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Festivals in India in December 2013

What's On in India in December

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India comes alive in December with an eclectic mix of traditional and modern festivals and events. From classical to electronic dance music, and local performers to international DJs, it's all on offer. Not to forget Christmas celebrations as well!

Here's the best of what's on in December in India (listed by date). This article has two pages, so don't overlook clicking on "Next" at the bottom of this page, to go to page two.

Konark Festival

Orissa Tourism

The official Konark Festival, organized by Orissa Tourism, features a range of classical Odissi, Bharathnatyam, Manipuri, Kathak and Chau dance performances. Added attractions are an exhibition of Orissan temple sculptures, sand art exhibition, and crafts fair. The festival has been taking place since 1989.

  • When: December 1-5 each year.
  • Where: Open air auditorium, Natamandir, near the Konark Temple.

International Sand Art Festival

Orissa Tourism

Held to coincide with the five day Konark Festival in the same area, the International Sand Art Festival sees renowned international and local artists competing to create the best sand sculptures.

  • When: December 1-5, 2013.
  • Where: Chandrabhaga Beach, Konark, Orissa.

Hornbill Festival

www.flickr.com user ahinsajain

The unique Hornbill Festival, named after the bird, shows just how diverse a country India really is. Held in a tiny and remote north eastern state of India, the festival is one of the largest celebrations of the indigenous warrior tribes of the region. It features traditional arts, dances, folk songs, games, and music concerts in the evenings. Local handicrafts are also on sale during the festival.

  • When: December 1-10, 2013. (It's been extended by three days this year).
  • Where: Kisama Heritage Village (near Kohima town), Nagaland.

Feast of Francis Xavier

www.flickr.com user mckaysavage
This annual celebration is held in honor of Saint Francis Xavier, one of the greatest Christian missionaries to visit India. His mummified body is kept in a casket inside the captivating Bom Jesus Basilica in Old Goa, and every year people come to pray on the anniversary of his burial. The festival, which lasts for several days before and after the feast and includes a large fair, is one of the most important Christian events in Goa. The morning mass attracts people from all over the world.
  • When: December 3 each year.
  • Where: Bom Jesus Basilica, near Panaji, Goa.

Enchanted Valley Carnival

Enchanted Valley Carnival
Billed as an "Adventure in Music", the Enchanted Valley Carnival will host over 60 DJs (including some of the world's biggest names in Electronic Dance Music) and other artists across four stages. There will also be camping and adventure sports.
  • When: December 6-8, 2013.
  • Where: Festival Arena, Aamby Valley City, Maharashtra. (2 hours drive from Mumbai).
  • Tickets: Tickets are available from the Book My Show website.

Taj Literature Festvial

Taj Literature Festvial
This new literature festival took place for the first time in February 2013, and is back for its second installment this month. Sharmila Tagore will open the festival and will reminisce about her husband and renowned cricketer, the Nawab of Pataudi, with renowned sports commentator Suresh Menon. William Dalrymple, award winning British historian and writer, will present a program on his book the "White Mughals". Actors Farooq Shaikh and Shabana Azmi will also join the festival and present their famous play "Tumhari Amrita".
  • When: December 12-14, 2013.
  • Where: Hotel Clarks Shiraz, Agra, Uttar Pradesh.

Magnetic Fields Festival

Magnetic Fields Festival

India's newest music festival is an intimate affair, limited to 500 people, which will be held on two stages at a restored 17th century palace hotel in Rajasthan. On offer will be cutting-edge music from both bands and DJs, fashion, art, and food. Attendees can either camp in luxury tents or stay in rooms at the hotel. Its premises are extensive and include courtyards, swimming pool, and ballrooms. Decorations are expected to create the vibe of a magical, fantasy carnival.

  • When: December 13-15, 2013.
  • Where: Alsisar Mahal, Shekhawati region of Rajashtan. (5 hours from Delhi/4 hours from Jaipur).

Toshali National Crafts Mela

Orissa Tourism
If you need to get some Christmas or souvenir shopping done, this festival is the place! It provides a platform for artists, painters, weavers, sculptors and craftsmen from all over India and neighboring countries to display their creativity. The festival has the ambiance of a rural market. Cultural programs and food stalls add to the attraction.
  • When: December 15-27, 2013.
  • Where: Janata Maidan, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.

Rann Utsav

Rann Utsav
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, and excursions to surrounding destinations. On the fringe of the Rann of Kutch white salt desert, the government sets up hundreds of luxury tents to accommodate visitors.
  • When:December 15, 2013-February 15, 2014. It's best on full moon nights (December 17), to see the moon shining on the salt.
  • Where: Begins in Bhuj and goes around to various locations in the Kutch district of Gujarat.

Chennai Music Festival (Madras Music Season)

www.flickr.com user Vironevaeh
This hugely popular and much anticipated month long festival, which is often described as the world's largest cultural event, serves up a plethora of traditional south Indian Carnatic music, dance, and other arts. Over 1,000 performances take place during the festival, along with music related seminars, discussions, and demonstrations.
  • When: Mid December to mid January each year.
  • Where: Music halls all over Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

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