Summer brings about a lot of things – brighter days, fresh air, colourful blooms, chirpy sounds and a vibrant atmosphere. With all of this, it also brings about few special festivals and cultural events. When it comes to India and Indians, we take our festivals as seriously as our food. Each festival celebrating the culture and colours of its respective regions.
While most are aware about the more common summer festivals of Holi and Baisakhi, how many of you are aware about this list below?
1) Bumchu Festival, Sikkim
‘Bhumchu’ which means a sacred pot of water is celebrated with great fervor at the Tashiding Monastery in Sikkim. Bumchu is considered to be the holiest festival of the state. The level of sacred water in the pot determines the fortunes of the state for the upcoming year. If the bhumchu is filled to the brim, then it is believed that the year will be full of revolutions and turmoil. If however the water level is too low, then the year would bring in ailments and misfortunes. A half full bhumchu is considered to be the most fortunate and indicates a prosperous year ahead. The bhumchu, which is sealed throughout the year is opened for devotees to see on these two days.
- Dates: 19thMarch – 20thMarch 2019
- Nearest railway station: Siliguri (146 kms) and Jalpaiguri (187 kms)
- Nearest airport: Pakyong Airport or Bagdogra (124 kms)
2) Gangaur, Rajasthan
Gangaur, one of the most prominent festivals of the state, honours Lord Shiva and Goddess Gauri, a manifestation of Parvati. Women across the state celebrate this festival and pray for their husbands’ good health and marital bliss. Gangaur is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Nathdwara. On the last day of the festival, women, decked in their finest, walk along the streets together balancing several brass pitchers on their heads. The occasion ends with locals bursting firecrackers.
- Date: 21stMarch – 8thMay 2019
- Nearest railway station: There are multiple rail heads in Rajasthan
- Nearest airport: Depends upon which city you’re attending the festival in – Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer.
3) Chithirai Festival, Tamil Nadu
The Chithirai Festival is one of the greatest celebrations in Madurai. It is celebrated over two long weeks as the wedding of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareshwar, Lord Shiva’s manifestation is reenacted. The celebration takes place at the Meenakshi temple in Madurai and the parades are carried out on the streets surrounding the temple.
- Date: 8thApril – 22ndApril 2019
- Nearest railway station: Madurai
- Nearest airport: Madurai
4) Moatsu Festival, Nagaland
The Ao Nagas tribe of Nagaland celebrate the Moatsu festival, their primary harvest festival. The festival takes place after the fields have been cleared, weeds have been removed and seeds have been sown. The festival marks the celebration of unity and harmony in the region. The festivities are completed with a rice wine tasting competition. With increase in tourism in Nagaland, Moatsu festival serves as a tourist interest.
- Date: 1stMay – 7thMay 2019
- Nearest railway station: Dimapur
- Nearest airport: Dimapur
5) Thrissur Pooram, Kerala
The Thrissur Pooram is held annually in April-March in and around Thrissur. It is the largest and most famous of all Poorams. The celebration sees a turn up of an elegant elephant line-up decked in some of the finest ornaments. This Pooram is set apart by the kudamattom, which means changing umbrellas. People sit on top of the elephants displaying colourful umbrellas. During parasol exchange, each team triesto beatthe other by displaying umbrellas of impressive colours and designs.This kudamattom function is among the most unique features and is distinctly watched.
- Date: 13thMay 2019
- Nearest railway station: Thrisur
- Nearest airport: Cochin
6) Mount Abu Summer Festival, Rajasthan
The Mount Abu Summer Festival is held every year around May-June. The festival celebrates the vivaciousness and warm nature of the locals along with the colourfulness of the region. People’s hospitality, liveliness and the exotic locations make for an attractive invitation to this already popular tourist destination. This summer festival commences by ballads singing, folk dances along with a boat ride competition at the Nakki lake.
- Date: 17thMay – 18thMay 2019
- Nearest railway station: Abu Road
- Nearest airport: Udaipur (185 kms)
7) Ooty Flower Festival, Tamil Nadu
One of the best summer festivals in India, the Ooty Flower Festival is a 121 years old event as is organized by the Tourism Department of Tamil Nadu. A large number of tourists and locals flock to this small town to be enthralled by this festival. Huge assortments of flowers are lined up and decked along the park, along with various fruit and vegetable installations. The festival is complete with music, art, boat races and pageantry.
- Date: 17thMay – 19thMay 2019
- Nearest railway station: Udagamandalam
- Nearest airport: Coimbatore (88 kms)
8) Yercaud Summer Festival, Tamil Nadu
The month of May is one of the busiest and bustling times in Yercaud. The annual summer festival held at this hill town in Tamil Nadu is a much awaited and looked forward to event. Exquisite floral displays, classical dances and short plays are put up welcoming one and all. More than 2.5 Lac flowers are on display annually.
- Date: 2ndweek of May 2019
- Nearest railway station: Salem junction
- Nearest airport: Salem (38 kms)
9) Shimla Summer Festival, Uttar Pradesh
The Shimla Summer Festival is a riot of colours and festivities and is celebrated on a grand scale. This five days event has been extravagantly celebrated in the hill town from the 1960s. There are multiple events gracing this festival, included folk dances, food festivals, flower shows, ice skating competitions, Himachal Film Festival, etc.
- Date: 2ndJune – 7thJune 2019
- Nearest railway station: Kalka
- Nearest airport: Chandigarh (110 kms)
10) Hemis Festival, Jammu and Kashmir
This popular two-days festival is one of the most important events in Ladakh which gives a glimpse of the beautiful culture of the region. The courtyard of the Hemis Monastery sets stage for this festival. The beats of drums and trumpets commence the celebrations of the festival with the Lamas perfoming Buddhist rituals early in the morning. The ceremony is flanked by thousands of Buddhist followers. Uncooked rice, incense sticks, Tomas (made of butter and dough) and cups full of holy water are the main ceremonial items of the festival.
- Date: 11thJuly – 12thJuly 2019
- Nearest railway station: (not ideal)
- Nearest airport: Leh
Get started with your holiday planning now. Have you attended any of the above festivals? We’d love to hear your thoughts on them!