November Festivals Celebrated In India
Continuing from the festivals of October, the spirits of festivals remain high during November too. The main festival falling in the month of November is Diwali. November is the time when skies become clearer with cooler winds making it the best time to enjoy religious celebrations and joyous happenings across the country. Here is the list of festivals celebrated in the month of November in India with much grandeur.
Deepawali or Diwali means a row of lamps. This festival is celebrated for five days with great enthusiasm in India and countries where Hindus reside. This festival brings a lot of happiness, enthusiasm among people. The festival of Diwali falls on the new moon day of Kartik month and is celebrated with the lighting of many lamps. On this special day, the dark night of Amavasya is illuminated by the twinkling of lamps. According to the old custom on Deepawali, everyone decorates their homes with lamps and rangolis. Family and friends will be getting together to celebrate goodness triumphing over evil – as well as looking forward to the year ahead. They celebrate this day by feasting, bursting fireworks, and wearing traditional garments.
When: November 14, 2020
Where: All over India
What is Special: Major Hindu festival which lasts for five days, it is the festival of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness.
Ganga Mahotsav is one of the major events in Uttar Pradesh celebrating the culture, tradition, and heritage at the banks of the river Ganga. The festival commences fifteen days after the biggest Hindu festival, Diwali in the month of October or November. It falls on Prabodhini Ekadashi of Kartik month with thousands of earthen lights and burning candles can be seen on the steps of River Ganga and floating on the pristine water of the river bringing the cultural heritage of the land alive.
When: November 30, 2020
What is Special: Five-day festival celebrating the cultural heritage of Gangetic plains in the ancient city of Varanasi.
Bhai Dooj is known by various names in different parts of India like Bhaubeej, Bhai Tika, Bhai Phonta. This festival is similar to Raksha Bandhan, as it celebrates the love between a brother and sister. It is celebrated two days after Diwali when sisters pray to the gods for a long and prosperous life of their brothers. Women apply tika on their brother’s forehead and offer prayers while brothers gift their sisters that signified his love and affection towards her.
When: November 16, 2020
Where: All across India
What is Special: Bhai Dooj is the last day of the five-day-long Diwali festival, which marks the special brother-sister relationship.
Chhath Puja is performed on Kartika Shukla Shashthi, which is the sixth day of Kartika in the Vikram Samvat or the Hindu calendar. This four-day festival is observed mainly in Bihar, Jharkhand, and UP, when Goddess Usha(Chhathi Maiya), or the wife of the Sun God, is worshipped. During this period, women observe a fast and offer their prayers to the Sun God by taking a dip in the river and offering Arghya. This is the only festival that worships both the rising and the setting Sun. The ‘prasad’ comprises of thekua, sugarcane, laddoos, fruits, big lemon, dry fruits, and many other edibles including vermillion and lightened earthen lamps.
When: November 20, 2020
Where: North Indian state (Bihar, Jharkhand, and UP)
What is Special: Women observe fast and pray Sun God and break their fast only after offering their prayers post-sunset.
Gurpurab (Guru Nanak Jayanti)
Guru Nanak Jayanti is Guru Nanak’s birthday is celebrated all over India especially in Punjab where Sikhism is widely prevalent. The birthday of Guru Nanak usually falls on Kartik Puranmashi, which is the full moon day of the month Kartik. Guru Nanak was the founder of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus, he taught that God was beyond religious dogma and external definition.
Gurpurab celebrations begin at least two days in advance with the reading of the Guru Granth Sahib, with Nagarkirtan. People celebrate the life and times of Guru Nanak Ji and encourage more and more people to follow in his footsteps. People head to the gurdwara and sing morning hymns. The festivities do not get over without a community feast called langar.
When: November 30, 2020
Where: Punjab, Haryana
What is Special: Major festival of the Sikh community celebrated with religious fervor, with Gurudwara conducting Kirtan-Darbars and Amrit Sanchar ceremonies followed by a special community lunch, or Langar.
Tulsi Vivaah Puja
Tulsi Vivah is the marriage (Vivah) ceremony of the Tulsi plant to Shaligram (a black stone manifestation of Lord Vishnu). Tulsi Vivah is celebrated on the 12th day of the Hindu lunar cycle or Dwadashi during the Shukla Paksha in the month of Karthik. It marks the end of Diwali and the commencing of the Hindu wedding season.
When: November 26, 2020
Where: North India
What is Special: The festival is popularly celebrated in Maharashtrian households and in Gujarat on a grand scale. Vishnu in the Shalingram avatar is married to the tulsi plant.
Rann Utsav is one of the most popular festivals of Kutch, Gujarat. During the chilly winter months November to February when the dessert is most attractive the festival comes alive. The festival celebrates the unique culture of Gujarat with music and dance performances, storytelling sessions, walks through the desert, fabulous displays of handicrafts, and of course some authentic, mouth-watering food native to the Rann of Kutch. Kutch Rann Utsav is the shimmering landscape that gives the enchanting moments of this Fest, which feels like Heaven On Earth during Festival Time.
When: November 12, 2020 – February 28th, 2021
Where: Kutch, Gujarat
What is Special: Enjoy spectacular performances under the moonlight and learn about the traditional music and culture of Gujarat.
Hampi Utsav, Vijaya Utsav
Hampi Utsav is held during the first week of November, for three days. The architectural remains of the Vijayanagar dynasty – more than 500 monuments and ruins scattered across the stark landscape, is what makes Hampi so famous amongst avid travelers. An interesting place to visit, it’s even more fascinating during the annual Hampi Utsav, when music concerts and dance shows by renowned artists are held at the various monumental sites.
And every year, these majestic ruins and the historical dynasty is celebrated with a cultural festival called the Hampi Utsav or the Vijaya Utsav. Full of dance, music, drama, puppet shows, vibrant processions, and fireworks, the Hampi Festival is a highly merry affair.
When: November 5-8, 2020
Where: Hampi, Karnataka
What is Special: The celebrations typically packed with shows of music, dance puppet shows fireworks and a pomp procession as the grand finale showcasing the cultural richness of the place.
Pushkar Camel Fair
Pushkar Camel Fair is held on the full moon of Kartik month which usually falls in November. Originally intended to attract camels, horses, and cattle traders during the holy Kartik Purnima festival, the fair now attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. The camels are adorned so elaborately, shaved, dressed up, made to dance and race, and even compete in beauty contests. The fair is filled with folk music concerts, snake charmers, magic shows, spiritual walks, acrobats temple dancing, an art bazaar, and a crazy mustache competition.
When: November 22-30, 2020
Where: Pushkar, Rajasthan
What is Special: Largest camel fair in the country where horses, cows, goats, and sheep are also sold.
Matsya means fish and it is related to Lord Vishnu Matsya avatar, and the Indo-Aryan clan that resided on the west side of the Yamuna river was named as kingdom Matsya Mahajanpada. Due to the historical significance of the place the festival was named as Matsya Festival. This two-day festival brings the colors and culture of Rajasthan alive. This festival is known for its colorful processions, cultural performances, sporting events, and artistic exhibitions, including water sports at the Siliserh Lake. Locals, National and international tourists engage themselves in a variety of competitions, sports, exhibitions, traditional dances and songs, folk music, and more.
When: November 25-26, 2020
Where: Alwar city, Rajasthan
What is Special: This is foremost of all the fairs and festivals in Rajasthan. This two-day festival gives an opportunity to witness their rich heritage and vibrant culture.
India Art Festival, New Delhi Edition
India Art Festival, is a Contemporary Art Fair, is the biggest art fair hosted annually at three metro cities, Bengaluru, New Delhi, and Mumbai. The artworks including paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, and editions as well as video and digital art by over 1000 artists represented by various galleries are displayed at India Art Festival annually. New Delhi Edition will be held in November at Thyagaraj Stadium, INA Colony, New Delhi.
When: 26th to 29th November 2020
Where: New Delhi
What is Special: It is the celebration of Indian culture and modern and contemporary art, it provides the opportunity to emerge, independent artists to show their skills.
Wangala Festival also known as the “Hundred Drum Festival” is the harvest festival held in honor of Saljong, the Sun-god of fertility, for blessing the people with a rich harvest. It is generally celebrated for two days and sometimes continues for even a week. During Wangala, people young and old, dress in their colorful garments and feathered headgear and dance to music played on long. Katta Doka, Ajia, Dani Doka, Chambil Mesaa, or the Pomelo Dance are performed during these days.
When: November 13, 2020
What is Special: The hills and valleys echo with the extraordinary beat of drums, it is the best time to witness the culture and tradition of the region.
International Yoga and Music Festival
Nada Yoga School in Swargashram, Rishikesh organizes International Yoga and Music Festival every year. The festival is free of charge, open for everyone, from anywhere in the world. They hold yoga classes in Yoga Asanas (Hatha yoga, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Sivananda), Pranayama (breathing exercises), Shatkarma (cleansing exercises), meditation, and spiritual lectures.
When: November 1-7, 2020
What is Special: Best opportunity to learn yoga and Indian classical music from the team of professional teachers from Rishikesh, India, and abroad.
Karthika Deepam, Karthikai Vilakkidu, or Thrikarthika is celebrated by Hindus in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Sri Lanka on full moon day. This is the festival of lights when the whole Tamilnadu will be lit up with lovely oil lamps and all the houses will be decorated with mango leaves and flowers. The festival is celebrated for 10 days when clay oil lamps are lit around one’s house to ward off evil forces.
When: November 29, 2020
Where: Tamil Nadu, Kerala
What is Special: On the Thirukarthigai/Karthigai Deepam day, the whole house is decorated with oil lamps.
Kartik Purnima Festival | Dev Deepawali
The full moon day during the month of Kartik is known as Kartik Purnima, Tripuri Purnima, or Tripurari Purnima. On the occasion, devotees take hold of dip on river Ganga and its tributaries. After the holy dip, earthen lamps are lit at all temples as well as on the banks of the river Ganga.
When: November 30, 2020
Where: Telangana, Odisha
What is Special: People throng to bath on river Ganga and light earthen lamps in all the temples and at the bank of river Ganga.
Ka Pomblang Nongkrem
Ka Pomblang Nongkrem is one of the most famous festivals of Meghalaya which is celebrated for five days. It is an eminent festival of the “Khasi” community of Meghalaya and is primarily a harvest festival in the month of October or November. Several rites and rituals are associated with this festival.
The offering of goats to the administrative head is the most important ritual. This is called the Pomblang ceremony. This festival was initially named Ka Pomblang Nongkrem, which over the years has been popularly termed as the Nongkrem dance Festival where apart from the religious practices there are a number of cultural programs and events that are organized.
When: 2nd or 3rd week of November 2020
What is Special: It is a grand carnival that involves the flow of wealth, the sacrifice of animals, and an environment of religious fervor.
Bundi Utsav is celebrated in the month of Kartik (October-November) and includes colorful Shobha yatra, art, and crafts fair, ethnic sports, cultural exhibition, classical music, and dance programs, turban competitions, bridal clothing, musical band competition, and fireworks display. It is a spectacular culmination of traditional art, culture, and craftsmanship which surprises every visitor with its grandeur.
When: November 16-19, 2020
Where: Bundi, Rajasthan
What is Special: Bundi Utsav is a multihued unification of celebrations and legacy.
The Majuli Music festival provides enthusiasts a plethora of experience through music, art, culture, and food of Assam. It aims to protect the music and culture of the region and inviting tourists from all over the world. During the festival special events are organized, sees several cultural troupes from all over Assam come to the town.
When: November 21-24, 2020
Where: Majuli, Assam
What is Special: Majuli Island is the cultural capital or cultural city of Assam which comes alive during the Majuli Festival, a perfect time to witness the music and culture of Assam.
Puri Beach Festival
Puri Beach Festival is held over 5 days in November on Puri beach, Odisha. The festival is a delightful celebration with cultural events, classical and folk dance performances, sand sculptures, handicrafts, and food festivals to rock concerts, DJs, beach parties, and fashion shows.
Nearly, 700-Artists perform live on stage every single day at this 5-day long mega-event of Puri Beach Festival. Artists from various corners of the country and globe directly or under cultural troupes from India with a wide range of dance-programs and cultural programs, perform on the stage during this magnificent event on the Puri beach.
When: Not yet confirmed
Where: Puri, Odisha
What is Special: The festival gives you a chance to explore the nuances of the inhabitants of Puri, Orissa.
When the moon is in full bloom, shining brightly on the waters where River Ganga and River Gandak meet, some thousands of people and all kinds of animals and birds flock to the grounds of Sonepur, near Patna.
When: November 30, 2020
Where: Saran District, Bihar
What is Special: The Sonepur Cattle Fair, one of the biggest cattle fairs of Asia, is celebrated on Kartik Poornima (full moon) and continues to attract visitors from all over Asia.
Cherry Blossom Festival
India International Cherry Blossom Festival in Shillong, Meghalaya, takes place in mid-November during the unique autumn flowering of Himalayan Cherry Blossoms. The festival conduct community events such as guided night walks, live music gigs, a beauty pageant, and stalls showcasing the cuisine, wine, arts, and craft of the region.
When: November 14 – 17, 2020
Where: Shillong, Meghalaya
What is Special: No need to fly to Japan to see the Cherry Blossom when you can sense the fragrance of fresh cherry blossoms as Shillong and Meghalaya.