As the colours of spring will soon start making an appearance on the horizon, a great way to enjoy the change in weather is by raising a toast to the number of festivals that February brings along. Each of the festivals we’ve shortlisted for you here has something exciting to offer. Take a look!
When: Feb 1-3
With rolling hills and the vast blue expanse of the Gangapur Lake forming a picturesque backdrop, the Sula Vineyards offer a lovely venue for music lovers to gather for rounds of fine wine while listening to some great headlining acts from the world of music. It’s also a great time to enjoy master classes by winemakers; activities like grape stomping, and savour the best of foods and beverages from across the world.
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Kala Ghoda Arts Festival
When: Feb 1 – 9
The entire Maximum City enjoys a vibrant feel when it’s time for this art and cultural extravaganza organized in the neighbourhood of South Mumbai. This year, more than 500 different events that centre on the city’s creative art scene, world of films, literature, dance and music, competitions and discussions are on offer. Also on the agenda are a variety of cuisines, dance and singing competitions and heritage walks.
Surajkund International Crafts Mela
When: Feb 2 – 16
Since the time it began in 1981, the Surajkund Crafts Mela has become a not-to-be-missed affair. You need to buy nominally priced tickets for this rich showcase of Indian and international crafts and traditions. The spotlight this year is on Himachal Pradesh that has been chosen as the theme state. Apart from Indian states, around 20 other countries will also be participating in the fair this year.
Jaisalmer Desert Festival
When: Feb 7 – 9
Against the backdrop of its majestic Sonar Qila, Jaisalmer comes alive in a swirl of colours and yes, with the sounds of merry folk music and dance on the Sam dunes. The celebrations commence with a parade that includes acts by the Gair, acrobats and fire dancer communities. On the festival grounds, you get to admire lines of camels, horses and other animals and enjoy the various fun-filled sports and activities in most of which the ‘ship of the desert’ remains centre stage.
Udaipur World Music Festival
When: Feb 7 – 9
This incredibly beautiful ‘city of lakes’ hosts musicians from different parts of the world at this music festival. There’ll be over 150 global bands and artistes from over 20 countries including Iran, Spain, Egypt, Senegal, Macedonia, Italy and, of course, India. Look out for performances by Shnellertollermeier (Switzerland), No Jazz (France), Portugal’s Sara Correla, Mame Khan & the Ghalat Family, among others.
Mahindra Blues Festival
When: Feb 8 – 9
Featuring some of the best artistes from across the world, this festival- that is marking the tenth anniversary this year- is a perfect place for lovers of this genre. Mehboob Studios will resound once again with a lot of “guitar-rippin’, soul-trippin’ music” over two days with heavy hitters such as The Homegrown Blues Collective, Keb Mo, Mahindra Blues Band Hunt Winner who will perform on both the days, Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, Larkin Poe and Buddy Guy.
When: February 18 – 27
This 10-day colourful fair is organized at Shilpagram that lies close to the eastern gate of Taj Mahal. Centred around this year’s theme called ‘Dharohar’, the Taj Mahotsav will showcase a variety of handicrafts including khurja pottery, wooden carvings from Saharanpur, marble artefacts, Lucknow’s chikan work, Farrukhabad’s hand-printed fabrics, etc. Besides dance performances from across India, visitors can also enjoy a delectable spread of cuisine from different states.
Khajuraho Dance Festival
When: Feb 20 – 26
It’s that time of the year when dance connoisseurs plan their visit to Khajuraho. For the stunning backdrop of the mammoth temples made between the 10 and 12th centuries depicting hundreds of sculptures, offers a prestigious platform to classical artistes from across the country to perform here. This year, Jayaprabha Menon (Mohiniyattam), T Reddy Lakshmi (Kuchipudi), Bimbavati Devi & group (Manipuri group), Snigdha Venkataramani (Bharatanatyam) and Rujuta Soman (Kathak) are among those slated to perform at this prestigious event.
When: February 21
Where: All over India
Mahashivaratri or the Great Night of Shiva marks the day when Lord Shiva, the Destroyer of the Hindu trinity, got married to Goddess Parvati. Devotees pray to Him to bless them not just for a happy married life but also seek His help in overcoming the darkness in their lives. They fast through the day, visit Shiva temples, even the jyotirlingas, to offer prayers and milk.
When: February 22 – 25
This four-day razzmatazz offers a dekko at a tradition that dates back to the arrival of the Portuguese in Goa way back in 1510. Originating from the Christian tradition of Mardi Gras (also called Fat Wednesday), it sees much feasting before Lent that is associated with fasting and abstinence. Colourful parades and floats accompanied by live bands, dancing and masked performances set the ball rolling as they move through the streets of Goa. Celebrations continue through the nights with grand balls and musical soirees organized every evening.