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Festival Tours in India

Religious festivals are a significant part of life in India. It is thought there are more festivals than days in the year. Each festival has its own meaning and is celebrated in different ways but all are family events, often celebrated with extended families coming together and cooking up a feast. As a visitor you will be welcomed as if you were part of the family and it is a fascinating insight into traditional Indian life.

One of the most famous festivals is Diwali, the Festival of Light. The festival signifies the start of the Hindu New Year and represents the victory of good over evil. Diwali is celebrated throughout the country with strings of fairy lights decorating buildings, candles are placed throughout houses and firecrackers and fireworks are let off all through the evening. Families come together and perform puja ceremonies to pray for a prosperous year before enjoying a feast.

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Another celebration of good conquering evil is the Festival of Colour, Holi, celebrated throughout the country. This lively festival is known for the brightly coloured powder that is thrown around. Old clothes are a must as this is one festival that gets a little messy.

Rajasthan is home to the world famous Pushkar Camel Fair. Held each year in November more than 50000 camels are decorated with colourful pom poms, paraded before prospective buyers and then traded as has been traditional for hundreds of years.

The Buddhist state of Ladakh in northern India is home to several annual festivals held in the grounds of monasteries. Locals gather to watch monks depicting stories of demons and heroes using ornately carved wooden masks and brightly coloured brocade outfits. During the winter months it is almost impossible to travel in Ladakh due to the snow levels. This makes the summer festivals all the more important for meeting up with friends and exchanging news.  

In the southern state of Kerala the Onam Festival is considered the most important. This ten day harvest festival is said to celebrate a golden period of plenty following the visit of an ancient king. The highlight of the festival is Onasadya, a plentiful feast served on banana leaves and shared with the entire village.

There are many more festivals which take place all across the country, it is worth planning your visit to coincide with one as you are guaranteed to feel part of the community and experience a little of what makes life in India so special.

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