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Fairs & Festival

The people of Rajasthan live life to the hilt and nobody can really match the gay abandon with which the Rajasthani surrenders himself to the numerous fairs and festivals that are celebrated here . There are animal fairs, there are religious fairs and there are fairs to mark the changing seasons. In fact, celebrations occur almost round the year and provide the visitor with the splendid opportunity to gain an insight into the life of Rajasthani . There is dancing, singing , drama , devotional music and other community activities that can enthrall the visitor.

Listed here is a very small selection of the countless number of exciting events that are held in Rajasthan throughout the year. Details of these and many other other religious and seasonal festivals are available with the Rajasthan Tourism offices throughout the country.

Kite Festival (Jaipur, 14 January)
Makar Sakranti , the kite flying festival is spectacular.Everything closes down and the kites are flown from every roof top and street . The object is to bring down other’s kites , attempting to the deafning cheers and loud music of huge crowds . the sky remains dotted with vivid splashes of colors , as kills in a variety of hues , shapes and sizes dart across the azure blue.

Camel Festival (Bikaner , January)Camel  Festival
A unique celebration highlighting camel and cultural heritage of northern Rajasthan . The camel festival begins with a colourful procession of bedecked camels against the red sandstone backdrop of Junagarh fort , the festivity advances to the open sand spreads of the grounds , followed by the best breed competition , the tug of war contest , camel dances and acrobatiess . The camels dance gracefully to the slightest direction of their trainers – their bejewelled necks , jingling anklets cast a magical spell . Glorious Gorbandh dance , local folk performes and dazzling fireworks offer a different tenor and tempo altogether.

Nagaur Fair (Nagaur , Jan-Feb)
Essentially an animal fair is one of the largest in the country . The fair is renowed for the trading in cows , bullocks , camels and horses . Mirchi Bazar is the main attraction and wooden items , ironcraft and leather accessories are available in plenty during the fair.

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Desert Festival (Jaisalmer , Jan-Feb)
A spectacular eDesert  Festivalvent coinciding with the full moon in Jan/Feb. The rich culture of the region is on display during this three day long festival.

The famous Gair and Fire dancers are the major attractions of the celebrations. Interesting contests including a turban-tying competition and a Mr. Desert contest further enhance the fun of the occasion. A trip to the Sam sand dunes marks the grand finale, where one can enjoy camel rides and brilliant performances by the folk artistes under the full moon against the backdrop of picturesque dunes.

Bhaneswar Fair (Dungarpur , Jan-Feb)
A religious festival with simple and traditional rituals . Quaint rhythms conjure up the tribal cultural identity of the Bhils of the Rajasthan , Gujarat and M.P . Bhaneshwar means the master of the delta and this name was given to the Shival linga. The Bhaneshwar fair is held at a small delta formed by the river Som and Mahi and prayers are offered to Lord Shiva locally named as Bhaneshwar . The fair resounds with the gaiety of traditional folk songs , folk dances and Rasila animal show , magic shows acrobatic feats . Adding toElephant  Festival the excitement are the joy rides on mery go round and swings.

Elephant Festival (Jaipur , March)
A magnificent spectacle , it unveils the majesty and grandeur of elephants ,celebrated around Holi . The Mahawats or owners proudly decorate their elephants with bright colours , Jhools(saddle cloth) and heavy jewellery. a royal procession of decorated elephants , a match of elephant polo , an elephant race and playing Holi on elephants are main events.

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Brij Festival ( Bharatpur , March)
Held on the eve of Holi in honour of Lord Krishna , the festival is marked by verve and zest villagers , in gay multitued attire can be seen singing and performing the Rasilla dance the immortal love story of Radha and Krishna.

Gangaur Festival ( Jaipur, March-April)
A festival devoted to Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva.Ishar and Gangaur are the divine male and female who embody marital love. dedicated to the Goddess Gauri (Parvati) , the festival commences on Holi. young girls pray for grooms of their choice while married women seek a long life for their husbands. The ladies decorate their hands and feet by drawing designs with Mehendi (Myrtle paste ). Festivites continue for 18 days culminating with the arrival of Lord Shiva to escort his bride home. A grand procession with the idle of Gauri in beautifully decorated gold and silver a palanquin caparisoned elephants , camels , horses , dances , drummers and joyous childreMewar  Festival n , goes through the city streets . A sweet dish called Ghewar characteristic of the Gangaur festival is distributed among friends and relatives.

Mewar Festival (Udaipur, March-April)
The Mewar Festival in March-April is the ceremonial welcome to spring and is dedicated to goddess Parvarti. A procession of colourfully attired women,carrying images of the goddess to the Gangaur Ghat of the Lake Pichhola is the major highlight.Songs,dances and firwworks displays mark the festivities.

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Kaila Devi Fair (Kaila-Karauli,March-April)
The temple of Kaila Devi populary known as Mahalakshmi (the goddess of wealth) is the venue of fair lasting for a fortnight . Kaila Devi has been regarded as the guardian deity throughout the ages by the Khinchis and Yadavs and the princess of Karauli. The ritual of Kanak Dandoti is observed by staunch devotees . Groups of Mina tribemen arrive in a spirit of gaiety dancing , singing and and creating a lively atmosphere.

Shri Mahavirji Fair ( Chandangao , March-April)
Followers of Mahavir Swami –24th Tirthankara Saint of digambar Jains come from far and wide to pay homage at the shrine at Chandangao . There is a Manstambha (tower of glory) made of marble in front of the temple . The pilgrims gather at the temple to worship , mediate and seek the blessing of the Saint . The image of Mahavirji is washed early in the morning , the ritual called prakashalan . This is fSummer  Festivalollowed by pujan and evening aarti . The fair reaches its peak when the image of the deity is taken to the bank of river Gambhiri in grand procession for Kalash Abhishek .

Summer Festival (Mount Abu , June)
The summer season is the time for exuberant festivities in this sylvanretreat of Rajasthan. The hill town , covered with mango groves, beautiful bauhinia trees and thickets of wild berries , stirs with life in the first week of June every year .Tribal festivities , folk and classical music performances amidst the lush surroundings and lovely lakes , make it a joyous event .

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Teej Teej  FairFair (Jaipur , July-August)
The festival celebrating the reunion of Shiva and Parvati , is celebrated at the onset of the monsoon . Teej is the festivalof swings . Young girls and women dressed in green clothes sing songs and swing in celebrating the advent of the monsoon . An elaborate procession is taken out in Jaipur for two consecutive days with ornately dressed elephants , horses and camels , bands performing artists and colourfully dressed people . Goddess Parvati is invoked to bless her worshippers with conjugal harmony and bliss.

Gogaji Fair (Gogamedi , Aug-Sept)
Gogaji fair is held in the memory of the popular hero of the area who is known as Goga Veer amongst the Hindus and Jahar Peer (Saint) amonst the muslims. Gogaji is popular as a Snake God and almost every village in Rajasthan has a Than (sacred place) dedicated to him . The idol of Gogaji is seated on a blue horse with a snake coiled around the neck. An inscription in persian can be seen at the main entrance which describes Mohmud Ghaznavi’s regard for Gogaji. Many people can be seen singing and dancing carrying multicoloured flags called nishans in their hands.

Kajli Teej (July-Aug)
The celebrations of the festival are different than the usual Teej festivities.Unlike Teej,which is celebrated on the third day of the month of Shravana,Kajli Teej is celebrated on the third day of the month of Bhadra.

An exuberant procession of Teej in a decorated palanquin starts from the beautiful Naval Sagar and culminates at the Azad Park.

Cultural performances by the local artistes as well as by the artistes from Hadoti region are part of the celebrations. Though the Teej procession is carried out for only two days, the festivities continue till the eight day, finally ending on Janmashtami, the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna.

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Ramdev Fair (Ramdevra-Pokran , Aug-Sept)
Regarded as the incarnation of Lord Krishna by Hindus and and venerated by Muslims also as Ram Shah Pir , Baba Ramdev was a Tanwar Rajput and a saint who had miraculous powers. He believed in the equality of all human beings and helped the downtrodden by granting them their wishes. The Ramdeva fair is attended by hundreds of thousands of devotees irrespective of their caste , creed and religion. These groups organise night long singing of bhajans and kirtans to pay homage to Baba. Ramdevra village lies about 12 kms. from Pokran in Jaiselmer district and can be reached from Jodhpur and Pokran by bus and rail.Marwar  Festival

Marwar Festival (Jodhpur , Oct)
The two day long colourful extravaganza celebrating the ‘Maand’ style of folk music brings out the romantic lifestyle of Rajasthan’s rulers. Folk artistes performing under the full moon bring alive the legends and the folklores of the area.

Pushkar Fair (Pushkar-Ajmer , Nov)
Excitement , gaiety and a keen sense of competition fill the air as the long journey to Pushkar begins . The only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma (the creator) is located at Puskar . The Pushkar lake is surrounded by 52 flights of steps called ghats . Pushkar is among the five principal places of Hindu pilgrimage . People consider the water of Pushkar lake to be very sacred and he ritual of taking dips in the holy water is believed to bestow salvation. It is customary to float lighted eastern lamps placed on pattals (plates made of leaves) on the waters of the lake .

In conjunction to religious fair , a cattle fair is also organised . The highlight of the Pushkar fair is the trading in camels .URS

URS (Ajmer)
The Urs ,a commorative celebration is held in the solomen memory of Khwaja Muin-nd-Din-Chisti, a prighly respected sufi saint fondly revered as benefactor of the poor, popularly known as Gareeb Nawaz. The Dargah Sharif in Ajmer , is the place where the saints mortal remains lie burried and is the site of the largest Muslim fair in India.Chadar , Ghilapg and Neema which are votive offering for the tomb are offered by several hundred thousands devotees . Mehfils and Qawwalis are held and mass prayers calls for the eternal peace of the mankind. An interesting ritual is looting of Kheer ( Milk Pudding) which is cooked in two large cauldrons called Degs and distributed to the devotees as tabarruk (Blessed food).

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Info on Fairs and Festivals of Rajasthan - india

 
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