Rajasthan Fairs & Festivals
Jaipur Elephant Festival : Time – March
Celebrated also in March around Holi (festival of colors) is the Elephant Festival of the capital Jaipur, a tourists’ delight. The mighty mammals claim center stage and stride majestically parading their decorated trunks and tusks. The festival begins with a procession of elephants, camels and horses followed by folk dancers at their entertaining best. The god worshiped on the occasion, Ganesh or Ganapati, is the elephant son of Shiva and Parvati.
Gangaur Festival : Time – March-April
One of Rajasthan’s most important local festivals is the spring festival of Gangaur celebrated in March-April. Dedicated to Gauri, a manifestation of goddess Parvati and the consort of Lord Shiva, it symbolizes conjugal bliss and marital happiness. A festival of maidens and married women, it begins on the day following Holi, and is celebrated for 18 days. While married women pray for the well being of their husbands, young girls pray for a groom of their choice.
Wooden image of Gauri are colorfully dressed and bedecked with jewels. Offerings are made in every home accompanied by the singing and dancing of women.
The festival is celebrated with great pomp in Bikaner, Jodhpur, Nathdwara and Jaisalmer. Around Bundi, Kota and Jhalawar the fields are covered with blossoming poppy flowers at this time. Maidens collect these flowers and make wreaths for the goddess.
In Jaipur on the 17th day following Holi a grand procession is taken out of the City Palace and the goddess Gauri is carried in an elaborate palanquin led by colorfully attired elephants, camels and horses. Dancers, musicians, drum beaters, bandsmen, and battle dressed chariots accompany the procession.
Mewar Festival :
The Mewar Festival of Udaipur welcomes spring, offering the best overview of Rajasthani culture through songs, dances, processions, devotional music and firework displays.
Urs Ajmer Sharif : Time – Set according to the lunar calendar
Held according to the lunar calendar, in memory of the saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, helper of the poor, Urs Ajmer Sharif – celebrated at Ajmer – is one of the biggest Muslim fairs in India. The six days that the saint is said to have gone into seclusion, to shed his mortal coil off and fee his soul, are dedicated to his memory and pilgrims converge here from within India and al over the world.
Teej Festival : Time – August
Teej, the festival of swings celebrated mainly in Jaipur, marks the advent of the monsoons. Celebrated on the third day of the bright lunar half of the month of Shravan (August) it is, like Gangaur, dedicated to the goddess Parvati, commemorating the day when she was united with Lord Shiva after an agonizing separation.
Marwar Festival : Jodhpur Time – October
Organized by the Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan, the Marwar Festival was originally known as the Maand Festival. Maand is a classical style of folk music centered on the romantic life style of Rajasthan’s rulers, and Maand Raag recreates the old world charm and graceful dances of the desert. Held for two days during the full moon, Sharad Purnima, in October it is celebrated mainly in Jodhpur. Folk artists bring to life the inspiring mythologies, folk stories, tales and legends of battles, war victories and valor.