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Unusual Festivals In India

7 unusual festivals in India that you got to hear about

Feasts and Festivals are a feature of every religion, they offer a great way to delve into the cultural diversity of a place. And in a country like India where every day is a celebration, it is indeed a privilege for people across the world to witness the kaleidoscopic view of unique Indian diversity through its colorful festivals. Right from vibrant rituals to bizarre traditions, Indian festivals are a blend of diverse beliefs and religious practices that are carried out from time immemorial. If you too have a penchant of rich cultural exchange then this ultimate list of 7 unusual festivals in India will prove handy for you.

Check out uncommon festivals of India mentioned below that are celebrated with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm irrespective of craziness and insane practices. Scroll the list to decide the order of your new wish list!

1. Nag Panchami

Starting with the less weird festival celebrated here in India is the festival of Nag Panchami. This unusual celebration is to worship the Serpent God who is the symbol of mortality, rebirth and spiritual energy. On this special day, Hindu devotees offer milk and turmeric to snakes as it is considered auspicious. A large number of people visit temples to seek blessings for their family and loved ones.

Date of Nag Panchami Festival: Nag Panchami is celebrated during the auspicious month of Sawan which usually falls in August.

Places in India where Nag Panchami is Celebrated: Ujjain, Bageshwar, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Jammu, Karnataka, Maharashtra

2. Lathmar Holi, Uttar Pradesh

Holi is a popular festival of India which is also famous worldwide for its vibrant and fun vibes. It is the festival of colors, however, celebrated differently in every part of the country. One of the extremely known and intriguing ways of playing Holi is the Lathmar Holi which is played in Vrindavan, Nandgaon, and Barsana. It is basically a confrontation between men of Nandgaon and women of Barsana who enact the anecdote of Holi playing from the epic story of Lord Krishna and his beloved Radha. It is played 5 days before the actual Holi and women hurl sticks at the men as part of tradition. 

Date of Lathmar Holi: 5 days before Holi which usually falls in the month of March.

Places in India where Lathmar Holi is Celebrated: Vrindavan, Nandgaon, and Barsana

3. Bhagoria Festival, Madhya Pradesh

One of the unique tribal festivals in India, Bhagoria is celebrated with great fervor in the Indian state of Maharashtra. This festival is more of a marriage fair where people find their partners and elope so that the people of society and their families accept them and their relationship later. It is a weeklong partner hunting festival that is celebrated with a great set up like Swayamvars. This tribal festival is majorly celebrated in Khargone and Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh. So, if you are also looking for a partner for yourself, don’t waste your time and go and visit this festival in the month of March before Holi.

Date of Bhagoria Festival: February or March in the week before the Holi Festival

Places in India where Bhagoria is Celebrated: Khargone and Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh.

4. Theyyam, Kerala

The Indian festival of Theyyam is quite unique just like its name. The main highlights of this fascinating festival are dangerous acts performed by devotees of Lord Murgan that are dedicated to divine power. The feats performed by people include dancing with the crown of hair, wearing coconut fronds, tying burning wicks of wire around the waist. No matter how fierce the fire is, the performer walks on the pire with heavy costumes and masks. It is an ancient ritual of Kerala that is carried out for almost 1500 years.

Date of Theyyam: It begins in the month of November and ends in the first week of May.

Places in India where Theyyam is Celebrated: Kasargod & Kannur in Kerala

5. Aadi Festival, Tamil Nadu

The ritual of breaking coconut with head may sound bizarre but it is practiced in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu during Aadi Festival. This crazy tradition became prominent during British rule when the villagers succeeded with the deal of breaking stones on their heads which were placed by Britishers to avoid construction of a railway track across the temple. For close to the century, the ritual of smashing coconut on head has been followed by devotees at Mahalakshmi Temple in Karur District of Tamil Nadu.

Date of Aadi Festival: July to August

Places in India where Aadi is Celebrated: Karur, Tamil nadu

6. Jallikattu, Tamil Nadu

A festival of bull cuddling is what Jallikattu is known for. Another strange and unusual festival of India, Jallikattu has been celebrated in Tamil Nadu from 3rd century AD. During this festival that is akin to tauromachy in Spain, people contest with bulls and try to win control over them. A lot of people suffer injuries during the tussle and even the cattle's get hurt in the process. It is celebrated during the Pongal, however, citing animal welfare issues, the Supreme Court is putting a ban on this festival.

Date of Jallikattu Festival: During Pongal that falls in the month of January.

Places in India where Jallikattu is Celebrated: Palamedu, Alanganallur and Avaniapuram

7. Thaipusam, Tamil Nadu