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Andhra Pradesh Fairs & Festivals
Celebrations and festivities add to the charm of living life. Reminiscent of other parts of India, Andhra Pradesh also observes many fairs and festivals in its wide expanse. Festivals, aboriginal to the place, depict its culture and traditions. However, there are many religious festivals like Diwali, Holi, Sankranti etc., which are celebrated in the state like any other state of India. Apart from these religious festivals, the State Government organizes many other festivals and fairs to promote tourism in Andhra Pradesh.
Lumbini Festival, Visakha Utsav, Deccan Festival, Rayalaseema Food and Dance Festival are the cultural festivals that lure people from across the world to visit and participate in the events. Besides these cultural festivals, there are many religious festivals, like Brahmotsavam (Tirupati) and Sri Rama Navami Festival (Bhadrachalam), which are identified with the state. Celebrations here are characterized by color, jollity, passion, feasts, prayers and rituals. Scroll down to know more about the important fairs and festivals of Andhra Pradesh.
Deccan Festival is the most happening and perhaps one of the most sought-after events in Andhra Pradesh. Organized by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, the festival continues for five days in the month of February. The best features of this festival are the arts, crafts, dances, music and the 'Nawabi' cuisine of Hyderabad. The grand celebrations encourage various popular singers and dancers to perform here.
The cultural programmes comprises of ghazals, qawalis, mushairas (poetry) etc, giving numerous reasons to the people across India to attend this festival. Eminent in their own fields, legendary artists come from all parts the state as well as the country to engage in the colorful riots of music and laughter. Another interesting thing about Deccan festival is its Fair of Pearls and Bangles. This fair is the best place to check out the striking collection of lustrous pearls, jewelry, accessories and multicolored bangles.
The main idea behind the celebration of this festival is to keep the traditions and culture of the Deccan region alive. On your visit to Deccan festival, you must taste the delectable dishes belonging to both Andhra and Hyderabad cuisine at the Food Fair. Being celebrated at Hyderabad, the Festival is also known as Hyderabad festival. In short, Deccan Festival offers the best time to sneak a look into the glorious culture of the princely state of India.
Lumbini Festival is one amongst the major festivals of Andhra Pradesh. The festival is observed to commemorate the religion of Buddhism. The event has been named after Lumbini, which is the birth-place of Lord Buddha. Gautama Buddha taught people the lesson of purity and serenity throughout his life. This festival is a kind of reverence to the great soul and his teachings. Every year, Lumbini festival is celebrated for three days at Nagarjunasagar, in the month of December.
The festival is organized by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation to boost tourism in the state. In fact, Lumbini festival gives the perfect opportunity to people to peep into the earlier times, when Buddhism used to be the prevalent religion in Andhra Pradesh. In the month of December, the second Friday marks the beginning of this event. For three days, the celebrations of the festival swathe the entire state with their charm. People from all parts of the world come to take part in the occasion.
Tirupati Brahmotsavam Festival
Tirupati Tirumala Brahmotsavam is the most important festival of Andhra Pradesh. This nine-day festival is observed with grand celebration at the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple. Tirupati Brahmotsavam is celebrated in the month of September/ October. This Hindu festival becomes the center of attraction for pilgrims and tourists from far and wide. According to the folklore, it is believed that Lord Brahma first performed this festival of Lord Balaji at Tirupati.
The festival was performed as a thanks giving ceremony to the Lord. The term 'Brahmotsavam', which suggests "Brahma's Utsavam" (Lord Brahma's Festival) has been imbibed from this ancient event. Brahmotsavam is also known as 'Tirupati festival' in Andhra Pradesh. Throughout the period of nine days, different festivities are observed, both in the morning and the evening at the temple. Each and every celebration during the festival is significant, since one festivity heralds another one.
Brahmotsavam is a grand gala time for the pilgrims and devotees, who come to witness the processions and celebrations of the festival. The festival is certainly creditable for its ceaseless charm, where devotees feel the 'Vaikuntha Anubhava' (heavenly pleasure and feeling). The celebratory procession of Lord Venkateswara moves around the four streets of the main temple for two hours, awaiting midnight. Though, every day is a festive day at Tirupati, the nine days of 'Brahmotsavam' offer exceptional delight to the people.
In the vein of other festivals, Visakha Utsav is another festival that is organized by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, to augment tourism in the state. This festival is the most exclusive event, which celebrates the traditions and culture in the form of arts, crafts, music, dance and numerous cultural programmes. Visakhapatnam, the port city, makes the great venue for this grand four-day festival.
Outstanding artists from various spheres come to participate and show their talent in this festival. The main attractions of this event are cultural shows, garment exhibition, traditional crafts, heritage tours, sports events and a flower show. The entire state gets drenched in the festivities and revelry for the period of four days. People from all parts of the country and the world come to enjoy the festival of Visakha.
This event has been made as the annual tourism festival, which draws together the arts, crafts and an assortment of cuisines of the different regions of Andhra Pradesh. In Visakhapatnam, different places are selected to serve as the venues for several cultural programmes, sports activities and competitions. In concise terms, attending Visakha Utsav is the perfect way to have a glimpse of the cultural heritage of Andhra Pradesh in its full glory.
Ugadi Festival marks the celebration of New Year, as per the Hindi Lunar Calendar. The residents of Andhra Pradesh observe this festival with happiness and aspirations for the impending year. People celebrate the occasion by wearing new clothes and decorating their homes. Ugadi pachadi is special 'chutney' (condiment) that is made on this day and offered to the deity. After the rituals, the 'chutney' is given to everyone as a 'Prasad'. This festival generally falls in the Hindu month of 'Chaitra' (March or April), on the first day of the bright half.
Pongal is one of the most important festivals celebrated in South India. Like other states of this region, Pongal is celebrated with full fervor in Andhra too. This festival marks the harvest season. Each and every household in the state observe this four-day festival with merriment. Also known as 'Harvest Festival', Pongal celebrates the beginning of harvesting crops in the fields. Bhogi Festival, Surya Pongal, Mattu Pongal and Kaanum Pongal are the names given to the celebrations of four days. Pongal is celebrated in the month of January every year.
Rayalaseema Food and Dance Festival
One amongst the biggest cultural festivals, Rayalaseema Festival is celebrated to accentuate the art and cuisine of the area as well as the state. This festival is also organized by the Department of Tourism, Andhra Pradesh. During the festival, various works of art and cultural programmes gather the interest of every one. This festival also boasts of assorted cuisines of the state. Another interesting fact about the festival is that many famous personalities come here to give their performances. 'Rayalaseema Food and Dance Festival' is held in the month of October every year.