India is a country with many different cultures and traditions, and it has many colourful and unique lesser-known holidays. Here are some lesser-known Indian festivals that highlight the nation’s extensive cultural heritage:
1. Hornbill Festival (Nagaland):
This event, which is observed in Nagaland in December, highlights the traditions and practices of many Naga tribes. It includes vibrant dances, traditional music, native games, and a showcase of regional goods.
2. Lohri (Punjab):
A winter festival called Lohri is held in January to signal the end of the season and the beginning of longer days. People sing old tunes, share sweets and savoury treats, and assemble around bonfires.
3. Pongal (Tamil Nadu):
A harvest festival called Pongal is held in January. People give prayers to the sun god, cook sweet rice meals in ornamented clay pots, and take part in cultural activities.
4. Hemis Festival (Ladakh):
This festival honouring Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, is held in July at Hemis Monastery. During the festivities, vibrant masked dances and rituals are conducted.
5. Chhath Puja (Bihar):
Hindus in Bihar and certain other regions of North India celebrate Chhath Puja, a festival honouring the sun god. Prayers and offerings are made to the setting and rising sun by devotees.
6. Onam (Kerala):
Kerala celebrates Onam, a ten-day harvest festival, during the Malayalam month of Chingam. Boat races, floral arrangements, and classical dances like Kathakali are all part of it.
7. Gangaur (Rajasthan):
In March or April, Rajasthan celebrates the festival of Gangaur, which is dedicated to women. Women offer prayers for their spouses’ health and longevity. Highlights include colourful processions with idols that are exquisitely decorated.
8 . Ziro Festival of Music (Arunachal Pradesh):
In September, the scenic Ziro Valley plays host to this music event. It hosts independent musicians, artists, and bands for a distinctive cultural event.
9. Makar Sankranti (Assam):
This event, which is observed in January, ushers in Assam’s harvest season. Competitions in kite flying, age-old pastimes, and a feast of regional cuisine are all part of it.
10. Thrissur Pooram (Kerala):
Kerala’s renowned Thrissur Pooram temple festival takes place in April or May. It includes a big parade of elephants that have been decorated, ethnic music, and fireworks.
You will gain a greater appreciation of India’s cultural diversity and traditions by participating in these less well-known festivals in addition to the more well-known ones. But bear in mind that festival dates can change from year to year, so it’s a good idea to confirm the precise dates before making travel arrangements.