The diverse land of India is home to several colourful cultures, which have all manifested and given birth to some unique festivals here in India.
In the month of August, India is home to many different kinds of festivals, that are not just deeply rooted in the cultures but also to the traditions and ways of the past.
These festivals are the living testimonies of the secularism and diversity of India.
During this time, India is adorned in different shades and hues, and light up in all kinds of lights. It is truly s right to behold for tourists who wish to visit India:
An extremely holy festival of India, Janmashtami marks the birth of Lord Krishna. While the festival is celebrated across India, the cities of Mathura and Vrindavan reach the epitome of pomp and fare during this time.
All the temples and institutions in Mathura are adorned with a thousand flowers and beautiful colourful rangolis. In Mathura you will also witness the famous Jhulanotsav, wherein swings are hung in the backyards of every household to depict the love between Radha and Krishna.
The whole city of Mathura finds itself drenched in the holy spirit, and you will find Jankis, which are figures put up to depict the phases of Krishna’s life, all over Mathura.
Hundreds and Thousands of pilgrims, locals, devotees, and tourists, flock Mothers during this time, to witness the inspiring Chappan Bhog, where the idol of Lord Krishna is presented with 56 dishes.
You will also find several rallies, and performances being held- with children and adults dressed up as Krishna and Radha. Plays and musicals about Lord Krishna’s life are held in abundance.
If you are in Mumbai, you will be met with another unique celebration. Here the festival is marked by the idea of Lord Krishna being a Makhan Chor. In different societies and streets all over Mumbai, an earthen pot fills with curd, called Dahi Handi is tied really high. The youths- who are skilled and have been preparing for this for months, make a human pyramid and break the pot.
Celebration Date: Saturday, 24 August 2019
Snakes in India has always held significant importance. From being Lord Shiva’s companion to snake worship, India’s relationship with this reptile doesn’t end there.
One of the major festivals in India- Nag Panchami, is a festival that is dedicated to the worship of snakes. The festival is so unique to India, that foreigners from all over the world come and witness the festival in all its glory. The festival is extremely popular in the rural regions of India, and even in Nepal. On this day you will find various types of snakes being carried to temples, and devotees swaying to the music of the snake charmers. This festival, while extremely unique- is certainly not for the faint-hearted.
Celebration Date: Monday, 5 August 2019
The sister takes the tray and ties the elegant Rakhi over her brother’s hand. In return, she seeks his protection and gives her his blessings. The entire family gathers around to witness this sacred bond of a brother and sister.
Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is one such festival that truly celebrates the bond between siblings and cousins. It is celebrated on a full moon day and is followed all over India.
The entire ceremony of tying the Rakhi, performing the holy Aarti and receiving a much-deserved gift from the brother is a marvel to watch.
Everyone is dressed in beautiful traditional attires on this day.
Over the years, what has truly made this festival special is the inclusion of sisters as well. That is, sisters have started tying Rakhi to their elder sisters making it more gender neutral and inclusive.
Celebration Date: Thursday, 15 August 2019
The entire country is covered with wonderful effervescent and aromatic smells of Biriyani, ghosht, and many other delicacies that mark this wonderful festival of the Muslim Community.
Eid-al-Adha, or Bakri Id, as it is popularly called, is marked by sacrificing a goat and cooking up the meat for a feast with family and friends. The festival is celebrated with delicious food, gorgeous outfits worn of men and women, and dazzling lights, that you will find in evert Islamic area in the particular city. This festival also celebrated the mesmerising idea of secularism that India is known and proud of.
Celebration Date: Sunday – Monday, 11 – 12 August 2019
While a relatively lesser known festival, the Tarnetar Fair is held close to the Triniteshwar Mahadev in Gujarat.
The festival was first started in lieu of finding a suitable spouse for, but over time it is evolved into something wherein the whole community is involved. From fun fairs to professionals performing the death-defying stunt, there is not a moment of stillness when this festival is on.
Everywhere you look something or the other is happening- from peppy dance numbers to tribal music, this is the one place to actually experience the tribal culture.
Celebration Date: First week of ‘Bhadrapad‘ (August-September) according to the Hindu calendar.
A unique cultural fiesta, the Covelong Point Surf, Music and Yoga Festival attracts a different kind of audience. This festival over the years have managed to lure many International Indie artists and has brought World Cinema into their backyard. A different kind of experience, here you will find a surfing completion on one side, and a meditation workshop happening on the other side.
There is so much happening here, that you will be confused about what you want to engage in. From beautiful food stalls to kayak races, to beach volleyball matches- you have everything here.
If you are looking for some space away from the cacophony of fun, then you can also find a secluded corner on the beach and just chill there.
Celebration Date: 23 – 25 August 2019
One of the oldest and most popular festivals in India– The Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race, is not only a treat to watch, but also, is highly prestigious.
This amazing boat race is an annual festival that is held in August, on the picturesque Alleppey Lake in Kerala. The festival is aesthetically pleasing and has a stark element of competitive spirit, coordination and a formation of a unique bond among the sailors. The festival essentially comprises of men rosining snake boats and racing against each other emerge victoriously. The race can get so competitive that you will find yourself sitting at the edge of the seat zealous cheering for everyone. This festival also marks the start of the Onam festival in Kerala.
The sight is absolutely marvellous as several colourful and elongated boats, with their heads shaped like snakes all start off in coordination, and try to edge past the other.
The second boat race called the Aranmula Snake Boat Race marks the end of Onam and takes place on the famous Pampa River, which too is located in Alleppey. What really makes this festival a spectacle is the sheer enthusiasm of the boatsmen, who sing folk songs as the spectators join in. The atmosphere is amazing and buzzing with a positive vibe.
Celebration Date: Saturday , 10 August 2019