Top Festivals and Events to Experience in India this April!

Photo of Top Festivals and Events to Experience in India this April! by Namrata Das Adhikary

As the sun starts playing hide and seek with the clouds and the birds flutter around with renewed vigour, it can only mean one thing - April is here! The month of new beginnings, blooming flowers, and chirping birds, April brings a lively and energetic vibe to the world. And if you thought spring break was the only way to celebrate this season, think again! India, with its rich and vibrant culture, has a plethora of festive events lined up for you to experience the true essence of spring.

So here's an exhaustive list of festivals for you to join in the fun and soak in the infectious celebratory spirit of India!

1. Aoling Festival

Date: 2nd to 12th April - 2024

Location: Nagaland

Experience the vibrant energy of Nagaland as it comes alive during the Aoling Festival from 2nd to 12th April 2024. Join the Konyak tribe in their celebration of spring and witness ancient rituals performed to pray for a bountiful harvest. Immerse yourself in the culture by indulging in traditional dance and music performances, feasting on delicious local cuisine, and participating in the rituals alongside the friendly locals. A journey to Nagaland during this festival will leave you with unforgettable memories and a deeper understanding of the rich heritage of the Konyak tribe.

2. Mopin Festival, Arunachal Pradesh

Date: 5th Apr, 2024

Location: Arunachal Pradesh

Step into the mystical world of the Along-Basar-Bame community as they celebrate the Mopin Festival on 5th April 2024. This harvest festival is not only a way to thank the gods for a successful harvest, but also a way to ward off evil spirits. Watch as skilled local women mesmerise you with their graceful "popir dance" and savour the traditional rice wine (apong) while taking in the picturesque beauty of Arunachal Pradesh. This festival is not just a cultural extravaganza, but also a chance to witness the close-knit community spirit of the local tribes.

3. Mahavir Jayanti

Date: 21st April, 2024

Location: Uttar Pradesh, India

This important festival for the Jain community celebrates the birth of Mahavira, the last Tirthankara. Join the devotees as they perform the abhisheka (ceremonial bath) of the statues of Mahavira, offer prayers and meditate in the temples. This is also a day for charitable acts in the name of Mahavir, making it a truly meaningful and soulful experience.

4. Tulip Festival, Srinagar

Date: 19th March - 30th Apr, 2024

Location: Srinagar

Get enchanted by nature's own masterpiece at the Tulip Festival in Srinagar from 19th March to 30th April 2024. Spread over 5 hectares and overlooking the pristine Dal Lake, the festival boasts a stunning array of colourful tulips in all shades and varieties. This visual treat is only enhanced by the fragrant aroma of the blooms, making it a feast for all your senses. Come and bask in the glory of this heavenly paradise that challenges even the famed tulip fields of Amsterdam.

5. Sankat Mochan Music Festival, Varanasi

Date: 12th Apr to 17th April, 2024

Location: Varanasi

The Sankat Mochan Music Festival draws people from all walks of life to come together and revel in the divine music and dance performances held throughout the day. The entire city comes alive with the energy of the celebrations and a visit to the famous temples only adds to the surreal experience. Don't miss out on the lively rituals, aartis, and the endearing sight of monkeys stealing fruits during this carnival of Lord Hanuman.

6. Baisakhi Mela, Punjab

Date: 13th Apr, 2024

Location: Amritsar

This harvest festival not only marks the beginning of Sikh religion, but also brings out the true spirit of Punjabis in all its glory. From folk music to energetic Bhangra performances, the cultural extravaganza is sure to leave you enthralled. Indulge in a variety of mouth-watering cuisines and watch the grand temple car festival in Kumbakonam district – this festival is a true feast for the senses.

7. Bihu

Date: 14th - 20th Apr, 2024

Location: Assam

Celebrated for 7 days, this festival brings together folk music, traditional dance, and lively merriment to welcome the season of spring. Watch the vibrant dance performances and indulge in the festive feasts as you immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Assam.

8. Tamil Puthandu - Tamil New Year

Date: 14th Apr, 2024

Location: Tamil Nadu

Wake up to a beautiful tradition of "kanni" where families place a tray filled with auspicious items in front of a mirror, symbolising a prosperous new year. Witness the grand temple car festival in Madurai, where the city comes alive with colourful stalls, delicious food, and traditional games. Indulge in the iconic delicacy of "maanga pachadi" and join in the cultural celebrations that make Tamil Puthandu a joyous occasion for all.

9. Naba Barsha

Date: 14th Apr, 2024

Location: West Bengal

Experience the unique celebrations and traditions of each community in West Bengal, as they come together to mark the beginning of a new year. Admire the beautiful colour art on doorways, witness the captivating rituals and immerse yourself in the local culture. This festival is a celebration of unity and diversity, making it a must-visit for anyone looking for an authentic and unforgettable experience.

10. Vishu

Date: 14th Apr, 2024

Location: Kerala

Every year on 14th April, Kerala transforms into a vibrant, floral paradise as the much-awaited festival of Vishu is celebrated. This festival marks the regional New Year for the people of Kerala. The festivities begin with the creation of vibrant, intricate rangolis made out of colourful flowers, adorning the doorsteps of homes. Many rituals and cultural performances take place in temples and homes, including a grand feast with 13 to 20 mouth-watering dishes. Don't be surprised to find these feasts being offered in hotels as well. Dance, music, and other traditional performances can be enjoyed in various major destinations of Kerala during Vishu.

11. Kadammanitta Padayani, Kerala

Date: 14th to 23rd April 2024

Location: Kerala

While the north of India revels in its loud and dramatic festivals, the south takes pride in its more subdued, yet equally remarkable celebrations. One such festival is Kadammanitta Padayani, held annually by the locals of Kerala. The festival originated from the heart of Travancore and features a unique dance form called Padayani. Expect a spellbinding fusion of melodious folklore music and heavy drumming, accompanied by performers donning masks depicting Hindu mythical figures like Kalan (God of Death), Yakshi (fairy), Pakshi (birds) and Bhairavi (Kali).

12. Kaliyoottu Mahotsavam

Date: 1st to 10th April 2024

Location: Vellayani Devi Temple, Trivandrum

Credit: Wikipedia

Photo of Vellayani Devi Temple Bus Stop, Kalliyoor by Namrata Das Adhikary

Once every three years, the Vellayani Devi Temple in Trivandrum comes alive with an incredible festival called Kaliyoottu Mahotsavam. The festival spans over 50 to 60 days and is dedicated to the ritualistic art form of Kaliyootu. The celebrations include dance and music performances by local artists, but the highlight of the festival is the Paranett ceremony held on the last day. This involves a grand procession of the deity, accompanied by music, dance, and a shower of flowers, through the streets. Participating in this procession is considered a spiritual experience. Be sure to explore the bustling fairs outside the temple, offering a variety of souvenirs.

13. Chithirai Festival

Date: 14th April 2024

Location: Madurai

Madurai, one of the oldest cities in India, comes alive during the Chithirai Festival held on 14th April. The festival is celebrated in two phases - the coronation of Goddess Meenakshi Amman and her celestial wedding with Lord Sundareswara, and the Alagar festival in Alagar Koyil. The festivities kick off with the hoisting of the flag at the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple and continue for several days. The highlight of the festival is the majestic car procession, where the temple chariot is pulled through the streets amidst music, dance, and flower decorations. The temple also hosts various cultural performances, spiritual lectures, and dramas during this time.

14. 14th Dabasaheb Phalke Film Festival

Date: 30th April 2024

Location: Delhi

This festival is held in Delhi every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dhundiraj Govind Saheb Phalke, the father of Indian Cinema. It serves as a platform for both established and budding artists to showcase their work, and is attended by notable film personalities and critics. From films to music videos, animations, and visual displays, this festival has it all.

15. Jodhpur Flamenco and Gypsy Festival

Date: 3rd April 2024

Location: Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Held for three days at the majestic Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, this festival celebrates the unique bond between the two countries. Get ready to groove to the beats of exhilarating drum solos and electrifying group dances, as local and international performers come together to showcase their talents.

16. Kollam Pooram

Date:15th April 2024

Location: Kollam

Kollam Pooram is a week-long festival held at the Sri Krishnaswamy Temple of Asramam Maidan, Kollam. The festival is known for its grand elephant show, traditional music performances, and rituals. However, the highlight of the festival is the procession, where the temple deity is carried on a magnificent palanquin, accompanied by beautifully decorated elephants, dancers, and musicians. The procession follows a specific route, passing by various temples, before ending with a spectacular display of fireworks. Don't miss out on the bustling fairs outside the temple, offering a variety of souvenirs and religious items.

17. Attuvela Mahotsavam, Kerala

Date: 9th April 2024

Location: Kerala

Prepare to be mesmerised by a one-of-a-kind water carnival at the Attuvela Mahotsavam festival in Kerala. This spectacular event pays tribute to a legend that tells the story of the Goddess of Kodungalloor and her sister being welcomed into the state. The festival lights up with the procession of beautifully decorated models of temples, floating across the water bodies, accompanied by the soulful temple music that plays inside each one. As the replicas glimmer against the dusk sky, it creates a magical and spiritual atmosphere, cherished by the people of Kerala. Don't miss out on this awe-inspiring display of art and culture.

When it comes to festivals and celebrations, nobody does it quite like India. Know of any festival that we might have missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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