20 Major Festivals and Events in India in March 2020
The month of March is an interesting time to visit India. It is the beginning of summer, which provides a certain amount of warmth in the ambiance. March is also a fertile time, when the hill stations and high altitude destinations will be blooming with wild flowers and vegetation. This month is also the time for numerous festivals and fairs.
Here are the top 20 festival and events to enjoy in India in March 2020.
1. Kochi –Muziris Biennale
Date: 12 Dec 2019 – 29 March 2020
Location of the celebration: Fort Kochi, Kerala
This is the iconic celebration of contemporary art form in the country. The contemporary art form is gaining more attention among the population and this festival is receiving participants and audience from around the country and from several international destinations. During this event, many contemporary art exhibitions take place like sculptures, media, contemporary painting, and others. This biennale celebration has exhibitions and events set up in 12 different venues with 76 main artists. The next Kochi-Muziris celebration takes place in the end of 2020 (Dec 2020 to March 2021).
2. Chapchar Kut
Date: 6 March 2020 to 7 March 2020
This is one of the most iconic celebrations of East India. This festival is a local cultural celebration with song, dance, and other rituals. This is the harvest festival, which indicates the end of the harvesting. This festival also indicates the end of the harsh winter and beginning of the spring season. During this festival, the farmers burn the remains in their field. To represent this, large fire is created and young population dance around it. The Chai Dance is the main element of this festival. Cultural performances and cuisine are the two main elements of this cultural celebration. You can find numerous local games conducted among local. The festival ends with a pageant for the locals.
Date: 9 March 2020 to 10 March 2020
Location: All around India (Hindu festival)
This festival has numerous backstories. However, the main common reason among the religious population is the death of Holika, a demon by Prahalada and Lord Vishnu. This festival is also celebrated as the day of love of Lord Krishna and his love, Radha. Some historians believe that the reason for Holi celebration is to mark of end of winter and a representation of removing everything bad from life and adding more color.
Whatever might be the reason, the celebration of Holi is quite the same throughout the country. The Holi eve festival revolves around a bonfire. A bonfire is conducted after sunset, and rituals and dance are conducted around the fire. On the day of the festival, people pray to God and play with colors by splashing colored water or color powder on each other. Along with color fight, many delicacies will be shared among the locals. The best of the celebration is conducted in many Lord Krishna temples in North India. Top places to visit in India to enjoy Holi are Vrindavan, Delhi, Mathura, Mumbai, and others.
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4. Arattu Festival
Date: 11 March 2020 to 20 March 2020
Location: Lord Krishna temple of Ambalapuzha, Kerala
This is a religious festival, which takes place for ten days in the Krishna temple. The festival starts with hoisting the temple flag. From day one, many rituals and celebrations take place in the temple premises. The region around the temple will be filled with small and large stalls where you can find religious items, souvenirs, snacks, and others. Top celebrations that take place inside the temple are dance, musical instrument performances, elephant procession, marital art performance and others. The procession is the main element of this festival. On the Pallivettu day, a large feast is served to every one inside the temple. The main item of the feast is paal payasam (milk based sweet porridge).
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5. Hoysala Mahotsava
Date: 16 March 2020
Location: Hoysala temple of Belur, and other parts of Karnataka
This is an ancient festival of dance and music, celebrated in the ancient temples of Karnataka. Top places to visit to enjoy this festival are Belur and Halebidu. The main aim of the festival is to celebrate the traditional art forms of the land. The temples will be decorated with earthen lamps and cultural programs will be conducted throughout the day. Many rituals also take place inside the temple during this cultural festival.
6. Gangaur Festival
Date: 10 Mach 2020 to 27 March 2020
Location: Throughout Rajasthan and surrounding regions (Hindu festival)
This festival is one of the major celebrations of Rajasthan. This festival is dedicated to Goddess Parvathi and is celebrated by all womenfolk of the region. The married women pray for the prosperity and health of their husbands and the younger females pray for a good husband in the future. The festival takes place for 18 days, but the last day of the celebration is the main attraction of the festival. You can find parades in Udaipur and Jaipur. During this procession, the idols will be taken towards a water body with dance, music, and other performances. Even the royal families of the land take part in this festival. It is one of the colorful festivals of Rajasthan.
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7. Vairamudi Festival
Date: 1 March 2020
Location: Melkote’s Cheluvanarayana Temple
This is the local celebration of Cheluvanarayana Temple. This festival’s main attraction is the crowning of the deity with the ancient diamond crown of Mysore royals. This is why the festival is also called the Diamond Crown Festival. The next best attraction of this celebration is the procession, which takes place along with dance, music, and other performances.
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8. Attuvela Mahotsavam
Date: 26 March 2020 to 27 March 2020
Location: Elankavu Bhagavathi temple, Kerala
This temple festival is an annual fair famous for its colorful procession. This festival has a water canoe procession, during which, a huge replica of the temple is kept on a canoe and made to float. According to mythology, this is how the Goddess and her sister entered this village. The procession from the temple to the water body is another attraction, which includes dance, music, and other performances.
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9. Painkuni Festival
Date: 30 March 2020 to 8 April 2020
Location: Shri Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Kerala
Padmanabha Swamy Temple is famous for being the richest temple in the world, and the most mysterious one too. This festival is the annual temple fair of Shri Padmanabha Swamy Temple. The festival has been a part of the culture of the land since the region had been a princely state of Travancore.
During the beginning of the festival, large figurines of Pandava brothers are made with glass and placed near the eastern entrance of the temple. This ritual is conducted for the rain god. Each day, a unique ritual is conducted. On the last day, a procession is conducted from the temple premises to the Shanghumgham Beach. During this the deities are taken on a palanquin along with music, dance, decorated elephants, and others.
10. Hola Mohalla
Date: 10 March 2020 to 12 March 2020
Location: Many regions of Punjab
This is a Sikh festival celebrated as a masculine version of the color festival, Holi. Instead of colors, the locals represent the bravery with martial art performances. Many battle scene simulations and drama will be conducted during this festival.
Top attractions of this festival are war drum performance, army procession, music competition, exhibition of weapons used in different wars, poetry competition, horse gymnast shows, horse-riding competition, feast, and others. Many religious sites will conduct rituals and lectures related to the religion. The best of all activities take place in Anandpur. The Holgarh Fort conducts color fights, which is quite similar to the Holi festival.
Date: 25 March 2020 to 3 April 2020
Location: Telengana and Andhra Pradesh
This is a nine-day festival similar to Dusshera, which is celebrated as a fiesta for the Lord Ram’s birthday. This festival is the local New Year too. For the nine days, nine different forms of Durga are worshipped and celebrated. Each day, a unique delicacy is made and served to the deity. Many people fast during the first eight days and on the ninth day, the fasting ends with a grand feast in every household. This festival is celebrated to condition the human body for the forthcoming harsh summer.
12. Virupaksha Car Festival
Date: 1 March 2020
Location: Hampi Group of Monuments
This is one of the many festivals, which take place in Hampi. This festival is the annual temple car festival of Virupaksha Temple. During this festival, the deity of the temple is well decorated and taken on a procession around the temple region. This festival is also the celestial wedding ceremony of the deities. For the ritual, a large wooden chariot is made and the procession starts from the temple and ends in the market region.
Date: 10 March 2020 to 11 March 2020
The Dol Purnimal or Doljatra is a Hindu festival, which celebrates the full moon day of March. This festival is the last celebration in a year, according to the Bengali calendar. The festival celebrates the love between Lord Krishna and his love interest, Radha. This is quite similar to Holi festival. People dance around and throw color powders at each other. The deities of Lord Krishna and Radha are taken on a procession. During the procession, women sing songs while men spray color at everyone.
14. Velas Turtle Festival
Date: 1 March 2020 to 31 March 2020
Location: Velas beach, Maharashtra
The turtles swim out of the ocean and lay eyes in the beach. The eggs hatch and the just-born turtles stammer their way towards the water. It is a wonderful sight to watch these hatchlings start their journey. However, not many turtles reach the ocean because of preying birds, human interaction, and others. Thus, many NGOs conduct events, where they help these turtles reach the ocean. Watching those turtles walk is a famous activities, quite popular among nature-enthusiasts and children.
15. Ugadi or Telugu New Year
Date: 25 March 2020
Location: Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and others
This is the local New Year and just like most of the other cultural fiesta, this New Year is also celebrated with cuisine, dance, music, rituals, and others. A six-taste dish named Ugadi Pachadi is made on this occasion. Other delicacies to try during this festival are holige, bobbattu, and others. A few communities in Maharashtra also celebrate this festival with dance, music, flag hoisting, and others.
16. Myoko Festival
Date: 17 March 2020 to 2 April 2020
Location: Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
This is the fertility festival of the region. This tribal celebration focuses on music, dance, cuisine, and other cultural activities. Top activities performed during this festival are drum shows, fireworks, martial art performances, and others. Visit the Apatani Village to watch people sowing paddy, and many exotic rituals, which are conducted by local shaman.
17. International Yoga Festival
Date: 1 March 2020 to 7 March 2020
Location: Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
The International Yoga Festival attracts many international and local Yoga-enthusiasts to Rishikesh. Last year, more than 2000 participants from 80 different countries visit Rishikesh to take part in this celebration. This festival takes place in Parmarth Niketan Ashram, where you can find Yoga workshops, healthy cooking classes, classical dance performances, lectures by spiritual leaders, and others.
18. Attukal Pongala
Date: 9 March 2020
Location: Attukal Bhagavathi Temple, Kerala
This is a local temple fair conducted in Trivandrum’s Attukal Bhagavathi Temple. During this festival, many rituals and celebrations take place. Apart from this, the women folk cook offering in the temple. In 1997, this festival was added to the Guinness Book of Records for having 1.5 million women cooking delicacies at the same place. Since 1997, the number has increased several times.
19. Kawant Gher Fair
Date: 12 March 2020
Location: Kavant Village of Chhota Udepur, Vadodara
This is a tribal festival of Kavant region. This festival is celebrated as a harvest fair. The local tribal community, Rathva celebrates this fiesta with dance, music, and other activities. The people dress up as Gods and Demons and dance to the music of drums to showcase a dance-based storytelling.
20. Bhandara Festival
Date: 23 March 2020
Location: Khandoba Temple, Jejuri
This is the famous turmeric festival. This festival takes place inside Khandoba Temple, where after the procession of deity from the temple to a river, and back to temple, the entire village is drenched in turmeric powder. Tons of turmeric powder is showered over the crowd and this festival is very colorful to watch.
These are just the top 20 festivals and fairs of the land. Other honorable mentions are Thirunakkara Arattu, Kodungalloor Bharani, Malananda Kettukazcha, Rajasthan tourism festival, and others.
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