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India's FEBRUARY Festivities

India celebrates its diversity through festivals. Every month there are numerous festivals and celebrations in India. Festivals are a unique way of seeing Indian culture at its best. The very first month of January carries many important festivals of India. From enthusiastic New Year celebrations to Punjab’s Lohri celebrations, from patriotic Republic Day to International Kites Festival; January is a big bouquet of festivals. So, the very first edition of SAFARI INDIA 2021 is showcasing the festive fever of January.

Taj Mahotsav

 
  Taj Mahal view during Taj mahotsav festival

A ten day event, Taj Mahotsav is a culturally vibrant platform which brings about the finest Indian crafts and cultural nuances. The festival starts from mid-February each year in Shilpgram, near Taj Mahal. Taj Mahotsav is one of the much awaited cultural festivals of the country which seeks to recreate the glorious Mughal past of the India. The impressive festival commences with a spectacular procession inspired by Mughal splendor. Bedecked elephants and camels, drum beaters, folk artists and master craftsmen together recreate the glorious past of the Mughal era. In the Taj Mahotsav Festival India’s extensive arts, crafts and culture are on display. Folk music, shayari (poetry) and classical dance performances as well as elephant and camel rides, games and a food festival, all form a part of the festivities.

Garden Festival

 
  People decorated their gardens to celebrate Garden festival

The sweet fragrance of flowers in the air and the colourful bed of flowers to see everywhere, these are the delights of the Garden Festival of Delhi which happen in February each year in Delhi’s Garden of the Five Senses. The Garden Tourism festival was first introduced in 2004. A huge variety of plants and flowers are displayed in this festival. New Delhi’s annual garden show invites visitors to glimpse through the incredible exhibition just as the flowers are blossoming and the gardens are bursting with colour. The Garden Festival displays beautiful flowers, tress, alongside rockeries, fountains, theme based gardens, horticultural demonstrations and specially designed water gardens with exotic lilies. Flowers are arranged in a popular Japanese art form Ikebana. Apart from that, plants and flowers high in medicinal value, hanging baskets, garden equipment, accessories, fresh plants and everything related to garden and gardening are also displayed.

Konark Dance Festival

 
  Girls dancing during Konark dance festival

The Sun Temple in Konark is world famed heritage site. The exquisite ‘Natyamandir’ or the dancing hall of this 700 year old shrine is an architectural wonder with well-adorned sculptures in Odissi dance poses. This world heritage is the venue of a joyous festival of classical dance and music. A host of celebrated dancers from all over the country perform in the open air auditorium. The festival is a celebration of the much appreciated Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri, Kathak and Chhau dance – a lavish feast for the eyes and ears. The sound of ghungroo bells flute and Pakhauj gives it a festive mood. There is also a crafts mela, with a variety of handicrafts and tasty cuisine during the festival.

Surajkund International Crafts Fair

 
  Rajasthani folk dance in Surajkund international crafts fair

Surajkund International Crafts Fair is organized by the Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Culture – Government of India in collaboration with the Haryana Tourism, every year in the month of February. First celebrated in 1981, the festival provides rich platform for the artists and craftsmen from abroad and in India to display their skills derived from their own rich culture and tradition. The fair presents the cultural diversity in India. The culture keeps on transforming itself with the changing milieu. Along with the handicrafts and paintings, performances & theatre is also special feature of this festival, as in the evenings folk performances such as ‘chaupals’ and mesmerizing reciting of ‘natyashala’ are played among the enthralled and enthusiastic audiences. Each year the festival receives huge crowds participating in one of the biggest cultural festivals of India. Along with the usual art show, lip smacking food is offered to the people. The festival is endowed with different theme every year.

Khajuraho Dance and Music Festival

 
  Girls performing dance in Khajuraho Dance and Music Festival

This festival is set against the backdrop of magnificently lit Khajuraho temples which are among the UNESCO world heritage sites. In Khajuraho Dance and Music Festival one can see the various dance forms of India. From Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri and Kathakali to contemporary Indian Dance, one can truly experience the sundry essence of rich Indian culture. Situated in the religious capital of Chandela dynasty, one of the powerful dynasties of central India, Khajuraho is famous for its dance festival and its enchanting temples. This week long festival is held every year in the month of February. The dancers are usually performed in an open air auditorium, often in front of the Chitragupta Temple dedicated to Surya (the son of god) and Vishwanath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

(For full stories read SAFARI INDIA)