India is a famous for its festivals. Some festival always round the corner. January 2017 is no exception and will bring with it a number of festivities you can be a part of. No matter which part of India you are in, there is some festival for you to look forward to in 2017.
1.Jaisalmer Desert Festival, Rajasthan:
Rajasthan comes to live with Jaisalmer Desert Festival. The festival is a unique showcase of rich and colourful folk culture. Once you are there you will be welcomed by the folk singers, puppeteers, acrobats, fire dancers and many more in their traditional, colorful and vibrant attires. Between all this traditional glitters you will find a special place for the ships of the desert, the camel. Apart from a camel ride you can enjoy watching the camel polo and the Camel Decoration.
2.Thaipuism Festival, Tamil Nadu:
Thaipuism Festival is a Hindu festival that commemorates the occasion of Parvati giving Murugan a Vel “spear” so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman. Devotees during this religious event perform various ritualistic acts that include fasting for 48 days, shaving of heads and undertaking a procession with a pot of milk, and Kavadi cavadee Attam (a local dance form).
3.Rann Utsav, Gujarat:
One of India’s most prominent cultural festivals, the Rann Utsav is known for its music performances and the fantastic landscape of the Great rann of Kutch in Gujarat. Rann Utsav started in November 2016, the Rann Utsav goes on till February 20, 2017. Best time to attend the Rann Utsav is on full moon nights when the salt marsh looks spectacular. Dates for this year are January 12, and February 11).
4.Khajuraho Dance Festival, Madhya Pradesh:
Khajuraho, famous for its erotic sculptures and aesthetic temples that date back to a period between 10th century A.D. and 11th century A.D., hosts the yearly cultural dance festival to welcome the spring season. Reputed dance troupes and famed classical dancers from different corners of the world assemble here to perform on the biggest stage for classical dance forms. The performance includes Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Mohini Attam, Chhau, Kathak, Kuchipudi and more. It is a weeklong event and each day is scheduled with different form of classical dance programs.
5.Hornbill Festival, Nagaland:
One of the biggest cultural tourism festivals in the country, the Hornbill Music Festival has been luring a plenitude of tourists over the years. This 7 day cultural fiesta is held amidst the scenic environs of Kohima in December where you can get to witness the biggest rock contest in the country as well as learn about the rich cultural heritage of the place all under one roof.
6.Dusshera, All over India:
Dusshera, marks the end of Navratri and mythologically it is believed that on this day Lord Rama killed the Demon Ravana and freed Goddess Sita from Lanka. It is also believed that Ram fought for nine days in Lanka to win over Ravana.
7.Pongal, Tamil Nadu:
Pongal is a celebration of harvesting season by the Tamilians. The celebration goes on for 4 days, generally between the 13th of January and the 16th of January. The word pongal in Tamil signifies abundance of crop. It is mainly celebrated as thanksgiving to the Sun, the primary source of energy for crops to grow.
8.Durga Puja, West Bengal:
The Durga Puja in Kolkata is a jubilation of the Bengalis and is 4-5 days of extravaganza bringing in kinship among people belonging from different caste and creed. Locally the festival is also known as “Akal bodhan”, an uncustomary time for commencement of the worship. Mythology says that the customary time of worshiping goddess Durga is April, but Lord Rama worshiped Durga Mata during this period to get a boon to kill Ravana. No matter what ever the consequences are but during the Durga Puja festival the Bengalis from different corners of the world will reunite with their family and friends.
9.Diwali, All Over India
Diwali today is not an ancient Hindu festival that is celebrated to mark victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair… but has also religious significance in Sikhism and Jainism religions. That’s not all!!! People hailing from Buddhism, Muslim and Christian religions also partake in the eventful occasion by lighting up candles or traditional lamps (Diyas) and firecrackers.
10.Holi, All Over India
One of the popular festivals in India that has gained its cultural significance in other parts of the world… Holi, which is the “festival of colours” is actually beyond just a colourful event. It is one of the most joyous occasions for the people in India and is celebrated with gulal (perfumed and coloured powder), pichkari (Water Gun), and buckets of coloured water and is followed by distribution of sweets and feasting. On the occasion of Holi, people throw and spray colours at each other that mark the major part of the celebration along with sharing of smiles and formal embrace.
11.Eid ul-Fitr, All over India
It is that time of the year when Muslims from all over the world gathers to show a common goal of unity representing the cultural exuberance of the Islam religion and marking an end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). Hence it is also dubbed as “Feast of Breaking the Fast”. During the auspicious day of Eid ul-Fitr… thousands of Muslims from different corners of respective cities in India unite at the nearest mosque to celebrate the joyful occasion by greeting each other, which is immediately followed by a formal embrace, sharing of gifts and sweets, and feasting. The traditional and popular way of Eid greeting is “Eid Mubarak”, a phrase that you will often hear if you encounter a Muslim gathering on the particular day. Eid ul-Fitr in other terms and alike all other religious festivals in India is a festival of togetherness and happiness.
12. Ganesh Chaturthi, Maharashtra and central India:
Ganesh Chaturti used to be a small celebration in every household by worshiping the Lord Ganesh. In the year 1893, Lokmanya Tilak transformed it into a large, well organized domestic celebration. Since then it has become a big event in Maharashtra and central India and has rapidly spread across south India and parts of east and north India. The 10-day event sees several cultural programs, dance, art craft sells and a grand procession at the end of the event.
13.Pushkar Fair, Rajasthan
One of the five sacred sites of the Hindu devotees, Pushkar is internationally famed for hosting the Pushkar Camel Fair, which is an annual festival. The weeklong gala affair spread various shades of the royal state of Rajasthan. With marvelous art and architecture from the bygone era being major attractions, the Pushkar Fair is a wonderful eye candy for the travellers around the world. The main aim of the Pushkar Fair is to promote trade of cattle such as camels, horses, cows, goats, sheep etc. For tourists the Pushkar fair is an experience of a lifetime that with camel safari, local music, and cultural performances.
14. Janmashtami, All Over India:
Janmashtami or Krishna asthami marks the annual birth celebration of the Hindu deity Lord Krishna. The day is celebrated on the eight night of the dark fortnight in the month of Shravana. The celebration continues for a minimum of 2 days to 8 days. The sacred towns of Mathura and Vridavan host several events like Rasa lila, and dramatic enactments depicting the life of Lord Krishna. Regions following Vaishnavism in Manipur also host such events. Janmashtami is also celebrated in other parts of India by different names.
15.Maha Shivratri, All over India
This is the day when Lord Shiva got married to Goddess Parvati. The night of Maha Shivratri is called the “Great night of Lord Shiva” and is observed every year in the month of Falgun; according to the Georgian Calendar it falls in the month of February / March. The day is celebrated by night long Puja and offering Bael or golden apple leaves.