The Subcontinent is a land with many religious and regional variations which have given birth to a great wealth of culture and beliefs. Throughout the year different regions in each country celebrate different holidays - times when each place comes to life with song, dance, procession and colour as locals celebrate with colourful and exotic festivals. Celebrated uniquely in cities, or widely across the country, people travel from far and wide to attend a particular festival pertaining to their religion, and a joyful atmosphere pervades.

All festivals have a reason and are important for keeping alive ancient artistic and religious traditions and are manifest in different ways. Many take the form of fairs (melas) where locals come from miles around to buy and sell livestock and they are alive with animal activity; others mark important remembrance days and comprise grand parades; others celebrate the changing of seasons and new year with wild colour and noisy fire crackers; others are more religious and are celebrated with animated, exotic dancing or peaceful chanting in remote dzongs and monasteries. Some festivals are linked to aspects of fertility and renewal and others mark the coming of seasons and harvest times. Perhaps the most widely celebrated of festivals, however, are religious; the feasts of saints, prophets, Gods and gurus. These are particularly happy times, full of pageantry, music, elaborate rituals and times for prayer. People of differing nationality, race and religion are welcome with festivals being occasions for families and communities to get together. Since most follow the lunar calendar, dates change from year to year according to the Gregorian calendar.

MAhout Advice Festivals

Should you require information on other festivals, please contact us so that we can devise a perfect itinerary for you which incorporates one of these mystical moments. Each of India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal celebrate wonderfully colourful, exotic and dramatic festivals somewhere, some time throughout the year. They are too numerous to list here but we are aware of their dates during the year so do call to find out when and where. They are fabulous spectacles to behold.