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    festivals in january in india

    Ours is a country that celebrates every little moment with full zeal. If anyone wishes to witness the rich diversity or the brimming enthusiasm, the festivals in January in India offer the perfect show. Bringing the folk music, dance, and traditions in the spotlight, these create an alluring opportunity for witnessing the vibrant beauty of the country at its best.

    So, if you wish to kick-start your year on a celebratory note, make sure you attend all of these 15 festivals at least once in your life!

    Religious & National Festivals In January

    1. Lohri

    Known by different names, this is one the most celebrated festivals in January in India. It signifies the end of the cold winter and arrival of warmer days along with the onset of harvest season. Bonfires, music, and good food are the major highlights of this festivity.

    women celebrating lohri in india

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    When: 13th January, 2018
    Where: All of North India
    What’s Special: People wear new clothes, and welcome the warmer days by lighting up the bonfire and taking rounds around it. Popcorn, gajak, and revdi are savoured with the loved ones over the Dhol beats.


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    2. Republic Day

    One of the major national festivals of India, Republic Day is celebrated every year to acknowledge the Constitution of India, which was founded in 1950. The spectacular Republic Day parade that marches down to the central Rajpath avenue, and features the three divisions of the armed forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) is a sight worth witnessing.

    republic day parade

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    Suggested Read: Top 10 Summer Festivals In India You Shouldn’t Miss Out On!

    When: 26th January every year
    Where: New Delhi
    What’s Special: The Republic Day parade, traditional dance troupes, and helicopters flying in the sky are the main attractions of the festival.

    3. Vasant Panchami

    This festival is one of the best ways of welcoming the spring season in North India. From worshipping Goddess Saraswati to wearing colorful clothes like a shade of bright yellow, everything about Vasant Panchami is worth witnessing.

    basant panchami in punjab

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    When: 22nd January, 2018
    Where: Punjab
    What’s Special: On the fifth day of spring, everyone in Punjab celebrates the day as the festival of kites, wears yellow, and cooks delicious meethe chawal and boondi laddoo at home.

    4. Pongal

    Celebrated down south, Pongal is one of the major festivals of January in India, which is equivalent to Thanksgiving. Making rangolis (kolam), cooking the Pongal dish, which is made out of boiled milk and rice, family get together, and dance are some of the reasons why you must become a part of this festive occasion.

    pongal

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    Suggested Read: 13 Most Spectacular Festivals In March In India

    When: 13th to 16th January, 2018
    Where: Tamil Nadu
    What’s Special: From decorating houses and making colorful kolams in the streets to bull and bird fighting like Jallikattu in Madurai, everything about Pongal is unique and special.

    Cultural Festivals In January

    5. Rann Utsav

    If there is one thing that multiplies the beauty of Rann of Kutch, it is this desert festival. It reflects the culture and heritage of the region at its best through folk dances, music, adventure sports, handicrafts, and food stalls, which makes it worth experiencing at first hand. While you’re here, you can enjoy both luxury and comfort by staying in the tents set up on the fringe for tourists.

    rann utsav in gujarat

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    When: 1st January to 18th February, 2018
    Where: Great Rann of Kutch salt desert, Dhordo, Gujarat
    What’s Special: During the celebration, one gets to witness the beauty of the white Rann at its best and also savour the delectable local cuisines.

    6. Jaipur Literature Festival

    If you’re a lover of literature, this popular annual festival is meant just for you. It not only celebrates the work of great writers, but also them. Also called as JLF or Jaipur Lit Fest, it is one of the top festivals in January in India, which also happens to be an important literature event in Asia.

    jaipur lit fest

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    Suggested Read: 10 Must-Attend Music Festivals In Hill Stations Of India

    When: 24th to 29th January, 2018
    Where: Diggi Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan
    What’s Special: It offers the perfect opportunity to meet the renowned national and international authors, and listen to them, and all for free.

    7. Jaisalmer Desert Festival

    This is another exquisite desert festival in Rajasthan that fills the city with magic. While the fancily dressed locals come forward and take part in the turban tying competition and the moustache competition, there are camel races, polo matches, acrobats, puppeteers, and jugglers all around that keep the tourists amused.

    jaisalmer desert festival

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    When: January 29-31, 2018.
    Where: Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
    What’s Special: With a mesmerizing camel parade and fun competitions, this festival will let you experience the golden city at its best.


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    8. International Kite Festival

    For marking the celebration of Makar Sankranti, this festival in January welcomes innumerable people from different states and countries. A million brightly colored kites can be seen all over the sky from the moment the sun rises and till it sets. Even if you do not wish to take part in the fun competitions, make sure you still attend this festival as it is a joy in itself.

    international kite festival

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    Suggested Read: 10 Uncommon & Unusual Festivals In India

    When: 7th to 14th January, 2018
    Where: Sabarmati River Front, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and in Jaipur, Rajasthan on 14th January
    What’s Special: Kite flying, aerial acrobats, kite painting and making competitions that multiple the zeal and fun aura of the occasion.

    9. Bikaner Camel Festival

    One of the most famous festivals in January in India, this fair celebrates and salutes the animal without whom the desert wouldn’t have been what it is today. From decorating innumerable camels in their finest attire to fun activities like camel beauty pageants, camel races, and camel dancing, there’s a lot to keep you entertained here.

    bikaner camel fair

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    When: 13th to 14th January, 2018
    Where: Bikaner, Rajasthan
    What’s Special: Of all the amazing competitions and performances, the camel dance is the major highlight of this festival.

    10. Chennai Music Festival

    The Chennai Music Festival is a popular and a month long festival, which is also described as the world’s largest cultural event since it stages and highlights the traditional South Indian Carnatic music, dance, and other arts. During the whole month, more than 1,000 performances take place along with music related seminars, discussions, and demonstrations.

    chennai music festival

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    When: Mid December to mid January every year
    Where: Music halls all over Chennai, Tamil Nadu
    What’s Special: This festival offers a stage to innumerable artists and appreciate the traditional music and dance at its best.

    11. The Nagaur Fair

    Located some 150 kilometers from Jodhpur, the rural town of Nagaur in Rajasthan comes to life with this festival. Being India’s second largest cattle fair, it is the trading ground of around 70,000 bullocks, camels, and horses, and offers great entertainment through folk dances, tug of war competitions, camel races, and more.

    nagaur fair

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    Suggested Read: 15 Popular Harvest Festivals Of India

    When: 23rd to 25th January, 2018
    Where: Nagaur, Rajasthan
    What’s Special: Apart from the animal trading and competitions, you can shop your heart out at the traditional handicrafts stalls.

    12. Modhera Dance Festival

    An annual classical dance festival, Modhera is a must-attend for everyone. The ancient 11th century Sun Temple, which is dedicated to the Sun God acts as a breathtaking backdrop for the occasion. Innumerable artists come forward from various states in the country, and make it a memorable evening for everyone.

    modhera dance festival

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    When: 19th to 21st January, 2018
    Where: Modhera, Gujarat
    What’s Special: The whole temple is illuminated and acts a gorgeous backdrop for the performances that take place throughout the evening.

    13. Kenduli Mela

    Situated around 30 kilometers from Shantiniketan in West Bengal, this fair is amongst the many January festivals in India that one must attend once is his or her life. It offers a captivating dose of Bengal’s folk music where the wandering Baul musicians gather to perform.

    kenduli mela

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    When: 14th to 16th January, 2018
    Where: Kenduli village, West Bengal
    What’s Special: Dressed in saffron robes, the Baul musicians playing the distinctive instrument – Ektara, and singing about life’s philosophy is very heartwarming.

    Other Festivals In January

    14. National Street Food Festival

    The National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) holds an annual food festival, where various types street food from all over India can be tried and relished. While this festival usually takes place in November or December, this time it is happening in January.

    national street food festival delhi

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    Suggested Read: 13 Must-Attend Events And Festivals In December In India: Block Your Dates & Head Out

    When: 12th to 15th January, 2018
    Where: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi
    What’s Special: From delectable desserts to lip-smacking street food, this festival is a paradise for every street food lover.

    15. International Yoga Festival

    Keeping the charm of Yoga alive, this festival is one of the major festivals in January that you must attend. With over 500 delegates from across the country and the world, it showcases various live shows, talks, yogic dance and music performances, and more that help in thriving the art.

    international yoga festival pondicherry

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    When: 4th to 7th January every year
    Where: Subalakshmi Mahal, Pondicherry
    What’s Special: Yogic food, Yoga therapy, and meditation along with other discussions and talks is the major highlight of this festival.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Festivals In January In India

    Q. Which are the top Indian festivals?

    A. Lohri, Republic Day, Vaisakhi, Holi, Diwali, Eid-Al-Fitr, Ganesh Chaturthi, and Dussehra are the top festivals celebrated in India.

    Q. Which are the most famous festivals in South India?

    A. Onam, Pongal, Mysore Dussehra, Nehru Trophy Boat Race, and Hampi Festival are some of the most famous festivals in South India.

    Q. Which are the major cultural festivals in January in India?

    A. Jaipur Literature Festival, Modhera Dance Festival, Jaisalmer Desert Festival, Bikaner Camel Fair, Rann Utsav, Swathi Sangeetholsavam, Mamallapuram Dance Festival, Kanathoor Nalvar Bhoothasthanam, and Mukteshwar Dance Festival are the major festivals that take place every January in India.

    There is no doubt that all of these top festivals put a celebratory start to the year, and even bring the diverse cultures together. So, what are you waiting for? Start packing and planning!


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    Category: Festival, India