Regional fests to experience this summer - Hindustan Times
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Regional fests to experience this summer

Apr 24, 2024 05:55 PM IST

From an annual mask dance in Hemis to a sowing festival in Nagaland, here’s a selection of India’s coolest summer celebrations.

From a beach holiday with an overwater villa to stargazing at a jungle campsite or holidaying at a wellness retreat — the quintessential summer vacation in India often revolves around kicking back, unwinding and dare we say, a predictable itinerary. Move away from the metropolitan capitals and tourist traps and explore an eclectic collection of regions with unique traditions to celebrate summer.

Moatsu Festival, Nagaland
Moatsu Festival, Nagaland

Moatsu Festival, Nagaland

Celebrated by the Ao tribe in Nagaland’s Mokokchung, this annual sowing festival focuses on community bonds as the tribe honours their crops. Don’t miss the Sangpangtu, a bonfire ritual where the villagers dress in their traditional finery and feast on wine and meat.

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When: May 1 to 3, 2024

Yuru Kabgyat, Leh

Also known as the annual festival of the Lamayuru Monastery, it is celebrated on the 18th and 19th of the fifth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar. Dedicated to the Buddhist lord of death and Guru Padmasambhava, the festival features Cham routines choreographed based on ancient Buddhist scriptures. The monastery itself is an underrated gem — visitors find themselves in a surreal moon-like landscape, beset by the white limestone mountains in the region.

When: June 3 to 4, 2024

Ganga Dusshera, Uttarakhand

Celebrated during a ten-day period in May or June, the festival honours the descent of the River Ganga from heaven to earth. After a nine-day celebration that involves bathing in the Ganga and meditating on the riverbank, the festival culminates on Dashami tithi with an evening aarti. Pilgrims flock to Prayagraj, Haridwar, Garhmukteshwar, Rishikesh, and Varanasi. The latter’s Ganga Aarti is a must-see for spiritual travellers.

When: June 16, 2024 (based on the Hindu calendar)

Hemis Festival, Ladakh

The Hemis Tsechu Festival, is a celebration of Guru Padmasambhava’s birth. Held at Ladakh’s largest monastery situated in Hemis Gompa, the festival begins with the blowing of the Dungchen (a horned instrument) and features Cham dances that celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Sip on Chhang, a local liquor available at the festival and pick up some local handicrafts.

When: June 10 to 23, 2024

Ooty Summer Festival, Tamil Nadu

Spanning 16 days, this 121-year-old event is organised by Tamil Nadu Tourism and the Tourism Ministry. Held in Ooty’s botanical gardens and the Ooty Lake, the festival’s major attractions include boat races, cultural programs and a hot air balloon show. The festival, which draws hundreds to the Nilgiri Hills, also hosts a flower show that showcases over 30,000 varieties of flowers.

When: May 17 to 24, 2024; the Flower Show will be held from May 24 to 26

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Sneha Chakraborty writes on travel, food, culture, gadgets and lifestyle for the Daily Entertainment and Lifestyle supplement, HT City.

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