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October 2014 festivals India
The month of October marks a very enthusiastic time in India. The monsoon showers have hit many parts of the country by now, making the weather pleasant and favorable for enjoying the exciting festivals that are celebrated here during this month. Since a plenty of festivals fall in the month of October, it is one of the most adored months of the year. People from different parts of the world come to India in this month to participate in various events filled with dance, music and lights. One gets to see an amazing and colorful side of India in October. Below mentioned are some of the events that are highly enjoyable during this period.
Navaratri, a festival that lasts for nine days, is celebrated to worship the Mother Goddess in all her forms, including Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati, to destroy all the negative tendencies. While daytime is devoted for worshipping and fasting, a lot of dance, including garbha and dandiya happens during nights in addition to feasting. The festival of Navaratri comes to an end with Dussehra, which marks the conquest of good over evil, on the tenth day. Even though Navaratri is celebrated all over India with great pomp and vigor, the most famous and colorful celebrations can be witnessed in Mumbai and the state of Gujarat. Interestingly, West Bengal celebrates the festival of Navaratri and Dussehra in the form of Durga Puja. The cities remain decorated throughout the vibrant festival and it is surely one of the most enjoyable times of the year.
When it comes to celebrating Dussehra with a difference, the city of Mysore certainly does that. The royal heritage of Mysore makes sure that the festival of Dussehra is celebrated on a large scale. Celebrated to honor Goddess Chhamundeswari who executed the demon Mahishasur, several events of Mysore Dussehra take place at various locations in the city including the Mysore Palace, exhibition grounds, Chamundi Hill, auditoriums and Maharaja’s College ground. Nearly 100,000 lights bulbs illuminate the Mysore Palace from 7 P.M till 10 P.M at the time of this festival. In addition to numerous dance performances, several other events like food festival, wrestling competition, heritage walk, film festival are carried out during the celebration of the festival. However, the main attraction takes place at the last day of the celebration when a traditional Dussehra parade passes through the lanes of Mysore, beginning from the Mysore Palace and halting in Bannimantap. Fireworks, laser show and daredevil stunts are highlights of the festival.
Jaipur Shopping Festival
One of the biggest shopping festivals of India, Jaipur Shopping Festival runs for about a month, leading the festival of lights, Diwali. More than 7000 retailers of the city, coming from the most renowned markets, take part in this huge shopping festival to provide their clients with top quality products and items that one might not find anywhere else. Handcrafts made by local and national artisans are presented in the Craft Bazaar to allow the tourists and locals to get to know the real, colorful and lively side of Jaipur. However, Jaipur Shopping Festival is not only restricted to shopping. In fact, other entertaining events like folk dancing, music, folk singing, polo, fashion shows, plays, photography competition and fireworks are equally enjoyable. One gets to explore several facets of the region at one place here.
Celebrated with great enthusiasm and heartiness in West Bengal, Durga Puja is conducted to pay homage to Goddess Durga. It is common to find wonderfully handcrafted figures of Durga installed in podiums in almost every street of the city during this significant festival. Before the beginning of the festival, Goddess Durga is invited to come on earth, following which a ritual called Pran Pratisthan is performed to invoke the holy presence of the Goddess into the statues once they are installed. Devotees pay homage to Goddess Durga every day during the festival. While the statues are taken through the lanes prior to being submerged in water, accompanied by dance and music, people gather on the streets to view them amidst fascinating light shows, aromatic food stalls and drumming.
To honor a unique connection between a warrior and a horse, the festival of Ashwa Poojan is celebrated in Rajasthan on the last day of Navaratri by the royal family of Udaipur. It is due to this reason the festival is also referred to as the worshipping of the horse. The present head of the royal family worships the royal horses that belong to Marwari breed. This is because horses belonging to this breed are highly sure-footed on rocky terrains, apart from being comfortable in the sands of desert. In addition to this, they have the amazing capability to rejuvenate themselves by a sand bath and overnight rest. The complete ceremony is accompanied by a Palace band. The festival of Ashwa Poojan is one of its kinds and you might not get a chance to experience this anywhere else.
Celebrated on the tenth day of Navaratri festival, Dussehra commemorates the victory of Lord Rama over demon Ravana. Although the festival of Dussehra is celebrated all around the country, it is basically a significant festival in North India. Apart from cities like Varanasi and Delhi, Dussehra is equally famous in other cities including Mysore in Karnataka, Kota in Rajasthan and Kullu in Himachal Pradesh. While Ramleela, a play depicting the life of Lord Rama, takes place in North India, fairs and cultural performances are the highlight of 10 day long Dussehra celebration in Mysore. A grand procession of decorated elephants and horses accompanies the Goddess through the city. On the other hand, the statues of Goddess are carried on adorned chariots accompanied by dance and festivities in Kullu.
The Marwar Festival is organized to celebrate the culture of Marwar region of Rajasthan. Commemorating the memory of medieval brave men of the state, the Marwar Festival lasts for two days and is celebrated during full moon nights. The traditional folk dance and music that brings into light the legends and myths of the region are the highlight of the festival. When you are in Rajasthan, participating in this significant celebration, you get a chance to indulge in various exciting activities like hose polo, horse riding and camel tattooing.
Rajasthan International Folk Festival
Rajasthan International Folk Festival, considered to be first of its kind in India, represents the regional art and music. It is a unique combination of electrifying stage performances, educational events and late night jam sessions. Besides brilliant singers, storytellers, instrumentalists and dancers from varied Rajasthani Folk Communities, various well renowned national and international artists participate in the festival. The international folk festival of Rajasthan is held at an excellent location of Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur where people from different parts of the country gather in huge number to enjoy the classic performances.
Diwali, popularly known as the festival of lights, marks the beginning of Hindu New Year and honors the victory of good over evil. Celebrated throughout the country with immense joy and pomp, it is one of the most significant and popular festivals in India. People clean their homes, gamble, shop for clothes, clay lamps and decorate their houses with Rangoli. Plenty of fireworks and buildings illuminated with dazzling lights are a highlight of this festival. Goddess Lakshmi, which is believed to bring good fortune and prosperity, is worshiped during Diwali. However, the festival is not celebrated in Kerala since it is not a part of the region’s culture.
Chhath Puja is a festival of North India and is celebrated at the banks of River Ganga in Varanasi. However, the festival has become popular in Mumbai as well. Devotees worship the Sun and women pray for the happiness of their family and friends. People in large number gather at Juhu beach in Mumbai at the time of sunset to offer evening prayers to the sun. Women sing folk songs and fast during the celebration. Chhath Puja holds a great significance especially among the people of Bihar.
Pushkar Camel Fair
The classic Indian festival of Pushkar Camel Fair features almost 50,000 camels in the town of Pushkar, Rajasthan where they take part in race, beauty competition and parade all dressed up. It is certainly an interesting and unusual sight which offers a chance to observe a traditional Indian festival. While the original motive behind holding the Pushkar Camel Fair was to draw the attention of local camel traders, the fair has now turned out to be a main tourist attraction.
Also known as Kapil Muni Fair, Kolayat Fair is the largest fair celebrated in Bikaner District of Rajasthan. The fair showcases an unusual combination of pilgrimage and huge cattle fair at the holy lake of the town. It is quite a fascinating sight to watch as while on one side the camels, buffaloes, cattle and horses are traded, the pilgrims bathe in the lake on the other side. Clay lanterns are also floated in the lake.
Every corner of India offers different culture and celebrations. So, come here in October and take pleasure in various events filled with joy and pleasure.