December 1, 2016

Planning to book a holiday abroad to ring in the new year? Take a look at these photos below and we are sure you will change your mind. The entire country comes alive at year end with colourful festivities. Whether you fancy spending the night under the stars or riding hot air balloons – you will be spoilt for choice with these Indian festivals in December.

1. Rann Utsav – Gujarat

What: The white desert of Gujarat is a treat for tourists. Go there on a full moon night to enjoy spectacular views of folk dances, handicrafts and camel excursions. Revel in some delicious local cuisine accompanied by melodious fold songs. You’ll never want to go home again.

Where: Great Rann of Kutch salt desert, Dhordo, Gujarat

When: Ongoing till February 20th, 2017

Indian festivals in December

Courtesy: Gujarat Tourism

2. Hornbill Festival – Nagaland

What: This annual tribal festival of Nagaland is by far the biggest cultural extravaganza in North East India. You will go in a photo frenzy trying to capture the beautiful costumes, cultural dances, indigenous sports and folk songs. There is also an international rock concert held here that will fill up your evenings.

Where: Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, Nagaland

When: December 1st-10th 2016

Indian festivals in December

Courtesy: Nagaland Tourism

3. Galdan and Losar – Ladakh

What: If you are in Leh and Ladakh, you can find a picture perfect frame anywhere you turn your camera. The beautiful Himalayan landscape is dotted with monasteries and gompas. Galdan Namchot festival marks the beginning of New Year celebrations in Ladakh with interesting display of fire torches. Next comes Losar, which is even more grand with huge feasts, dragon dances and folk music. If you are lucky, then you can also get a glimpse of the Dalai Lama leading the new year prayers.

Where: Leh and Ladakh

When: Galdan is on December 23rd, Losar begins on December 30th 2016

Indian festivals in December

Courtesy: J&K Tourism

4. Karthigai Deepam – Tamil Nadu

What: Believe us when we say – you need to see it to believe it. The entire holy town of Tiruvannamalai is lit in diyas on the Karthigai Deepam (or the festival of lights) followed with street processions and grand aartis. A huge fire lamp burns high up on Mount Arunachalam signifying Lord Shiva. The fire reminds people to drive away the negative energy and welcome the positive. What better way to start the new year?

Where: Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu

When: 12th to 23rd December 2016

Indian festivals in December

Courtesy: Templefolks

5. Sunburn – Goa

What: Live, love, dance – if that is your motto of life, then Goa is the place to be this month. Enjoy non-stop music, live entertainment, rock concerts and dance performances at the Sunburn festival in Goa. It’s Asia’s biggest music festival and probably also the best one.

Where: Candolim beach, Goa

When: 27th to 30th December 2016

Indian Festivals in December

Courtesy: Sunburn

6. Winter Festival – Rajasthan

What: Say ‘Khamma Ganni’ to the new year in a Royal fashion. The Mount Abu Winter Festival will give you all round experience with fireworks, hot air balloon rides, kite flying competitions, poetry reading sessions and rowing championships. Of course, delectable food and folk  dance and music are a given.

Where:  Mt Abu, Rajasthan

When: Last week of December

Indian festivals in December

Courtesy: Rajasthan Tourism

7. Kochi Carnival – Kerala

What: This celebration is all about feasting and having fun. Take part in colourful costume parades and street dances, just like the famous Mardi Gras of Brazil. Your evenings will be filled with watching dirt bike racing and firework displays.

Where: Kochi Fort, Kerala

When: Last week of December to first week of February

Indian festivals in December

Courtesy: Cochin Square