Winter is coming and there is no dearth of festivals in India! A country that is always soaked in the spirit of festivity plays a perfect host to numerous global festivals for that needed closure.
Thinking where to head to, this December? We have a mixed bag of suggestions for you:
- Hornbill Festival
When: December 1-10, 2017
Where: Kisama Heritage Village (near Kohima town), Nagaland
A festival named after the bird, this unique cultural celebration, has become globally popular over the years. Held in the north-eastern state of Nagaland in India, the Hornbill Festival celebrates the indigenous tribes of the state. Also called the ‘Festival of Festivals’, the Hornbill Festival showcases a mélange of cultural displays under one roof. Revellers are treated to traditional arts, fashion events, dances, film festival, folk songs, games, and music concerts among other things. Local handicrafts are also on sale during the festival organised by Nagaland Tourism.
- Winter Festival at Mount Abu
When: December 29–31
Where: Mount Abu, Rajasthan
Organised by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation and the Municipal Board of Mount Abu, the Winter Festival at Mount Abu has remained a favourite among foreign tourists in India. The Festival features traditional dancing, concerts, fairs and a fireworks display. Folk artists from all over Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat take part in the Winter Festival. The festival opens with a procession to Nakki Lake. There are also performances of Sufi Kathak and folk dances such as Daph, Ghoomar and Gair by the participants. Other attractions of the Winter Festival include entertainments such as kite-flying, hot air ballooning, cricket, poetry reading and musical recitals.
- Sunburn Festival
When: December 28-31
Where: Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune
The 11th edition of Asia’s premier electronic music festival is being held in Pune with much fanfare. Sunburn Festival is a four-day event which previously used to be hosted in Vagator, Goa. Sunburn introduced ‘Sunburn Arena’ in 2011 to India, bringing some of the world’s best DJs to India, the likes of Avicii, Tiesto, Dash Berlin, Armin Van Buuren, Swedish House Mafia among others, in a multi-arena format across all major cities. These begin the countdown to the year-ending Sunburn Festival which is the parent event. The tickets for this year range between INR 6000- 30,000 based on the event days.
- Feast of Francis Xavier
When: December 3 – end of the year
Where: Panaji, Goa
This annual festival held at Panaji in Goa is in honour of St. Francis Xavier, a Christian missionary who came to India in 1542. His mummified body is kept in a casket inside the captivating Bom Jesus Basilica in Old Goa, and every year people come to pray on the anniversary of his burial. The festival, which lasts for several days before and after the feast and includes a large fair, is one of the most important Christian events in Goa. The morning mass attracts people from all over the world.
- Poush Mela
When: December 23-26
Where: Shantiniketan, West Bengal
The crowded winter festival of West Bengal, Poush Mela is an annual celebration symbolised by enthusiasm and excitement. The three-day festival brings forth the cultural display of rural Bengal and is a huge crowd-puller on international platforms. Celebrating the earthy tunes of Bengali folk music, especially Baul, the Mela (fair) also witnesses traditional dance performances and tribal sports. The festival overlooks thousands of stalls selling an array of merchandise including rural handicrafts. It celebrates the founding of the university town of Santiniketan by Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, father of Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore, in 1860. The festival starts on the 7th day of the month of Poush on the Bengali calendar.