7 Amazing Folk Festivals Of India You Just Can’t Miss

Folk Festivals OF India

The cultural diversity of India is well-known far and wide. Each state of our country has its unique traditions, festivals and food that tend to diversify even as you travel through the region. Despite the diversity, the country comes together regularly to celebrate different cultures and traditions. Folk festivals of India are celebrations that capture the essence of our country’s diversity in terms of traditions, rituals and cuisines. Attending the different festivals that take place across the country is an exciting experience unlike any other and should be undertaken by everyone atleast once in their lifetime.

If you are travelling through or to India, then you can enhance your experience by being a part of the folk festivals and religious festivals of India that take place in different states. To help you plan your vacation better, we have made a list of the best folk festivals of India that you should check out.

7 Famous Folk Festivals Of India

1. Khajuraho Dance Festival, Madhya Pradesh

Khajuraho Dance Festival
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An annual festival organised by Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad, the renowned Khajuraho Dance Festival features various dance forms including Kathak, Odissi, Bharatnatyam and Kathakali. The dances are performed by some of the most acclaimed artists who have been practicing these dance forms for several years. The performances during the festival take place against the backdrop of two major Khajuraho Temples – Chitragupta Temple and the Vishvanatha Temple and are truly a visual delight to watch. 

When: February- March 

2. Bihu Festival, Assam

Bihu Festival
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Bihu Festival is one of the largest folk festivals of India and actually takes place thrice a year, in tune with the crop season wherein Bohag Bihu signifies sowing of the crops, Kati Bihu or Kongali Bihu is indicative of the harvest season and Magh Bihu which is the end of the harvest season. Bohag Bihu is the most important out of the three as it marks the Assamese New Year which is celebrated with week-long fasting followed by a lavish meal, Bihu dance and other rituals. Besides enjoying the famous Bihu dance, you can also indulge in traditional fare including Mangosh and Masor Tango.

When: April, October and Januray

3. Onam, Kerala

Onam Festival
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Onam is one of the most important festivals in Kerala and marks the homecoming of King Mahabali. The harvest festival lasts for 10 days each of which has its own significance. The festivities are full of performances of art forms of the state including Kathakali and Padayani, cultural programs, games and the famous Snake Boat racing event at Pampa River. Besides these fun activities, you can also look forward to Onasadya, a grand celebration where people devour a lavish meal comprising 13 different dishes. 

When: September

4. Pushkar Fair, Rajasthan

Pushkar Fair
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Started almost 150 years ago as a simple camel trade fair, Pushkar Mela is one of the most well-known folk festival of Rajasthan. The fair is usually a place where the buying and selling of camels and livestock takes place and the camels are decorated in the best ways which is a sight unlike any other. Besides being reflective of the nomadic lifestyle of the state, the festival also hosts exciting events such as the ‘longest moustache’ competition, bridal games and ‘matka phodh’. You can also enjoy a hot air balloon ride while here. 

When: November

5. Goa Carnival

Goa Carnival
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India’s party capital, lights up even more during the Goa Carnival. With its roots in the Portuguese tradition, Goa Carnival is similar to the carnival celebrations across the globe before Mardi Gras and lasts for a period of 4 days. The festival is full of fun and revelry with colourful float parades, dancing troupes, sports competitions, live music, various food stalls and people enjoying themselves in masks and costumes. Panjim, Mapusa, Margoa and Vasco da Gama are the places to go to participate in the festivities.

When: February

6. Rann Utsav, Gujarat

Rann Utsav
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One of the biggest folk festivals of India, Rann Utsav takes place for nearly four winter months. Organised in the salt marsh of Rann of Kutch, the festival is marked with music shows, vibrant folk dance performances of Gujarat, storytelling sessions, the showcasing of the state’s stunning handicraft and abundant food stalls. In our opinion, there is no better place to experience the cultural richness of Gujarat other than the Rann Utsav.

When: October to Feb

7. Jaisalmer Desert Festival, Rajasthan

Jaisalmer Desert Festival
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A three-day event, the Jaisalmer Desert Festival is organised by the Rajasthan Government and offers you the perfect opportunity to experience the rich culture of the state. The vibrant festival features numerous performances of folk singers, puppeteers, fire-eaters and folk dancers. The highlight of this festival is the Kalbelia performances along with turban tying competitions and sound and light shows. You can also experience the unique competition of the best-dressed camel while here.

When: February 

While a trip to India has a lot to offer, the experience is even more enhanced by taking a visit to these exciting folk festivals. Make sure to add these to your itinerary for an unforgettable vacation!

November 16, 2022

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