(Last Updated on : 27/07/2009)
The Rajasthanis love for color and joyous celebrations is well reflected by the elaborate rituals and the gay abandon with which they surrender themselves to the numerous festivals of the region. In fact the love for fun and frolic during the festive celebrations makes this the most colorful deserts in the world. Many traditional fairs are held after the respective festival comes to an end. The festivals of Rajasthan
are well known all over the globe and marked with the largest participation of all. The state festivals of Rajasthan are marked with as much exuberance and ebullience as the religious festivals.
This festival marks the birth of Lord Ganesh
and is celebrated with equal pomp and show in the state of Rajasthan as in the whole country. The most important temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh in this state is located in the fort of Ranthambor. This particular temple forms the site of the grand Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations of Rajasthan
. Devotees from the remotest corners of the country come to participate in the festive celebrations. The idol of the Lord is beautifully embellished with golden ornaments and everyday felicities with huge garlands of marigold.
Teej is one of the most colorful festivals of Rajasthan. The festival of Teej is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and is celebrated in the state of Rajasthan in the months of July/August according to the English calendar. It is mainly celebrated by the women folk of Rajasthan. Traditional songs and dances in the praise of Parvati form a special feature of this grand occasion. During this occasion the women folk adorn themselves in their best outfits. In the remotest villages, swings are hung from trees and decorated with multi-colored hues and flowers. The beautifully adorned idol of Teej Mata is taken out in a royal procession from the city palace so that the common mass can pay tribute to the Goddess.
Dussehra is one of the biggest and the most special festivals of Rajasthan and is celebrated with the same amount of pomp and gaiety as in the rest of the nation. It not only marks the beginning of the winter season but also celebrates the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana. The festival of Dussehra is preceded by the Navaratri or the nine days worship of Goddess Durga. Ram Lila or the dramatic depiction of episodes from the lives of Lord Rama and his beloved wife Sita and his adored brother Laxman forms an interesting feature of the Dussehra festive celebrations. The custom of worshipping weapons also started on this day.
This is one of the most special festivals of Rajasthan and holds a special significance for the Rajasthanis. This grand festival is celebrated in the honor of the `Goddess of Abundance`, Gauri. During this festival the young girls adorn themselves in their best outfits and seek the blessings of the Goddess for a spouse of their choice. The married females on the other hand pray for the welfare of their beloved husbands. The festivities actually begin a fortnight before the actual day and girls worship the Goddess throughout the preceding fortnight. The festivities in the regions of Bikaner, Nathdwara, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur are full of pomp and a must see.
The elaborate rituals and gaiety characterize the festival of Diwali in the state of Rajasthan. Celebrated in the month of October/November Diwali is p[perhaps the most important festivals of Rajasthan. This festival not only gives a chance to the locals to decorate their homes, visit relatives and buy new clothes but also provides a break off from the monotonous schedule of their daily life. The women folk gather and prepare mouthwatering sweet delicacies. The night of this special day can be seen illuminated with the flaming lights of fireworks, creating kaleidoscopic designs against the black canvas of the sky.
The celebration of Holi in the state of Rajasthan bears witness to a feeling of oneness and sense of brotherhood and creates a colorful atmosphere similar to that of Mathura. People gather together on the night before the actual festival to light huge bonfires and indulge in unrestrained merriment. Traditional songs and dances enhance the spirit of this auspicious occasion. People greet each other with colors and even the members of the royal families are not immune from being drenched by color. Different states of Rajasthan plays Holi in different forms such `Mali Holi`, "Gair at Godaji` and `Dolchi Holi at Bikaner`.
This festival is celebrated as Makar Sankranti by the Rajasthanis on the 14th of January every year and heralds the transition of the Sun into the Northern hemisphere. This is also regarded as a big kite day in most parts of the Indian subcontinent and on this special day the young as well as the old are seen with their heads turned towards the sky. Every member of the family joins in the joyous celebration and shouts of `"Who Kata Hai!" This is a three days festival and the inauguration of the festival is held at the Polo ground. The last day of the festival can be witnessed in the exquisite lawns of the Umaid Bhawan Palace, the royal residence of the Maharaja of Jodhpur.
This is indeed a unique event held annually in the capital of the state of Rajasthan, Jaipur. During this festival one can witness a stunning spectacle of rows of elephants, all groomed to perfection and glittering in gold cat walking before a spellbound audience. It is in fact a festival time for the elephants that not only move gracefully in procession but also run races, play the royal game of polo and participate in the `festival of colors`. The Elephant Festival of Rajasthan is one of the major tourist attractions of the state and reflects the ancient splendor of the bygone imperial era. In fact the inhabitants of Rajasthan revived the tradition by including the Elephant Festival in the cultural calendar.
The staging of the Desert Festival is one of the most important events of Rajasthan and is held in the months of January/February. In this much-awaited festival, performing arts of the region is showcased with much enthusiasm and vigor. Numerous turban tying competitions and camel races are some added attractions of this festival. During this festival the city reverberates to the sound of the melodious tunes and rhythms. Colorful craft bazaars are also set up during this much-awaited occasion and folk artists from the remotest corners of the state can be seen performing against the splendiferous backdrop of the far-famed sand dunes on the full moon night.
This grand festival is celebrated to welcome the season of spring. Though it has a unique charm about it, it coincides with the festival of Gangaur in Udaipur. It holds a special symbolic significance for the women of Rajasthan. They adorn themselves in best clothes and gather together to dress the images of Isar and Gangaur, which are then carried in a ceremonial procession through the different parts of the city. The cultural events take place once the religious part of the festival comes to an end. In the cultural programmes one can witness the beauty of the Rajasthani culture. There is a lot of activity surrounding this festival and the participants indulge themselves in unrestrained merriment throughout.
This festival is held in the month of October in the region of Jodhpur in Rajasthan. It is grandly celebrated to showcase the art and culture of the region and is also devoted exclusively to songs and dances. It is observed for two days during the full moon of Sharad Purnima. Horse riding, horse polo and various other competitions marks this hugely popular festival of the state.
This is one of the important festivals of Rajasthan. The camel festival event, organized by the Department of Tourism, Art and Culture, Government of Rajasthan every year in the first month of the English calendar. The folk dances and songs enhances the spirit of the festival and the activities of the camels fascinate tourists from all over the world with their movements, beguile and gracility. The Camel Pageant is observed on the first day and the best-decorated camel is awarded. The tea and sweets prepared from camel milk are made available to the visitors who are interested in trying them out. The conclusion of the festival is marked by a magnificent display of fireworks, which illuminates the desert city of Bikaner