Festivals are a period of celebration, and in India, festivals are an essential display of culture, values and tradition. The beauty of the festivals here is still unmatched. These festivals are all linked with the lives of many people and it during these festivals that most of us become culturally alive. Here are some of the most beautiful cultural festivals of India that you need to visit.
1) Konark Festival, Odisha
Konark Festival is a five day dance festival held every year in the month of February in Sun temple of Konark. This dance and art festival is organized to spread awareness about the UNESCO site of Konark. The exquisite dancing hall of this place is an architectural wonder. Many coveted dancers from across the world come here to perform various dance forms like Chau, Mohiniattam, Odissi, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, and any other forms of tribal dance.
2) Hornbill Festival, Nagaland
The Hornbill Festival happens every year from 1st to 10th of December in Kohima, Nagaland. Nagaland is home to several tribals and in order to encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage, the festival is organized. The festival has the traditional Naga Morungs Exhibition, the Miss Naga beauty contest, Traditional archery, Naga wrestling, music concerts and indigenous games.
3) International Kite Festival, Gujarat
The International Kite Festival or Uttarayan is one of the biggest festivals celebrated in Gujarat. Every year on Makar Sankranti, thousands of people come out to fly their kites. The best place to enjoy this festival is the Sabarmati Riverfront or the Ahmedabad Police Stadium. During this festival, local food like Undhiyu and Jalebi is served to the crowd.
4) Pushkar Mela, Rajasthan
Pushkar Mela is a five day camel and livestock fair held in Pushkar, Rajasthan. One of the largest camel fairs in the world, the Pushkar Mela has become a popular tourist attraction. A camel race starts off the festival which is followed by music, song and exhibition. Other competitions like matka phod, longest moustache and bridal competition also attract a lot of tourists.
5) Kila Raipur Sports Festival, Punjab
Also known as Rural Olympics, the Kila Raipur Sports Festival occurs at Kila Raipur, Punjab where competitions are held for major Punjabi sports like cart race and athletics events. The winners are awarded and are highly respected in the state. Apart from sports events, animals like bulls, dogs, camels, donkeys, mules are also used.
6) Goa Carnival, Goa
Similar to the carnivals which happen around the world, the Carnival in Goa is the largest in India and happens every year in the month of February. The festival got a boost in the 1960s after the end of the Portuguese rule in Goa. The festival still has the traditional staging of street side local plays in Salcete.
7) Bhagoria Festival, Madhya Pradesh
Bhagoria festival is celebrated by the tribal people of Madhya Pradesh and in this festival young boys and girls are allowed to elope after choosing their partner. In this festival a haat is organized in the form of a swayamvar where young boys and girls are allowed to choose their partner. The boy puts a red powder on the face of the girl he want to marry, and if the girl want to marry the same guy, she puts the red powder on him too. This festival is celebrated in the month of March before Holi.
Mark your calendars and get ready to experience the culture of India in a different way!