Festivals of India, January - 2017

Fairs / Festivals January 2017
Month Festival Place
January 01, 2017 Happy New Year All India
January 5, 2017 Guru Gobind Singh Birthday All India
January 7 to 15, 2017 International Kite Festival Ahmedabad, Gujarat
January 13, 2017 Lohri All India
January 14 to 15, 2017 Bikaner Camel Fair Bikaner, Rajasthan
Mid week of January Kerala Village Fair Kerla
January 14, 2017 Makar Sankranti All India
January 14, 2017 Pongal Tamil Nadu
January 20, 2017 Modhera Dance Festival Gujarat
January 26, 2017 Republic Day All India


A melting pot of culture- India, not surprisingly is also a land of festivals. Whether a celebration of onsetting spring, or the commemoration of the birth of a holy saint- Indian festivals act as the adhesive joining together so many Indian communities.

Here is a look at the festivals that take place in India in January every year- adding a little more color to the new year here.

Guru Gobind Singh's Birthday:

When: 5th January, 2017

Every‘Gurupurab’ or the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh- the tenth and last Guru of the Sikhs is celebrated on January 5. Sikhs gather in Sikh temples (Called Gurudwaras) and offer prayers to their Guru. Religious processions called Prabhat Feris start from the gurudwara and go from house to house singing devotional songs- a lot like Christmas caroling but with more gusto.

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Bikaner Camel Fair, Rajasthan:

When: 14th to 15th January, 2017

The festival is celebrated in January-a perfect time to take a ride on the ‘ships of the desert’- camels. Majestic cavalcades of bedecked camels, are the star attraction of the show. Camels rule the day. Camel decoration, camel fur-cutting, camel milking, camel dance, best camel breed- these are some of the most prestigious competitions held. The food, you ask? Sweets made of camel milk!

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Kerala Village Fair, Kovalam, Kerala:

When: mid week of January, 2017

Mid This village fair called 'gramam', held in mid- January, celebrates the rustic way of life in Kerala. It is an elaborate ten-day festival celebrated by recreating the rural village of Kerala. All around, you will see quaint little teashops, traditional Nalukettu houses designed with tiles and wood. Evenings are witness to much singing and dancing, in open-house auditoriums.

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Lohri, Punjab:

When: 13th January, 2017

Lohri is celebrated on 13 January in Punjab. It is a sign that the harvesting is done, and months of toil have finally borne fruit. In fact, a day later, on 14 January the festival is celebrated by different names across India- since it is harvesting season everywhere in India. Happy people light bonfires and eat cakes made from the harvested rice or wheat.

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Makar Sankranti:

When: 14th January, 2017

Makar Sankranti falls in the Indian month of Magh and on the English date of 14 January. It is said to fall on the day of the winter equinox. Food, bonfires, an earnest prayer in a hopeful heart- these are the hallmarks of Makar Sankranti. In Gujarat kites are flown, in Bengal devotees take dips in the cold waters of the Ganges to wash off their sins, and in Karnataka-cows and bulls- animals that pull the plough are decorated.

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Pongal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh:

When: 14th January, 2017

Another name for Makar Sankranti in Tamil Nadu-Pongal is celebrated from 14 January to 17 January. In this thanksgiving to the earth for delivering a nice harvest, people pay homage to different Hindu gods. Here too, cows are accorded special treatment on this day.

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Modhera Dance Festival, Gujarat:

When: 20th January, 2017

A three-day festival held in the third week of January, the Modhera Dance Festival is a celebration of the Indian form of dance. The beautiful carvings of the Sun God on the temple walls form an apt backdrop to the evocative dance performances. The state dance of Gujarat- Garbha-with all its colorful trappings, remains the high point of the festivity.

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Republic Day:

When: 26th January, 2017

January 26, 1950- the day on which India became a republic- is a day of great pride in the lives of all Indians. The Republic Day parade at Janpath, New Delhi is representative of all the 29 states, and 7 Union Territories of India. The constitutional head of the nation- the President lays a wreath of flowers at Amar Jawan Jyoti, followed by the 21 gun salute, unfurling of the national flag, and singing of the national anthem. The hearts of hundreds of Indians swell with pride as they hear their President deliver a speech on the eve of Republic Day.