Festivals of Jodhpur
Popular Fairs and Festivals in Jodhpur
International Kite Festival, which is held in Jodhpur, attracts many best kite flyers of India. Even though kite festival is a relatively new event, it achieved popularity quickly. The festival can generate a lot of excitement and so people even from other parts of the world participate in this festival. Kite festival starts on January 14 (Makar Sankranthi day) and lasts three days. Polo ground of Jodhpur is the venue of the fair. It is really wonderful to see that the sky is filled with lots of colourful kites released by locals, school children, Air Force and participants in the competitions. Contestants have to work hard to keep their kites aloft in the sky. They also try to disable the kites of their opponents.
Holi typically comes during the month of March. It is one of the most popular festivals of Rajasthan and it lasts more than two days. A witch effigy is burned on the first evening that is called as Holika. This ritual signifies the beginning of a new year after the end of the winter. Splashing friends and passers with brilliantly coloured water and powders is the main celebration of Holi. It is held on the second day.
Gangaur festival is mainly celebrated by women, as it is dedicated to goddess Parvati. While married women pray for the achievement of material happiness to the goddess, the unmarried girls do offerings with a hope of getting the best possible husbands during this festival. Gangaur festival is generally held following Holi and it lasts for 15 days. Procession through the Jodhpur streets carrying a wooden image of the goddess is the main ritual of Gangaur festival. As an indication of their happy married life, the women adorn their hands and soles of feet with henna or mehandi in the evening. This is known as ‘sohaag’.
Nav Sati is an important festival held at ban Ganga in Jodhpur from late March to early April. Sacrificing the life in the funeral pyre of the husbands is an ancient Indian custom called Sati. The festival Nav Sati is organized in the memory of nine widows who did Sati years before. Thousands of people participate in this festival. They bathe in the Banganga river and then attend the fair. The festival becomes colourful with the dancing and singing of people gathered according to the beat of drums.
Veerpuri Fair is celebrated in the memory of heroes from different parts of Rajasthan. The fair is held at the lovely garden in Mandore on the last Monday of Shravan. The day generally occurs in the late July or early August. The gallery in the Mandore has a hall called the ‘Hall of Heroes’, where the imges of the heroes are placed. Lots of people attend the fair to offer money and sweets to the images of gods like Bhairav, Ganesh and Chamunda.
Nag Panchami Fair
Nag Panchami Fair is celebrated on Bhadtpada Budi Panchami that occurs between August and September. People from throughout the area participate in this fair. The legend behind the fair is that the Serpent King appears in the form of a cobra or naga (mythical serpent). So many snake charmers come with their cobras. People, especially women worship them. You can also see large representations of the mythical serpent are displayed everywhere during this fair.
Marwar festival, which is originally called maand Festival, is the most popular festival of Jodhpur. It is held in the Hindu month of Aswhin during the Sharad Poornima full moon that occurs in late September or early October. The festival lasts for two days. Music and dance are the highlights of Marwar festival. People sing the folk music that stem from the romantic past of Rajasthan rulers. These song and dance performances take us to the days of Rajasthan’s glorious past. The historically significant monuments like the Mehrangarh Fort, Mandore and the Umaid Bhawan Palace are the venues of Marwar festival. You can also see a camel tattoo and polo competition here as the special features of the fair.
Like other places of India, Jodhpur also celebrates Diwali colourfully. This is the celebration of Lord Shiva’s return home after being in exile for 14 years. People also worship the goddess of wealth – Lakshmi during Diwali. It generally occurs in late October or the early November. The entire city is decorated with plenty of oil lamps. The fire-works add more charms to the festival.