The land of customs and traditions that India is, it’s inevitable to overlook the festivals and events that follow. With 29 states and 7 Union Territories, there’s something unique planned in each corner of our country in each month of the year. Further, June is the month when the monsoons come in. Being a predominantly agriculture-based economy; a lot of festivities are centred around the rains. Let’s take a look at some of the events and festivals that make highlights.
- Sindhu Darshan Festival: (12th – 14th June 2018)
This festival celebrates the spirit of River Sindhu, also known as Indus. This is to give back to the river for all the good it has done to the lives of the people in the Indian society. The setting can best be styled as dreamlike; the festival gives us a taste of Ladakh’s beautiful cultural facets at Shey Manla. Shey Manla is about 8 km from Leh and falls against the milieu of the mighty Indus. The three-day festival is an opportunity for artists from across the country to showcase their art. The festival’s main focus is to promote national integration and communal harmony.
- Shimla Summer Festival: (2nd – 7th June 2018)
The striking lower reaches of Shimla turns into an insurrection of colours as many people, both Indians and foreign nationals, from all across come here to be part of this five-day festival. It’s one of the most fun times for the locals here who enjoy singing and dancing. They celebrate this to pay their homage to the gods for a good harvest. This is the best time for visitors to enjoy the folk culture and exotic food.
- Sao Joao Feast of St John the Baptist (24th June 2018)
This is one of the most popular festivals of Goa. The celebrations are marked by men jumping in the overflowing wells or ponds to pull through bottles of Feni and other gifts and shout ‘Viva Sao Jao’. The celebrations also involve folk dance performances and boat races. Giving us a glimpse of the Portuguese heritage, the festival is celebrated when the monsoon season is just around the corner. The people are dressed beautifully in colourful outfits complemented by crowns made of fruits and leaves.
- Eid-ul-Fitr (June 14)
This is one of the most important festivals among Muslims celebrated on the glimpsing of the new crescent moon. Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of the month of Ramadan, which is one whole month of fasting for the Muslims. The devotees meet for morning prayers and greet each other. Throughout the day, the house is filled with friends and relatives, rejoicing and exchanging gifts.
- International Yoga Day (21st June, 2018)
Yoga was born in India and come 21st June, the whole world will be commemorating the Yoga Day. It’s not surprising that a lot of travellers, especially foreigners would be travelling to India for the best experience. Yoga has had a strong influence across the globe and India, being the birthplace of it you can expect special events to be organized at many major ashrams across the country.
- Kottiyoor Utsavam (26th May to 22nd June, 2018)
The yearly Kottiyoor Utsavam in Kannur, Kerala is among the top events in Southern India. The festival is centred around the worship of Lord Shiva. People seat the idol on the ground on a platform of stones called the Manithara. The event is mainly celebrated at two sites, the Ikkare Kottiyoor Temple and the Akkare Kottiyoor Temple, each on opposite sides of River Bavali. It attracts a lot of devotees and you can be there to experience the rich heritage of this part of the country.
- Ochira Kali (15th and 16th June)
Among the most unique, rather unusual festivals, Ochira Kali sees mock fights between revellers. The fight is actually the commemoration of the battle between the Ambalapuzha and Kayamkulam Kingdoms, back in the medieval ages. Men dress as warriors and take the field, which is a waterlogged wetland and engages in the ritualistic duel. All along, you will hear the beating of drums and combat music! The location of the fight is near the Oachira Temple.
- Uttar Pradesh Mango Festival (18th, 24th & 25th June)
It’s been just a few years that the Mango Festival in Uttar Pradesh is being celebrated annually. It started in 2013 when one of the farmers put together an event to promote her business. Since then, the event has fast grown and is now accompanied by cultural events, seminars, orchard visit, music and more. There’s a lot of mango eating contests that you can be a part of! Now, who doesn’t like locally grown produce!
- Hemis Festival (23rd and 24th June)
Two days of colourful festivity in Ladakh, it’s one of the most beautiful and peaceful experiences you will ever have. The Hemis Festival is celebrated in the Hemis Monastery, commemorating the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tantric Buddhism in Tibet. There’s a lot of traditional dance, music and food during this time. Be a part of the festival and bring back souvenirs handcrafted by locals.
- Champakulam Boat Race (28th June, 2018)
Among the oldest boat races in Kerala, Champakulam marks the opening of the race season. With the monsoons coming in, the event features exotic floats, performance artists, colourful parasols and traditional food. This is also your chance to get a glimpse of the globally known ‘snake boat’ of Kerala! The event is celebrated along the banks of Pampa River in Champakulam, close to the town of Alleppey.
We hope that this list keeps you engaged throughout the month and that you come back with experiences of a lifetime!