Rajasthan, the incredible state of India, is synonymous with many terms: culture, heritage, tradition, royalty, hospitality, celebration, music, dance and many others. Since culture is of due importance in Rajasthan, the state observes several festivals and fairs throughout the year. These festivals and fairs are celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm and include a lot of music and dance along with rituals and ceremonies. By attending the fairs and festivals of Rajasthan, you can gather a lot of information about the colorful culture of the state delight the palate with delicious local dishes and also enjoy exciting activities. Some of these events are cultural, while others are related to nature or season. Also, a trip to Rajasthan It cannot be considered complete without attending these colorful and captivating festivals and fairs.
The people of Rajasthan believe in celebrating every occasion of life, be it the beginning of a new season or may be related to some historical legend. Everything becomes so lively in the city and its surroundings during the festivals and fairs of Rajasthan. Although Rajasthan is host to numerous festivals and fairs, the most famous have been discussed below:
- Teej Festival, Jaipur
One of the most important festivals in Rajasthan is Teej. This festival is celebrated due to two reasons: one is to celebrate a woman’s love for her partner and the other is the beginning of the monsoon season. Although the festival is celebrated in almost all of India, the most notable celebrations take place in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. The Teej Festival involves colorful celebrations, during most of which women participate. On this occasion, the women dress in colorful attire, observe the fast, meet with friends, get involved in singing and dancing, apply henna on their hands and enjoy balancing among the trees. It is often believed that women observe fasting to pray to Goddess Parvati to bless them with a happy married life.
- Marwar Festival, Jodhpur
Held in Jodhpur, Marwar Festival is an embodiment of the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan. This festival is celebrated to commemorate the heroes and warriors of the earth. Folk music and dance performances compensate for the main attractions of this festival. These performances represent the battles that had been fought and the sacrifices made by the warriors. The camel tattoo show, magic show, horse riding and polo show are other highlights of the event. Although the celebrations of the event take place in several places, the most famous ones take place in the Palace of Umaid Bhawan, Mandore and Mehrangarh Fort since these places are symbols of courage and power of the rulers of Rajputs. Popular singers sing songs in praise of the heroes and give new life to the culture and traditions of the region.
- Pushkar Camel Fair, Pushkar
The largest cattle fair in the world is the famous Pushkar Fair. It seduces several tourists from all over the earth. Although the main objective of the fair is the trade of cattle (donkeys, cows, goats, sheep, camels, horses), it also has a religious significance since several people visit Pushkar to take a holy bath in Pushkar Lake on the sacred occasion from Kartik Ekadashi. Pushkar Cattle Fair becomes a striking show for visitors due to various competitions such as horse and camel races, fights, turban and mustache competitions, beauty contests, matka phod, longer mustache, bridal competition and many others. In addition to these, this Rajasthan fair is an event full of music and dance. The camels are well dressed and decorated to participate in races and competitions. Several folk dancers and musicians act to entertain visitors. Wizards, puppeteers, acrobats, comedians, etc., offer interesting performances.
- Bikaner Festival, Bikaner
Celebrated as a dedication to the desert camel ship, the Bikaner Camel Festival is observed with great pomp and show every year. As in the Pushkar Fair, camels also dress and decorate on the occasion of this cattle fair. The main venue of the festival is the Junagarh Fort. The festivities include camel races, camel games and various cultural performances. In addition to displaying the camels in their best form, this Rajasthan fair also exhibits art, crafts, tradition and culture of the region. The Bikaner Camel Festival gives you an opportunity to witness colorful folk performances, puppet shows, etc. You can also taste sweets prepared with camel milk and purchases can be made at stalls selling handicrafts, pottery, jewelry, etc.
- Jaipur Literature Festival, Jaipur
The world’s largest free literary festival takes place in the capital city of Rajasthan, Jaipur every year. This literary festival brings together all literature enthusiasts from around the world: winners of the Booker Prize, local language writers, Nobel laureates, debut novelists, etc. This party serves as a platform to share and develop ideas. Jaipur Literature Festival also offers live music sessions and interactive workshops. Since the festival is a meeting point of who is who of literature, the festival is a learning platform for budding poets and writers. It gives them the opportunity to express themselves and encourages them to continue dreaming and imagining through literature.
- Nagaur Cattle Fair, Nagaur
Another famous cattle fair organized in India is the Nagaur Cattle Fair. During this festival, cattle along with camels and horses are sold in large quantities. The animals are dressed and decorated very well. Even cattle owners also wear colorful turbans. There are several competitions and races in which animals participate and show their excellence. The Nagaur Fair also includes several cultural performances of music and dance along with jugglers, puppeteers and storytellers. The red chili market is unique of its kind and is also the largest spice market in India. It is another charm of the cattle fair. You can also buy handmade wooden items, iron crafts, leather goods, etc. of the fair.
- Baneshwar Fair, Dungarpur
Held in a small district of Dungarpur, Rajasthan, the Baneshwar Fair is a tribal celebration. The festival is celebrated as a dedication to Baneshwar, which is another name for Lord Shiva. Baneshwar also means the delta formed by the convergence of the Mahi River, the Jhakad River and the Soma River. While prayers and rituals are performed in the morning, celebrations that include cultural performances and parties take place at night. The tribal peoples of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh participate in this fair. The tribes sing popular songs and have fun in the company of visitors and pilgrims. One can enjoy shopping, local games and cultural programs. Overall, Baneshwar Fair is a captivating sight to behold.
- Desert Festival, Jaisalmer
As the name implies, this Rajasthan festival is about deserts. During the Desert Festival in the Sam Dunes of the Thar Desert, deserts come alive every year. The festival is host to countless activities such as camel racing, camel polo, tug of war, tying of turbans, etc. Visitors can also enjoy gymnastic stunts sitting on camels’ backs. The event concludes with a Rajasthan folk concert followed by an Air Force exhibition, skydiving and cricket. Tourists can buy souvenirs, handicrafts and artifacts from the stalls. A festive tour to Rajasthan cannot be said complete without trying the delicious local dishes. During the Desert Festival, you can also learn more about the culture of Rajasthan by interacting with the locals. Several folk singers and dancers perform for the entertainment of tourists. If you want to sleep in the golden desert under the starry sky, then you are in the right place, since you can choose to camp during your stay in Jaisalmer and have an unforgettable experience.
- Gangaur Festival, Jaipur
Gangaur is one of the most important and colorful festivals of Rajasthan. It derives its name from the words “Gan” and “Gaur”. Gan means Lord Shiva, while Gaur means Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva’s wife and together they represent conjugal happiness. This festival is considered a celebration of marriage and love. In terms of season, it marks the end of the winter season and the beginning of the spring season. Women celebrate this festival as a dedication to Goddess Parvati, who is believed to bless women with marital happiness. Regardless of being married or single, all women worship the goddess. During this festival, women apply henna on their hands and feet and observe the fast throughout the 18-day period. They also wear colorful outfits and wear the best jewelry. The festival celebration begins with the collection of ashes from Holi’s fire. Wheat and barley seeds are sown in soils. These seeds are watered regularly until they germinate.
- Mewar Festival, Udaipur
This Rajasthan festival is celebrated in Udaipur, the land of the Maharajas, to welcome the spring season. During this three-day festival in Rajasthan, the entire town of Udaipur is illuminated with ornaments and lights. On this joyful occasion, you can find exhibitions, cultural events, stalls, traditional processions, etc. Mewar Festival celebrations include dressing the idols of Isar and Gangaur and taking them to Lake Pichola in a traditional procession that passes through various parts of the city. The colorful culture of Rajasthan is born through dance and music shows. The festival also includes a bright display of fireworks and sporting activities full of fun. Thousands of people flock to the City of Lakes to have fun of this event. During this festival, you can also savor local Udaipur dishes. In addition, this three-day festival is a captivating sight to behold.
In addition to all these festivals and fairs, Rajasthan hosts several others as well. Now that you have all the important information related to the famous Rajasthan festivals and fairs, get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the princely state, that is, Rajasthan. No matter what month you visit this state, it is always full of movement.