Photo Credit : Buskers Bern
The city of Jaipur achieves its vibrancy because of the plethora of festivals and fairs which take place in the backyard of the city round the year. These festivals have their roots in the old tradition and culture of the region.
[Find out more about the other famous festivals in India]
The various festivals are celebrated with great joy and fervour by every individual irrespective of caste and creed. Multi-hued colours and joyful faces are a characteristic of festivals celebrated here.
Famous festivals of Jaipur :
1. Elephant Festival
The Elephant festival in the month of February and March, also marks an important occasion in Jaipur every year. This truly amazing festival is held on the full moon day of ‘Phalgun Purnima.’ Elephant polo and elephant dances are the highlight of this festival.
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Beautiful bedecked elephants are taken out in processions in all their glory, dressed in vibrant colours, anklets and decorated saddle cloth, and colourful ‘gulaal’ or coloured powder is sprinkled from atop the elephants. Amongst the festivals of Jaipur, this festival is truly a sight for you to behold as the processions follow the elephants. There is also a tug-o-war between the elephants and the men and women and there is no telling who can win this competition between man and beast!
2. Teej Festival
Teej is an important and the most rejoiced festivals of Jaipur. This festival sees a lot of women dressing up in lovely traditional attires and jewellery. They also apply henna on their hands. Everyone gathers in temples where Goddess Parvati is worshipped. On this day, married women pray for the long life of their husbands while single girls pray for a desirable match. Women usually fast on this day. A number of folk dances, traditional songs and fun-filled activities take place on this day.
3. Kite Festival
Photo credit: Kaushik Patel - flickr
The kite festival is held in Jaipur on January 14 every year. This festivals of Jaipur is marked by the presence of a myriad kites in the skies. Toward dusk, the skies are alive with million kites. Lamps and Fireworks light up the entire city. A number of kite flying competitions take place on this day. This place is a must visit especially during the kite festival. This lovely festival marks the transition of the sun from Sagittarius to Capricon.
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While kites fly high in the sky in different shapes and sizes, lights and fireworks in the night sky also add to the beauty and splendour of the celebrations. This is truly an alluring sight for all kite lovers. During this time, many people also take a dip in the holy water of the Ganga river. The international kite festival has participants from all over the world who are passionate about kites, and this day is also declared as a holiday in Jaipur.
4. Jaipur Literature Festival
The Jaipur Literature Festival which began in 2006 has now become the largest literary festival conducted in the Asia Pacific. This five-day festival is attended by lakhs of people from both national as well as international boundaries. This festival usually takes place in the month of January each year. Both national as well as foreign authors indulge in reading and discussion sessions.
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The audience gets a chance to get autographed books from various authors. Apart from this, a wide range of stalls of handicraft and food can also be seen during the festival. In the evening, various music performances take place here. A number of renowned socialites can be spotted in Jaipur during this festivas of Jaipurl.
5. Gangaur Festival
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The most colourful of festivals of Jaipur, the Gangaur Festival is celebrated in Rajasthan. This festival is celebrated from March to April. This festival is marked by the worshipping of Lord Shiva and Goddess Gauri by carving out beautiful clay idols of Gods and Goddesses. Married women pray for the long life of their husbands as well. The single girls on the other hand pray to get the man of their dreams.
6. Jaipur International Film Festival
The Jaipur International Film Festival was launched in 2009. Of all the festivals of Jaipur, this festival marks a new era in the history of cinema in India. It usually takes place from January 27 to 31 each year. This five-day festival sees participation from directors as well as actors from across the globe.
Through this festival, a vast exchange of information, knowledge and ideas of movie making takes place between India and the rest of the world. In a nutshell, it also promotes cooperation and friendly relations amongst the citizens of the various countries through cultural exchange in the form of documentaries and films.
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