Gujarat is one of the most diverse and fabulous states of India, and people of Gujarat are very jolly and friendly in nature. Gujarati people loves to have unique and great taste of special Guajarati dishes like Dhokla and Undhiyu on various occasions also they love to celebrate special festivals of Gujarat in their own unique way. Many unique festivals of Gujarat are based on the lunar or solar calendar. Not only people who live in Gujarat but all Guajarati people who live in other parts of India and out side India, all of them celebrate unique festivals of Gujarat in their respective region with diverse Guajarati culture. If you want to experience real cultural values of beautiful Gujarat state, then you should become a part of these festivals once in your life time.
Gujarati festivals represent different cultural, social and religious aspirations. These festivals help to boost up unity, fellow-feeling, self-discipline and austerity all around the year to make people energetic and refreshing from their normal and daily routine. Different festivals of Gujarat help to provide healthy recreation in society to pass on great cultural values to next generation. International Kite Festival, Diwali, Janmashtami, Rath Yatra, Kutch Mahotsava, Navratri, Modhera Dance Festival, Tarnetar Fair, Bhadra Purnima etc. are most famous festivals of Gujarat. So, let’s have a look on some of the vibrant festivals of Gujarat.
Navratri is one of the world famous festivals of Gujarat. If you visit any region of Gujarat during Navaratri, then you will experience most energetic and beautiful nine nights of your life. Everyone wears traditional clothes during nine nights of Navratri and worship Goddess Durga. All Gujaratis and specially Youth of Gujarat love to play “Garba” and “Rass” during the nine nights of Navratri. Some people do fasting in Navratri. Fame of this festival has crossed the boundaries of country and people of western countries also love to visit Gujarat to celebrate this most exciting and energetic festival of Gujarat. Now, Gujarat government also organizes Navratri festival on large scale to attract more tourists across the India and all over the world.
Birth of Lord Krishna is commonly known as Krishna Janmashtami that is believed as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu on earth. As per the Hindu calendar, Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated on the the eighth day of the dark half (Krishna Paksha) of the month Bhadrapada. In Gujarat, Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated as the festival of fairs, especially in the Saurashtra region. Every temple of lord Krishna and houses are decorated by swings with lord Krishna-idol; everyone worship lord Krishna and take “Prasad” called as PANCHAJIRI-or PANJARI, which has five important elements of Ayurveda that helps to protect ourselves against seasonal health problems. Many people do fasting on this day and after celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna they break their fast. In the fairs of different regions, you will come across to experience very marvelous culture and traditions of rural folklore on Krishna Janmashtami.
Rath Yatra is mainly celebrated in two states of India namely Puri, Odisha and Ahemedabad, Gujarat in early July. During Rath Yatra celebration in Ahemedabad, you can see great devotional connection of people with lord Krishna. In Ahmedabad, route of Rath yatra is of 14 kilometers; starting from Jagannath temple situated in Jamalpur locality. In Rath Yatra, main attraction is three chariots of lord Krishna, lord Balram and goddess Subhadra. Other attractions of Rath Yatra are decorated elephants, Akhada Sadhus, Bhajan Mandalis, decorated trucks, acrobats and gymnasts. There are thousands of people walk along the chariots, and as chariot passes form different areas of city, people sprinkle gulal and rose petals to praise Lord Krishna, Balram and Goddess Subhadra. Apart from Ahemedabad, Rath Yatra is also celebrated in Bhavnagar, Vadodara, Gandhinagar, Surat and Porbandar cities.
Ambaji Bhadra Purnima is one of the biggest festivals of Gujarat, which is celebrated at Ambaji village that get its name from holy place situated in village. The shrine of Goddess Ambaji is most sacred temple and one of the “Shakti Pithas”, which is situated on the foothills of Aravalli mountain ranges. Bhadra Purnima is celebrated every year on full moon night of Bhadrapad (sixth month of Hindu calendar). The fair is organized on Ambaji Bhadra Purnima, where everyone comes to enjoy fair in different colorful costumes. It is very important festival for agriculturist and many other people. In the fair, every people enjoy “Garba” and “Bhavai” also in Shrine a seven hundred verses of praising Goddess is being read by preachers of Goddess Ambaji, which is known as “Saptashati”.
Kutch Mahotsav is festival to reveal the real beauty, nostalgia, ethos, traditions, culture and spirit of Kutch. Kutch Mahotsav or you can say “Mahotsav” or “Kutch Utsav” is organized by Government of Gujarat in the month of February-March for six days every year. During the Kutch Mahotsav, you get the chance to visit Bhuj city, which is the center of Mahotsav including "Mata no Madh", Lakhpat, Narayan Sarovar, Koteshwar and Bhadreshwar etc. Even you can get a chance to visit Anjar which is famous for Shrine of Jesal and Toral and for nut-crackers, knives, swords etc. You can take great relaxing experience at beaches of Mandvi and if you are intresetd in archiology, then you can visit Dhola Vira's archaeological cadaver. This festival will definitely give you great relaxing and thrilling experience of your life.
Modhera Dance Festival:
Incredible Modhera Dance Festival is the best place for new Classical, folk dancers and musicians to show their talent to the world. Every year, Gujarat Government organizes Modhera Dance Festival in the month of January at the Sun Temple of Modhera in Mehsana District of northern Gujarat. Modhera temple is one of the best examples of art and architecture built during the ruling period of Solanki king Bhimdev. During the Modhera Dance Festival, Modhera temple acts as a background to make beautiful combination of great sculpture and classical dancing. Having this enjoyment, any guest doesn’t want to blink their eyes for a second to miss single moment of this glorious festival. This festival is also called as an “Uttarardh Mahotsav”; acquire its name from the planetary and astronomical configuration of the Sun.
Dang Darbar is also known as the biggest tribal festival of Gujarat. It is the festival where you can get chance to experience the real cultural values of tribal people of Dang. Dang Darbar is celebrated every year before the Holi in Ahwa. During the ruling time of British in India, Ahwa is the place where Darbar was held to pay annual payment of the subsidy to British company for their forest and Abkari rights. But in today’s Darbar, Forest Department gives awards to those villagers who have protected the forests around their village from fire. At Dang Darbar, you come across the mind blowing folk dancing and music for the whole week. Merchants of that areas come into the fair to sell thier goods.
On every 4th, 5th and 6th day of Shukla Paksha of August-September month, Tarnetar Fair or Trinetreshwer Mahadev Fair is celebrated in Tarnetar village of Gujarat. From all over the Gujarat, people come to become the part of Tarnetar Fair. This fair is also called as the Husband-Hunt fair, where women are allowed to choose their groom as it is believed that it is the place where Draupadi’s “Swayamvara” took place in the ancient time. Most amazing attractions of this fair is the great folk dance namely “Rasda” and “Hudo”, which is played by both men and women on the rytham of drums. Moreover, this fair is also famous for buying the best cattle and crop. Even, you can buy beautiful handicraft and Jewelry in fair.
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