2017 is on its way out and even before the new year has rolled in, we have already scanned our calendars for those long weekend and holidays. It’s always better to plan ahead for those much-needed breaks from work, right? And we’re in luck…India is such a diverse country and no matter how much you explore it, there will always be a new destination waiting to be discovered. So, here’s a list of cultural festivals happening all around the country, through the year. All you need to do is bookmark the dates and keep yourself free. Celebrate colours, art, culture, literature and above all, celebrate India.
1. Rann Utsav
Where the skyline meets the sand dunes of the Rann of Kutch, you will witness a horizon like no other. One of the biggest salt deserts in the world, this beautifully barren expanse in Gujarat is a lifetime experience in itself. Rann Utsav is a celebration of Kutch’s culture and heritage and is held once every year. Folk music, dance performances, live concerts, camel rides, food stalls, handicrafts bazaars – this festival brings together the true essence of Kutch.
Place: Bhuj, Kutch District, Gujarat
Dates: 1 November 2017 – 20 February 2018
2. International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK)
If you’re a cinephile, you’d love this festival. Held at Kerala State Chalachitra Academy in Thiruvananthapuram, it focuses on screenings of short films, documentaries, international films, homages, tributes and retrospectives of major filmmakers. It is a cinematic treat for someone who wants to make a career in filmmaking.
Place: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Dates: 8 – 15 December 2017
3. Magnetic Fields Festival
Calling all music lovers, this one is for you. Magnetic Fields Festival celebrates music like no other. Though this fest is just three years old, it’s already quite popular across India. Nestled amongst the sand dunes, this festival takes place at a heritage hotel and is all things music. It not only hosts more than 40 bands and DJs, the most exciting bit is the performance by local artists and musicians. A mix of traditional music with contemporary tunes – you just can’t miss this festival.
Place: Alsisar, Rajasthan
Dates: 15 – 17 December 2017
4. Sunburn Festival
You probably already know about the famous Sunburn Festival and you also know that you NEED to check it off your bucket list, don’t you? It is Asia’s biggest dance and music festival and this year it’s happening in Pune. With Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, DJ Snake, Clean Bandit, Martin Garrix and Nucleya – the artists’ lineup is quite exciting. It’s bigger and better this time… so are you ready to book your tickets?
Place: Pune, Maharashtra
Dates: 28 – 31 December 2017
5. Jaipur Literature Festival
On chilly winter mornings, at the beautiful Diggi Palace, the Jaipur Literature Fest is your ultimate destination if you’re a book lover. It is said that it’s the ‘greatest literary show on Earth’ and the ‘Kumbh of literature’ and there’s no chance in this world that any bibliophile would miss this one, right? JLF is an annual festival that brings together the world’s greatest writers, thinkers, and influencers on one stage.
Place: Diggi Palace, Jaipur
Dates: 25 – 29 January 2018
6. Sula Fest
Sula Fest is your one-stop solution for some great music, food and of course, wine. This year’s festival will include an English electronic-folk band, Crystal Fighters, who will be performing for the first time in India. With the best food and beverage brands, Sula Fest is a two-day extravaganza. So, what are you waiting for? Go book your tickets because who doesn’t love wine, after all?
Place: Sula Vineyards, Nashik District, Maharashtra
Dates: 3 – 4 February 2018
7. Kala Ghoda Arts Festival
Kala Ghoda Arts Festival celebrates art in all its forms. It’s a beautiful display of India’s culture at a confined place in the mesmerising Fort area of South Mumbai. Theatre, cinema, dance, and music performances, art installations, and so much more – this festival witnesses the best of ‘em all. People travel from all over the country to attend this festival. It’s totally worth your time and we can vouch for that.
Place: Fort, South Mumbai
Dates: 3 – 11 February 2018
Music is the voice of the soul, and when artists from all over the country put together a performance amidst the Khurdi dunes camp, right under the moonlight, you know it’s going to be a magical affair. A mix of folk and pop, jugalbandis and sufi, Afro and trance, techno and rock – this festival gives you a wide range of musical performances you will absolutely love.
Place: Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Dates: 23 – 25 February 2018
9. Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI)
MAMI celebrates the art of cinema like no other. It is believed that cinema is the reflection of society and the Mumbai Film Festival makes sure we witness cinema in its truest form. While movies are becoming more and more commercial with every passing day, festivals like MAMI keep intact the purpose of cinema in our society. It brings forth short films, movies and documentaries not only from India but also from different parts of the world. It’s an experience that you just can’t miss.
Dates: 25 October – 1 November 2018
10. Pushkar Fair
A vibrant display of Rajasthan’s unique culture – Pushkar Fair is a once in a lifetime experience. With more than 500 Hindu temples located in the area, this festival pulls in a wide range of tourists from all around the world. Situated in Ajmer, Pushkar is home to Rajasthan’s architectural heritage. Apart from the usual cultural and traditional activities, the camel fair and the hot balloon fair are the two main attractions you need to attend for sure.
Place: Pushkar, Rajasthan
Dates: 15 November – 23 November 2018