Sinchita Mitra

The month of September in India, an absolutely divine month when it comes to festivals. It officially marks the time of festivities in India and is often followed by major festivals like Navratri, Diwali, and Christmas in the next few months. September itself is filled with exuberant festivals that truly showcase the diversity of India and the different cultures that it is home to. All of these festivals are unique to the region they belong to and will give you a different experience. If you want to see India from the lens of what it truly encompasses then you must visit one or more than one of these regions during their respective festivals:

Ganesh Chaturthi 

This upbeat festival was actually started as a movement in the earlier times. Over time it has evolved into something much bigger and better. The city of Mumbai assumes all shades of the Rainbow, as the local God Lord Ganesh steps inside the state of Maharashtra. It usually goes on for 11 days, and the scale is absolutely humungous. Elaborate and beautifully adorned statues of Ganesh sit on top of various podiums in different pandals and even in houses.

On the last day, the entire streets of Mumbai are filled with revellers who carry the idol to be submerged into the sea. It is said that with Ganesh all our problems to get carried away by the water. This time of the month is absolutely chaotic yet resplendent. Everybody gets on the street and dances like there is no tomorrow. It is certainly a sight to behold.

Ziro Festival of Music 

This peppy music festival is exactly where you should be this August. Held annually at the quaint yet aesthetic town of Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh, this festival will raise your spirits and fill you with joy like no other.

From the moment you step into the serene hilly town, to the first time you bang your head to the beats that have the power to liberate your soul.

While many have attributed the charm of this festival to the mystical landscapes that make its backdrop, want others to believe, it is the dense forest area that gives it the rustic charm and the concept of a lost spirit roaming in the wilderness. Every year the line up of artists performing here is mind-blowing, and it is an absolute treat to sway to the kind of music being performed here.

The festival is for four days, and you can truly live in hippie lifestyle on all these four days. Just pitch up a tent and let your mind go into an inescapable trance that the music puts you through.

Abhaneri Festival

A little countryside town in Rajasthan lights up as the Abhaneri Festival slowly creeps in.

The quaint village of Abhaneri located in Rajasthan is absolutely in a mood of celebration during this festival. From vibrant colours to the intricacies of Rajasthani culture. The festival is so deeply rooted in the culture, that every performance is authentic and done in the most traditional way. You will find yourself tapping your feet to the various folk dances like  Kachhi Ghodi dance and Bhawai dance. Treat yourself to a fun-filled puppet show which will surely leave you amazed and in tears out of laughing. If you truly want to live and explore the traditions of Rajasthan, then you must come and enjoy this exciting festival.

Ladakh Festival

The magnificent town of Ladakh is not only famous for its azure lakes and clear skies, but also for its culture. The best way to understand and live the unique culture of Ladakh is by witnessing the famous Ladakh festival. Every year in September, this festival is not only a joyous time for the locals but also a huge tourist puller.

The entire festival is rooted in their traditions and culture, wherein they cherish the past and the legacy left.

The festival starts with dancers, school children and local leaders who lead the procession to mark the beginning of this happy time.

After this locals wearing colourful masks take the stage and light it on fire with their breathtaking performances. The entire city just lights up as everyone is on the street indulging in drinking, merrymaking, eating or even trying out adventure sports. The cacophony is so positive that you would not want the festival to ever get over. As a tourist don’t forget to sample the locally made beer called Chang, which will surely take you to a new high!

Teej

The Women of Rajasthan draped in pink, yellow, blue, green lehengas, all line up as they bow their head in devotion to the Goddess Teej.

The festival named after the Goddess is essentially celebrated by the women of Rajasthan, and few other states with full fervour. The entire city of Jaipur, assumes a different colour other than pink, as it is filled with women dancing, singing, and fairs popping up everywhere.

The festival involves women dressing up, and carrying the Goddess in a golden palanquin across the city.

This aesthetic rally is accompanied by elephants, camels and horses, who are all decorated and look the part in the festival.

The sight is so colourful, joyous and marvellous and it is definitely a must experience festival of India.

Onam

Chennai: College students celebrate Onam festival by decorating “Pookalam”

If you are in the South of India this August, then you cannot give miss Onam a miss. This beautiful harvest festival is 10 days long and is celebrated with pomp and fare across Kerala. The popular legend suggests that it welcomes the homecoming of King Mahabali, but traditionally it is the start of the harvest season.

Kerala is absolutely adorned with amazing decorations, with men and women wearing traditional attires, and households always smelling of traditional sweets and other delicacies.

If you visit during this time, you will be greeted with boat races, elephant rallies and even resplendent Kathakali dance performances.

God’s Own Country, during this time, acquires a different shade of golden and white and is at a unique kind of high.

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