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Rajasthan is known as the most vibrant, colorful and culturally rich state of India. The vibrant and lively people of Rajasthan are famous for their passion for colorful costumes, dance, music and various festivals. In fact, the true color of Rajasthan can best be seen in the colorful and passionate celebration of various festival and fairs, all round the year.

 

The whole atmosphere in Rajasthan becomes vibrant and colorful during festival seasons. Be it men or women, young or old, everyone wear new and colorful costumes. Everywhere you can see men wearing red turbans and women vibrantly colored lehangas and odhnis, which show the joyous spirit and passion of the people towards life. Various colorful cultural programs of folk dance and music add to the charm of these fairs and festivals.

 

The people of Rajasthan are so vibrant and versatile that they celebrate almost every occasion in the form of fairs, festivals and other cultural programs. Be it the change of season, religious occasions or cattle fairs, there is a festival for every occasion. In addition to traditional fairs, many new festivals, involving elephants, camel races, dance and music are being organized by the 'Rajasthan Tourism Department' for the entertainment of tourists. The fairs and festivals of Rajasthan provide the best opportunity for you to gain an insight into the life of the Rajasthan during your Palace on Wheels tour .

 
Festivals Of Rajasthan
 
Brij Festival
The Brij Festival is held in the month of March, a few days before the festival of colors, Holi. This festival is held in the commemoration of Lord Krishna. The main attraction point of the Brij Festival of Bharatpur, Rajasthan is the Raslila Dance, illustrating the eternal love story of Radha Krishan. The villagers of Bharatpur perform this dance, dressed in bright and colorful costumes. Throughout Bharatpur, the sound of folk songs fills the air and mesmerizes people. All the people, men or women, young or old, participate in the Rajasthan Braj Mahotsav and drown in its spirit. Whole of the place is painted in bright colors and no one is spared from being splashed with colors.
 
Camel Festival
Department of Tourism, Art & Culture, Rajasthan organizes the Camel Festival in Bikaner every year. The festival takes place in the month of January. Rajasthan Camel festival is basically dedicated to Camel, the ship of the desert. It is held in the city of Bikaner with the massive and magnificent Junagarh Fort serving as the background. The camels, dancing to the tunes of their owners and trainers attract hoards of tourists to this festival every year.
Camel is regarded to be of much importance in the desert state of Rajasthan. And the worth of the camels is reflected in the way a proud breeder dresses up and displays his camels. A colorful procession of ornamented and decorated Camels marks the opening of the Camel Festival of Bikaner, Rajasthan. With the advancement of the festival celebrations, follow the other attractions of the Camel Festival including the best breed competition, the tug-of-war contest, camel dance, acrobatics, etc.
The efforts and the hard work of the trainer show in the way camels dance to his tunes and directions, displaying amazing footwork. The camels ornamented with bridles, bejeweled necks, jingling anklets and casting long, lanky shadows on the sand mesmerize the onlookers. In the evening, superb artists and folk dancers enchant you with their performance and charisma. Dancing with their skirt whirling in the sky, they present a figure of euphoria. Along with that, the fire dancers balancing burning lamps on their foreheads while dancing, leave you speechless.
 
Desert Festival
The Desert Festival is organized in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, usually in the month of January or February. The duration of the festival is three days and it comes to an end on Poornima, the full moon day. The main purpose of the Rajasthan Desert Festival is to display the rich and colorful culture of the state. Dressed in vibrant and colorful attire, the people of Rajasthan dance to the tunes lingering ballads of heroism, romance and tragedy of the local heroes.
The major attractions of the Desert Festival of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan include snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats, folk performers, etc. Especially, the Gair and Fire dancers, in their vibrant and colorful costumes, capture your heart. However, amongst all these, the ship of the desert, camel does not loses its special place. Apart from the camel rides that are quite popular, camels take part in a number of events. Of them, the most famous and unique ones are camel polo and camel dance.
 
Gangaur Festival
Gangaur Festival is celebrated throughout the state of Rajasthan. It is one of the most colorful and most important festivals of the state. The Gangaur Festival of Rajasthan is dedicated to Gauri (Parvati), the companion of Lord Shiva. All across the state, the womenfolk with great enthusiasm and dedication observe the festival. Gangaur Festival takes place in the Hindu month of Chaitra (July-August).
The word Gangaur is used to signify Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The first part of the word Gan means Lord Shiva and the second part Gaur signifies Goddess Gauri or Parvati (symbolizing marital bliss). Goddess Gauri is considered to be an epitome of marital love. Unmarried females pray to her to be blessed with good husbands. At the same time, married women worship her to be blessed with a happy married life and to seek good health and a long life for their husbands.
Starting from the first day of the Hindu month Chaitra (the day following Holi), the festival goes on for 18 days. For a newly married girl, fasting for full 18 days of the first Gangaur festival after her marriage is absolutely compulsory. During the Gangaur Festival females apply mehendi (henna) on their hands and feet. On the seventh day after Holi, the unmarried girls spend the evening carrying ghudlias (earthen pots with a number of holes all around) on their heads with a lamp burning inside them and singing songs. Roaming around in the streets, they collect small presents of cash, sweets, jaggery, ghee, oil etc.
The ritual of carrying ghudlias in the evening goes on for 10 days i.e. till the end of the Gangaur Festival. On the last day, girls break their pots and throw the debris into a well or a tank. The high point of the festival is during the last three days. Womenfolk (both married as well as unmarried) beautify the statues of Lord Shiva and Goddess Gauri (Parvati). In the afternoon, a procession is taken to a garden, tank or a well, at an auspicious hour. In the procession, the married women carry the images of Isar and Gauri on their heads.
 
Marwar Festival
The Marwar Festival is organized in the Hindu month of Ashwin (Sept-Oct) in the city of Jodhpur. It is dedicated to the folk heroes of Rajasthan. Also known as Rajasthan Maand Festival, this festival lasts for two days during the full moon of Sharad Poornima. The main feature of the Marwar Festival is the Rajasthani folk music that revolves around the romantic and passionate lifestyle of the former rulers of Rajasthan. This classical folk music is known as Maand.
Marwar Festival of Jodhpur, Rajasthan is a kind of display of the heart capturing folk music and dance of the Marwar region. One can see the folk dancers with pots on their heads and folk singers bringing to life the bygone era of the state. They provide a window to the past days of yore, of battles and of brave and noble heroes. Apart from this, the other attractions of the festival include the camel tattoo show and camel polo. Against the backdrop of Umaid Bhawan Palace, Mandore and Mehrangarh fort, this festival gains an added attraction.
 
Mewar Festival
The Mewar Festival is celebrated in the Hindu month of Chaitra (March-April). It is organized to mark the beginning of the spring season. Rajasthan Mewar Festival overlaps with the Gangaur festival. A procession carrying the images of Isar and Gangaur, ornamented and dressed in colorful attire, is taken at the time of the festival. The procession goes through the various areas of Udaipur and comes to an end at the Gangaur Ghat of Lake Pichola. Thereafter, the images are moved on to special boats. After this whole process is over, cultural events take over the celebration of the festival. Rajasthan folk songs, dances and other programs take the center stage. The festival concludes with a remarkable display of fireworks.
 
Summer Festival
The Summer Festival is held at the lone hill Station of the Rajasthan, Mount Abu. The festival is organized every year in the month of June. The scenic town of Mt. Abu with its rocky terrain, serene lakes, arresting locations and the pleasant climate constitutes the perfect venue for the Rajasthan Summer Festival. The festival goes on for three-day and showcases the traditions, culture and the tribal life of Rajasthan. Folk and classical music is the high point of the Summer Festival.
Beginning of the Summer Festival of Mount Abu, Rajasthan is marked by the singing of a ballad. Following thereafter, are the folk dancers of Rajasthan, entertaining the spectators with their performance. There are also some sports events organized in the festival like a boat race on the Nakki Lake. Other attractions of the Summer Festival include Sham-e-Qawwali, a musical extravaganza. In this program known qawwals from all over the country perform and delight the audience. The festival reaches its end with a splendid and enthralling display of impressive fireworks.
 
Teej Festival
Teej festival signifies the beginning of the Sawan (the months of monsoon). The festival takes place for two days in the Hindu month of Shravan (July-August). The Teej Festival of Jaipur is celebrated to honor the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. In this festival, devotees prayer to Goddess Parvati and seek her blessings for marital bliss and happiness.
The Teej Festival of Jaipur is marked by a huge procession taken out in the city. In the convoy, is placed an idol of Teej (covered by a canopy), along with the idol of Gangaur (representing Goddess Parvati), which is kept in the open. The Teej idol is beautifully ornamented and adorned with bright clothes. The convoy, which had the City Palace as its starting point, goes on for two successive days.
Regarded as the festival of swings and rains, the Rajasthan Sawan Teej Festival is also a celebration of the freedom from the scorching heat. The rains falling on the dry and arid land, along with the delightful scent of the wet soil releases us from the intolerable heat of the summers. In the Teej Festival of Jaipur, Rajasthan, young girls and women wear bright and colorful clothing. They suspend swings, adorned with colorful flowers, from the branches of trees. To welcome the monsoon season, they also sing traditional songs and celebrate its onset.
     
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