Fairs and Festivals
This eight days fair held every year during the month of Jan-Feb, is popularly known as the Cattle fair and is the second largest in Rajasthan. Nagaur Town is the most picturesque of Rajput townships. Nagaur is a sea of animals, trading over 70,000 bullocks, camels and horses every year. The bullocks are known for their fleetness. Not only are the animals lavishly decorated, even their owners flaunt wearing colourful turbans and long moustaches.
Shearing sheep, handsome marwari horses to spices all compiled in one fair. Attractions include the mirchi bazaar (largest red-chilly market of India), wooden items, iron-crafts and camel leather accessories.
Sports like tug-of-war, camel races, bullock races and cock fights; jugglers; puppeteers, story-tellers; and exciting campfire evenings are held to entertain the tourists. Folk music of the Jodhpur variation echoes the tranquil desert sand. Nagaur is well connected to the major cities by road and rail. Nearest airport is Jodhpur, some 135kms away.
The festival is celebrated on the 14th of January every year. This has now become the festival of kite-flying which does not spare the soaring spirits of anyone in Jaipur. The devoted ones, however, take a holy dip in the kund at Galtaji. The traditional sweet associated with it is Phirni, made in abundance by the halwais of Jaipur
tYoung girls and newly married women praying for their loved one or husband respectively, offer prayers to Goddess Parvati in spring (March-April). A colourful procession follows the silver and gold palanquins of Goddess Parvati brought out from the City Palace. Ghever, the traditional sweet associated with this festival is prepared all over the city.
This festival is held on the day of Holi, the festival of colours, at the Chaughan stadium. Beautifully decorated and caparisoned elephants assemble to participate in the royal procession. Elephant polo, elephant race,elephant tug-of-war with a few tourist and holi on elephant back are some of the exciting events.
To celebrate the advent of the monsoon, girls and young women dressed in colourful leharia sarees or costumes, sing songs and offer puja to goddess parvati, and pray for conjugal bliss and happiness. An elaborate procession comes out of the City Palace for two consecutive days. Villagers come to watch it in large numbers and buy knick-knacks from the stalls on the footpaths of the main bazars.
Dussehra is celebrated by staging Ramlila in different parts of the city and cuminating in the ceremonial burning of the giant effigies of Ravan, Kumbhakaran and Meghnath, celebrating Lord Rama's victory over the Demon King, and victory of Good over Evil. A mela is organised at Amer and thousands of devotees visit the templeof Shila Mataji situated there. Special puja is offered by the former Maharaja in the City Palace amidst traditional fanfare. Durga Puja is celebrated in several community pandals for four days by the large Bengali population in the city.
Celebrated every year in October- November, Diwali is perhaps the most popular of all Indian festivals. The origin of this festival can be traced back to the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana, when Lord Rama returend to this kingdom Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. The whole kingdom was lit up with diyas (earthen lamps ) to celebrate his return. To date, on Diwali day, houses all over India glow with the twinkle of innumerable divas, candles and electric lights. The night is illuminated with the flaming lights of fireworks, creating kaleidoscopic design against the black canvas of the sky. During the Diwali celebration decoration and lighting is done throughout the walled Pink City, with every market competing with the others to pick-up the best decorated market award. There are special prizes for the best decorated individual buildings as well. Most people prefer walking through the street to enjoy this dazzling extravanganza.