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The Desert Festival is held in Jaisalmer, usually in the month of January or February, every year. The duration of the festival is three days and it comes to an end on Poornima, the full moon day.
The main purpose of the Desert Festival is to display the rich and colorful culture of the state of Rajasthan. Dressed in vibrant and colorful attire, the locals dance to the tunes of lingering ballads of heroism, romance and tragedy of the folk heroes.
The major attractions of the Desert Festival of Jaisalmer include snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats, folk performers, etc. Especially, the Gair and Fire dancers, in their vibrant and colorful costumes, capture your heart. However, amongst all these, the ship of the desert, camel does not loses its special place. Apart from the camel rides that are quite popular, camels take part in a number of events. Of them, the most famous and unique ones are camel polo and camel dance.
Celebration of Desert Festival in Jaisalmer
The celebrations of this festival make the desert come alive with color, enthusiasm and happiness. The festival commences with a procession in the morning from the Jaisalmer Fort to the Shahid Poonam Singh Stadium.
The locals dress in traditional and bright costumes. They sing and dance depicting the tragedies and accomplishments of the desert. The Gair and the fire dance are highlights of the festival. The Kalabaz or the Nat’s are a group of local nomads who are popular for their gymnastic acts. The Bhopa’s Langhas and Manganiars create an enchanting environment with their poignant folk music recitals and ballads.
This has rare and excellent events like camel polo. Cheer for camel races. Gymnastic stunts on camel back and camel formation dancing are the crowning jewels of the festival. These competitions are followed by the Border Security Force Camel Tattoo. Tug-of-war, turban tying, Maru-Shri (Mr. Desert competition) and the longest moustache competition are others attract tourist and locals.
The grand finale of the festival is the Rajasthani folk concert following an Air Force display, cricket match and parachuting. This festival end on Poornima (full moon day) in the Sam dunes with the “Sonar Qila” Jaisalmer Fort in the background creating a fairy-tale ambiance.
Delicious food, interesting stalls displaying artifacts, handicrafts and other souvenirs are also available at the festival. Desert safari and camping can be also enjoyed at the eve of the festival.