As we all know, India is a rich and vibrant country with diverse culture and civilizations. Every festival stands out for its exclusive celebrations, majesty, food and customs. In these winter months, plan an extraordinary expedition to review the finest culture of the country. We have curated an unusual list of these beautiful mainstream festivals that you must put in your itinerary this holiday season.
1. Camel Fair, Rajasthan: Winter season brings out the finest things in some places, and, Rajasthan is one such majestic destination that gets beautiful with the start of winter. Apart from travelling the majestic havelis and magnificent forts of the state, visit the desert land to revel in art, culture and festivals. Catch sight of the remarkable camel performances, fascinating local folklores, extravagant firework show and more at the Camel Fair in Bikaner and Pushkar. The two-day affair scheduled from January and will make sure to mesmerize you with its grandeur and make for a perfect escape during the winter.
2. Jaipur Literary Festival, Rajasthan: Numerous literary fests take place in India. Though, the Jaipur Literary Festival scheduled from January to February at the Pink City of India is the world’s major free event of its kind that will see well-known characters including historians, politicians, humanitarians and business leaders grace attendees with their existence. The literary fest, with its inspiring discussions held in the background of the famous Diggi Palace, offers an exceptional cultural and knowledgeable experience.
3. Desert Festival, Rajasthan: See the Thar Desert come to life at the three-day spectacular event of Jaisalmer – Desert festival. Scheduled in the month of January and this is the time when the celebrations of the festival lift the desert with colour, passion, and happiness. The traditional and vibrant clothes, the traditional music recitals, happenings like camel running competition, tug-of-war, moustache competition, acrobatic stunts along with delicious food and artefacts make it a complete must-visit destination during the winter.
4. Sufi Spirit Festival, Rajasthan: Rajasthan is much more than its significant forts and palaces. The Sufi Spirit Festival at Nagaur with peaceful music, dance and poetry and good food is definite to offer a memorable experience. Hyped to be one of the most exciting music spectacles in the nation, the Sufi Festival brings together amazing artists from across India and around the world in a spectacular royal setting. Scheduled from February at the Nagaur fort and Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, this occasion is sure to transport you to a different world in total.
5. Theyyam, Kerala: Though Kerala is an essence of tranquillity and charming beauty, its festivals, too, stand out for their magnificence and exclusivity. One offbeat festival of Kerala is Theyyam that created in North Kerala. Scheduled to take place from February in the Kasargod region of Kerala, the famous ritual dance, Theyyam signifies a host of Gods and Goddesses dancing to the hums of musical instruments like chenda, elathalam, kurumkuzal and veekkuchenda. The giant and vibrant red headgear, hefty make-up, giant masks and flashy costumes make it one of the best pictorial art forms to be discovered in God’s Own Country.
6. Rann Utsav, Gujarat: With its antique shrines and wildlife nature preserve, Gujarat undeniably is a gem trove of construction and history. Well, give them a miss and move forward to the desert of Kutch to experience an outstanding cultural carnival. The India Rann Utsav is a blend of music, dance and craft. The white sands and full bloom moon make for the picture-perfect set, specifically in the winter season. Therefore, indulgence yourself to the artistic performances of folk dancers, Kutch food, camel-back safari and more at Gujarat’s Rann Utsav that ends on February.
7. Kite festival, Gujarat: From stunt kites, rokkakus, deltas, small kites and hot-air balloon, scan the skies during the famous Ahmedabad International Kite Festival scheduled from the month of January every year. Every corner of Ahmedabad’s streets and lanes will be full of makeshift workshops marketing kites of various colours and hues, sizes, and shapes. Come, witness the wonderful kite flying skills and unbelievably artistic kites take to the skies during the festival. Do not fail to recall shopping for gorgeous handicrafts, knick-knacks, attires, and spices traded at the time of the festival. Also, relish the local delicacies on offer for visitors, travellers, and locals alike.
8. Hornbill festival, Nagaland: If you are attractive to the tour of the Northeast in the winter season, then Nagaland can be a perfect destination. Do not skip the 10-day Hornbill festival held in Kisama heritage village of Nagaland. Planned from December, the village plays host to a sequence of arts and crafts showings and events such as a Naga wrestling contest, Naga chilli-eating challenge, culinary competition, oiled bamboo pole mounting event and much more. Relish the rock music festival held at the same time introducing some of the best modern bands from Northeast India. Food enthusiasts will have the chance to dig into the best of Naga food delights offered on every day at the festival.
9. Losar, Sikkim: The Northeast states have a variety of mesmerizing festivals full of colours and that is rich in cultural history. When it comes to Sikkim, a visit to the Tibetan parts in the small Indian hill state is a must. In February, the Tibetans rejoice the Tibetan New Year, also known as Losar, with much cheerfulness and passion. At the Pemayangste Monastery, travellers can witness the New Year celebrations, where certain unique rituals are performed along with traditional dance forms. Capture all the action live at Gangtok for two days, from February.