Festivals of Maharashtra
Ganesh Chaturthi is the grand festival of Maharashtra. It is however also celebrated in other states of India with great fervour. Vinayaka Chaturthi is another name for this festival. This festival is celebrated in the honour of Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Lord Ganesha is believed to bestow prosperity, wisdom and fortune. Elephanta Festival is another important festival which is celebrated on the Elephanta Island, in the month of February. A musical tribute to Lord Rama is paid through the Banganga festival in Mumbai. The festival is accompanied by musical carnival and promotes the cultural heritage of the state. Ellora festival is another festival which celebrates the classical dance and music of Maharashtra at the Ellora caves. Shivaji Jayanti is celebrated in the honour of the greatest ruler of the state, on the birthday of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Other festivals of Maharashtra include Bhaubeej, Ganga Dashahara, Jiviti Puja, Kalidas Festival, Kojagiri Purnima, Maharashtra Day, Nagpanchami, Narali Poornima, Palkhi Festival, Pola Festival and Vat Purnima.
Festivals of Goa
Great celebrations of different festivals can also be witnessed in Goa. Shigmo is a colourful festival of Goa. Exquisite folk dances by various dance troupes are the most alluring features of this festival. Goa Heritage Festival at Fontainhas is celebrated with the aim of preserving and promoting the Fontainhas area in Goa. It is a beautiful celebration of the cultural heritage of Goa. Grandest celebration and cultural extravaganza is organized in the Goa Carnival. The four day carnival is accompanied by extraordinary folk dances and music. In Goa, Christmas is also celebrated with great vigour where the state is beautifully adorned and illuminated. Sao Joao festival marks the beginning of the monsoon in Goa. This festival is the celebration of the feast of St. John the Baptist. It is a colourful festival exhibiting unique traditions of Goa. Apart from this, festivals like Dussehra, Diwali and Holi are also celebrated with great zeal in Goa.
Festivals of Gujarat
Among the festivals of Gujarat, International Kite Festival is a significant one. On 14th of January, Makar Sankranti, this festival is celebrated by flying kites throughout the state. This festival also marks the end of winter and some of the exclusive kites flown in the Kite Festival are the manifestation of skilled artistry. In the month of February and March, Kutch Mahotsav is celebrated. It aims at promoting the tourism of Kutch and attracts tourists from different regions to witness the beautiful handicrafts, historical towns and the colourful culture and traditions of Gujarat. Navaratri is one of the most popular festivals of Gujarat and is celebrated since ancient times. Navaratri is celebrated for nine days in the honour of Mother Goddess who is believed to protect her devotees. Traditional dances like Garba, Dandia and Bhavai are the most prominent features of this festival. Saptak Music Festival is celebrated in Ahmedabad in the month of January. The festival focuses on the promotion of Indian classical music of India and was inaugurated by the legendary musician Pandit Ravi Shankar in year 1980. Talented musicians from different parts of India give extraordinary performances in Saptak School of Music, during this eleven day celebration. In January, Modhera Dance Festival is organized in the Sun Temple of Modhera. Amazing classical dance performances make this festival worth experiencing. Holi, Raksha Bandhan, Janmashtami and Diwali are enlisted among the important festivals of Gujarat.
Festivals of Daman and Diu
Cultural heritage of western India is also witnessed through the festivals of Daman and Diu. Two important festivals of this union territory are Folk Dance Festival and Garba Festival. Folk Dance Festival showcases the exotic folk dances including Verdigao dance, Mando dance and Vira dance. An amalgamation of western and eastern styles can be observed in these dances. Garba festival is one of the most colourful festivals of India which is celebrated for nine days. Bright attires and traditional rituals are the main elements that elevate the spirit of celebration among the people. It is celebrated in the honour of Goddess Amba and is celebrated in the month of October or November.
Festivals of Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Dadra and Nagar Haveli celebrate a number of festivals with great enthusiasm. Pongal is celebrated as a thanksgiving to the harvest season. In Masimagam Festival, deities of about 64 temples of the union territory are brought for a holy bath on a beach. Tribal festivals are also quite popular in this region. Akhatrij is a celebrated by the women of Kokna tribes whereas Varli and Dhodia enjoy the Divaso festival. Besides these, common festivals like Kali Puja, Rakhi-Bandhan are also famous in this region.
Cultural heritage of western India finds the best expression through the Regional Festivals of Western India. They are the portrayal of the unique traditions and rituals that prevails in the country through ages. Each of these festival exhibits their own speciality in terms of exotic decorations and captivating events.