Festivals in India

Holi Festival

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Holi 2019: 20 – 21 March

(Holika Dahan 20/03, Holi 21/03)

Holi, the festival of colours, is celebrated by Hindus at full moon in February or March to welcome spring. Especially in North India people love this festival. It means that the good wins over the evil, and also symbolizes the love of God Krishna to humankind. 

Celebrations start the evening before. One story says that God Vishnu once defeated the demon Holika in a wooden fire – which is why people gather together in front of a bonfire to perform religious rituals (Holika Dahan).

Indians  - independent on their cast - celebrate in the streets with loud music and singing and by throwing coloured water or coloured powder on each other. It’s all about joy and having fun together. Tourists are a favoured aim for throwing the colours, so it’s a good idea to wear old clothes. We would be happy to help you finding the best and safest places in Rajasthan to enjoy Holi festival.

Our service for you: Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Vrindavan or Mathura are perfect places to experience Holi celebrations. If you travel with us, we will make sure you can enjoy Holi. We will organize a tailor-made tour for you following your wishes and provide private car and driver, and also a guide if you wish.

Diwali

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DIWALI / DEEPAWALI 2019: 25 – 29 October

25/10 Dhanteras 

26/10- Small Diwali

27/10- Big Diwali

28/10- Govardhan Puja

29/10- Bhaiya Dauj (Brother&Sister Festival)

Diwali, also called the Light Festival, is one of the major festivals celebrated in India. Houses and shops in big cities are decorated with lights that add a special magical atmosphere. For example visit Chandni Chowk in this time, it will be even more busy than usual, as all families want to buy flowers and lights and fireworks for the festival. On the main day the families will hold a special ceremony with painting rangolis in front of their houses, and candles will be lighted in all parts of the house. After dinner, the fireworks will be lit. The festivities will last for three to five days.

In the countryside in Rajasthan, Diwali celebrations are more simple but last longer than in the cities. 

Preparations start with cleaning of houses and streets, followed by decoration of houses and cattle. Depending on what the families can afford, houses are decorated with chains of lights, or simply motifs are painted with chalk on house walls or doors or floors.

The first day of Diwali is Dantheras and is dedicated to the Goddess Lakshmi which shall bring wealth and prosperity. Besides praying to Lakshmi, people like to buy jewelleries and gold. 

On the second day, Choti Diwali, rituals and holy oil bathes are performed to avoid going to hell. This is also the day of making rangolis. The legend says that Lord Krishna’s wife destroyed the demon Narakasur to free the world from fear. 

The third day is the main day of Diwali. A ritual to Lakshmi is performed in the evening and small oil lamps are lit in all corners inside and outside the house. Sweets and small gifts are exchanged with friends and family. This is also the day of litting the fireworks.

On day four, Govardhan, rituals are held for Lord Krishna who had lifted up Mount Govardhan on his little finger to protect people from the flooding rains of the god Indra. The woman in the villages come together in the main place to make an image of Govardhan mountain from cow dung. People – now men and woman - will make rounds around this figure with singing prayers and offering milk and sweets.

Finally day 5 is the last day of the festival, called Bhai Dooj, and this day is dedicated to the brother-sister relationship. They share food together and exchange gifts.

Our service for you: during your tour through Rajasthan with us you are welcome to stay one or more days in Gurvinder’s home in a small village close to Bharatpur. It is a very simple home without hotel comfort or service, but you have the possibility to see Diwali in the village. There is also the possibility to stay in a luxury hotel in the village. 

Pushkar Mela (Camel Fair)

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PUSHKAR MELA 2019: 04 – 12 November
Pushkar is a  holy town in the desert of Rajasthan, hosting the famous Pushkar camel  fair every year in October / November, depending on the cycle of the  moon. The Pushkar camel fair is a huge, fascinating festival in  traditional indian style, lasting 5 days. The main reason for the fair  is camel trading. About 30000 pieces of cattle – buffalos, horses from  Punjab, and camels – are brought here from as far as 500 km.  Also it is  an attraction to all kind of people from India, farmers, pilgrims, holy  men, showmen, musicians and beggers, and last but not least, for  tourists. Pilgrims take a bath in the holy lake of Pushkar, families  attend the daily evening ceremonies at the lake. You can enjoy events  like competition for the longest beard, turban tying competition, a  camel beauty contet, a camel race, you can see traditional dances and  music, and rural sports, and there is a spiritual walk. On the market in  the streets you can buy all kinds of useful things or just decoration  for camels, but also accessories, handicraft or souvenirs.

 Our service for you: we will organize a tailored Rajasthan 2- or  3-weeks tour with car and driver for you following your wishes, with the  main attraction being the visit of the Pushkar Mela. You can also see  during this tour Delhi, Agra (Taj Mahal), Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur – and  if you have more time, visit Mandawa, Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Ranakpur

Desert Festival Jaisalmer

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Desert Festival Jaisalmer 2020: 07-09 Feb

This Festival is held every year in Jaisalmer Poonam ground, for three days in February before spring full Moon. Many say it is the best time to travel to Jaisalmer, because it is rare for visitors to experience such a variety of traditional customs. On this colorful event you will see snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats and games like tug-of-war. The camels are all adorned and decorated for the occasion. You will hear music everywhere.

Some of the main attractions are the beauty contest of «Mr. Desert», a variety of Camel activities and traditional dances. To get «Mr. Desert», the criteria are the traditional clothing with a perfect turban, the best and longest mustache and the right appearance. The camel activities include a colorul show, a parade through the city, the «Border Security Force Camel Tattoo», a camel race and camel polo games in the desert. And not to miss the traditional folk dances of Rajasthan. There are shows and music performances in the evening.

The festival will be ended with fireworks exploding all over the sky and diving the golden Fort of Jaisalmer in bursts of light and color. The Jaisalmer Desert Festival is an opportunity to get to know the art and culture of the Rajasthan.