India captivates everyone with its colours and charm. Festivals and fairs in India are the best way of experiencing its colour and liveliness. There are so many festivals celebrated in India that one can actually celebrate each and every day of the year! India has wide variety even in the kinds of festivals varying from harvest festival of south to car festival of Puri to snake-boat races in Kerala to the celebrations of Republic Day in Delhi, etc.
The rituals and practices of celebrating each these festivals of India differ with different religion, timing, purpose, geography and cultures. These varied and vibrant festivals add unique charm to India making life here all the more interesting and sprightly. Festivals make an essential but common part of India lifestyle. Festivals in India are celebrated with great enthusiasm and full of fun, excitement, togetherness, dances, music and rituals as well. Along with festivals, Indian fairs are equally attractive and captivate hordes of tourists every year.
Some of the prominent festivals celebrated every month are:
Indian Festivals in January:
In the month of January Sankranti or Pongal is one of the major festivals which is celebrated in India. This is prominently celebrated in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Republic Day is one of the major national festivals in celebrated on 26th of the month with grand military parade and impressive procession from every state of the country in the capital city of the country-Delhi.
This is the day of national establishment of Republic in the year 1950. 26th January. Other important festivals that are celebrated in January are Ardh Kumbh Mela, the Great Elephant March in Kerala, Mamallapuram Dance Festival in Mamallapuram of Tamil Nadu Kerala Village festival in Kovalam, Kerala, Bikaner Festival in Bikaner city of Rajasthan, Pattadakkal Dance Festival in Pattadakal of Karnataka state, etc.
Vasant Panchami is one the most famous festival which is celebrated in the month of February. This is a Hindu festival and celebrated mainly in the eastern part of the country. This festival is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati who is the Goddess of learning. Float Festival in the city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu is also celebrated as the birthday of local 17th century ruler. During this temple deities are carried in the barge at the Mariamman Teppakulam Pool.
Other festivals celebrated during this month are Surajkund Crafts Mela in Surajkund which is located near Delhi, International Yoga week in Rishikesh of Uttarakhand, Desert festival in the city of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, Nagaur Fair in Nagaur, Rajasthan, Elephanta Festival in Mumbai, Maharashtra, Deccan Festival in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, Taj Mahotsav in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, Goa Carnival in Goa, Chapchar Kut in Mizoram, Island Tourism festival in Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Indian Festivals in March:
In the month of March, one of the major festivals is of Shivaratri which is celebrated in the in the worship of Hindu deity, Lord Shiva. For this festival special celebration are help especially in areas such as Chidambaram, Kalahasti, Khajuraho, Varanasi and Mumbai. Another major festival is Holi which is mainly a festival of North India but celebrated almost everywhere in the country with great joy.
Other festivals are Mardi Gras, a three day festival during lent celebrated in Goa, Khajuraho Dance Festival in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, Hoysala Mahotsava in Belur-Halebid of Karnataka, Patliputra Mahotsava in Patna, Bihar, Jhansi Festival in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, Ellora Festival in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
April Festivals & Fairs:
Easter is one of the major festivals in the month of April. Along with this, Baisakhi which is celebrated mostly in Northern India, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu is also quite popular. Other prominent festivals are Mewar Festival in Udaipur, Rajasthan), Mahavir Jayanti, and Ramnavami. Poorna Kumbh Mela which is celebrated once in 12 years also attracts hordes of tourists.
Indian Festivals in May:
Pooram in Trichur is one of the popular celebrated in the month of May along with Id-Ul-Zuha (Bakrid), a major Muslim festival commemorating the sacrifice of Abraham, Id-Ul-Fitr (Ramzan Id), Meenakshi Kalyanam in Madurai, Urs in Ajmer, Rajasthan, International Flower Festival in Gangtok ,Sikkim, Buddha Purnima in most part of Northern India, Summer Festivals, etc.
June and July Festivals:
Rath Yatra, a great temple festival in honour of Lord Jagannath is a major festival celebrated in Orissa, along with Hemis Festival in Leh and Ladakh also attracts lots of tourists. Naag Panchami which is celebrated mostly in Jodhpur, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, Id –ul- Zuha(Bakrid), International Mango Festival in Delhi are some other festivals celebrated during this time.
August Festivals & Fairs:
In the month of August, we have national festival Independence Day is celebrated on 15th . Apart from this, festivals like Janmashtami, Onam in Kerala, Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir, Raksha Bandhan, are few others major festivals during the month of August.
Indian Festivals in September:
During this month, Ganesh Chaturthi dedicated to Lord Ganesh is mainly celebrated in Pune, Orissa, Mumbai and Madras. Along with this, Tarnetar Mela in Saurashtra, Gujarat is also another popular festival.
October is the month of festivals. There are many festivals celebrated which are quite popular all over India. Dussehra (in different part of the country in different forms such as Ram Lila in Delhi and North Indian, music and plays along with fair Kulu valley, Durga Pooja in Western part and Bengal, Diwali, Gandhi Jayanti (birthday of Mahatma Gandhi who is the father of the nation) are few of the prominent festivals of the country celebrated in October. Gurpurab, an important festival for people of Sikhism, Marwar Festival in Marwar, Rajasthan), and Rajgir Mahotsav in Rajgir, Bihar are few others.
Indian Festivals in November:
Muharram which is Muslim festival and is commemoration of Imam Hussain’s martyrdom, Ka pomblang Nongkrem in Shillong, Meghalaya, Lucknow Festival in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, Sonepur Mela in Sonepur, Pushkar Mela in Pushkar, Rajasthan, Gurpurab, and Hampi Festival in Hampi, Karnataka are few of the festivals celebrated in the month of November.
December Festivals & Fairs:
Major festival in this month is Christmas Day. Along with these, others such as Shilpgram Crafts Mela in Udaipur, Rajasthan, Vishnupur Festival in Bishnupur, West Bengal, Kurukshetra Festival in Kurukshetra, Haryana, Konark Dance Festival in Puri are also celebrated with pomp and glory.