Known for its varied terrain, colorful attire, amazing architectural wonders, stunning coastline, sacred pilgrimage sites, and exotic wildlife, the vibrant and lively state of Gujarat is one of the top places to visit in India. Apart, the state is also known for its rich culture and age-old traditions that are showcased most flawlessly through the many festivals celebrated here all year round. Be it the world-renowned festivals like Janmashtami and Navratri or the regional celebrations like the Kite Festival, the festivals of this western India are known for their cheerful atmosphere, groovy music, and mouth-watering food. Being a part of these festivals is the best way to know about local culture and lifestyle as part of Gujarat Tour Packages.
Here are some of the famous festivals of Gujarat that make you fall in love with the culture and traditions of the state.
Navratri is one of the most dynamic festivals celebrated all throughout the Gujarat. Held in the month of September or October every year, it is celebrated for nine nights and ten days. During this event, Goddess Durga is worshipped throughout the nine days and is immersed in holy water after a pooja ritual on the tenth day. The major highlight of this event is Dandiya, and Garba. Also, visitors can witness the loud music, exciting competitions, flea markets, exhibitions, and savories. Attracts thousands of devotees as well as tourists, Ahmedabad is one of the best places to visit in Gujarat to witness Navratri.
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Rann Utsav is one of the most colorful winter festivals in India that is celebrated every year at the White Desert in the Kutch region of Gujarat. Rann of Kutch is one of the largest salt deserts in the world, and among the top places to visit in Gujarat as part of India tour packages. This festival is celebrated for nearly 3 months from October to February every year. During the fest, the area comes alive with folk dances, musical concerts, handicrafts & food stalls, camel rides along with some adventure sports. The vast white desert against the backdrop of the mesmerizing sunset will make your Gujarat Trip even more special. Thronged by thousands of visitors from all over the globe, plan your visit during full moon nights to appreciate the glorious phenomenon of the white salt desert glowing silver under the moonlight.
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Uttarayan is another major event celebrated in Gujarat. Celebrated every year in January, it is among the most popular festivals celebrated in Gujarat. The festival marks the day when winter recedes to summer and is a sign for the farmers that the harvest season is on its way. The main highlight of Uttarayan is the Kite Festival, which was organized by Gujarat Tourism in Ahmedabad since 1989. Held for 9 days, the festival attracts many kite artists from across the globe. During this event, the sky fills up with millions of bright colored kites which is of different shapes and sizes from sunrise to sunset. Sabarmati Riverfront is one of the best places to visit in Ahmedabad to enjoy this event. Besides, it is also a sign for the farmers that the harvest season is on its way and a sign of amusement and joy for others.
Held every year on Karthik Purnima in the month of November, Shamlaji Melo is another prominent festival celebrated in Gujarat. This festival is celebrated on the banks of the river Meshwo near the well-known Shamlaji temple, among the top places to visit near Ahmedabad. To witness this three-week-long fair, many devotees from Gujarat as well as Rajasthan arrive on foot or riding camel carts while singing devotional songs. Devotees bath in the holy Meshwo River, and seek blessing. The fair happens to be a market for trading silverware, cloth, and ornaments.
Vautha Mela is an exciting animal trade fair of Gujarat celebrated every year near the confluence of Rivers Vatrak and Sabarmati at Vautha village. Held for 5-days, the festival is celebrated on the full moon night of Kartik month of the Hindu calendar (November). Animal trading is one of the most notable activities taking place at the fair. During this fair, animals like donkeys and camels are decked up with ornaments and paints to attract buyers. This isn’t merely fair, people even consider this event more pious than Diwali, as the location happens to be where seven holy rivers converge. Many families leave their houses for a few days to live in tents near the fair venue. The river is lit by floating diyas in the evening and is a sight to behold. One will also find local food stalls and handicraft stalls to shop from.
Janmashtami is yet another most popular festivals celebrated in Gujarat. Though it is celebrated in all parts of India, the version of Gujarat is different and not to be missed. This event is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. Dwarka is one of the major places to celebrate Janmashtami with great zeal and devotion. People here celebrate at midnight by placing an idol in the cradle and worshipping him by gently pulling the thread tied to the cradle to make it swing. Held every year in the month of August or September, this event in Gujarat is known for its Dahi handi ceremony, devotional singing, dances and feeding Lord Krishna his favorite food, butter.
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The Rath Yatra is yet another most awaited festivals in Gujarat. Dedicated to Lord Jagannath, this event is celebrated majorly in four places including Jagannath Temple in Ahmedabad. Held in the month of June, the main highlight of this festival is the procession that is led by an ornate chariot. The journey starts with the Pahind Vidhi (cleaning the route for chariot), performed by the CM of Gujarat which is then make their way through different parts of the city followed by dance and singing performances. Thousands of devotees come out of their homes to take part in the procession and worship the deities. Though this festival is held in various cities of Gujarat, Ahmedabad Rath Yatra is most famous among them.
Modhera Dance Festival
Modhera Dance Festival is an annual 3-day dance festival held every year during the third weekend of January at Modhera Sun Temple. Organized by Gujarat Tourism, it is observed to promote Gujarat Tourism and keep Indian traditions and culture alive. During this event, artists from different states of the country come here to showcase their talent. The main highlight of the Modhera dance festival is the typical Garba dance that depicts the glorious culture of Gujarat. The festival draws thousands of tourists to enjoy and see the different dance forms of ancient India during the festival of Modhera sun temple, one of the top places to visit in Patan.
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Observed for 3-days, Bhadra Purnima is one of the biggest festivals in Gujarat. Dedicated to Goddess Ambaji, the event is held every year in September on the full moon day of Bhadrapad at Ambaji Temple, among the prime places of pilgrimage in Gujarat. As there is no idol at the temple, a triangular object called Vishwa Yantra is used to represent the deity during the festival. During this day, the people, especially agriculturists visit the temple to pay respect to the deity and read Sapatashati, the seven hundred verses in praise of the goddess. In the evening, everyone has a gala time by performing garba and Bhavai (folk dance).
Bhavnath Mahadev Fair
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Bhavnath Mahadev Fair is an annual 5-day event celebrated in the month of February during Mahashivaratri. The event is observed in the Bhavnath Temple, among famous places to visit in Junagadh. With vibrant and colorful events, the festival draws large number of people from all over the country. The main highlight of the festival is the majestically decorated elephants. The sages riding on elephants blow shells and lead processions, marking the commencement of this fair. In addition, there will be stalls selling idols, sarees, utensils made of brass and copper, sweets, and fruits. Finally, the event kicks off with dance and music performances.
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