Important cultural festivals in India that brands should take note of
India has been counted among must-visit tourist destinations globally, not for its towering structures or night life but for its magnificent culture and the lively festivals it celebrates round the year, from north to south, east to west. Many of India's cultural festivals either have religious lineage or got popular overtime. But, they all attract huge crowd both locally and internationally. For Indians, they hold profound allegiance to these annual events, so much so that some save up for months and spend weeks preparing for a festival. These festivals don't just attract masses but marketers alike, considering the huge footfall that these events receive. Even some of the most widely appreciated experiential activities have been done around some of these festivals. EE brings top 5 cultural events in India that are dearer to its masses, which the marketers should take note of.
Diwali is probably one festival that is celebrated across India with a difference of 1 day depending on region. It lasts 5 days in total that represents the win of good over evil and represents the start of Hindu's new year. It is commonly known as the 'festival of lights' both locally and internationally, for the reason that fireworks are carried out across the country. It is also a time when people receive their annual bonuses and they spend lavishly on buying new things for their homes from electronics to cars as it is considered auspicious during that time. Apart from buying goods, people exchange gifts with each other.
NAVARATRI, DUSSEHRA and DURGA POOJA
Falling around the month of August, the first nine days of these festivals are known as 'navaratri', which is held in the honour of mother goddess. The tenth days is celebrated as the day when the demon king 'Ravana' was defeated by lord 'Rama'. It is called 'Dussehra'. During these days, a lot of people switch to being vegetarians and many restaurants are seen 'navaratra special' meals to devotees. Around this time, 'Durga Pooja' is also celebrated. In the eastern part of India, this is the most important celebration of any year that receives strong social following with drama, music, cultural performances and theatrical performances. However, it is also celebrated across norther part of India wherever there is a strong Bengali community. A lot of shopping and business happens around this time. Guajarat is another destination that celebrates 'navaratri' in a big and grand way. It is an ideal place to experience 'navaratri' and 'Garba' dance that people in the state perform during the 9 days of the festival.
This is probably one celebration that is imitated around the globe by Indian communities and foreigners who enjoy this traditional Indian festival. It is a two day festivity that also celebrates the victory of good over evil, and to welcome the harvest season. "Festival of Colors" is what it is often referred to, especially by foreign visitors and it is primarily celebrated in the northern regions of India. The festival witnesses huge rise in the consumption of liquor on the day of Holi as it coincides with a religious practice of drinking an alcoholic drink called 'bhang'. During the festival, people throw color and sprinkle water at each other.
If we do not talk about annual festivals, Kumbh is one festival that gets the attention of entire India and internationally followed. Some of the great experiential marketing initiatives have been done around this festival that happens only 4 times in 12 years. Pilgrims in millions can be seen parading between four sacred rivers; Ganges river, Shipra, Godavari and at the confluence of Ganges, Sarasvati (mythical) and Jamuna. This is one event that not only gets millions of visitors but wide media coverage.
KERALA TEMPLE FESTIVAL
This Indian festival from the south state of Kerala inspires awe especially on tourists who are not used to the regional culture, as gigantic elephants completely decorated in Gold and jewels like a bride walk through a procession. These processions are also followed by drummers, colourful floats and musicians that draw huge crowd. The state is also have renowned temples known for their grand festivals.
PUSHKAR CAMEL FAIR
If camel is on a tourist's list then this is the place to go. A festival that attracts up to 50,000 camels each year that come to the small town of Pushkar in the state of Rajasthan in India. This is a festival often popular among western tourists, where camels are dressed up, groomed and shaved to make them beautiful and paraded through a huge ground for trading. It is a really old tradition that is celebrated even today.
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