. Likewise various fairs are arranged in the country from the metro citiesto the isolated parts of the country and the tribal dominated areas These fairs and festivals provide an opportunity to freak out. Thus they are like the comic interlude in the dreary life of an inhabitant.
Why do people celebrate fairs and festivals?
People celebrate festivals to fret out the weariness of day to day life and to get revitalized . Besides on account of religious believes and national events , people celebrate these festivals.Similarly they part in fairs to enjoy with the family and to shop the usables.
Diwali Festival- This festival is celebrated across India with great religious fervor. Normally this festival falls in the month of either October or November. This is celebrated twenty days later Dusshera festival . This is otherwise known as the festival of lights.
Holi Festival—Holi is the festival of spring in which the group of merrymakers spray colored powder[aveer] on each other in a atmosphere of exuberance This festival is celebrated across North India where social barrriers are let down and all embrace each other The festival normally falls by the end of February or the beginning of March. The Holi of Mathura is known all over the world and lots of people annually come to participate in the famed Lathmar Holi of Barsana.
Durga Puja is dedicated to the worship of mother goddess Kolkata in the West Bengal comes alive during the eve of Durga Puja.Grand pandals are pitched and the idol of Durga Ma is placed in each of them . Now besides Bengal this tradition is prevalent in different other cities of India. In Kolkata durga pandals vie with each other and puja in each of them is offered for nine consecutive days. On the tenth day of the celebration the idols of the goddess are taken to the river for submerging into the river water. Presently in some cities in India just to fight with the problem of pollution the local administration arranges for the nearby place close to the river or the lake.
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This great festival of India is celebrated by the end of September or in October every year. During this time Ramlilas are arranged in various parts of India. This festival starts with Navratri and ends on the tenth day- with the burning of the effigies of Ravan. Accordings to the legends Lord Ram killed the demon Ravan for goodness. If you are doing Agra Jaipur tour, you can take part in Dusshera Mela .Kullu in Himachal Pradesh is well known for Dusshera.
Modhera Dance Festival
This famous festival was once known as Uttarardha Mahotsav. The venue of this festival is the renowned Modhera Sun Temple. This event provides a great spectacle of beauty combined with heritage and tradition of the region to the audience . This festival incorporates many local rituals and legendary story narration.
Jaisalmer Desert Festival
This festival celebrated in the arid region of Jaisalmer is best known for its local performances of dance, jugglery , folk songs and local customs . In the fair you can buy local handicrafts , paintings ,camel leather goods and you can involve in the game of puppetry,camel safari etc. you also get the chance to savour the local delicacies.
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Vasant Panchmi – This festival is linked with the worship of goddess Saraswati. The Hindus celebrate it across the North India. This usually falls in January or February months. This festival has special significance to the followers of Radha Swami sect as the initiator of this belief was born on Vasant Panchami. Thus Vasant in Dayalbagh AGRA is celebrated with much fervor.
Baisakhi–-This is aspring festival of Punjab and is celebrated with great gusto alongwith the folk dances. This festival is aharvest festival and signifies the founding of Khalsa of Sikh religion. The festival normally falls in March or April.
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What is the significance of Pongal?
It is a major crop festival of South India . Indian society being agrarian more than ninety percent population of the country dwells in the countryside .Pongal is a four days crop festival and is celebrated on 15 th January every year. The first day celebration is called Bhog Pongal and reserved for family. The second day is dedicated to the Sun god and is known as Surya Pongal. The third day is known as Mattu Pongal and is dedicated to the cattle The last day is for the birds . People normally paint their houses and doorways are coloured with vermillion All over the state bull fights known as Jalikattus are arranged.
Goa is well known for its party feelings and festivities This festival pof Goa Carnival is an exllent opportunity to feel the local culture of Goa as a tourist It goes on for a time period of 3 days Major attraction of this carnival is the large parade which happens in all major regions of Goa such as Panjim , Mapusa, Margaon . You can witness the stalls full with the souveniers and other gift items .
This carnival tradition was brought to Goa by the Portguese nearly 500 years ago . There is no entry fee to this carnival and this is a fusion of music , dance and entertainment .The parade moves through the main streets of Panji . The festival ends with the red and black dance in which men and women are seen dancing clad in red coloured upper garments and the lower garments in black colours.
The most famous festival of Kerala is Onam in which the magnificent boat races are arranged and the boatmen compete with the other boatman and show their skills of rowing .thousands of spectators witness these events and cheer up the boatmen. Besides this lots of kerela temples are the venue of temple fairs in which these a procession of caparisoned elephants . inside the temples premises many classical dances are arranged for the common folks.
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Trirurkara Festival in Kerala
Kerala has a series of beautiful temples besides its magnificent landscape. These temples, backwaters and scenic beauty allure the tourists. Trirurkara temple is located in Kottayam and has its famous tradition of holding a fair on 23rd March every year. This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is a famous Pilgrimage for Shaivites. Within the temple the performers give presentation of Mayilattam or peacock dance. In this dance the performers are clad in the attire of a peacock from tip toe. peacock plums and beaks are also fixed with the costumes and operated by the strings like in the case of a puppet show. Many stalls are set up which engage in selling and promoting the products among the common folk.
Bikaner Camel Festival
Get bewildered by witnessing the glorious traditions of desert city Rajasthan – Bikaner by joining the camel festival. This animal festival starts on 12th January and ends on 13th January. This festival arranged by department of tourism showcases the typical Rajasthani culture. You can enjoy musical concerts, puppets show, camel race and dance. You also get a chance to savor Rajasthani delicacies and buying local artifacts.
Bateshwar Cattle Fair
Bateshwar is famous for having more than 100 Shiva temples on the bank of Yamuna River. This place also has a jaina tirtha known as Shauripur close to it. Besides the religious significance this place holds the largest cattle fair of Uttar Pradesh close to Diwali celebration. If you plan for Agra tour during this time you can visit the fair at Bateshwar. This is the birth place of late Prime Minister of India – Atal Bihari Bajpai.
Rann Utsav Kutch
The great Rann of Kutch is famous is for being the biggest salt desert is the world. One must borrow the Gargantua’s mouth to narrate the beauty and cultural significance of the Rann festival. It is going to be celebrated from 1st December’2020 and will end 28th Feb ’2021.
This mega event of Gujrat tourism drags the tourists across the globe. This festival provides a great spectacle of the cultural, musical and royal traditions of Gujrat State. It is located nearly 90kms from Bhuj district. Near a village named Dhorda a tent city is setup and this sprawls in an area of 5000000 sq meters. These tents range from budget to the luxury way.
Pushkar Camel Fair
This is one of the largest fair of India and starts in November at Pushkar in Ajmer tourist from India and overseas come to attend this camel fair. They also have a holy dip in the Brahma Sarovar and visit the only temple of Lord Brahma which is nearly 2000 years old.
How Pushkar is named?
The legends believe that once Lord Brahma dropped a lotus flower from hand and the place where this flower dropped down, a lake was formed. Thus the nomenclature of Pushkar was done pushp means flower and kar means hand. The 14 days cattle fair of Pushkar is also known as kartik Mela. Besides camels a large number of horses, oxen sheep and other cattle are sold and purchased.
Nehru trophy Boat Race
This is a mega event of kerala and has its old name as Vallam kali. Thus boat race is done in the water of Punna Mada Kayal of Alappuzha every year of second saturday of August. The main attraction of this boat race is the competetion of the Chundan Vallams or the snake boats when these boats hold more than 1o0 rowers , having snake designs. Normally this festival is celebrated on the second week of August.
Taj Mahotsav, Agra
This is an annual cultural which is celebrated in the lap of the Taj Mahal India every year from 18th Feb to 27th Feb. This is a unique crafts and cultural festival which gives you the opportunity to buy the souvenir and besides you can enjoy the like performers of the artists and savour the local food.
Sonepur Mela is considered the largest castle fair of the world and goes on nearly one month from 30 November to 30 December every year. This Mela is also known as Harihar Kshetra Mela and is held at Sonepur in Bihar on the eve of Kartik poornima. This fair is blend of castle shopping and spirituality. According to the legends the history of Mela dates back to the Maurayan era when Chandragupta and Bindusar used to come and buy the best quality of elephants and horses for their army.
Mythology with Sonepur Mela
It is considered that the Somepur Mela is held to commemorate the incident of the fight between Gaj and Grah. As per the legends there happened a fierce battle of Gaj (Elephant) with the Grah(crocodile) while the elephant was going to drink water. Lord Vishnu as savior helped the victim elephant and saved his life.
Khajuraho Dance Festival
Kajuraho is well known for it’s famous erotic temples and falls in Madhya Paradesh. Since 20th to 26 Feb this dance festival is celebrated at Chitagupta and Vishwanath temples. Various renowned classical dancers from India come to participate this event which is arranged by Kala Pathar. This mega event has attended international coverage and fame in the recent years .