India is the land of celebrations. Fairs and Festivals are the cultural heritage and sprit of Indian society. India has seven major faiths. It has a large agricultural population and a rich historical background. The festivities are marked by folk dances and music played on a variety of local instruments. All festivals have their own spectacle, with important characteristics. There are religious festivals, cattle fairs and festivals to welcome the seasons of the year.
The Pushkar fair, one of the largest and most colorful cattle fairs of the world. It is organized during in the month of “Kartik”, usually October or November, in Pushkar. In a huge ground, they arrange a market of domesticated animals; Cattle, Horses, Camels, etc., and beautiful shops full of handicraft items. Evenings are filled with music and dance. In the evening as the sun goes down, a joyous atmosphere is created by folk musicians, whose voices echo far and wide around the camping grounds. The festival continues deep into the night.
Elephant Festival - Jaipur
Experience one of the most thrilling and colorful festivals, of Holi, with majestic elephants. This is an exciting experience. This is a great occasion for visitors to watch several elephant sports, and also play in this festival of colors. A show is organized with the elephants decorated in their very best. Playing Holi on these wonderful mammals offers a unique sight during the most colorful of all the festivals.
Desert Festival – Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer comes to life during the Desert Festival. The desert city rejoices in the rhythmic dances – Gair, Kalbelia, Chari and terahtal. Fire dancers are the highlights of the festival. The traditional musical instruments are played. The folk songs of the desert are sung by the Langhas and the Manganiyars of the region. Camel safaris on the dunes are also a highlight of this festival.
Diwali is also known as festival of lights. It is the biggest festival in India. The festival gets its name from the Sanskrit word Dipawali meaning “row of lights”. This is very auspicious day and celebrated in the month of October or November according to Hindu calendar. Every one worships Goddess LAXMI, the goddess of power, to bring prosperity, wealth and good luck. On this day people light up homes and markets with clay lamps (Diyas), candles, electric lights and flowers. They use fire crackers to express their joy and mood of celebration. It is a time to wear new clothes and new jewelry. Every one gives gifts and shares happiness, with each other. It resembles Christmas, in the way that they light many candles and exchange gifts.
Kite Flying Festival
It is also known as MAKAR SANKARANTI. Makar stands for Capricorn in Zodiac. Sankranti describes the transition of the Sun. Therefore Makar Sankranti means the transition of Sun into Makar rashi through its celestial path. It is the only festival celebrated on a fixed date, January 14th.The traditional Indian Calendar is based on lunar positions. This is the reason why the dates of all Hindu festivals keep changing, according to the Gregorian calendar. Makar Sankranti is a solar event, and therefore remains constant. It is the festival of the Sun God, who is regarded as a symbol divinity and wisdom. Millions of people take a dip in holy rivers such as; Ganges, Yamuna, etc., to bathe and pray to the Sun God for enlightenment, peace, prosperity and happiness. On this day, every year, the sky above India resembles a kaleidoscope all day. Children celebrate by flying kites for fun and in competitions. As customary with many days of festivities, the day ends with fireworks well into the late night.
The most important festival celebrates in the state of Karnataka. Dussehra is celebrated in the month of October in the honor of Goddess of Power (CHAMUNDESHWARI). The Royal palace of Mysore is decorated with lights. The royal family worship the goddess Chamundeshwari after this a grand procession starts from the palace. The main attraction of the procession is the elephant seat for the goddess made of 750kgs gold. There are lots of folk dancers, musical band, decorated elephants, horses and camels participate in the procession.
Holi is celebrated in the month of February or March. It is also called festival of colors. It has an ancient origin and celebrates the triumph of ‘good over bad’. The colorful festival works as a bridge for the social gap, and renew relationships. On this day people hug and wish each other ‘Happy Holi’. Holi celebration begins with lighting up of bonfire on the Holi eve. Numerous legends and stories are associated with the Holi celebration, which makes the festival more exuberant and vivid. People use dry dye colors and water pipes filled with colored water to play with, and shout ‘Happy Holi’ at each other.