After months of cold winters, we all wait for the spring season, when the weather starts getting warm. March is the time for Indian winter’s transitions into the summer season. The main festival celebrated in March is Holi, a celebration of the vibrancy of spring, youth, fertility, playfulness and vigor, a month to get soaked in the colors of Holi and have fun. The major festivals celebrated in the month of March are.
International Yoga Festival
The 7-day International Yoga Festival is held in Rishikesh the birthplace of yoga and Yoga Capital of the World. In this festival, you have the opportunity to embrace every major style of yoga and learn from enlightened Spiritual Leaders, Master Yoga Teachers, Evolutionary Thought Leaders, and Wellness Specialists from around the world.
International Yoga Festival is growing each year with more and more people from countries all over the world embracing yoga. In 2019 we had nearly 2000 participants from almost 100 countries. Come and join for a rare opportunity to learn and experience first hand from India’s leading spiritual leaders and take your Yoga practise further with some of the world’s most renowned teachers.
When: March 1-7 2020
Where: Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
What is Special: It is a festival of uniting yogis of every culture, color, and creed together in a one-world yogic family, expanding global consciousness, and bringing healing to the planet, one person at a time.
Holi is one of the most famous festivals in India, and the celebration is held in different places in different ways. On Holi eve there is a huge bonfire called Holika Dahan it is a festival to mark the triumph of Prince Prahlad over Holika. The next day is the Holi celebration when people apply colors to each other.
The city palace in Udaipur organizes a grand Mewar Holika Dahan. In Shantiniketan, West Bengal, Holi is celebrated as Basanta Utsav or Dol Utsav. In Barsana, Mathura Lathmar Holi is celebrated. In Vrindavan, Holi is celebrated with flowers.
When: March 9-10, 2020
Where: All over India
What is Special: A colorful festival which begins with Holika Dahan and playing with colors and flowers the next day.
Suggested Read: India in the Month of March
Gudi Padwa, Ugadi, Cheti Chand, Chaitra Navratri
Chaitra Navratri, Basant Navratri or Vasant Navratri, Gudi Padwa, Ugadi, Cheti Chand are major spring festivals in India. Chaitra Navratri also known as Basant Navratri, Vasant Navratri and the ninth day is celebrated as Ram Navami. During auspicious occasion of Chaitra Navratri or Vasant Navratri, nine forms of Goddess Maa Durga are worshiped who represents purity, divinity, and power.
People celebrate Chaitra Shukla Paksha Padwa as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, as Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and other parts of South India, as Sajibu Nongma Panba, Cheiraoba, Rongali Bihu in North-East India. The Hindu Nav Varsha or New Year, based on the Solar calendar is known as Vaisakhi in Punjab, Pana Sankranti in Orissa and Naba Barsha in West Bengal, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, Bihu in Assam. Chaitra is the first month of the Hindu calendar and marks the New Year which beings with nine days of turning inwards; prayer, meditation, and chanting.
When: March 25- April 2, 2020.
Where: All over India
What is Special: New Year beings with nine days of turning inwards; prayer, meditation, and chanting. People observe fast, worship, do prescribe rituals for eight or nine days.
Elephant Festival Jaipur
Elephant Festival is an annual festival held on the full moon day of Phalgun Purnima in Pink City Jaipur, Rajasthan. It is celebrated on a day before Holi that is on Holika Dahan. Elephants are a sacred animal in India, it represents loyalty, wisdom, and longevity and is a symbol of good luck and excellent fortune. In this festival, you can see the charisma of Rajasthan culture in the most unique way.
The procession of painted elephants with multihued colors and adorned with ornaments and embroidered velvets portrays the majestic outlook of the state. The elephants enter the ground with their mahouts, thumping to the sound of nagadas and loud blows of bankiya, a musical instrument. The festival is enjoyed by huge visitors from different parts of India and abroad.
When: March 10, 2020
Where: Jaipur, Rajasthan
What is Special: Witness elephant’ parade, games, and festival of colors, Holi in Rajasthan.
Shigmotsav is mainly celebrated by the Hindus of Goa and marks the arrival of spring with great fanfare. The festivities begin on the second day of Holi and is celebrated for 14 days in the month of Phag. During this time Goa has a very festive atmosphere and many colorful programs are organized. It is believed that by this festival, we welcome the spring by saying goodbye to the cold season.
This festival is echoed all over Goa and processions are taken out in the evening for many days on the streets. In Goa, Shigmotsav is the hallmark of Holi when people wear colorful traditional attire and take part in processions. In Shigmo’s parade, fancy dress, float, and dance are all completely different from Goa Carnival. Shigmo parades give a glimpse of rural life through folk dances and musical performances by local residents. It is marked by tall processions and festivities on the streets and is a major attraction for tourists and locals
When: March 21, 2020
What is Special: Shigmotsav or Shigmo festival is one of the many cultural festivals of the coastal state and is celebrated through colors, costumes, music, dances, and parades.
Thirunakkara Arattu Festival hosts one of the most magnificent elephant pageants in Kerala. The 10-day festival is dedicated to Shiva and is a celebration of his wedding to Parvati. On the concluding day, a string of nine majestically ornamented and decorated elephants accompany the idol of lord Mahadeva for bathing in the noon. They are accompanied by drummers and dancing flock of people.
The mystic traditional dance of Kerala, Kathakali forms an important part of the celebrations. Mayilattom (peacock dance), Velakali and motif processions are also showcased in the temple compound. Each year thousands of tourists from all parts of India and abroad come here to get a glimpse of grand celebrations.
When: March 23 – April 1, 2020
Where: Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple, Kottayam
What is Special: The main attraction of the festival is the vibrant mix of local arts and religious ceremonies. Arattu Procession marks the conclusion of the annual 10-day festival at the Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple.
Chapchar Kut Festival
Chapchar Kut Festival is a spring festival celebrated in the first week of March after completion of the Jhum cultivation in Mizoram. Local people celebrate it with great fervor and gaiety. They wear their traditional colorful costumes, with distinctive headgears and jewelry perform various folk dances and singing traditional songs accompanied by the beating of drums, gongs, and cymbals.
Popular Mizo dances including Chheihlam, Cheraw, Sarlamkai and Khuallam will be performed by various cultural groups. Cheraw is the popular bamboo dance of Mizoram where men tap the bamboo sticks according to the rhythm of the dance and women adjust their dance moves with moving sticks.
When: March 6, 2020
What is Special: Popular bamboo dance called Cheraw and exhibition of painting, photo, handloom, and handicraft of Mizoram.
The Myoko festival is a 10-day festival celebrated in Ziro Valley of Arunachal Pradesh. The tribesmen offer prayers and make offerings to their holy gods Donyi-Polo (meaning ‘the sun and the moon’) to bless them for a good harvest. It’s a 10-day celebration; it goes on from March 20 – 30 every year. Myoko festival is celebrated to extend and strengthen the bond of the family, and bless the members with fertility and fortune.
They slaughter pigs and chickens as a custom of this festival. Women dress in their traditional attire sprinkle rice flour and rice beer over the pigs and other animals (chickens, birds and other domestic animals that won’t be named here) that were going to be sacrificed. There is dancing, singing, and merry-making by the village folks, they take out their processions in their traditional dresses which are worth watching.
When: March 20-30, 2020
Where: Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
What is Special: Rites, rituals and prayers, there are several stage shows, sports events, and singing competitions that happen at the Myoko festival.