7 Best Festivals In India In December To Keep You Warm

  • UPDATED Dec 07, 2017

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 (updated for 2017) 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

Sunburn Festival 

image source: youtube 

Where: Goa

When: 28 Dec – 31 Dec 2017

A perfect ensemble of electronic music, 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. 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. Previously held in Vagator beach Goa, from 2016 the festival is held in Kesnand, Pune.

2. Hornbill Festival - Pride of the North East India

Where: Nagaland

When: 3 Dec 2017 – 5 Dec 2017

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

Winter Festival of Rajasthan 

image source: abutimes

Where: Mount Abu

When:  29 Dec to 31 Dec, 2017

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

Rann Utsav 

image source: mid-day  

Where: Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

When: 01st Nov 2017 - 20th Feb 2018

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 Gujarati 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

Galden Namchot 

image source: pixabay  

Where: Ladakh

When: December 12th 2017

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

Perumthitta Tharavad Kottamkuzhy 

image source: commons.wikimedia

Where: Kerala

When: 6th to 15th December, 2017

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

Magnetic Fields Festival 

image source: magneticfields

Where: Alsisar Mahal, Shekhawati Rajasthan

When: 15 Dec to 17 December 2017

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!

Also read about the International Sand Art Festival of Konark that is happening from 1st to 5th Dec 2017.

You will enjoy reading these too:

Places to visit in India in December  

Warm places to visit in December

Festival Travel tips and tricks

Best food festivals in the world