Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Sunburn Festival Goa
Sunburn Festival is a combination of music, dance, entertainment, food and shopping and so helps an individual to have non-stop fun and enjoyment. The Candolim Beach where the Sunburn Festival takes place will be geared and decked with high volume of music and international world class performances. And when you will be experiencing all of this you will definitely enjoy yourself to the extreme limits.
The Sunburn is a kind of festival for which not only the locals of Goa but tourists across the world wait and long for. The festival takes place after Christmas and ends before the New Year’s Day thereby adding that extra reason to enjoy even more.

It was in the year 2007 that the Sunburn Festival was celebrated for the first time in Goa and you will be amazed to know that at that time only ten stalls existed in the market of Candolim Beach. And it was during that time that only 10000 people attended it and today people in lakhs attend this extravagant festival. However, it is this increasing number which by itself narrates the success of the festival. Today you will find a varied variety of almost 36 national and international performances.  

The festival takes place from 27th to 29th of December at the Candolim Beach of Goa, there by offering 3 days of continuous dance music and entertainment. Over the years it is this festival which has become the major attraction and main reason for tourists to pour into Goa in the month of December.

The festival is organized by the joint partnership of Nikhil Chinapa, a well known presenter and Video Jockey of the MTV channel in India and Shailendra Singh thereby the festival being a combination of music, dance, shopping, entertainment and food. And it is because of these reasons that it has become popular in the youth.

There are many other events which take place in the festival such as national and international performances etc. Once here you will be able to witness a number of stalls offering various mouth watering delicacies to the people. You can also find Massages, spa treatments, slippery football, rock climbing, mechanical bull riding and fire juggling as the other activities of the festival which will make the festival an even more interesting place to be. The festival comes to an end with splendid and extravagant fireworks.

The main activities include dancing to the music of world class DJ’S and performances of well known international artists like Funkagenda, AN21, James Zabiela, Norman Doray, Richard Durand, Hilight Tribe, Sandar van  Doorn, Roger Sanchez, Feddle le Grand and Paul van Dyk and also the Japanese Popstars like Filterheadz, Joof, Spectre, Paul Thomas, Sunnery James Ryan Marciano, Showtek who will  be entertaining the crowd this year.

Sunburn Festival Goa 2013’s main attractions include dance, music, food stalls and other festivities.

To sum up the Sunburn Festival has made Goa an ultimate Dance Festival Destination, and so do make it a point to be there this December so as to discover the real experience which is far beyond your conceptions.     

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The incredible mt. Abu winter festival

The Winter Festival celebrated in Mt. Abu is a combination of the rich culture and vivid tradition of Rajasthan. Mt. Abu is also known as “Oasis on the dessert” as it is the only hill station in the state of Rajasthan which is situated at an altitude of 1219 meters and there by you will find dense green forests, lakes, waterfalls and rivers here. The major event of Mt. Abu is the Winter Festival as it is here that you can witness dances, fairs, stalls for varied products, concerts, handicraft and much more. The festival creates a rich and mesmerizing atmosphere.

The Mt. Abu Winter Festival was a combined initiative of the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation and the Municipal Board of Tamil Nadu thereby with a motive to celebrate the culture of the people of the hill station. The festival provides a break to the fast and busy lives of the people of hill station.
The Winter Festival is a three day long celebration that is in the last week of December each year that is usually from 29th to 31st of the month. The Rajasthan Tourism and Municipal Board of Mount Abu looks after the organization of the festival. The warmth of the hill station’s people adds on to the celebration.

The Winter Festival has a ceremonial procession as its opening act that is from the Rajasthan Tourism Development Council- Hotel Shikhar to the Nakki Lake Chowk and it is here that you will witness thousands of diyas floating on the lake thereby making it an extravagant location. And it is this act which is called “Deepdaan” where lamps are set to afloat. There are various cultural events which take place which comprise of the classical and folk dances such as Daph, Ghoomar and Gair. It also includes the folk songs by well known artists of the country. The Festival is also a host to various sports tournaments such as Rowing, Cricket etc where the locals as well as tourists can participate.

All of these cultural activities and distribution of prizes for various competitions are held at the Aravali Manch that is from 8pm to midnight of 31st December and are followed by splendid fireworks on the last day of the festival which will indeed also light up all the memories of the three day long celebration in your minds.

• In the Winter Festival you can get entertained by participating in games like Gilli Danda, 20*20 Cricket matches and water sports like rowing etc. You can also indulge yourself in kite flying and leaving the attractive hot air balloons into the air.
• You can also witness Sufi, Kathak, and Break-dance apart from various performances by folk artists of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat. 
• You can also hear to heart touching poetries and witness mind boggling visual art.
• You can also participate in Rangoli and Mehendi competitions or even be a spectator to this artistic event.
However, the Winter Festival is a combination of both modern and traditional events.

The major attractions of the festival include the folk dances, folk songs, handicraft and handloom which showcase the rich and diverse culture of the state of Rajasthan.
To sum up visit the Winter Festival to witness the true spirit of the state of Rajasthan.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Extravagant Cochin Carnival

The Cochin Carnival is celebrated in Cochin which is in the state of Kerala in India and is one of the most awaited festivals where one can have the experience of a lifetime. This festival is based on the five principles that is, Progress, Peace, Participation, Adventure and Environment, thereby it is these principles which make this festival different from the other festivals of the country. During this festival the Fort Kochi is decorated with lights in such a way that any visitor will not be able to avoid a gaze at it. Visitors from different parts of the world come here, dressed in the colorful clothes so as to add on that extra charm to the occasion.

The Cochin Carnival was originated by the Portuguese in the 16th century, as it was by them that the tradition of celebrating New Year started that is on the 1st of January, and so it is with this that the Cochin Festival started to be celebrated. It is since then that one can get the true essence of vivid culture of Cochin through the medium of this festival.

When is it celebrated?
The massive celebrations and extravagant fairs start in the last 10 days of the year that is from 20th December to the 1st January, However the rally which is one of the main attractions of the festival should not be missed at any cost, it is held this year on the 1st of January at the Veli Ground at 3pm.

How is it celebrated?

The festival is a combination of art, drama, music, food and celebrations. Many competitions and multifaceted celebrations are also conducted on the free spaces of the streets. Tourists are offered entertainment in the form of different games such as Beach volley ball, sea swimming, dirt bike races and beach football, however the festival continues until the midnight of 31st December followed by the spectacular fireworks.

Main Activities
Apart from the sports, entertainment, fireworks, fairs etc the main activity of the festival is the parade carrying a huge statue of Papanai (like Santa- Claus) to the beach that is on the 31st December’s midnight there after it is set on fire and a grand party is followed by it. And the Elephant Rally on the 1st of January is just remarkable.

Attractions of the Festival
• The festival in every sense is having a combination of the essences and cultures of the festivals of the Portuguese, Dutch, Arab, Anglo-Indian, Gujrati, Malyalee, Andhra, Tamil and Punjabi, thereby making it an even more attractive place to be.
• The festival has twin celebrations for Christmas as well as New Year and so you can have twice the fun, joy and entertainment of the two celebrations at the same place.
• The celebrations coincide with the Christmas holiday vacation and so many tourists from around the world visit this splendid festival.
• The common events of the festival comprise the art shows, colorful rallies, fairs, food festival and fireworks.

To sum up the Cochin Carnival is definitely a place to be to celebrate the New Year. So, this December where are you going to be, while the best amongst you are going to be at the Cochin Festival!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mamallapuram Dance Festival – Come Soak in the Cultural Heritage of India

Mamallapuram is a beautiful city in Tamilnadu, just 58 kms away from the busiest cities of India Chennai. It is well known for its cultural heritage, sandy beaches and amazing sculpted architectures like temples, old buildings and monuments. The city has great historical importance as it once used to be the ancient ports of the great historical Pallava Kings. Apart from the all, the city is in the limelight and is quite in the news for its grand annual festival called the Mamallapuram Dance Festival, which is a huge event celebrated with great pomp and show in Tamilnadu. It is like the magnum Opus of the events in Mamallapuram. This festival that is being talked about is a celebration of colours, art and culture of India. For years it has been the most talked about and in demand event in the region. People who love arts and dance and Indian ethnic uniqueness ensure they don’t miss it and thus they make advanced reservations well ahead of the set time. This year in 2013, Mamallapuram Dance Festival will start from 25th of December and will end on 15th of January 2014. The 20 Days extravaganza would let you savour Indian culture preserved over centuries, cultural shows and music and dance performances performed by 300 talented artists from different states of India. Like other Indian festivals, Mamallapuram Dance festival is too celebrated with great pomp and show.

The festival is a four week event where one gets to see the most amazingly talented artists from all over India in the field of dance and music and other subtle arts like paintings and sculpting. This is operated and organized by the Tamil Nadu government and to make it even more special it falls very close to the New Year’s event which is then an icing on the cake. The entire area comes to life and merrymaking during this period. It is just one of the things that you should experience if you travel down south to Tamil Nadu. 

You will savour some of the great dance forms of India such as Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Mohiniattam and Odissi which are all traditional cultural dance forms that have been there in India since ages. Puppet shows and classical music are also held on Friday and Saturday. Those mesmerizing performances have and will always get the audience in awe of their magic. Also because the festival happens in Tamil Nadu, it is also a platform for the many Tamil folk dances such as the Kokkali Attam, Silambattam, Karagam and Thappattam. However, since we know India is so very diverse it has also started to become a platform for the major dance forms from many other states in India.

The event is a colourful one where hundreds of people come to attend and bath in the cultural and musical program. It is an open air show where the backdrop of the majestic Shore temple adds to the meaning to this beautiful event. The venue is centuries old made of monolithic rock sculptures in the ancient city of Mamallapuram. When the performers show their skills and talent on the stage, the century old temple complements them perfectly. This vibrant time is also an opportunity for the many young talents to come up on front to prove them-selves to the world. The Talented Indian folk dancers attire beautifully in Indian culture put up amazing dance performances showing the rich culture and the beauty of India Incredible.

Come and be the part of this vibrant festival Mamallapuram, celebrated in Tamilnadu with great pomp and show.

• Don’t miss to visit Shore Temple and the Tiger Cave in Mamallapuram
• 7th Century Five Rathas of Panch Pandavas carved out of stone is a must see attraction.
• Also visit Krishna’s Butterball a giant natural rock perched on the hill side. It is interesting to visit as it applies some rules of physics.

Monday, December 9, 2013


The venue of the Konark Festival, Orissa is the Sun temple which was built by around 12000 craftsmen in the 13th century and if you see the contours of the temple you will clearly analyze the importance of the Odissi dance form which existed since then, as the walls are carved out and postures of this traditional dance form are made in it. The Sun temple was mainly made so as to worship the Sun god as the people believed it to be the primary source of energy and you would be amazed to know that this temple is considered to be one of the greatest architectural marvel of India where poetry on stones make the tradition of Konark alive even today.

As the temple showcases the importance of dance and art forms and so was considered to be the best venue for organizing the Konark Dance Festival.

The Konark Festival this year is going to take place from 1st to 5th of December. When we talk about Konark the famous Sun temple comes to our mind as it is here that the Konark Festival is celebrated in the month of December every year. The Konark festival, showcases mainly the traditional dance forms of India and over the years has become very popular among the tourists. And the traditional dance forms include the mesmerizing Bharatnatyam, the splendid Manipuri and Odissi, the graceful Sattriya and Kathakali etc.

The Konark Festival is not just about the various dance forms but is also about the classical Indian music as it is here that some of the most appreciated and talented artists of India are showcased, thereby the festival is become best in terms of hosting best musicians in the country. When you witness the musical events it is only then that you will get an essence of the incredible Indian music. 


Day 1 (1st December 2013)
The two events lined up are an Odissi dance by Madhavi Mudgal and Group, and a Kuchipudi dance by Guru Raja Radha Reddy.
Day 2 (2nd December 2013)
The two events lined up are a Mohiniattam dance form by Bharti Sivaji and Group, and an Odissi dance form by the Meera Das and Group.
Day 3 (3rd December 2013)
The events include an Odissi dance by Kassturi Pattanaik and Group, and a Bharatnatyam dance form by the Mallika Sarabhai and Group.
Day 4 (4th December 2013)
The events include a Sattriya dance by Anita Sharma and Group, and an Odissi dance form by Nrutyagam.
Day 5 (5th December 2013)
The events include a Kathakali dance by Dr. Malabika Mitra and Group, and an Odissi dance form by GKCM, Odissi Research Centre.

The events such as Jugalbandi of music and painting are also held each day apart from the dance forms. If you are a fan of handicrafts then Konark Festival is the right place to be as it is here that a Craft Mela will be held alongside the venue of the main festival, where you will be able to see the master craftsmen showcasing their handicrafts. However, Konark is a festival with unique combination of dance and art forms so do not miss the opportunity to visit the Konark Festival this December. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Immortal soul of St Xavier

December 3rd, day when a legend Francis Xavier who walked street to street to preach a word of god and affected a life of millions with his magical word breathed his last on this day. And to commemorate deeds of Francis Xavier this day is marked as a memorial feast tribute solely to Francis Xavier.

His silent body which lies on a silver casket at a Bom church of Goa million gathers on this day to attend and honor a death ceremony of a saint.

As per some the source some of the Portuguese found him just before he left to heaven and they performed a funeral and buried his body in a box which was filled with unslaked lime. It is also said that when his finger was sliced he witnessed a flow of blood and his body was still not stale at all he reported this incident to the Vatican and the title of saint was conferred upon Xavier.

The body was buried into a cemetery of Malacca and after years it was brought back to Goa and till now his body is no ay affected by death and his ruins are placed in a silver casket of Bom church of Goa.

When it is celebrated
It is usually celebrated at the month of December and on December 3rd huge crowds gathers here to pay their honor to St Francis by kissing his relics and praying him to bring a peace and prosperity in world, and celebrate the feast of St. Xavier.

How it is celebrated
On this day proceeding are performed by an archbishop f Delhi Anil Couto and co-celebrants Archbishop of Goa and Daman Filipe Neri Ferrao, Archbishop Emeritus Raul Gonsalves, Bishop of Sindhudurg Alwyn Baretto etc who grace this auspicious occasion with their presence and marks this occasion with their words and people who come here to see a death body of Francis Xavier get to see an immortal body.

It is only during this occasion a century cross body of St Xavier comes down for public veneration and in other days people could only see a feet and face of St Xavier. Occasion starts from 4 am of morning and closes at 8 pm and during this time people gathers to kiss a relics and ruins of their very own Francis Xavier who did a lot to bring a justice on earth and influenced all the people towards a reality of life.

It is believed that it has a healing touch and with an order of pope still his finger are carried across a world so that people could feel a healing touch of St Xavier. It is a most celebrated occasion in memory of St Xavier and many important statesmen marks this day with their presents in order to feel a holy vibe that surrounds an ambiance of Bom church of Goa.

 Main attraction is a silver casket which holds immortal ruins of St Xavier and it is placed right at side of Alter. To get a glimpse of a ruins people travels from distance and feels blessed after it veneration.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Toshali National Crafts Mela, the Event of Colors and Fascinating Craftsmanship

Odisha is a land of diverse cultures and traditions, so it automatically holds innumerable events and festivals throughout the year. There are different religions and their respective sacred places for the religious seekers, ethnic culture and architecture for the travelers, traditional dance forms for entertainment and a wide range of local delicious foods for the ones who are interested in trying different delicacies. Odisha has everything to offer from art to historic places and various attractive destinations for the visiting tourists. In fact almost every month of the year is involved with celebrations, festivals and events in Odisha which provides a unique opportunity for the local as well as international tourists to explore every time they visit this place. The Toshali National Crafts Mela is one of the main attractions of this place. It one of its kind which is meant to encourage and preserve the craftsmanship of the creative artists belonging to the region as well as the other parts of the country along with artists from SAARC countries.

The Toshali National Crafts Mela is a unique exhibition of the colorful and vivacious spirit of rural India. It is held in the beautiful setting of the temple of Bhubaneswar (Janta Maidan), in Odisha. The crafts mela was first organized in the year 2007 on the lines of Surajkund Craft Mela at Pushkar in Rajasthan with a motive to assist a direct link between the craftsmen and the buyers. It is a 13-day long event, which provides opportunity to the visitors to interact with the nationally and internationally renowned craftsmen and even purchase their fascinating creations. Since then the event is organized annually, offering a huge platform for numerous gifted artists, painters, weavers, sculptors and craftsmen from across the country as well as other SAARC nations like Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka to exhibit their inventiveness. The event executes a colorful environment resembling to the typical setting of ‘Indian rural Haat’, which gives it a unique flavor.
The chief objectives of this event are to introduce crafts and their craftsmen directly to the purchasers, to identify, cultivate and preserve languishing crafts of the country and to educate and introduce customers about the captivating technique and skills involved in creation of the crafts.

The fair is jointly organized by the Union Ministry of Tourism, the State Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts department, the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC), the Odisha Sangeet Academy and the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Odissi Research Centre.

The event displays some of the finest handicrafts and handlooms of India such as cane craft from North East, woodcraft from Kashmir, wood and cane inlay work from South India, oxidized jewellery, sea-shell decorations from Rajasthan, patola and bandhni from Gujarat and Rajasthan, fashion accessories such as Punjabi shoes, tribal ornaments of Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, chikan from Lucknow, kantha from Tripura & West Bengal, kanjeevaram from the South. In addition to these, several colorful cultural events and food stalls providing a huge range of scrumptious delicacies make a major draw of the Toshali National Crafts Mela. Other than this, famous music and vocal artists also perform during this event.