Sad about missing some of the hottest fests in India in the first month of 2020? Fret not! This guide will double as your calendar for February. We suggest you take copious notes as the month looks packed with fun! By Bayar Jain
1. Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (February 1-9, 2020)
Every Mumbaikar knows the best way to ring in February is by heading downtown for the famous Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. This year being the double decade of the multicultural festival, you’re sure to find art replete. Think music performances by the likes of Shilpa Rao, and Maati Baani; stand up comedy by names like Kaneez Surka, and Gursimran Khamba; theatre adaptations of popular stories like The Little Prince; or even art installations by artists like Arzan Khambhata. While here, don’t forget to gorge on delicious foods by food connoisseurs, attend immersive workshops, and pose against the iconic black horse!
2. Surajkund International Crafts Mela (February 1-16,2020)
Doubling as the largest crafts fair in the world, The Surajkund International Crafts Mela offers a splash of colours, rhythm of drum beats and joy. Although for the 34th edition of the mela this year, Himachal Pradesh has been chosen as the Theme State, cultures of the other regions will also resonate throughout the renowned fair. While throughout the day, one can satiate their inner shopaholics by rummaging through a diversity of handicrafts and handlooms, by night, one can enjoy a plethora of performances by national and international folk artistes and cultural groups at the Chaupals, or the open-air theatres within the premises.
3. Udaipur World Music Festival (February 7-9, 2020)
Only in its fifth year, the celebration has already expanded to feature more than 150 artists from more than 13 countries. True to its name, the Udaipur World Music Festival will showcase performers from countries like Switzerland, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Male among others. Although the three-day extravaganza will be spread across three venues – namely, Manji Ka Ghat (Ambrai Ghat), Fateh Sagar Paal, and Gandhi Ground – a thread of soulful music will bind it all together.
4. Khajuraho Dance Festival (February 20-26, 2020)
As the hardness of winter starts to fade away and the charms of spring begin to set in, the ancient temples of Khajuraho don themselves in colourful avatars. The exquisite carving work of Khajuraho Temples are brought to life during this week-long festival wherein one can witness performances featuring the intricate footwork of Kathak, highly stylised and sophisticated Bharatanatyam, the soft lyrical temple dance of Odissi, dance dramas of Kuchipudi and Manipuri, and Kathakali performance replete with elaborate costumes.
5. Goa Carnival (February 22-25, 2020)
Although Goa is perpetually donning party vibes, the annual Goa Carnival takes it up a notch higher. Originating from the tradition of Mardi Gras, a tradition of hedonistic feasts, dancing and drinking bouts before the fasting and abstinence associated with penitential season of lent, the four-day carnival consists of dancing troupes, revellers wearing masks and costumes, electrifying live performance music, sports competitions, floats and parades. If you’re hoping to join the state in the merrymaking, prepare in advance as this period sees a large-scale influx of tourists.
6. India Heritage Walk Festival (February 1-29, 2020)
Ranging from museums, historically significant monuments and markets, explorations of interesting natural landscapes and areas known for their rich cuisine, to gender-oriented narratives, this month-long multi-destination festival celebrates the myriad and diverse cultures of India. Mumbai, Shillong, Goa, Vadodara, Orchha, Delhi, Kochi are just of the many cities that are included in the event calendar. However, the festival goes beyond it’s indicative name to organize baithaks, workshops, Instameets, Twitter chats and Insta Tours as well.