India’s rich heritage shines through its cultural festivals that take place all year long — showcasing the best of regional dance, music, food and more. Despite being an Indian citizen, you’ll be surprised by how little you know about the local customs and traditions in different parts of the country.
So the next time you decide to go on holiday, why not plan a trip to one of these destinations, and see for yourself how beautiful our land really is?
The breathtaking Taj Mahotsav and the Khajuraho Dance Festival recently winded up, but don’t worry, there’s more to look forward to.
1. Chaitra Parva Chhau Festival, Odisha
When: April 2018
The art and culture of Odisha in a nutshell — that’s Chaitra Parva for you. Spread over three days in mid-April, the event is celebrated across Odisha as a cultural extravaganza complete with folk dance and musical performances, food and drinks, and even hunting!
If you truly want to witness the fest in its full glory, you must visit the district of Koraput. While you’re there, be sure to check out Orissa’s traditional dance form, Mayurbhanj Chhau, as well as Saivite, a religious ceremony conducted by Shiva devotees.
2. Lai Haroba, Manipur
When: May 2018
It is believed that this festival was first celebrated by the gods themselves on Koubru Hill, the highest peak in the region.
The locals, especially the Meitei community, now observe the festival to celebrate the creation of the universe and the human race.
If you visit Manipur during this time of the year, you’ll witness their songs and dances — with the performers dressed in traditional attire — as well as religious recitations.
3. Ladakh Festival, J&K
When: September 25-28, 2018
The Ladakh Festival is celebrated with great zeal in Leh and it’s surrounding villages.
It’s a grand, large-scale event that witnesses the participation of various cultural groups from different parts of the state.
The week-long event has lots to look forward to: traditional dance and music acts with people dressed in typical Ladakhi clothing, as well as archery, polo, mask dance, and an exhibition of local arts and crafts.
The fest ends at the Polo Ground, which has exciting live music concerts lined up.
4. Soorya Dance Festival, Kerala
When: October 1-10, 2018
This one’s a haven for dance lovers! The Soorya Dance Festival brings a variety of Indian dance forms under one roof. So you can look forward to Kathak, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam, Mohiniyattam and Odissi performances.
The festival is organised by Soorya Stage and Film Society, a cultural association that strives to uplift and showcase all forms of art. And the best part? They provide a platform to both, veterans and new artists.
5. Marwar Festival, Rajasthan
When: October 23-24, 2018
Jodhpur, the blue city, boasts of both natural and manmade beauty. Plan a trip during the month of October, when it plays host to the popular Marwar Festival.
Ancient stories of the kings of Marwar come to life through folk dance and musical performances that usually take place at Umaid Bhavan Palace and the Mehrangarh Fort.
It’s the perfect family holiday, really, with a festive feel in the air. There’s puppet shows, magic shows, horse polo and camel rides to keep the kids occupied.
Image Credit: RajasthanBlog