March, the month when the winter snows are thawing and the country is ready to welcome the spring. The month when it is really hard not to be hopeful – hopeful about the sunshine first time in months and hopeful about the upcoming festivals and celebrations. So get ready to make the most of the pleasant weather, and travel to the length and breadth of India to be a part of the festivities. Here is a list of 5 events and fiestas this March that you should definitely travel for.
1. International Yoga Festival
What better place to learn yoga than where it was born? This week-long festival in Rishikesh is one of the largest yoga gatherings in the world. People from across the globe come together and take part in exclusive yoga sessions, holistic healing workshops, evening discussions, vegetarian cooking classes and much more. There are renowned yoga scholars and practitioners from India and abroad, who participate in this festival of holistic wellness, and take people towards a higher spiritual bliss.
When: 1st to 7th March 2017
Where: Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh
Of the many festivals of India, Holi is the most exuberant and colourful festival. There are countless versions of Holi that are celebrated across India, but the one that stands out from the rest is the Mathura’s Holi celebration. Here, the celebrations start a week before the main day, and the towns in Mathura (Barsana and Nandgaon) practise the Lathmar Holi. And a day before Holi, the entire town gets decorated with flowers and Holi colours, which is a sight to behold. Following the procession, the effigy of Holika is burnt in the evening. You must witness the Holika Puja at the Holi Gate. The next day, i.e. the main Holi day, the entire action takes place at the famous Dwarkadheesh Temple. So gulp down a glass of bhang and join in the Holi celebrations at Mathura.
When: 5th to 13th March 2017
3. Chinakkathoor Pooram
Where else do you get to see a huge procession of festooned tuskers? This cultural and religious celebration in Kerala showcases an extravagant parade of 33 elephants along with traditional music and cultural dance performances. Chinakkathoor Pooram is a popular Kerala festival celebrated with much enthusiasm and fervor amongst the locals and tourists alike. There is a ritualistic shadow puppet show, Kerala orchestra and countless local art and cultural practices that come together on this annual extravaganza.
When: Sree Chinakkathoor Bhagavathy Temple, Palakkad, Kerala
Where: 11th March 2017
If you have missed the February carnival in Goa, fret not! There’s another annual street fiesta that’s coming up in March. Shigmotsav is an important festival in Goa that is celebrated to mark the change of seasons. A large parade with people dressed up in colourful outfits, dancing and moving from town to town over the course of two weeks is carried out in Goa. You can see the locals playing around with colours and every street decorated with the vibrant materials. This two-week long festival is celebrated with much zeal in Goa, and should definitely be on your travel list.
When: 24th March to 7th April 2017
5. Gudi Padwa:
This day marks the beginning of the New Year as per the Marathi culture, and is observed in Maharashtra and parts of Karnataka. The day starts with a ceremonial oil bath, followed by prayers, ritualistic offerings, and a unique prasad of neem and jaggery. Some of the important highlights of the festival are the traditional dishes such as Puran Poli and Shrikhand, front yards adorned with rangoli and lezim folk performances.
When: 28th March 2017