A country of many
climates, many languages and many beliefs, Indians are constantly
celebrating a festival or a fair. Some mark the passing of seasons;
there are six seasons and each one is ushered with festivities
in different ways in the many parts of India. Local faiths being
many - festivals in India are many too. The land being ancient - old
customs, traditions continue to be followed and culminate in
celebrations of varied order. The varied fairs and festivals of
India add color and integrity to this beautiful land of
Fairs are the
focal point of socio, economic activities and attract people from
far and near - a camel to be sold – like the Pushkar camel cattle
fair, a land deal to be negotiated, a marriage to be fixed- a
meeting place is necessary & fairs are ideal!
The Fairs and
Festivals in India celebrated round the year showcase the
resplendence of its arts and crafts tradition.
Two cycles of the
moon per month, 365 days in a year - there is a fair, a festival
in some isolated corner, perhaps unnoticed elsewhere - all the
same a celebration! Some of these functions make a pleasant
interlude for visitors who chance upon them, while others are worth
the effort of a special trip!
calendar is a long procession of festivals in india; if you can find
yourself in the right place at the right time, it is possible to go
through your visit with a festival each day ! Pongal, the harvest
festivals of the South India the immersion of Ganesh in Mumbai,
Ratha Yatra, the car festival of Puri, snake-boat races in Kerala,
Republic Day celebrations in Delhi….. every region, every faith has
something to celebrate. Let us look at them month wise
Republic Day: -
26th January of every year.
(A spectacular March Past by armed
forces/cultural tableau/folk dances)
Retreat Ceremony - 28th January of every year.
A poignant event
at sun set with the back drop of the Presidential
Kite Festival of India: - at Ahmedabad in Gujarat,
Festival in India: - in Rajasthan,
Harvest Festival of India
Mainly in Tamil
Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka - usually on 15th Jan every
Panchami: - the advent of Spring celebrated mainly in Eastern
of India: - elaborately illuminated barge carrying decorated
temple deities at Madurai and few other temple towns of South
India on the Full moon of Jan/Feb
Craft Mela (Surajkund near Delhi), from 1st to 14th February of
Yoga Week: - (Rishikesh),
of India: - (Jaisalmer, Rajasthan), full moon of January/February
Taj Mahotsav: -
(Agra - Uttar Pradesh),
Nagaur Fair: -
(Nagaur - Rajasthan),
Festival: - (Andhra Pradesh),
- (worship of Lord Shiva, Special celebrations at Chidambaram,
Kalahasti - in South India, Khajuraho,Varanasi and Mumbai), new
moon of February / March of every year.
Holi: - Mainly
in North India, full moon of March of every year. Popularly called
the festival of colours. Advent of spring.
with much throwing of colored water and powders. (Public
Mardi Grass: -
Goa, mainly three days before the commencement of
Festival: - (Khajuraho),
Jayanti: - National; Jain festival in India, birth of Mahavira,
the 24th and last Tirthankara, full moon of April every
Northern India, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu; Hindu Solar New Year.
Known as Bihu in Eastern India - Orissa and Assam. Ushering Summer
Celebration and Dances Almost always on the 14th of April every
Trichur, New Moon of April/May. Spectacular sight of large number
of elephants carrying ceremonial umbrellas going round the temple;
midnight firework display,
(Bakri id), Muslim, National.The most celebrated Islamic festival
in India, commemorating the sacrifice of Issac by
(Ramzan id), Muslim, National. Celebration to mark the end of the
holy month of Ramzan,
THE ABOVE TWO
FESTIVAL OF INDIA WILL VARY ACCORDING TO THE MUSLIM
Kalyanam: - Madurai, Marriage of Meenakshi with Lord Shiva.
Colourful temple festival. Deities borne by colossal chariot. Ten
day festival, ending with the float festival In April May
accordiong to the constellations
Urs Ajmer Sherif: - Ajmer, 6 days religious, cultural and
commercial extravaganza dedicated to the Sufi.
THIS DATE WILL
ALSO VARY ACCORDING TO THE MUSLIM CALENDAR..
- (Leh-Ladakh), DATES DETERMINED ANNUALLY BY THE TIBETAN
Rath Yatra: -
Mainly Orissa. Greatest festival in honour of Lord Jagannath (Lord
of the Universe). Three colossal chariots drawn from Puri temple
by thousands of pilgrims. Similar festivals, on a smaller scale,
take place at Ramnagar (near Varanasi), Serampore (near Calcutta)
and Jagannathpur (near Ranchi).Mostly in July
Rajasthan - Particularly Jaipur, Procession of the Goddess Parvati
to welcome monsoon; elephants, camels, dancers, etc. Women wear
- Northern and Western India. Legendary reenactment, girls tie
'rakhis' or talisman on the wrist of their brothers for
protection. Full moon of July /August
Nag Panchami: -
Mainly in Rajasthan and Maharashtra, dedicated to the
thousand-headed mythical serpent called Sesha. The day is also
observed in different ways in many other parts of Western and
- Lidder Valley, Kashmir on the full moon of July/August. Pilgrims
visit the place where Lord Shiva explained the secret of salvation
to his consort Parvati .
Boat Race: - Kerala, 2nd Saturday of Aug.
Day: - 15th August of every year. The Prime Minister of India
addresses the people of India from Red Fort, Delhi.
Eight day after the full moon of August celebrated all over India
particularly in Mathura and Brindhavan the supposed birth place of
Kerala's Harvest Festival; spectacular snake boat races in many
parts of Kerala, full moon of August/September
Chaturthi: Fourth day after the New Moon of August. Celebrated all
over India particularly in a grand manner particularly in
Dussehra - The
most popular festival in the country, celebrated in different ways
in different parts of the country. In the north and particularly
in North India, where it is known as Ram Lila, plays and music
recall the life of Rama; in Kullu considered the land of Rama, the
festival is an equally colorful celebration. In Bengal and many
parts of Eastern India it is known as Durga Puja, and in the South
as Navratri - the nine nights dedicated to the Mother
Pradesh: - Kullu Valley to coincide with Dussehra (10
Birthday: Mahatma Gandhi's birthday - 2nd October of every
Diwali: - One
of the most lively and colourful festivals in India. In some
parts, it marks the start of the Hindu New Year. In Eastern India,
the goddess Kali, the destroyer of evil is particularly
worshipped. Elsewhere, it is Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity,
who is venerated. Everywhere there are magnificent illuminations
Sonepur Mela: -
- Muslim. Commemoration of Imam Hussain's Martyrdom. Tiger dancers
lead processions of colourful replicas of martyr's tomb.
Colourful, particularly at Lucknow . DATES CHANGE
ACCORDING TO THE MUSLIM CALENDAR
Bihar: - Largest cattle fair in the world; lasting one month in
Sonepur, Patna; on banks of Ganges. Full Moon of
Pushkar Mela: -
Pushkar, near Ajmer, Rajasthan. Important and colourful. Camel and
cattle fair attended by people from miles around. Camel races and
acrobatics etc.Full Moon of November.
Crafts Mela: - Udaipur-Rajasthan - dates are announced
Festival: - Kurukshetra, Haryana - dates are announced
Festival: - Konark-Orissa- dates are announced
Gurpurab: - The
birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the first Guru of the Sikhism
spiritual teacher or preceptor of Sikhism,. Full moon of
- Celebrated all over India on 25th December every
Kumbh Mela: - The oldest and most important of the Hindu festivals. It takes place
once in three years, at one of the four great holy cities; Nasik on
the banks of river Godavari, in Maharashtra, Ujjain on the banks of
River Sipra in Madhya Pradesh, Allahabad on the banks of the
confluence of rivers Ganga and Yamuna ,and Haridwar on the banks of
the river Ganga .
Allahabad and Haridwar are in Uttar Pradesh.
Kumbha Melas are attended by millions of pilgrims who take a holy
bath in these sacred Rivers
As you will
notice - all Festivals and Fairs of India fall on the lunar
cycle-the New Moon and the Full Moon playing an important role.
Hence, dates vary from year to year.
fairs and festivals of India reflects the expression of joy and