October is a very exuberant time in India. The monsoon rain has eased in most places and the festival season has just begun. It is all about music, food, sparkles, light and dance. So, as the gala time of festivities and feasts approaches again, here we are with the best of what’s on in October in India.
1. Marwar Festival
When: October 4-5, 2017
Where: Jodhpur: Rajasthan.
Marwar festival is a popular celebration in Jodhpur. It is an annual music and dance festival that takes place in the month of Ashwin(according to the Hindu calendar). Earlier known as the “Maand Festival”, it is organised to commemorate the heroes of Rajasthan and is observed for two whole days. This festival aims to invoke heroic characteristics in the newer generation, by relaying history and culture in their folk songs and dances.
During the festival, Mehrangarh Fort and Umaid Bhawan Lake Palace are used as a stage for performances on these two days. There are certain folk dances that are always performed at the festival such as, Dandi Gair, Kalbeliya, Ghoomar, Chari and Bhavai. Besides folk dances and atypical customs, the festival has something for everybody. The unique competitions, handicrafts, jewellery and jodhpuri clothing attracts visitors, locals and tourists alike.
The Global Connect: Also, the Marwar festival is one of the biggest attractions of Rajasthan and is really popular among tourists due to the splash of colour that one can witness during this fest.
2. Pushkar Camel Fair
When: October 28 – November 4, 2017
Where: Pushkar, Rajasthan.
This traditional Indian style festival sees an astonishing 30,000 camels converge on the tiny desert town of Pushkar. The Pushkar Mela is held for 5 days every year from Kartik Ekadashi to Kartik Purnima. The camels are dressed up, shaved, entered into beauty contests, paraded, raced, and traded. An entertaining sight indeed!
Apart from the trading, there are many other activities that take place on the ground. From the tug of war to the camel races, you get to enjoy every bit of the fest to the fullest. People from all over the world enjoy many competitions such as tying of turbans, the game of kabaddi and much more. There is also a cultural fest that includes music and dance along with numerous stalls of handicrafts and ethnic jewellery.
Note: Do arrive a couple of days before the official starting date to catch the most camel trading action.
3. Rajasthan International Folk Festival
When: October 5 – 9, 2017
Where: Jodhpur, Rajasthan
This festival fully entices the enthusiasm of the inhabitants of Rajasthan for five consecutive days with the help of most sizzling performances given by local and international artisans. The RIFF society assures to produce new sounds and observe different musical heritages each year through innovative associations of over 250 musicians and performing artists. Alternatively known as the Jodhpur Folk Festival, it was started in 2007 and since then the highly sensational performances have been deeply transporting the emotions of the locals and tourists, alike.
Mehrangarh Fort of the blue city of Jodhpur plays a host to this musical sensation with a series of spectacular events and musical concerts, as the sun sets to embrace the horizon during Sharad Poornima. You may also become wordless after seeing the global dance grooves and acts that are presented every night of the event. However, school kids, families and interactive daytime sessions are also scheduled against the background of this remarkable fortress.
The three-day International Hot Air Ballooning Festival is also an added attraction at the Pushkar Camel Fair.
4. Chhath Puja
When: October 26, 2017
Where: Across India, particularly in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Assam, and West Bengal. The banks of the Ganges River in Varanasi is another sight to behold during Chhath.
This north Indian festival, traditionally celebrated by the people of Bihar, is devoted to worshipping the sun. People flock to the water’s edge to offer prayers to the Sun God at sunset. Hymns and folk songs are sung, and women fast and pray for the well-being of their family and friends.
So, get ready to immerse in the season full of fun and festivities!