India celebrates its innumerable festivals throughout the year. However, compared to the other parts of the year, summer season, especially May and June witness very few religious festivals. To compensate the lack of traditional festivals, many events are organized locally in various regions of India, particularly in hill stations and places that are comparatively cool in summer months. These are usually fairs that are not less than any festival. As these months of May and June are also the vacation period for most of the families (due to the annual summer vacations in schools and colleges), these fairs and festivals attract many tourists- both from India and abroad. Foreign tourists come in this season just to enjoy the vibrant and enthusiastic celebrations of summer fairs and festivals. Let’s know about the various summer festivals of India celebrated in most of the hill stations here!
Mount Abu Summer Festival Dates
2012 Dates- 4-6 May 2012
2013 Dates- 23-25 May 2013
2014 Dates- 12-14 May 2014
2015 Dates- 2-4 May 2015
Mount Abu Summer Festival, Rajasthan
Mount Abu is the only hill station of the dessert state- Rajasthan (incredibly true!). The summer festival of Mount Abu is a three day fest giving an insight into the rich folk culture, music and dances of Rajasthan. Each year, the Mount Abu summer festival is celebrated for three days culminating on Buddha Purnima day. This festival is organized by the Rajasthan Tourism Department, Municipal Board, Mount Abu and the District Administration.
The Mount Abu festival begins with a ceremonial procession starting from the RTDC Hotel Shikhar and gathering at the Nakki Lake Chowk. The folk dances of Rajasthan and the neighboring state Gujarat make the spectators expect more than just three fun filled days ahead. Various sporting events boat race on the Nakki lake, tug of war etc. charm the tourists beyond description.
On the second and third day of the Mount Abu festival, various competitions and shows are held like Skating Race, Skater’s Show, CRPF Band Show, Boat Race, Horse Race, Tug of War, Panihari Matka Race and Deepdan etc. that make this fair an extraordinary memory for the participants.
One of the events- Sham-e-Qawwali (An Evening of Poems) is a musical extravaganza for the lovers of art and music where renowned Qawwals (poets musicians) from all over the country sing and make the spectators overwhelmed with joy. On the final day, a display of dazzling fire works closes the ceremony in the most grand way. The picturesque Mount Abu and the colorful summer festival, in fact, give a lifetime experience to those who come from distant places in hope of an extravagant event!
Ooty Summer Festival, Tamil Nadu
2012 Dates- 14-27 May 2012
2013 Dates- 10-25 May 2013
Ooty or Udhagamandalam is yet another hill station of India situated in Tamil Nadu. Popular by the name of ‘Queen of Hills’, it is a cultural extravagant event which also shows off the bountiful natural endowments of Nilgiris in the form of flowers, fruits, spices exhibitions and much more! A fortnight long Ooty summer festival is organized by the Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu, and Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, usually in the second and third week of May every year.
During the Ooty Summer Festival, various cultural programmes, fairs and carnivals are organized apart from the trademark events of Flower Show, Rose Show, Dog Show, Fruit Show, Spice Show, Vegetable Show, Boat Race and Boat pageantry!
The cultural programmes held during the Ooty summer festival include dance, drama and musical programmes, usually in the open air stadium of Ooty. These cultural programmes are organized for a good 9-10 days period during the Fest.
The Flower Show held in the Botanical Garden is the pride of the Ooty Summer Festival. Here, a large varieties of imported and indigenous flowers are displayed. Those fond of gardening wait for the Nursery Garden display competitions held during the festival. The Flower show goes on for two days and also include such activities as floral decorations, flower arrangements, vegetable carving, flower rangoli, Bonsai etc. A Rose show is separately held at Rose Garden in Ooty where the special attraction for tourists remain the Rose towers made with thousands of roses.
Apart from the Flower shows, a Fruit Show is also organized in Sim’s Park, Coonoor for two days. Coonoor has a Pomological Station where various temperate fruit crops are grown. This fruit show is organized by the Department of Horticulture and exhibits the great Horticultural wealth of the state. The Department of Horticulture also holds the annual vegetable show at the Nehru Park in Kotagiri. A Spice Show is also organized in Gudalur, Nilgiris by district administration and the departments of horticulture and tourism.
Apart from enjoying the shows displaying natural bounties of the Nilgiris, the dog lovers wait for the Annual Dog Shows which are a popular part of the Summer Festival of Ooty. These dog shows are organised by South of India Kennel Club (SIKC). The water sports lovers too get their share of joy through the Boat Race and Boat pageantry held at Ooty Lakef or two days. It can be called an extension of the boat race tradition in South India.
Shimla Summer Festival, Himachal Pradesh
2012 Dates- First Week of June 2012
2013 Dates- 2-6 June 2013
Shimla- one of the most popular hill stations of India situated in the picturesque state of Himachal Pradesh- hosts the very special Summer Festival mainly aimed at the domestic and international tourists but which also showcases its culture in a grand manner! This festival is organized by the district administration every year in the month of May/June (first week of June).
Shimla Summer Festival is organized at the Ridge of Shimla displaying great enthusiasm and grandeur and focusing mainly on cultural activities. It also presents the to feel the traditional flavors in the form of food festivals with exotic Himachali cuisines and local handicrafts exhibitions. The folk artists of Himachal Pradesh present excellent music and dance experience in the concerts organized during the festival. Not only local artists, famous singers and celebrities from all over India also participate to make it a memorable event for the spectators.Fashion Shows, Dog show, Flower Shows are just some of the other aspects of the grand celebration of the Shimla Summer Festival. Other than cultural events and various exhibitions, sports events are also organized for the entertainment of the tourists.