Fairs and Festivals in Gujarat hold an important place in Culture of Gujarat. While Gujarat is another word for Navratri Festival and Kite Festival, it also celebrates a numerous rural fairs and regional events that combine social, cultural and religious importance. The celebrations of Festivals of Gujarat usually mark a change in season, a harvest or a religious occasion. Almost all Gujarat Festivals include dance, music and delicious foods. Check out the list of Festivals in Gujarat in below section.
This Kutch Rann Utsav festival is the best place to witness Kachchhi culture and heritage. The Kutch Rann Utsav festival in Gujarat includes activities like folk dances and music, traditional sports, crafts and excursions to nearby destinations. On the border of the Salt Desert, the government sets up countless luxury tents to accommodate tourists. This Kutch Rann Utsav is one of the best Gujarat Festivals.
While Uttarayan is celebrated throughout Gujarat, Ahmedabad is very famous for the Kite Festival in Gujarat. Countless people gather to their roof-tops and fill the sky with unique colorful kites. Special foods are prepared during this festival which includes delicious undhiyu, tasty sesame seed brittle and sweet jalebi. After the sunset, special paper lanterns called tukkal are attached to the kites and raised into the sky, lighting up the cityscape. For an unforgettable experience, you can visit the 24 hour kite market in the old City in the night before the Kite Festival Ahmedabad, and watch kite lovers purchase their gear for the Kite Festival Ahmedabad. Some alertness is advised since the crowds often include aggressive people. The kite flyers from around the world gather to showcase their talent and enjoy the Kite Festival Ahmedabad. It is believed that the gods who have gone in a protracted sleep for six months, awake and the entrances of the heaven are opened. The people visit temples and also alms are distributed. The kite-flying starts at daybreak and continues the whole day without any pause. Pals, neighbors and complete strangers combat with each other for dominance and weep of victory fill the air after they cut each and every different kite.
The Modhera Dance Festival of Gujarat is held every year in the month of January after the festival of Uttarayan and celebrated throughout the third week of January. Held against the backdrop of the 11th century sun temple in Modhera, this mesmerizing three-day classical dance festival invites artists from around India to perform during the third week of January every year. The inspiration was to present classical dances in surroundings similar to that wherein these have been originally presented. This Modhera Dance Festival is one of the lovely Festivals of Gujarat.
Countless devotees from all parts of India gather at the Bhavnath Mahadev Temple which is located at the base of Mount Girnar for a five day celebration during Mahashivaratri, the moonless night on which Lord Shiva performed his heavenly dance of destruction and creation, called the Tandava. The puja for Lord Shiva is held at midnight on the day of Mahashivaratri, when naga bavas (naked sadhus) ride the elephants decorated with lovely ornaments and lead a procession to the Bhavnath Mahadev Temple, marking the beginning of the religious ceremony. Devotees believe that Lord Shiva himself visits this holy place during this occasion. The Bhavnath Fair Gujarat is celebrated with dance, Bhavai and lovely music performances.
The young generation and culture Department of Gujarat put up a craft village for ten days to display the folk culture of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Goa. The crafts and art work from all parts of western India are featured during the day, and the night is celebrated with folk dance, drama and music. Every night of Sanskruti Kunj Gandhinagar has a different lineup of performers, so it is surly a unique experience on every night and worth visiting more than once if you have the chance. This Sanskruti Kunj Gandhinagar is one of the worth visiting Festivals of Gujarat.
The Dhrang Fair is a two day festival in Gujarat and is celebrated in the honor of Saint Mekran Dada who is popularly known for helping tourists who are hungry or lost in the Rann of Kachchh with the help of his donkey and dog. The dog locates the lost tourists while the donkey carries water and food for tourists. The Rabari and Ahir communities mainly celebrate this Gujarat festival. The Dhrang Fair Gujarat celebration includes a lovely procession and an overnight gathering. The Dhrang Mela festival in Gujarat also includes camel and bullock-cart races in the morning.
This colourful tribal festival in Gujarat is celebrated a few days before the Holi festival and offers a chance to witness the local folk culture of the Dangi communities. The Dangs Darbar Fair Gujarat is celebrated from the time of British rule when government agents paid an annual tribute to request to the local chieftains and continue access to their land. The festival celebration includes folk instruments, dancing, music and theater. The folks wear traditional colorful clothes and heavy silver ornaments. The Merchants gather from all parts of Gujarat to sell their products.
There are many legends associated with Holi festival. The most popular story associated with Holi is of the demon king Hiranyakashipu, who tried to kill his son Prahlad because his son refused to reverse his father and instead dedicated his life to God. In an attempt to kill his son, the king placed Prahlad on the lap of Holika, who had a blessing that protected her from fire. But when they mounted the pyre of wood, which was set burning fiercely, Holika was burnt alive while his son Prahlad remained untouched. To celebrate this death of evil, people gather in open area and light bonfires. The Holi Festival Gujarat also denotes the beginning of spring. The Dhuleti, on the next day, is celebrated with fun and enjoyment as people throw colored powder and water on one another. This festival of Gujarat is often celebrated by dancing and food. Each community celebrates with its own traditions. The Dhuleti fair in Chhota Udepur is celebrated with fun and excitement, people walk on hot ash from the previous night's bonfire. This festival is one of the vibrant Festivals of Gujarat.
The Nikol town is situated on the outer part of Ahmedabad, this whole town transforms into a colorful festival to honor a tribe of Banjara (a gypsy community) that locals believe built their reservoir 200 years ago to solve the water scarcity problems. On the day of Dhuleti, the Vasant Fair Gujarat is announced around noon with local youth generations jumping through hoops of fire. You will also get chance to see unique raas performance by the women, many of the men dress up as gypsies, gods, goddesses and demons, and parade around the town. There is also a procession of poles colorfully embellished with handmade paper flowers.
The Chitra Vichitra Gunbhakhari is among the interesting rural festivals in Gujarat. This Chitra Vichitra Fair Gujarat celebration is held two weeks after Holi. It takes place near the sangam of three rivers situated in the foothills of the Aravalis. The festival is related with two brothers, Chitra and Vichitra, whose diseases were healed by the water at this place. This Chitra Vichitra Gunbhakhari festival starts on the evening of the new moon when the women assemble at the river and mourn for their dead all over night. On the next day, a big fair takes place and about 60,000 people attend clad in regional outfits and jewelry to celebrate the festival by dancing and singing.
The Mahavir Jayanti is the birthday celebration of the 24th Jain tirthankar, Mahavir. The Mahavir Jayanti Palitana is celebrated all over India. In Gujarat the ritual is of more importance because of the huge Jains population in the state. The devotees participate in a pilgrimage around the Shetrunjaya Hill. On the day of Mahavir Jayanti, the temples of Palitana are heavily crowded as the Jain pilgrims from all over India gather at the ancient temples of Palitana.
The Saptak Music Festival is generally held during the first week of January every year in Ahmedabad. The public charitable trust that operates the Saptak School of Music organizes musical event in Saptak Music Festival of Gujarat. The Saptak Music Festival Ahmedabad which is held during the first eleven days of January showcases the best musicians and more than hundred musicians take part in this Gujarat Festival. This ten day Saptak Music Festival stages mainly classical music, showcasing both big names and rising talent. The Saptak Music Festival of Gujarat is presently the longest running music festival in India. Daily sessions begin around 09.00 PM and continue till midnight. If you like to listen to Indian music in a local atmosphere, then this festival in Gujarat is the perfect place.
The Kawant Mela is mainly celebrated by Rathwas. People from various villages assemble at Kawant to celebrate Kawant Mela and to differentiate themselves; the women of each village wear a same colored skirts and dupatta. The mens of each village wear the same colored skirts and turbans. Everyone dances on the beats of drum and flute tunes to commemorate the harvest. The Kawant Fair Chhota Udepur and Vododara are the best place to witness this fair.
From the daybreak, a huge procession of devotees assembles at the Jagdish Mandir situated in the Jamalpur quarter of Ahmedabad. The Rath Yatra Festival Ahmedabad procession includes big chariots carrying beautiful idols of Krishna, Balaram and their sister Subhadra which are pulled by the group of devotees through the old city. The Idols are then immersed in the Sabarmati River. Even though the Rath Yatra Festival is extremely crowded, it is worth visiting as the parade contains decorated elephants, gymnasts, acrobats and other eye-catching performers.
The Janmashtami festival is celebrated all over Gujarat. The Janmashtami festival has more importance in Dwarka, as Dwarka is the ancient kingdom of Krishna. This Janmashtami Festival Dwarka is celebrated as the birthday of Krishna with bhajans and speeches throughout the day. At midnight celebration becomes even more interesting with events showing Krishna's childhood stories, including folk dances like Raas and Garba.
The Tarnetar Fair Gujarat is celebration of Arjun's victory in swayamvar arranged to win beautiful princess Draupadi. The young generation dressed in unique costumes and hairstyles gather in the area near the Trineteshwar Shiva Temple and celebrated this Gujarat festival which includes music dance, craft and tasty food.
More than 50,000 people assemble, mainly Charan, Ahir and Rabari community people to grant the offerings to Ravechi Mata. During this Ravechi Fair Gujarat celebration, newly married couples of Ahir community come dressed in their traditional wedding outfits to take blessings from Ravechi Mata.
The Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great enjoyment in Ahmedabad. The Ganesh Chaturthi Ahmedabad celebration starts with installation of clay idols of Ganpati at home and offer worship for nine days. On the tenth day, the idols of Ganpati are taken out in a parade and immersed in the nearest lake, river or pond. This parade includes music and dancing. In Ahmedabad thousands devotees visit to the Sabarmati River and Kankaria Lake for the celebration. This Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the amazing Gujarat Festivals.
On this full moon night countless devotees, mainly farmers visit the Ambaji Temple to worship and take blessing from the Goddess Amba. The Bhadrapad Purnima Ambaji is held in the center of the Ambaji town on the temple grounds, where you can see temporary stalls. People also perform traditional dances like Bhavai and Garba.
The Navratri Festival Gujarat is world's longest dance festival. The Navratri Festival Gujarat is a nine days celebration during which the Mother Goddess and her different forms are worshipped each night. The celebration includes music and cultural dances. The young and old generations perform cultural dances such as Garba and Raas. The 9th night is celebrated as Dassera, the day on which Rama defeated Ravana. In some places statues of Ravana are burnt to represent the victory. The Navratri Festival Gujarat is celebrated in every village and town in Gujarat and one of best festivals of Gujarat.
The Diwali Festival is known as the festival of lights. The Diwali Festival Gujarat is a five day celebration that includes Dhanteras, Kali Chaudas, New Year (Gujaratis) and Bhai Bhij. The Diwali Festival is celebrated with Lakshmi puja and firecrackers. The people clean their houses, prepare various sweets, make rangoli and light up their houses. On Bhai Bij, sisters wish their brothers a year of success and happiness and invite them for dinner. This Diwali Festival Gujarat is one of the enjoyable Gujarat Festivals.
The Lili Parikrama Fair Gujarat is celebrated as a thanksgiving. It is said that all the gods of the Hindu Pantheon gather at Mount Girnar, called as the holy land of Revantachal. Over two days, more than 800,000 devotees walk clockwise around the Mount Girnar in a circuit that covers 32 km.
Countless people of various communities visit the Shamlaji Temple in the days mainly up to the full moon night of the Hindu month of Kartik. People visit this Shamlaji Temple to worship the god and take a holy bath in the Meshwo River. Countless devotees arrive at the Shamlaji Fair Gujarat on foot, singing devotional songs. Temporary shops and lovely rides add excitement to the happy atmosphere of this picture perfect place during the two week celebration.
The Vautha Fair Gujarat is the only animal trading fair in Gujarat, countless donkeys and camels decorations with colourful paint are brought at the Sangam Tirth. It is said that on the full moon night of the Hindu month of Kartik, Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva visited this place. Due to this belief, people take holy bath in the river and enjoy a week of food, rides, dances and folk performances. This Vautha Fair Gujarat is one of the lovely Gujarat Festivals.
The Muharram Festival Ahmedabad is the first month in the Islamic calendar. In the course of first ten days, the Shia Muslims celebrate the Battle of Karbala. This Gujarat Festival celebration reaches its peak on the tenth day of Muharram, called as Ashurah. The tazia parade includes bamboo and tinsel floats that depict the marty's tomb. The dancers, acrobats, singers and drummers perform scenes depicting the battle.
The Shah Alam Urs Fair Ahmedabad celebrates the death of the saint, Shah Alam, who had magical powers. This Gujarat festival starts with cleaning of the lovely stone-carved tomb, with sandalwood paste. Then for one week, people of all fraternity visit the tomb, lighting oil lamps to take blessings.