Gujarat festivals are known for their cheerful atmosphere, with people indulging in singing, dancing, and enjoying all the special dishes unique to the state. Gujaratis live their lives to the fullest as Gujarat is termed the land of festivities. Many festivals are celebrated throughout the year, and they showcase the beauty of the state’s rich culture and traditions flawlessly. Most catchy beats are played to which women in their sequin lehengas and men clad in vibrant turbans groove beautifully.

This article presents you with a list of Gujarat’s popular festivals that introduce you to the state’s unique culture.

Famous Festivals and Fairs Celebrated in Gujarat:

The festive season in Gujarat is when you can look at the ghagra-clad women and men take to the dhol dance to the tunes of Garba. These Gujarat festivals will give you an outlook into the vivid culture and the state’s age-old traditions in a beautiful way.

1. Navaratri:

Navratri in Gujarat is quite popular out of all the other festivals and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. The popular site of Gujarati Navratri is the performance of Dandiya and Garba, and the popularity of these dances has spread all across India and not just Gujarat. Navaratri is a ten-day celebration during which people enjoy music, Garba, Dandiya, and locals perform Durga pooja.

Key Attraction: Acoustic music and dance exhibiting the culture of Gujarat, Garba, and Dandiya.

When: October.

Where: All over the state.

Duration of Festival: 10 days.

2. Rann Ustav:

Rann kutch festival is one of the main festivals of Gujarat. When autumn is at its peak, Rann of Kuch (Salt Marsh) in the Thar desert dons a festive avatar with the rhythmic strums of Ravanahatha, Gujarati men with mustaches, pagris on the sparkling white sand. The forefront of the Kutch festival of Gujarat is the fascinating heritage of the state. Regardless of where they live, people experience this festival as it is that much-awaited time of the year.

Key Attraction: Gujarati handicraft and handloom exhibition, Cultural performances, Kutch wildlife sanctuary safari, Bird watching, and local sightseeing.

When: Between November and February.

Where: The Rann of Kutch.

Duration of Festival: November to February (four months).

3. Uttarayan:

Uttarayan or kite festival is one of the biggest festivals of Gujarat. This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and zeal and marks the beginning of the harvest season. People from all over India and far-off regions like Canada and the USA come to Gujarat to participate in this festival. The colorful and different-shaped kites fill the skies making the site more beautiful, and the festivities are all-time high during this period.

Key Attraction: Kite flying competitions, Delicious food items, International Kites Festival.

When: January.

Where: All over Gujarat.

Duration of Festival: One day.

See Also: Beautiful Gujarati Rangoli Designs

4. Shamlaji Melo:

Shamlaji Melo takes place in the premises of the Shamlaji temple, which is immaculately crafted, lasts for three weeks, and is also called Kartik Purnima fair. Devotees arrive in large groups on camel carts or foot, bathe in the Meshwo river beside the temple, and sing songs for the diety. This is a revered place for trading silverware, cloth, and ornaments and having fun.

Key Attraction: Local stalls have a nice collection of ornaments, cultural and traditional experiences.

When: November.

Where: Shamalji temple.

Duration of Festival: Three weeks.

5. Vautha Mela:

The animal trade festival of Gujarat is also called Vautha Mela. Many camels and donkeys are decked up with ornaments and paints, which is the prominent feature of this mela. The location of this mela is where the convergence of seven holy rivers, and therefore people consider this even more pious than Diwali. People live in tents near the venue of the fair, leaving their house for a few days. Although Kichu is particularly popular, every day, a different dish is made.

Key Attraction: Stalls that sell machinery to handicrafts, animals decorated beautifully, delicious cuisines provided in tents.

When: November.

Where: Vautha, Gujarat.

Duration of Festival: Five days.

6. Rath Yatra:

Rath yatra takes place in four areas, including Jagannath temple in Ahmedabad, and is one of the most awaited festivals in Gujarat. The procession led by an ornate chariot is the main highlight of this sacred annual celebration. First, the chariot route is cleansed, which process is called Pahind vidhi before the initiation of the procession. Then different corners of the city are covered by the chariot procession.

Key Attraction: Traditional and cultural parade and prayers.

When: June or July.

Where: Jagannath Temple, Ahmedabad.

Duration of Festival: One day.

7. Modhera Dance Festival:

If you want to experience the essence of classical Indian dance and music in Gujarat, the Modhera dance festival, also called Uttarardh Mahotsavis, is an ideal choice for a three-day celebration. This festival transports you to the times of the Solanki empire with its exquisite backdrop of sun temple in Modhera. It is one of the most famous festivals of Gujarat, and it elevates the brilliant architecture and whole grandeur of the Sun temple.

Key Attraction: Professional music and dance performances, a peep into the local history, and colorful lights decoration.

When: January.

Where: Modhera sun temple.

Duration of Festival: Three days.

See Also: Top Places to Visit in Gujarat

8. Bhadra Purnima:

Bhadra Purnima fair is one of Gujarat’s most significant and famous festivals dedicated to Goddess Ambaji in Ambaji temple, spanning three days. A Vishwa yantra, a triangular object, represents a deity as there is no idol in this temple. Instead, people read saptshati (seven hundred prayer verses) while worshiping the goddess during the fair. Everyone has a gala time performing Garba and Bhavani as the evening knocks on the door.

Key Attraction: Knick knack selling stalls, music and folk dance performances, prayers, and offerings.

When: Full moon day of August or September.

Where: Ambaji temple, Banaskantha, Gujarat.

Duration of Festival: Three days.

9. Bhavnath Mahadev Fair:

Bhavbath Mahadev fair is a Gujarati festival dedicated to Lord Shiva. Many people believe lord shiva himself visits the place during this time, and this fair is a five-day affair. The sages mark the commencement of the fair by riding on elephants, blowing shells, and leading processions. During this enlivening festival, people perform dance, music, prayers, and offerings. People do parikrama around Girnar hill before coming to the shrine.

Key Attraction: Stalls that sell idols, rosaries, and sweets, Processions, Martial arts. Dance and music.

When: February or March.

Where: Bhavnath temple, Junagadh.

Duration of Festival: Five days.

10. Janmashtami:

Although Lord Krishna’s birthday is celebrated all over the country, the unmatchable zeal and devotion shown in Dwaraka, Gujarat, make Janmashtami one of the most-awaited festivals in the state. During midnight, people place a doll of Lord Krishna in the cradle and worship him, celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna. An attractive and exciting part of this celebration is the Dahi handi breaking. Mishri, Butter are some of the favorite things offered to Lord Krishna.

Key Attraction: Breaking of Dahi handi, Chanting of Krishna mantra and prayers, Music and dance celebrations.

When: August.

Where: Dwaraka and all over the state.

Duration of Festival: One or two days.

11. Kwant Fair:

Mainly celebrated in the tribal regions, the Kwant fair is one of the harvest festivals of Gujarat. Including music and dance, it showcases various traditional art forms of Gujarat. The unique highlight of this festival is that performers color their bodies with colors made of rice and ash with different designs and shades during the whole celebration.

Key Attraction: Human pyramid games.

When: March, after the Holi eve.

Where: Tribal regions of Gujarat.

Duration of Festival: One day.

12. Chitra Vichitra Fair:

If you are looking for a fair that showcases Gujarat’s beauty and tribal tradition, the Chitra vichitra fair is a perfect choice. This mela is held on the new moon eve where local women mourn their dead relatives the whole night by gathering by the river. People wear traditional attires with a saffron turban, and throughout the celebrations, people sing folk songs in groups.

Key Attraction: Drumbeats, Colorful fairs.

When: March or April.

Where: Sabarkantha district, Gujarat.

Duration of Festival: 2 days.

13. Beach Festival:

The beach festival held in the famous Tithal beach is one of the main festivals of Gujarat. Several shows are hosted during the festival, and the beach is decorated with bright lights adding to its beauty. So whether you want to enjoy music, dance or any sporting activities, this beach festival is an ideal choice. Beach cricket, water ball, volleyball are some of the other activities you can indulge.

Key Attraction: Dance performances, music, food, activities, and events.

When: October-November.

Where: Tithal and Mandvi beach.

Duration of Festival: Five days.

See Also: Best Gujarat Beaches for the Perfect Vacation

14. Paragliding Festival:

If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, the Paragliding festival in Gujarat can be an ideal choice. It is one of the best festivals in Gujarat hosted by private organizations and Gujarat tourism and is held during December and January for 26 days. The unique feature of this festival is that they provide training sessions for everyone. Therefore, whether you are an amateur or an experienced paraglider, you will have fun!

Key Attraction: Zorbing, Bike riding, Parasailing, Paragliding.

When: December-January.

Where: Satpura.

Duration of Festival: 26 days.

15. Raksha Bandhan:

Balev or Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in the state of Gujarat annually. It is known as the festival of brotherhood. On this day, the sisters tie rachis or protection bands on the wrists of the brothers.

16. Holi:

Holi is celebrated in the state of Gujarat annually. It is known as the festival of colors. This is the time when all the natives play with colour and drenches one other with paint and coloured water. The use of multiple colours in this festival stands for the oncoming of a good and bountiful spring harvest.

You can find the soaking gujju vibes beautifully managing the age-old traditions with an infusion of the modern world, creating a unique fusion in the festivals mentioned in this article. In addition, you can taste local food, handicrafts, and many more things unique to the state, making your visit a memorable one. Don’t forget to let us know if you found this article helpful!

FAQ:

1. What are the famous foods you must eat during a visit to Gujarat?

Ans: Along with the colorful festivals of Gujarat, you must eat the following foods without fail.

  • Khaman dhokla.
  • Khakra.
  • Thhhepla.
  • Fafda-jalebi.
  • Khandvi.
  • Gathiya.
  • Gujarati kadhi.
  • Surati undhiyu.

2. What are the shopping specialities in Gujarat?

Ans: Here is the list of some of the things you can buy when you plan a visit to Gujarat:

  • Traditional ghagra-cholis.
  • Bandhnis.
  • Patola silk sarees.
  • Embroidered quilts.
  • Handicrafts and handlooms.
  • Khadi clothing.

3. What are the traditional dances of Gujarat?

Ans: Gujarat’s popular traditional folk dance forms are Garba, dandiya raas, tippani, padhar, dangi, and sidi.

About Tejaswi

Tejaswi, a Master of Business Administration graduate, is our senior content writer, specializing in travel and lifestyle products. She is quite creative in her approach. Tejaswi ardently follows the latest news and present market trends and makes sure her readers are always up-to-date. In-depth research and follow-ups on any topic along with unique and knowledgable pieces of writing, is what makes her stand apart. Besides writing, Tejaswi also loves cooking, listening to music, and traveling.
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