Fairs and Festivals in Rajasthan are colourful and lively affairs. Normally mythological in nature the celebrations relate to Gods and Goddesses, while others are celebrated to commemorate the brave deeds of medieval heroes. The Marwar Festival, held in memory of the heroes of Rajasthan is one such example.
History of the Marwar Festival
The festival is celebrated in the Hindu month of Ashwin (Sept-Oct) in Jodhpur, the former capital of Marwar Province. It is a festival devoted to the music and dance of Marwar region. The festival was originally known as “Maand” Festival. During these two days the folk artists bring to life the myths, legend and folklore of the area.
Why Jodhpur is the best location for the Festival
Jodhpur celebrates the die-hard courage of the heroes of the land, the Rajputs, who are the sons of royal houses. The massive Meharangarh fort and the impressive Umaid Bhawan Palace which are symbols of might and valour of the Rajputs, make Jodhpur an ideal location for the festival. The humongous fort is an apt place to enjoy the beauty of the beautiful blue city.
What to expect at the Festival
Bringing to life the legendary folklores of the area, the folk artists do complete justice to it. Listening to the folk musicians singing praises of the bygone heroes may not be completely understood by all but the fierce intensity can be strongly felt in these songs whatever language you speak. Being in the audience to the buoyant and spirited performers of the folk dances is an immerse experience. Watching the folk dancers, who accurately balance the earthen pots on their heads and dance to the rhythm of the songs sung by the singers, leaves the spectators in awe.
The typical Kalbeliya dance has made a mark internationally and you can witness it here in its own land with the true Indian spirit.
Bringing alive the competitive spirit of Rajasthan
Other attractions of the festival include horse riding and horse polo. Various other competitions are also organized during the festival. Women participate in henna competition, which involves the art of making intricate designs on palms with henna. Rajasthani men take immense pride in their moustache. A turban-tying and moustache competition for men is one of the highlights of the day.
The concept of valour and courage is woven intricately in almost every historical epic of a country. The harshness of the so called fighters is part of their personality. Their stamina to endure any given situation is remarkable. The Rajputs have set a milestone and created a rich history and celebrating these heroic tales allows participants to recognise the toughness of these fighters and the richness of the past.
Souvenirs to bring back home
A small fete is organized by the state tourism and cultural board wherein a number of craftsmen display their skills, you can buy numerous craft items and souvenirs displayed at the stalls set up here, known as “Haats”.
Dates for the Festival
For 2012 the festival is being held on the 28th and 29th of October.In 2013 the festival will take place on the 17th and 18th October
It is only by witnessing a festival such as the Marwar that you can really appreciate the magnificent historical past of Rajasthan!
Thanks to the photographers who shared their images under Creative Commons licence. All images link back to the original source by way of credit.
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