Enough of those New Year Resolutions that don’t last even a week! This year, take a resolution to make your New Year an interesting one by planning it around art, literature and music festivals across India. Traveling, meeting new people, indulging in art & literature, experiencing new music & cultures and enjoying new cuisines, and lots of new FB profile pics – are the perfect ingredients for a perfect new year! Here are the amazing events for the first quarter of the New Year. So get your year planners out and read on!
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ISLAND TOURISM FESTIVAL
When: January 5 to January 14
What: This festival is a 10-day carnival that celebrates the culture and customs of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The festival showcases exhibitions, dances and song performances during the festival days put together with handicrafts stores and adventure sports like parasailing and boating.
Where: Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
THE KABIR FESTIVAL
When: January 7 to January 10
What: Expect three days of free live music, documentary films screenings and storytelling sessions that spread Kabir’s message and are open to all.
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INTERNATIONAL KITE FESTIVAL
When: January 7 to January 15
What: Celebrate MakarSankranti or kite-flying festival on a grand scale with International Kite Festival
Where: Sabarmati River Front, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad, 8 am to 5 pm
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FESTA DE DIU
When: Dec 2015 to 15th Feb, 2016
What: Festa De Diu is the longest beach festival in Asia, spanning across three months. With concerts, carnivals, jam sessions and more than 300 artists, you cannot miss this one!
Where: Diu, Gujarat
ZEE JAIPUR LITERATURE FESTIVAL
When: 21–25 January
What: The largest fee literary festival in the world, this star-studded event with esteemed writers, novelists, journalists, film-makers and a week full of indulgence in literature and music concerts, this event is a must-go on every litterateur’s list.
Where: Diggi Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan
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REPUBLIC DAY PARADE
When: January 26
What: Every year, the Republic Day Parade from the Raisina Hill near the President’s residence, RashtrapatiBhavan, along the Rajpath, past India Gate. The Beating retreat, is conducted on January 29 and is performed by the Army, Navy and the Air Force.
Where: New Delhi
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SIRPUR NATIONAL DANCE & MUSIC FESTIVAL
When: January 29 to January 31
What: Started in 2013, the Sirpur National Dance and Music Festival is for the promotion for tourism in Chhattisgarh. Various renowned artistes perform at the event that will be held over a span of three days. Last year saw the esteemed BirjuMaharaj’s performance. This year, a performance by Padma Vibhushan, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia is expected. Visit Sirpur for this grand confluence of traditional art in its best form.
Where: Lakshman Temple, Sirpur, Chhattisgarh
THE NAGAUR FESTIVAL
When: 30th Jan to 2nd Feb
What: Nagaur bustles with life during the annual cattle fair, one of the largest in the country. A highlight of the fair is performances by folk dancers and musicians and exciting games such as tug of war, camel races, horse races, etc.
Where: Nagaur Fair, Rajasthan
KARACHI LITERATURE FESTIVAL
When: Feb 5 – 7, 2016
What: The first of a kind in Pakistan, the KLF bring together and celebrate authors writing in diverse languages, genres and traditions. They feature debates, discussions, lectures, mushairah, a book fair, book launches, readings, signings, comedy, satire, theatre, music, and children’s sessions such as storytelling, puppetry, painting, singing, and creative movement.
Where: Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi, Pakistan
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When: 6-7 February, 2016
What: This annual two day-long music and wine festival has become a magnet for oenophiles and music-heads across the country. As they say, everything’s better with wine!
Where: Nashik, Maharashtra
KALA GHODA FESTIVAL
When: 6-14 February, 2016
What: Perhaps the most loved cultural festival in the country, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is a melting pot of music, dance, literature, theatre, architecture, cinema, food and heritage walks.
Where: Mumbai, Maharashtra
When: 11-14 February, 2016
What: Music and film under the moonlight? Good. Camping while listening to mesmerizing tunes? Great. How about all this smack dab in the middle of the desert? Mind = Blown.
Where: Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
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HILL TOP MUSIC FESTIVAL
When: 12-14 February, 2016
What: Imagine being in Goa. On a hill top. With a view of the beach. And psy trance in the background. This boutique festival is the epitome of cool – the upcoming edition is even more special because it’s the 5 year anniversary!
Where: Vagator, Goa
TAJ MAHOTSAV, AGRA
When: 18th Feb and 27th Feb
What: In the land of the magnificent TajMahal, TajMahotsav celebrates the cultural glory and vibrancy of India. The festival starts with a road procession with decorated elephants and camels complete with drums, trumpets, folk dances and more. Skilled crafts men and artisans all over India come here to display their art and craftsmanship. The performances, food and fair make for a memorable experience.
Where: TajMahal, Agra
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When: Dec 23 – 29 Feb (Full moon on 22 Feb)
What: This desert festival highlights the vibrancy of the Kutch region’s culture and heritage. The days are filled with folk dances and music, adventure sports, handicrafts, food stalls, and excursions to surrounding destinations. Hundreds of luxury tents are set up on the fringe of the white salt desert.
Where: Great Rann of Kutch salt desert, Dhordo, Gujarat
KHAJURAHO DANCE FESTIVAL
When: 25th Feb to 2nd March
What: Khajuraho, well known for its enchanting temples, provides the venue for the Khajuraho festival of classical dance every year. The best exponents perform in an open-air auditorium, usually in front of the Chitragupta Temple dedicated to Surya (the Sun God) and the Vishwanatha Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Local craftsmen display their crafts at an open market.
Where:Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
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INTERNATIONAL YOGA FESTIVAL
When: 1–7 March 2016
What: Stretch your way to health at the picturesque ParmarthNiketan. Every year, the ashram hosts 60 hours of different kinds of yoga—Kriya, Iyengar, Kundalini and more. From environmentalist Vandana Shiva to celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar, people come from all over the world to learn, practise and pray on the banks of the Ganga.
JODHPUR FLAMENCO & GYPSY FESTIVAL
When: 18–20 March 2016
What: When two stunning forms of dance and music unite on stage, the result is nothing short of magic. Fiery Spanish flamenco, Rajasthan’s enchanting colourful gypsies and the majesty of Mehrangarh Fort—this is one spell we’re happy to remain under.
Where: Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
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When: 22 March
What: The Elephant Festival is held every year a day before Holi. The festival begins with a procession of elephants, camels, and horses, painted and tastefully attired with ornaments and embroidered velvet, followed by lively folk dancers. The elephants greet the visitors, offer garlands to the guests and walk past the ramp before a jury of experts and tourists who select the Best-decorated Elephant. Elephant races and elephant polo matches are special features. The tug of war between elephants and men is probably the most exhilarating highlight of the festival.
Where: Jaipur, Rajasthan
When – March 23
What: Holi is the most lively of all Hindu festivals. People throw coloured powder at each other and make merry. Singing and dancing add to the gaiety of the occasion. Holi celebrations in Mathura and the small towns of BrajBhoomi, the land of Sri Krishna, are spectacular.
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When – March 26-27
What: Panchgani is fondly known as the Switzerland of India, because of its gorgeous hillscape and fabulous weather! Couple that with a deluge of strawberries and you will probably have a quick winner for a weekend getaway. Organized by Mapro Garden, one of the most popular strawberry farms in the region. Walking between rows of strawberry plants with your loved one and plucking fresh fruit sounds oddly charming, doesn’t it? You will find various stalls selling strawberries and strawberry products, so don’t forget to get your fill of jams, preserves, dried fruit chunks, pickles and what not.
Where: Mahabaleshwar & Panchgani
So tell us where all you went and till then, stay tuned for the next quarter planner!
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