Desert Festival :
January/February The setting for this festival is the wind-caressed sand dunes. Under the magic of the full moon the entire canvas of desert sand undergoes a spectacular change, appearing almost mysteriously silver and strangely haunting. Folk singers normally begin the program and the desert comes alive with the magical strains of Rajasthani music. Artistes of international repute are selected for the performance so that audiences can experience the very best. Dances typical to the state are also performed and for three days, the otherwise barren land of Jaisalmer comes to life and is clustered with hordes of colourfully dressed people. Be there…it’s GREAT fun.
Basant Panchami :
January/February is marked by ceremonial welcome to spring time when people, colourfully attired, especially in bright shades of yellow, dance, sing and make merry. It’s a fun celebration and shouldn’t be missed if visiting at this time of year.
March/April The festival of colours is celebrated here as it is throughout the country and is worthwhile joining in on the action. Holi is a spring festival celebrated over two days. On the evening of the first day bonfires are lit, to symbolise the destruction of evil but also seen as the end of winter in the north, as the next day cold coloured water is thrown on people. In many parts of India Koma, the god of pleasure, is the presiding deity of Holi. Lord Krishna too, is worshipped by many who celebrate Holi to commemorate the destruction of the female demon Putana by the Lord. Legends apart, Holi today is the time to drop all civility and inhibitions, smear coloured powder and water on one and all, sing dance, feast and be merry.
Ram Navmi :
March/April celebrates the birth of Rama, the celebrated hero of the epic Ramayana. Temples are decorated and prayers are offered. Chariot processions of Ram, Seeta and Lakshman are undertaken and well worth a photo.
Gangaur Festival :
March/April The festival of maidens and married women dedicated to Gauri, the incarnation of Goddess Parvati is celebrated during this time. The festival is celebrated with much gaiety and women dress in their best costumes and images of Gauri, beautifully decorated and bejewelled, are displayed; the town band plays and women sing and dance. Join in on the action if visiting at this time of year, you’ll enjoy it.
August This Rajasthani festival is celebrated by women, in memory of Goddess Parvati’s departure to her husband’s home.
October/November is one of the most widely celebrated festivals of India. The origin of the festival has many versions but the most popular one traces it to the Ramayana and Lord Rama’s coronation after his 14 year exile in the forest. It is said that the people illuminated their houses and streets with earthen oil lamps to welcome the Lord. To the business community, especially in western India, Diwali marks the New Year involving the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. At night, along with the various candle lit illuminations, firecrackers are set alight in almost every house, sweets are distributed, new clothes are worn and games of chance are played. Diwali is easily the brightest and noisiest festival of India and worth experiencing while here.