Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in India

India boasts of the title of the ‘Land of Festivals’ owing to its rich cultural diversity. Consider any of the states and cities, you will always find people busy in preparing for some or the other festivals celebrated in India. Not just does the festivities give a glimpse of the culture of the country, they help the participants to enjoy various activities. Dancing, eating, drinking, concerts, fairs, games etc. raise the fun quotient. Allured by the charm of the Indian fiesta, even foreigners plan a tour to India during a specific period and return overwhelmed after merrymaking. Although the myriad of festivals celebrated in the country may signify different things, they have one thing in common that they are all spectacles to behold.

Various types of festivals are celebrated in India such as national, seasonal, religious, etc. Each festival has its own significance and teachings. Mentioned below are the categories in which these festivals can be divided.

Art Festivals in India

Art Festivals in India showcase incredible glimpses of intriguing and colorful shades of arts in an amazing way. Some of the astounding Indian artefacts and vibrant culture of the country is put to display and amuses various travelers.

 Jaipur Literature Festival

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in Indiauplifting sessions of conversation that inspires

A much awaited international event, Jaipur Literature Festival lures intellectuals, philosophers, thinkers and book aficionados. The much-awaited annual event includes book launches, book readings, entertaining folk dances and performances.

  • When – January
  • Duration – 5 days

Rajasthan International Folk Festival

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in India performance by international artists during the Jodhpur RIFF

The Rajasthan International Folk Festival is also known as the Jodhpur Folk Festival or Jodhpur RIFF. The fiesta is held at Mehrangarh Fort to promote traditional folk art and music. Supported by UNESCO, the event is reckoned as one of the best 25 international.

  • When – Sharad Purnima, usually during Sept-Oct
  • Duration – 5 days

Also ReadMarwar Festival Jodhpur- Festival that Celebrates Might and Heroism of Rajputs

Ellora-Ajanta International Festival

 

Travel to the captivating past by attending the Ellora-Ajanta International Festival. The fiesta held at the Soneri Mahal includes folk music and arts, products on sale by the local artisans and local food, etc.

  • When – October
  • Duration – 3 days

Cultural Festivals in India

India, the potpourri of various cultures cherish various festivals which not only implies happiness and joy but also make people feel alive. Cultural festivals in India are the perfect ways to celebrate the Indian diversity like never before.

Kite Festival

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in Indiawonderful display of vibrant kites in the sky

Presenting a sight to behold, Kite Festival is one of the best cultural festivals in India. Celebrated from national to international level, the annual event gets complete with various competitions, merrymaking, hooting, shouting and various colorful kites flying high in the sky. International Kite Festival and Basant Kite Festival are celebrated in Jaipur, Punjab and, Ahmedabad respectively. Kite flying is an important aspect of Makar Sankranti and Pongal.

  • When – Makar Sankranti and Basant in the months of January and February respectively
  • Duration – 1 day

 Baisakhi

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in Indiathanking God for the good harvest

Celebrated with excitement and huge fanfare, Baisakhi holds great religious significance. The festival is highly anticipated by the farmers as it marks the time to harvest the Rabi crops and thank the God for a wonderful outcome. It also marks the commencement of the Sikh New Year.

  • When – 13th or 14th April
  • Duration – 1 day

Rann Utsav

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in Indiamaking the otherwise deserted land ali

The otherwise cold-desert of Rann of Kutch becomes alive during the annual Rann Utsav. The celebration of cultures, colors and expressions leaves the guests in a state of awe and offers some of the best sights and sounds of the vibrant state.

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  • When – November to February
  • Duration – 100 days

 Dance Festivals in India

Talent resides nearly in every nook and cranny of India. The country boasts of various talented dancers and, Dance Festivals in India clearly prove the love of the nation for this art form. Every state masters in its own form of dancing. The charm of these festivals increases with a backdrop of heritage sites, temples, historical ruins or mysterious caves.

Khajuraho Dance Festival

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in Indiaa week-long festival of classical dances

Khajuraho Dance Festival,Madhya PradeshFamous for the Khajuraho Group of Monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Khajuraho is a small town which hosts the dance festival ceremoniously. Marveling at the classical dance performance while the sun bids adieu to the day is surely one of the best things to do in Madhya Pradesh. More information about Khajuraho dance festival.

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  • When – February
  • Duration – 7 days

Also read:  Khajuraho Dance Festival: Making Sculptured Art Alive Through Expressions & Movements

Konark Dance Festival

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in Indiashowcasing best of traditional and classical dance forms

The most spectacular music and dance fiesta takes place in Odisha. Konark Dance Festival attracts numerous dance lovers. With beautifully lit Sun Temple in the background, the dance festival includes Chau dance, Odissi dance, Kathak, Manipuri and Bharatanatyam.


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  • When – December
  • Duration – 5 days

Fairs in India

Not only the festivals but also the fairs are celebrated in India with equal enthusiasm and gaiety. Here, you can partake in religious fairs, cattle fairs, trade fairs and what not? Organized in different parts of the country, these fairs offer unforgettable holidays in India.

 Kumbh Mela

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaKumbh Mela – major Hindu pilgrimage

Inscribed in UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the Kumbh Mela is a Hindu religious festival, one of the largest gathering in the world that is held 4 times over the course of 12 years. Numerous devotees gather on four pilgrimage places – Haridwar, Nashik, Ujjain and Prayag along the banks of holy rivers, on the rotational basis.

  • When – Kumbh Mela is held once after every 12 years, however, the four fairs are held after every 3 years.
  • Duration – Nearly 50 days

Pushkar Fair

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaPushkar fair, Rajasthan – a vibrant fete

Also known as the Pushkar Camel Fair, the Pushkar Mela is a cultural fete and livestock fair luring lots of people from far and near. The 100-year-old gala is a dramatic collage of diversified pictures and showcases liveliness of Rajasthan.

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  • When – Kartik Ekadashi to Kartik Poornima (November)
  • Duration – 5 days

Sonepur Cattle Fair

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaSonepur Cattle Fair, Bihar – Asia’s biggest cattle fair

Dating back to the reign of the Chandragupta Maurya, the festival grabs the attention of traders from all over Asia. Sonepur Cattle Fair is considered to be the biggest cattle fair of Asia till date.

  • When – Kartik Poornima in November
  • Duration – From fifteen days to one month

India International Trade Fair

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in Indiathe biggest and largest integrated trade fair

Held in New Delhi every year, the India International Trade Fair offers a common platform to the traders, manufacturers, importers and exporters. Since its inception, the fair is visited by lakhs of people.

  • When – 14th – 27th November
  • Duration – 14 days

Garden and Harvest Festivals in India

India is probably the only country where everything is a cause of celebration. Even from the blooming of flowers to the good harvest, every event provides wonderful opportunities to the people to feast on sweets, take a holy dip in the rivers or express their joys in many ways.

Phool Walon Ki Sair

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaPhool Walon Ki Sair, Delhi – procession of the florists

Celebrated by Hindus and Muslims alike, the Phool Walon ki Sair is a secular fiesta that includes procession which is led by dancers and shehnai players. Big floral fans are the center of attraction and are offered at the two shrines in Delhi. The flower traders pray for good flower season ahead.

  • When – September
  • Duration – Three days

 Lohri

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaLohri, Punjab – winter-time Punjabi folk festival

Dance to the ‘dhols’, eat sweets made of ‘til’, merry around the bonfire while singing traditional Punjabi folk songs. This is Lohri for you. Mainly a festival of Punjab, Lohri is now observed by Hindus, Punjabi Muslims, Sikhs and Christians in Pakistan.

  • When – 13th January
  • Duration – 1 day

Pongal/Onam

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaPongal/Onam, Kerala – celebrations for good harvest

The harvest festival, Pongal is dedicated to Lord Sun to show gratitude towards him for good harvest. It is the major festival of the Tamils. Similarly, Onam is a Hindu festival with origins in Kerala. It marks the homecoming of the legendary Emperor Mahabali.

  • When – 14th – 17th January / August or September
  • Duration – 4 days / 10 days

Music Festivals in India

A pure bliss for the music enthusiasts, music festivals in India has the power to pull distant hearts together and heal the souls. Musicians and singers from all over the world gather in different parts of the country to showcase their talent.

Sunburn Festival

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaSunburn Festival,Pune – Asia’s largest music festival

Take your love for music to the next level by attending the Sunburn Festival in Pune. Titled as the world’s 9th best dance festival, the fiesta attracts prominent names in the music industry and music lovers, like a moth to its flame.

  • When – December
  • Duration – 3 days

Also Read:   Sunburn Festival: Festivals & Events in Goa

World Music Festival

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaWorld Music Festival, Udaipur – a cultural event with world-class musicians as participants

The Udaipur World Music Festival takes you to a romantic and one of the world’ beautiful cities, Taking the nation by storm, the festival offers a unique experience by featuring live performances by international artists.

  • When – February
  • Duration – 2-3 days

NH7 Weekender

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaNH7 Weekender,Meghalaya – India’s largest multi-genre music festival

The Bacardi NH7 Weekender is renowned for delivering some of the extraordinary performances. The multi-city music festival in India has witnessed the crowd of over 1, 00, 000 people.

  • When – November or December
  • Duration – 3 days

Ragasthan

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in India Ragasthan,Jaisalmer – three-day desert camping music festival

Imagine yourself amidst golden sand dunes dotted with a swarm of crazy music lovers! Ragasthan offers you exactly this. Camping in the Thar Desert is an added plus.

  • When – November
  • Duration – 3 days

Also Read:  Major Festivals in Rajasthan – Cultural Extravaganza

 Religious Festivals in India

Flaunting umpteen religions throughout the country, India cherishes different religious festivals which are the perfect example of unity in diversity.

Diwali

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaDiwali – the festival of lights

Of all the religious festivals in India, Diwali is the most spectacular one. Houses are decorated, people dress up in colorful attires, sweets and gifts are exchanged, crackers are burnt and diyas are lit. The fiesta of lights presents a sight to behold.

  • When – No moon day of the Kartik month which falls between mid-October and mid-November
  • Duration – 1 day

Also Read:Celebrate The Gracious Festival of Lights – Diwali

Durga Puja

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in India Durga Puja, West Bengal – welcoming Goddess Durga

Durga Puja presents a wonderful sight of the beautifully decorated pandals with the idol of Goddess Durga as the center of attraction. The sublime beauty of the Goddess cast a spell on the onlookers. The festival highlights the women power and victory of god over the bad.

  • When – Fifth day of Navaratri till Dussehra (Sept or Oct)
  • Duration – 5 days

Ganesh Chaturthi

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaGanesh Chaturthi – cherishing the arrival of Lord Ganesha

Ganesh Chaturthi gives a chance to revel in the homecoming of Lord Ganesha. People bring idols of Lord Ganesha to their houses with great pomp and show. After 10 days of pampering, these idols are immersed in water and Lord is prayed to come again next year.

  • When – 4th day of the first fortnight in Bhadrapada (Aug or Sept)
  • Duration – 1 day

Raksha Bandhan and Bhai Dooj

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaRaksha Bandhan and Bhai Dooj – delighting-in the Brother-Sister bond

Celebrating the unique love and bonds between brother-sister, Raksha Bandhan and Bhai Dooj are Hindu festivals where sisters pray for the well-being of their brothers while the brothers promise protection to their sisters for a lifetime.

  • When – Full moon day of Shravana month (Aug) / second lunar day of Kartik (Oct or Nov)
  • Duration – 1 day

 Cheti Chand

The much awaited day for the people of Sindhi community, Cheti Chand holds great religious significance. The festival not only marks the Sindhi New Year but also the arrival of spring and the birth of Uderolal.

  • When – First day of the month of Chaitra (March or April)
  • Duration – 1 day

Gurupurab

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaGurpurab – fiesta marking the birth of Sikh Gurus

Holding a revered place in the hearts of Sikhs and devotees of Sikh Gurus, Gurupurab is celebrated with great devotion. Langars are organized, Karah Prasad is distributed and Nagar Kirtans are carried out with pomp and show.

  • When – Full moon day in the month of Kartik (Nov)
  • Duration – 1 day

Holi

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaHoli – occasion to smear each other in colors

India’s most loved festival, Holi  is the festival of colors and instills a new life in the people. Though a festive occasion all over India, Holi in Nandgaon, the Land of Lord Shri Krishna draws the maximum footfall not only from the country but also from abroad.

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  • When – Full moon of the Phalgun (March)
  • Duration – 1 day

Also Read: Complete Guide To Holi in India

Karwachauth

A plethora of rituals take place during the Karwachauth. On this day, North-Indian women keep fast from sunrise to moonrise and pray for the longevity of their husbands.

  • When – Fourth day of dark fortnight of Kartik month (Oct or Nov)
  • Duration – 1 day

Krishna Janmashtami

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaKrishna Janamashtami – birthday of Lord Krishna

On Krishna Janmashtami, Hindus cherish the birth of Lord Krishna. Devotees keep fast and pay obeisance at the temples of the Lord.

  • When – 8th day dark fortnight of Bhadrapada (Aug or Sept)
  • Duration – 1 day

Makar Sankranti (Uttrayan)

Signifying the end of the winter solstice, Makar Sankranti is the time when farmers gather in joy and harmony. It is also celebrated as Magh Bihu in Assam. The thanksgiving ceremony to sun proceeds with taking a holy dip in the sacred river, donating products made of ‘Til’ and jaggery.

  • When – 14th Jan
  • Duration – 1 day

 Maha Shivratri

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaMaha Shivratri – wedding day of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati

Maha Shivratri solemnizes the wedding of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati. Fasting for the whole day and vigils throughout the night complete the festival.

  • When – 13th night /14th day of Magha (Feb-March)
  • Duration – 1 day

 Rath YatraCelebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaRath Yatra – time when Lord Jagannath travels to his maternal aunt’s house

Also known as the Chariot festival, Rath Yatra is a public procession with huge chariots carrying idols of Lord Jagannath (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu), his elder brother Balabhadra and his sister Subhadra. Millions of Hindus visit Puri to join the procession every year.

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  • When – 2nd day in the bright fortnight of Ashadha month (June)
  • Duration – 1 day

Sindhu Darshan

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaSindhu Darshan Festival,Leh Ladakh – the pride of Kashmir

Leh gets a new life during the Sindhu Darshan Festival. The festival endorses the Sidhu (Indus) River as an icon of the communal unity and harmony of India.

  • When – Guru Purnima in June
  • Duration – 3 days

Dussehra

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaDussehra – victory of good over the evil

It is believed that Lord Rama killed Ravana on the day which is now celebrated as the Dussehra or Vijaydashmi. Statues of Ravana along with his brothers are set to fire on this day to mark the victory of good over the bad and make Dussehra in mysore and other parts of India worth witnessing.

  • When – September or October
  • Duration – 1 day

Also ReadDussehra Festival in India

Christmas

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaChristmas – birthday of Jesus Christ

The arrival of Christmas is anticipated fondly in Goa. The festival to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ is the time to visit church, light candles, decorate the Christmas tree, sing carols, and enjoy with family is significant in Goa. The arrival of the Santa Claus with gifts excites kids and warms the hearts of the elders.

  • When – 25th December
  • Duration – 1 day

 Eid

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaEid – end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting

Rejoiced by millions of Muslims all over the country, Eid is one of the biggest religious festivals in India. Falling after one month of strict fasting, the fiesta includes Iftar parties. Getting Eidi and savoring delicious sewaiyan is one of the delightful things to do on this day.

  • When – Date varies depending upon the sighting of the new moon but usually it falls in June
  • Duration – 1 day

 Sports Festivals in India

The adrenaline rushing activities conducted during the sports festivals in India leave one speechless. Take a look at some of the action packed events.

Kila Raipur Sports Festival

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaKila Raipur Sports Festival,Punjab – the Rural Olympics

The leading name on the list is, Kila Raipur Sports Festival. Alternatively known as the Rural Olympics, the fiesta is attended by many participants including both men and women.

  • When – February
  • Duration – 3 days

Skiing Competition in Auli

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaSkiing in Auli – an amazing winter sport

Auli is a charming hill town in Uttarakhand with ski-worthy slopes. Skiing in Auli is nothing less than a winter sports festival at this quaint hill station. Bestowed with a certificate to host winter sports for almost a decade, come winter and you are up for a thrilling challenge.

  • When – The best time for skiing in Auli is from November to March
  • Duration – In 2017, the international skiing even was held for 7 days

Food and Drink Festivals in India

India is dotted with foodies all around. The nation hosts various food and drink festivals that just can’t be missed. Experience the soul of India through scrumptious food items and treat your taste buds with cuisines so delicious that you will simply crave for more.

World On A Platter – International Food Festival

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaWorld On A Platter,International Food Festival,Delhi – a treat for the foodies

Taste handpicked dishes from all over the world during the International Food Festival. Delicacies from all the seven continents will be served to pamper your taste buds.

  • When – February
  • Duration – 2 days

State Festivals in India

The state festivals in India define every state of the country distinctively. These fetes keep the ‘fun quotient’ always up.

Goa Carnival

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in IndiaGoa Carnival,Goa – unlimited fun

Bustling with effervescence, Goa Carnival is a continuous extravaganza of songs, fun, music, frolic and dance. The ever-so-lively vibe of Goa adds to making this carnival memorable.

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  • When – February or March
  • Duration – 3 days

Winter Festival at Mount Abu

Held at Mount Abu – the only hill station of Rajasthan, Winter Festival is an unusual combination of striking handicrafts, cultural vibrancy and delicious food.

  • When – 29th – 31st December
  • Duration – 3 days

Sao Joao

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in India Sao Joao,Goa – Catholic festival celebrated in a distinctive manner

Celebrated in a distinctive manner, Sao Joao is a tribute to the St. John, the Baptist. Devotees leap into and swim into the domestic drinking water wells.

  • When – 24th June
  • Duration – 1 day

Jaisalmer Desert Festival

Celebrate Cultural Diversity with Festivals in India Jaisalmer Desert Festival,Rajasthan – medley of Rajasthani music, dance and culture

Turban tying and Mr. Desert are two out of the many competitions that make theJaisalmer Desert Festival  stand out amongst the rest. Enjoy an escape into the heart of the golden Thar Desert, camping, enjoying cultural programs and making the most of your stay in the Thar.

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  • When – February
  • Duration – 3 days

The list of festivals in India could be endless. Plan a trip to know in how many fiestas you can attend?

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Indian Holiday Pvt. Ltd. (IHPL) is a 2 time National Tourism Award winning destination management company based in Delhi. This travel blog is an initiative to inform the visitors about all aspects of India that include her history, heritage, culture and tourist attractions and destinations.
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