RAJASTHAN – FAIRS & FESTIVALS IN THE COLORFUL RAJASTHAN
India is globally well known as a land of vivacious celebration. The best time to experience the culture and life of India is during fairs and festivals. All the festivals are celebrated with high spirit and enthusiasm in each and every town. Behind each fair and festival there is a noble reason based upon rituals, legends, traditions, history, while many shows devotion towards the deities of various religions. When talking about tourism these fairs and festivals capture the attraction of all people. It is mostly seen that even the tourist make their trip plans according to the popular Indian fairs and festivals.
Rajasthan is a vibrant, exotic state in India where tradition and royal glory meet in a riot of colours against the vast backdrop of sand and desert. This is referred to as the Desert Jewel of India, Rajasthan shimmers with even more vibrancy during the time of its colourful fairs and festivals.
The desert glitters with the colors of joyous celebration and gay abandon with every fair and festival of Rajasthan. There is a celebration for every religious occasion, every change of season and every harvest, all invariably a reflection of the genius of their arts and crafts and their ascetic refinement.
In fact, celebrations occur almost round the year and are a splendid opportunity for tourists to gain an insight into the life of the Rajasthan during their travel. Other than the traditional fairs, recently established festivals which involve elephants, camel races, dance and music have been specially organised for tourists. Among the better known fairs and festivals of Rajasthan are:
SOME OF THE IMPORTANT FESTIVALS ARE AS LISTED BELOW
Desert Festival – Jaisalmer
The Desert Festival is a 3-day extravaganza of colour, music and festivity, held at the golden city of Jaisalmer. One of the most popular among the festivals of Rajasthan, the Jaisalmer Desert festival is a journey into the heart of the Rajasthan desert, the golden city of Jaisalmer. It is a true show on the sands which attracts even the much traveled visitor. Folk performers like musicians, ballad singers, snake charmers, and puppeteers all exhibit their traditional skills. There are exciting camel dances, camel acrobatics, camel races, and camel polo, competitions for the best decorated camel, tug-of-war between musclemen, a turban tying competition and a Mr Desert contest. The grand finale is a trip to the Sam Dunes where one can enjoy the pleasure of a camel ride and even watch the folk dancers and musicians perform. The culmination is a sound and light spectacle on a moonlit night amidst sand dunes.
Pushkar Fair – Pushkar
At this time you can see the amazing and most spectacular cattle and bathing mela. So if you don’t want to miss it then fly to Jaipur or can also catch a train. It is celebrated when the full moon appears on Purnima of autumn period of kartik month. You can enjoy staying in tented camps, camp fire and so on. Here you can see the colorful world, women wearing odini stoles and swaying skirts of bright colors and men with their smouldering saffron turbans. This fair takes place five continuous days. Apart from buying and selling of livestock, many other competitions are also held like matka phod, longest moustache and bridal competition. These are the main things which attract thousands of tourists around the globe.
Trading of cattle, camel races and dazzling displays of bangles, brassware, clothes, camel saddles and halters make the fair colourful. Necklaces of glass beads from Naguar, pottery, printed textiles from Jodhpur and Ajmer are all on sale here. Farmers, cattle traders and breeders buy and sell their animals, leather whips, saddles etc. There are facilities for camel rides also. This livestock fair coincides with the climaxing of a religious celebration. Pushkar is among the five main places of pilgrimage mentioned in the Hindu scriptures. It has a large number of temples including one of the only two temples dedicated to Lord Brahma in India. Hundreds of thousands of devotees take a ritual dip in the holy Pushkar lake on the day of the Kartik Purnima (full moon night of the Kartika month) and worship at the Brahma temple (Jagat Pita Shri Brahma Mandir). Pilgrims flock from all over India to be in Pushkar at this auspicious time. They also believe that all the 330 million Gods and Goddesses are present at Pushkar Lake during the occasion.
Elephant Festival – Jaipur
A festival to celebrate Holi, this is a great occasion for the visitor to watch several elephant sports and also play this festival of colours. A show is organised with the elephants turning out in their best finery.
It is one of the well-known festivals of Rajasthan which is celebrated with vigour. All the women invoke goddess Parvati as to get the blessing of everlasting marital bliss. Gangaur is a spring festival celebrated with full enthusiasm by both rich and poor. The people make image of Isar and Gauri out of clay, even sometimes many people keep their traditional wooden images getting them painted fresh. The women put mehandi on their hands and feet as it is considered as a sign of marital bliss.
Marwar Festival – Jodhpur
A festival devoted mainly to the music and dance of the Marwar region. This is a festival that allows the visitor to understand and enjoy the folk traditions of this part of the state. Organized by the Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan, the Marwar Festival was originally known as the Maand Festival. Maand is a classical style of folk music centered on the romantic life style of Rajasthan’s rulers, and Maand Raag recreates the old world charm and graceful dances of the desert. A must visit for those interested in folk music during their holidays in Rajasthan.
Camel Festival – Bikaner
An enchanting desert city which comes alive with music and dance during the famed Camel Festival of Bikaner. It is fast gaining popularity as the visitor finds an opportunity to see some unusual folk performances, camel, race camel dance etc.
Bikaner Festival – Bikaner
Dedicated to the indispensable ship of the desert, the festival starts off with a magnificent procession of bedecked camels. It is a colourful spectacle of the beautifully decorated camels that fascinates the onlookers with their charm and grace. Several competitions are held, marked with typical Rajasthani colour, joyous music and lilting rhythms and gay festivities.
Nagaur Fair – Nagaur
Nagaur fair is a well-known festival of animal fair held annually. It is celebrated between late January and early February. It is situated few miles away from Bikaner and Jodhpur. Here you can see earnest bargaining between owners and buyers along with lots of fun. You can enjoy various games, tug-of-war, camel race, and many other things creating joyful environment along with sun set in the background.
Mewar Festival – Udaipur
A festival to welcome the spring season. There is song, dance, processions, devotional music and fireworks where almost everybody participates. Not to be missed during your Rajasthan tour and travel.
Kite Festival – Jaipur
From royal splendour to riotous egalitarianism, 14 January is celebrated in India as Makar Sankranti – heralding the transition of the sun into the Northern hemisphere.
In Jaipur kites virtually blot out the sky. Everyone joins in this riotous celebration and shouts of “Woh Kata Hai!” reverberates from rooftops to the accompaniment of drums as adversary’s kites’ string is cut. And everyone’s an adversary! Any kite in the sky is fair game!
This Kite Festival is being held for the past five years. Kite makers flaunt kites sized as big as 1.5km of various shapes and designs, some carrying messages, some depicting social issues, some as caricatures of politicians. It has been the most popular event recently with even tourists taking part in various kite flying competitions. The colours that flaunt in the blue sky mesmerize the viewers
Classical Dance Festival – Kumbhalgarh
Maharana Kumbha was patron of all that was best in Indian martial and fine arts, architecture and learning. In line with the Maharana Kumbah’s dedication to promoting the arts, the festival brings together many of India’s finest performing artists with Classical Dance Recitals set against the backdrop of the glowing citadel.
The festival is divided into daytime and an evening segment. Daytime highlights include folk performances by the folk artists of Rajasthan and also various attractive competitions for the tourists. The tone of festival during the evening is more serious but the scintillating, bedazzling explosion of sound, light; colour and dance create a spectacle unseen at Kumbhalgarh since the heyday of Maharana Kumbha, a lover of the arts.
Diwali – All over India
The festival Diwali symbolizes the victory of light over darkness. It is celebrated with enthusiasm all over the country. Prior to this festival every Hindu home, rich or poor starts cleaning their home, whitewash it and adorned in a festive way. All the people in India every year on the dark night of Diwali enjoy bursting fire crackers which makes it realize as the favorite festival of India. What so ever be the fables and legends behind the festival, all people wear new clothes exchange sweets and enjoy together with family members.
Holi festival-A Riot of colors– All over India
This festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil. The nature blooms in colors, and everywhere you can see colorful scenes. It is one of the most boisterous festivals of India. Similar to the Indian Civilization the antiquity of the festival is old. As per the ancient paintings and writings this festival of colors is something which even brings the enemies together. India is a land of diversity, so Holi is celebrated differently in every part of the country
It is mostly seen that even the tourist make their trip plans according to the popular Indian fairs and festivals.
“THE ABOVE FESTIVALS CAN BE COMBINED WITH ANY OF OUR RAJASTHAN ITINERARIES AS PER YOUR CHOICE AND DATES OF TRAVEL”