When it comes to December, there is this strong urge to plan a visit to a place that is celebrating a festival or has organized a fair, you know to get into that holiday season mood. And I guess, India is one of those places where you can actually make the most of this month since the celebrations in the country never stops. Party animal, classical music lover, culture aficionado or a movie fanatic, India in December has something for everyone. Mark your calendars because it looks like a packed schedule of festivals and events in December and we have got a festival guide made especially for you.
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A date with moon in Gujarat
Kutch isn’t just a desert, but a cultural celebration. White expanse of serene sand under the full bloom of the moon – it gets more romantic than words. 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. Staying in tents that border the great White Rann is an experience of a lifetime, spending the night on the startling white landscape that stretches into the horizon as far as the eye can see. So close to Pakistan, you can almost touch it!
When: November 1, 2018 to February 20, 2019. It’s best on full moon nights to see the moon shining on the salt. (December 22, January 21 and February 19).
Where:Great Rann of Kutch salt desert, Dhordo, Gujarat.
How: Take a flight or train to Bhuj. You can also opt for a bus or drive to Gujarat. Go on a road trip from Bhuj to Dhordo amidst the white sand dunes.
Castles in the sand – Odisha
How many of you remember playing with sand and trying to make houses out of it during a beach holiday as a child? Even today when on a beach we can’t stop ourselves from making something from sand and watch it getting washed away. This year walk down the memory lane and treat yourself with the wonders of Sand Art at The International Sand Art Festival in Odisha. The Sand festival celebrates various sand sculptures that are produced by skillful sand artists. The artists from all over the world participate in this 5-day festival. Apart from the traditional sand sculptures, you will also come across all kinds of exhibits like stone, bronze or wood creations that will leave you enthralled. It also hosts culture events like folk dances, art exhibits and food stalls.
When: December 1-5 every year.
Where: Chandrabhaga Beach, Konark, Odisha.
How: Take a flight to Bhubaneshwar or a train to Puri. Odisha is well connected to major highways, making it accessible via road.
Celebrate everything Naga – Nagaland
The seven states in north-eastern India are known for their unique flora and fauna, natural beauty and tribal culture. Being one of the most underrated travel destinations, North East offers great opportunities to create lifelong memories. Hornbill Festival is one such annual event that gives travel enthusiasts to explore the traditional tribal culture of North East India in its true form.Also known as the Festival of Festivals, begun in the year 2000, the Hornbill fiesta celebrates & revives the warrior tribes of Nagaland, a myriad of tribal folk & cultural extravaganzas, encouraging inter-tribal relations & heritage of Nagaland & the neighbouring states. The festival spirit is enlivened by the music, the dances, the traditional ceremonial attire & elaborate set ups, the art & crafts displays etc. inspired by the widely revered Hornbill bird, in the traditional Naga culture & Folklore revolving around the agricultural traditions of the tribes, an unforgettable experience laden with folk culture, food, sports & so much more
When: December 1-10 every year.
Where: Kisama Heritage Village (near Kohima town), Nagaland.
How: Nearest Airport is Dimapur, however it has flights only from Guwahati and Kolkata. You can take a flight to Guwahati and travel to Dimapur through road. The nearest railway station is Dimapur. It’s well connected to road from all over India
Where India meets the world
Inspired by the concept of Vasudeva Kutumbakam (World is one family), Delhi International Arts festival will be back for its 12th edition this December. A culmination of different forms of art, the festival will have dance performances, musical recitals, film festivals, book and poetry reading sessions, dance theatres, and much more. Artists from all over the world with various art forms come together to celebrate this 10-day cultural extravaganza. Different performances have different venues across Delhi.
When: December 1-10, 2018.
Where: Across Delhi.
How: Delhi is well connected by air, rail and road from all the cities.
Music & Mayhem – Arunachal Pradesh
The Orange Festival of Adventure & Music (OFAM) pitches itself as India’s first fest that combines adventure sports and music gigs on one platform. So much so that getting to Dambuk — the village that hosts the four-day event — is an off-road challenge in itself. A bumpy SUV negotiating rickety roads, tea estates, slush, jungle dirt tracks and, of course, orange orchards makes its way to Dambuk. It lies dormant for the most part of the year but when the JK Tyre Orange 4×4 Fury, running simultaneously with the Orange Festival of Adventure & Music (OFAM) rocks into town, it makes sure all wavelengths of the sound spectrum are exercised. From the grunting of off-road vehicles stuck halfway between the lengths of the river to the sweet rock music ringing in your ears from the artist stage, the event makes sure that boredom is contained miles away.Apart from the 4X4 Fury Challenge, adventure sports like river rafting, dirt biking, ATV rides in the forest and zip lining are also part of the event. Tribal sports like archery, angling, tribal house building, orange plucking, and forest food walks are also listed.
When: December 15-18 every year.
Where: Dambuk, Arunachal Pradesh.
How: The nearest airport is Mohanbari, Dibrugarh. Travel from Guwahati to Mokokngselek by Intercity Train. You can also go by road to Guwahati and then pave your way to Dambuk.
Go, Goa, Gone in the name of Art – Goa
Serendipity Arts Festival, on the banks of river Mandovi, has been envisioned as a space which brings together the visual, performing, and culinary arts. Taking place in December when Goa is buzzing with activity, featuring more than 40 commissioned projects, this festival has something for everyone.Everyone has a story to tell, and at Serendipity Arts Festival, photography, literature, and design come together in All the World’s A Stage.Living Traditions re-imagines Hindustani classical music, transporting you to the early 1900s. Lend your ear to curated, classical performances that will stir your soul.
When: December 15-22, 2018.
Where: Panjim, Goa.
How: Goa is well connected through air, rail and road across the country
Ring in the New Year with music & Arts – Coorg
The Tamara Carnival 2018 is the 4th edition of a festival that celebrates diversity in music, dance, food and experiences from across the world!There are different performances on different days, including folk dance, classical dance, traditional martial arts, Salsa dancing, Blues music, and stand-up comedy. In order to attend the carnival, it’s necessary to make a reservation for at least two nights at The Tamara resort.Amidst nature, even with the silence, the Tamara resort is never quiet and buzzing with an ensemble of insect sounds, gurgling water and whispering winds. Apart from the carnival, you can also take advantage of the treks, coffee plantation tour, yoga and pottery making sessions among others to refresh themselves in the lap of luxury.A host of celebrations awaits your presence at The Tamara Coorg. The place joyously ushers in the Christmas and on New Year’s Eve. The Tamara Carnival gently eases into your consciousness, uplifting and rejuvenating you and leaving you in a state of blissful harmony with the universe and your inner being.
When: 22nd Dec – 31st Dec
Where: The Tamara resort, Coorg, Karnataka.
How: Take a flight to Mangalore or board a train to Mysore. You can also opt for the road trip from Bengaluru to Coorg.