August Festivals and Fairs, 2016

Fairs / Festivals August 2016
Month Festival Place
August 7 to 9, 2016 Gogamedi Fair Rajasthan
August 07, 2016 Nag Panchami All India
August 8, 2016 Mud Rush Maharashtra
August 8, 2016 Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race Kerala
August 14, 2016 Jhapan Mela West Bengal
August 15, 2016 Indian Independence Day All over India
August 5, 2016 Teej Festival North India
August 18, 2016 Rakhi/Raksha Bandhan All over India
August 25, 2016 Janmashtami All over India
August 29, 2016 Athachamayam Thrippunithura Tripunithura
August 29 – September 8, 2016 Velankanni Church Feast Tamil Nadu


India is indeed a land of festivals. In bengale there is a quote which says "baro mashe tero parbon", meaning there are only 12 months in a year but 13 festivals to celebrate. Let’s take a look at the festivals and fairs coming up in the month of August.

Festivals

Teej Festival

When: August 05th

This festival is celebrated all over North India in Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, UP and Bihar. It marks the onset of the monsoon, and as per mythology this is the day that Lord Shiva and Parvati were united in the holy institution of matrimony.

Celebrations: Ladies fast for their husbands on this day. The fasting is rigorous, and many go without water. Teej is also a celebration of the union of divinity and thus the women foldk celebrate with colourful parties, singing, dancing, henna tattoos and swings. The speciality dish of Teej is the famous sweet Ghewar of Rajasthan.

Teej Festival Calendar
Date Day Year
12 August Tuesday 2014
17 August Thursday 2015
5th September Sunday 2016

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Nag Panchami

When: August 07th

As per Hindu religion God is omnipresent and can be every single being that He has created. Based on this belief, Nag Panchami is celebrated all over India as veneration to snakes. It is observed on the fifth day of the full moon in the moth of Shravan as per Hindu calendar.

Significance & Celebrations: Shravan is the monsoon period when snakes tend to become abundant in numbers, and many fall prey to their bites. During Nag Panchami, Nag Devta (Cobra, the king of snakes) is worshipped, and offered milk with a prayer for protection from snake bites.

People keep a rigid fast on this day, houses are cleaned, and ploughing and tilling of land is not done as it disturbs the snakes which live there. Idols of snake made of clay are worshipped and offered milk, gandh, haldi (turmeric), chandan (sandalwood paste), and kesar (saffron).

The feast on this day includes sweetmeats like Sevai (vermicelli), rice items, Laddoo (sweet dish made of dried condiments), etc.

 

Nag Panchami Calendar
Date Day Year
11 August Sunday 2013
1 August Friday 2014
19 August Wednesday 2015
07 August Sunday 2016

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Indian Independence Day

When: August 15th

The day that India broke free of the clutches of the British Raj is celebrated as the Independence Day all over the country. It is a day of great pride and joy for the Indians, and is celebrated with great pomp and show.

Celebrations: Flag hoisting marks the Independence Day. The Tiranga is hoisted in schools, official buildings, hospitals, government buildings a day before Independence Day as on that day it is a national holiday, and all institutions remain closed etc. Even the hospitals run only on skeleton staff.

The capital cities of all the states have a parade of march-past ceremony where the chief minister of the state accepts the salute. Kite flying is a tradition associated with Independence Day and the skies can be seen covered with kites with the Tri Colours.

The real action of course takes place in the Red Fort area of the capital city of Delhi. There is a parade held with the defence forces demonstrating their march-past and drill abilities, as well as any new weapon which has been recently acquired. The parade also showcases the different cultures and rich heritage of India. The Prime Minister hoists the Indian flag and accepts the salute of all the participants of the parade.

 

Indian Independence Day Related Links

 

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Rakshabandhan

When: August 18th

Rakhshabandhan or Rakhi is a very important festival celebrated in the Northern part of India, which reinforces the divine relationship between a brother and a sister. It is celebrated on the full moon day of Shravan.

Celebrations: On this day the sister ties an auspicious thread, symbolising eternal love and affection, on the right hand wrist of the brother. The brother reciprocates with a vow of protection and showers his sister with gifts. The festival reconfirms the bond of affection between siblings and is a day of great fanfare, joy and cheer. It is also customary to fry poories (puffed pancakes) and cook vermicelli pudding on this occasion.

 

Rakshabandhan Related Links

 

Raksha Bandhan Calendar
Date Day Year
20 August Tuesday 2013
10 August Sunday 2014
29 August Saturday 2015
18 August Thursday 2016
7 August Monday 2017

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Janmashtami

When: 5th September

This day marks the date of birth of Lord Krishna. This festival is celebrated across India with great fervour. It is believed that Lord Krishna was born at the stroke of midnight. People fast through the day and conduct the prayers at midnight. The sky can be seen lit with firecrackers and the sounds reverberate through the air till very late in the night.

Celebrations: Ras Lila, depicting the colourful life of Lord Krishna is enacted in Vrindavan and Mathura.

In Maharashtra, people enact the act of Lord Krishna stealing butter through human pyramids made to reach Dahi Handi hung high up in the air. On this day people make a pilgrimage to Dwarka where Lord Krishna is believed to have established his kingdom.

In Jammu kite flying marks the celebration of Janmashtami.

 

Janmashtami Related Links

 

Janmashtami Calendar
Date Day Year
28 August Wednesday 2013
17 August Sunday 2014
5 September Saturday 2015
25 August Thursday 2016

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Velankanni Church Feast

When: August 29th – September 8th

Every year during this period the Annual Feast Of Our Lady Of Health is held in Velankanni, in the Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu. Velankanni is one of the biggest Catholic pilgrimage centres with the Basilica Of Our Lady Of Health. September 8th, the day when the feast concludes, is considered auspicious by the Christians as this is the day that the first Church in India was constructed by the Portuguese. On this day the Christians celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of Mary.

Celebrations: Everyday during the feast, mass is held in the church in 6 different languages and 14 times a day. Christian from across India make a pilgrimage to Velankanni during the feast. It is believed that Our Lady of Health has healing powers.

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Fairs

Mud Rush

When: August 8th

The Mud Rush is an all terrain fun run which is in the form of a marathon. It is held in the Dudhani Lake in Silvassa. Yes, it is a fun run indeed as the participants have to tackle a 5 km stretch, complete with obstacles like 30-foot stacks of hay, water bodies, barrier walls, tires, fire, ice, and of course lots and lots of mud. The Mud Rush is followed by a party. This event is held as a welcome to the monsoons.

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Nehru Boat Race

When: August 8th

The Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race is held on the waters of the Punnamada Lake, in Alappuzha, Kerala. The race literally sets the placid waters of the lake on fire as the participants row magnificent snake boats. The strokes of the rowers are rhythmic and the synchronized and the entire event is spectacular to watch. This race is held to commemorate the visit of Jawaharlal Nehru to Alappuzha.

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Gogamedi Fair

When: August 7th – August 9th

Gogamedi Fair is held to commemorate Goga Veer, who as per mythology is the Snake God. The natives believe that a snake bite can be cured with the chanting of Goga Veer’s name, and thus they worship him as a hero.

This fair is an annual affair and is held in the vibrant state of Rajasthan. Livestock, village crop, and attractive handicrafts showcasing the excellent craftsmanship of the region are sold in this fair. The rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan is reflected in the Gogamedi fair.

Gogamedi Fair Calendar
Date Day Year
18 August Monday 2014
7 - 9 August Friday 2015
7 - 9 August Friday 2016