Fairs and Festivals of India

Indians love for color and joyous celebrations is proved by the elaborate rituals that are celebrated and performed in India. There are a number of fairs and festivals of various regions. In addition to the festivals celebrated by the Hindus, Muslims, Christians and other faiths, there are a number of other traditional fairs as well.These are animal fairs, religious fairs and some to mark the changing seasons. Most celebrations occur throughout the year and are a splendid opportunity for the visitor to gain an insight into the life of the people of India. Other than the traditional fairs, famous festivals of Rajasthan involve elephants, camels, puppet shows, folk dances and music.

Gangaur is a colourful festival which is observed throughout the state with great devotion by womenfolk who worship Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva (also known as Parvati). On this day the unmarried women pray for being blessed with good husbands, while married women do the same for the welfare, health and long life of their husbands and happiness in their families throughout their lives.


The Elephant festival is an extremely entertaining event held annually in Jaipur. Groomed flawlessly, rows of elephants do a catwalk before an enthralled audience. The elephants move with poise in pageant, run races, play the regal game of polo, and finally participate in the spring festival of Holi. It is festival time with elephants typically celebrated one day before the Holi, Indian festival of colors.

The Camel festival is a lively and colorful event organized in the month of January in Bikaner every year. The festival begins with a colorful procession of bedecked camels against the red sandstone backdrop of the Junagarh Fort, the festivity advances to the open sand-spreads of the grounds, followed by the best breed competition, the tug-of-war contest, camel dance and acrobatics. It is a truly fantastic festival that gives you an opportunity to see Camels in a different light.

The Mewar festival is celebrated to welcome the advent of spring which coincides with the festival of Gangaur in Udaipur and has a unique charm about it. A beautiful procession with image of Goddess Parvati is carried out in the city and people gather from all over to witness and participate in this lively procession of dancers, musicians decorated caravans, etc.


The Pushkar Fair is the largest and one of its kind in the entire world which attracts hundreds of people from rural India along with Camel and Cattle for several days of live stock trading, horse dealing, pilgrimage and religious festivities. The trading is at its peak during the first half of festival whereas religious activities dominate the scenario in the second half.


The Desert festival is celebrated each year in sands around Jaisalmer with the brilliant color, music and laughter. The festivals gives an opportunity to mingle with local Rajasthani men and tall beautiful women dressed in their brightly costumes dance and sing lingering ballads of valor, romance and tragedy. Traditional musicians attempt to outdo each other in their musical superiority.

Nagaur Fair was introduced for trading of cattle and other animals in Rajasthan. This is an eight day fair held every year in Jan-Feb, and is the second largest fair in Rajasthan primarily for selling cattles. Nagaur is a sea of animals, trading over 70,000 bullocks, camels and horses every year. The bullocks are known for their fleetness. Not only are the animals lavishly decorated, even their owners flaunt wearing colorful turbans and long moustaches.


On January 14 each year watch the sky change colors… like a rainbow in a glittering sun after the rain and bask in the glory of Uttarayan, when the skies of Gujarat & Rajasthan give way to colorful kites as millions of kite enthusiasts pitch themselves at the rooftops and waves of flying kites overwhelm an otherwise deep blue sky.


The Jaipur Literature Festival is considered as Asia-Pacific leading literature event and is a celebration of national and international writers and encompasses a range of activities including poetry, music & dance, debates, readings, impassioned panel discussions and workshops.


Diwali is an important five-day festival for Hindus which is known as the “Indian festival of lights. It occurs between mid-October and mid-November and commemorates the return of Lord Rama, along with wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, from his fourteen-year-long exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana. In joyous celebration of the return of their king, the people of Ayodhya, the Capital of Rama, illuminated the kingdom with earthen oil lamps and fireworks.

Holi is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus, by throwing coloured powder and water at each other. Bonfires are lit on a day prior to the eve of the festival, also known as Holika Dahan (burning of Holika). The bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape that young Prahlad accomplished when Demoness Holika, sister of Hiranyakashipu, carried him into the fire. Holika was burnt but Prahlad, a staunch devotee of god Vishnu, escaped without any injuries due to his unshakable devotion.

The Indian Rakhi festival has a special significance in the hearts of Indians. This festival symbolizes all aspects of protection of the good from evil forces Known as Raksha Bandhan which falls in late August. The main ritual consists of tying the ‘Rakhi’ knot on to a brother’s wrist which literally means ‘Bond of protection’ and implies that while the sister prays to God for the well-being and prosperity of her brother, the brother vows to protect her against all the evils of the world and help her in all the problems.