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Festivals of India

 January

Pongal(Tamil Nadu) - A celebration of the harvest-Pongal is observed for three days in January, in Tamil Nadu. Bhogi Pongal - the first day, is an occasion for festivities at home. 

pongal festival tamilnadu india

Flavoured rice is offered to the Sun God on the second day. Mattu Pongal, the next day, is celebrated in a more boisterous fashion. Village cattle are bathed and decorated and cattle races enliven village festivities.

International Kite Festival(Ahmedabad, Gujarat) -  On Makara Sankranti, Ahmedabad is at its colourful best as kites of all colours, patterns and dimensions soar into the sky. 

international kite festival india

Special kites with little paper lamps fill the night sky with a myriad flickering lights. Special Gujarati cuisine, exhibitions of handicrafts and folk art enhance the festive spirit.

Republic Day(Delhi and state capitals) - Commemorating the day India became a Republic (26th January), the Republic Day is celebrated in Delhi with a splendid parade a colourful affair with soldiers marching in unison, followed by folk dancers, school chiildren and floats from various states. The Beating Retreat which marks the end of the celebrations on 29th January, is a moving cermony with massed military bands playing at Vijay Chowk.

Bikaner Festival(Bikaner, Rajasthan) - Dedicated to the indispensable 'ship of the desert', the festival starts off with a magnificent procession of bedecked camels. There are displays and competitions together with all the colour, music and rhythm unique to a fair in Rajasthan.

 Febrauary  

Vasant Panchami (North India and West Bengal) - The ceremonial welcome to spring when people, colourfully attired, especially in bright shades of yellow, dance, sing and make merry. In West Bengal, 'Saraswati' - the goddess of learning is worshipped. The festivals is celebrated with great fervour in the university town of Shantiniketan.

  Desert Festival (Jaisalmer, Rajasthan) - A three day long extravaganza of colour, music and festivity at the golden city of Jaisalmer. Fire dancers swaying to traditional tunes, a turban-tying competition and a Mr. Desert contest are part of the fun of the occasion. Camel rides and folk dances at the sand dunes are an added attraction.

desert festival jaisalmer rajasthan india

Nagaur Fair (Nagaur, Rajasthan) - Nagaur bustles with life during its annual cattle fair which is one of largest in the country. Exciting games and camel races are part of the festivities.


Taj Mahotsav (Agra, Uttar Pradesh) - A ten day event that starts on 18th February each year in Shilpgram, the Taj Mahotsav is a much awaited event. India's extensive arts, crafts and culture are on display. Folk music, shayari and classical dance performances along with elephant and camel rides, games and a food festival, all add to the excitement of the occasion.

Goa Carnival (Goa) - Goa's 100 km coastline has some of the world's most beautiful beaches. The exuberant Goa Carnival is an annual feature here. Held in mid- February, just before Lent, the week-long event is a time for lively processions, floats, the strumming of guitars and graceful dances. 

carnival festival of goa india

 March  

Khajuraho Dance Festival (Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh) - 
The thousand year old temples at Khajuraho, built by the Chandella Kings, are majestic structures sculpted in stone. Only 22 of these temples remain today, to bear testimony to the craftsmanship of Chandella builders. Every year in March, these splended temples come alive during the week-long festival of classical dances.

holi festivel of colors india

  Holi (All over North India) - In March (2nd march this year), during spring, comes Holi - the festival of colours. Celebrated all over North India, Holi is a time to make merry. People smear each other with coloured powder. Singing and dancing add to the gaiety of the occasion.

  Elephant Festival (Jaipur, Rajasthan) - A festival where elephants are the centre of attraction. The festival begins with a procession of elephants, camels and horses, followed by lively folk dancers. Elephant races, elephant-polo matches and a most interesting tug of war between elephants and men, are all part of this spectacular event.

elephant festival jaipur india

Ellora Festival (Aurangabad, Maharashtra) - The magnificent rock-cut caves at Ellora- 34 in number, were excavated between 600 and 1000 A.D. They include Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves. Every March, a festival of dance and music is organised here with the caves forming a splendid backdrop

 

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