Fairs and Festivals of Varanasi
With so many religious, spiritual, and cultural activities happening regularly in Varanasi, there is no surprise that the numbers of fairs and festivals in Varanasi are greater than any other cities of India. Each day in the city has something to celebrate with. The phrase ‘life is a celebration’ perfectly matches with the atmosphere of the city. Its real meaning can only be found here and nowhere else. The celebrations that each occasion brings throughout the year make one think whether the phrase was originally created here.
The mood of the people during fairs and festivals is something to admire and inculcate. Being a part of the fairs and festival celebrated in Varanasi is like enjoying the life at its fullest. Every rich and poor in the city celebrate them with gaiety and fervour. Whether it is the birthday of Gods, luminaries, national heroes, or an auspicious day according to the Hindu calendar, it strengthens the bond between the people, and gives a way to cherish life. Maha Shivaratri, Hanuman Jayanti, Krishna Janmastami, Mahavir Jayanti, Gandhi Jayanti, Anant Charudasi are a few examples. Besides the Hindu community, people following other religions too actively participate in these festivals. The Hindus invite them to their homes, and they honour it willingly.
Greeting each other during the festive occasion is a culture common in the world. But in Varanasi, these festivals strengthen the bond between different communities. Even if differences among people erupt, these festivals have worked wonders in easing the tension. There have been plenty of examples produced by the city on the unity between the Hindus and Muslims. Such is the colour of these occasions that nobody is spared from getting soaked with intensity and happiness. They simply bring a unique kind of flavour, fervour, and vigour to the city.
While all fairs and festivals in Varanasi are celebrated with equal zest, the jubilation of the city touches the sky during Dusshera, Diwali and Durga Pooja. Every single home of Varanasi is cleaned inside and out, painted, and decorated with flowers, lights, and rangoli (ground rice powder). The shops are inundated with colourful accessories used in decoration. The streets and roads also get ready to welcome visitors. Overall, the city appears like a newly wedded bride. The entire atmosphere becomes so uplifting.
As no celebration is complete without delicacies, there are different types of food prepared to cheer up the atmosphere. The beautiful aroma that emanates in every street from each house shoots up the level of appetite in people. The shahi paneer, kanahi paneer, sultani dal, pulav, and veg kari are irresistible., Desserts like gulab jamum, chamcham, jalebi, peda, besan laddoo, bundi, ras malai, makkhan malai, etc. take the dinning and lunching experience to the next level. As each community has its own special cuisine, there are a variety of dishes to enjoy. In a whole, the exquisite cuisine of Varanasi further uplifts the mood of festivity.
Even the fairs in Varanasi are no less than a festival. People enjoy them and participate happily. Ganga Mahotsav, Buddha Mahotsav, Dhrupad Mela, Raam Leela, and Kumb Mela are witnessed by millions of people every year. Like festivals, fairs also make the environment in the city vibrant, buoyed and exhilarating. Children love the fairs madly. Even women are in cheerful mood as they get a medium to shop for. Almost all the shopping and eateries stalls held in the fairs are flocked by buyers just like flies do for jaggery. Thus, the fairs and festivals of Varanasi bring fun, excitement, and boost economy.