December naturally has the exhilarating aura instilled in it. One is filled with anticipations for the new year, joyous over the holidays that are approaching towards the end of the month and for some, well, some just love the breezy winters this month has. But that’s nothing. You can have much more fun in the last month of the year. There are several quirky festivals organised across the country, each having enough grandeur and uniqueness to blow your minds. We’ve wandered, meandered and searched thoroughly to present you with the do-not-miss-at-all special festivals in December. Read on to build up your itinerary for this month.
1. Christmas, Goa
Who says Santa is not real? The fervour and zeal with which Christmas is celebrated with ho-ho-ing Santas everywhere, we can’t help but just believe in the red coat guy myths. Every year, in churches and even some big malls, the grandeur celebrations are something to swear by. Decorated Christmas trees, cultural performances, and masses held are pious and dazzling at the same time.
However, if you’re looking for something more zany this year, then head straight to Goa. Why? Firstly, because this region is dominated by the Christian population, so naturally Christmas is a mass celebration there. Secondly, Goa knows how to partayyy. From as basic as Santa distributing gifts to children, Christmas carols, and cakes, there are loud parties that stretch way into early mornings. Goa knows there is a hippie inside all of us and it also knows how to get that out. Want to have the real fun on 25th December? Then come to to the ‘Las Vegas of India’.
Dates: 25 December 2018
Prime Destination: Goa
2. Hornbill festival, Kohima, Nagaland
For those of you who don’t know, Nagaland is a land of different tribes. Not only these tribes differ in their culture they also follow different traditions and festivals. However, Hornbill is one festival where all tribes come together under one roof to witness what is seen as the most eccentric melting potpourri of the north-eastern regions. The festival has such a huge tribal significance that the state government itself organises it as to enhance the inter-tribal interaction.
For most of you, Nagaland’s culture would already be unknown and undiscovered, and together with all the folklores coming together, it’s one heck of an event.
Moreover, you have every dimension of the entertainment covered here. Either eat your way out through the local cuisine food fairs, sip the local rice beer, or feast your eyes in beauty contests and fashions shows. When you’re full, watch some muscle-wrenching Naga wrestling, traditional war dances, headhunting rituals, and traditional archery. Slow down things by indulging in indigenous games, and showing interest in arts by appreciating sculptures & paintings by the local artists. Finally dance your night away in Hornbill national rock concert.
And, don’t worry, you have 10 days straight to enjoy each and everything with detail and care.
Dates: 1 to 10 December, 2018
Prime Destination: Kohima, Nagaland
3. Hot Air Balloon Festival, Karnataka
Imagine being thousands of feet above the ground overlooking the rich heritage of Karnataka while cool breeze runs through your hair. Hot air balloons are everywhere, but in Karnataka, the fun multiplies. Mainly because the festival takes place here for the entire month. And, secondly, surrounded by colourful balloons in one of the richest historical city of the country is an unparalleled experience. Plus, this is your only shot to get bird’s eye view of temples, caves, and ruins. Do not forget to take selfies up there. You’re welcome.
Dates: Entire month of December
Prime Destinations: Hampi, Bidar, and Mysore of Karnataka
4. Magnetic Fields Festival, Rajasthan
Whether you are talented or dote for talent, this is the place to be in December. This festival provides you a stage to showcase all kinds of art. Whether you play gigs, make illustrations, or do stand-up comedies, you’re in for a red-carpet welcome here. Even if art is not up your alley, there are so many activities going around here, that you’ll hardly feel out of place. Get involved in treasure hunts, kite flying competition, music & yoga workshops, and those precious secret parties. Spend the day feasting on Rajasthani delicacies and sleep the night away camping and stargazing. There’s a just whole package waiting for you.
Dates: 14th to 16th December 2018
Prime Destination: Alsisar Mahal, Rajasthan
5. Rann Utsav, Kutch, Gujarat
After the vibrancy of Rajasthani culture, it is the turn of Gujarat to flaunt its colours. Besides the usual cultural and traditional shows, you can do camel & horse riding, paramotoring, archery, and photography. The folklore covers enthralling music and dance performances. The cultural extravaganza keeps you hooked and the good thing is that it runs for months in a row. And, did we mention that there would be camping in the night in the salt desert?
Dates: 1 November 2018 to 20 February 2019
Prime Destination: Kutch, Gujarat
6. Theyyam festival, Kerala
Let’s explore south, shall we? There’s no better way to discover the cultural roots of Kerala than be a part of this festival. They’ll show you colour, vibrancy, and the tradition. The USP of this festival is the ritual dance Theyyam, which is considered the oldest art forms in the country. Dancers paint themselves in myriads of colours from head to toe and tell you ancient mythological stories and glorify historical characters through their dance. There are Gods and demons, villains and heroes and the good and the evil. You won’t be left guessing much, their vivid facial expressions cover all nuances necessary. There also go mime and a few ancient tribal performances.
Dates: 7 December 2018 to 16 December 2019
Prime Destination: Perumthitta Tharavadu Kottamkuzhy, Kasaragod, Kerala
So, made up your mind yet? Which place impressed you the most? Do tell us.