Lights, camels, Renaissance!

Pushkar Camel Fair, Pushkar

November 8 to 15

If you find yourself in the Thar desert and realise that the camels are better dressed than you are, you’re at the Pushkar Camel Fair. Colourful embroidery, bells, beads and trinkets are used to adorn the camels. There are little kiosks that sell accessories for the ship of the desert, just in case your camel is looking a little short of bling. A fashion show then awards the best-decked camel. This annual fair in the Ajmer district of Rajasthan dates back a century. A large number of tourists gather from all over the world to soak in the vibrant carnival scene. There are Ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds, street food, maut ka kua where cars and bicycles go round the walls in maniacal speed. There are also other fun contests like balancing the pot, longest moustache and who can sit on a camel for the longest duration. At all times, keep your camera ready, for these are moments you do not want to miss.

Yi Peng and Loy Krathong, Chiang Mai

November 13 to 15

A sky full of glimmering golden lanterns... now isn’t that a pretty sight? And that’s just what you find at the Thai festival of lights called Yi Peng. That’s also when Loy Krathong takes place. It’s where people float away little baskets made of banana stalk into water bodies. A common belief is that as you release those lanterns and baskets you send away your bad luck and make way for good things to come into your life. Don’t forget to make a wish. Fireworks show, beauty pageants and contests like creating krathongs are also part of the festivities.

Texas Renaissance Festival, Texas

Till November 27

This feels like being part of the Grimm Brothers’ world. Kings, queens, princes, princesses, fairies, barbaric clans, elves, pirates and what not. And what’s even better is you can be one of them. Sure, you can get your Game of Thrones gear on, without getting weird looks from people. At the Texas Renaissance Festival, around 5,00,000 people gather in their corsets, robes and Renaissance-inspired costumes. Since it runs over eight weekends, each one has a theme — All Hallows Eve, Roman Bacchanal, Barbarian Invasion, Highland Fling and Celtic Christmas. Camp out, eat, drink, make merry and watch performances by dancers, magicians, acrobatic acts, fire jugglers, burlesque shows, naughty balls, horror movie screenings... Also, loosen those purse strings and pull out them coins as there are nearly 350 stalls selling artisanal wares and a host of other products.

Lopburi Monkey Banquet, Lopburi

November 27

This is a treat... a buffet... for monkeys. Thousands of macaques tuck into servings of delectable ice cream, rice dishes and fruits while half the city looks on adoringly. Despite the monkeys being a menace, the people of Lopburi fuss over them as these animals are considered harbingers of good luck. The event first took place in 1989 in this city that’s located 150km from Bangkok. At that point, only 25 tables laden with fruits welcomed the monkeys, as they snacked their way through them all. Now, the animals are spoilt for choice with a generous increase in the choice of goodies. And it’s not just the chatter of monkeys that you hear because the celebrations also include live music and a lot of song and monkey dance.

Strawberry Fields Festival, Tocumwal

November 17 to 20

This has got nothing to do with The Beatles’ song ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. This festival is a celebration of electronic music... a far cry from the retro pop sounds that the Fab Four created. Four stages, one bar and a space enough to pack in 6,000 people – this has a cosy gathering of music lovers and weekend travellers. There’s a feeling of bonhomie, and feel free to reach out for a hug, because we hear they are aplenty. This is when this small Australian town comes alive. The idea of the festival is to promote upcoming artistes. It’s a showcase for music and artwork, with dramatic installations dotting the wild Australian bush. And for the keen learner, there are diverse workshops to choose from.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 12:47:09 AM |

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