& Festival of Karnataka
Every hamlet and village,
every town and city has its own calendar of events to be celebrated. The
fascinating fairs and festivals of Karnataka are a celebration of life
in all its infinite variety. Most of them are exclusive to the state and
reverberate with colour and gaiety.
Ugadi falls on the first day of the month of Chaitra which marks the beginning
of the Chandramana New Year in March-April. This festival is not associated
with many rituals. After an oil bath, people wear new clothes, worship
their deities and then eat a little quantity of mixture of neem juice,
jaggery etc. This is to remind everyone that life is not a bed of roses
but is a combination of happy and sorrowful events. Hearing of a new almanac
is a significant event of the day. The agriculturists generally start
their pre-sowing operations in the field on this day.
Dussera or Navaratri
is celebrated for 10 days from September end to early October. Although
it is celebrated all over India, it has special significance in Mysore,
South India. It symbolizes the victory of goddess Chamundeswari (Durga)
over the demon Mahishasura. i.e. the victory of the good over the evil.
Mysore palace is fully illuminated for a whole month. On the 9th day,
weapons, implements of labour etc. are offered worship. On the 10th day
which is known as Vijayadashami, with the accompaniment of a band colourfully
bedecked elephant carrying the statue of goddess starts from the palace
as a procession with palace chariots and units of the army through the
city to Banni Mantap (where Banni tree is worshipped), about five kilometres
away. In the evening, there is a torchlight parade by the horse mounted
guards who provide an exciting display of horsemanship and the night ends
with a great display of fireworks.
This is observed on the Full moon day of Jyestha (June) by worshipping
the bullocks and the agricultural implements. A special feast is prepared
in the afternoon. In the evening a function called Karihariyodu is performed,
in which the chief event is bullocks race. Many pairs of bullocks participate
in the running race and the pair which come first is acclaimed by the
public. If the bullocks which comes first are red or brown colour, it
is supposed that red variety of jowar will grow in abundance during the
ensuing season and if they are white in colour, white jowar is supposed
to grow in plenty.
Nagarpanchami falls on the 5th day of the bright half of the lunar month
of Shravana. On this day, newly married girls visit their parents. The
religious part of the festival consist of offering worship to cobras and
snakes by pouring milk. In several houses, clay images of snakes are worshipped.
This is observed on the 14th and 15th day of Aswija. It is one of the
important festivals in the village and a local fair in honour of god Vithappa,
is also associated with it. This fair, which was started about 200 years
back, lasts for about three days.
This is observed in the 14th January every year when the sun enters the
sign of Capricorn. On this day, the people exchange til and jaggery as
a token of their love and affection.
This falls on the 14th day of the lunar month of Magh and is considered
as one of the big festivals in the state.
is a festival of merriment and it is also associated with the singing
of many folk songs. Burning of wood and replicas of Kama is a feature
of this festival. They believe that fields in the direction in which charred
wood points on crumbling, will have good crops.
Yellu Amavasya is observed on new moon day in the month of December and
it marks the culmination of the Kharif season. On this day the people
visit the temple and in the noon the members of the households go to their
respective fields taking along with them a variety of dishes like Holige,
bread from bajra flour, a vegetable curry, butter, etc. They pick up five
smooth stones from their fields and worship them. Later, a small quantity
of the various dishes brought by them is thrown in various directions
in the field as a symbol of offerings. The members of the family then
sit together in their field along with their guests and partake of the
Ramzan is the most important month in the religious year of the Muslims.
During the Ramzan month, Muslims take their food only before dawn and
again after dusk after offering their prayers in the evening. Severe austerity
is the key note of this festival. At the end of the month the Muslims
offer prayers, and exchange greetings.
This festival of lights begins on the 13th day of the dark half of the
lunar month of Aswija and lasts for about five days. The traders open
new accounts on this day. It is a festival of fireworks and divas.
When the fields are flush with water, buffaloes race down a slushy track,
egged on by a strong-muscled farmer who surfs his way down the track behind
the beasts while balancing precariously on a trailing wooden plank. A
riot of colour, frenzied cheers and shining torsos slick with sweat mark
this annual sporting event where the prize goes to the swiftest. Get swept
away by the excitement of the Kambala buffalo race, a rural sport in southern
coastal Karnataka, which originally began as a royal pastime and was later
continued by the feudal lords of the Tulu region.
The sleepy town of Melkote comes alive during the annual Vairamudi festival
when the deity of the hill shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu is adorned
with the legendary diamond-studded crown brought from the Mysore Palace.
This nightlong event, part of the 10-day Brahmotsavam, is witnessed by
thousands of devotees.
The ruins of Hampi come alive with the strains of music and sounds of
dance when the State Government holds the Vijaya Utsav to recreate the
grandeur of the erstwhile Vijayanagar Empire and a bygone era. Similar
festivals are held at Halebid, Pattadakal, Karavalli and Lakkundi.
It is believed that Goddess Cauvery appears in the form of a sudden upsurge
of water in a small tank to give darshan to the innumerable devotees gathered
here. This event is known as theerthodbhava and is celebrated with much
festivity in Kodagu. Thousands flock to witness the event and seek the
Goddess's blessings, bathe in her waters and carry back bottles full of
holy water from the source of the river.
The Rajyotsava Day is celebrated on the 1st of November every year. This
day marks the formation of the Karnataka State. Apart from this, other
state festivals celebrated here are the Coorg festival, Hampi/Vijayanagar
festival and the Hoysala festival. These festivals celebrate the rich
cultural heritage of Karnataka.
Shri Yellamma Devi
Shri Yellamma Devi fair is held at Saundatti. It is held for about 5 times
between October and February. But the Margasira is the biggest one, which
is held on the full moon day.
The Godachi Fair
The Godachi fair is held at Godachi village in Ramdurg Taluk of Karnataka.
It is held in the month of Kartik This fair is held in the honour of Shri
Veerabhadra and it is organized by the government of Karnataka.
The Banashankari Devi fair is held near Badami. It is an annual fair held
in the month of January on the full moon day. This fair lasts for 10 to
12 days. At the fair, villagers buy agricultural items, utensils and other
articles of domestic needs.
Karnataka in Details