Discover some of the most amazing, but lesser-known festivals this winter in India. For families interested in art, vibrant cultural traditions, history and incredible natural landscapes, India’s winter festivities have you covered.
February brings big things to India, including the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. Hosted Feb. 2–9 in Mumbai, the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is a beloved annual event filled with artistic expression, film screenings and diverse cultural celebrations. Sit in on live musical performances, in-depth discussions and days of festivities celebrated throughout the area. Dive into a new culture with the kids and get the lesser-interested travelers invested in local art and artisans.
Over in Northeast India, bordering Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan, Sikkim boasts a fun blend of cultural celebrations. Of those celebrations, Losar Festival is not to be missed. Hosted Feb. 5–7, the annual event is also known as the Tibetan New Year and acts as a harvest festival for locals.
Guests visit the local monastery, perform a series of rituals and visit with loved ones in celebration of the commemorative day. Expect traditional dances, participants exchanging flowers and an onslaught of goodwill and well wishes.
Ragasthan in Jaisalmer: Feb. 17–19
Hosted in the once medieval region of Jaisalmer, Ragasthan, and also known as the Jaisalmer Desert Festival, this is a sight to be seen. Hosted in an idyllic desert locale, the annual celebration honors Hindu traditions with exciting festivities along the sand dunes. Guests dress in their finest, most vibrant pieces and head to the desert on camel back in a historic event rooted in culture and tradition. Watch as professionals play camel polo and tear through the sand with gymnastic competitions and exciting live events — it’s the quintessential Indian desert experience.
Traditional Indian dances, art and fanfare — what more could a traveler look for than the Khajuraho Dance Festival? Hosted in Khajuraho, Feb. 18–24, the yearly event brings out the best of local artisans and world-renowned creators for the nightly festivities. Presentations and exhibits typically begin in the evening and go late into the night.
Carnival is known world-round as an epic celebration of parades, live music, dancing and street attractions, with the largest celebration in Brazil. Mix it up this year with a visit to Goa, India, during Carnival, March 2–5. The yearly event is the largest in the country and one of the only celebrations in Asia, causing a fun commotion for locals and visitors alike. Hit the streets with fun parties and vibrant celebrations you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
Read more about the festivals that interest you and the kids and plan an exotic escape over winter break.