Top Cultural Festivals Celebrated in India

India is a country of colors, festivals, culture, and religions. They form an amusing assortment of elements that will stay forever in the minds of those who are going to witness. Indian festivals are not just a celebration of some religious event based on mythologies but also celebrating the richness we have in the form of culture, tradition, lifestyle, and art which are indigenous to region, tribes or people overall. There is so much enthusiasm in these events it will involve colorful events, outfits, dance, music, display of arts and all forms of talents. View Family tour Packages  

We shall bring you the top festivals in India celebrated culturally and with utmost vibrancy.

 

  • Jaisalmer Desert Festival, Rajasthan: A festival showcasing a rich folk culture and lifestyle. One of the most colorful festivals of India celebrated in the month of February. You will be welcomed by acrobats, fire dancers, folk singers, puppeteers int their traditional attires and outfits. Camels play a special role in this festival as it is the ship of the desert, there will be many events they will be taking part in such as Camel Decoration, camel polo. People can choose to participate in activities held in this festival such as MatkaPhod race, Tug of War and many others. This festival usually takes place in the month of February within Jaisalmer or in the SAM dunes located at the proximity.
  • Bihu Festival, Assam: This is a festival that combines three farming phases of Assam which can be divided into Bohag, Kongali, and Magh Bihu. Bhoag Bihu signifies the beginning of the Assamese new year when farmers start plowing their fields which are usually around April. When these paddy fields are in the growing phase Kongali Bihu is celebrated. Magh Bihu is celebrated in the months of January when it is the harvesting season which is why it is basically eating and enjoying. People also do some cultural dances to signify these celebrations making it worthy of visitors’ merry.
  • Onam, Kerala: This is a state festival which is celebrated to mark the beginning of the year according to the Malayalam calendar, the month of which is Chingam. The celebration goes on for 4 days with floral arrangements called Pookalam in front of the homes, the second day out of all is considered most important. There are various forms of dance, music, folk art and drama which are colorful and lively among which Puli Kali event is considered as the major attraction. Other events include elephant procession, feasting, Snake Boat Race, forms of classical and south Indian dances. Thrissur is one of the best places to witness these events in Kerala to with the nearest airport located at Cochin.
  • International Kite Festival, Gujarat: This is one of the international meets of the people who love kite flying as a sport or recreation. The major event happens in Kutch where people assemble with their handmade kites and contests are held. These kites are of varied shapes and sizes, colors and a sight to the eyes. This festival is celebrated in Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and various such big cities.
  • Thaipusam Festival, Tamil Nadu: This is a religious festival yet limited to one region of the country which is celebrated to mark Parvati giving Murugan a Vel “spear” to defeat the demon Soorapadman. Devotees fast, shave their heads and undertake a procession with a pot of milk and perform a local dance form KavadicavadeeAttam. It is a bit disturbing also unusual to see devotees’ bodies pierced with spears and uncommon things during the celebration of this festival. The best place to witness this is Palani which has the closest airport in Coimbatore.
  • Hornbill Festival, Nagaland: This is one of the most famous cultural festivals in India. This is held by the state government of Nagaland usually in the first week of December. This is an extravagant festival attended by people from around the world where the Naga tribes conduct folk dance and songs performances, colorful events, sports, and ceremonies. You will get to explore the cuisine of Nagaland, their traditional arts which include wood carvings, sculptures, paintings and souvenirs.
  • Pushkar Camel Fair, Rajasthan: This is an annual festival in Pushkar which is also famously known as Pushkar’s Camel Fair which was initially organized for camel trading in the state. Eventually, it got associated with cultural events, weeklong gala which is now attended by people from around the world. The main aim still remains to promote the trading of cattle such as camels, horses, cows, goats, sheep, etc. This festival includes local music and cultural performances, camel safari and many such activities for the tourists.
  • Goa Carnival, Goa: This is a grand affair annually celebrated in Goa in the month of February and attended by people from corners of the world and country alike. Roots of this festival remain in the Christian tradition that was brought in by the Portuguese during their colonization of the state. The events during the Goa carnival includes various street shows showcasing the beliefs and culture of varied religions and communities. This is commemorated with colorful parade and events similar to that of South American festivals. This is a four day gala in Panjim which is easily reachable by air, rail or roads.
  • Losar Festival, Ladakh: This marks the new year according to the Tibetan calendar and the biggest Indo-Tibetian culture festival. Locals of the Ladakh region take part in this three-day celebrations by a way of dancing and singing, pray. The monasteries and houses of the region are decorated with new painting, people dress up in colorful traditional attire and come out to celebrate the festivities. It usually takes place in Leh, in the month of February.
  • Rann Utsav, Gujarat: This is an event which lasts for a quarter year long in winters of white sandy deserts of Kutch. The government facilitates in setting up new campsites and tents in the desert of Rann with an opportunity for the tourists to experience hospitality, cuisine and local culture of the region. The Kutch region famous for handicrafts such as embroidery items namely Banni, Rabari, Ahir, and Soof are made by local women and girls which are put on display during the festival. Activities in this festival include kite flying, camel ride and desert safari.
  • Pongal, Tamil Nadu: It is one of the prominently known festivals around across the country while celebrated in Tamil Nadu. This is another festival that signifies harvesting season when the crops are harvested and delicacies are prepared out of it. Pongal is one such dish prepared after which the festival is named. It is mainly celebrated as a token of thanks to Sun, which is the source of energy for the growth of crops. You can see people dressed in traditional attires, taking part in the rituals which are part of the festivals across the state.
  • Khajuraho Dance Festival, Madhya Pradesh: This is a unique combination of cultural and art specifically the dance festival celebrated in the temples of Khajuraho. These temples are known to exhibit these dance forms and other erotic art on the walls of them. They are also UNESCO world heritage site dating back to 10th or 11th century AD. The exotic performance of dance here includes Bharatnatyam, Mohini Attam, Odissi, Chhau, Kuchipudi, Kathak, and others. All the prominent and known dancers and groups perform during this grand festival lasting for a week. 
  • Holi: The festival of colors as it is famously known has many more elements attached to it. Usually celebrated in the months of march has different forms in different parts of the country. This lasts for about two days former of which is commemoration of sacrifice of Holika and the day following people play in colors and water. The best places to experience this festival are Mathura, Vrindavan, Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, Dwarka and places like Goa which is lesser-known.  
  • Dev Deepavali, Uttar Pradesh: Celebrated 15 days after the actual Diwali in Varanasi is this festival of Lights. This is celebrated as a token of gratitude to the River Ganga who s believed to be the source for vibrancy and culture around the region. All the ghats of Varanasi are lit with earthen lamps and many of these diyas are also set afloat in the river and the temples are decorated to mark the festivals. This festival is accompanied by a week-long event of Ganga Mahotsav and also a grand arti on the banks of Ganga on this occasion. It is a real delight to watch these events to attend which people from across the world come to the city of lights.

 

Tushar Saxena

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