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Surat is a land of festivity and culture. There are a number of festivals and events that are celebrated in Suratwith great fanfare and pomp. Unlike other Indian states and cities, there are events and festivals celebrated in Surat all round the year. The kite flying festival of Uttarayan that is celebrated on 14th January which is an auspicious day of Makar Sankranti is the most popular festival that is held in Surat. This festival started being celebrated in Ahmedabad in the year 1989 and it soon sweeped into Surat where people participate in the act of flying kites that are beautifully decorated. This is a festival when the energy of even the oldest people in Surat is found to reverberate. The preparations for this festival start very early throughout Gujarat and also in Surat and it transforms into great jubilance of Surat on the day when the event takes place.
Surat’s custom is also found displayed in Dang Durbar which is a traditional event held in Surat. This is an event when the people of Surat dress themselves up in traditional attire and they perform the garba and the ras. Skilled craftsmen from within Surat and also from different other parts of the city arrive at Surat for the display of their products. Some other important festivals and events that are celebrated in Surat are Janmashtami and Navratri. The spiritual ecstasy of the people of Surat is found to be best during the days when festivals and events are celebrated in the city. Apart from the festivals, the city of Surat also plays host to numerous cultural and business events. The festivals and the events that take place in Surat represent the culture and the ethnicity of Surat.
Surat is a place that is also called the western gateway of India because of its tactical position. People from various places and belonging to many races are found to live in Surat since a very long time and it is only because of this reason that Surat has witnessed an amalgamation of various cultures and ethnicity. The culture and the art of Surat are diversified and the Suratis are people possessing a very soft nature. They are pleasure-loving people with a spirited and stylish outlook towards life. Surti Gujarati language is the main language that is spoken in Surat and the literature of the city is also very wealthy. Suratis have a very keen interest in music and dance and it is the dances and the songs that are used by the people of Surat in enhancing the cheerfulness of every festival and occasion. The people of Surat are very proud of their dramas, dances and songs and these are the things that form an inseparable part of the culture of Surat. Most popular performing art forms in Surat are Ras, TippaniNritya, Garba, Padhar Dance, Siddi Dance and Dangi Nritya. There are some tribal dances that are also practiced in the internal parts of Surat. Bhavai is the folk drama of Gujarat and it is very popular in Surat.
Surat is very well known for its culture and its tradition and it is only because of this reason that there are numerous festivals and events celebrated in the city. The most important festivals that are celebrated with great fanfare and pomp in Surat have been detailed below:
It can be
said that all the important festivals of India are celebrated by the
people of Surat. Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi and Navratri are the main
festivals in Surat that are celebrated with undying excitement and
Chandi Padvo is also a festival that is celebrated in
October and it is holiday throughout Surat. This is a festival that is
celebrated after the two biggest days of full moon of the yearly Hindu
calendar and is called ‘Sharad Purnima’. This is a day when the people
of Surat indulge in buying 100 tons of Ghari and several other
Kite Festival Surat
The kite-flying festival of Surat is held on Makar Sankranti that is on 14th of January. This is a festival that serves as a host to people who love art and gather in Surat from different parts of the country. There are international participants who also come from Malaysia, UK, Abu Dhabi, China, Israel and Korea.
The festival starts at dawn and it continues till fag that is the day end. ‘Tukkals’ that are specially illuminated kites are strung and they decorate the entire sky. the joy, enthusiasm and spirit of the onlookers and the participants are the main things that can be found in this festival.
Navratri in Surat is celebrated for nine days. This is a festival that is celebrated twice within a year, once is March/April and second in August/September. First Navratri that is celebrated in March/April marks Lord Rama’s birthday while the second Navratri that is celebrated in August/September mark Dussehra when the Demon Ravana was killed by Lord Rama. Each day of this festival is celebrated in dedication to several Goddesses of the Hindu community. There is a nine days fast that is kept by unmarried girls in order to obtain suitable husbands.
Navratri is a festival that is celebrated throughout India but the enthusiasm and the zeal of the Guajarati people during navratri is unmatched. Garba is the main reason behind the grand celebration of Navratri in Surat. It is a long-established dance form of Gujarat that is specially performed during the celebrations of Navratri. It is during the nights of Navratri that the people of Surat dress themselves up in traditional attire and perform the garba. Garba is nowadays performed in several other parts of India but the Grab of Gujarat remains untouched. During Navratri, the celebrations of Garba are held at several places throughout Gujarat including Surat.
This is a festival that marks Lord Krishna’s birthday. The festival does not possess a fixed date as its celebration is carried out according to the dates of the Hindu calendar. Janmashtami celebrations in Gujarat are majorly found in Dwarka and Surat. Lord Krishna’s infant idol is worshipped throughout Gujarat including Surat and the celebrations continue till late night.
Modhera Dance Festival
The Modhera dance Festival is a festival that is celebrated for three days and it mainly constitutes the classical dance of India.
This is a festival that is celebrated in many parts of Gujarat including Surat.
Food Festival in Surat
Gujaratis believe is a very famous saying’ Surat Nu Jaman, Ane Kashi Nu
Maran’ which means eating in Surat and dying in Kashi. This saying
proves the point that food is a very important part of Surat and the
people of Surat love to gorge on lip-smacking foods and snacks. It is
only because of this reason that there are many food festivals arranged
in Surat time and again and these food festivals also get an awesome
Fairs in Surat
Fairs in Surat are also held annually and from time to time. The people of Surat also take part in different fairs with equal enthusiasm and zealousness. The famous Fairs in Surat have been enumerated below:
Dang Durbar is an annual fair that is held in Surat during the spring months. The fair is a representation of the old tradition of the chieftains and the kings of Surat who practiced the custom of visiting their region to be a part of the famous darbar. The durbar at present witnesses the gathering of tribal people from different parts of Surat. The Dang darbar is a fair that is held only a few days before Holi and the other name for this fair is Jamabandi fair. The fair is a true epitomisation of the tradition and the culture of Surat. Tribal fair who form an important part of this fair come dressed in the best garments and traditional attire. The atmosphere is quite gay and enjoyable and it is filled with the sounds o musical instruments like shehnai and drums. Dang Darbar is a fair that also displays the crafts and the arts of tribal people who get good help through this fair as they are able to sell their products to the people who attend this fair. Apart from tribal people, there are many traders and merchants of Surat and the other districts who also gather at Dang Darbar for the exhibition and display of their products. Dance and song performances are very good at enlivening the spiritual ecstasy of the fair. The traditional Garba and Dandia dances are also performed tuned on ras which is a very famous music in Surat.
Textile Expo Surat
Textile Expo Surat also forms a major attraction in Surat and it is basically a show that encompasses the textile industry of Surat. This show serves as a major business centre for exhibitors who try to showcase their services and their products to customers. This show also serves to be very educational because people at the show get a very good knowledge about the business opportunities and the latest trends in the market. The people also get a very good opportunity to gain latest insight into the industry and to make the choice from varied services and products. The show also turns out to be very advantageous for the exhibitors who get the chance to procure massive exposure and visibility to the products and services that they deal in and also helps in building the brand equity of their products. This automatically helps the exhibitors in promoting and expanding their companies that are related to the textile industry.
Swami Vivekananda National Book Fair
Book Fairs of different types are held from time to time in Surat. One of the most popular book fairs held in Surat during recent times was the Swami Vivekananda National Book Fair in which many book selling shops and publishers had an active role to play.
Trineteshwer Mahadev Fair
The Trineteshwer Mahadev fair is also an important fair that is held in Surat. This is a fair that has always been successful in attracting the attention of the tourists to Surat. During this fair, women belonging to pastoral communities choose life partners and the eligibility of the men at this fair is indicated by their carrying of an embroidered umbrella. All suitors at this fair dress themselves up in colorful ornaments and attires. Folk music, dance, contests and devotional hymns are some cultural aspects that have a great role to play in adding to the ambiance and the purity of this fair.
Somnath Mahadev Fair
This fair marks Kartikeya’s birthday who was Lord Shiva’s son. The fair features different kinds of stage shows, instrumental music and folk dances.
The culture and the tradition of Surat are found to come alive during the festivities and the celebrations that are held in the city.