20 Major Fairs and Festivals in India in January 2020
India is famous for its interesting rituals, celebrations, and feasts. What makes India unique is its culture that celebrates every little event starting from the beginning of a season to any mythological event. Are you planning to visit India in January 2020? Make sure not to miss any of the major celebrations in the land.
Here is the list of top fairs and festivals of India in January 2020.
1. New Year’s Day
Place of Celebration : Throughout the Country
Date : 1st Jan 2020
This festival is celebrated throughout the country with parties, cultural performances, feasts, exhibitions, shows and much more. The best cities to enjoy the beginning of the year are Mumbai, Delhi, Goa, Bangalore, and Pondicherry. Each state celebrates this festival in its own manner. Many clubs and hotels throw dance parties and other celebrations. If you are into western-style partying, visit Goa. All the religious sites will conduct special rituals during this day. If you wish to enjoy the New Year’s Day with luxurious beauty, book the Palace on Wheels train that covers these destinations.
2. Pattadakal Dance Festival
Place of Celebration : Pattadakal, Karnataka
Date : 1st Jan 2020
This is a cultural celebration that takes place on the premises of the 7th century Pattadakkal Group of Temples of Karnataka. This festival showcases the dance forms of India, especially the Kannadigas community.This festival focuses on giving a platform to the ancient dance forms, which are on the verge of disappearing from the modern world. Apart from dance performances, you can enjoy souvenir shopping in the stalls erected around the temple.
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3. Kanathoor Nalvar Bhoothasthanam
Place of Celebration : Kuthiramalika Palace, Kerala
Date : 28th Dec 2019 – 21st Jan 2020
This festival is a religious and cultural celebration, which takes place in the Kuthiramalika Palace of Kerala. Theyyam is an interesting and colorful form of dance and this festival is dedicated to that dance form. Apart from the dance performances of various styles of Theyyam, you can enjoy other attractions like shopping, rituals and so on. Every day, different styles and forms of cultural celebrations including music and vocal performances will be conducted in this venue.
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4. Rann Utsav
Place of Celebration : Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
Date : 28th Oct 2019 – 23rd Feb 2020
This is a cultural festival and is one of the longest festivals in the world. This festival takes place in the Rann of Kutch of Gujarat. This cultural carnival is conducted throughout the winter season. A temporary city is created in the middle of the salt desert, where tourists can enjoy dance performances, music performances, bonfire, adventure activities, camel safari, meditation workshops, and many others. Many stalls will be erected in the temporary city for souvenir hunting. Tourists also prefer to camp overnight in the desert during this carnival.
5. Chennai Dance and Music Festival
Place of Celebration : Chennai
Date : 15th Dec, 2019 – 15th Jan 2020
This festival is a dance and music influenced celebration, which is focused on recognizing the Carnatic music of the land. This festival is also called the Margazhi festival (Margazhi is the Tamil name for the lunar month from mid of December to mid of January). More than 300 concerts will be conducted throughout the city where you can find interesting dance, music and other performances in various south Indian languages.
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6. Mamallapuram Dance Festival
Place of Celebration : Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram
Date : 25th Dec 2019 – 15th Jan 2020
This dance and music festival is celebrated in Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram of Tamil Nadu. This festival is celebrated to showcase all dance and music forms of the world. The performances start as early as 6 AM, every day. Traditional and regional dances of Tamil Nadu and iconic dance forms of other states are performed during this festival. Music performances are conducted by various artists. Many stalls will be erected in the beach region for tourists to enjoy souvenir shopping.
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7. Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti
Place of Celebration : Throughout the country
Date : 5th Jan 2020
This festival marks the birth anniversary of the Sikhism guru, Guru Gobind Singh. This festival is celebrated with processions, rituals, music and dance performances. Almost all the Gurudwaras will be conducting special rituals and performances during this day. Many stalls will be erected around the temples for shopping. You can also find pandals, where food and beverages are served free for pilgrims. The best part about this festival is Kadha Prasad, an exotic delicacy served to the pilgrims. You can find many religious lectures and seminars conducted in Gurudwaras around the country.
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8. International Kite Festival
Place of Celebration : Gujarat
Date : 6th – 14th Jan 2020
As the name indicates, this Gujarati festival is celebrated with kites. This is the best time to watch many interesting kites like Chinese flying dragon, Italian sculptural, American banner and Japanese rokkaku kites. This is one of the most colorful festivals of India. A dedicated kite market will be conducted in major cities, where you can find almost all materials for kite-making and also different types of kites. By sunset, lantern kites are flown in the sky.
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9. Goa Tantra Festival
Place of Celebration : Goa
Date : 6th – 10th Jan 2020
This is a festival to celebrate life and love. This festival of Goa takes place in Love Temple Retreat Center of Goa, where the participants enjoy different forms of Yoga and massages focused to stimulate senses. Tantra meditation, live music performances, dance, drum circle, and cacao ceremony are some of the top highlights of this celebration. Many western tourists visit Goa to take part in this unique festival.
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10. Bikaner Camel Festival
Place of Celebration : Bikaner
Date : 11th – 12th Jan 2020
This is one of the famous camel fairs of Rajasthan and a very colorful celebration. This festival started as an animal trading event and today, it is one of the most important cultural fairs to enjoy. Top activities to enjoy during this festival are camel race, gymnastic performances, fire dance, camel beauty contest, procession, puppet shows, swirling dance, music performances, folk dance performances and so on. By the end of the festival, fireworks are lit to color the sky. You can buy many interesting camel based souvenirs and delicacies in the stalls around the fairground.
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Place of Celebration : Punjab
Date : 13th Jan 2020
This is the harvest festival of Punjab. This festival marks the new year for farmers. Peanuts, gur, and rewi are the top three crops of this festival. This festival celebrates fertility and is an important celebration among new couples. You can find many traditional dance and music performances during this day. Many exotic delicacies like makki roti, sarson da saag and til rice are made and shared during the festival. Bhangra dance and fire dance are the top performances to enjoy during this festival.
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12. Tamil Nadu International Balloon Festival
Place of Celebration : Sakthi Mills Ground, Pollachi
Date : 13th – 15th Jan 2020
As the name indicates, this is the festival for balloons. The Sakthi Mills Ground of Pollachi will be filled with large themed hot air balloons. Apart from flying and watching the hot air balloons, you can spend time in the funfair area, where you can find many rides and activities for kids. A large food festival is also conducted in the fairground. By night, music concerts are conducted by celebrities and budding artists.
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13. Kenduli Mela
Place of Celebration : West Bengal
Date : 14th – 16th Jan 2020
This is an important regional festival of West Bengal. This festival celebrates the life and work of Jaidev, a poet of Kenduli. This music festival is enjoyed by conducting numerous vocal and instrumental music performances by Kirtanias and Bauls communities. A large local fair is conducted where you can find interesting souvenirs to buy like craftworks, fishing items, pottery articles, and others. On the last day, people smear colored ashes on each other (just like the festival of colors, Holi).
14. Kerala Village Fair
Place of Celebration : Kovalam, Kerala
Date : 15th Jan 2020
This fair takes place in Gramam of Kerala. This fair lasts for ten days and is an important attraction for locals and international tourists. Dance, music and other performance arts are conducted during this village fair. A temporary village is erected to showcase the ancient style of the rural lifestyle of Kerala. Walk around the region to find interesting flower decorations in front of the houses. Most of the houses in this fairground have displays of cultural or historic elements like weapons, ancient utensils and so on. Shops are erected in every direction for souvenir hunting and tasting local cuisine.
Place of Celebration : Throughout Tamil Nadu; well celebrated in village regions
Date : 15th – 18th Jan 2020
This is a four-day festival, which is a harvest festival celebrated in Southern India, especially Tamil Nadu. The first day of the festival is dedicated to serving thanks to Rain God. The second day is the prime festival, which is celebrated by cooking rice in open-air, conducting rituals and much more. This day is a tribute to Sun God. The third day is for cows and you can find cow race, jallikattu, and other activities. The last day is Kaanum Pongal during which, the locals take a small trip or picnic to enjoy with their relatives and friends. Many delicacies are made during this festival and visit any temple to enjoy special rituals.
16. Bhogali Bihu
Place of Celebration : Assam
Date : 16th Jan 2020
This is an annual feast conducted to indicate the end of the harvest festival in Assam. This festival is a tribute to food. This festival also marks the beginning of the sun’s journey towards the Tropic of Cancer (end of winter).For the locals, this festival is also their New Year celebration. Temporary huts are made with bamboo are erected on the eve of this festival and many cultural celebrations like bird fight, pot breaking contest, dance and music performances, fair, bullfights are conducted.
At the beginning of the festival, the huts are destroyed with fire to mark the beginning of a new year. Special rituals take place on the farms. A large feast is conducted on the eve of this festival and many dishes are specifically prepared for this festival like masor tango, aalupatik, jaakh, khar, and others.
17. Modhera Dance Festival
Place of Celebration : Sun Temple of Modhera, Gujarat
Date : 19th – 21st Jan 2020
As the name indicates, this festival is celebrated at the Modhera Sun Temple of Gujarat and is dedicated to the dances of the region. This festival is a cultural celebration of Gujarat, which focuses on folk and classic versions of dance forms. Nritya Dance is the stage-stopper of this festival. You can also find dance forms of other states of the country performed in this stage. Instrumental music performances are also conducted. This festival is celebrated to mark the beginning of Sun’s movement towards the north (the end of winter).
18. Spituk Gustor Festival
Place of Celebration : Spituk Monastery, Ladakh
Date : 22nd – 23rd Jan 2020
This festival is an annual celebration of Spituk Monastery of Ladakh. This festival takes place on the 11th month of their local calendar. This festival is focused on removing evil spirits and to promote wellness. The monastery will be beautifully decorated for this festival. Many rituals and cultural performances take place during this festival and the best of all is the masked monk dance. You can find traditional music performances using cymbals and bells. The spiritual amulet of the monastery is displayed to the public and spotting it is considered as a lucky charm.
19. Jaipur Literature Festival
Place of Celebration : Diggi Palace, Jaipur
Date : 23rd – 27th Jan 2020
This festival is famous for creating a platform for budding and aspiring writers. This festival also celebrates other forms of crafts and arts of the land. Many speakers from around the world address the audience during this festival. Many workshops and fairs are conducted in different parts of Jaipur to create awareness about the art forms. The night market of Clarks Amer is the right place for shopping. You can also find other similar markets around the city. Every day, the festival starts with music performances as a tribute to folk and traditional art forms of the land.
Must Read: Fairs and Festivals of Rajasthan in 2020
20. Republic Day
Place of Celebration : Throughout the country
Date : 26th Jan 2020
This is a national celebration of the day of the official democratic declaration of the nation. This patriotic celebration is conducted since 1950. The iconic attraction of this celebration is the national Parade, which takes place in Delhi. This parade consists of marching troops of various divisions of military, rocket and weapon display, stunts by troops, horse march, patriotic song, and dance performances and others. Apart from the parade, you can find many cultural performances and patriotic activities during the day, in many major cities.
Apart from these, there are numerous other regional and national celebrations in January. While visiting a celebration area, it is recommended to wear decent clothing and respect their traditions. You might not believe in their rituals but, you are expected to respect their believes while watching these festivals.
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