India’s culture, thousands of years old and one of the world’s earliest, has had time to develop a unique degree of cultural diversity. The best proof of this is to be found in India’s folk arts and its classical music and dance.
You may be suprised to know that in India, 8% of the population is of indigenous origin, which represents around 100 million people and makes India the country with the most tribal people in the world. These tribes are called ‘adivasi’, literally ‘original inhabitants’. Some of them, like the Sentinelese tribe (in the Andaman and, Read More
Dussehra is a festival celebrated mainly in North India; It takes place after the nine days of the Navaratri festival and marks the victory of the God Rama over the king-demon Ravana or the triumph of the Goddess Durga over Mahisasura. However, the Dussehra Festival of the Bastar region in the state of Chhattisgarh, Read More
Uttarayan, the time of year when the sun starts its northward journey, is celebrated in Gujarat state with a kite festival that’s totally poetic. All day long thousands of multi-coloured kites drift endlessly across the sky, and when night falls the sky is lit by a myriad paper lanterns.
If there is one imperishable memory to be brought back from a trip to Kerala it is the fascinating Aranmula regatta. The snake-boats glide gracefully and majestically along the River Pampa and the hypnotic chanting of the oarsmen will echo in your mind like a happy refrain long after the race is over.
Onam is Kerala’s biggest festival. It falls in the Hindu month of Chingam (August-September) and marks the return to Earth of the legendary king Mahabali. It is the occasion for colourful festivities that spotlight all that’s best in Kerala culture. Although the origin of the festival lies in Hindu mythology, Onam is celebrated with, Read More
Tattooing and camel races, moustache contests, moonlight concerts among the dunes: for three days in January-February Jaisalmer, golden city of the desert, becomes a colourful showcase of Rajasthan folk culture exuding good humour and a friendly atmosphere.
The annual “Maargazhi Music and Dance festival” or “December Season” in Chennai (the former Madras), which overlaps between December and early January, is said to be one of the world’s largest cultural events. More than a thousand performances are given, with almost as many artists. For anyone who enjoys Indian classical music, this is, Read More
Twice a year, the romantic town of Udaipur celebrates its lakes with a three-day Lake Festival highlighting the natural and architectural assets of the royal city. Floating markets and stimulating concerts are part of the festivities.
Once a year, at Kartik Purnima, the full moon in the October-November lunar month, there are festivities in honour of the god Brahma. Thousands of pilgrims come to make offerings at the sacred lake in Pushkar and to pray at Jagatpita temple. This is also the occasion for one of the biggest livestock fairs, Read More
The Rajasthan International Folk Festival or RIFF is held yearly in Jodhpur, at Sharad Purnima (the brightest full moon of the year, usually in October), and lasts four days. It draws considerable crowds of world music fans, both Indian and foreign.
In Thrissur, the Onam celebrations end in high style with hordes of portly human tigers thronging the streets, dancing to the hectic rhythm of the percussion. The Pulikali or “tiger dance”, deeply rooted in Kerala culture, is a unique event and a good-humoured, convivial moment of entertainment.
The World Music Festival in Udaipur, city of lakes, achieved its goal at its first edition in February 2016: it is henceforth a reference in South Asia and a must-go event for fans of World Music. The idea behind the festival is to make Udaipur a must-go destination on the World Music scene. Conception, Read More
Each February, the World Sacred Spirit Festival brings together eminent musicians from all over the world to explore the sacred through different forms of art from music and chant to dance and poetry. A festival of Sufi-inspired devotional music set in the magical and prestigious sites of Ahhichatragarh in Nagaur and Mehrangarh Fort in, Read More
The Modhera Dance Festival or Uttarardh Mahotsav is set against the backdrop of Modhera’s majestic sun temple, dressed in its best suit of lights for the occasion. It is organised by the Gujarat Tourism Corporation. It brings together dance troupes and solo performers from all over India, offering a panorama of India’s many dance, Read More
The annual Marwar Festival, held in Jodhpur and Osian in Rajasthan during October, is an occasion for colourful folk celebrations. It is mainly focused on the music and dance of the Marwar region. Two lovely days for getting to know the folk culture of Rajasthan.