What are festivals? They are simply a reflection of one’s culture, beliefs, and traditions. Some are to celebrate the beliefs and others are to mourn the beliefs, every festival has different significance and values and India is home to hundreds of such festivals. Where some happy and glorious ones are known to all, there are still some uncommon festivals that are infamous and are less known to the rest of the world.
Each festival is celebrated with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm irrespective of its craziness and insane practices. Go through this list of 10 bizarre festivals celebrated in India and then decide which all would you like to witness in real.
Starting with the less weird festival celebrated here in India is the festival of Nag Panchami. This unusual celebration is to worship snakes which are directly associated with Lord Brahma. Hindu devotees offer and pour milk and turmeric on snakes on the day. Snakes are considered auspicious and hence people take blessings for their family and loved ones by following the practice. This visual can be seen anywhere in the country mainly in Bengal, Maharashtra, and South India.
Holi is a popular festival of India which is famous worldwide, but the festival is played differently in every part of the country. One of the extremely known and intrigued ways of playing Holi is the Lathmar Holi which is played in Vrindavan, Nandgaon, and Barsana. On this day, women of Barsana beat men of Nandgaon replicating the act from the epic story of Lord Krishna and his beloved Radha. It is an entertaining celebration though a little unusual to see women beating men in a funny way and making them dance like women if caught.
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 tribal festival that is celebrated in Khargone and Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh. It is a weeklong partner hunting festival that is celebrated with a great set up like Swayamvars. So, if you are also finding a partner for yourself, don’t waste your time and go and visit this festival in the month of March before Holi.
The Theyyam festival is quite unique just like the name. Here people perform many different and dangerous acts 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 loud the fire is, the performer is supposed to walk with the heavy dress and mask he is wearing. It is an ancient ritual of Kerala and is being celebrated for almost 800 years.
This festival is celebrated all over India by Muslims to mourn the death of Imam Hussain Ali. Shia Muslims use sharp objects to get wounds on their body and hurt themselves physically. It is a festival of mass mourning and happens every year on the 10th day of the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is quite unusual and scary to see people hurting themselves badly.
A festival of controlling bulls is what Jalliukattu is known for. It is where people fight with bulls and try to win control over them. A lot of people suffer injuries during the action and even animals are hurt in the process. It is believed to be a pious festival and is celebrated during the Pongal celebrations.
Another frightening festival is that of Thaipusam in Tamil Nadu celebrated by the devotees of Lord Muruga where people pierce their lips and mouth with sharp metal objects, hook their skins to chains in order to pull the chariots. All this is to pay regards and prayers to the deity. The festival usually happens in the month of February.
The higher the amount of craziness, the more the festivals become attractions. Though these festivals have positive intent, some of them are drop-dead weird. Most of us are unaware that any such festival even happens in our nation and that is why we have come up with this list. Irrespective of the strangeness, these festivals reflect people’s sentiments and beliefs which are with them for generations and hence deserve equal respect. Choose the ones you would want to be a part of this year and start planning.