It's that time of year again to spread cheer and joy and head off on vacation to an exclusive destination. Now if your idea of unwinding this holiday season is exploring festivities other than Christmas, like celebrating the arts, a region's culture, and music, then this list of cool festivals to attend in December is for you.
International Gita Mahotsav, Haryana
Dates: November 19th - December 6th, 2022
The International Gita Mahotsav is a festival that brings pilgrims and devotees from all over the world to Kurukshetra, a divine site with mythological significance. Enlightening people about intangible heritage and instilling moral values remain the two main objectives of the gathering.
What to expect? Cultural performances, Book a exhibition, Bhagwad Katha reading, Shloka recital and Bhajans.
Hornbill Festival, Nagaland
Dates: December 1st - December 10th, 2022
Nagaland has been hosting the festival for the last 20 years and continues to with zeal, intending to revive and protect the land's rich culture and traditions. The festival is named after a globally renowned bird, Hornbill, and it is a delight to watch every tribe partake in the royal celebration.
What to expect? Indigenous games and music, Naga wrestling, traditional archery and an art and craft sale.
Bangalore Literature Festival, Karnataka
Dates: December 3rd - December 4th, 2022
BLF, as the name implies, is a literature festival that brings together readers, writers, and people with similar interests. This year marks the 11th edition, and in addition to celebrating the creative spirit and paying homage to literary diversity, it's an opportunity to connect with writers, local and international.
What to expect? A pitch platform for aspiring authors and even screenwriters, literary guests and panels.
SteppinOut Music Festival, Karnataka
Dates: December 10th - December 11th, 2022
A treat for music lovers, the SteppinOut Music Festival brings together over 80 artists across five stages, representing national and international musicians. Held at the Embassy International Riding School on the outskirts of Bangalore, expect two days filled with eclectic sounds.
What to expect? Enjoy Hip-Hop, Bollywood, Techno, and EDM sounds that you can sway to and dance like no one’s watching.
Kochi - Muziris Biennale, Kerala
Dates: December 12th, 2022 - April 10th, 2023
The Biennale exhibition is a jaw-dropping display of contemporary art from Indian and international artists worldwide. Touted to be the best art exhibition, you get to explore muti-cultural art presentations in various mediums.
What to expect? Seminars, screenings, and workshops with musical programmes.
Theyyam Festival, Kerala
Dates: around December 14th - December 15th, 2022
Theyyam is one of the best art forms in Northern Kerala, and a Theyyam performer is defined by elements including dramatic face makeup, captivating headgear, special costumes, and distinctive ornaments. Theyyam performers showcase their art form in front of the village shrine, usually held in the temples of Malabar.
Orange Festival, Arunachal Pradesh
Dates: December 15th - December 18th, 2022
Orange Festival at Dambuk is a one-of-a-kind adventure and music experience, and the fact that it is in its fifth year, attests to the festival's success. Camp under Dambuk's orange orchards, socialise with like-minded people, and jam to music, and partake in adventurous activities.
What to expect? Scuba diving, paragliding, and ziplining, and performances by artists from around the globe.
Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa
Dates: December 15th - December 23rd, 2022
The 5th edition of the multi-disciplinary arts festival is all set to take place in Panaji, Goa with the festival exploring arts across genres including music, dance, visual arts, culinary arts, photography, and more. The festival also has a panel of eminent artists and institutional figures.
What to expect? Educational initiatives, workshops, special art projects, and institutional engagement.
Galdan Namchot Festival, Ladakh
Dates: December 18th - December 29th, 2022
Galdan Namchot is a festival dedicated to celebrating the birthday of a renowned Tibetan scholar, Galdan Namchot and also to mark the beginning of new year celebrations in Ladakh. While there is no defined venue for people to gather and celebrate, monasteries and residential homes light up in festive cheer, lighting butter lamps, preparing traditional delicacies that include Thukpa, momo, and butter tea, and gift a ceremonial scarf known as "Khatak” to visitors.
North East Festival, New Delhi
Dates: December 23rd - December 26th, 2022
This year marks the 10th edition of the North East Festival, which aims to highlight the best of the region's cultural and entrepreneurial resources, including tourism potential, the region’s culture, music, and even food.
What to expect? Exhibition of industrial products from various farmers, weavers, and entrepreneurs; handloom & crafts, and organic food stalls.
Winter Festival, Rajasthan
Dates: December 29th - December 31st, 2022
The Winter Festival in Mount Abu is held to showcase Rajasthan's rich and diverse traditions and to mark the arrival of the new year. A grand carnival kicks off the event, followed by traditional folk performances by bespoke folk artists.
What to expect? Adventure activities like rappelling, a boat race in Nakki Lake, and cultural performances.
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