As the summer continues to burn through India, schools wind down for the summer vacations. May is the perfect time to go out and explore India, and what better time to visit any place than during a festival. Here is a look at the festivals that are going to happen in different parts of India in May. Also Read - Centre Mulls Extending Nationwide Lockdown as COVID-19 Cases Near 5000-mark With 124 Deaths | Top Developments
Villianur Temple Car Festival
The union territory of Pondicherry, known for its French culture and heritage, is host to the annual Villianur Temple Car Festival. This festival is a major one for the region and a classic example of the eleclectic mix of Tamil and French culture here. It is a Hindu festival that celebrates the local deity Thirukamemswara Kukilambal. On this day, a long procession takes the deity on an ornately decorated chariot up to the temple of the same name in Villianur, Pondicherry. Hundreds of devotees throng and accompany the chariot as it makes its way through the streets. Along the way, they distribute curd, buttermilk, rice and other items to the crowds. You’ll also find several tourists in attendance, curiously looking at the procession and sometimes partaking in it. Also Read - Coronavirus in Gujarat: 14-month-old Toddler Dies of COVID-19 in Jamnagar
When: 20 May 2017 (the dates are determined by the local calendar, on a full moon) Also Read - New York Leads Coronavirus Death Toll With 731 Fatalties in 24 Hours
Where: Villianur, Pondicherry
Thrissur Pooram is arguably the largest of all temple festivals in Kerala. The southern state is known for its ancient temples, which conduct grand festivals complete with musicians and decorated elephants. Thrissur Pooram typically sees around 250 percussion musicians playing local folk tunes, with around 30 elephants, all decked up and in line. This is a huge event in the state, with firecrackers and other celebrations held by attendees. Drum concerts and other displays of colour and dance are also held during this festival. ALSO READ: Kerala temple festivals: Times for elephantine celebrations
When: 5 May 2017.
Where: Vadakkumnathan Temple, Thrissur, Kerala
Buddha Purnima or Jayanti
The great Buddha statue in Bodhgaya – Bodhgaya – Bihar
Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti is a celebration of the birth of Gautama Buddha, the ascetic who founded the Buddhist religion. Considered the most sacred festival in Buddhism, the festival sees devotees partaking in prayers, recitations of scriptures, medications, processions and more. There is a special Buddhist tourist train called the Mahaparinirvan Express that runs around this time, visiting the major pilgrimage sites of India. And these sites are where you will best experience the humble grandeur of Buddha Jayanti.
When: 10 May 10 2017
Where: Buddhist pilgrimage sites like the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya; also in Buddha Jayanti Park in Delhi
Feather headdresses with spears on the wall of a tribal hut in Kohima, Nagaland
The Moatsu Festival is an agrarian festival celebrated in Nagaland, marking the end of the planting and harvest season. Similar to the Baisakhi and Bihu festivals celebrated in the month of April in other parts of the country, Moatsu also marks an important part of the year for the local populace. You will find people dancing and singing to celebrate the harvest of the year. The Sangpangtu celebration is a major part of this festival; a large bonfire is lit and men and women dress and sit around the fire, eating the special food prepared for the day.
When: First week of May 2017
Where: Mokokchung, Nagaland
Hadimba Temple, Manali
In the popular mountain destination of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, a three-day festival called the Dhungri Mela is held every year to celebrate the birth of the goddess Hadimba, whose temple is a major sight in the town. The occasion sees processions held to bring idols of gods and goddesses from other nearby villages to the legendary Hadimba Temple in Manali. You can enjoy the processions or lose yourself in the fair that is set up for the days of the festival. Here, you can eat at the stalls or experience the carnival rides. The heart of the celebrations lies among the people, who sing and dance to commemorate their goddess’ birth. Performances of the folk dance Kullu Natti can also be seen at this time.
When: 14-16 May 2017
Where: Hadimba Temple, Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Mt Abu Summer Festival
The Mount Abu Summer Festival is one of the best times in the year to visit the only hill station in the desert state of Rajasthan. You can soak in the scenery of hills, serene lakes and ancient monuments, and also immerse yourself in Rajasthan’s diverse culture. The festival starts with folk dances and ballad songs, followed by boat races on the scenic Nakki Lake. Several other sports events also happen, ending with a fireworks display. You cannot miss the Sham-e-Qawwali, which is where you can hear some of the most iconic Qawwali singers from India. ALSO READ: Mount Abu photos: 9 photos of Rajasthans only hill station will most definitely spark your wanderlust!
When: 9-10 May 2017
Where: Mt. Abu, Rajasthan
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