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    Festivals in Gujarat

    When mustached men take to the dhol, and ghagra-clad women dance to garba tunes like no one’s watching, that’s when you know it’s the festive season in Gujarat. Celebration of most famous festivals in Gujarat will make you groove while flaunting the state’s age-old traditions and vivid culture. From dahi handi breaking competitions to decorating the livestock, all festivals of Gujarat have something special about them.

    Calendar For Festival In Gujarat 2019

    Month Festival Date (2019) Day
    January International Kite Festival (Uttarayan) 6th – 13th January Sunday
    January Modhera Dance Festival 19th – 21 January Saturday
    February Bhavnath Mahadev Fair coincides with Mahashivratri NA
    March Kavant Fair March 2019 NA
    April Chitra Vichitra Mela 11th April Thursday
    July Rath Yatra 4 July Thursday
    August Janmashtami 24 August Saturday
    August Bhadrapurnima Fair August or September NA
    September Navratri Strarts on 29th September Sunday
    September Madhavrai Fair 13th – 15th September Friday
    September Tarnetar Fair 1st – 4th September Sunday
    September Ravechi Mela September, 2019 NA
    October Shamlaji Melo 31st October Thursday
    November Vautha Mela 4th – 5th November Monday
    November Rann Utsav Starts on 1st November Friday

    15 Popular Festival In Gujarat

    If you’re planning a holiday here, you must time it smartly. Because the way Gujaratis celebrate life leaves you pepped and panting at the same time!

    1. Navratri

    People doing garba during Navratri festival in Gujarat

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    Out of all the festival of gujarat, Navratri is one of the most popular. We can’t deny we think of Dandiya, Garba and Falguni Pathak when we think of Gujarat Navratri festival! This is among the most vibrant festivals in Gujarat and other parts of India. During this 10-day celebration, locals perform a Durga pooja, and enjoy with music, Garba, and dandiya.

    Where: Navratri is a traditional festival of Gujarat. You will come across the celebration in every nook and corner of the state.

    What to expect: A lively celebration that exhibits the colorful culture of Gujarat through acoustic music and dance. This is your chance to dress in ethnic Gujarati costume. Ready to don that typical Ghagro na choli?

    When is Navratri celebrated: This festival falls in the month of October every year

    Navratri 2019 dates: 29th September – 7th October 2019

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    2. Rann Utsav

    A cultural performance on a full moon night of Rann Utsav

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    This is among the main festivals in Gujarat. Rhythmic strums of ravanahatha, Gujarati men with legendary mustaches and pagris, and the sparkling white sand – the desert of Rann dons a festive avatar right when autumn is at its peak.

    Gujarat’s fascinating heritage takes the forefront at the Kutch festival of Gujarat. It is that much-awaited time of the year when people, regardless of where they live, come over for an extravagant experience of the most popular festival of Gujarat.

    Where: The Rann of Kutch

    What to expect: Cultural performances, best of Gujarati handicraft & handloom, a stay in the tent city, local sightseeing tours, safari in Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary and bird watching

    When is Rann Utsav celebrated: The festival takes place between November and February annually

    Rann Utsav 2019 dates: 1st November 2019 – 20th February 2020

    Suggested Read: All You Need To Know About The Desert Fest

    3. Shamlaji Melo

    Facade of Shamlaji Temple

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    Shamlaji Melo, or Kartik Purnima Fair takes place in the premises of immaculately crafted Shamlaji Temple and lasts for three weeks. This is the time when large groups of devotees arrive on foot or camel carts, sing songs for the deity and bathe in Meshwo River beside the temple.

    The fair, along with being a fun place, also happens to be a revered place for trading silverware, cloth and ornaments.

    Where: Shamlaji Temple

    What to expect: A gathering of devotees, a cultural and traditional experience, and a nice collection of ornaments in local stalls

    When is Shamlaji Melo celebrated: The fair is organized around November, with Kartik Purnima being the most important day

    Shamlaji Melo 2019 dates: 31st October – 4th November

    Suggested Read: 10 Festivals In Mauritius To Experience Its Vibrant Culture And Heritage

    4. Vautha Mela

    Local old men during Vautha Mela

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    Vautha Mela is an exciting animal trade festival of Gujarat. Weird as it may sound, but this is where you’ll watch many camels and donkeys decked up with ornaments and paints. This isn’t merely a fair, people even consider this event more pious than Diwali, as the location happens to be where seven holy rivers converge.

    Many families leave their house for few days to live in tents near the fair venue. Everyday a different sweet dish is made; khichu is particularly popular. The river is lit by floating diyas in the evening and one can enjoy shopping in local stalls all through the mela.

    Where: Vautha, Gujarat

    What to expect: Beautifully decorated animals, stalls selling everything from handicrafts to machineries, Hindu traditions being performed on river bank, tents and delicious local cuisines

    When is Vautha Mela celebrated: This five-day festival falls on the full moon night of Kartik month of Hindu calendar (November)

    Vautha Mela 2019 dates: 4th-5th November

    Must Read: 10 Global Festivals You’d Never Want To Attend

    5. International Kite Festival (Uttarayan)

    Colorful kites soaring high in International Kite Festival in Gujarat

    As colorful kites soar to the sky, festivities on ground are an all time high. The enthusiasm of the International Kite Festival in Gujarat envelops all nooks of the state – from cobbled and narrow streets to the sky.

    The festival marks the beginning of harvest season and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and zeal. People stock up their houses with kites and charkharis days before the festival. And not just Gujaratis or Indians, people fly from far-off regions like Canada and USA to have their share of fun in one of the most colorful festivals in Gujarat.

    Where: Though the main event is celebrated in Ahmedabad, but the festival is celebrated across Gujarat

    What to expect: Kite flying competition between locals and even international participants, numerous colorful kites in different shapes and sizes (lighted kites, sports kites, hand-painted kites, 500 kites in a string), delicious Gujarati food items like Undhiyu

    When is International Kite Festival Celebrated: The event takes place on 14th January every year (Makar Sankranti)

    Kite Festival in Gujarat 2019 dates: 6th-13th January

    Must Read: 13 Festivals In January In India That Put A Celebratory Start To New Year 2019

    6. Modhera Dance Festival

     A classical dancer performing in Modhera Dance Festival of Gujarat

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    Also known as Uttarardh Mahotsavis, this three-day festival is a great excuse to experience the essence of classical Indian dance and music. With the exquisite backdrop of Sun Temple in Modhera transports you to the times of Solanki empire.

    Modhera Dance Festival is organized by Tourism Corporation of Gujarat. The temple is an epitome of brilliant architecture and elevates the whole grandeur of the celebration.

    Where: Modhera Sun Temple

    What to expect: Classical dance and music performances by professionals, a peep into the history of the vicinity and a lovely setting with colorful lights

    When is Modhera Dance Festival Celebrated: January third week every year

    Modhera Dance Festival 2019 dates: 19th January to 21 January

    7. Bhavnath Mahadev Fair

    A glimpse of Bhavnath Fair

    Bhavnath Mahadev Fair is a five-day affair dedicated to Lord Shiva, and it is believed he himself visit the place during this time. The sages riding on elephants blow shells and lead processions, marking the commencement of this fair. Dance, music, prayers and offerings are performed during this enlivening festival. People before coming to the shrine do parikrama around the Girnar Hill.

    Where: Bhavnath temple, Junagadh

    What to expect: Processions, prayers, dance, music, martial arts, stalls selling idols, sweets and rosaries

    When is Bhavnath Mahadev Fair celebrated: The fair is organized in February or March, during Maha Shivratri

    Bhavnath Mahadev Fair 2019 dates: coincides with Mahashivratri

    Suggested Read: 10 Incomparable Places to Visit in Gujarat

    8. Rath Yatra

    Rath Yatra celebration in Gujarat

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    Rath Yatra is one of the most awaited festivals in Gujarat and other parts of India, and it takes place majorly in four places including Jagannath in Ahmedabad (Gujarat). This sacred annual celebration’s main highlight is the procession that is led by an ornate chariot.

    The procession begins prior the Pahind Vidhi (cleaning the route for chariot), performed by the CM of Gujarat. The chariot and procession then make their way through different corners of the city.

    Where: Jagannath Temple, Ahmedabad

    What to expect: A traditional and cultural extravaganza in which exciting parade and prayers take place

    When is Rath Yatra Celebrated: The festival is celebrated in the month of June or July every year

    Rath Yatra 2019 dates: 4 July 2019

    9. Janmashtami

    Rath Yatra celebration in Gujarat

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    Another one of  most-awaited festivals celebrated in Gujarat, Lord Krishna’s birthday is celebrated with unmatchable zeal and devotion in Dwarka, Gujarat. People celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna at midnight, placing an idol in the cradle and worshipping him. A thread tied with the cradle is gently pulled to make it swing.

    Lord Krishna is offered his favorite makkhan (butter) and mishri (rock sugar). Dahi handi breaking is also an exciting activity that takes place as a part of the celebration.

    Where: Dwarka, along with many places in the state

    What to expect: Dahi handi breaking, Krishna birth at midnight, music and dance, Krishna mantra chanting and prayers

    When is Janmashtami celebrated: Janmashtami is celebrated in the month of August

    Janmashtami 2019 dates: 24 August 2019

    10. Bhadra Purnima Fair

    Koteshwar Temple, Near Ambaji, Gujarat.

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    One of the biggest festivals of Gujarat, Bhadra Purnima Fair spans for three days and is dedicated to Goddess Ambaji, in Ambaji Temple. As there is no idol in this temple, thus the representation of the deity is done through a triangular object called Vishwa Yantra.

    During the fair, people gather to worship the goddess and read Saptshati (seven hundred prayer verses) together. As the evening knocks the door everyone have a gala time by performing garba and Bhavai (folk dance).

    Where: Ambaji Temple, Banaskantha (Gujarat)

    What to expect: Offering, prayers, stalls selling knick and knacks, folk dance and music performances

    When is Bhadra Purnima Fair celebrated: This festival is celebrated on the full moon day of August or September

    11. Madhavrai Fair
    A festival in Gujarat

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    Madhavrai Fair takes place in a small village Madhavpur. Located on the shore of Porbandar, it is a significant place in Gujarat. The Madhavrai Fair is conducted to celebrate the wedding of Lord Krishna and Devi Rukmini. It takes place in the Chaitra month of Hindu Calendar which falls in the months of March or April.

    Where: Madhavpur Village
    What to expect: A grand cultural fair
    When is Madhavrai Fair celebrated: March or April, every year
    Madhavrai Fair 2019 dates: 13th – 15th September 2019

    12. Tarnetar Fair
    A festival in Gujarat

    Image Source

    Tarnetar Fair is a 3-day long festive fair hosted in the Village of Tarnetar. The celebrations are inspired by the grand swayamvar of Draupadi, one of the most significant female characters from Sanskrit epic, Mahabharata. The fair is like a massive wedding feast for locals, and is attended by more than 1 lakh people from across India.

    Where: Tarnetar Village
    What to expect: Over 300 stalls
    When is Tarnetar Fair celebrated: End of August to early September
    Tarnetar Fair 2019 dates: 1st to 4th September 2019

    13. Chitra Vichitra Mela
    A festival in Gujarat

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    Chitra Vichitra Mela is a tribal fair which is held on the new moon eve. During the celebrations of this festival, local woman gather by the river and spend the whole night mourning for their dead relatives. People where traditional attires on this day along with saffron coloured turban. Folk songs are sung in groups, throughout the celebrations.

    Where: Sabarkantha District
    What to expect: Colourful fair, drum beats
    When is Chitra Vichitra Mela celebrated: Eve of new moon
    Chitra Vichitra Mela 2019 dates: 11th April, 2019

    14. Ravechi Fair
    A festival in Gujarat

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    Ravechi Mela is an annual fair held in the white desert of Kutch in Gujarat. During this festival, a large number of Hindu pilgrims gather in this region. This popular traditional festival involves singing of folk songs and performances of traditional dance forms. Showcasing the local lifestyle of Gujarat, various art workshops and exhibitions are held.

    Where: Kutch
    What to expect: Folk dances and song performances
    When is Ravechi Fair celebrated: September
    Ravechi Fair 2019 dates: September, 2019

    15. Kavant Fair
    A festival in Gujarat

    Image Source

    Kavan Fair is harvest festival mainly celebrated in the tribal regions of Gujarat. It showcases various traditional art forms of Gujarat including music and dance.A striking highlight of this whole celebration is that the performers colour their bodies in different vibrant shades and designs. The colours are made of rice and ash.

    Where: Gujarat’s Tribal regions
    What to expect: Human pyramid games
    When is Kavant Fair celebrated: After the Holi eve
    Kavant Fair 2019 dates: March 2019

    Further Read: 15 Fascinating Tourist Places In Ahmedabad

    Regardless of which Gujarat festival 2019 you choose to attend, you can soak in the Gujju vibes as this state has beautifully managed to cling on to its past while pacing up with the modern world. Hope this list of festivals in Gujarat came out to be helpful to you! Keep this list handy when planning your 2019 vacation in Gujarat.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Festivals In Gujarat

    Q. Which festival is most famous in Gujarat?

    A. Navratri Festival and Kutch Festival are the two most famous festivals in Gujarat.

    Q. How many fairs are there in Gujarat?

    A. There are several fairs celebrated throughout Gujarat. Some of the most popular fairs in the state include Kartik Purnima Fair, Bhavnath Mahadev Fair, Bhavnath Mahadev Fair, Bhadra Purnima Fair, and many more.

    Q. What is the famous dress of Gujarat?

    A. Kediyu or kurta above dhoti or chorna are the most popular dresses Gujarat.

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    Category: Gujarat

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