Well, I had a long absence from posting any articles here….I have finally found my way back in and hope to continue to jot down more often.
Here’s my first post for 2016….had to share my pick of 05 fairs and festivals in India for 2016 which I feel would be a wonderful experience.
India, as a country is very diverse and multi cultural, on every given day there is definitely a festival being celebrated at some part of the country. These fairs and festivities may be celebration of either religious, entertainment or just a daily ritual significance. People, Music, Food, Colours, Dance are some of the things that come into my mind while imagining the various occasions.
1) KUMBH MELA (JAN 14 TO APRIL 22)
The Haridwar Kumbh Mela for 2016 is what we call “Ardh Kumbh” meaning Half Kumbh, this does not translate literally into meaning that only half the people come but what it means is that it is the Kumbh between the 12 year cycle of the Maha Kumbh.
To clarify this further all the Sadhus and millions of Pilgrims will participate at the Kumbh at Haridwar but will not have the processions of Sadhus in one group, in the Ardh Kumbh the Sadhus are free to go for the holy dip at any time they feel and is not tied down to a fixed time. So there will be the large tented city and everything that goes with the Maha Kumbh excepting the processions of the Sadhus.
2) JAIPUR LITERATURE FESTIVAL (JAN 21-25)
This is the World’s Largest Free Literary Festival, the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival brings together some of the greatest thinkers and writers from across South Asia and the world. From Nobel laureates to local language writers, Man Booker prize winners to debut novelists, every January the most remarkable, witty, sensitive and brilliant collection of authors come together for five days of readings, debates and discussions at the beautiful Diggi Palace in the Rajasthani capital. Featuring live music sessions and interactive workshops, the Festival provides a space to dare, dream and imagine.
3) WORLD SACRED SPIRIT FESTIVAL (FEB 22-24 AT NAGAUR & FEB 26-27 AT JODHPUR)
World Sacred Spirit Festival or what is more popularly called the ‘Sufi Festival’ is an amazing spiritual and musical journey in the splendour of the historical forts of Jodhpur and Nagaur.
The prestigious sites of the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur and the Ahhichatragarh Fort in Nagaur open their doors to an extraordinary sacred and historical musical journey. Lit by the sparkling incandescence of a thousand candles, magnificent, inherited and spiritual arts will carry you to the very origin of a tradition linked to those pilgrims of the past, travellers of the spirit, who brought to civilisation a sense of inspiration and meaning.
4) HEMIS FESTIVAL – LADAKH (JULY 14-15)
Hemis Monastery is a monastery of the Drukpa Lineage, located in Ladakh. The monastery was re-established in 1672 by the Ladakhi king Sengge Namgyal. The monastery hosts an annual festival called ‘Hemis Tsechu’ or popularly known as ‘Hemis Festival’. In this festival Chams performance is carried out and is essentially a part of Tantric tradition.
This 2-day long cultural extravaganza is dedicated to Lord Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche). The most esoteric of festivities are the mystic mask dances (Chams) performed by the lamas that illustrates good prevailing over evil. The performers wear elaborate and bizarre costumes and brightly painted masks. The dance movements are slow, and the expressions grotesque. The music is characteristically punctuated with sounds of cymbals, drums, and unwieldy trumpets.
5) RAJASTHAN INTERNATIONAL FOLK FESTIVAL (OCT 17-21)
Rajasthan International Folk Festival (Jodhpur RIFF) is an annual music and art festival organized to promote traditional folk music and arts held at Mehrangarh Fort. The Jodhpur RIFF took off in 2007 and it’s been growing in distinction and popularity ever since. Hardly surprising, considering it’s got a plethora of top-notch musicians from across India and all around the world coming together. The festival is supported by UNESCO as a “People’s Platform for Creativity and Sustainable Development” with the Maharaja of Jodhpur as its chief patron and Sir Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones as the
So with this post, I hope it will encourage you or your friends and family to travel and enjoy these fairs/festivals beside the many other which is a regular feature always and not much has to be said about.