Festivals

6 Most Popular Karnataka Festivals (with 2019 Dates)

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Karnataka is located in the South west part of the country. Karnataka festivals are well known in the country due to the significance attached to them. The capital of Karnataka is Bangalore which is one of the most developed agglomerations in the country. The Kannadigas attach a lot of importance to these festivals. Let us see more about the main festival of Karnataka in this article.

What compels people more is that they are deeply steeped in traditional values. Apart from the native Kannadigas, this place is home to different tribes like the Tuluvas, Kodavas etc. but what defines them most are the various festivals celebrated all year around. Due to massive urbanization, globalization and the economical sources, common festivals such as the New Year’s Eve and Christmas are also celebrated with much enthusiasm.

Karnataka Festivals List

The traditional festivals celebrated here is what links people more to their culture.

1. Pattadakal Dance Festival:

The year starts off with the Pattadakal Dance Festival which is held in January. Pattadakal, a city in Karnataka is the origin for the beginning of this festival organized by the Karnataka Government. This is celebrated with much grandeur with beliefs and traditions attached to it. Being one of the important festivals in Karnataka, this festival celebrates the legacy of temples, art and culture.

festivals of karnataka

  • Significance: This festival celebrates the long living legacies of the intricately carved temples depicting the rich South Indian culture, their marvelous carved temples, and their heritage. What catches one’s eye is the architectural marvel of these temples during this festival.
  • Key Attractions: The main attraction of this festival are the dances performed with the backdrop of famous temples.
  • When: Usually held in January or February
  • Where: Held in Pattadakal, Karnataka
  • Dates: 18 February 2019

2. Dusshera:

This is one of the most important festivals of Karnataka. The Dusshera was also known as Navratri or Durgotsav which is a power-packed 10-day festival celebrating the victory of good over evil as Ravana. One of the most eminent mythical villain with 10 heads constructed with hay and other inflammable substances. The effigy is several feet high and crackers are placed inside it. The setting on fire of the effigy is said to denote his death while the hero, Rama prevails. This is celebrated with much pomp and grandeur. People are dressed in their best attire and cook lip-smacking dishes.

festivals of karnataka

  • Significance: Celebrated as victory of good over evil, which is Ravana (villain)
  • Key Attractions: Idols of Ram and Ravana and setting on fire the effigy of Ravana and celebrating the victory of Rama and a lot of delicious eatables are made.
  • When: Generally around October every year
  • Where: Especially should be witnessed in Mysore
  • Festival dates: 8th October 2019; 20th October 2020

[See More: Temples In Karnataka]

3. Ganesh Chaturthi:

Another famous festival of Karnataka widely celebrated is the Ganesh Chaturthi. Where the elephant God is worshipped and presented with offerings later to be carried away for immersion followed by a mass procession.This is celebrated as worshipping Lord Ganesh who is seen as God of beginnings.

festivals in karnataka

  • Significance: Celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesh.
  • Key Attractions: The procession and immersion of Ganesh after 10 days of celebrations
  • When: Generally around September or August end
  • Where: All the places in the state
  • Festival Dates: 2nd September 2019; 22nd August 2020

4. Makar Sankranthi:

Another such festival is the Makar Sankranti, a harvest festival where the sun god is offered prayers for peace and prosperity. Various sweets are prepared and distributed among the loved ones. It is seen as a Karnataka state festival and is celebrated with huge grandeur. The celebrations are widely done all across the state.

Makar Sankranthi

  • Significance: Seen as a harvest festival, marked by Sankranti and is celebrated with pomp and splendor. It is the celebration of annual harvest and occurs during that time of year when crops are harvested. It is done to celebrate the successful harvest and prayer for upcoming crops.
  • Key Attractions: Decoration of cows and bullocks, and Pongal sweet
  • When: around January mid every year
  • Where: Everywhere in the state, huge celebrations can be seen especially in rural areas.
  • Festival date: 15th January 2019

5. Hoysala Mahotsava:

March marks the festival month where festivals like Hoysala Mahotsava and Karaga are celebrated. The former celebrates the cultures of the natives by organizing a dance festival in the temples of Belur and Halebid. Dancers come from all over the country to perform.

Hoysala Mahotsava

  • Significance: This is done to celebrate the rich history and culture of the area.
  • Key attractions: The Hosayala temples, decorated in grandeur. This cultural feast is a something that one must not miss.
  • When: Generally celebrated in the month of March
  • Where: In Belur and Halebid of Karnataka
  • Dates: around 28th March 2019

6. Hampi Festival:

This is one of the famous festivals celebrated in Karnataka. From the ruined city of Hampi, comes the source of this festival when the city is illuminated for the famous festival organized by the Karnataka government. The sole purpose is to keep this amazing city engraved in the minds of the people, the tradition, and the beautiful carvings – all a memento to be cherished.

Hampi Festival

  • Significance: Celebrating the rich history and tradition.
  • Key attractions: Celebrated in grandeur, one must witness the city decorated with lights and the decorated temples.
  • Where: In Hampi, Karnataka
  • When: Every November
  • Dates: Not yet announced

Then there are other festivals like the groundnut festival in Bangalore, the Ayodhya puja which indirectly forms a part of the Navratri celebration or the Gowri festival just before the Ganesh Chaturthi where Goddess Gowri, the wife to Lord Shiva and Ganesha’s mother is offered prayers.

As we see, Karnataka is a state rich in its cultural heritage, and has diverse languages and religions. It can be said that this is the only state where Carnatic and Hindustani singers have flourished equally. Different parts of Karnataka have their own festivals which they celebrate with much grandeur. Festivals like Ugadi, Vara Mahalakshmi and Mahashivaratri are also some of the important festivals celebrated in Karnataka apart from the ones mentioned above. All festivals are celebrated in a grand manner both by the young and the old and the beliefs and values of people in the state of Karnataka show the importance and underlying significance of the festivals celebrated with much grandeur.

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers:

1. Why is Gowri Ganesha festival celebrated?

This festival is celebrated a day before Ganesh Chaturthi. It celebrates Goddess Gowri or Gauri who is also known as Parvathi. Gowri is the mother of Lord Ganesha. This festival is generally observed by married women across the state where they believe Gowri visits their home to bestow blessings and next day Lord Ganesha takes her back to Kailasa during Ganesh Chaturthi with him.

2. What is the most famous festival in Karnataka?

Dussehra is seen as the most famous festival of Karnataka. The celebrations that are held during this festival are famous worldwide. It is during this festival that the Mysore palace is grandly decorated with lights. The ornaments with which the elephants are adorned are a treat for the eyes and the elephants are taken out in processions.

3. Which is the famous food of Karnataka during festivals?

Obbatu or Holige is one of the sweet dishes most loved and made during festivals in Karnataka. They are made from a mixture of chana dal and jaggery stuffed in maida dough and rolled out. Mysore Pak is one other sweet dish made named after the famous Mysore city. Habbada Adige is yet another famous festival food made in Karnataka.