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A Cultural Guide to festivals of Rajasthan – a must to witness during on your trip!

The pink city leaves no stone unturned to grab the attention of tourists for a variety of reasons. Not just the lip-smacking foods, architecture, textiles or majestic monuments, but the festivals celebrated here leave no opportunity to attract the people to the region. Festivals are a reflection of the legacy. It is also a great way to celebrate the love of people for their art, culture and heritage. These festivals keep the legacy and tradition alive. Thus, this counts as another reason to plan a trip to Jaipur and be a part of these celebrations. Therefore, below are the festivals of Rajasthan that are unique to the region. 

January

1. Camel Festival

Held in Bikaner, this two-day festival begins with a lively procession of decorated camels across the place. Star events of the festival are the tug-of-war contest, best breed competition, turban tying competition, acrobatics and much more. Moreover, having a look at the camel dances performed during the procession is indeed a treat to your eyes. 

2. Literature Festival of Jaipur 

The Literature Festival of Jaipur was first held in the year 2006. It had an aim to increase awareness and importance of art amongst the locals. Due to its popularity it has now grown to be the largest literature festival of Asia. An abundance of local and international authors participate in the reading and discussion sessions. Indeed, it is a golden opportunity for you guys to meet your favourite authors for some autographs, photographs and insights. 

3. Desert Festival

The otherwise barren land of Jaisalmer comes to life when the Desert festival is celebrated with a lot of gaiety. Its main aim is to flaunt the cultural aspect of royal Rajasthan to the rest of the world.  In addition, the celebration is accompanied by traditional music, dances, splashing of colours amidst the Thar desert. 

4. International Kite Festival

During the International Kite Festival, one can see no clouds but only kites soaring in the sky. People all over the state fly colourful and multi-shaped kites and also indulge into kite wars. This festival has gained immense attention and hence an international kite festival is held for people all over the world. 

March

5. Mewar Festival

To celebrate the onset of spring, the Mewar Festival of Udaipur is celebrated with grandeur. Indeed, it is the world’s 2nd Living Heritage Festival and one of the most popular festivals of Rajasthan. Key attractions of the celebration are Musical shows, classical dance, seminars on preservation of the monuments, delicious food stalls and astonishing displays of fireworks. Unquestionably, it is a package worth experiencing! 

6. Brij Holi festival

Image courtesy: Ankit Bhardwaj

There’s no one who must have not heard about holi. But Brij holi? 

Now that’s something new!

The uniqueness of Brij Holi is that it’s celebrated a few days before the actual Holi. The Brij Holi is celebrated to worship Lord Krishna. This holi too comprises music, dance, gulal and bhang. The natives take a dip in the Banganga River before offering prayers to the Radha Krishna Temple. 

7. Elephant Festival

The Elephant festival is one of the most astonishing festivals in Rajasthan. The majestic creatures represent the desert’s royal heritage. The elephants are beautifully decked up with vibrant clothings along with colours sprinkled upon their heads. The main attraction of the festival is the procession that is carried out consisting of the elephants and folk dancers. 

This is undoubtedly a sight to behold. Elephant polo, racing, and a tug-of-war between elephants and 19 persons are the highlights of the festival. Witnessing the war between the humble giants and tiny people is something you shouldn’t miss. 

April

8. Gangaur

Jaipur celebrates one of the most beautiful and lavish festivals of Rajasthan; Gangaur. It is celebrated to mark the beginning of spring and the harvesting period of the farmers.

It is a celebration of marital fidelity as well where women pray for the safety of their husbands. During this festival a puja is held in which clay idols of Lord Shiva and Goddess Gauri are made. These are then adorned with hand-made clothing and after the puja is over the idols are submerged in the river. 

July/August

9. Kajli teej

The village of Bundi celebrates the Kajli teej. It is considered as the most distinct amongst those celebrated all over the state. It begins with the procession of the goddess in a vibrantly decorated palanquin sent throughout Bundi. In addition, the procession consists of decorated elephants and camels to folk dances and vibrantly dressed gatherings. Although the main function is held for only two days, the celebration continues until janmashtami.

September/October

10.  Dussehra

Also known as Vijaydashmi, Dussehra is a spectacular and splendid celebration of Rajasthan. The day marks the victory of Rama over the 10-headed king Ravana. The locals celebrate Dusshera by burning the larger than a life size effigy of Ravana with a lot of zeal.

Jaipur’s City Palace holds the Jaipur Shopping Festival. It’s an initiative taken by Rajasthan Patrika which is a must to attend. 

11. Marwar Festival

Held in Jodhpur in the month of October, this 2-day affair flaunts the art and culture of the region. The celebration is mainly devoted to music and dance. Moreover, the folk dances represent the times of wars and great heroes whose memories are kept alive through their folk songs.

November

12.  Bundi festival

The desolate town of Bundi comes to life during the 3-day Bundi festival, held every year in November. It is a cultural celebration with a lot of events taking place. Some of which are, traditional folk dances, horse riding, camel race and turban-tying competitions. Moreover, the festival doesn’t fail to draw the attention of locals and tourists from surrounding villages. Furthermore, in the evenings the town celebrates a mini version of the Diwali through brightly lit diwali lamps.

Make a bucket list of the Rajasthan Festivals you would love to attend. Book your trip to Rajasthan, and gain a memorable cultural experience during your trip. And to capture your memories, contact Lokaso for some professional shots! 

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