Fairs and Festivals of India

Regional Fair and Festivals

The Indian Calendar dances on the tinges and tunes of endless folklores and beliefs. If calculation is to be believed then there is at least one festival or fair held in the country each day. Most of the celebrations revolve around popular religion beliefs or the famous folklores from India's glorious past. Each region, district and state has confirmed to the norms of celebrating the local and national legacies that have been left behind by either people or super naturals. Where some festivals are for welcoming the harvest season or the triumph of good over evil, some are merely held to initiate trade and merrymaking. Reasons may be stupendous and surplus but what counts most is the kind of zeal, dedication and devotion that these festivals and fairs in India are being celebrated in the country.

Arunachal Pradesh: Fairs and festivals in Arunachal Pradesh are mostly connected to agriculture and animal sacrifice. Arunachal is the land of many tribes, thus the fests in the state often reflect the lifestyle and beliefs of the people. Solung, Mopin, Nyokum, Losar, Sanken, Boori Boot, Dree, Nechi Dau, Khan, Kshyatsowai, Longte Yullo, Loku, Moi, Ojiale, Reh, Si-Donyi and Tamladu are the major regional fairs and festivals in Arunachal Pradesh.

Assam: Celebrating diversity and togetherness, fairs and festivals in Assam are the reflection of people's belief and their joy in small things. Colorful and zealous are the terms that describe best the picture of celebrations in Assam. Bihu, Ambubachi in Kamakhya shrine, Shivaratri Mela at Umananda and other places near Shiva temples, Durga Puja, Dol-Jatra, Id, Diwali, Christmas, Ashokastami Mela, Rash Mela, Parasuram Mela, Baishagu, Ali-Ai-Ligang, Baikho, Rongker, Rajini Gabra Harni Gabra, Bohaggiyo Bishu and Jonbill Mela are some of the major festivals and fairs in Assam.

Manipur: A cycle of festivals follows throughout the year in Manipur. A perfect blend of traditional lifestyle and rich culture endorses most of the festivals and fairs in Manipur. Cutting short the monotony of life and adding precious amount of fun and frolic in one's life, the fairs and festivals are the way of life in Manipur. Lai Haraoba, Rasa Leela, Cheiraoba, Ningol Chak-Kouba, Rath-Jatra, Id-ul-Fitr, Imoinu Iratpa, Gaan-Ngai, Lui-Ngai-Ni, Id-ul-Zuha, Yaoshang (Holi), Durga Puja, Mera Houchongba, Diwali, Christmas, Kut, Chumpha, Heikru Hingtonqba and Kang are the major festivals and fairs in Manipur.

Meghalaya: Dancing to the glory, the Meghalayan tribes have their way to celebrate their prime occupation of agriculture. Celebrating the sowing season and the harvest season, Meghalaya dances to the beats of drums and duitara. Ka Pamblang Nongkrem, Shad Sukmynsiem, Behdeinkhlam are the major festivals celebrated in Meghalaya.

Nagaland: A large inhabitation of tribes marks the celebration scenario at Nagaland. The state takes great joy in dancing and playing music along with organizing massive feasts. Sekrenyi, Moatsu, Tokhu Emong, Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Zemi, Sumi, Hornbill and Tuluni are some of the major festivals and fairs in Nagaland.

Sikkim: Celebrating life and faith, most of the festivals in Sikkim are based on the Buddhist Calender. Right from worshipping Mt. Khangchendzonga to celebrating the descent of Buddha from heaven, Sikkim honours Lord Buddha in every possible way. Dance and music are the highlights of most of the festivals and fairs here. Maghey Sankranti, Durga Puja, Laxmi Puja and Chaite Dassai/Ram Navami Dassai, Tyohar, Sonam Losoong, Namsoog, Tendong Lho Rum Faat (Worship of Mt. Tendong), Losar (Tibetan New Year), Saga Dawa, Drupka Teshi, Phang Lhabsol, Bum Chu and Lhabab Dhuechen are the major festivals and fairs in Sikkim.

Jammu & Kashmir: Vast culture diversity gives plenty of reasons to the state of Jammu & Kashmir to celebrate. The festivals and fairs here are based largely on religious beliefs and exhibit a vivid face of culture and tradition. Hemis Festival, Jhiri Mela, Chaitra Chaudash, Tulip Festival, Saffron Festival and Khichri Amavasya are some major festivals in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

Himachal Pradesh: Abode of more than 2000 deities, Himachal Pradesh is the land of festivals and fairs. Most of the fairs and festivities in the state are held in honour of the sacred deities. Lively folk music and traditional dance is the highlight of merrymaking in the state. Gugga Fair, Fullaich festival, Sui Mata Festival, Minjar Fair, Sazo, Phugal, Beesh, Dakhraini, Losar and Tribal Festival are the main festivals and fairs in Himachal Pradesh.

Uttarakhand: The Land of the Gods, Uttarakhand shows reverence to the supreme power by celebrating it in the form of fairs and festivals. At each fair and festival in Uttarakhand one or the other form of nature and supreme power is honoured. The famous Kumbh Mela and Ardh Mela is held in Haridwar along with Devidhura Mela (Champawat), Purnagiri Mela (Champawat), Nanda Devi Mela (Almora), Gauchar Mela (Chamoli), Baisakhi (Uttarkashi), Magha Mela (Uttarkashi), Uttaraini Mela (Bageshwar), Vishu Mela (Jaunsar Bhabar), Peeran-Kaliyar (Roorkee), and Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra, Bhitauli, Harela, Dikar Puja, Batsavitri, Phooldei, Ganga Dusshera, Olgi or Ghee Sankranti, Khatarua, Ghuian Ekadashi and Ghughutia are some major festivals and fairs in Uttarakhand.

Punjab/Haryana: Celebrating the way of life, Punjab and Haryana can rightly be called the Land of Celebrations. Like the two states share the same capital, they somehow share same fairs and festivals as well. Baisakhi, Teej, Lohri, Holla Mohalla, Tika, Sanjhi, Guru Purab and Surajkund Craft Mela are some of the major festivals and fairs in Punjab and Haryana.

Delhi: Celebrating mixed culture and traditions, Delhi's fair and festival also see a fusion of culture and modernity. A feast of festivals and fairs dots the city and offer a pleasant and colourful picture. Phoolwalo ki Sair, International Mango Festival, India International Trade Fair and Qutub Festival are some of the major fairs and festivals in Delhi.

Uttar Pradesh: A fairly rich culture that blends with belief, lifestyle and tradition of Uttar Pradesh offer a resplendent picture of celebration in the state. Focusing on religion and trade the fair and festivals in Uttar Pradesh are a vibrant and vivacious affair. Ramnavmi Mela (Ayodhya), Deva Mela (Barabanki), Kailash Fair (Agra), Kumbh Mela & Maha Kumbh Mela and Magh Mela (Allahabad), Bateswar Fair (Agra), Rambarat (Agra), Kartik Poornima & Lolark Shashthi (Varanasi), Ganga Mahostsava (Varanasi) and Ayudha Puja are the major festivals and fairs in Uttar Pradesh.

Bihar: A culturally rich state, Bihar is like many of the other Indian states which take great pleasure in celebrating India's glorious past. Most of the fairs and festivals in Bihar revolve around agriculture and Hindu faith. Chhath, Sonepur Mela, Gaya Pitrapaksha Mela, Saurath Mela, Sama-Chakeva, Bihula and Madhushravani are the major festivals and fairs in Bihar.

Jharkhand: Fairs and Festivals in Jharkhand mainly focus on honoring Mother Nature and paying gratitude towards her. Tree worship and paying homage to presiding deities are the highlights of most of the festivals here. Sarhul, Karma, Tusu Parab or Makar, Hal Punhya, Bhagta Parab, Rohin and Bandna, Kundla Mela (Pratappur), Kolhua Mela (Hunterganj), Chatra Mela and Bhadli Fair are the main fairs and festivals in Jharkhand.

Madhya Pradesh: Mythological, cultural and trade influence can be seen clearly in the fairs and festivals in Madhya Pradesh. This central Indian state offers pinch of everything in the celebrations, vivacious music, classic dance form and worship of the nature, Madhya Pradesh seems to pay homage to Mother Nature and its gifts of all kinds. Lokrang, Khajuraho Dance Festival, Tansen Sangeet Samaroh, Bhagoriya, Malwa (Indore, Ujjain, Pachmarhi) and Gwalior Trade Fair are some of the major festivals and fairs in Madhya Pradesh.

Chhatisgarh: The colourful state of Chhatisgarh is known for many vibrant fairs and festivals. Honoring religious faith, imbued in rich culture, Chhatisgarh rejoices with every fair and festival. Bastar Dassera, Bastar Lokotsav, Madai Festival, Bhoramdeo Festival, Goncha Festival, Champaran Mela, Narayanpur Mela, Fagun Wadai, Koriya Mela, The Earth Festival, The First Fruits Festival, Chakradhar Samaroh, Hareli Festival, Pola Festival and Teeja Festival are some of the main festivals in Chhatisgarh.

West Bengal: The cultural hub of India, West Bengal is the epitome of enthusiasm and zeal. The state celebrates every small and big festival and fair with equal fervour. Bengali New Year (Poila Baishakh), Kolkata Book Fair, Bishwakarma Puja, Mahalaya, Durga Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Kali Puja, Saraswati Puja, Kolkata Film Festival, Gangasagar Mela, Poush Mela and Tribal Art Festival in Purulia are some of the major fairs and festivals in West Bengal.

Rajasthan: The vibrant and glorious land of Indian history, Rajasthan offer a definitive joyous picture of India. The state celebrates many fairs and festivals by honoring traditions, taking pride in rich culture and the art of trade. Baneshwar Fair, Matsya Festival, Braj Mahotsav, Jaipur Literature Festival, Mewar Festival, Bundi Utsav, Pushkar Camel Festival, Nagaur Fair, Chandrabhaga Fair, Jodhpur Folk Festival, Jaiselmer Desert Festival, Kailadevi Fair, Shekhawati Festival, Kajli Teej, Summer Festival, Kumbhalgarh Festival, Teej Festival, Forhex Fair, Mahaveer Ji Fair, Gangaur Festival, Marwar Festival and Winter Festival Mt. Abu are some of the main festivals and fairs of Rajasthan.

Gujarat: With most of the fairs and festivals based on solar and lunar eclipse, the celebrations in Gujarat are observed with great enthusiasm and fervour. International Kite Festival, Diwali, Tarnetar Fair, Holi, Janmashtami, Navratri, Shamlaji Fair, Kutch Mahotsava, Modhera Dance Festival, Bhadra Purnima and Vautha Fair are some of the major festivals and fairs celebrated in Gujarat.

Maharashtra: The preserver of great heritage and tradition of India, the state of Maharashtra also has its special way to celebrate its assets. The fairs and festivals in Maharashtra are mostly focused on the rich history and popular belief prevalent in the state. Changdeo Fair, Ganesh Chaturthi, Kala Ghoda Festival, Khuldabad Urs, Kiran Utsav, Nashik Kumbh Mela, Mount Mary Festival, Navaratra Mahalaxmi Fair, Pune Festival, Rath Yatra, Pola, Shrirama Rathotsava Fair and Naag Panchami are some of the major festivals in Maharashtra.

Goa: Rightly called the land of fun, feast and frolic, Goa is a zealous that celebrates fairs and festivals with great enthusiasm. The unique culture and the slight influence of the state of Maharashtra, Goa has some colourful fairs and festivals. Gudi Padwa, Margao Feast, Procession of Saints, Feast of Saint Peter Paul, Shigmo festival, Seafood festival, Konkan fruit festival and Fontainhas Festival of Arts, Bonderam Festival, Feast of Three Kings, Mardi Grass Festival, Christmas Carnival, Goa Carnival and Sao Joao Festival are the main festivals and fairs in Goa.

Dadra and Nagar Haveli: The culturally wealthy state of Dadra and Nagar Haveli celebrates every festival with equal zeal and fervour. Like all the culturally rich states in India, Dadra and Nagar Haveli have few regional festivals that mark its unique identity. Pongal, Masimagam Festival, Villianur Temple Car Festival, Bastille Day, French Food Festival, Christmas and Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo are the main fairs and festivals of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Karnataka: Fairs and Festivals in Karnataka often revolve around the Hindu mythology and popular beliefs. Culture and tradition are also the highlights of the celebrations in the state. Sri Vithappa fair, Sri Shidlingappa's fair, The Godachi fair, Shri Yellamma Devi fair, Banashankari Devi fair, Ugadi, Kar Hunnive, Shravan Mondays, Nagarpanchami, Gowri Hunnive, Shigi Hunnive, Navaratri or Nadahabb, Makar Sankramana and Yellu Amavasya are the major festivals and fairs in Karnataka.

Tamil Nadu: Tamil Nadu celebrates the rich culture and tradition that it owns in abundance. The major fairs and festivals in Tamil Nadu majorly focus on the beliefs and cultural wealth of the state. Merrymaking is indeed the art in Tamil Nadu. Pongal Festival, Tea and Tourism Festival, Natyanjali Festival, Chithirai Festival, Mango Festival, Saral Festival, Velankanni Festival, Summer Festival, Cape Festival, Dance Festival and Karthigai Deepam are the major festivals and fairs celebrated in Tamil Nadu.

Kerala: As beautiful as this state is, it has similarly beautiful regional festivals and fairs. Offering a colourful picture and the jovial environment during the festivity season, Kerala flaunts its rich culture and traditions. Dance and music are indeed the highlights of each fair and festival. Makaravillakku Festival, Kerala Village Fair, Aluva Sivarathri Festival, Aluva Sivarathri Festival, Thrissur Pooram Festival, Vishu Festival, Onam Festival, Thiruvathira Festival, Navarathri Festival, Pongal Festival, Chandanakudam Mahotsavam and Nishagandhi Dance and Music Festival are the main regional festivals and fairs in Kerala.

Andhra Pradesh: Andhra Pradesh celebrates its rich culture and honors the popular beliefs in the state. The melody of the bygone era and the gift called life are the reason of most of the festivals and fairs in Andhra Pradesh. Deccan Festival, Lumbini Festival, Tirupati Festival, Visakha Utsav, Ugadi Festival, Pongal Festival and Rayalaseema Food and Dance Festival are the main festivals of Andhra Pradesh.

Odisha: Spirituality and culture is greatly seen celebrated at Odisha. The fairs and festivals in the state are blended perfectly with the devotion and music that soothes ears. Dance, music and worship are the highlights of the joyous festivities in the state. Dola Purnima, Chandan Yatra, Snana Yatra, Ratha Yatra, Konark Dance Festival, Puri Beach Festival, Bali Yatra, Dhanu Yatra are the major fairs and festivals held in Odisha.