India is one of the beautiful countries in the world well-known for its diverse culture, stunning architecture, rich history, fabulous destinations, and several colorful festivals. Every religion has their own set of festivals that exhibits the real spirit that the entire nation shares. Though India celebrates many festivals throughout the year, winter festivals in India are worth attending due to the perfect weather. Most winter festivals of India are held from December to February. Every year number of tourists flock to India to have a glance at the festivals that are celebrated with immense pomp and show as part of India tour packages. To help you plan for these festivals, we have made a quick list of winter festivals in India where you can best experience these festivities in their full glory.
Here is the list of some of the most popular winter festivals in India.
Jaisalmer Desert Festival, Rajasthan
Jaisalmer Desert Festival is one of the popular winter festivals in India that gives you a glimpse of the true culture and tradition of Rajasthan. Organized by Rajasthan Tourism, this is a 3-day event that is celebrated every year in February at Sam Sand Dunes. Attracts thousands of visitors from all over the globe, this festival begins with a ceremonial procession, locally known as Shobha Yatra where local Rajputs and other clans dress in their traditional attire. This festival includes a lot of events such as puppet shows, camel races, and polo matches, turban tying competitions, competitions for the finest facial hair, acrobats, puppeteers, and jugglers. A trip to the Sam Sand Dunes marks the grand finale, where you will enjoy camel rides and brilliant performances by folk artists under the full moon against the backdrop of picturesque dunes. Besides, one can also visit some Jaisalmer tourist places such as Jaisalmer Fort, Havelies, Kuldhara, Lodurva, etc.
Book Here : Jaisalmer Tour Packages
Lohri Festival, Punjab
Lohri is one of the biggest and popular festivals in India, especially in Punjab. Celebrated every year in January, it is one of the most joyful occasions for every Punjabi as it reflects the community’s love for festivals and celebrations. This festival marks the end of the winter and the arrival of warmer days along with the onset of the harvest season. The main highlight of this festival is, people gather around the bonfire at night, pray for the wellbeing of the family, and dance around the fire. Known by different names across the country, this festival can be best witnessed in the city of Amritsar. Golden Temple, the seat of Sikh religion, Jallianwallah Bagh, Durgiana Temple, Gobindgarh Fort, Central Sikh Museum, Maharaja Ranjith Singh Museum, and Wagah Border are the other popular places to visit in Amritsar.
Book Here : Amritsar Tour Packages
International Kite Festival, Ahmedabad
International Kite Festival is one of the most awaited Indian festivals that attracts crowds from all over the world. Since 1989, the heritage city of Ahmedabad has hosted this 9 day International Kite Festival as part of the official celebration of Uttarayan from 6th January to 14th January. Many kite artists from across the globe have participated in the festival to showcase their skills. During this event, one can see the brightly colored kites all over the sky from sunrise to sunset as part of Ahmedabad Tour Packages. Sabarmati Riverfront is one of the best places to enjoy this event. Besides, one can also visit some Ahmedabad tourist places including Sabarmati Ashram, Kankarai Lake, Jama Masjid, Akshardham Temple, Adalaj Stepwell, Huthee Singh Jain Temple, ISKCON Temple, Vintage Car Museum, Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, Swaminarayan Mandir, and Sardar Patel National Memorial.
Book Here : Gujarat Tour Packages
Hornbill Festival, Nagaland
Hornbill Festival is yet another most popular winter festival of India celebrated in Nagaland. Organized by the State Tourism and Arts & Culture departments, the festival aims to revive and protect the rich culture of Nagaland and showcase its ethnic customs and traditions to the world. Named after the great Indian hornbill, this event takes place every year from 1st December, which happens to be the Nagaland Formation Day, till the 10th of December at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 km from Kohima. All the tribes of Nagaland participate in this festival that exhibits the Traditional Naga Morungs Exhibition and sale of Arts and Crafts, Cultural Medley – songs and dances, Traditional Archery, Indigenous Games, Naga wrestling, Herbal Medicine Stalls, Food Stalls, Flower shows and sales, Beauty Contest, Fashion shows and Musical concert that draws thousands of tourists to Nagaland, among the best places to visit in India. Traditional arts are also displayed with paintings, sculptures, and wood carvings by contemporary Naga artists.
Also Read : Joyous Festivals & Events Celebrated in December in India
Also known as Uttarayan and Makar Sankranti, Pongal is one of the most celebrated festivals in January in India. One of the most popular harvest festivals of South India, Pongal marks the beginning of Uttarayan-Sun’s journey towards the North along with the end of the harvest season. It is mainly celebrated as a thanksgiving to the Sun god, the primary source of energy for crops to grow. The ritual of boiling fresh milk in a new clay pot at dawn is a major part of the Pongal festival. This 4-day festival will be held from 14th January to 17th January. The first day will be Bhogi which people light up a bonfire with logs of wood, and is followed by Sankranti, Kanuma, and Mukkanuma. Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana are the popular places to witness the grand festive celebrations as part of South India Tour Packages.
Book Here : Tamilnadu Tour Packages
Sunburn Festival, Goa
Goa, the beach capital of India, is the venue for Asia’s biggest Electronic Dance Music Festival, the Sunburn Festival. Starting in 2007, it is a 3-day music festival held every year in the last week of December in Vagator that boasts an eclectic mix of Music, Entertainment, Food, and Shopping. It has brought together renowned and International artists to entertain thousands of music lovers who came to the festival as part of Goa tour packages. It was ranked as one of the Top 10 Festivals in the world by CNN in 2009. Further, Goa is bustling with high energy in December as it is the time for Christmas and New Year celebrations. The Beaches of Baga, Anjuna, Calangute, Vagator, Palolem, Se Cathedral, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Aguada Fort, Chapora Fort, and Dudhsagar Falls are some popular Goa tourist places.
Must Visit : Goa Beaches
Rann Utsav, Gujarat
Rann Utsav is one of the most colorful winter festivals in India that is celebrated every year at the White Desert of the Kutch region in Gujarat. Rann of Kutch is one of the largest salt deserts in the world, and among the top places to visit in Gujarat. This festival is celebrated for nearly 3 months that starts from 28th October to 23rd February. During the fest, the area comes alive with folk dances, musical concerts, handicrafts & food stalls, camel rides along with some adventure sports. Plan your visit during full moon nights to appreciate the glorious phenomenon of the white salt desert glowing silver under the moonlight. Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, Narayan Sarovar & Sanctuary, Kalo Dungar, Siyot Caves, Chhari Dandh Bird Sanctuary, Kutch Bustard Sanctuary, etc. are the other popular places to visit in Kutch.
Book Here : Rann of Kutch Tour Packages
Bikaner Camel Festival
Bikaner Camel Festival is another colorful and famous festival of India celebrated in Bikaner, Rajasthan. Organized by the Rajasthan Tourism, it is a 2-day event that is held every year at Bikaner in January in honor of the ship of the desert, Camel. This fair starts with a colorful parade of beautifully adorned camels against the backdrop of majestic Junagarh Fort, among the top places to visit in Bikaner. Visitors can enjoy the spectacular displays of camels dressed in vibrant bridles, traditional necklaces, and heavy anklets, the array of camel race events, camel milking, camel games, camel beauty pageants, and other cultural performances like traditional Rajasthani folk dance performances and fascinating Fire Dance during the fest in Bikaner, among the must-visit Rajasthan tourist places.
Book Here : Bikaner Tour Packages
Manali Winter Carnival
Winter Carnival in Manali is another festival celebrated every year in January in India. This event was first started in 1977 that showcase the Himachali culture. The highlights of this event are folk performances, cultural competitions, and local cuisine. Apart from these, one can indulge in winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding at Solang valley, among the must-visit Manali tourist places. Also, the festival hosts a ‘Winter Queen’ contest – a local beauty pageant that takes place at the open-air amphitheater, in sub-zero temperatures. If you are looking for some snow served with a side of winter sports, then don’t miss being a part of this event in Manali, among the best hill stations in Himachal Pradesh.
Book Here : Manali Tour Packages
Konark Dance Festival
Konark Dance Festival is an annual event held in February at Konark with the backdrop of the historical Konark Sun Temple. This event showcases the best of the traditional and classical dance forms of India, besides offering interesting insights into the rich cultural and dance heritage of India. During this 5 day festival, talented dancers and their troupes descend on Konark to display their skill and mastery over age-old dance forms ranging from the classic Bharatanatyam, the graceful Odissi, and Manipuri, to the expressive Kathakali and Sattriya dance styles amongst others. As the sun sets, the open-air auditorium gains life in the form of musical beats and rhythmic movements under the star-lit sky during the festival. A crafts mela is also put up during the Konark Dance Festival. Konark Beach, Ramachandi Temple, Kuruma, Astranga Beach, Varahi Devi Temple at Chaurasi, and Maa Mangala Devi Temple at Kakatapur are the other popular places to visit in Konark. Usually, Konark can be visited as a day trip as part of Puri Tour Packages.
Book Here : Konark Tour Packages
Mount Abu Winter Festival
Mount Abu Winter Festival is one of the most mesmerizing festivals celebrated in India during winter. This 3-day event is held in December every year in Mount Abu, the only hill station of Rajasthan, and among the top places to visit near Udaipur. The main element of this festival is a large fair for local artisans to showcase their work along with traditional dance performances of Rajasthan like Daph, Ghoomar, and Gair. Apart from dance performances, concerts, sports competitions like cricket matches, kite flying, and rowing events are also organized. Dilwara Jain Temples, Guru Shikhar Peak, Adhar Devi Temple, Sri Raghunathji Temple, Achalgarh Fort, Nakki Lake, Gaumukh Temple, and Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary are the top places to visit in Mount Abu. If you are planning to witness popular fairs and festivals of Rajasthan, this would go perfectly with your Christmas and New Year’s holiday.
Book Here : Mount Abu Tour Packages
International Sand Art Festival, Odisha
One of the most awaited and celebrated winter festivals in India, the International Sand Art Festival of Odisha is celebrated every year in December. Starting in 2015, this event was conducted every year on the Chandrabhaga beach, among the top beaches n Orissa. The theme for the artists hovers around the burgeoning issues of the Earth every year. The best sand artists from Mexico, Spain, Singapore, France, Norway, Germany, Netherland & USA, and the remaining 20 artists are from different states of India participate in this event for showcasing their best talent. Finally, the talented artist with the best artwork is presented with prize money of INR 100,000. This event draws thousands of tourists as well as sculpture artists from all over the world as part of Odisha Tour Packages.