The Christmas Carols fill the air in Goa, as the farmers engage in an enthralling dance in Bishnupur, a musician in Rajasthan puts the crowd in trance, as the balloons in Karnataka lift up and away!
No! This isn’t some kind of a fantasy- this is exactly what India looks in December. December in India is one of the most thrilling and happy times. Festivals are all around, and celebrations are galore. India seems to come alive in December like no other time!
If you want to be a fast of this festival fiesta then come on down to India trip and some of the most awe-inspiring festivals that India has to offer in December. Read ahead to learn more about the festivals that take place in India during December.
Dates: 1 – 10 December 2019
The Hornbill Festival celebrated in Nagaland, marks the start of December. This energetic and electrifying festival is a lovely confluence of modern ideas and traditional cultures.
You will witness some of the most enthralling folk dances, folk songs and unique warrior like celebrations that are authentic to their culture. Away from the mainstream, the Hornbill Festival celebrates the tribal culture of Nagaland, gives it a platform.
The festival is celebrated in Kisama, which is about 12 km from Kohima.
The festival has all sorts of activities for all ages.
The locals participate in a headhunting race, and their new leader is chosen
Markets and stalls are set up in the evening, and you can buy unique souvenirs from there.
Traditional games are played and even tourists are welcome to participate in these rare and fascinating games.
The biggest highlight of the Hornbill festival has to be to Hornbill national rock concert. The entire crowd erupts when the performers take the stage and play some charismatic tunes.
Visitors and tourists can just take off on a bike and explore the great wilderness of the region.
The large feast is thrown along with their famous rice beer. You must indulge yourself and eat and drink the night away just like the locals do.
Dates: Entire month of December 2019
Imagine gazing at a sky filled with large and colourful hot air balloons that just float away as the golden hue of the sun covers the whole region. This fascinating and visual appealing festival takes place annually in parts of Karnataka- Mysore, Hampi, and Bidar.
What makes the festivals special is that it gives joy to both the onlookers and ones riding the enchanting hot air balloon. You can just board one of the balloons, and fly away into the oblivion. Watch the marvellous monuments of Hampi and Mysore from up above, as they are painted in gold colour courtesy of the rising sun. This festival is a true celebration of living life to the fullest.
The Hot Air Balloon Festival is a dream come true for every photographer, as it is truly a visual treat. Whether you are up in the sky or watching a balloon take off- the sight is breathtaking.
The glitz and glamour of the popular Perumthitta Tharavad are unlike any other festival during December. This festival is both a celebration and a deep dive into the culture and traditions of the land.
Perumthitta Tharavad takes place annually in Kerala and is a great insight into the traditional and ancient culture of the region.
Tourists will be mesmerised by dance dramas, musical theatres, and folk dances all of which represent a mythological or historical story.
The dances are also in the form of Theyyam, which is a folk dance in Kerala.
What makes this festival so special is the way the stories and anecdotes of the land are told. It stays with you even after you have come back home.
Dates: December 2019
The Magnetic Fields Festivals is exactly how it sounds- magnetic! Celebrated in December, this festival is a gift to mankind.
Artists from India and abroad come together to showcase their immense talent in front of a huge and enthusiastic crowd.
The Magnetic Fields Festival takes place in Rajasthan, and the entire region just livens up with this festival. The seats are filled, the laser lights are switched on and the sound is amplified.
This 3-day long festival also displays the rich Rajasthani culture, the warmth of the locals and the heritage of the land in the most enthralling way.
This festival allows you to delve into the heritage of the land and pushes you to explore the region. From camping to stargazing to flying kites- you can do everything here!
Just sway to the beat thumping music and relish every fun moment of this colourful and thrilling festival I’m Rajasthan.
Dates: December 2019 – January 2020
If you are an art and music lover, then you certainly cannot miss the popular Chennai Music Festival.
This festival is an ode to the reach Hindustani and Carnatic Classical Music- which are the backbones of classical music in India.
The fiesta celebrates classical music in a way that you have never seen before. Even people who are not a huge fan of the genre find themselves engrossed in these thrilling performances.
Well- known artists and singers descend upon the stage to present their best performances leaving you screaming for more.
Dates: December 2019
If you are in Leh during December, then you are truly in for a treat. The Galdan Namchot festival is one of the most glamour and gorgeous festival that takes place in India.
It symbolises the start of the New Year in Ladakh and also the enlightenment of the highly revered Tibetan saint-scholar, Tsongkhapa.
During this time of the year, Leh turns into a winter wonderland. All the monasteries and historical buildings are dressed up with lights and flowers, and the locals wear their best dresses.
The festival is marked with some foot-tapping music and energetic dance performances that will make your heart sway.
You must also let yourself go and indulge in some delicious local cuisine during this time to make your at the Galdan Namchot festival even more memorable.
Dates: December 2019 – January 2020
The wonderfully colourful and vibrant Cochin Carnival is one of those hidden gems of India that are still waiting to be fully discovered.
A cultural fiesta, this festival is all about going all out and enjoying life to the fullest. From musical extravaganza to rhythmic dances- the Cochin Carnival is a wild ride.
You will find locals dressed in costumes and colourful attires as they parade down the street with elephants!
Visit this awe-inspiring festival to experience the thrill of a lifetime and to just let your hair down for a while.
Highlight: Don’t miss the continuous playing of Panchavadyam which is the blend of 5 instrumental music.
Dates: 1st – 3rd December 2019
December is truly a month of fun and festivities in Rajasthan. As the temperature starts to drop, the festivals in Rajasthan just seems to go up. Another such festivity celebrated in Rajasthan in December is the Kumbhalgarh Festival.
Situated against the intimidating and historic backdrop of the Kumbhalgarh Fort in Udaipur, this festival is something else.
Filled with a rustic charm, the festival is marked with dances, folk songs, craft workshops and puppet shows- all of which are quintessentially Rajasthani.
Dates: 3rd December 2019
The Grand Feast of Francis Xaviers is a key festivals in the stunning state of Goa.
The festival starts with the display of the mummy of Francis Xaviers in the Bom Jesus Basilica of Old Goa. Slowly the crowds start to fill in wearing the most stunning and elegant dresses.
A special mass is held where stories from his life are shared, and people listen to it with great devotion.
The tranquillity and the devotion of the crowd itself make it so wonderful to visit. It is like everyone comes together only in devotion of the Lord, and forgets about everything else- there is something so holy and pure about that.
A Fair is also arranged near the Church, and tourists can shop their heart out there. Stay back for the grand feast and dig into some of the most authentic Goan dishes that will make you come back here, again and again, every year.
Dates: 25th December 2019
This globally acclaimed loved and celebrated festival also has a great place in the heart of every Indian.
Just visit any of the Catholic-dominated areas in India- Park Street in Kolkata, Bandra in Mumbai, Old Goa in Goa and many more, and you are surely in for a treat.
Sweet carols fill up the air, as cakes and Christmas trees are bought to mark the occasion. Little children wait for Santa to come dressed up, as the entire town is adorned with lights, trees and Santa Claus.
Goa especially lights up during this time. Everywhere in Goa, you will find the Christmas cheer and the churches are always packed.
If you do wish to have a gala Christmas in India, then visit these places and just let yourself go.
Dates: December 2019
The popular Bishnupur Festival is celebrated in the quaint village of Bishnupur in West Bengal. The festival is held annually in the last week of December.
This festival is celebrated with a grand fair inside a temple complex. The festival is all about celebrating the agricultural culture of the Bishnupur village and showing their traditional lifestyle and culture.
You will be amazed by the amazing handicrafts and handlooms that are sold. The handwork is so well detailed and intricate that you won’t be able to resist yourself from buying a few of those wonderful souvenirs.
The food at this festival is probably that best and most authentic you will ever have. Coupled with quintessential Bengali cuisine, the food is also locally harvested and produced making it even more delicious.
Make sure you take part in the colourful folk dances and songs and let the rhythm be your guide!
Bishnupur festival, one of the regionally celebrated Indian festivals, is held every year in the last
Dates: 31st December 2019
The festivals in India for 2019 come to an end with a bang with the stunning New Year’s Eve celebration. No matter where you are in India you will be enthralled by the several New Year parties and gatherings that take place here.
From the best food to never-ending buffets, to fabulous night clubs and skies lit up by lanterns and fireworks- this festival is just thrilling!
There is no dearth of New Year parties and events in India, and you will surely have some of the most amazing experiences here.
Head down to Goa for a crazy wild New Year- complete with concerts, beach parties and fireworks. Or, paint the town red in any of the night clubs in Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore. Or maybe just have a traditional house party in the rural areas of Kerala!
No matter where you are, New Year’s in India surely is a bash you don’t want to miss!