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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Festivals of India


India Fairs Festivals - January

Republic Day

Held on 26th January every year, this is a National holiday that commemorates the establishment of the Indian Republic in 1950, all the state capitals resound with the beating of drums and parading of the army. Delhi, the national capital of India has the grandest parades, displaying India's strength in terms of the armed forces and weapons. These are followed by floats and dancers from all parts of the country.

Makar Sankranti (Maharashtra, Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh)

Is a celebration of spring on the occasion of the 'ascent' of the sun to the north (Uttarayana). In Maharashtra, Karnataka as well as part of Andhra, Maker Sankranti is a day of goodwill and friendship. Seasome ladoos and suger drops are distributed as a symbol of the need to be generous and kind to everyone. Women wear new clothes, new glass bangles and hold get-togethers to share sweets and gifts. A new bride is given ornaments made of sugar drops and her new relatives are inivited to meet and welcome her at a Haldi Kumkum celebration.

Lohri (Punjab)

In the North Makar Sankranti is called Lohri. It is the only Hindu festival which falls regularly on the 14th of January every year. Lohri is the time after which the biting cold of winter begins to taper off. On this day the children go from door to door to collect founds for community bonfires which are lit in the evening. Lohri is more of a community festival, where the birth of a son or the first year of marriage is celebrated with great fun and frolic. People gather around the bonfires and offer sweets, crisp rice and popcron to the flames. Songs are sung to the beat of vigorous claps and greetings are exchanged.

Pongal (Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh)

In the South Sankranti becomes Pongal. It is a celebration of the harvest which is observed for three days in Tamil Nadu as well as in Andhra Pradesh. The first day is the Bhogi Pongal which is celebrated as a family festival. Surya Pongal, the second day, is dedicated to the Sun (surya) when pongal (rice cooked in milk and jaggery) is boiled by women and offered to the sun. Friends greet one another by asking "Is it boiled?" and the answer given is "It is". It is followed by great rejoicing. Mattu Pongal, the third day, is a day dedicated to the worship and veneration of cattle(mattu). The pongal that has been offered to the local deities is given to the cattle to eat. The cattle are bathed and decorated. Coloured balls of the pongal are also made and left in the open for birds. In Madurai, Tiruchirapalli and Tanjore, a kind of bullfight, called the "Jellikattu" is held. Bundles containing money are tied to the horns of ferocious bulls, and unarmed villagers try to wrest the bundles from them. With ingredients provided by the freshly gathered harvest, community meals are held at night.

Float Festival

This magnificent festival is celebrated in Madurai on the night of the full moon. The ornamented icons of the two deities, the God Sundaresa (incarnation of Shiva) and the Goddess Meenakshi (incarnation of Parvati), with pearl crowns on their heads and riding on a golden bull are taken out in a splendid procession from the Meenakshi temple. The God Alagar (incarnation of Vishnu) gives his sister Meenakshi, in marriage to Sundaresa amidst great rejoicing. Devotes clothed in yellow and red dance among the processionists and spray coloured water on them. The icons are floated in the tank on a raft decked with flowers and flickering lamps.

Kite Festival

In Gujarat and other western states the change in the direction of winds on Makar Sankranti is marked by thousands of colourful kites of all patterns and dimensions which dot the blue sky. Young men vie with each other to win community kite-flying competitions. The kites are hand made and the thread is given a coating of glass powder mixed in either resin or a paste made of refined wheat flour. The day also witnesses kite flying tournaments in which handsome cash, cups and shields are awarded as prizes to the winners. Special kites with paper lamps fill the night sky with myriad flickering lights.

Bikaner Festival / Camel Festival

The Bikaner festival or the Camel Festival is a colourful festival of the camels. This festival is celebrated in the month of January in Bikaner. This festival starts with a magnificent procession of beautifully decorated camels. Several competitions are held, marked with typical Rajasthani colour, joyous music and lilting rhythms and gay festivities.

Pattadakal Dance Festival

The Pattadakal Dance Festival is celebrated every year in the month of January in Pattadackal, Karnataka. Pattadackal was the ancient capital of the Chalukyan Kings. This dance festival is organised by the Karnataka government to celebrate the temples of Pattadackal. The 'Nrityotsava' or the dance festival draws various famous dancers from all over the world and is accompanied by a crafts fair.

Kerala Village Fair

The Kerala Village Fair is held every year in the mid of January in the villages of Kovalam, Kerala. This fair is organised for almost ten days. During these days the traditional thatch houses are decorated and various folk dances, music and festivities are the part of this fair.

Id–ul–Fitter (All over India)

This festival celebrates the end of Ramzan, the Muslim month of fasting. It is an occasion of feasting and rejoicing. The faithful gather in mosques to pray and meet their friends and relatives and exchange greetings with each other. Prayers, family get–togethers and feasts are the major highlights of the celebrations. Idi or presents of money are given to the youngsters by the family elders, conveying their blessings.

India Fairs Festivals - February

Maha Shivaratri (All over India)

This festival dedicated to Lord Shiva is celebrated all over India. There are many legends in the Indian mythology which gives the reason behind celebrating this festival. People not only pray the Lord on this day but also keep a fast and refrain from sleeping in the night. Especially the married ladies pray for a long life for their husbands. Legends say that Lord Shiva married Parvati on this day. Another story goes that it was this day when the Lord assumed a form of Lingam. Some say this was the day when he consumed the poison from the ocean, while others say that it was on this day that he asked Ganga to come down and purify the earth.

Vasant Panchami

Vasant Panchami is celebrated to welcome the spring season on the fifth day of the waxing moon of Magh or February. On this day, the goddess Saraswati, Durga and Lakshmi are worshipped. People wear colourful dress, especially in bright shades of yellow and participate in dance, music and merriment. In West Bengal and northern parts of India, the goddess Saraswati-the goddess of learning is worshipped by placing ‘instruments of learning’ at her shrine. The festival is celebrated with great fervor in the university town of Shantiniketan in West Bengal.

Desert Festival (Jaisalmer)

The Desert Festival is a three days long extravaganza of colour, music and festivity, held at the golden city of Jaisalmer. Gair and fire dancers swaying to traditional tunes, a turban-tying competition and a Mr. Desert contest are part of the fun and frolic. The grand finale is a trip to the sand dunes at Sam where one can enjoy the pleasure of a camel ride and even view the folk dancers and musicians perform at the sand dunes.

Goa Carnival (Goa)

February heralds the carnival at Goa. For three days and nights, the legendary king Momo takes over the state and the streets come alive with colour. The week long event is a time of festivity.

Nagaur Fair (Nagaur)

Nagaur bustles with life during its annual cattle fair which is one of the largest in the country. The Nagaur bulls are renowned for their fleetfootedness and attract buyers from all over. The day begins with earnest bargaining between the buyers and the sellers. Once the price of a horse, bullock or camel has been settled, the day draws to a close followed by exciting games, tug of war, camel races and strains of ballads which create a joyful atmosphere.

Elephanta Festival (Elephanta Island)

This festival is held across the Mumbai harbour, on the Elephant Island, near the world renowned Elephanta Caves. This feast of music and dance, celebrated under the stars, transforms the entire island into a large auditorium.

Deccan Festival (Hyderabad)

Every year gracious Hyderabad comes alive during the Deccan Festival . Cultural programmes with ghazal nights, qawalis and mushairas are held. A pearl and bangle fair displays creations in lustrous perals and mult-hued bangles that are local specialities. A food festival serves the best of Hyderabad's famed cuisine to the visitors.

Taj Mahotsav (Agra)

A ten days event, the Taj Mahotsav at Agra is a culturally vibrant platfrom that brings together the finest Indian crafts and cultural nuances. It is a festive introduction to India and Uttar Pradesh. Folk music, Shayari (Poetry), and classical dance performances as well as elephant and camel rides, games and food festival-all form part of the festivites.

surajkund Crafts Mela

In order to promote the traditional Indian handicrats, a delightful handloom and handicrafts fair is held annually at Surajkund. Skilled artisans and craftmen display their skills and crafts in a rural setting. Cultural programmes and rural cuisine are also a part of this colourful fair.

Island Tourism Festival - Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair

Is a ten day long festival of dance, drama and music. Exhibitions displaying arts and crafts, flora and fauna nd marine life, are part of the event. Aqua sports, tele-games and parasailing are added attractions.

India Fairs Festivals - March

Holi - North India

One of the biggest festivals celebrated all over India. Holi is the last festival in the Hindu calendar and is celebrated by young and old, rich and poor and people from all the religions alike. It is the festival to welcome the spring and summer. People smear colours and splash water on each other and have fun. Sweets are prepared and people play with water and colours till late in the afternoon. Myriad colors of the blossoming flowers coupled with the tender green leaves, the melodious chirping of the birds, and an aura of romance and merriment marks the advent of the season of spring or Vasant. Holi enhances the romance of this season with its splurge of colors.

Gangaur Festival - Rajasthan

Is dedicated to Gauri, a manifestation of Goddess Parvati and lasts for 18 days. The festival is celebrated girls and married women throughout Rajasthan. The images of Gauri are ornamented and offerings are made. This is also and auspicious day for young people to select their life partners. Colourful processions with the town band playing, horses and elaborate palanquins make it a fascinating spectacle.

Ramanavami - (All over India)

The birthday of Lord Rama, the celebrated hero of the famous epic, the Ramayana, is enthusiastically celebrated on the ninth day of the waxing moon in the month of Chaitra. Temples are decorated, religious discourses are held and the Ramayana is recited for ten days. People gather in thousands on the banks of the sacred river Saryu for a dip. People sing devotional songs in praise of Rama and rock images of him in cradles to celebrate his birth. Rathyatras or chariot processions of Rama, his wife Sita, brother Lakshmana and devotee Hanuman, are taken out from many temples.

Id-ul-Zuha - (All over India)

Although the Muslim festivals follow their own calendar, the Bakri Id as it is popularly known is celebrated around February or March every year. It celebrates the sacrifice of Hazrat Ibrahim, who willingly agreed to kill his son at the behest of God. To celebrate the event, Muslims sacrifice one animal per family or group of families. There are prayers in mosques, feasting, and rejoicing. New clothes are worn and visits and greetings are exchanged.

The month March brings in the spring season in the north when the days are pleasant and nights are cool, while it gives a hint of approaching summer in the south. It is supposed to be the last month in the Hindu calendar.

Mahavir Jayanti - All over India

The birth anniversary of the 24th Tirthankara of the Jains, Mahavir, the founder of Jainism, is celebrated by the Jain community. Lectures are held to preach the path of virtue. People meditate and offer prayers. Donations are collected to sace the cows from slaughter. Pilgrims from all parts of the country visit the ancient Jain shrines at Girnar and Palitana in Gujarat, on this day.

Khajuraho Dance Festival - (Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh)

Is a week-long festival of classical dances held at the Khajuraho Temples, built by the Chandella Kings.

ELEPHANT FESTIVAL (Jaipur, Rajasthan)

A festival where elephants are the centre of attraction. They stride majestically parading their decorated trunks and tusks. The festival begins with aa procession of elephants, camels and horses, followed by lively folk dancers at their entertaining best. Elephant races and elephant-polo matches are special features. The most hilarious highlight of the festivals is a tug of war between elephants and men.

Hoysala Mahotsava - Karnataka

Is a dance festival held at the Hoysala temples of Belur and Halebid in Karnatka.

Ellora Festival - Maharashtra

Is a festival of dance and music organised in the splendid surroundings of the magnificent Ellora caves.

India Fairs Festivals - April

GOOD FRIDAY(All over India)

Is observed all over India by the Chirstians. This is the day when Lord Christ was crucified. The Christians offer special prayer services in the churches.

EASTER (All over India)

Is a festival of rejuvenation of life and living. On this day, Lord Christ rose again after his death. Chocolate eggs, small chicks of cotton wool and almond sweets are bought for children, symbolising new life. Prayer services are held in the churches to end the mourning period.

BAISAKHI (Punjab)

Is celebrated in Punjab with great fervour. It was on this day that Guru Gobind Singh founded the Khalsa (Sikh brotherhood). The holy book of the Sikhs, Granth Sahib is taken in a procession, led by the Panj Pyaras (five senior sikhs) who are symbolic of the original leaders. The occasion is marked by lot of feasting and merry making . All night revelries termed Baisakhi di Raat (Night of feasting) or Baisakhi da Mela (Baisakhi fairs) are held, where men and women dance to the rhythmic beat of drums. In Kerala the festival is known as Vishu. A display of grain, fruits, flowers, gold, new cloth and money, is viewded early in the morning to ensure a prosperous year ahead. Known as Rangali Bihu in Assam, the festival is celebrated with lively dances, music and feasting.

GUDI PADVA OR UGADI (Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh & Karnataka)

Marks the beginning of a new year in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and parts of Karnataka. Gudi Padva is considered one of the four most auspicious days in the year when people start new ventures. It is believed that Lord Brahma created the world on this day and so he is worshipped specially at this time. Lord Vishnu too is said to have been incarnated as Matsya, the fish, on this day. A gudi (banner) with a swastika-marked pot and silk cloth is raised to announce victory and joy. It is remniscent of the valiant Marathas returning home from their successful conquering expeditions of war.

POORAM (Trichur, Kerala)

At the beginning of April, the people of Kerala begin their search for the best elephants in the state. Each temple in Kerala sends a procession of decorated elephants to Trichur to participate in the Pooram festival. The decorated elephant groups face each other while drums and nadaswarams create a crescendo of music. The festival ends with a spectacular display of fireworks.

MUHARRAM (All over India)

Commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the holy Prophet Mohammed, and is observed by the Shi'ite Muslims, who take our processions of colourfully decorated 'Tazias',which are paper and bamhoo replicas of the marty's tomb at Karbala in Iraq. The processions are specially impressive at Lucknow. In part of the South, tiger dancers-men painted over with stripses and wearing tiger masks, lead the procession.

BUDDHA PURNIMA (North India)---

Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti, the birth anniversary of the Buddha, is widely celebrated, on a full moon night in April/May. The Buddha was born on the full-moon day in the month of Vaisakh in 563 BC. He achieved enlightenment as well as nirvana on the same date.

It is also believed that Yashodara, the Buddha's wife, his charioteer Channa and even his horse Kantaka were born on the same day. On this day, Buddhists offer prayers in their temples. Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh and Bodh Gaya in Bihar are the main centres of celebration.

MEWAR (Rajasthan)

Is celebrated in Udaipur to welcome Spring. The main highlight of the festival is the procession of colourfully attired women carrying images of the Goddess Gauri to Lake Pichola. Festivities include joyous singing, dancing, devotional music concerts and firework displays.



June Fairs & Festivals
GANGA DUSSEHRA
(Uttar Pradesh)
In this festival ten days are devoted to the worship of the River Ganga. According to the legends, Gangavataran or the descent of the Ganga, happened at this time. Devotess touch the river water, bathe in it, and take the river clay home to venerate. In Haridwar, aratis are performed at twilight and a large number of devotees meditate on her serene banks.


HEMIS FESTIVAL
(Jammu & Kashmir)
Is celebrated at Hemis, the biggest Buddhist Monastery in Ladakh to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava. Splendid masked dances are performed to the accompaniment of cymbals, drums and long horns. A colourful fair, displaying some beautiful handicrafts, is the special highlight of the festival.



July Fairs & Festivals
RATHYATRA
(Orissa)
This spectacular chariot festival is held at the famous Jagannath Temple at Puri. Images of Lord Jagannath, his sister Subhadra and brother Balbhadra are taken out in procession in three chariots to their summer temple of a week. The main chariot is 14 meters high and 10 meters square with 16 wheels. The ropes of the huge chariots are pulled by millions of devotes who also believe that this act bestows salvation upon them.

At the temple town of Puri in Orissa, the image of the god Krishna (known as Jagannath in the State) is taken out with great ceremony in June-July each year. Images of the god and his brother Balbhadra and sister Subhadra are placed in giant large yellow chariots or raths which are then drawn by pilgrims. The chariots are 45 feet high and have 6 wheels. The procession or rath yatra draws huge crowds from all over the country. An atmosphere of almost hysterical devotion prevails on this day and in earlier years, devotees were known to have thrown themselves under the wheels of the rath in the hope of obtaining instant salvation.

GURU PURNIMA
(All over India)
A special worship is performed on this day to all teachers and is caled Guru Purnima. Worship of the great Vyasa, the author of the great epic, Mahabharata, is a part of the celebration. On this day students visit their elders, teachers and guides in order to show respect to them with gifts of cocounts, clothes and sweets. These gifts are called gurudakshina. Discourses are held in community gatherings to hear the readings of the holy book, Bhagwad Gita.


August Fairs & Festivals

JANMASHTAMI(All over India)---

Lord Vishnu is invoked in his human incarnation as Krishna on his birth anniversary in the festival of Janmashtami. The temples of Vrindavan witness an extravagant and colourful celebration on this occasion. Raslila is performed to recreate incidents from the life of Krishna and to commemorate his love for Radha. The image of the infant Krishna is bathed at midnight and is placed in a cradle. Devotional songs and dances mark the celebration of this festive occasion all over Northern India.

In Maharashtra, Janmashtami witnesses the exuberant enactment of the god's childhood endeavours to steal butter and curd from earthen pots beyond his reach. A matka or pot containing these is suspended high above the ground and groups of young men and children form human pyramids to try and reach the pot and eventually break it.

ONAM
(Kerala)
Onam is Kerala's most popular festival, celebrated with great enthusiasm. It is primarily a harvest festival celebrated to welcome the spirit of the pious King Mahabali from eternal exile and to assure him that his people are happy and wish him well. At trichur, caparisoned, elephants take part in a spectacular procession. There is also a maginificent display of fireworks. At Shoranur, appreciative crowds gather on the green where colourfully dressed Kathakali dancers re-enact the well-loved stories of the epic heroes and virtuous women. On the second day of the festival, every home is lit bright and decorated in preparation for the visit of King Mahabali. Greetings are exchanged and lengths of auspicious saffron cloth are presented by friends to one another. The Vallumkali (boat race) is one of the main attractions of Onam, and is best seen at Aranmulai and Kottayam. About a hundred oarsmen row huge and graceful odee (boats). Oars dip and flash to the rhythum of drums and cymbals in each boat. The songs are generally topical in character and concern people well known in Malabar. Above each boat gleam scarlet silk umbrellas, their number denotes the affluence of the family owning the boat. Gold coins and tassels hang from the umbrellas.

NAAG PANCHAMI
(West Bangal, Maharashtra and South India)
Nag Panchami is the festival when snakes, the symbols of energy and prosperity are worshipped. In Maharashtra, snake charmers go from house to house with dormant cobras ensconced in cane baskets, asking for alms and clothing. Women offer milk and cooked rice to the snakes and gather around to see the snakes spread their hoods to the tune of the pungi. Clay snakes are brought home to be worshipped by day and immersed in the sea in the evening. In southern India, particularly in Kerala, snake temples are crowded on this day and worship is offered to stone or metal icons of the cosmic serpent Ananta or Shesha.

RAKSHABANDHAN
(North India)
This is Hindu sister's day when brothers and sisters reaffirm their bonds of affections. Sisters tie colourful threads or rakhis on their brothers' wrists. The brothers in turn promise to protect their sisters and give them gifts.

GANESH CHATURTHI
(Maharasthra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka)
Ganesha Chaturthi is an important festival in India, especially in Maharashtra dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the elephant headed God to all good beginnings and success. It is believed that Lord Ganesha was born on this day and every chaturthi is considered auspicious. Thousands of clay idols of Lord Ganesha are made in every size, pose, form and colour and worshipped at community or family festivals which last between one to ten days. These images are then taken in large processions, amidst the rhythm of bells and drums and immersed in flowing water.



September Fairs & Festivals
TARNETAR MELA
(Saurshtra, Gujarat)
Is an exciting and a unique fair held annually at Tarnetar in Saurashtra. the fair coincides with the festival at the Trineteshwar Temple, celebrating the wedding of the legendary Mahabharat hero, Arjuna with Draupadi. The fair is a kind of a marriage market for the local tribals-the Kolis, Bharwads and Rabaris. The traditional costumes, exquisite jewelery and wonderful costumes, exquisite jewelery and wonderful Tarnetar "Chhatris" (umbrellas) with intricate embroidery and mirror work are sold. An added attraction is the lively folk dance performances such as -garba, ras, haro.

October Fairs & Festivals
NAVRATRI
(All over India) Navratri is the longest Hindu festival that continues for nine consecutive nights in praise of Lord Rama. Continuous chanting from the great epic Ramayana, along with evening performances from the episodes of his life, is held for nine days.

It is a combination of many concepts. It is believed that Durga, the Goddess of power and vitality, has nine forms called Navadurga and on each day of the nine days, she takes a new form, with an arsenal of weapons, to ride a lion and fight the demon Mahishasura. Vijaydashmi or Dussehra, the 10th day, is celebrated with feasting and rejoicing as her day of victory.

Lord Rama is said to have worshipped the Goddess, seeking her blessing in order to overpower the evil force of Ravana, the abductor of his beloved Sita. The most joyous celebration of Navaratri is seen in Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Bengal. Every night people gather in courtyards to dance the dandiya raas and garba, a community dance in which men and women dressed in festive clothes, dance in pairs with dandiyas or painted wooden sticks.


DURGA PUJA
(Bengal) Is performed during the nine days of Navratri. Community pujas in Bengal are organised in every locality. Families visit each other to share feasts. On Bijoya day, the idols are taken in elaborate processions for immersion in the river on the sea.


DUSSEHRA
(All over India) Is celebrated to mark the homecoming of Lord Rama. The Ramlila-an enactment of the life of Lord Rama, is held nine days before Dussehra. On the tenth day, larger than life effigies of Ravana, his brothers Meghnath and Kumbhkarna filled with different fire crackers are set alight to celebrate the victory of good over evil. In Himachal Pradesh, a week long fair at Kullu is a part of the Dussehra celebrations. From the little temples in the hills, deities are brought in procession to the Kullu Maidan with lot of gaiety, music and colour. the presiding deity is Lord Raghunathji. Mysore is illuminated with lights for Dussehra. Majestic processions, a torch light parade and dance and musical events enliven the tranquil city.


MARWAR FESTIVAL
(Jodhpur)
Is a festival devoted mainly to the music and dance of the Marwar region. The festival was originally known as the 'Maand festival'. Held for two days on full moon-sharad purnima, folk artists bring to life the myth, legend and folklore of the area.


India Fairs Festivals
January Fairs Festivals February Fairs Festivals March Fairs Festivals April Fairs Festivals May Fairs Festivals June Fairs Festivals July Fairs Festivals August Fairs Festivals September Fairs Festivals October Fairs Festivals November Fairs Festivals December Fairs Festivals



November Fairs & Festivals
DIWALI
(All over India) The festival of lights is one of the most beautiful of Indian festivals. It comes 21 days after Dussehra and celebrates the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after his 14 year exile. Homes are decorted, sweets are distributed by everyone and thousands of lamps lit in houses all over the country making it a night of enchantment. Doorways are hung with torans(a decorative garland for the door) of mango leaves and marigolds. Rangolis (designs on floor) are drawn with different coloured powders to welcome guests. Worship of Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and fireworks and festivites are an essential part of the occasion.

SHARAD PURNIMA
(All over India)
Is a harvest festival when Laxmi, the Goddess of prosperity, visits all homes to bring fortune and good luck of all. Kojagiri, the special night, is celebrated with ice-cold, saffron-flavoured sweet milk, shared in the cool moonlight. The full moon night is called Navanna Purnima or the moonlit night of new food. The newly harvested rice is offered to the god s and lamps are lit before the full moon.

GURU PURAB
(North India)
The birth anniversary of Guru Nanak- the first guru of the Sikhs who founded the Sikh faith, is celebrated with great ferour. The 'Akhand Path' -recitation of the Sikh holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, is held in gurdwaras all over the country. Taking the hold book out in procession, is also an integral part of the celebrations. Langars (community feasts) are organised where people of all castes sit together to eat and sing hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib. The celebrations at Amritsar are especially impressive.

KA POMBLANG NONGREM
(Meghalya)
Is the most important festival of the Khasis in Meghalaya. This five day long festival, held annually near Shillong, is an occasion for thanksgiving for a good harvest and the time to pray for peace and prosperity. Khasi men and women, dressed in traditional splendour, perform the famous Nogkrem dance.

SONEPUR FAIR
(Sonepur, Bihar)
Asia's biggest cattle fair is held at Sonepur, on the banks of the River Ganga. During this month-long fair, cattle, decorated for the occasion, swarm the venue.

PUSHKAR FAIR
(Purhkar, Rajasthan)
Is held every year at Pushkar, near Ajmer. Thousands of pilgrims come to bathe in the holy waters of te Pushkar Lake. Trading of cattle, camel races and dazzling displays of bangles, brassware, clothes, camel saddles and halters are the major attractions of this colourful event which lasts for twelve days.

HAMPI FESTIVAL The magnificent ruined city of Hampi, once the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire, comes alive once again during this lively festival of dance and music, held in the first week of November.


KONARK DANCE FESTIVAL
(Konark, Orissa)
Konark Festival in the Sun Temple, Konark, offers an unforgettable experience every December 5th. A host of celebrated dancers from all over the country perform on the temple platform or beach. The sound of ghungroo bells, flute and pakhauj fill the air and a marvelous crafts mela, with a variety of handicrafts and delectable cuisine, adds to the festive mood.


CHRISTMAS
(All over India)
Is celebrated by the Christmas and non-Christians alike with special enthusiasm. All the major Indian cities wear a festive look. Shops and bazaars are decorated for the occasion and offer attractive bargains. Carol singing, get-togethers and the exchanging of gifts enhance the Christmas spirit. Chirstmas parties launch off celebrations for the New Year, thus retaining the festive mood for at least a week.

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classical dances : Bharata Natyam | Kathakali | Kathak | Manipuri | Kuchipudi | Odissi | Mohini Attam
Folk Dances North : Bhangra | Dhumal | Rouf | Lama Dance | Pangi Dances | Losar Shona Chuksam | Raas | Gidda | Dhamyal | Duph | Lahoor | Dhurang | Mali Dance | Tera Tali |
Folk Dances East : Bihu | Naga Dance | Hazagiri | Bamboo Dance | Nongkrem | Thang-Ta | Karma | Ponung | Brita or Vrita | Hurka Baul | Kali Nach | Ganta Patua | Paik | Dalkhai |
Folk Dances West : Gendi | Bhagoriya | Jawar | Garba | Dandiya | Kala | Dindi | Mando |
Folk Dances South : Dollu Kunitha |Dandaria | Karagam | Kummi | Kuttiyattam | Padavani | Kolam | Lava | Nicobarese |

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