Category: India

*/ This is a sub-category under events and festivals. It will have posts related to festivals and events in India. /*

Festa De Diu

Diu, the Isle of Calm, has always been a destination for people who would like to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Diu is renowned for its scenic beauty, the wonderful sandy beaches and the heritage buildings.


How to get to Diu

By Flight– Diu airport at Nagao is connected by a daily flight from Mumbai. Rajkot airport connects major cities in India and from there is a short drive to Diu.

By train– Veraval is the nearest station at 90km from Diu. Major cities are well-connected to this station.

By bus– State-run buses and private buses serve from Ahmedabad to Diu. The journey is of 10 hours.

By car– It well-connected to the major National highways Gir 67 km, Somnath 90 km, Rajkot 219 km, Ahmedabad 450 km and Mumbai 815 km.


Diu is hosting the longest beach festival to celebrate art, culture, music and much more. There are special performances by Kailash Kher, Shreya Ghoshal and Sivamani.


Adventure – There is an incredible adventure that awaits you from a Hot Air Balloon ride, Zip Lining and Bungee Jumping.


Here is a glimpse into the Beach Festival at Diu

Jan 21- Jan 24 ARTS WEEK

January 21– Tera Cotta Workshop at the amphitheatre 5 pm

January 22– Painting Workshop at the amphitheatre 5 pm

January 23– Fashion Show at Diu Fort 5-7 pm and Rapid Painter at Amphitheatre at 5 pm

January 24– Symphony Orchestra at the Beach 8 pm-10 pm

January 25– Performance Lambada Band at the Beach 8pm-10pm


 Jan 26-Jan 31 Patriotic Week

January 26– Prince Dance Group at amphitheatre 7 pm onwards and Ragga Trippin at the beach at 8 pm

January 29– Cultural Show- Bal Bhavan Board-Diu Cultural Zone at Amphitheatre -8 pm onwards.

January 30– Performance- Manipuri Acrobats, Thang Ta, Pung Cholom, Dhol Cholom at Amphitheatre-7 pm onwards

January 31– Concert by Kailash Kher at the beach -8pm-10pm

Accommodation– Festival village has 60 luxury tents, over 200 conference seating and 2 spas. So, if the above excites you to be at the beach festival, you can stay at the Luxury Tents with air-conditioning. The tents have king-size beds and TVs. You have the option to choose from a Luxury Cottage and Luxury Cottage with Sea View.

Other attractions– While at Diu, you could also visit Gir National Forest and Wildlife Sanctuary which is 67 km from Diu. It is home to tigers, leopards, hyenas, crocodiles and lions inhabiting. You will have an unforgettable experience with lush hillsides and pristine nature.

You could also visit the Somnath temple which is 90kms from Diu. The most sacred among the 12 jyotirlingas in India.

Once back in Diu, enjoy the beautiful sunset with delicious seafood and drinks.

Nagoa beach
Nagoa beach

References: Image courtesy Festa Diu logo

Nagoa beach

The International Kite Festival

With the onset of January, there are many festivals to look forward to. According to the Indian calendar, the day when winter begins to turn into summer and the farmer gets ready for the harvest season it is called Makara Sankranti or Uttarayan. It is a bright sunny day with brisk breezes ideal for the kites to soar in the skies. It is celebrated every year on 14th January.

The International Kite Festival (Uttarayan) is one of the biggest festivals celebrated in Gujarat, India. The kites are manufactured months before this festival at Patang Bazaar, the special kite market where you can get kites and kite supplies. The kite makers prepare a strong kite with springy bamboo frames and kite paper. This is then attached with a spool of manja (a kite-string that is coated with the mixture of glass and glue so that you could cut strings of rival kites.

Manja (the string with which kite is flown) Maker, Meena Kadri -
Manja (the string with which kite is flown) Maker

 The International Kite Event takes place in Ahmedabad. The event is organised by Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited. You could enjoy this festival at its best from Sabarmati Riverfront where the sky is filled with thousands of kites. This festival is on 10th and 11th January. It is one of the most colourful festivals to be celebrated on the national and international level. There is fervor of humanity, celebration, vigor and excitement. It is a platform that allows people from all walks of life to come together and display their skills in flying.


Kites are made from different materials like paper and cloth. There is an amazing collection on display from simple and fancy kites in all shapes and sizes. Kites also have social messages, awareness information in unique patterns and designs. Each kite is unique. Kites with geometric designs are a common sight. Kite flyers experiment with various things like string, kite shapes, sizes, and materials like paper, khadi, silk, fibre glass and polyester film.


Schedule of the event across Gujarat, India is as follows:

8th Jan 2016 – Surat, Rajkot

9th Jan 2016- Vadodara and Bhavnagar

10 and 11th – Sabarmati Riverfront, Ahmedabad

12th– Bhuj and Porbandar

13th -Modhera and Khambhat

14th– Pol, Ahmedabad

International Kite Flying -2016 will have around 100 participants from various countries like UK, Germany, Austria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Singapore, USA, Canada, Thailand, Italy, Estonia, Cambodia, Netherland, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Philippines, Vietnam, Argentina, China, Turkey, Brazil, Belgium, France, Nigeria, Poland and South Korea.


Kite Masters and flyers from around the world showcase their unique creations and wow the crowds with their unusual kites. A few years back, kite makers from Malaysia brought their wau-balang kites, giant banner kites were bought by kite innovators of USA and Japanese rokkaku fighting kites shared space in the sky with sculptural kites from Italy and flying dragons from China.

If you are in Gujarat, India, in the month of January then do not miss out this festival.


*/ PS. The above schedule is subject to change. /*

Image sources:

Meena Kadri

Navaratri Festival and Dusshera

Continuing from my previous posts on Navratri …….

On the days of Indian rituals and religious festivals, vegetarian food is prepared at home.  There are households who do not have onions and garlic. Thus, the choice becomes limited about what to cook.

The most common dishes for Navaratri are:

  1. Sabudana puris and vadas which are made of tapioca
  2. Sabudana kheer- Pudding made of tapioca
  3. Sabudana khichdi- Made from tapioca
  4. Vrat ke chawal- The rice that is made during fasting
  5. Singhare ka halwa- Water chestnut pudding.
  6. Lauki halwa- Pudding made from Bottle gourd
  7. Vegetable rice cutlets- cutlets made of mixed vegetables and rice.

Below are videos where Manjula shows how to prepare these dishes for Navratri in her kitchen

Tomorrow shall mark the tenth day of Ashwin in the Hindu lunisolar calendar. The first nine days being celebrated as Navaratri. This Hindu festival is celebrated across India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Dussehra or Vijayadashami marks the victory of Goddess Durga over Mahishasur, the demon. Durga Puja ends on this day with the immersion of idols. People visit each other’s house and exchange gifts. The saffron-colored Marigold are particularly associated with this festival and sold in abundance during this festive period. They are used for worship and decorating workplaces and homes.

Marigold garlands
Marigold garlands

In northern India, mainly Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and western Bihar, there is a tradition to plant barley seeds in earthen pots on the first day of Navratri. The sprouts on the tenth day, Dussehra, are used as symbols of luck. Many plays and dramas based on Ramayana are performed during this period known as ‘Ramlila’. The effigies of Ravana filled with firecrackers containing phosphorus are burned on Dussehra. The ceremonial burning of effigies of Ravana celebrates the victory of Rama. Dussehra is a festival of victory of Good over Evil.

Effigy of Ravana
Effigy of Ravana

Wish u all a Happy Dusshera


Navaratri Festival

Navaratri is a festival devoted to the worship of the Hindu deity Durga. The word Navaratri signifies ‘nine evenings’ in Sanskrit, ‘nava’ which means nine and ‘ratri’ which means nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine types of Devi are venerated. The tenth day is known as Vijayadashami or ‘Dussehra’ (Dasera). Navaratri is a vivacious celebration all over India and Nepal. This year Navratri started on October 13, 2015 and shall end on October 22, 2015

Jai Durga Maa
Jai Durga Maa

Durga is “Devi” (goddess) or “Shakti” (vitality or force). It is this vitality, which helps God to continue with the work of creation, safeguarding and demolition. As such, you can say that God is still, totally immutable, and the Divine Mother Durga, does everything. Really talking, our love of Shakti re-affirms the exploratory hypothesis that vitality is perpetual. It can’t be made or annihilated. It is always there.

Navaratri is bifurcated into sets of three days to revere diverse parts of the incomparable goddess. On the initial three days, the Mother’s power is invoked called Durga keeping in mind the end goal to annihilate every one of our debasements, vices and imperfections. The following three days, the Mother is loved as a supplier of otherworldly riches, Lakshmi, is considered to have the influence of presenting to her devotees the endless riches. The last arrangement of three days is spent in revering the mother as the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati. All together have all-round accomplishment in life, we require the gifts of every one of the three parts of the perfect mother; thus, the worship for nine nights.

Devotees have nine different colors for each day of this festival. The nine colors are

First Day- Yellow

Second Day- Green

Third Day-Grey

Fourth Day- Orange

Fifth Day- White

Sixth Day- Red

Seventh Day-Blue

Eight Day- Pink

Ninth Day/ Tenth Day-Purple

Dandiya Raas
Dandiya Raas

‘Garba Raas’ and ‘Dandiya Raas’ are the most celebrated Indian folk dance during Navratri garba festival. A popular dance from Gujarat and is being performed not only all over India but all over the world by the Gujaratis.

Devotees observe fast for all nine days during Navaratri. Fasting is not just for spirituality, but it makes us self-disciplined also. It trains our mind and body to be prepared for any hardship in life. It teaches us not to give up!

You may like to read 4 finger-licking recipes for this festive season

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