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Unique Festivals of India in January

7 mins. read

We have walked into the New Year with January. The excitement of the New Year and the whole festive charm still seems active within. So maybe, one more celebration will charge up the New Year a little more. January is full of many opportunities. After all, it brings a whole new season of interesting festivals at the beginning of the year itself. Let us explore some of the most unique festivals this January and figure out if we can travel there to experience it! Indeed, every festival is known for its particular essence of celebration and excitement. Above all, each with a story and each with a new charm. Thereby, we’ll look at each festival with its own category. So, what are you waiting for? Get your festive spirit charged because you are about to be loaded with irresistible options!


Kites & Balloons Festival




Makar Sankranti

Date: 15th January

The Region of Celebration: All over India. (Maharashtra)

About the Festival:

Makar Sankranti is an ancient festival marking the end of the month with the winter solstice. Makar Sankranti is celebrated as a tribute to the Sun God. In Maharashtra, Makar Sankranti brings ‘til gul ladoo’ to share a feeling of sweeter beginnings.



Date: 13th January

The Region of Celebration: North India

About the Festival:

North India’s Makar Sankranti where Punjabi folk festival has become the imagery of it. People dance, sing and celebrate the beginning of the new season and longer days. Above all, the songs and dances have significant symbolism of a tribute to Sun God and Fire.


National Kite Festival

Date: 14th January

The Region of Celebration: Ahmedabad, Gujarat and Jaipur, Rajasthan

About the Festival:

Flocks of tourists set their eyes towards the sky. Thousands of colourful high rising and smoothly flying kites decorate the sky. Competitions of the kite flying are also a part of the festival. It is an exclusive experience to witness and fly kites in the sky full of creative flying papers!


Tamil Nadu International Balloon Festival

Date: 13th to 15th January

The Region of Celebration: Tamil Nadu

About the Festival:

India is showing its growth in Hot air ballooning. Whereas, Tamil Nadu will be hosting its fifth Balloon Festival. Concerts, games and contests have kept kids and travellers equally happy. It has brought significant attention to Pollachi as one happening destination around this time.


Araku Balloon Festival

Date: 18th to 20th January

The Region of Celebration: Andhra Pradesh

About the Festival:

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh sets to host its second edition of the Balloon Festival. The catchiest thing about this balloon ride is a bliss involving exceptional sceneries of Eastern Ghats. Araku Balloon Festival stores a luxurious and unforgettable experience for every traveller.   


Dance & Music Festival

Mamallapuram Indian Dance Festival


Mamallapuram Indian Dance Festival

Date: 23rd December to 23rd January

The Region of Celebration: Tamil Nadu

About the Festival:

Mamallapuram Indian Dance Festival showcases more than 60 classical and folk dances from across India. This is an open-air dance festival with a set of rock-cut structures and sculptures. It gives it an antique ambience and feels to the festival.


Modhera Dance Festival

Date: 18th to 20th January

The Region of Celebration: Modhera, Gujarat

About the Festival:

Imagine a cultural festival full of classical dance events and music that resonates with the ancient temple as its set! The 11th century Sun Temple is illuminated. The evening settings of the event bring the classical times to life.


Cultural & Traditional Festivals


Meenakshi Temple Madurai
Meenakshi Temple, Madurai


Date: 15th to 18th January

The Region of Celebration: Tamil Nadu

About the Festival:

Did you know? Pongal is also known as India’s equivalent of Thanksgiving. Moreover, Pongal dish and families together dancing and rejoicing is what makes the festival is one of its kind. Above all, it is one of the most important harvest festivals in Southern India.


Float Festival

Date: 24th January

The Region of Celebration: Meenakshi temple, Madurai

About the Festival:

Madurai’s full moon festival of Goddesses taken on processions is one of the most beautiful festivals you can witness.  The idols are floated on a decorated and lamp lit raft, in a tank. And, hence the name.



Festivals with Animals

Adoor Gajamela
Adoor Gajamela


Bikaner Festival

Date: 12th to 13th January

The Region of Celebration: Bikaner, Rajasthan

About the Festival:

Bikaner Festival’s main character is the rich decorated camels. They are taken on a procession and the parade includes folk music and festivities.                


Adoor Gajamela

Date: 18th January

The Region of Celebration: Kerala

About the Festival:

Parthasarathy temple takes a procession of decorated elephants at the end of their 10-day festival. The elephants are intricately decorated with jewels in the festival of Adoor Gajamela. In addition to that, experience traditional art and cultural expressions. No doubt, they truly are the main features of the parade.


Regional Special Festivals

Indian Sadhu

Rann Utsav

Date: Until 20th February

The Region of Celebration: Dhordo, Gujarat

About the Festival:

Ran Utsav is one of the most popular cultural festivals of India. It is set on the exotic white salt desert of Kutch. Above all, enjoy folk dances and music, adventure sports, handicrafts, food stalls, and explorations. Know exactly how Runn Utsav has earned its popularity for so many reasons!


Ardh Kumbh Mela

Date: 14th January to 4th March

The Region of Celebration: Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh

About the Festival:

As the name suggests, Ardh Kumbh Mela is the half version of the original Kumbh Mela. It is hosted in Allahabad in every 6 years. Sadhus come for a spiritual gathering and holy bath in the holy water of the river.


Kenduli Mela

Date: 15th to 17th January

The Region of Celebration: Kenduli village, West Bengal

About the Festival:

West Bengal’s folk music comes to life the mystics of Baul musicians gather together. They perform with unique musical instruments and sing songs of the philosophy of life. Their music changes the vibe of the West Bengal into something very elevating.


India is known to celebrate festivals since the beginning of time. They mark the arrival of new seasons. When your heart is inclined to celebrations, there are so many reasons to do so. And, so many more ways too. India is heaven for the ones who believe in celebrating smaller things in lives like seasons and values. So find your reason to celebrate... Later pick a culture to experience... And, then, at the beginning of the year itself, LIVE a celebration in every form!


January 04, 2019


Priyanka Tawde
Priyanka Tawde

A tripping traveller with twisted brains and a passion to express. Words may seem her forte but they are just tools for her art of expression. Pretty much a good weirdo sprinkled with stardust and space love. Mystery is what she follows and Curiosity is where you'll find her.

More Blogs by Priyanka Tawde

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