Top 8 cultural festivals around the world
1. Udaipur, Rajasthan - Mewar festival
Known to be among the top most visited and beautiful tourist destinations in India, Udaipur is home to uniquely built forts, charming palaces, and pleasant lakes with serene natural surroundings. The city witnesses thousands of tourists every year. It is also famous for its amazing tourist attractions such as Lake Pichola, City Palace, Fateh Sagar Lake, Sajjangarh Palace, Vintage Car Museum, Doodh Talai Musical Garden, Saheliyon Ki Bari, and Bada Mahal.
2. Jaipur, Rajasthan - Teej festival
Popularly known as the Pink city, Jaipur is the largest city of Rajasthan. From beautiful gardens, courtyards, and museums with ancient artefacts to royal palaces, charming forts, and pleasant lakes with picturesque views, the city sums it all. Moving on, the city is not only famous for its tourist attractions but is also known for its rich heritage and culture. Every year, the world famous Teej festival is celebrated in the city on a grand scale. This 3-day festival gives you a glimpse into the cultural dance forms, unique traditions, and the authentic food of the state. As the preparations begin days before the festival, the women also ought to fast on the first day of the festival for the well-being of their husbands and children. The women gather at one place in their beautiful green sarees and perform dance forms like ghoomar and kalbeliya. This festival is celebrated during the monsoon season, which is also the time when the city witnesses a number of tourists who want to explore and know about the customs and culture of the state.
3. Surat, Gujarat – Navratri puja festival
Referred to as the commercial centre for textiles, Surat is famous for silk weaving. Another thing that the city is most popular for is, the Navratri puja festival which is celebrated for nine with immense joy and enthusiasm. Navratri in Gujarat is among the biggest festivals. The people of the city come together and celebrate the festival with dance forms like garbha and dandiya. The women also fast either for all nine days or the first and the last days. They prepare delicious dishes such as khandvi, dhokla, thepla, fafda, and bardoli ki khichdi. The girls dress up in beautiful lehenga cholis and play dandia with their dance partners who also dress in traditional kurta pajama and pagdis. This festival is celebrated every year for nine days before the Dussehra. Navratri festival is among the most popular cultural festivals around the world. Many tourists visit the city during this time so as to witness the culture and unique traditions of the state.
4. Kolkata, West Bengal – Durga puja festival
The capital of West Bengal, Kolkata is known for its art galleries, colonial architecture, and cultural festivals. The most famous and significant festival that is celebrated in the state is Durga puja. It is celebrated for 10 days, however, the main celebrations for the festival begins from the sixth day. From food stalls of authentic Bengali dishes to sindura khel rituals, the festival comes with unique customs and traditions. Also, the women perform a very famous aarti with a burning dhanuchi in their hands. Durga puja is not only celebrated in West Bengal but one can also witness in other states of India. This festival is celebrated at a very large scale. People who love cooking set up their food stalls at puja celebration. In addition, days before the celebration for the festival begins, the sculptures paint the eyes of goddess Durga. This day is known as Chokkhu Daan. It is believed that the Goddess descends to earth at the time of drawing the eyes on the idols. Several tourists wait for whole year to visit the city at this time just to experience the rich culture and traditions of the state.
5. Hong Kong, China - Dongzhi festival
Popular for its tourist attractions, serene surroundings, and culinary dishes, Hong Kong is known as a financial hub, globally. Numerous tourists visit the city to witness the famous tourist attractions such as Victoria Pea, Big Buddha, Wong Tai Sin Temple, Ocean Park, Hong Kong Disneyland, Garden of Stars, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Lamma Island. When it comes to the culture and traditions of the country, Dongzhi festival is one of the most popular and significant festivals which is widely celebrated across the country. It is believed that after the celebration if this festival, there will longer daylight hours that will gradually increase the flow of positive energy around the world. The festival is celebrated during the winter season. It is also known as the ‘Winter Solstice’. The people celebrate this festival by visiting each other’s houses and preparing delicious dishes such as tangyuan, tofu, rice balls, sushi, and dumplings. This can be an ideal time for the travellers to visit the city, explore the streets, and witness the culture & customs that are performed in the festival.
6. Hanoi, Vietnam – Lim festival
Known for its delightful cuisines, vibrant nightlife, silk fabric, and handicraft materials, Hanoi is a city with rich history and heritage. The city features centuries-old architecture. Several tourists visit the city every year to explore its famous tourist attractions such as the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Water Puppet Theatre, the Perfume Pagoda, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Opera House, and Hanoi Old Quarter. The city is also well-known for its cultural festival, namely the Lim festival. It is celebrated in Lim village near Hanoi city where the people sing folk songs and play traditional games like bamboo swings, cocks fighting, tugging war, pot beating, human chess, and blindman’s buff. The festival also features competitions of weaving and wrestling.
7. Kathmandu, Nepal – Buddha Jayanti
Set in a valley surrounded by Himalayan Mountain ranges, Kathmandu is known to be a popular tourist destination. It is well-known for its rich heritage and culture. The town has beautiful natural surroundings and scenic locations. It features some famous tourist attractions such as Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, the Garden of Dreams, Thamel, Kathmandu Darbar Square, Narayanhiti Palace, and Kopan Monastery. The town is also known for celebrating a world-famous festival, Buddha Jayanti festival. The people of the town gather and worship the statue of Buddha. The temples are decorated with lights, flowers, and colourful flags. The people begin their festive day with meditation and recitation of Buddhist scriptures in order to spread positive energy all around.
8. Phuket, Thailand – Phi Ta Khon festival
A very well-known tourist destination across the world, Phuket is famous for its serene beaches and natural surroundings. Every year around thousands of tourists visit the place to spend a tranquil as well as memorable vacation. Whether you are travelling with your friends or family, the destination will leave you with the best of memories to cherish lifelong. Some of the most popular tourist attractions of the island includes Patong beach, Karon viewpoint, Koh Panyee, Phi Phi Island, Kata Noi beach, and Rang hill. Besides, these famous tourist locations, the island is also known for its traditional festival, Phi Ta Khon that combines religious customs and fun-loving activities. This festival is celebrated for three days with immense joy and enthusiasm. The locals of the island wear colourful masks & costumes and parade around the street playing musical instruments and performing dance performances. On the third day of the festival, the people perform Buddhist ceremonies and rituals as they pray for brighter days and positive energy. Many tourists prefer this time to visit the place as they can witness the unique culture and traditions of the country. Some even participate in the festive parade that takes place on the first day of Phi Ta Khon festival.
The above-mentioned cities are the most popular destinations where one can explore and witness the unique culture and traditions of a country while they celebrate their significant festivals. This can be a great time for you and your family to pay a visit to these destinations and experience the grand celebrations.
Written by Vedica Srivastava