Come September and it's the month of enjoying the beauty of fall. If you are in the USA and thinking to visit India in September, here is a list of a few festivals where you can join the celebrations.
Ladakh festival, Ladakh, September 1-15.
A colorful extravaganza showcasing culture, music, dance, sports and handicrafts. This traditional fiesta promotes the region’s cultural heritage to its fullest. From yak, lion and Tashispa dances which depict the many legends and fables of the land, to lip-smacking dining treats and also barley beer called Chang – the festival is a feast for the senses. This annual fiesta is organized by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Deparment. Polo-match, music concerts, mask dance from the monastries, Thanka painting exhbition, archery, river rafting, and folk songs are also a part of the event.
Ganesh Chaturthi, Maharashtra September 9-18
The auspicious ten-day Ganesh Chaturthi marks the journey of Lord Ganesha. Elaborately crafted statutes of Ganesha are installed in homes and podiums. At the end of the festival, the statutes are paraded through the streets for ritual immersion. Though celebrated for 10-days, it is not uncommon to see people immersing their idols after a few days of celebrations as well.
Onam, Kerela September 16
This month is a good time to visit God's own country as Kerela celebrates Onam for ten days. Athachamayam festival, which kicks off the Onam celebrations, is celebrated on 7th September in Thripunithura near Kochi. Street parade is the highlight of the festival. Caparisoned elephants, traditional music and parasol bearing marchers add delight to the parade.
The ten-day harvest festival marks the homecoming of the mythical King Mahabali. It is a festival rich in culture and heritage. The festival sees a lot of shopping, feasts and dancing.
Aranmula Snake Boat Race, Kerela, September 20
This is the oldest snake boat race in Kerela. The event commemorates the installation of the idol of Lord Krishna at the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. The race is held on the Pamba river which flows by the temple. The festival is celebrated on the fourth day after the main Onam festival.
The snake boats move in pairs on the Pamba River at Aranmula, with impeccable synchronization to the rhythm of singing. Almost 50 boats take part in the race, which starts in the afternoon after religious rituals are completed.
Do you have memories of celebrating these festivals back home in India? Do you still celebrate these while being in USA? Do you get together with friends, visit a temple or bring an idol home? What are the special dishes that you prepare for these festivals. Share these with www.india.com readers who are proudly Indian in the USA.
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