Festivals in Rajasthan
Diwali – The magical Festival of Lights (Rajasthan)
The Indian “Diwali” / “Dipavali” Festival of Lights is a spiritually significant day for the Hindus and consists of fascinating rituals. You celebrate the victory of good over evil for five days, oil lamps are lit, fireworks are fired, and chains of lights are hung, it’s a kind of Christmas. In the north of India, one often celebrates the return of the god Rama and his wife Sita, after which they had successfully defeated the terrible demon king Ravana. In the south, on the other hand, the redemption of the god Krishna from six thousand women held by the demon Naraka is celebrated. As already mentioned, this magical celebration is divided into five days. On the first day, you clean your house and decorate it, buy new clothes and jewellery. The second day starts with a bath before sunrise, then you light oil lamps, and some give each other sweets. As the most important day, the third day will be held in northern India, dedicated to the goddess Lakshmi (donor of happiness and joy). It is very important to light the lights on this day because only then she will present one with luck and joy. On the day before last, you worship the gods Krishna and Vishnu, celebrating the first New Year’s Day. Diwali is finished by giving each other the promise to protect themselves as brother and sister. It is a beautiful celebration, especially for an expectant tourist. Enjoy the exciting fireworks, the many rituals, and marvel at Indian culture … On Wednesday, November 7, 2018, / Sunday, October 27, 2019, Diwali will begin in India.
Desert Festival – The exotic festival in the Desert (Jaisalmer, Rajasthan)
The colourful desert festival in the Sam Sand Dunes of Jaisalmer is a beautiful experience. It is the most famous cultural and colourful event that the desert of Thar can offer. The three-day “Desert Festival” is more emphasised on the local elements and heritage of Rajasthan. For example, folk songs and local dances are performed here pompously. Likewise, local customs such as the tying of turbans are a speciality there. You can watch the interesting “Mustache Competition” or the “Mr Desert Competition “, where a jury decides who this year’s winner will be. Marvel at the famous fire dancers, thoroughly enjoy the camel rides and brilliant performances of folk artists under the full moon behind the picturesque dunes. Other unique features are the camel races, polo games, puppeteers and jugglers. The desert festival begins Monday, January 29, 2018, and ends Wednesday, January 31, 2018.
Pushkar Cattle Fair – The extravagant market (Pushkar, Rajasthan)
The Pushkar Cattle Fair Festival (Pushkar Mela) takes place every year – for a week – between October & November. Thousands of people go to the shores of Pushkar Lake, where the fair takes place. Men buy and sell their livestock, including camels, horses, cows, sheep and goats. The women go to the stands, which are full of bracelets, clothes, textiles and fabrics. A camel race lets the festival begin with music, songs and exhibitions. Between this happening comes the most awaited test, if the camel can bring the objects. There is also a “camel beauty contest”; all camels are cleaned, washed and decorated, some are very interestingly shorn to form patterns. Special stands are set up to sell jewellery for the camels. Generally, the animals are cared for at the fair with great care. They wear silver jewellery and pearls. There are silver bells and bracelets around their knuckles that jingle when they go. Experience the diversity, the exciting races and enjoy the beautiful festival. The fair starts Thursday, November 15, 2018, / Monday, November 4, 2019.
Holi – The colourful Festival (Jaipur, Rajasthan)
The Spring Festival “Holi” is one of the oldest festivals of India and shows the colourful characters of the country. The festival signals the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, the end of winter and for many a day to meet, play and laugh, forget and to forgive. There are no special traditions because the day is for celebration and pure enjoyment. The festival of colours begins in the morning after the Holika campfire. The day is celebrated as “Rangwali Holi” – an open festival where people smear each other with colours (mostly natural – like Kurkurma) and splash each other with water. Water pistols and water-filled balloons are also used to colour each other. Everyone can play against anyone, friends or strangers, rich or poor, men or women, children or seniors. Holi is also celebrated as a thanksgiving for a good harvest. After a day full of colours, people clean up, wash and bath, sober up and dress up in the evening. Even you as a tourist can actively participate in the festival; it’s a lot of fun! This celebration will take place on Friday, March 2, 2018, / Thursday, March 21, 2019.
International Camel Festival – The wonderful feast of the camels (Bikaner, Rajasthan)
The Camel Festival is a lively event in Bikaner, organised by the Tourist Government of Rajasthan. Located in the heart of the desert belt, Bikaner has always been an inaccessible country. Before the advent of modern motor vehicles, the survival of the people of this region depended on the “ship of the desert” – the camel.
The camels of this region are famous for their endurance, strength and beauty. In fact, the Bikaner Army had an elite camel corps called Ganga Risala, which actively participated in the World Wars. The Ganga Risala was a camel unit in the army of independent India; it even involved in the Indo-Pak wars. Thousands of excited travellers and locals cheer especially for promoting the region’s camel breeders and reviving the age-old traditions of taming and training camels.
The festival starts on Day 1 with a colourful procession of beautifully decorated camels. Then the celebrations begin. The camel owners show their camel decoration and the associated jewellery. Dance performances are also done. There are competitions for the best-decorated camels, camel milking and even the best fur design camels. On the second day, the most fleeting camels in the region take part in the camel race. The competition is stiff, as the best camels vie for the honours. On both days of the festival, there will be an artists’ meeting in the evening with Rajasthan’s most renowned folk artists. The festival will run from Saturday, January 13, 2018, until January 14, 2018.
These Indian festivals in Rajasthan are just wonderful and perfect for a little extension of your journey. Of course, we can also organize other festivals throughout India (such as Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai, Snake Boat Race in Kerala or the Durga Puja in West Bengal). If you are looking for a trip to connect with this experience, it’s worth taking a look at our Luxury India Tours or simply creating your own journey.