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Pushkar Camel Fair

Festivals of India

There's always something going on

Festivals of India

India's festivals are lively affairs - plan your trip properly to make the most of them.

Most Indian festivals are set by the lunar calendar so will happen on different dates each year, but a quick Google search should give you the correct date. You can plan well in advance for the larger ones, but dates for some smaller festivities will be decided by astrologers giving you little notice to plan your trip. Make sure you book early to secure your accommodation, as this can be problematic closer to the time.

Holi is a lot of fun with everyone throwing water and coloured paint at each other, but be a little careful as there a lot of intoxicated people out on the streets in the daytime. It’s therefore usually a sensible idea to stick to the Holi festivities at your hotel. This festival happens mostly in the north of India, although it is still celebrated less vigorously in other regions.

Diwali is India’s festival of lights, and is mostly celebrated as a family occasion but it is still interesting to see the whole town lit up and decorated. Cities turn into a riot of fireworks and crackers, and so can get quite polluted. It’s all good fun but you might prefer to stay in a more rural or quiet area at this time.

In the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, countless statues of the elephant-headed god Ganesh are paraded through the streets and thrown into river or the sea. It’s quite a spectacle and well worth seeing if you are in India during the monsoon.

Pushkar Camel Fair, India’s biggest cattle fair takes place in the autumn in the holy town of Pushkar in Rajasthan - a festive atmosphere with lots more going on than just the buying and selling of camels.

Many of the Buddhist monasteries in the Himalayan region of Ladakh play host to colourful traditional festivals with monks dressed up in masks and costumes re-enacting myths and stories.

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