April will see most of India burning in the peak of summer, but the heat is not slowing down anyone in this country. The festivals continue in India, and April is packed with several events worth attending and experiencing. Here is a look at some of the best festivals and events in India that you cannot miss in April. Also Read - HS Prannoy Not Considered For Arjuna Award Nomination on Disciplinary Grounds: Report
Ram Navami, Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
April marks the festival of Ram Navami, which is celebrated as the spring festival among Hindus. As the name suggests, the festival celebrates the birth of Ram, an important deity in most circles of Hindu culture and a key figure in the legendary epic Ramayana. Ram is also one of the avatars of the Hindu god Vishnu. Although not a national holiday, Ram Navami is celebrated with prayers and rituals in many parts of India, particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and in south India. In some places, idols of Ram as an infant are bathed, dressed and placed in a cradle as part of the religious festivities. Also Read - Choked Full HD Available For Free Download Online on Tamilrockers and Other Torrent Sites
When: April 5, 2017 Also Read - Centre Tightens Purse Strings, No New Scheme in This Financial Year, Says Finance Ministry
Where: Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and Bhadrachalam in Andhra Pradesh
Aoling Festival in Mon, Nagaland
Mon, Nagaland – Aoling Festival
In the northernmost tip of India’s northeast state of Nagaland reside the legendary Konyak tribe. Once infamous for their head-hunting warriors, the Konyaks today spend most of their days in the fields. Their now agrarian lives include the occasional bouts of hunting, although there are more evenings with local liquor. But the first week of April sees the tribe celebrate the beginning of their spring and the start of their new year with fervour. And this festival definitely cannot be missed. It can be a little tough to get to the festival, but it is well worth the effort to get a glimpse into the lives and celebrations of this forgotten part of India.
When: 1-6 April 2017
Where: Mon district, Nagaland
Tulip Festival in Srinagar
Tulip Garden, Srinagar
April is the time of the year when Kashmir blooms and its capital city of Srinagar basks in the colours of a million tulips. For the first half of the month, Srinagar’s tulip garden will be in full bloom, making for a spectacle worthy of its own festival: the Tulip festival. This is, of course, the largest tulip garden in the entire continent of Asia, so the sight of it in bloom is one that will leave you overwhelmed. The people of Kashmir also appropriately use this time to celebrate their own cuisine, music and culture. A visit to Srinagar during this time can give you access to a number of cultural programs, endless markets selling the best of Kashmiri crafts and some of the best local foods. ALSO READ: 15 awesome photos of Srinagar that will inspire you to take a holiday!
When: 1-15 April 2017
Where: Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden in Srinagar, Kashmir
Devamela or Arattupuzha Pooram in Kerala
Arattupuzha Pooram, Photograph courtesy: Kerala Tourism
Kerala has a rich tradition of festival held for each of its historic temples, and April will see the festival for the legendary Arattupuzha Temple in Thrissur. This festival is known as the Arattupuzha Pooram (which literally means Arattupuzha festival) or Devamela (which translates to ‘fair for the gods’), because it said that 101 gods and goddesses come to the temple to visit its deity. With an impressive guest list, the people of the temple and the town of Arattupuzha go all out with their celebrations, with a parade of around 60 elephants in full decorations and the resounding beats of the temple’s ethnic percussion ensemble.
When: 8 April 2017
Where: Arattupuzha Temple in Thrissur, Kerala
Painkuni Festival in Thiruvananthapuram
The capital city of Thiruvananthapuram in the southern end of Kerala plays host to the ten-day Painkuni Festival at the historic Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple. The festival celebrates the Pandavas of the epic Mahabharata, with its highlight being the massive fibreglass sculptures of the five princes that are placed along the temple entrance. The intricately designed sculptures are put up to appease the rain god Indra. For ten days, the festival attracts huge crowds to make their offerings and witness the massive sculptures. Even the royal family of Travancore participates, performing a ‘royal hunt’ ritual on the ninth day.
When: 10 April 2017
Where: Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Chithirai Thiruvizha in Madurai
Chithirai Festival, Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
The festival of Chithirai Thiruvizha last the entire month and is among the longest festivals in the world. It marks the celebration of one of the most important marriages in the Hindu pantheon; that of Shiva, or Sundareswarar, to his consort Meenakshi. Much of the celebration takes place at the historic and majestic Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai. The sprawling temple was made for the goddess Meenakshi, and this festival can be the perfect time to pay a visit despite the crowds. The entire festival re-enacts the grand wedding of the gods, and is generally split into two phases that occur over the course of April and May. The long festival sees several events that are a sight to behold in themselves, like the Kodi Yetram and Alagar Vaigai Elenthuarulal. ALSO READ: Most famous temples in south India
When: 28 April to May 13, 2017
Where: Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu
Goa Food and Culture Festival
The yearly Goa Food and Culture Festival offers the best of the state’s unique cuisine and is a treat for the taste buds. For five days, the festival sees several stalls run by the best in the business offering their best dishes. Goa’s most prominent hotels and restaurants come out for the event, as do its best chefs and even its most enterprising housewives. From exotic restaurant foods to the most delicious homemade delights, the Goa Food and Culture Festival offers the chance to savour them all. Local drinks and snacks are also on offer, as are cultural programs.
When: 6-10 April 2017
Where: NIWS Grounds in Panaji
Baisakhi in Punjab
Baisakhi festival Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Punjab will celebrate its own harvest festival of Baisakhi in April. The festival marks the beginning of a new year for the Sikh community and the formation of the Khalsa order within the Sikhs. It is celebrated with much fanfare across the state, and a visit to the state or the major cities of Amritsar or Chandigarh will leave you spellbound by all the spectacles around you. Fairs are in full swing, and you can find plenty of folk songs and dances taking place. The Golden Temple in Amritsar, considered the spiritual fountainhead of Sikhism, comes alive during the festival, with a procession and many other activities taking place on the streets outside. ALSO READ: Baisakhi celebrations in Punjab: How the Wheat Bowl of India celebrates Baisakhi
When: 13-14 April 2017
Where: All across Punjab, particularly Amritsar
Bihu in Assam
Rongali Bihu, Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Assam’s most important festival is Rangali Bihu, and it is going to happen in April. The three-day festival, like Baisakhi and Ram Navami, marks the beginning of spring and the time of harvest. It is not restricted to any particular community, with all Assamese people coming together to celebrate the festival with grandeur. Folk songs and dances take place in full force, particularly the traditional Bihu dance that is performed to the music from ethnic instruments such as the Dhol, Pepa and Taal. There are seven phases to this festival, taking place over the course of three days. Apart from the songs and dances that take place, Bihu also witness prayers being offered to the livestock and presenting of a ceremonial patch of the intricate, handcrafted Gamusa cloth.
When: 14-16 April 2017
Vishu in Kerala
The Hindu festival of Vishu, celebrated in Kerala, is closely tied to the Assamese festival of Bihu and is celebrated with a lot of activities in the state. Firecrackers and decorative lights are common sights and sounds during the festival, and the highlight of the celebration is the Sadya, a grand feast with a variety of dishes served on a banana leaf. Another important part of this festival is the Vishukkani, a ritual where idols of the deity Krishna are decorated with auspicious items. Major temples such as the Guruvayur Sree Krishna temple have their own celebrations during the festival that are worth experiencing.
When: 14 April 2017
Where: All across Kerala and particularly the Guruvayur Sree Krishna temple
Sankat Mochan Musical Festival in Varanasi
Sankat mochan hanuman, Photograph Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
The holy city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh will host the Sankat Mochan Musical Festival to celebrate the birthday of Hanuman, another deity in the vast pantheon of Hindu gods, goddesses and mythological figures. The festival is a feast for the ears, with some of the best classic music artists and dancers performing for the celebrations at the Sankat Mochan Hanuman temple. Free and open to anyone who wishes to attend, the festival was established decades ago and continues to attract the brightest talents in the Hindustani music and dance scene. It is one of the rare instances of temple performances that continue to this day, and it is a delight to listen and watch the artists perform in their devotion for the god. ALSO READ: 4 films that perfectly capture the spirit of Varanasi!
When: 15-19 April, 2017.
Where: Sankat Mochan Hanuman temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Mopin Festival, Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
The eastern Himalayan tribe of Galo now reside in the eastern fringe state of Arunachal Pradesh celebrate their own harvest festival in the first few days of April. During the two-day long festival, the people celebrate their harvest through their indigenous song and dance. The festival is open to visitors to experience and participate as well, making for an experience of a lifetime. The Galo tribe is largely made up of rice farmers, so expect to be served large helpings of the locally brewed rice beer called ‘apong’, which is an integral part of the lives of many people in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. ALSO READ: 14 beautiful pictures of north east India that reveal its true charm!
When: 5-6 April 2017
Where: Mopin Ground in Naharlagun, Arunachal Pradesh
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