always been part of rural India. They fill a social and economic need.
Even today most rural communities still have their weekly fair. They are
colourful affairs where people from all the surrounding villages come to
sell their produce and but what they require.
Life in the town of Nagaur starts bustling every year with the thronging
of Cattle, horses and camels accompanied by their owners and buyers. The
cattle fair held here annually is supposed to be one of the largest in the
bulls are renowned for their fleet-footedness and therefore, attract
buyers from all over. The day starts with buyers and sellers engaged in
earnest bargains. Once the price of a horse, bullock or a camel has been
settled, the day closes with dances, songs and merrymaking.
Gangasagar, West Bengal
Near the mouth of the river Ganges in the state of West Bengal, is the
island of Gangasagar where the Ganges meet the Bay of Bengal. Every year a
Mela is held here in January on Makara Sankranti day and is attended by a
large number of pilgrims from all over India. The island is dedicated to
the sage Kapila.
Towards the full moon night during the month of January/February,
thousands of Bhil tribe people join together at the junction of two
rivers, Som and Mahi in Rajasthan. They immerse ashes of their relatives
died during that year, as a memorial service. After that, they bathe in
the river to cleanse themselves and then worship at the temple where God
Shiva is defied. In India more than 400 tribes live separately. Bhil is
one of them and they live mainly in the mountains near boundaries of
Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. They all are serious Hindus and
believe that they are the descendants of God Shiva.
AJMER SHARIF - Ajmer,
Every year Ajmer prepares for its festival - the Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin
Chisti, a Sufi saint. The Urs, commemorating the symbolic union of the
saint with god, is an occasion for celebration. Thousands or pilgrims
arrive to pray at the dargah (tomb) of the saint.
FAIR - Sonepur, Bihar
At the time of the Kartik Poornima, cattle fairs are also held at
Sonepur, in Bihar and at Bateshwar and Mukteshwar in the state of Uttar
Pradesh. One of the largest cattle fairs in the country is held at
Sonepur. At this month-long fair there is a lot of trade in cattle. Cows
and oxen are coloured bright shades of red, yellow and purple. Their
horns are gilded. The sound of their bells and the trumpeting of
elephants add to the glamour of the fair.
FAIR - All
over Rajasthan, especially Jaipur, Udaipur & Mandawa
of Issar and Gangaur, manifestations of Shiva and Parvati, are worshipped
by women, and particularly those unmarried who pray for a consort of the
like of Shiva. Celebrated all over Rajasthan, it has women taking out
processions through the streets of towns, carrying images of the divine
couple. The festival is especially colourful in Jaipur, Udaipur, and at
Mandawa in the Shekhawati region.
FAIR - PUSHKAR,
- the ancient town of Rajasthan, 11 kms from Ajmer, is situated
around the sacred lake. The Place is transformed into a
spectacular fair ground in the month of Kartik (October/November).
The fair attracts a great number of tourist from across the world.
a temple here is dedicated to Lord Brahma. Pushkar has three main
lakes - Jayshtha Pushkar, Madhyam Pushkar and Kanishtha Pushkar.
fair is one of the largest cattle fairs on the world, in which
camels are a special attraction. Here one can see camels being
raced and paraded, vendors selling dazzling wares and people
getting themselves tattooed. in the evening hundreds of oil of
lamps placed on leaves are floated on the lake by worshippers.
GOA CARNIVAL -
The exuberant carnival is held for a week every year in Goa just before
Lent. All of Panaji goes wild for that period and it is a time of
feasting and fun, of dances, balls and parades.
the parade, the festival gets off to a spectacular start and the
fun-loving Goans make the most of their carnival before setting down to
the solemnity at Lent.
This unusual mela is held annually at Tarnetar. The fair turns into a
kind of marriage market for the local tribes - the Kolis. this festival
is famous also for its folk dances - the traditional Gujarati garba, ras
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