Rajasthan celebrates a wide range if fairs and festivals the year round. These are occasions of merrymaking and revelry, when various social traditions and religious beliefs are on full display. The colorful spirit of the state is reflected during these gatherings, which are marked by vigorous performances of folk art, music and other interesting exhibitions.
Pushkar Fair: This annual camel fair held at Pushkar every year, is a combination of a religious event, commercial fair and tourist event. Held in November on the auspicious day of Karthik Purnima, when Hindu's bathe in Pushkar Lake and pray at the Brahma Temple, the camel fair includes busy buying and selling of camels and cattle, along with cultural performances, a camel beauty pageant and a lot of color and activity as people, horses, camels, donkeys converge on this small town in Rajasthan.
Desert Festival: This colorful festival is held in Jaisalmer, in February every year. Cultural events, camel races, turban tying competitions, and contests to judge the man with the best moustache are held at this festival in the golden sands of the Rajasthan Desert, with a final musical performance by folk singers under the moonlit sky at the dunes in Sam, just outside Jaisalmer.
Gangaur Festival: The Gangaur Festival celebrates the end of winter and the marital bliss of Shiva and Parvati represented by Isar and Gauri. A colorful procession, bearing their idols, makes its way through Jaipur town in March or April, with elephants, horses, camels, bullocks and palanquins. The procession ends when the idols are immersed in the Lake. The Gangaur Festival is marked by colorful dances, musical performances and joyful celebrations.
Teej Festival: This festival is celebrated with great gaiety by women in Jaipur. Teej is celebrated when the monsoon rains appear, and the land turns green and fertile. The Teej festival commemorates the day that the goddess Parvati was united with her consort Lord Shiva. Women celebrate this day by wearing colorful clothes, meeting other women and walking in a procession with the idol of Goddess Parvati through the streets of Jaipur. The women pray to the Goddess for a happy married life. The streets are colorfully decorated and shops selling bangles and mehendi (henna) - to decorate the hands of women - spring up in the streets. The Teej Festival has also been promoted as a colorful event for tourists, with turban tying competitions, bangle-wearing competitions, and musical and cultural performances.
Urs at Ajmer: The annual celebration at the Dargah or tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Muinuddin Chisti, in Ajmer is observed with great fervor in June each year. Pilgrims of different religions come from all over to seek the blessings of the great saint. Programs of religious music or quawwalis are held all night long at the dargah in which renowned singers participate. The intensity of the performance has to be witnessed, to be truly appreciated.