Fairs & Festivals in Karnataka
There are many different reasons to have fairs and festivals in Karnataka including the many holidays and they can also be held to celebrate different deities.
Sri Vithappa fair happens in many villages to honor the Vithappa deity and lasts for 3 days and commences after Shigi Hunnive. During this fair the deity is paraded around with around 60 drummers from all over the state and many different sacrifices are made.
Banashankari Devi fair happens near Badami and lasts for anywhere from 10-12 days in January on the day of the full moon. This is the time when a most of the villagers purchase utensils, agricultural items, and other domestic items.
Ugadi is the first day of Chaitra, which normally occurs between March and April, and this festival signifies the beginning of the Chandramana New Year. There are during this time and people put on new clothes and the operations required for pre-sowing is normally started on this day.
Dussera is from the end of September until the beginning of October and is a 10 day festival and it celebrates the defeat of Mahishasura from the goddess Chamundeswrai. On the 10th day the goddess makes her journey from her palace to Banni Mantap and in the evening there is a parade and fireworks.
Nagarpanchami is the 5th day during the sunny part of Sharavana and this is the day the girls who are newly married will visit with their parents. Swings are constructed in the villages and everyone, including the adults, indulge without any cares.
Gowri Hunnive is a festival that is done more by the women and images of Gowri are worshiped. On this day the younger girls roam the streets in groups while singing songs that honor the goddess.
Navarati is a festival that lasts for around 10 days and on the 9th day of the festival weapons and labor instruments are worshiped. While on the 10th day Hanuman and Shidlingappa are placed by the Banni tree located at the Shidlingappa temple and the sword and the tree are worshiped.
Holi is a festival that is celebrated all over India, but in Karnataka it is celebrated with vulgar folk songs and is normally held sometime in February or March. Many imitations of Kama are burned along with a lot of wood.