9 Festivals You Must Attend Across India in April
If you’re a lover of music, arts, culture, or even food, we’ve curated a list of nine of the best festivals you must attend this April. Sunscreen at the ready? Here we go.
The fourth month of the year is breathing heavily and searingly down our necks. With Helios as its merciless ally, April leaves us with just one of two possible options: either an event takes place indoors or it doesn’t take place at all. As we try to ignore the worst April brings along (aka the sweltering Indian summer and the resultant sky-high electricity bills), we’re also trying to embrace and accept it for the best it has to offer (aka early mangoes and this list). Although the number of festivals plummets drastically during this time of the year, all’s not lost. If you’re a lover of music, arts, culture, or even food, we’ve curated a list of nine of the best festivals you must attend this April. Sunscreen at the ready? Here we go…
1. Tulip Festival
Held at Asia’s largest Tulip Garden that’s home to over 60 indigenous species, the Tulip Festival in Srinagar is nothing short of a sight to behold. Throw cultural activities, traditional folk songs, the delicious Kashmiri cuisine and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see over a million tulips blossom simultaneously into the mix, and it sounds just about magical, doesn’t it?
Where: Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, Srinagar, Kashmir
When: 1st April to 14th April
2. Goa Food and Culture Festival
How does one write a post about festivals and not mention the party capital of the country? Unlike Sunburn, though, the Goa Food and Cultural Festival celebrates more than one’s ability to plug a pen drive safely into a music system — instead, choosing to celebrate the many brilliant dishes the Goan cuisine has on offer, while washing it down with some of the choicest cheap local booze!
Where: Panaji, Goa
When: 6th April to 10th April
3. Sankat Mochan Musical Festival
If you’re a lover of classical Indian music, this is one festival that’s bound to tickle your pickle. Almost a century old (the first such festival was held way back in 1923), the Sankat Mochan Musical Festival hosts classical musicians and dancers from all over India who are known to perform in the temple courtyards until dawn!
Where: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
When: 19th April to 23rd April
4. Kumbh Mela
If you’re not familiar with the Kumbh Mela, then well, either you’re an expat reading this or you’ve led a rather sheltered life. Either way, it is one of the largest religious gatherings in India (and arguably enough, in the world) where scores of devotees and godmen come together to pray, celebrate, and become more spiritually enlightened. It is an experience of a lifetime — one that cannot be replicated elsewhere.
Where: Shipra River, Ujjan, Madhya Pradesh
When: 22nd April onwards
5. Chitra Vichitra Fair
When a fair draws over 60,000 people to it, you know it’s a big deal. This tribal festival in Gujarat has a grim beginning, with women gathering at the rivers to mourn the dead throughout the night. The morning after, though, marks the beginning of the spectacle that sees people from scores of villages unite and celebrate with vigour and enthusiasm.
Where: Sabarkantha District, Gujarat
When: 22nd April onwards
6. Golden Frames 2016
Dubbed India’s biggest International Film Festival, The Golden Frames is set to feature over a hundred handpicked short films from over 60 countries — all over a two-day span. The event will also be graced by the Who’s Who of the entertainment industry in India, so it might double up as a great opportunity to meet and learn from the doyens.
Where: Andheri, Mumbai
When: 23rd to 24th April
7. Bailamos Dance Festival
Whether you’re a professional dancer or simply love to groove at parties, there’s a little for every kind at the Bailamos Dance Festival in Mumbai. With workshops, parties, celebrity guests, artists, and renowned teachers all lined up to promote some of the best dance forms from around the world, it’s bound to be nothing short of a spectacle!
Where: Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel, Mumbai
When: 8th to 10th April
8. The Barathon
The lethargy is so strong in some of us that the mere mention of a race makes us tired. You know what’d be the perfect motivator? A drunken race. No, seriously! If you think you fall somewhere in the venn diagram of “can handle their drinks” and “is fit enough to run I suppose”, you stand a chance to win — and by the looks of it, win big! If you don’t think you do, then well, participate nonetheless. It’ll be a ton of fun!
Where: Pune, Mumbai, and Bangalore
When: 16th, 23rd, and 30th April respectively
9. The Traditional Festivals
You know us, we’re people pleasers, so there’s no way we’d leave without mentioning these! So this month, there’s the Aoling Festival of the Konyak Tribe (1st to 6th April, Nagaland), the Mopin Festival (5th April, Arunachal Pradesh), Gudi Padwa (8th April, Maharashtra), Attuvela Mahotsavam (8th April, Kerala), Kodungalloor Bharani (9th April, Kerala), Gangaur (9th to 10th April, Rajasthan), Mewar (9th to 11th April, Rajasthan), Chithirai (10th to 23rd April, Chennai), Rongali Bihu (13th to 15th April, Assam), Ram Navami (April 15th, across India), Thirissur Pooram (18th April, Kerala), and finally Baisakhi on April 13th that’s celebrated across Punjab.