Art & Festival

India with rich cultural heritage and home to diverse religions is the destination when it comes to festivals. India has more festivals than days in a year. It is a universally acknowledged truth that every religion gets its unique expression from the festivals it celebrates. Some festivals are celebrated throughout the country with enthusiasm and devotion while some are restricted to a region or a particular section. Here is a snapshot of our favourites for you.

Within India

Karnataka

Mysuru Dussehra, Mysore

Best time to visit: September or October

Mysore Dussehra is a royal festival celebrating the triumph of truth over evil. Legend has it that the Goddess Chamundeeswari or Durga slew the evil presence Mahishasuran on Vijayadashami day. In Karnataka, Dussehra is seen as State celebration - Nadahabba, as a result of the festival of the celebration is controlled by the Royal Family of Mysore. The regal group of Mysore performs unique prayer ceremony on this event. During Dussehra, the whole city is joyously enhanced and alongside the Mysore Palace other imperative structures are additionally lit up. The elephants prepared for the Dussehra parades likewise walk on the parade course. In addition to the these, sports, wrestling, poet's meet, food festival, the film festival which are seen by countless are organised.

West Bengal

Durga Puja, Kolkata

Best time to visit: October-November

The grandest festival of the Bengali community is Durga Puja which commemorates the victory of Goddess Durga over a demon king Mahisasur. It marks as the universal resurgence of the power of creation over destruction. Durga is the Goddess of heavenly power against all shades of malice. The story goes that Mahisasur, the Buffalo Demon, through long stretches of imploring, got favouring from Lord Brahma, that no power can slaughter him which implies he is strong. Be that as it may, once picking up this power, he began desolating the entire world and slaughtering individuals. Furthermore, at long last, he needed to evacuate the Gods as well. The Gods, with consternation, consolidated their forces to make a delightful lady, and each set his or her most powerful weapon in one of her ten hands.

It is an extravaganza that unfolds the age-old tradition and culture, and in contrast, it is the time when you can get hold of people in traditional wears. During the Durga Puja Festival, the city explodes with more than thousand thematic and colourful pandals (fabricated structure) and reveals several forms of goddess Durga idols, thus pulling in a huge number of people and making it one of the biggest festivals in the world.

Commemorating the ten-day festival are its six most important days – Mahalaya, Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Nabami and Vijayadashami. But Durga Puja isn't merely about ten days of fast, feast, worship, prayers, traditions, and religious rituals. The grand festival is also an occasion for family, friends, reunion, rejuvenation, and the celebration of that precious gift called life! And no other Indian city celebrates Durga Puja quite like Kolkata! Bengalis call it Pujo! Charming, laid-back Kolkata springs to life during Pujo. The air is thick with the fragrance of camphor, incense, and flowers; the aroma of fantastic food feasts being prepared wafts out of homes and temples; shops and malls overflow as frenzied shoppers buy new clothes, sweets and Pujo items.

Delhi NCR

Diwali, New Delhi

Best time to visit: October-November

Diwali, or Deepavali, is one of the greatest Indian celebrations and is praised all over India. The celebration has incredible religious hugeness for Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and the Nepalese. In India, Diwali is presently viewed as to a greater extent a national celebration and is delighted in by most Indians paying little respect to confidence. It is ordinarily celebrated by adorning homes with lights and candles, blasting of fireworks and sparklers, eating desserts and other heavenly dishes, going to Gods and Goddesses, watching religious ceremonies, wearing new dresses and sending wishes and endowments to each other. Diwali or Deepavali signifies ‘line of lights’ in Sanskrit. The celebration denotes the triumph of light over murkiness. Earthen lights, or diyas, customarily loaded up with mustard oil, are lit and put around the passages to homes on the night before the new moon in the Hindu month of Kartika. The lights commend the arrival of the Hindu god Rama to his capital city Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) in the wake of crushing the evil presence lord Ravana in Sri Lanka. It is said that the general population of Ayodhya invited Lord Rama by lighting lights upon his arrival. Diyas are additionally accepted to manage Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of favourable luck and success, as she is said to visit homes amid Diwali. On this day exercises, for example, blasting wafers, astonishing firecrackers show and touching off vivid sparklers alongside lines of candles and diyas (earthen lights) are performed around individual homes to welcome Goddess Laxmi.

Rajasthan

Teej Festival, Jaipur

Best time to visit: July-August

Teej stands out amongst the most broadly commended celebrations of Rajasthan. Swings and customary singing melodies are the extraordinary highlights of Teej festivities in Rajasthan. This festival is additionally devoted to Lord Shiva and Parvati, and amid this time, the wedded ladies appeal to God for a glad and since quite a while ago married life. Although festivals are held everywhere throughout the state, it is exceptionally brilliant in Jaipur where a parade winds its way for two days through the Old City. Young ladies and ladies perform conventional society move wearing green shaded dresses embellished with gems and sing excellent Teej tunes while making the most of their influence on swings adorned with blossoms. The vast majority of the texture garments show laheria (tie and colour) prints. Sweetshops keep diverse Teej desserts. However, Ghevar and Feeni is the primary sweet of the season.

Odisha

Puri Rath Yatra, Bhubaneswar

Best time to visit: July

Enormous chariots built to specification, in bright colours and with elaborate decoration, pulled by a frenzied crowd through the streets of Puri - the three sibling Gods, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Goddess Subhadra are off to visit their aunt. The term ‘Juggernaut’ comes from ‘Jagannath’. The annual ritual journey takes place between Puri’s main temple, Jagannath Temple and the Gundicha Temple and attracts millions of devotees. For non-Hindus and any foreigners including those entering into the Hindu fold, this is a single opportunity to get close to the temple Gods whose darshan (viewing) itself will provide moksha (freedom from the cycle of rebirth). Witnessing a journey which is accompanied by thousands of pilgrims who pull the three huge chariots (Rath) which are replicas of the Lord Jagannath Temple - each with about a dozen wheels up to 7 feet in diameter carrying the idols of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balbhadra and his sister Subhadra - to Gundicha Mandir (Aunt’s House) where they stay for a week before being taken back, again in the raths, to the Jagannath Temple. Chhera pahara is the most well-known custom related with the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2015. Amid the celebration, the Gajapati King clears all around the gods and chariots. He at that point washes down the street with a floor brush (gold-took care of) and sprinkles sandalwood water and powder. The custom grandstands that according to Lord Jagannath each fan is equivalent be it the ruler or an ordinary person. This custom is hung on two days, right off the bat on the day when the three gods go to their auntie's home and in conclusion on the day when they are ceremoniously taken back to the Temple. The Rath Yatra at Puri is a critical occasion in the whole state and is seen by various voyagers the two outsiders and Indians.

Kerala

Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Kochi

Best time to visit: August

Boat races are an essential part of the culture of Kerala. It is a yearly race that offers awesome fervour for the watchers. Nehru Trophy Boat Race is one of the most popular races held in India. Begun in the year, 1952, this occasion pulls in watchers from distant corners of the world. It is a critical affair to observe the large boats cruising through the backwaters of Kerala. Every year, it takes place on the second Saturday of August and attracts a huge group. Individuals assemble in vast numbers to observe almost 100ft long boats contend with one another to the tune of old watercraft melodies. Punnamada Lake is the area for the race where the participants line up to compete. The members in this race contend aggressively to turn out as victors. Seeing the men paddling the Chundans or Snake Boats is a sight to enjoy. Each of the rowers will put in their earnest attempts to accomplish transcendence for their towns. It involves great pride for the villagers to accomplish triumph in this race. The air resounds with cheers and adulations.

Go International

Malaysia

Chinese New Year, Kuala Lumpur

Best time to visit: February

Marking the commencement of the Chinese lunar calendar, Chinese New Year festival is one of the most important festivals in Kuala Lumpur. The festival officially lasts 15 days. Amid this time, Kuala Lumpur, there are lion and mythical beast moves, red paper lamps, counterfeit cherry blooms and aerobatic exhibition in real shopping centres and sanctuaries amid the ends of the week, in addition to you are certain to see an incredible presentation of firecrackers all through the city. Chinese New Year is otherwise called Spring Festival or Lunar New Year. The occasion is recognised by the Chinese people group all through the world regardless of where they are. It is a social occasion and can a religious one too for the Confucians, Buddhists and Taoists who offer petitions. During this time, the use of foul language, discussion on unpleasant or sensitive topics is strictly discouraged.

There are no boundaries to art and the bounteous festivals. There is something in each destination you visit, tough to describe all of them together. So, whenever you make your bookings with us, speak to us and we will help you get the festive spirit in each destination you fly. Festivities galore!

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