India is popular for being one of the most culturally and traditionally colourful destinations in the world. It is a place which is built on the foundation of various ancient and unique beliefs that has survived the test of time. Festivals in India are not just a continuation of traditions they are something that unites the nation as one. There is a whole plethora of festivals celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm by the people pf the nation. Apart from the well-known festivals of Holi, Diwali, Christmas and Eid there are innumerable other festivals which showcase the true and authentic Indian culture which are:
Rann Utsav (Gujarat)
This festival is probably one of the most widely acclaimed and famous celebrations that take place in the village of Dhordo near the great Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. For 4 whole months during the winter months the entire sprawling region of 500,000 sq. km. here springs to life and gets flocked with tourists and travellers. The place is covered in various types of tented accommodation, Guajarati food stalls, traditional musical and dance performances complete with theatre performances and several entertainment options for families and kids. Here you will get to know more about the diverse authentic and ethnically rich culture of Gujarat which is very unique in its own way.
Bhandara festival (Maharashtra)
Another one of the most uniquely enticing and beautiful festival takes place during the time when the moon coincides with a Monday. The entire western district of the state of Maharashtra sparkles throughout the day like it’s been covered in gold dust. Actually this yellow colour is the turmeric which used by the devotees of lord Khandoba to celebrate the victory of the lord over the demons Mani and Malla. The festival does not remain restricted to the state of Maharashtra but is celebrated across all the Khandoba temples in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh as well as northern and central regions of Karnataka. Usage of turmeric to worship the lord and apply on each other is primary to the ritual here which is unlike any other ritual in India or anywhere else in the world.
Basant Panchami (west Bengal)
This day is celebrated all over the Indian subcontinent in different names which marks the first day of the spring season after the long and harsh winter days in some areas. This day is celebrated as Basant or Vasant Panchami in West Bengal when the skies get covered in colourful kites. What a remarkable sight it is when the entire neighbourhood gathers together for a kite competition, sing songs of joy and thank the lord for bringing forth another season of prosperity and well-being. This is also celebrated in some parts of Bengal as Saraswati puja where pandals are erected and Saraswati maa (goddess of knowledge) is worshipped amidst song, hymns, chants and rituals.
Hemis (Jammu and Kashmir)
Held in the hilly terrains of Ladakh this is a 2 days of Buddhist festival which celebrates the birthday of Padmasambhava – the spiritual leader and founder of Tibet Tantric Buddhism. This is truly one of the most unique festivals in India where the celebrations include performances by elaborately dressed and masked people dancing in cham style to the loud music created by the cymbals, trumpets, drums etc. This festival is truly unique in its style, representation and authenticity which is witnessed by explorers and tourists from across the globe.
Bihu Festival (Assam)
Harvest festival is a huge deal in India since this is the primary source of income in this subcontinent. held in the month of April in the north eastern state of Assam, this is the time when the people come together to celebrate the harvest season here. people dress up in their traditional attire and perform special Bihu dance together as a thank you to the nature for all things good. The entire ambience during this time is very positive, happy and cheerful just like every other festival of India. People also prepare special food and prasadam made out of coconut, til, putha etc., to offer to the lord and each other as well. This is a time of fun and celebration as one.