India is the land of fair and festivals, and the best time to witness the culture, religion, dance, food, music, and art of the country along with much more. These are some of the most well-known fair and festivals of India:
When: 08/11/2016 - 14/11/2016
Organized every year in the month of November during full moon (Kartik Purnima), Pushkar Fair or Pushkar Camel Fair is one of the most popular fairs in India, owing to its large-scale celebration. This 7-day fair attracts over 11,000 cattle, horses and camels and is visited by more than 400,000 people from all around. A carnival of colors, it brings together farmers, villagers, livestock and farmers. Once-in-a-lifetime experience, along with selling and buying of livestock, it also includes several cultural and musical events, and various entertaining competitions such as camel race and longest mustache competition. It is great place to shop too.
When: 14/01/2017 - 15/01/2017
Dedicated to the 'Ship of the Desert', Camel festival of Bikaner is celebrated annually in the month of January. Managed by the Department of Tourism, Art and Culture, Bikaner Camel Festival is an event to celebrate Rajasthan's colorful culture. This festival includes camel race, a beauty pageant, dances, camel milking, best breed competition, fur cutting designs, etc. only for the camels. The event starts with a colorful procession of decorated camels, starting from Junagarh Fort and concluding at the Polo Ground. The evenings include shopping experiences, puppet shows, orgasmic food and musical events.
When: 01/02/2017 - 04/02/2017
Held in the month of January-February, in the Magha month of the Hindu calendar, Nagaur Fair is an 4-day event, which is the second largest in India. Also known as the Cattle fair of Nagaur, it is mainly about animal trading. Around 70,000 horses, camels, sheep, Marwari horses and bullocks are traded here annually. The owners decorate their animals beautifully. India's largest red chilly market- the Mirchi bazaar, camel leather accessories, iron craft items and wooden objects are the other attraction. The fair also includes of several activities such as camel races, cock fights, tug of war, folk music events, puppet shows, juggling and storytelling.
When: 08/02/2017 - 10/02/2017
Held in the month of February every year, The Desert festival of Jaisalmer is a colorful cultural display that is organized amidst the Sam Sand Dunes of the Thar. The festival includes several competitions such as turban tying, best moustache, camel polo, Mr. Desert, camel races, and other cultural events. A musical concert by the popular folk singers of the region under the moonlit sky is the main attraction. This 3-day festival is a show of local customs, state's heritage and traditions. Visitors can also enjoy camel rides, puppet shows, and snake charmers, and the popular Fire and Gair dancers. Rajasthan tourism organizes this fair to attract foreign tourists.
Held in the month of February/March as per the Hindu calendar on the full moon day of Phalgun Purnima month, Elephant Festival of Jaipur starts with a huge procession of lavishly decorated elephants, dancers, camels and horses. The riders/owners decorate their elephants in an amazing manner, with special velvet rugs, huge ornaments, ear danglers, brocade scarves, and even the tusks are decked-up with bracelets. Earlier the venue was the Chaugan Stadium but due to the popularity and huge crowd, it was changed to the Jaipur Polo Ground in 2011. Tug of war, elephant polo, elephant races and folk dances are the other highlights.
When: 30/03/2017 - 01/04/2017
Marking the onset of the spring season, Mewar Festival is celebrated every year in Udaipur in the month of April. Celebrated with much zeal and enthusiasm, this festival turns the city into complete fairyland with stunning decorations and lights. This festival coincides with another popular festival, Gangaur and both of them are important for the women of the state who get dressed-up in all their fineries. The ladies dress up the idols of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati (Gauri), which are then carried in a procession all around, till Lake Pichola where they are immersed in water. The procession is a show of cultural and folk performances.
When: 30/03/2017 -31/03/2017
Celebrated in the month of April, Gangaur Festival of Jaipur is a celebration of the unison of Lord Shiva (Isar/Gan) and Goddess Parvati (Gauri). The festival comprises elaborate rituals. The women and young girls collect ash from Holika Dehan and bury wheat seeds, watering them till they germinate. During a procession, they sing songs, praising the Lord and his consort while carrying pot on their heads. This earthern pot has holes and a lamp inside it. They also make clay idols of them. On the last day, Goddess Gauri's idols are take out in a procession, accompanied by horses, elephants and camels, depicting the going back of the Goddess to her husband. Some women also keep fast during the festival.
When: 09/05/2017 - 10/05/2017
The only hill town of Rajasthan, Mount Abu, every year becomes the venue of Summer Festival during May month on Budh Poornima. A celebration of the warmth of the people and colorful culture of the region, this festival starts with a procession, accompanied by folk performances, starting from RTDC Hotel Shikhar, ending at Nakki Lake Chowk. During the 2 days, the night sky is lit by wonderful fireworks. On the 2nd day, there are various competitions such as Deepdan, skating race, boat race, Skater's show, panihari matka race, tug of war, horse race and CRPF Band Show.
When: 26/07/2017 - 27/07/2017
A wonderful monsoon celebration, Teej is celebrated in the month of August every year. Celebrated with much fervor, this festival is mainly a women's festival and sees young girls and married ladies, dressed in finest of clothes, mainly green in color and jewellery. They keep fast during the festival and pray to Goddess Parvati (Goddess Teej) for the long life of their husbands and marital bliss. The idol of Goddess is kept in a gold and silver palanquin and carry it all around the city in a procession, starting from Tripolia gate and ending at Chaugan Stadium.
When: September and October
Organized between the months of September and October, in Ashvin month of the Hindu calendar, Marwar festival is a 2-day event during the full moon nights of Sharad Poornima. Originally known as the Maand festival, it is a celebration of the heroes of Rajasthan state. A folk music event based on the romantic lifestyle of the Rajput rulers of the state is the star attraction. The festival's main theme is the celebration of dance and music of Marwar region. The region's popular folk singers and dancers give special lively performances telling the tales of the heroes, the battles and the days of the royalty. The event also includes Polo and a Camel tattoo show. Mehrangarh fort, Umaid Bhawan Palace and Mandore are some of the festival's venues.