Ahmedabad is a land of fairs and festivities. The celebrations take place on a real grand scale in Ahmedabad. There is a festivity for each occasion then be it the change of season or the time for harvesting the crops or an occasion of religious significance. Ahmedabad fairs and festivals are based on the solar and lunar calendars that were brought in use for astrology in the olden times. The different fairs & festivals of Ahmedabad enable the locals as well as tourists to catch glimpses of the diverse cultural traditions of Gujarat.
The celebrations of religious festivities like Navratri, Diwali and Holi that are dedicated to Gods and Goddesses are truly secular in nature and people of all communities participate enthusiastically in all the festival celebrations. Apart from the national festivals that are celebrated all over the country with fervor and gaiety, there are some festivities that are specific to the state of Ahmedabad like the international kite festival and international furniture festival. Even the celebration of Navratri, the festivity of nine nights, is special in Ahmedabad.
Uttarayan International Kite Festival
Uttarayan international kite festival usually falls on a bright shining day with clear skies. The wind is strong enough to lift plenty of kites high up in the air. It is also celebrated to observe the end of winter season and give a warm welcome to the summer season. It is during this festive occasion that, Ahmedabad turns into a hub of life. The entire city is abuzz with activities and feasts. On the day of international kite festival, people keep aside all their work and head their way to the open fields or terrace of their house for flying kites.
International Kite Festival is one of the most colorful events in Gujarat. The sky around Gujarat is filled with the colorful kites all around. The International Kite Festival at Gujarat is celebrated on 14th January, the day when Makar Sakranti is also celebrated. Earlier it was a regional kite festival which turned into International Kite Festival in the year 1989 and since then it is held every year at Ahmedabad.International Kite Festival is so famous throughout the globe, that kite enthusiasts from all across the world gather here on this date to test their skill of flying kites. The Patang Bazaar is the hot spot of the youth during this festival. The International Kite Festival at Gujarat is sponsored by Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited.
Navratri Festival Ahmedabad
Devoted to Goddess Shakti, the Navratri festival in Ahmedabad is celebrated with gaiety and fervor. The main highlight of the festivity of nine nights is the folk dance of Gujarat called Garba. Each day of the fiesta begins with the performance of aarti. The entire state of Ahmedabad gets energized with the thought of celebrating the Navratri festival. The nine-day Navratri festival is celebrated all over the state with colourful Garba and Dandia ras folk dances, ceremonial fasting and feasting, concluding with the burning of an effigy of Ravana at Dussehra.
Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti
Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti (14 Jan) is one of the most important festivals of Gujarat and is celebrated throughout the state with gaiety. It is also the time for the young and old to indulge in kite flying. The International Kite Festivals (11-15 Jan) is organized at Ahmedabad to mark the occasion.
Tarnetar Fair is the most colourful festival of the state held at Tarnetar. It has special significance for Koli, Bharwad and Rabari tribes and features matchmaking between unmarried girls and youth. The girl has a right to choose her mate from amongst the large number of ornately dressed eligible bachelors present at the fair.
Organized by Gujarat's tourism authorities the festival features folk dance performances, musical ballads, poetry recital, jewellery and regional handicrafts exhibitions. The fair coincides with the Dhrang Mela. Accommodation: Gujarat Tourism's tents near the fair grounds, and at good hotels at Bhuja and Gandhidham.
Holi in Gujarat is one of the festival that celebrates the vibrant spirit of the Gujarati people. Holi is a festival of color and happiness, and on this day it is a custom to resolve all differences with everybody, including your enemies.The festival, Holi has its origin in the legend of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna used to take active part in Holi. During this festival, it is also customary to drink buttermilk, as it was the favorite drink of Lord Krishna.
On the eve of Holi, a beautiful bonfire is decorated with flowers and fruits. Many people also offer home cooked food or other edibles such as raw mangoes, coconut, corn, toys made up of sugar or khoya (a milk product) to the bonfire as their offerings to the Goddess Holika. It is also a ritual to put a vermilion mark on each other's forehead and hug each other on this day.
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