All of us would agree on the point that festivals are the lifeline of Indian culture. They define, shape up and delineate Indian traditions, ways of living and a collective wish to disseminate love, affection and bonding that otherwise gets marginalized in our present day hectic lives. They connect us to past and make us retain our faith in celebrating what is quintessentially ours. For most of us, they might be the signifiers of a certain ancient or historic tradition, however, their evolution is symbolic of the ways human society is changing and co-opting newer ideas into its folds of thinking. Come December and most of India gets cozy under the warm blankets, however, we still have some festivals that keep us genial and keep our spirits high in the face of chilly winters. So here is a list of some of the Festivals in India in December for the year 2016 that would mark the end of the year with a warm note and welcome the new year with a bang!
1. Sunburn Festival - Asia's Largest Music Festival in December
image source: youtube
When: 27th to 30th December, 2016
A perfect ensemble of electronic music, a hippie backdrop of Goa and an irrepressible energy, the Sunburn Festival is the ultimate music festival in India that inspires those who are bitten with the passion to listen great contemporary music. Just imagine yourself standing on the shore of the vast Vagator Beach as the flash lights unfurl that musical vibe! Yes, that is Sunburn Festival for you. It is the largest Music Festival of Asia that draws hordes of music lovers from all over the world and is one of the biggest festivals in India in December. Bewitching you with its combination of music, dance, entertainment, food, and shopping, this festival takes place at multiple stages where artists perform daily. However, there is something more to it. You will also have enough opportunities to pump up your adrenaline with a range of other activities such as bungee jumping, camping, volleyball and zorbing to keep your spirits high. So if you are in Goa in december attending this festival is the one of the first things to do in Goa.
2. Hornbill Festival - Pride of the North East India
image source: outlooktraveller
When: Between 1st to 10th December’2016
Myths and legends form an intrinsic part of Naga tribal culture. The Hornbill Festival is named after the colourful Hornbill bird that recurs in Naga folklore. The Hornbill festival is the biggest celebration of the native tribes of Nagaland that attempts to create inter-tribal relations and promote the cultural heritage of the state. Experience a plethora of cultural food, dance, music and handicrafts as you visit this festival and get immersed in it. The central attraction is the Hornbill National Rock Concert after sundown where people compete as well as enjoy. Due to an abundance of Naga cuisine, this festival can easily be termed as one of the biggest food festivals of the state.
3. Winter Festival - Most Popular Festival of Rajasthan in December
image source: abutimes
Where: Mount Abu
When: 29th to Dec 30th, 2016
Mount Abu, the popular hill station of Rajasthan is famous for its scenic beauty and tall mountains, however, it is also well known for holding one of the biggest winter festivals in India. True to the quintessential culture of Rajasthan which believes in great hospitality, this festival welcomes tourists as well as locals with full vigor and warm heartedness. This is one of the biggest national festivals of India in winter season and is defined with a procession with highlights of folk and dance performances by troupes from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and nearby states. It revels in the colorful culture of Rajasthan and promises great zeal to whosoever visits it.
Also attend these other festivals in Rajasthan
4. Rann Utsav - Celebrate the White Sand Desert of India
image source: mid-day
Where: Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
When: 1st Nov - 20th Feb 2017
Although Rann Utsav might not be specific to December month only, it is still an inevitable entry into this list due to its popularity and vibrancy. Against the pristine backdrop of white desert of Kutch, this festival offers a kaleidoscope of colors, beautiful fabrics and Gujrati culture. With a plethora of activities such as Golf Cart, ATV Ride, Camel Cart Excursion, Paramotoring, Meditaiton, Yoga and tasting Gujarati Cuisine, this festival in India in December is enough to introduce the nation’s culture before the world. If you want to experience something surreal, visit the festival around the time of full moon and experience an ivory landscape lying in front of you.
5. Galden Namchot - Ladakh’s way of welcoming the New Year
image source: pixabay
When: December 23rd
Galden Namchot is one of the famous festivals in India that takes place in winter season. This festival commemorates the birthday and the Buddhahood of the Tibetan saint-scholar, Tsongkhapa who was the founder of the Gelukpa School that believed in and preached Tibetan Buddhism during the 14th century. Today, this Indian festival in December is celebrated with lighting up of beautiful monasteries and residential buildings and marks the beginning of New Year celebrations in Ladakh that go on till the Dosmoche festival. As you visit this festival, don’t forget to gorge on vegetable and chicken noodle soup or thupkas!
6. Perumthitta Tharavad Kottamkuzhy - One of the Oldest Ritual Festivals of Kerala
image source: commons.wikimedia
When: 6th to 15th December, 2016
One of the oldest Hindu festivals in December in India, Perumthitta Tharavad Kottamkuzhy is a pivotal one amongst the Theyyam festivals found in Kerala. This festival is celebrated with traditional practice of worship known as Theyyam and here you will witness its different forms such as Elayoor Theyyam, Chamundi Theyyam, Panchoorla Theyyam, and Muthor Theyyam to name a few. A dash of bold colors, performances and an array of rituals will define this festival for you.
7. Magnetic Fields Festival - Celebration of Ancient and Modern India
image source: magneticfields
Where: Alsisar Mahal, Shekhawati Rajasthan, India
When: 9th to 11th December 2016
There is something beautiful about India’s culture. It is vibrant, traditional yet modern at the same time. Magnetic Fields Festival captures this essence of India, set in a gorgeous palace hosting an equally gorgeous music festival. This festival, which has grown by 200 per cent since its beginning in 2013, promises to be an immersive, curated experience - with secret, dawn-breaking performances. This festival has gone a long way in defining India’s vibrant and forward thinking creative community that keeps pace with traditional music to stir the soul. Taking place in a little oasis of wonder in the heart of the Rajasthani desert, this is certainly one of the winter festivals that would change your perception of India. Infact, within a short span of time, Magnetic Fields has become one of the biggest Music festivals in India in December.
Hope this guide to festivals in India in December 2016 will ignite that wanderlust in you to explore the varied terrain of its cultural landscape!
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