Fairs and festivals of East India
India is a land of culture, color and celebration! In our opinion, the best time to visit any country would be during the time of a festival as that is one of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in the culture of the country, get to know the locals, experience the best of their traditional cuisines and of course to get wonderful pictures of it all! When it comes to India, we celebrate all festivals from the start of the harvest cycle to the end of the lunar cycle. So it would be safe to say that the Indian festive calendar is the longest in the world. Thus any time and every time is a good time to visit the beautiful India!
Now, we do not want to discredit any festival by not mentioning it in our list, but some festivals are celebrated with so much grandeur that they simply cannot be left out! Here are some of the most famous Fairs and Festivals of East India that you must explore on your visit to India-
1. Torgya Monastery Festival, Arunachal Pradesh
The Monpa Tribe of the Tawang Monastery celebrates this festival to honor the Tibetan Buddhist Leader Lama Tsongkhapa. This three day festival begins with a text recitation of the infamous Chham dance. The first day of the festival is known as the Torgya, and on this day, the monks worship a 3-feet tall and 2-feet wide statue made by the monks using only ghee, barley, milk, and molasses, which is later on burnt by the monks while they perform their rituals.The highlight of the festival is the Chham dance which is performed by monks while wearing their traditional attire consisting of robes and various animal-like masks in the monastery’s courtyard!
2. Konark Dance Festival, Odisha
In the month of February, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Konark Sun Temple in Odisha hosts India’s biggest dance festival called The Konark Dance Festival! In this festival we get to witness the coming together of our country’s best dance artists to celebrate not only India’s cultural dance forms such as Bharatnatyam, Chau, Manipuri, Kathak and Odissi, but also the storied past of the temple and its traditions through various musical, dramatic and mythological performances! The energy of musical beats and rhythmic movements under the starlit sky truly makes this festival a memorable experience!
3. Chapchar Kut Festival, Mizoram
During the month of March, the beautiful state of Mizoram celebrates the Chapchar Kut Festival which is considered as one of the major festivals of Mizoram and is named after bamboo that has been cut and dried. This festival is also regarded as an agricultural festival that is celebrated before the planting begins. The main highlight of the festival is the Cheraw or bamboo dance which requires a great deal of skills and an alert mind to perform! During the festival, there are also martial art dances which are performed with long bamboo staves. The locals dress up in the traditional outfits with ornate headgears and ornaments! Apart from this, one can also find numeroushandicrafts stalls, art shows,flower shows and stalls that sell a number of local delicacies to relish on while enjoying the festivities!
4. Pang Lhabsol, Sikkim
Commemorating the treaty among Lepchas and Bhutias, which promises brotherhood between the two communities, the festival of Pang Lhabsol marks the occasion of honoring the mountain deity, Mount Kanchenjunga, which is believed to be the guardian deity that protects the city from harm’s way. The festival is most famous for its warrior dance where men dance wearing large, vibrant masks and the attire of a warrior. People from all over the world descend to the state of Sikkim in order to partake in vibrant atmosphere, filled by drums, music and dances. The mornings are filled with religious processions whereas the evenings are marked by light hearted games of volleyball and the aroma of local dishes!
5. Durga Pooja, Kolkata
Goddess Durga is worshipped for 10 days in Kolkata in their festival called Durga Pooja. Streets are decorated with garlands and lights, with pandals set up in different parts of the city, where hoards of people line up to seek the blessing and worship Goddess Durga.
6. Kut Festival, Manipur
Manipur is considered by many as the land of festivals! The Manipuris celebrate all their festivals with great zeal, joy and enthusiasm. Kut Festival is also known as Chavang Kut, where Chavang means autumn and Kut mean harvest. This festival is celebrated to thank the Lord for showering His blessings upon the community with good harvests. The people white wash their houses; take part in the religious rituals after which the religious priests distribute ‘Ju’ which is a rice beer. People then proceed to perform a number of different folk dances in traditional outfits and the celebration continues with folk songs, beauty pageants and traditional local cuisines.
7. Hornbill Festival, Nagaland
Hornbill Festival is the tribal festival of Nagaland celebrated in December. The individual tribal festivities are combined to make one big festival and hence the Hornbill Festival is also known as the festival of festivals! The festival is organized by the Nagaland Government, specifically by the State Tourism and Art and Culture Departments in a hope to promote inter-tribal communication and display the diversity of the state. During the festival the various tribes perform their tribal dances. Along with the tribal dances there are beauty pageants, archery, wrestling and singing competitions as well. All in all the Hornbill festival is a time of grand celebration in Nagaland making it the perfect time to visit the state and witness its culture in all its glory!
Festivals present wonderful opportunities to take pictures. Don’t forget to hire travel photographers from Travorapherto accompany you and make sure that your pictures capture the true essence of the festivities around you!