December music festivals, your excuse to travel
Bidding adieu to the year gone by is an excuse for a celebration of sorts. That is probably why December is lined up with the most trips and extravagant festivals of all times. December in Incredible India does pack quite the punch when it comes to festivities.
Its festival time and the reasons to travel are plenty. From celebrating Christmas in the hills to ringing in the New Year at a crazy rave party is pretty spectacular on all accounts. Around the country, festivals and events spring up, intent on displaying their repository of culture and heritage to visitors, besides offering a unique way of experiencing a destination and bonding with like-minded folks.
A kaleidoscope of glamour, culture and unbridled fun, they are the perfect way to drown out the winter blues. Take your pick from music, art, cinema and dance, and enrich yourself in the jamboree of traditions.
Hornbill Festival, Nagaland
If you’ve got the taste for everything unique then head for India’s unexplored hinterland – Nagaland -- where the festival of festivals awaits you. The Hornbill Festival packs in everything from adventure car and bike rallies, to fashion shows highlighting Naga textiles. Brave souls can try their luck at the chili eating contest - eating the fiery Bhut Jolokia or the hottest chili pepper in the world. Featuring an extravaganza of ceremonial processions, art displays, traditional dance performances, musical nights, parades, sports and much else, the Hornbill Festival is a great way to get acquainted with Nagaland’s rich traditions.
When: December 1-10, 2017
International Sand Art Festival and Konark Festival, Odisha
Organised by the Odisha Tourism Board, the Konark Festival shines the spotlight on classical dance forms such as Odissi, Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Manipuri. The performances are held in a magical setting, in an open-air auditorium under the night sky with the magnificent Sun Temple as the backdrop. A crafts fair and food festival is also organised alongside. If you need more reasons to visit, this is also the time when the International Sand Art festival is held at the beautiful and quiet Chandrabhaga Beach nearby. Sand artists from India and other countries come to Konark to make breathtaking sculptures using just sand and water.
When: First week of December
Sunburn Festival, Goa
Featuring a roster of some of the most renowned DJs and music artistes from around the world, the Sunburn Festival is proudly called India’s Tomorrowland. Sunburn, India's first and biggest EDM festival will return to North Goa’s Vagator Beach for its eighth year at the end of December. Featuring a roster of some of the most renowned DJs and music artistes from around the world, the Sunburn Festival is a great way to bring in the New Year. Partygoers in India and abroad tend to block their calendars for Sunburn, which is one of the trendiest festivals in December. The three-day event features an arsenal of heavy-hitting numbers for EDM lovers. Vagator Beach is the most happening place in the country around this time.
When: December 28–31, 2017
Magnetic Fields Festival, Rajasthan
Want to party like a King? Book your tickets to the Magnetic Field Festival in Alsisar, Rajasthan and you’ll be treated to a three-day party that is perhaps one of the most versatile festivals in December. The second edition of this boutique music festival unfolds in the dream-like setting of the Alsisar Mahal, a 17th-century palace-turned-hotel in Shekhawati. Magnetic Fields has quickly gained a reputation for being one of the hippest events around the country. Featuring musical concerts, rock shows, yoga workshops, art installations, and treasure hunts – Magnetic Fields Festival is rightly named, for you’ll be rooted to the spot here. The incredible range of things to do here will be complemented by the nighttime ambience when tents are put up for you to camp beneath the stars while the party goes until the wee hours of dawn.
When: December 15-17, 2017
December Music Festival, Chennai
Every December, music is in the air. No better place to enjoy it than Chennai. One of India’s biggest cultural festivals, this month-long extravaganza is the best time to see and hear the finest classical musicians and dancers in South India performing live. The festival dates back to 1929, when Chennai’s oldest sabha or concert hall, the Madras Music Academy, held its first conference. Deeply rooted in the city’s cultural ethos, this period is locally known as the Kutcheri (concert) Season, the December Season or simply the Season, as most of the concerts are held in December, one of the most pleasant months in Chennai. The focus is on instrumental and vocal Carnatic music as well as traditional forms, with the performances spread across various sabhas in the city.
When: December 15 to January 1
The Winter Festival, Rajasthan
The Winter Festival takes place in the tranquil setting of Mt. Abu, Rajasthan. A three-day festival celebrating all the colour and regalia of the Rajasthani culture, the Winter Festival hosts traditional arts, crafts, and dance performances. From an opening ceremony consisting of a procession towards Nakki Lake to a grand finale which includes a spectacular fireworks display, this is one of the most popular festivals in December. Visitors to the Winter Festival are likely to come across music concerts, traditional fairs showcasing the many handicrafts and rituals of Rajasthan, and of course, dance performances.
When: December 29- 30, 2017
Rann Utsav, Gujarat
This is one marathon of a festival, which means your dates can be pretty packed. Welcome to the Rann Utsav which is perhaps Gujarat’s most popular festival. Held amidst the unique terrain of the Rann of Kutch, the Rann Utsav is a celebration of all the good things in life. From folk dances and arts, excursions, handicrafts to adventure activities, handicraft and food stalls, and of course, music performances – Rann Utsav showcases the splendour of Kutch culture and how. The white desert looks absolutely surreal during a full moon night, so try booking your visit on such a night.
When: November 1, 2017 to Feb 20, 2018
As you can see, when it comes to festivals in December in India, there’s much for the taking. So, you have plenty of excuses to travel. Plan your holidays accordingly.