Beyond Durga Puja & Navratri, Here Are 6 Other Festivals That You Can Witness in October!

Photo of Beyond Durga Puja & Navratri, Here Are 6 Other Festivals That You Can Witness in October! by Sinchita Sinha

How many of you actually know of the different festivals that are slated for October, except for Navaratri and Durga Puja? I am sure not many would be aware of this, neither was I, until I started researching!

Festivals make everything right somehow – be it a broken heart or even a bad day. The vibe it exudes brings so much joy that it is bound to spread everywhere. And that’s the reason, we should know of the festivals that are celebrated around us -the more, the merrier!

1. Ziro Festival Of Music

Photo of Ziro by Sinchita Sinha

The inception of the Ziro Festival of Music can be traced back to the year 2012, when it took root in the idyllic town of Ziro, nestled within the captivating landscapes of Arunachal Pradesh, India. Embraced by mist-shrouded mountains, this annual musical extravaganza pays homage to the rich cultural legacy of the indigenous Apatani tribe and presents an eclectic array of talented artists hailing from various corners of the country.

Renowned for its unconventional location and tranquil ambiance, the Ziro Festival of Music offers a distinctive fusion of live performances, indigenous cuisine, and an immersive encounter with the unspoiled natural surroundings. Spanning four days, this festival not only nurtures a sense of communal bonding and cultural exchange but also champions sustainable tourism practices and lends support to local artists. Consequently, it stands as an essential pilgrimage for music enthusiasts in search of an indelible voyage through India's diverse cultural tapestry.

Where: Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh

When: 28th of September - 01st October

2. Ramnagar Ramlila

Photo of Varanasi, Varanasi Division by Sinchita Sinha

The Ramnagar Ramlila, a spectacular festival conducted in the historic town of Ramnagar, Uttar Pradesh, is deeply rooted in the ancient epic Ramayana. Spanning centuries of history, this lively occasion resurrects the mythological story of Lord Rama and highlights India's opulent cultural heritage. This celebration carries immense importance as it faithfully reenacts the epic confrontation between righteousness and malevolence, enthralling onlookers with its intricate stage setups, enchanting performances, and a profound spirit of reverence.

Where: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

When: 15th October – 24th October

3. Rajasthan International Folk Festival

Photo of Jodhpur, Jodhpur Division by Sinchita Sinha

The Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) is a yearly cultural extravaganza hosted in the city of Jodhpur, located in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Established in 2007, RIFF pays homage to the abundant folk music and artistic expressions of Rajasthan, shining a spotlight on the dynamic legacy and customs of the area.

RIFF functions as a stage where accomplished folk artists hailing from Rajasthan and across the globe convene to showcase their talents. This event not only encourages cultural interchange and nurtures artistic cooperation but also raises awareness about the endangered artistic traditions of Rajasthan, thus assuming a pivotal role in safeguarding and promoting the cultural heritage of this region.

Where: Jodhpur, Rajasthan

When: 26th October – 30th October

4. Bathukamma

Photo of Telangana, India by Sinchita Sinha

A nine-day floral festival celebrated across Telangana that coincides with Navaratri. Bathukamma, which translates to "Mother Goddess come alive," is celebrated during the Hindu month of Bhadrapada (usually September-October), and represents celebration of life, nature, and the bountiful harvest season. The central theme of Bathukamma revolves around arranging a beautiful and intricate flower stack, known as "Bathukamma," and offering prayers to the goddess with devotion.

Women and girls gather vibrant and seasonal flowers, predominantly marigolds, chrysanthemums, and other colorful blossoms, and stack them in a cone-like shape. This elaborate floral arrangement is a symbol of Mother Goddess Bathukamma herself and represents the essence of womanhood.

Where: Telangana

When: 14th October to 23rd October 2023

5. Marwar Festival

Photo of Jodhpur, Jodhpur Division by Sinchita Sinha

Celebrated in honor of the heroes of Rajasthan - the rulers of the Marwar region. The festival that follows Navratri traces back to the bygone era of princely states when bravery, valor, and chivalry which were the defining characteristics of the Rajputs.

Folk music and dance performances, puppet shows, camel tattoo shows, turban tying competition, horse polo, fireworks, and culinary delight are some of the highlights that can be enjoyed by both the locals and the tourists.

Where: Jodhpur, Rajasthan

When: 22nd to 24th October 2023

6. Tawang Festival

Photo of Tawang by Sinchita Sinha

A festival that reflects the soul of Tawang and its people - harmonious blend of tradition, culture, spirituality, and modernity, the Tawang Festival is a grand showcase of the cultural heritage of the Monpa tribe, who are the predominant inhabitants of the Tawang district. The primary aim of the festival is to promote and preserve the traditional art forms, music, dances, and cuisine of the Monpa community.

The festival kicks off with a colorful and vibrant parade featuring traditional Monpa attire and showcasing the intricate craftsmanship of the region. The parade also includes traditional musical performances and dances that captivate the audience with their grace and symbolism.

One of the highlights of the Tawang Festival is the traditional Monpa dance forms. The "Aji Lhamu" dance, performed by women, and the "Lama and Monpa" dance, performed by men, are significant crowd-pullers. These dances, steeped in tradition and performed with precision, narrate stories from the region's folklore and history.

Artisans and craftsmen from Tawang and surrounding areas display their exquisite craftsmanship during the festival. Intricately woven carpets, handwoven fabrics, and traditional Monpa paintings are exhibited, providing visitors with an opportunity to witness the meticulous craftsmanship that has been passed down through generations.

Traditional Monpa dishes take center stage, offering visitors a taste of authentic flavors. Some popular dishes include Thukpa (a hearty noodle soup), Momos (steamed dumplings), and Zan (a delicious, fermented cheese dish).

Where: Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

When: 26th to 29t October 2023.

Honestly, I am a Durga Puja fan, and currently even Ganesh Chaturthi fan too because of the kind of energy and emotion it evokes among those who are immersed in the vibe of the festival. But we need a reason to celebrate, and October gave us just that! With 6 new festivals that are celebrated in October, we have 6 more reasons to be ecstatic about.

So, why wait? Plan your trip and witness the energy of each of these festivals firsthand!

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