Fairs and Festivals in Rajasthan

Fairs and festivals are an integral part of life in Rajasthan. These are either religious or meant to mark occasions like seasonal changes, relationships, or even business concerns. The Pushkar Fair, for example, originated as a platform for cattle traders who wanted buy or sell cattle. Teej, on the other hand, celebrates the arrival of monsoon, while the Urs sees participation from Hindu and Muslim pilgrims from all over India.

Pushkar Fair, held near Ajmer, is a cattle fair that boasts participation from thousands of cattle traders. Visitors to the Fair are amazed at the sight of thousands of camels, bulls, cows and goats that are bought or sold at the Fair.

Monsoons in Rajasthan, in fact in the entire Indian subcontinent, are harbingers of great joy, ending the hot summer months and providing sustenance to crops. Rajasthan celebrates monsoon through Teej, where women dress in brightly colored clothes and go out with other women to shop and enjoy themselves on a day out.

At the annual Urs festival held at Ajmer, thousands of pilgrims and devotees come to seek blessings at the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, the sufi saint. The city of Ajmer is decorated with festoons and flags, and the entire population takes part in the festivities.

The Animal Fair held at Nagaur gives farmers from far-flung areas an oppurtunity to collect at one spot and trade cattle. Many games and competitors are also held at the fair grounds.

Jaisalmer's Desert Festival, held in January, is a dance and music program showcasing the cultural heritage of Rajasthan. The golden sand dunes and colorfully adorned camels in the background lend this Festival a flavor that is peculiarly Rajasthani.

The Mewar festival in Udaipur is held to celebrate the onset of spring, and the end of bitterly cold desert nights. All locals and non locals are encouraged to participate in this celebration, marked by processions, dance, music and fireworks.

Jaipur's Elephant Festival is held to welcome spring, and to celebrate Holi, the festival of colors. Elephants march down the thoroughfares in a procession, accompanied by dancers and musicians, while the crowds play with colored gulal powder.

The fairs and festivals of Rajasthan lend color to the desert terrain, and are a way to celebrate the joyous spirit of the Rajasthani.
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