Celebrations never end in India. And January is the month when the everlasting zeal is seen in cultural festivals and events. There is a plethora of traditional festivals, music and dance festivals, parades, and a lot more you would surely want to be a part of. Here are the best festivals and events that the first month of the year has to offer.
1. Rann of Kutch
Rann of Kutch or Rann Utsav is a 3-month long celebration at the spectacular white salt desert in Kutch. With incredible folk dances, music, handicrafts stalls, adventure sports, and mouthwatering food, the festival showcases the beautiful heritage and culture of the region. Hundreds of luxury tents are spread out in the vast openness of the desert to accommodate tourists.
When: From 1st November 2018 to 28th February 2019. Full moon nights are the best days to visit the place as you get to witness the moon shining on the white salt. The next full moon night is on 21st January. Where: Rann of Kutch, Dhordo, Gujarat.
2. International Kite Flying Festival
It is an immense joy watching the sky turn vibrant and colourful with millions of vivid kites flying right from sunrise to sunset at this festival. Kite flyers from all over the world join the celebration as part of the Makar Sankranti festival. In addition to kite flying, there are other eye-catching events such as aerial acrobats, kite making workshops, kite painting competitions, and more. This family-friendly festival celebrates life and fertility.
When: 6th January to 14th January 2019 Where: Sabarmati River Front, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
3. Jaipur Literature Festival
Love literature? Make sure to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival to meet renowned authors and speakers and celebrate literature. The 12th edition of Jaipur Literature Festival will be more about science and future. Among the list of trailblazing writers are Jeffery Archer, Yann Martel (Life of Pi), Andre Aciaman (Call Me By Your Name), and Colson Whitehead (The Underground Railroad). The extensive (and impressive) lineup of artists and event schedule is listed on their website.
When: 26th January to 28th January 2019 Where: Diggi Palace Hotel, Jaipur, Rajasthan Website: https://jaipurliteraturefestival.org/
4. Bikaner Camel Festival
The Bikaner Camel Festival is where you will see camels in brightly coloured attires participating in camel races, beauty pageants and camel dancing. The festival celebrates the desert animal and how. Seeing camels dance is a sight you wouldn't want to miss. The festival ends with firework shows and entertaining performances by Rajasthani folk artists.
When: 12th January to 13th January Where: Bikaner, Rajasthan
The joyous festival of Lohri is a celebration of the commencement of the harvest season. Mainly celebrated in Punjab and other parts of North India by Sikh and Hindu communities, the festival involves lighting a holy bonfire, feeding it, offering prayers, dance performances. The fire signifies passing of winters, the long nights and welcomes summer, the longer days.
When: 13th January Where: Punjab and some other parts of Northen India
6. Madras Music Festival
A platform for all upcoming and renowned music artists, Madras Music Festival is the largest annual cultural music event in India. It showcases traditional dances, South Indian Carnatic music, and other arts as well. More than a 1000 performances take place all over Chennai during this month-long fest. In addition to this, there are several music-related seminars, demonstrations, and discussions.
When: Mid December to mid January
Where: All over Chennai, Tamil Nadu
7. Republic Day
Celebrated to honour The Constitution of India, Republic Day is a national festival involving a spectacular parade showcasing the three divisions of Indian Forces ? Army, Navy, and Airforce. This year would count as the 70th Republic Day and also the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. Hence, the chief guest this year will be South Africa's president Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa because of Gandhi's close link to the country.
When: 26th January 2019 Where: New Delhi
Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated in the South to thank nature. Cooking the Pongal dish, making rangolis, dancing, and getting together with families are some of the highlights of this festival. Celebrated mainly in Tamil Nadu, Pongal is all about love and happiness.
When: 15th January 2018 to 16th January 2018 Where: South India
9. Araku Balloon Festival
Organized by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism, the second edition of Araku Balloon festival brings you hot air balloon rides amidst nature, overnight camp stays in the wilderness, coffee plantation tours, and cultural excursions of Araku. The festival is your chance to soak in natural landscapes, aromatic coffee plantations, cultural ethnicity of the region, wonderful waterfalls, and all that the valley of Araku offers.
When: 18th January 2019 to 20th January 2019 Where: Araku, Andhra Pradesh
10. Ajanta Ellora Dance Festival
When: Mid-January Where: Aurangabad, Maharashtra
This one has classical dances and music, an equally enchanting backdrop of the caves and closeby monuments, as well as a whopping 300 stalls to local arts and crafts. Rangoli, Mehndi, Essay, Cookery and many more such competitions also find themselves on the schedule. However, it is best to check dates with MTDC for this one before you plan your trip.
Kickstart your new year with these amazing festivities held in the month of January