Gujarat- The Land of Colorful Fairs & Festivals
Gujarat is the seventh largest state of India and is known for having the longest coastline of about 1600 km. This beautiful western state is the most popular tourist regions of the country because of its rich culture, archeological and architectural marvels and vibrant culture. Most significantly, Gujarat state celebrated over 3500 fairs and festivals throughout the year. The celebration of fairs and festivals are mainly based on change of season, on some religious event or at harvesting time of a green field. Therefore, Gujarat is referred to as the “Land of Fairs and Festivals”. In a way, the festivals celebrated here not only depict the culture but also reveal this state’s colorful culture and heritage with diverse outlooks. Read on to this article to know about popular fairs and festivals of Gujarat.
International Kite Festival (Uttarayan)
Annual festival celebrated on January 14, it commemorates Uttarayan. Also referred to as Makar Sankranti, this festival remarks the changeover of weather i.e., from winters to summers. In Gujarat, it is a grand affair which is celebrated with huge splendor. The main feature of Uttarayan is that the skies over most cities get fill with kites but, in Ahmedabad, the ‘International Kite Festival’ is one of its kinds. Though it is special occasion as per the Hindu calendar, but International Kite Festival leaves all religious boundaries behind. Therefore, not only Gujaratis but many kite enthusiasts from all over the world come here.
Rann Utsav / Kutch Mahotsav
Described by its name, it is a wonderful festival celebrated in the Great Rann of Kutch, which is one of the most ethnically and ecologically diverse districts of the state. ‘Rann or Kutch Mahotsav’ is a 3 day festive celebration that hosts a range of varied hues, abundance of culture, profusion of design, cornucopia of music and dance forming making its an lovely montage of Gujarat’s vibrant side. This annual festival is celebrated on the full moon night during the month of December and attracts more that 8000 tourists from all across the world.
Modhara Dance Festival
The Modhera Dance Festival is celebrated in the beautiful environs of the Sun Temple of Modhera and is one of the most charming festivals of Gujarat. It is organized during the third weekend of January, which is right after the conclusion of Uttarayan. Attending this three day dance festival is an excellent opportunity to experience the living heritage of Indian music and dance.
While talking of Gujarat, Navratri cannot be bylined. As it means, this Hindu festival is celebrated for a period of nine nights. This festival is one of the most popular Hindu festivals in India and abroad. It is perhaps the longest festival in the world during which, the devotees gather and perform traditional dance forms (Garba & Dandiya) in the honour of Goddess Shakti. Navratri festival is celebrated during the month of September / October (whenever the auspicious Navrati days fall). This colorful festival is a popular attraction for not only foreigner tourists but from India as well.
Apart from these, the colorful and rich culture on various fairs and festivals such as Chitra Vichitra Fair (after 14 days of Holi in the months of March-April), Tarnetar Fair, Bhadrapad Ambaji Fair, Bhavnath Fair (at Mahashivratri), Lili Parikrama Fair, Vautha Fair, Shamlaji Fair, etc.
Author Bio: The writer is a travel enthusiast working with Tripmos.com, which is a popular travel portal offering best tour packages in India.