India > Karnataka > Karnataka Festivals
The state of Karnataka has its own set of festivals, which have a special significance for the people of Karnataka. The festivals of Karnataka unfolds the rich cultural attributes of Karnataka in quite an articulate way.This state has a multi-religious population and many religious festivals are celebrated harmoniously. People of different faiths seem to immerse themselves completely in following the religious traditions with utmost veneration. This state in fact shares equal enthusiasm and fervor of celebrating the religious and traditional festivals with the rest of the country. Besides the religious festivals there are some festivals, which showcases the cultural wealth of the state, which is again represented vibrantly in myriad colors and forms. Then there are a host of festivals, which are linked, with the life style of the people and are celebrated with equal pomp and show. The fairs following the festivals in the state of Karnataka plays an important role in the commercial life of the people apart from being the sources of entertainment.
Dussera festivalOne of the main Hindu festivals of Karnataka is Dussehra. The rulers of the Vijayanagar Dynasty used to celebrate this festival in a much extravagant manner. In the following years the celebration became a tradition. The festival was celebrated at Mysore with much pomp and show. A Durbar was held for consecutive nine days and on the tenth day a procession was taken out with elephants, colorful folks and much more.
In the state of Karnataka, Makar Sankranti is a day of goodwill and friendship. This festival is a celebration of the occasion of the `ascent` of the sun to the north (Uttarayana). Sesame Ladoos and sugar drops are distributed among the masses as a symbol of the need to be generous and kind to everyone. The ancient customs and the spiritual rites are also observed with great veneration. Women wear new clothes, new glass bangles and hold get-togethers to share sweets and gifts. A new bride is given ornaments made of sugar drops and her new relatives are invited to meet and welcome her at a turmeric and mercury celebration.
Ganesh ChaturthiGanesh Chaturthi is another important festivals of Karnataka. This festival is observed in the honor of the elephant-God Lord Ganesh who is believed to the remover of all obstacles and bestower of prosperity and success. This is a festival held annually and is celebrated in the month of September. It is a ten days long event. Huge effigies of Lord Ganesh are established and worshipped. On the last day of the festival processions are taken out and then the idols are immersed in water.
The seashore packed with a congregation of both male and female is a spectacular sight.
In the Kannada tradition Yugadi is known as the New Year`s Day and is one of the traditional festivals of Karnataka. This festival is celebrated in the month of March or early April according to the English calendar. On the special day the supper is lovingly prepared and the meal starts with jaggery and neem leaves. The mood of exuberance and ebullience is highly reflective of the fact that this festival is nothing but a bundle of joy.
The festival of Karaga is celebrated with much fun and frolic in the Darmaraya temple in Bangalore. It is observed on the full moon day of the month of Chaitra, which is the first month according to the Hindu calendar. This popular festival is observed in the honor of Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, the famous characters of the great epic Mahabharata.
Hampi FestivalThe magnificent city of Hampi comes alive with a symphony of colors during the festival of Hampi in the state of Karnataka. This festival is held in the first week of November and the people of Hampi, once the capital of Vijayanagara, the greatest empire of the Indian subcontinent indulges themselves in the festive spirit with an assortment of cultural performances.
Hoysala Mahotsava (Belur - Helebid)
Hoysala Mahotsava (Belur - Helebid)This magnificent dance festival is held at Belur and Helebid. The splendidly sculpted temples of Hoysala with their grace and splendor make the venue perfect for this much-awaited cultural feast. This popular festival is celebrated in the third month of the English calendar, March.
The Vairamudi festival of Karnataka is a widely popular and a much-awaited occasion and takes place in the month of March. This festival is observed in the honor of Lord Cheluvarayaswamy who is adorned with the diamond-studded crown brought from the Mysore palace. People take part in the popular procession with great vigor and enthusiasm. The whole area is decorated with lights especially the temples of Raya Gopura Tirunarayana, Bhuvaneshwari and Yoganarasimha. People from all corners of the state come to get a glimpse of the deity. This festival truly reflects the religious glory of the rich Kannada heritage.
Tula-SankramanaThis is a religious festival celebrated in the Coorg or Kodagu district of Karnataka and is celebrated in the month of October every year. it is universally believed that Goddess Cauvery appears on this day in the sudden rush of the water in the small tank there. The locales of this region worship have renamed this event as Theerthodbhava and they bathe in the auspicious water of the tank. They also carry the holy water in bottles for other spiritual purposes. The entire region indulges in the festive mood and spirit of the day.
The `festival of lights` is celebrated in the state of Karnataka in one manner and is reckoned as one of the well accepted festivals of Karnataka. The endless zest for living that grips the young and old alike during this festival is worth noticing. This festival is marked in this state by the innumerable lamps lighted in the courtyard of every house and the bursting of firecrackers. The people of Karnataka mainly indulge in the festivities during early morning and late night. New clothes and an assortment of mouth-watering delicacies are existent in the same manner as in other festivals.
Other Religious Festivals
The Muslim festivals celebrated with much ebullience in the state of Karnataka are Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, Milad-un-Nabi and Muharrum. Christians residing in the state celebrate festivals like Christmas, Easter, Good Friday etc along with the rest of the nation. Buddhist and Jain festivals like Buddha Poornima and Mahaveera Jayanthi are also celebrated in certain regions of the State.
This festival popularly known as Bakri-Id or Eid-ul-Adha or Eid-Ul-Zuha is one of the most important festivals in the Muslim calendar. It is observed on the tenth day of the twelfth month in the Muslim calendar. The holiness of the day and the period preceding it makes this a popular time for undertaking the pilgrimage to Mecca.
The most solemn and colorful Muslim function held in the state of Karnataka is Muharram. This is definitely one of the most important festivals in Karnataka. Muharram commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Holy Prophet. In all cities and towns Muslims take out impressive processions of colorfully decorated tazias, replicas of the martyr`s tomb at Karbala. In this state also Muharram is observed by taking out gold and silver replicas of old Nawabi times and men are seen beating their breasts in mourning constantly until blood oozes out.
Karnataka. Muharram commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Holy Prophet. In all cities and towns Muslims take out impressive processions of colorfully decorated tazias, replicas of the martyr`s tomb at Karbala. In this state also Muharram is observed by taking out gold and silver replicas of old Nawabi times and men are seen beating their breasts in mourning constantly until blood oozes out.
This festival occurs at the end of the month of Ramzan, is the gayest and falls on the first day of the tenth month of the Hijrah or Muslim calendar. The Muslims residing in the state of Karnataka celebrates this popular festival with much pomp and gaiety.
This state festival of Karnataka is celebrated on the first day in the month of November according to the English calendar. This grand day marks the formation of the state of Karnataka. The people treat themselves with excessive indulgence in various cultural performances. Fun and excitement scales every height and achieves a new dimension.