April is the time when India is basking in the afterglow of winter, the harvest season has already arrived, and spring greenery begets the flourishing greenery around. People across the country are busy celebrating festivals in April, which majorly comprise of the harvest season and occasions celebrating blooming of flowers. While the enormous amount of energy can be seen in the folks celebrating these festivals, these events also commemorate the centuries-old traditions of the region. Following are the popular festivals of India in the month of April.
Date: First two weeks of April at Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, Srinagar, Kashmir.
Spring is when Kashmir is at its most picturesque, and is also the season for flowering tulips. This special time of year is beautifully captured by the Tulip Festival in Srinagar, home to Asia’s largest tulip garden. As well as the arresting sight of more than a million blooms, the festival features daily cultural programs, Kashmiri folk songs, sale of local handicrafts, and traditional Kashmiri cuisine. This year, there are more than 50 varieties of tulips and several new fountains installed in the garden.
Date: 14 April, Punjab
Baisakhi is a harvest festival, a Punjabi new year festival, and commemoration of the founding of the Khalsa (Sikh religion brotherhood) all rolled into one occasion. It’s celebrated with a great deal of feasting, bhangra dancing, folk music, and fairs. Major celebrations are organized at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, and it becomes carnival-like outside. There’s also a street procession.
Date: April 14-16, Assam
Bihu is the main festival of Assam, in Northeast India. This agricultural festival occurs three times a year but the biggest celebration, known as Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu, happens in April. It’s celebrated for three days and marks the start of the new year there, as well as seeding time in spring. The first day is dedicated to the cows, which are vital to agriculture. The second day is spent visiting friends and relatives, along with plenty of singing and dancing. On the third day, deities are worshiped.
Date: April 8-22, Madurai, Tamil Nadu
The Chithirai Festival is one of the biggest celebrations in Madurai. It re-enacts the wedding of Lord Sundareswarar (Lord Shiva) and Goddess Meenakshi (Lord Vishnu’s sister). Legend has it that Lord Vishnu came to Madurai, mounted on a golden horse, to witness the wedding.
Date: Date may vary each year in April
The festival of Ram Navami marks the birthday of Lord Ram, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It’s celebrated in a religious manner all over India.
Date: 8 April – 10 April, Udaipur, Rajasthan
At Gangaur Ghat, on the banks of Lake Pichola in Udaipur, images of goddess Gauri are transferred onto boats amidst much singing and and taken out onto the lake. The festival continues with more singing, dancing, and cultural programs and finishes off with a huge display of fireworks. It’s a fantastic opportunity to see a range of traditional musical instruments being played.
Date: 8 April – 9 April, Rajasthan
One of the most important festivals in Rajasthan, Gangaur is all about honoring the goddess Gauri. A manifestation of Parvati (Lord Shiva’s wife), she represents purity and austerity. This festival is predominantly for women. Colorful processions of bejeweled images of the goddess Gauri wind their way all over cities and villages, accompanied by local bands.
Sankat Mochan Music Festival
Date: April 23-29, 2019 at Sankat Mochan Hanuman temple, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
The first Sankat Mochan Music Festival was held in 1923, and since then it’s attracted acclaimed classical musicians and dancers to perform from all over India. Recitals are held every evening in the temple courtyard and go on until dawn, as part of Hanuman Jayanti (birthday of Lord Hanuman) celebrations. Date of festival may vary each year.