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Indian Subcontinent >> India >> Gujarat >> Festivals and Events in Gujarat

Festivals and Events in Gujarat

Gujarat celebrates each day of the year! Or so it seems, with over 3500 fairs and festivals featuring on the annual calendar. More than 200 of these are spectacular events that attract tens of thousands of people, both Indian and foreigners. There are many important festivals and events in Gujarat. Basically rooted in religion and mythology, these celebrations centre round gods and goddesses but have transmogrified into secular social gatherings in which people of all faiths participate. They are gala occasions of dance and music, feasting and festivity.

January

The International Kite Festival is held every year in mid January and thousands of kites fill the sky on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sakranti during the day and at night, the lights of specially crafted kites with paper lanterns flicker like fireflies.

February/March

Kutch Mahotsava is a fascinating tour and has been called a ‘great festival’ because of the huge variety of rare sights and scenes of nomadic and tribal life and culture it offers.

Dangs Darbar is a colourful, annual fair held in The Dangs, the hilly, tribal, south-eastern district.

March/April

Chitra -Vichitra Fair (Gunbhakhari) is an ‘adivasis’ (tribals) fair attended by large numbers of Garasia and Bhil tribals who celebrate with gaiety manifest in endless drumming and dancing till everyone is exhausted.

August

Janamashtami is a tribute paid to Lord Krishna on his birthday and is celebrated with great fervour especially in Dwarka. In the Gopi-Krishna dance, colourfully attired dancers form a human pyramid as they dance in rhythm to the music.

August/September

Tarnetar Mela (Saurashtra) is a unique fair, one that also functions as a marriage market for the local tribals. The traditional costumes, jewellery, gaily decorated parasols (‘chhatris’) and folk dances leave you spellbound.

Bhadra Purnima (Ambaji) in September is when farmers and general public congregate at the Ambaji temple in their colourful costumes on the night of the full moon. Amidst much merriment, performances of the ‘Bhavai’ and ‘Garba’ dances bring the place alive.

October

Gandhi Jayanti (National Holiday) celebrates the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the ‘Father of the Nation’ on 2nd October.

Navratri is the most significant festival of Gujarat, which is celebrated with fervour in all parts of the state, but most especially in Ahmedabad and Vadodra. Coinciding with Dussehra, this ancient and colourful 9-day festival honours the ‘Divine Shakti’, which supports the universe. Celebrated with great fervour, it is an endless round of garba and dandiya ras dances at different localities, with each community vying to host the brightest and liveliest evenings.


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