Festivals in PunePune has emerged as a much loved place for tourists from all over the globe. Tourists as well as Punekars enjoy various festivals celebrated in Pune round the calendar year. Fun, excitement, fervor and colours – that is what festivals in Pune stand for. Pune is a host to different religious and cultural festivals.
Though Pune is famous for the Ganesh Festival, Indian festivals like Diwali, Navaratri, Janmashtami, Dussera, Holi, Christmas, Id, Rakshabandhan, etc are also celebrated with the same excitement in Pune with no religion or language bars.
Some religious festivals celebrated in Pune are:
Makar Sankranti in PuneMonth: January
Makar Sankranti is usually celebrated on January 14 every year as per the solar calendar to mark the onset of harvest season in India. Makar Sankranti gets its name from the fact that sun leaves the Tropic of Cancer and travels north to the Tropic of Capricorn. (Makar). On this day, Punekars eat and distribute Tilgul, a sweet made of sesame and jaggery. They also spend their day flying colourful kite, one of the main attractions of Makar Sankranti in Pune.
People also wear black coloured-clothes on Makar Sankranti. Makar Sankranti is the only festival on which people wear black-coloured outfits.
Read more about Makar Sakranti
Vasant PanchamiMonth: February
Vasant Panchami is celebrated to worship Goddess Saraswati – the deity of learning and knowledge and also to mark the beginning of spring season. A prayer or a ritual ceremony is often organised in the schools and other educational institutes on the eve of Vasant Panchami.
Holi, the colour of festivals, is celebrated in Maharashtra to seek the blessings of God for fertile land and bountiful harvests. People play with various dry or water-based colours and spend entire day singing, dancing and savouring delicious gujhiyas and snacks. On the eve of Holi, a wooden log is burnt to symbolize the disappearance of all evil.
Gudi PadwaMonths: March – April
Gudi Padwa marks the first day of New Year for the people of Maharashtra. On this day, Gudi, a bamboo stick is tied to a silk cloth, with a glass like vessel and sweets on the top. Gudi is then hung at the entrance or the balcony of the house to worship the God and welcome auspicious beginnings.
Nag PanchamiMonths: July- August
As per the Hindu calendar, Nag Panchami is celebrated on the fifth (panchami) day of the fifth month to worship snakes (nag). People offer milk and sweets to the snake idols kept in the home. However, this offering is even made to real snakes in the villages around the city.
Pola celebrations in PuneMonth: August
Pola is celebrated by farmers in rural area of Pune city and rest of Maharashtra. Bulls are bathed, worshipped and decorated with various ornaments to exemplify their importance in the agricultural life. A procession of bulls is carried out in the villages amidst colours, dance and music.
Raksha Bandhan/Narali PournimaMonth: August
Raksha Bandhan is the day when sisters tie a rakhi (a colourful decorated thread) on wrist of their brothers, who in turn vow to protect their sisters against any unfateful circumstances. The same day also brings a special celebration time for fishermen community who offer sweets made of coconut (narali) to Sea of God and seek His blessings.
Gokulashtami/Krishna Janmashtami in PuneMonth: August
Gokulashtami, also known as Krishna Janmashtami, is the birth day of Lord Krishna. The devotees perform holy rituals, observe fasts and eat food only after midnight, the time when it is said that Lord Krishna was born. Since it is believed that Lord Krishna was fond of milk, curd and butter, most of the food preparations include these ingredients. A popular fun game called Dahi Handi is played on Janmashtami. Here, a clay pot filled with curd or butter is hung high above on the streets and then broken by the players who form human pyramids to reach the pot.
Ganesh Festival PuneMonths: August - September
Ganpati Mahotsav or Ganesh Festival was a regional event initiated by Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak in 1894 to bring the local community together for the Independence Movement. A 10-day celebration festival, Ganpati Mahotsav starts with bringing the idol of Lord Ganesha to home and ends with its immersion in the river amidst a huge gala procession accompanied with people singing and dancing to the joy of their heart.
Read more about Ganesh Chaturthi
DussehraMonth: October - November
Dussehra is celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil or the day when Lord Rama killed Ravana. The people of Pune worship their vehicles, weapons, books and other tools/equipments of trade on Dussehra.
Diwali in PuneMonths: October – November
Diwali is celebrated in Pune just the way it is done in other parts of the country. People decorate their houses with rangoli (designs made of powdered dry colours), candles, diyas (earthen lamps), colourful kandils (paper lanterns) and flowers. People also buy new things, prepare mouth-watering dishes, meet friends and families and play with fire crackers.
Chaturshringi FairMonth: September/October
The Chaturshringi Fair is organized every year around September or October at Senapati Bapat Road in Pune during Navratri (a nine-day dance festival). You can experience thrill in amusement rides, relish tasty food from stalls or simply take a leisurely stroll in the fun-filled atmosphere during the Chaturshringi Fair in Pune.