Fair and Festivals
Taking part in festivities is the best way to get to know about the culture of different Indian states by closer.
“Ugadi” is the main festival of the state which is celebrated every year on large scale. Being the indication of a new year, people harmonize Panchanga readings which are known by the process of Panchanga Shravanam. The festival reflects the power and unity of all the residents of the state.
“Losar” is one of the main festivals celebrated in this energetic state. Celebrated annually, the festival is marked by making special offerings to the Gods, both in Gompas and their shrines. The celebration reflects their culture, the ancient rituals, staged dance dramas, the dance of the Ibex deer, lots of dance with music and fun. The lucky images of the Ibex deer and other religion symbols are made on the walls of kitchen, entry gate of home and wooden columns to welcome the New Year.
Bihu, which is also a famous dance form, is a national festival of the state that is most common and celebrated widely in the centre of this out modern state. Assamese celebrate 3 different kinds of Bihu festival in a year that is Maagh Bihu in the middle of January month, Bohaag Bihu in the middle of April month, and Kaati Bihu in the middle of October month. The festival involves traditional dance forms, music and fun-filled events.
Chhath, is a main festival of Bihar which is celebrated twice a year in all over Northern part of India is a big celebration which is brought about twice a year wherein it is celebrated as an laborious observance which requires fasting without drinking water for more than 24 hours. The rituals include fasting, holy bathing, offering prayers to the rising and setting sun, and meditating by standing in water.
Maghi Purnima is the star festival of this state which is celebrated on the occasion of birth anniversary of Guru Ghasidas. On this occasion, devotees get up early and take a holy dip in any holy water body, before sunrise. For those who cannot take holy dip in river can take bathe at home by mixing small amount of gangajal in water. Devotees perform the Satyanarayana Puja with full devotion and also recite the Satyanarayana Katha. The dancers sing songs and dance around a jaitkhamb set up for the occasion, with music praising their spiritual head.
Shigmo Mel in Goa celebrated same as Holi, is a festival of colours that includes spring celebrations bringing about unity in diversity within this small happening state. Carnival in Goa is a three-day non-stop festival of colour in which people use to gather and sing songs and play traditional music. Adopted from the Portuguese, this carnival held from 12th to 15th February every year and is organised by the Government and the tourism industry of Goa. This festivity is followed by shows, parades, floats etc. which makes carnival a great exhibition.
The state always remain in festivity mood throughout the year but one of the most significant one is Navaratra, celebrated with full enthusiasm which includes nine days of smashing dandiya dance followed by the festival of Dusshera comes into the calendar.
Gugga Naumi is a very unique and religious festival of Haryana, in connection with snake-worship. It is celebrated in the months of August-September. Gugga ji is worshipped just like god and you will find his idol in shrines, he is worshiped as protector against snake bite. The fans carry out a parade on the ninth day with drums across the village. Devotion is offered in the form of “Churma” and “Sevian” by the saints.
Gochi Festival is one of the main festivals of the state which is originated from the Bhaga Valley. This is the grand ceremony organised to show the happiness of birth of male children. On this day token marriages of children below the age of six are also performed which is not much encouraged nowadays. Some children also throw snow balls at each other to celebrate the ocassion.
Jammu and Kashmir
Bahu Mela is one of the major festivals of the state which is celebrated twice a year, held at the Kali Temple in Bahu Fort, in the month of March-April and September-October. The mela, held at Bahut Fort, jammu which is stacked with fun, beautiful decoration, tasty food stalls with lights enhancing the whole place, making whole atmosphere very lively. One can witness the amazing traditions of the all-inclusive community of Jammu.
Karam Festival is one of the most exciting festivals of the state which holds a very important space in people’s heart. It is mainly celebrated 15 days after the Kunwaar-Shukl-Paksh. People wear new clothes, decorate homes with light and prepare exclusive dishes for one another.
Mysore Dasara Mela, The marked festival of this state is the Mysore Dasara which attracts people from all around the state to the temples of Mysore. It involves a heart full of activities ranging from dance, music and serene architecture on display.
The iconic festival of Onam is the flagship festival of Kerala. It is the harvest festival in the south and marks the homecoming of the mythical King Mahabali who Malayalees consider as their King. It is one of the festivals celebrated with most number of cultural elements. Some of them are Vallam Kali, Pulikkali, Pookkalam, Onatthappan, Thumbi Thullal, Onavillu, Kazhchakkula, Onapottan, Atthachamayam etc.
Lokrang festival is one of the most iconic dance festivals of MP which signifies the existing legacy of its dance. It is a cultural exposition organised by Madhya Pradesh Adivasi Lok Kala Academy and encompasses many dance celebrations.
Ganesh Chaturthi, is very much known and the most amazing festival wherein people bring in idols of Lord Ganesha to their homes and place for seven days at home as a symbol of peace, success and harmony. It is celebrated on grand scale with colours in which devotees place Ganesha idols in sacred river after keeping it at home for 7 days.
Yaoshang, one of the most famous festivities of this energetic state which falls in the month of November wherein people celebrate a number of activities for 5 days encircling money collection, many girls visit their relatives house to cook tasty food and finally ends the festival with splashes of colour and water.
The main festival of this state is a dance festival called Khasis. People dressed up very well and perform dance in the village of Shnong, a Raid (group of villages), and a Hima (conglomeration of Raids). Khasi people are full of joy and happiness which is expressed outwardly in the form of dance, feast and worship.
The Chapchar Kut is one of the main traditional festivals of Mizoram which has a great cultural significance. It is an annual harvest festival celebrated in the month of March. It is a weeklong fiesta, celebrated with much enthusiasm and happiness. Folk music and traditional dance performances take place which enhances the occasion. And people from different tribal communities, from all age groups and walks of life come together and participate in this festival with great energy.
Nagaland being very popular in and outside India is a happening state mainly due to the co-existence of a number of colourful tribes and ethnic cultures that are prevalent there. The rich and elite traditional heritage here gives way to a number of fairs and festivals in Nagaland that add a reviving touch to the fresh mountain air of Nagaland. There are many tribal festivals of Nagaland which are celebrated throughout the year like Hornbill, Tuluni, Yemshe, Nazu, and Sekrenyi Festival.
Durga Pooja is undoubtedly one of the main festivals of Odisha. It is celebrated by everyone in Odisha on a large scale with full enthusiasm. This festival is celebrated in the Odiya month of Kartik or Ashwin as per calendar of Odisha. You will find festivity mood all over the state with streets decorated with lights and flowers. People keep beautiful idols of Durga Maa in Pandals with elegant decorations.
Punjab is a state where you can experience diversity and versatility of Indian culture. This vibrant state has remained real to its dynamic character since ages. Just like other states of India, Punjab celebrates some diverse and unique festivals every year; some of the main festivals which remain on top of the list are Baisakhi, Lohri, Holla Mohalla, and Gurupurab.
The heartiest main festival of this state is ‘Gangaur’ which is celebrated across the state with utmost joy and magnificence. The festival involves worship of Goddess Gauri and subsequent celebrations of the harvest.
Losar, the most melodious and magnificent festival of Tibetans is celebrated across the native lands of Sikkim on the occasion of the new Tibetan year. The festival brings about a great mix of tasty food, music and dance which exhibits the rich culture of this area.
Pongal, or the local Makar Sakranti of this state is a really wonderful four-days-long harvest festival in which people burn up their old belongings, feed cattle and subsequently celebrate the dusk of the harvest season. It is the time when main ingredients of Tamil food are harvested like rice, other cereals, sugar-cane, and turmeric.
Although it has recently gained its existence, Telangana has also decided some special festivals for it. Bathukamma is one of the most special, colourful and vibrant festivals of Telangana which involves worship of goddess Gauri and consequent celebrations. The flowers are beautifully arranged in circular rows in a brass plate and with alternate colours. In evening the women folk dress colourfully with the best of their outfit and wear lot of ornaments and place the Batukamma in their yard. The women of neighbourhood also gather in a large circle and sing songs together building a beautiful human circle of unity, love and sisterhood.
Kharchi Puja is the festival which is celebrated with great enthusiasm and pride by the residents of Tripura. The festival involves a tradition of worshiping the earth for providing its surprising qualities. It ends up with sacrifices of cattle to the Earth God.
Ram Navmi is the festival which mainly started from the state of UP. The festival is celebrated on the occasion of birth anniversary of God Rama and is followed by worship of girls and other females of the society.
Before arrival of the most striking Kumbh Mela, Uttarakhand organises the Purna Kumbh Mela at the holy city of Haridwar. Purna Kumbh Mela is celebrated on large scale which involves music and dance. Nanda Devi Mela, Syalde Bhikauti Mela, Poornagiri mela, Harela and Bhitauli, Bissu mela are other main festivals which are celebrated with great enthusiasm.
Durga Puja is the main festival of this state which runs parallel to the 9 days of Navratra and it is well known for its grand celebrations. Goddess Durga is praised with great soul and zeal by huge gathering and consequent dance/music celebrations make their way all around the state.
Andaman & Nicobar Island
Even though Andaman & Nicobar does not have its own regional festivals, it enjoys a series of tourism, music and beach side festivals. These festivals are celebrated to introduce tourists with culture and tradition of the place. Major six festivals are celebrated here, amongst which the Island Tourism Festival is quite popular. Held in Wimberlygunj, Wandoor, Havelock, Rangat, Neil, Mayabunder, Diglipur, Hut Bay, Car Nicobar, Kamorta and Campbell Bay for 15 days, this festival focuses on mainland artists especially reputed music bands, Bollywood singers, amazing dancers and perfect performers.