Fairs and Festivals - Fairs and Festivals of Rajasthan

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Fairs and Festivals of Rajasthan (India)

Rajasthan is at its colourful best during the festivals. Some of these like the Repubilc Day, Holi, Dussehra and Diwali are observed in Rajasthan in the same way as in the rest of the country. Others, exclusive to the region, such as Gangaur and Teej, have distinctive local colour.

The spring festival of Gangaur, symbolie of the ripened harvest, is held in honour of Gauri, the goddess of abundance. The image of the deity is carried in a procession of gaily dressed men and women. A more imposing or exhilarating singht can hardly be imagined than the entire population of a city thus assembled for purpose of rejoicing, the countenance of each individual wreathed in smiles.
The Teej celebrates the advent of the monsoon. Traditionally, this day is sacred to goddess Parvati whose image, clad in red and gold, is borne on a palanquin in a procession with caparisoned elephants, horses and camels. The procession presents a grand spectacle of colour and gaiety

Fairs and Festivals hold a prominent place and reveals the culture and day to day life of the people of Rajasthan. In Rajasthan festivals are celebrated with zust and zeal with dance and music which make the golden sand come alive. For every religious event, for every harvest and for every change of season there are different fairs and festivals in Rajasthan. While some of these are traditional festivals, there are also a large number of festivals that have been recently started by the tourism department to display the custom and tradition of the area. The fair and festivals are celebrated almost all parts of Rajasthan throughout the year. These festivals provide an opportunity to the visitor to come across the lifestyle of the people of Rajasthan. Various adventure sports are organised especially for the tourists is some of the   fairs and festivals like horse polo, camel races, elephant race and elephant polo. If you wish to include any of the festival in your Tour, then we would be glad to include that fair or festival in your Tour. The Team of Rajasthan Visit keeps update from time to time the dates of the important fairs and festivals which are celebrated in Rajasthan, So please check the dates of the festivals, before finalising your trip. Some of the popular fairs and festivals of Rajasthan are as follows:

Camel Festival, Bikaner (January)
Camel Fair, Bikaner, Rajasthan

Camel festival is celebrated in Bikaner, a very amazing desert city and the only camel breeding farm in the country in the month of January. Camel festival is a very famous festival of Rajasthan. Camel dances and Camel races takes place during this festival. Important attractions of this festival are the Dance and Music of Rajasthan.  

Folks performances are also played during the festival and fire dance is also organized during the festival in the night.

Desert Festival, Jaisalmer (January)

Desert Festival is one of the most prominent and famous festival of Rajasthan. Desert Festival takes place in the month of January, it is celebrated on the Sam Sand Dunes which is about 24 kms from the city of Jaisalmer. Camels from all over Rajasthan assemble here during the festival and perform an amazing show on the sands of the desert. This festival is celebrated for 3 days and during the time of this festival all the area of Jaisalmer is filled with joy with the colourful dressed people. The Desert Festival gives a cultural platform for the rich tradition of music and dance of the state. Some of the prominent attractions of this festival are camel races, puppet shows, Gair and fire dances, turban–tying competition, Mr. Desert contest, the tug-of-war, ballads etc. As darkness falls, the Sam dunes come alive to the balladeers’ emotional songs of the soldier-kings and their companions as the puppeteers dramatise the epics. At the end of the festival, the prize is awarded to the best dressed camel.

camels at Desert fair, Jaisalmer
Nagaur Fair, Nagaur (February)
Nagaur fair, Naguar, Rajasthan

Nagaur Fair also known as cattle fair is celebrated annually in the month of February in Nagaur. Nagaur Fair is the 2nd biggest trading fair in India, about 70,000 cattle are traded in this fair. Nagaur becomes a busy town when the cattle, horses and camels are accompanied by their owners and buyers who come here from all over to buy and sell them. Beautiful and regal horses, Nagauri bulls and the long-lashed camels are traded in this fair. Other prominent attractions of Nagaur Fair are the Rajasthani women, in their flowing skirts and vibrant beads, and men, wearing gold earrings and colourful turbans and hawking leather and wooden handicrafts. The hides of the animals, cut into amazing patterns, are very exciting. One of the largest market for red chillies, Mirchi Bazaar, takes place during this fair.

The day begins with the buyers and sellers who are involved in earnest bargains and ends with the dances, songs and amusement. The camel races, cock fights and the attractive tug-of-war also take place during this fair. It provides a chance to local people and also to the foreign tourists to know the rural life and take part in various activities and enjoy the festival.

Baneshwar Fair, Banswara (February)
Baneshwar Fair is celebrated in Baneshwar in Banswara in the state of Rajasthan in the month of February during the time of Shivratri. This sacred tribal fair takes place on the banks of the Som and Mahi rivers in the forested region around the border of Rajasthan that it shares with Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. During this fair tribal people from Rajasthan and from the nearby states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh assemble in a large number and offers prayers to Lord Shiva and set camps in large groups.
Chaksu Fair (March)
During the Chaksu Fair a huge crowd of rural people assemble in Chaksu from all over Rajasthan. Chaksu Fair is also known by the name of Shitla Mata Fair or Basoda. This fair is one of the most vibrant and colourful occasion in the fair calendar of Rajasthan. This large fair is held to satisfy the goddess of war whose anger can be the dreadful scrouge of smallpox unless calmed by her followers. On the day of Chaksu Fair, the food which is prepared on the previous day is eaten.
Brij Festival (March)
Brij Festival is takes place in the month of March, a few days before Holi. It is celebrated around Bharatpur in the Brij area. This festival is celebrated at the time of the arrival of spring season with dance and music.
Elephant Festival (March)

The Elephant festival takes place in the month of March, on the day of Holi in the city of Jaipur. Prominent highlights of this festival are: elephant race, elephant polo, the tug of war between elephants and men and women and other cultural programmes. The most vibrant and colourful part of Elephant festival is the Holi which is played on the back of elephant. During this festival, the horses, camels, elephants and folk dancers go in parade and participate in various competitions. In this festival, the tourists can look at the cultural programmes of dance and music and also enjoy the festival of colors. The scene of the elephants which are dressed very wonderfully and moving royally in a pageant is certainly a sight to behold.

The mahawats or owners adorn the bodies of the elephants with heavy jewellery, jhools and vibrant colours. In the end, the prizes are given to the elephant who is decorated wonderfully.

Elephant Festival, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Gangaur Festival, Jaipur (March / April)
Gangaur Festival, Jaipur

The Gangaur festival is a very important festival of women in the state of Rajasthan. This festival is mostly celebrated in Udaipur, Jaipur and Mandawa in the month of March or April. This festival takes place for almost two weeks after Holi is over. This festival is dedicated to Goddess Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva.

During this festival the women and young girls wore their traditional dress of ‘Lehnga’ ‘Choli’ and ‘Odhni’, sing and dance and pray Issar and Gangaur, demonstrations of Shiva and Parvati, for grooms of their choice while the married women pray for the safety of their husbands.

During this festival various activities are organized in a grand procession which reveals the arrival of Lord Shiva to take his bride home.

Mewar Festival, Udaipur (March / April)
Mewar festival takes place in the month of March or April in the city of Udaipur and coincides with the Gangaur festival. This festival is celebrated to greet the spring season. During this festival, the entire city turns out to mark the end of the 18 day festival and there are religious music shows and presentations by the artists. The main attraction of this festival is the procession of colourfully dressed women carrying images of the Goddess Gauri to Lake Pichola and the parade of the floats on the lake.
Ajmer Urs, Ajmer (May)
Ajmer Urs takes place in the memory of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer. The date of this Ajmer Urs is not fixed, and it is takes place according to the moon. The Urs honors the symbolic union of the saint with God. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world assemble at the temple and offer their prayers to the holy saint during this festival. This festival is celebrated for about six days with continuous music and other programmes and Qawwalis (poems) are sung in the honour of the saint. On the last day of the festival, womens wash the tomb with their hair and then squeeze the rose water into bottles as medicine for the ill person.  During this festival the entire town of Ajmer is adorned with buntings, and wears the spirit of festivity.
Summer Festival, Mount Abu (June)
Summer Festival is celebrated in Mount Abu which is the only hill station of Rajasthan. Summer festival takes place in the month of June. This is the only festival which is takes place in the summers. Important attractions of the festival are Cultural Programmes and Folk dances which are performed by the Bhil tribes of the region. These folk dances and cultural shows makes atmosphere of happiness in the town so that the tourists can relax and enjoy the festival with enthusiasm.
Teej Festival, Jaipur (August)

Teej is a prominent festival of Rajasthan. Teej festival takes place at the beginning of the monsoon season during the month of August. This festival is devoted to the worship of goddess Parvati. The Teej festival is celebrated all over the state, but, it is mostly celebrated in Jaipur, where the idol of the goddess Parvati is taken out in colourful parade alongwith dance and song, for two days.

The women and young girls assemble in large groups, dress up in colourful clothes and spend time on swings adorned with flowers and enjoy the festival by dancing and singing.

Teej Festival, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Marwar Festival, Jodhpur (October)
Marwar Festival is devoted mostly to the dance and music of the Marwar region. This festival takes place during the month of October in the city of Jodhpur. This festival truly reflects the art and culture of the Jodhpur region and the Maand festival is an important part of this festival. During the Marwar Festival the tourists can enjoy the folk music and dance of Jodhpur and also of whole Rajasthan.
Pushkar Fair, Pushkar (November)
Pushkar Fair, Pushkar, Rajasthan

Pushkar is famous all over the world due to its Pushkar Festival which takes place in the month of November. During this festival the whole of Pushkar is changed into a magnificent fair ground where thousands of pilgrims come to take bath in the holy water of Pushkar lake and pray at the Brahma temple. Pushkar fair is also the world's biggest cattle and camel fair where farmers, breeders and camel traders buy and sell. It is also a time for families and friends to assemble together at one place, entertain each other with folk dances and songs, camp in the desert, cook meals over camp fires, and also do shopping in the fair.

Special tented camps are set up on this occassion for the visitors in Pushkar.

Festival Calendar of Rajasthan

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