When: 29 – 30 December, 2016.
What: Winter Festival
Where: Mount Abu, Rajasthan
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The annual Winter Festival held at Mount Abu in December pays homage to the rich culture and tradition of Rajasthan. The much-talked about event is a rare combination of cultural vibrancy, stunning handicrafts and delicious food, set against a scenic backdrop. This three day extravaganza brings together craftsmen and performers from every corner of the state. It is also known for its sporting and entertainment events, such as kite flying, rowing competitions and poetry reading sessions. Also, it is the only festival in Rajasthan where cricket has been introduced as a part of the celebration. A grand procession marks the beginning of the festival. It culminates at the Nakki Lake with the ‘Deepdaan’ ceremony in the evening, where hundreds of diyas (earthen lamps) are set afloat in the water as a form of respect. A stunning display of fireworks ends the festival on a spectacular note.
An outcome of an initiative taken by Rajasthan Tourism, the dazzling winter carnival lures tourists with a break from the mundane. Eclectic and riveting performances put up by talented artistes, classical as well as folk singers mesmerize listeners with their songs. The Ghoomar and other folk dances put up by the dancers enthrall. Other than these cultural programmes, water sports also form a part of the festivities. Rowing competitions are held on the lake. At this time the lake becomes a spectacle of beauty with hundreds of floating diyas or lamps. This ceremony is known by the name of Deepdaan. The sight of so many lit up lamps floating on the river is a visual delight.
The festival commences with the procession, beginning from Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation’s Hotel Shikhar. It proceeds towards Nakki Lake Chowk. The locals enthusiastically participate in it. Not only the folk artistes of Rajasthan, but also those of Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana put up performances. Throughout the three days of festivities, fire works are lit and the dazzling display is thoroughly enjoyed by the onlookers.