Rajasthan has always held and will continue to hold a special place on the map of India. The state of Rajasthan has been ruled many heroic kings who have gifted this land with a lavish history. Besides the rich history, the desert state of India has also inherited a unique culture which is glorified in the form of numerous festivals and fairs celebrated and organized through different towns and cities of Rajasthan.
These celebrations arouse an all new liveliness and splash among the people and places of Rajasthan. A unique feature of all the events here is that animals, especially camels also participate in them with an enthusiasm equal to that of humans. These fair are a potpourri of splendid art, craft, culture, music, dance and architecture of the state. Camel safari, animal pageants, puppet shows, handicraft exhibitions, camel marches and races, camel dance shows, cock and bull fighting etc. are some other exclusivities of these fairs and festivals. Many travelers from all across India and the world throng to Rajasthan to be a part of these events and explore the colors and flavors of Rajasthan in its true form.
Here are the most prominent festivals celebrated Rajasthan:
- Nagaur Cattle Fair – Nagaur- the town of Rajputs in Rajasthan celebrates the eight day long fair of Nagaur also known as the Cattle fair in the month of January or February every year. Thousands of cattle including cows, camels, horses and bullocks decorated marvelously with colorful and interesting accessories are traded. Even the cattle traders participate in the fair dressing themselves up in colorful outfits and turbans to sell the animals at best prices. Other attractions of this fair include mirchi bazaar, accessories made up of camel leather and wooden items.
- Desert Festival – Jaisalmer, the Golden City of Rajasthan hosts an annual event in the month of February known as the Desert Festival. Locals of Rajasthan participate and travelers from all over the world visit Jaisalmer during the three days long fair full of colors and festivities. The culture, music, dance, camel shows and sound and light show on a moonlit night are the main attractions of this festival. Other unique and interesting events of this fair are longest moustache competition, puppet shows, turban tying competition, folk dance competition, open air performances of acrobatics etc.
- Camel Festival – Every year in the month of February, Camel Festival is organized with a lot of excitement and grandeur in the Rajasthani city of Bikaner. Camel is the ship of the desert and Rajasthan being a desert land accords a lot of importance to Camel. This festival is celebrated to remark the same. The festival is inaugurated by a camel march in which camels decorated with colorful Rajasthani cloth, jewelry and accessories participate with the great Fort of Junagarh in its background. The most amazing part of this festival is the dance show of camels in which trained camels dance on music and drumbeats. The whole extravaganza is a sight in itself.
- Elephant Festival – Celebrated on the day of Holi in state’s capital city Jaipur is another amusing festival of Rajasthan- the Elephant Festival. For opening the festival, the huge animals beautifully decorated with colors, clothes and accessories perform a catwalk to compete for the Elephant catwalk pageant. Several races and polo games are also held to entertain the audience.
- Gangaur – Holding colossal importance for both married and unmarried ladies in Rajasthan, the festival of Gangaur is celebrated with a lot of zeal and dedication for eighteen days by the women in Rajasthan. Dedicating their prayers and offerings to Goddess Gauri, women ornament and decorate idols of the Goddess and pray for the health, long life and prosperity of their husband. All the ladies dress themselves beautifully and participate in a procession and sing folk songs.
- Teej – Although the festival of Teej is celebrated in most parts of northern India in the month of August but its real flavor can be seen and experienced in Rajasthan. Ladies dress themselves in bright colorful clothes, mostly greens and enjoy swings hung on trees. Teej is celebrated in the month of July/August and symbolizes onset of monsoon.
- Marwar Festival – Dedicated to the great heroes of Rajasthan, Marwar festival also known as Mewar festival is celebrated in the Jodhpur for two days during the full moon on Sharad Poornima. This happens to fall sometime in the month of September or October. Showcasing the lifestyle of former rulers of Rajasthan, this festival is all about camel polo, camel tattoo show and various folk dance and music performances.
- Pushkar Fair – Held primarily for the purpose of trading cattle which includes cow, horse, goat, camel, sheep etc., this five day long fair is held in Pushkar along the banks of Pushkar Lake during the month of October/November. One of the largest camel fairs of the world, Pushkar fair attracts thousands of tourists to Pushkar every year. This fair is arranged near the days to Kartik Poornima which is also a good chance for travelers to take a holy dip in the religiously significant Pushkar Lake. If you plan to attend Pushkar Fair then it is a good opportunity for you to enjoy lots of dance and music events as well as the unforgettably breathtaking camel safaris and camp stays.