Desert Festival of Jaisalmer 2020

Desert Festival of Jaisalmer

India is a unique country which never stops to impress with its diversity of traditions and festivals. When going to India it is always a challenge to choose where to go. If you plan to visit this colorful country in winter, we have a suggestion for you.

In the heart of the vast Thar Desert, lies the majestic city of Jaisalmer, known also as the “Golden City”. Every winter this city comes alive with the vibrant colors, authentic music and passionate dancing of the Desert Festival.  Thousands of people swarm the city to experience the richness of Jaisalmer culture.

RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL, TOURIST-ORIENTED EVENT OR COMMEMORATION OF CULTURAL HERITAGE?

As every Indian celebration, the Desert Festival has its story. According to the legend, Lord Krishna, ruler of Yadav community told Arjuna that a successor belonging to the Yadav clan will establish his kingdom on the Trikuta Hill. The prediction of Lord Krishna, eventually, came true. In 1196 Rawal Jaiswal, a descendant of the Yadav community set up his kingdom in Jaisalmer. Naturally, when people found out that the prophecy came true, they were overwhelmed with happiness and started celebrating it. The celebrations soon evolved into the Desert Festival. We should also mention that this celebration is different from many religious Hindu holidays you know, this festival doesn’t bear any specific meaning of purification, the victory of good over evil, and it is not a  chance to ask gods for wealth and health. The main purpose of contemporary Desert Festival is to involve more people, to attract more tourists to learn about exquisite Rajasthan culture. Due to the efforts of the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation, which is responsible for organizing and hosting the festival, this celebration of the Rajasthan cultural heritage has flourished and developed significantly, attracting more and more visitors from all over the world.

THINGS TO DO AND SEE AT THE DESERT FESTIVAL

In 2020, Desert Festival takes place from the 7th to 9th of February at the beautiful golden desert city of Jaisalmer in the state of Rajasthan, India.The festival kicks off with a traditional procession known as Shobha Yatra. The procession commences at Sonar Road and culminates at the main venue of the festival,  Shahid Poonam Singh Stadium. You will see myriads of men with swords in hands riding camels, horses, and elephants, locals in the most extravagant, bright costumes marching through the street. People dance and sing filling the air with indigenous vibes. Bhopa’s Langhas and Manganiars play folk music and sing touching ballads of romance, bravery, and tragedy. You can also relish the performances of local nomads, the Kalabaz or the Nat’s, famous for their fascinating gymnastic acts. In addition, you will see a lot of snake charmers, puppeteers and you will be astonished by breathtaking stunts of Gair and Fire dancers.

Desert Festival of Jaisalmer

Desert Festival of Jaisalmer

While enjoying all the festivities, don’t forget to go to Bazaar, a perfect place to shop for souvenirs, where you will definitely find something unique for yourself. Then you can fuel yourself up with some delicacies of traditional Rajasthani cuisine and continue exploring the local culture.

You shouldn’t miss some purely male contests. First of all, it is turban tying, which for locals is not only tradition but an art. Other manly events are Maru-Shri (Mr. Desert competition) and competition for the title of ‘the best mustaches’. In Rajasthan culture, the mustache is a symbol of honor. Judges assess mustaches, paying attention both to the quality and length of mustaches. The man who wins the competition is given a prize and regarded as the most honored man.

Desert Festival of Jaisalmer

Also, no desert is possible without camels. Camels are the integral part of desert life as well as the desert festival. Therefore, at Jaisalmer Desert celebration, you can contemplate a host of camel-related events. Probably the most captivating competition is camel polo, which draws the attention of the audience by their camel riding skills. You can also experience spectacular stunts of Rajasthan gymnastics on the back of the camel. Camel formation dancing is another animated and amusing event. Finally, you can cheer for camel races, which are not less riveting and exciting than all other events mentioned above. By the way, in case you want more camels in your life, many hotels offer camel safaris.

Desert Festival of Jaisalmer

Desert Festival of Jaisalmer

Unfortunately, the festival takes place only for three days. The Desert Festival comes to an end on Poornima (meaning the full moon in Sanskrit). It means that you will have a chance to immerse into the fairy-tail ambiance of picturesque Sam sand dunes, listening to the folk concerts under the full moon and sparkling stars of the magical night sky. The culmination of the Desert Festival is sparkling fireworks exploding in the sky, leaving vivid impressions and bright memories from the festival.

KEEP CALM AND GO TO THE DESERT FESTIVAL

The Desert Festival is an excellent event, for those who are in love with India and its unique culture. In Jaisalmer, you will experience another India, remote, unspoiled and romantic atmosphere of golden sands far from hustle and bustle of typical, always in a move, exuberant and noisy India.

If you do like the idea of escaping from daily routine to the Jaisalmer Desert Festival, start planning your trip straight away. The easiest way to get to the location of Desert festivities is by air. The Jodhpur Airport is the nearest airport to the Jaisalmer Desert Festival, or you can also fly first to Delhi and then go by bus or train, which might take nearly 6 hours. In Jaisalmer, if you need any help, you can go to the tourist help center, where people are always eager to help tourists with how to spend the Desert Festival and enjoy time to the fullest.

Welcome to the fantastic world of India!

Dublin Celebration of St. Patrick’s Day 2020

St. Patrick's Day

For ’tis green, green, green, where the ruined towers are gray,
And it’s green, green, green, all the happy night and day;
Green of leaf and green of sod, green of ivy on the wall,
And the blessed Irish shamrock with the fairest green of all.

Mary Elizabeth Blake

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17 to honor St. Patrick. Probably, the first question that pops up in your mind is “who is this Patrick and why there is such a big celebration to commemorate him?” St. Patrick Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland and that is why he is considered to be the most prominent saint in Irish history. Although it is a religious feast, that dates to the 17th century, with time it has turned into a variety of festivals across the whole world, celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, music, special foods and plenty of green. It became so popular that nowadays you can see people celebrating it almost in every country, even they are not Irish and have never been to Ireland.

Some people say, that leprechauns, soda bread, and green beer have absolutely nothing to do with St. Patrick. While many see St Patrick’s Day as an excuse to drink endless pints of Guinness while wearing a green wig. To be honest, there is some truth in these words, but I do believe that as every single holiday that exists in the world, St. Patrick’s Day is created to unite people.  Let’s not dig deep into history and religious and political issues. Let’s find something we can enjoy about this event, what we can do and we shouldn’t do.

First, what to wear?  Dress up, but remember that, you don’t need to put too many efforts in your look, this holiday is about wearing all green, but not about dressing like a Leprechaun (avoid ‘sexy’ leprechaun outfit). You can put on a green shirt, green hat, green socks, green sunglasses, and a green necklace and that will be more than enough. Do temporary tattoo, such as a shamrock on the cheek, for example.

Second, where to go? To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin like a true Irish, don’t miss  St. Patrick’s Festival Parade. Ireland’s capital city hosts a stunning parade that draws a crowd of thousands of locals and tourists. Therefore, you’d better wake up early, and be on the streets at 9-10 am, looking for the best parade-watching spot. The legendary parade will go across the city and will certainly amaze with its host of brilliant performers, vivid colours, and impressive unique handcrafted structures. This world-known festival is worth coming, so make sure you’re at the very heart of it.

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day Parade

Third, any holiday is impossible without food and booze. In Dublin, people are divided into two types: those who steer clear of the bar crawling, preferring live music, an evening with family and friends, or dining in a traditional pub and those who are partying in Temple Bar. You can soak up the traditions of Ireland without fighting, drinking yourself under the table or you can join drunken revelers and drink till you can. I advise you to mix fun and traditions. Some people consider that drinking a  pint of Guinness is one of the most important things to do in Ireland. No pressure, but Irish festival without beer seems boring. To look cool, say ‘Sláinte!’(slawn-cha) and take the first sip. Highlights like the Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson Distillery are great for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a traditional drink and less bar noisy atmosphere. You can also grab an authentic Irish meal at one of Ireland’s oldest and most famous traditional Irish pub, called Johnnie Fox’s Pub (25-35 minutes drive from Dublin City Centre). Each night the pub provides guests with tantalizingly delicious dishes, top dancing Irish performances, and vibrant local music.

Except drinking and devouring tons of food, you can simply walk around Dublin’s fair city to contemplate iconic buildings illuminated in green, such as The General Post Office, Trinity College, St Patrick’s Cathedral, The Mansion House and The Convention Centre.

St Patrick's Day

If you are interested in learning more about mythology and folklore of Ireland, visit the National Leprechaun Museum. At daytime, you can enjoy folklore on a guided tour in a fun way. While at night you have an opportunity to listen to twisted tales from the darker side of Ireland (mind that this tour is for the 18+ audience only). Prices for tours depend on whether it is daytime (€10-14 per person) or night-time tour (€16).

St Patrick's Day The National Leprechaun Museum

Before going to St. Patrick’s Day, try to carefully plan your trip. The most important thing is to book everything in advance. Just like with any other big festival around the world, like Carnival in Brazil or Oktoberfest in Germany, it is better to book flight and accommodation beforehand. We also strongly recommend planning at least five days in Dublin, as the St. Patrick’s Day festivities last longer than just one day. Last one thing, remember, that during this celebration there are so many things to see and do in the city aside from just drinking and watching the parade.

Do you hunger for astonishing Irish celebration? Then don’t miss the chance to attend all the fabulous events on upcoming St Patrick’s Day in Dublin. Leave your excuse at home and come to celebrate and party away in lively, bustling rhythms of Dublin.

ENJOY! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Sláinte!





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