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Festivals of Gujarat
International Kite Festival (January)
In Gujarat, Makar Sankranti is kite-flying day. Traditionally celebrated on January 13 or 14, it is a holiday when every family can be meet outdoors 'cutting' each other's kites. This immensely popular kite flying festival is held in all the important cities of Gujarat. The festival lures expert kite-makers and fliers not only from major cities of India but also from around the world. A plethora of designer kites are also put on display.
Holi (March)
The colorful festival of Holi is celebrated on Phalgun Purnima which comes in February end or early March. Holi festival has an ancient origin and celebrates the triumph of 'good' over 'bad'. The colorful festival bridges the social gap and renew sweet relationships. On this day, people hug and wish each other 'Happy Holi'.

Bhavnath Fair

On the moonless night when it is believed Lord Shiva performed his tandava , the cosmic dance of destruction, a great mahapuja is performed. This great ritual begins at midnight on Mahashivaratri, when naga bavas , or naked sages, seated on elephants and decked in ornaments, arrive holding flags and blowing conch shells, tungis, and turis, the sounds of which reverberate through the entire space. Leading a large procession to the temple, they thus mark the commencement of an emotive religious ceremony.

Tarnetar Fair

If you think you are prepared to walk out of your mundane experience and free-fall into a whirlwind of colors, romance and music, then head for the Tarnetar Fair.
Based on the legend of Draupadi's swayamvara, this fair is a celebration of ethnic Gujarat’s folk-dance, music, costumes and the arts, centered around young tribal men and women seeking marriage partners. But even for those not interested in finding a spouse, the romance and excitement in the air are captivating, and every year the fair seems only to grow in popularity, attracting visitors and tourists from Gujarat, elsewhere in India, and even abroad.

Navratras (October)
"Navaratri or Navaratra is a Hindu festival of worship and dance. The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit: Nav = nine and Ratri = nights. It is celebrated during the period of Sarad Masi Aswin by Hindu lunar calendar, all eight days and nine nights have its importance and is divided into sets of three days to adore three different aspects of the supreme goddess or goddesses."
Dussehra (October)
Dussehra falling on the last day of Navaratri or Durga puja arrives in the month of October. Dussehra literally means that which takes away ten sins. This Hindu festival is celebrated all over India to mark the defeat of Ravana by Lord Rama. Dussehra symbolises the triumph of good over evil. The 'Ramlila' - an enactment of the life of Lord Rama, is held during the nine days preceding Dussehra. On the tenth day, larger than life effigies of Ravana, his son and brother -Meghnath and Kumbhakarna, are set alight.
Diwali (November)
Deepavali or Diwali is the major Indian occasion which is celebrated whole heartedly in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism. It is also called 'Festival of Lights' as people illuminate candles, diyas on this day and celebrate the victory of good over wicked powers. The day is celebrated in throughout the world, where in Nepal it is called Tihar and Swanti. It falls in the months of October or November. In North India, the day marks the homecoming of Lord Ram to his kingdom Ayodhya after the 14 years of exile. People of his kingdom celebrated his home return by lightning thousands of diyas, therefore the day has been named as 'Deepavali', which is again shortened as 'Diwali'.
Sri Krishna Janmashtami (September)
Janmashtami is the joyful celebration of Lord Krishna's birth. Major celebrations of Krishna Janmashtami takes place at midnight as Krishna is said to have made his divine appearance in that hour. Fasting, bhajans, pujas and many other rituals mark Janmashtami celebrations in India.
Raksha Bandhan (August)
Rakhi is basically a sacred thread of protection embellished with the love and affection of a sister for her brother. This day is also known as Raksha Bandhan and celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravana in India. This frail of thread of Rakhi is considered as stronger than iron chains as it binds the most beautiful relationship in an inseparable bond of love and trust.
Modhera Dance Festival (January)
Traditional dancers from all over Gujurat gather at Modhera's incredible medieval Sun Temple for the Modhera Dance Festival. The event showcases the region's classical dance forms in the manner in which they were originally intended. The Sun Temple's outer walls, covered with sculptures of the sun god, Lord Surya, act as a dramatic backdrop during the event.
Saptak Music Festival (January)
The Saptak Sangeet Samaroh (Music Festival) is an annual 13-day classical music event, held in Ahmedabad, India, from the 1st to 13th of January every year, and attended by hundreds of people. The festival features both emerging talents and established performers. Besides pure classical music, it also includes performances of folk music, classical dance forms, and semi-classical forms such as thumri.
Bhadrapada Ambaji Mela (September)
One of the most ancient and revered temples in India, is the temple of goddess Ambaji, situated in the Ambaji village in Gujarat. Bhadrapadaa Ambaji fair is an annual fair held in the Ambaji village, near the temple, where lakhs of devotees gather from all sects and communities to offer prayers to goddess Amba and perform religious rituals. The fair has special significance for the farmers as the month of the fair - Bhadrapadaa, indicates the end of a long and tiring month of monsoon harvests.
Lili Parikrama Fair (October/November)
Lili Parikrama (Green Pradakshina or circumambulation) around Mount Girnar in Junagadh district starts from the temple of Bhavnath and also ends there, under the belief that all the 33 crore gods live in Girnar. The fair is organized by local people, sadhus, police and forest department officials. The pilgrimage on foot, formerly 12 miles which is now curtailed to 6 miles since 150 years ago, takes 4 days.
Shamlaji Fair (November)
A large number of devotees arrive to the Shamlaji fair on foot or on camel carts, singing devotional songs, some even dancing and carrying banners bearing sacred symbols. They go to worship the deity and bathe in the sacred waters of the Meshwo river. Among the Adivasis, the Bhil community has incredible faith in the powers of Shamlaji who they lovingly refer to as Kaliyo Dev (Dark Divinity). The fair is an important trade destination for people to buy silver ornaments, metalware, cloth and garments, along with many other annual household items.
Vautha Fair (November)
Vautha Fair is the largest animal fair held in Gujarat, which involves wholesome trading of Camels, Donkeys and other animals. Held on the grounds of Sangam Tirtha, it is considered very auspicious and important by many communities.
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