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  Events and Festivals
Festivals of Puducherry
Pongal (January)
Pongal is the festival of New Year in the southern states of India. The state is a mixture various cultures and the local people observe this festival with great splendor. Pongal is the onset of a New Year and in this union territory welcomes this fresh New Year with various traditional customs. Pongal is celebrated from 13th to 16th January. The first day of the festival is known as Bhogi day. During this celebration the people of Pondicherry decorate their house with various patterns named as Kolum and welcome a new year with new clothes. The second day is named as Surya day. The day begins with the worship of the Sun god. The days are celebrated with various recipes and various other customs like visiting near and dear ones’ place.
Masimagam Festival (February/March)
Masi Magam Festival is the annual festival that takes place on the full moon day in the Tamil month of Masi which falls in between February and March. In this festival various traditional customs are observed like deities from the neighboring temples are brought around Karaikal and many devotees come to take holy dip in the sea to cleanse all the sins. The most significant deity is Sowriraja Perumal of Thirukannapuram. The mythological tale is that Sowriraja Perumal was married to a woman of fisherman community and that made him to enter the fisherman village. The festival is observed on that occasion as the deity enters human society and people offers a hearty welcome to him.
Villianur Temple Car Festival (May)
Villianur Temple Car Festival is an ancient tradition about the famous deity named Thirukamemswara Kukilambal. On the occasion day the famous god is taken out for a procession in a decorated chariot. The long procession visits the local areas and then ends its journey in the temple. This chariot is pulled by the devotees and is regarded as one of the holiest traditions of pulling the sacred chariot. The festival is a typical Hindu custom where the devotees supply curd, rice, sandal, buttermilk and it is believed that their wishes are fulfilled by serving the crowd. These are the local beliefs which are very popular among the people of Pondicherry and neighboring states.
Bastille Day (July)
Bastille Day, one of the main festivals in Pondicherry is also known as the ‘National Day of France’. Being an important French colony Pondicherry celebrates this day with great honor and pride. Located on the coast of Coromondal, Pondicherry was once the center of all French business and transactions in the southern part of India as well as in Asia. On the eve of the Bastille Day retired soldiers engage themselves in parade and celebrate the day with Indian and French National Anthems. On the day uniformed war soldiers march through the street to honor the French soldiers who were killed in the battles. You can perceive French and the Indian flag flying alongside that project the mishmash of cultures and heritages.
French Food Festival (February)
French Food Festival is one of the important festivals in Pondicherry. Gourmet, the food festival is an annual event and this festival is celebrated with display and magnificence. This festival is organized by Tourism department of Pondicherry and various French delicacies are prepared for the people who enjoy and experience the rich French cuisine. Tourists from different parts of the country come and visit this place during the festival. The diversity of culture is well evident in the festival.
Christmas (December)
The term Christmas is a translation of the Old English version – ‘Cristes Maesse’ which literally means the “Mass of Christ”. It is a traditional holiday in the Christian calendar and the most auspicious and holistic Christian festival observed across the globe on December 25th with much fanfare.December 25th is celebrated as birth anniversary of Lord Jesus Christ, who is believed to be born on the same date at Bethlehem, the land of Jews. The festival is celebrated as a mark of respect to Lord Jesus, who is considered as the son of God and founder of the Christian religion.
Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo (August)
The Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry is a very prestigious and grand festival, celebrated in Pondicherry. People from various corners of India and also other foreign countries come to this region during this period to take part in the festive mood of the Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry. Not only in Pondicherry, but also in the entire country of India this Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry is celebrated with much grandeur. Various cultural and traditional programs are organized during that time to make the festival more colorful and enjoyable.
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