Fair and Festivals of Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh is famous for its varied culture and tradition. One of the highlight of its culture are the numerous festivals celebrated here. Most of these festivals are religious and some are organized by the government of Andhra Pradesh state. These festivals are celebrated with great pomp and gaiety.

Religious Festivals
There are various religious festivals celebrated in Andhra Pradesh. These festivals belong to different religions, but are celebrated with equal excitement and enthusiasm.

Pongal ( January)
Famous Pongal, the harvest festival, is celebrated from the 13th to the 15th of January every year. It literally means "boiling over" and is a celebration of the flourishing crops in the fields. This festival basically belongs to farming community, but today it is celebrated throughout the South India. Mainly in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Sivaratri ( February- March)

Sivaratri, is one of the pre-historic festivals celebrated all over India in the months of February/March. This festival is devoted to Lord Shiva, the destroyer. Sivaratri is celebrated by remaining awake throughout the night, visiting the temple and listening to the Vedic recitals and their meanings.

Moharrum ( April)
Moharrum is a Muslim festival celebrated in Hyderabad. Other Muslim festivals like Milad-un-Nabi and Id are also celebrated with assemblies held at Mecca Masjid and at Dar-us-Salaam. These festivals are also celebrated with equal happiness all over the country.

Ugadi ( April – May)
Ugadi is the New Year's day in andhra culture. It is celebrated every year after the celebration of 'holi' in April-May.

Vinayaka or Ganesh Chaturthi (August- September)
Ganesh or Vinayak Chaturthi is celebrated to mark the birthday of Lord Ganesh or Vinayak. This famous festival is celebrated with excitement and enthusiasm throughout the country along with Andhra Pradesh. The duration of Ganesh Chaturthi is ten days and on the tenth day Ganesh idols are immersed in the Hussain Sagar lake.

Diwali ( October- November)

Diwali, the festival of light, is celebrated in th entire country including Andhra Pradesh. This festival is dedicated to the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. It is celebrated by decorating house with lights and burning crackers.

State Festivals

Andhra Pradesh Tourism conducts four festivals every year. These festivals help the thriving tourism in the state.

Deccan Festivals ( February)
The Deccan festival is a celebration of Hyderabad's arts, crafts, culture and cuisine. The highlight of the festival are the Pearls and Bangles fair and a food fair. The festival also includes cultural programs, food stalls, arts and craft shops etc.

Lumbini Festivals (December)
The Lumbini festival celebrates the Buddhist Heritage of andra Pradesh. This festival is celebrated in Nagarjunasagar and Hyderabad for three days from second Friday of December, every year.

Utsav (January)
The Visaka Utsav is a celebration of the arts, crafts and cuisine of Visakahapatan district. It is celebrated from the 3rd Sunday of January in every year and the duration of the festival is three days.

Dance of Andhra Pradesh
India's age old culture and tradition is incomplete, without mentioning the various dance forms having related to a particular period or environment. Similarly, every state of India boasts of its different classical and folk dance forms. Andhra Pradesh is also the proud owner of some of the most beautiful famous dance forms. It offers a variety of performing arts unique to its culture.

Kuchipudi Dance- The Classical Dance
Kuchipudi, the famous classical dance form of Andhra Pradesh derives its name from a village, situated about 60 km. away from Vijayawada. It is located just above the delta region of the river Krishna. Kuchipudi originated from a hamlet in Andhra Pradesh, called Kuchelapuri or Kuchelapuram in the 3rd century B.C.

Folk Dance :- Apart from the classical dance form, Andhra Pradesh is also known for its tribal dances. They also contribute equally to the artistic heritage of Andhra Pradesh. Since Andhra Pradesh is inhabited by many large tribes, thus, it is rich in traditional folk and tribal dances. The folk dance forms are accompanied by the folk theater the can be seen in its regional forms almost in every region of the state. Bathakamma, Gobbi, Mathuri, Dhamal, Dandaria, Dappu, Vadhyam are a few famous tribal folk arts. The dances of the Banjaras and the Siddi tribes are also famous. These dances are generally performed on the occasion of community festivals.

Veeraanatyam :- This dance form is performed by the Veeramusti community of Andhra Pradesh which claims to be the descendant of Veerabhadra. This is a vigorous dance form performed with instruments like Tambura, Soolam, Dolu, Tasha & Veeranam. This community is usually found at Draksharamam in East Godavari District. It is believed that Lord Shiva, performed an aggressive dance form, outraged at the humiliation of his consort. He plucked a strand out of his long hair and created the legendary Veerabhadra.

Butta Bommalu :- The Butta Bommalu is a typical folk dance form popular in Tanuku of West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. Butta Bommalu literally means basket toys, made of woodhusk, dry grass & cow dung. The dancers wear different mask over the head and shoulders, thus widening the range of the performer.

Dappu :- This folk dance form is performed mainly in Telangana. The highlight of this dance form is an instrument made of goatskin. It is a tambourine like drum which is beaten with sticks creating a rhythm accompanied by the ankle bells worn by the dancers. Almost 16 to 20 Dappu dancers perform at a time.

Chindu Bhagvatham :- The Chindu Bhagavatham dance is an alive dance form belonging to the Nizamabad district. The Chindu dancers wear colorful make-up along with even more colorful costumes. The instruments used for this dance form are cymbals, tabla & a harmonium.

Tappetagullu :-The Tappetagullu is popular dance form of Srikakulam & Vizianagaram districts. This is a devotional dance form, performed in order to persuade the God of rain to bless the land with rainfall. The Tappetagullu is a prefect combination of vigor, rhythm and tempo.

Lambadi : This dance form is inspired by the daily chores of a farmer, like harvesting, planting, sowing etc. The Lambadi dance form is performed by the Banjaras, a semi-nomadic tribe found all over Andhra Pradesh.

Bonalu :-The folk festival of Bonalu is celebrated in the Telangana region. On the occasion of this festival, colorfully dressed female dancers preform a difficult balancing act. These dancers balance pots (bonalu), matching to the rhythmic beats and tunes, in order to pay homage to the village deity, Mahankali.

Dhimsa :-The Dhimsa folk dance is generally performed in local fairs & festivals of Araku Valley in Vishakhapatanam district. Almost 15 to 20 tribal women dressed in typical tribal attire and ornaments, form a chain and dance to the rhythm. Some of the instruments used for this dance form are Mori, Thudum & Dappu, played by the male members of the community.